The Importance of Being -- Married
There are many reasons to choose wisely and carefully when picking a spouse, but here's one you may not know: New research suggests that a good marriage is good for your health -- and that a bad one can be a real heartbreaker.
For Guys, for Better or for Worse Is Mostly for Better continued...
"Women are less prone to risky behavior, more likely to go
to doctor when they are sick, and they take care of themselves better," he
says. "The other big, big difference is men have lousy social support
systems, and women have great support systems."
This just goes to show you how much men get taken care of in a
marriage, says David Woodsfellow, PhD, director of the Center for Relationship
Therapy in Atlanta.
"While the traditional role has man as the provider, that
role is really as the provider of money," he says. "In that
traditional role ... the woman is the provider of nurturing comfort, home, and
often food, clothing, and furnishings. I think it is those roles and their
vestiges that account for the finding that marriage is better for men."
Bridging the Differences
So being married can benefit your health. How can couples get
the maximum benefit for both parties involved?
Woodsfellow offers these four tips for bridging the inevitable
differences and keeping a marriage healthy and happy.
- Talk to each other every day. "Make a point of learning what the other
one's day was like," he says. "That becomes one type of quality time:
- Say nice things to one another; give one another compliments. "Do this
frequently," he says.
- Try not to reject each other. "Be aware of the little moments when your
partner is reaching out to you and try to respond to them rather than turn your
back to them, even if you are busy," says Woodsfellow.
- Develop your own little habits, rituals, secret words, or secret signals.
"Little, special things become special bonds, special moments of
intimacy," he says.
It's All About Commitment
"That's one of the great things about love: When people really love and
they make a commitment, they become enormously vulnerable and enormously
powerful -- because they care so much and it connects them to the world in such
a big way," says Gottman. "That's the amazing thing about all of these
benefits: They are conferred by commitment. The commitment is like falling over
backward and translates into making you a mensch and a concerned human being --
somebody who is involved in the community of mankind."