Can your marriage make you sick?

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Can your marriage make you sick?

There is no doubt that stress is hazardous to a person’s health. But when the stress comes from an unhappy marriage, can it literally make one sick?

Turns out that it might, as one study done in 2005 indicated that remaining in a rocky marriage can worsen certain health conditions. A separate study found that couples in close but disharmonious relationships have higher rates of heart disease.

One therapist urges clients to consider the source of the stress that compromises their health. For those who are committed to change, there is hope. Below are some suggestions for making a bad relationship good again.

— Open up. Not talking about problems allows marital tension to fester and distance between couples to expand. Learning how to effectively communicate feelings can mitigate these effects.

— Listen to your spouse. Arguments frequently ignite from the same old triggers, so flip the script. Spend three or five minutes just letting your partner speak while you listen without interrupting, then switch.

— Don’t assign blame. Own your own in relationships to avoid escalating arguments that often mask core issues. Don’t allow a bunch of small slights to build into unaddressed major grievances.

— Show appreciation for little kindnesses and loving gestures from your spouse. Try to remember what attracted you to the person in the first place. Thank him or her for bringing you a special coffee or cooking your favourite meal.

Sometimes relationships have irrevocably broken down too far to be resuscitated, or there may be more serious issues of abuse or infidelity in your relationship. If there is no chance at reuniting with your spouse, the healthiest choice may be to file for divorce. A lawyer who is well-versed in the Ontario family law courts can provide guidance and advice.

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