A bad marriage is worse for her

Stressing her out © Lyn Baxter | Dreamstime.com

It has long been known, and repeatedly shown, that married men are healthier both physically and mentally than singe guys. What is less often reported is how marriage effects a woman’s health; a good marriage does not help her as much as it does her husband, and a bad marriage hurts her far more than it hurts her husband. There are a lot of theories about why this is – how men and women handle emotions, that woman are more relational, that men can zone out and women can’t, and so on. However, no matter why it’s true, it is true.

Even if your marriage is bad, the bottom line is that being married to her means you are going to be healthier, happier, and live longer than if you were single. For her the bottom line is that a poor marriage is worse than being single, and a bad marriage will take years off her life and leave her less happy along the way.

What’s does this mean? It means if you are not working to make your marriage good, you are giving your bride the short end of the stick. It means that the odds are your bride is less happy with your marriage than you are. It means you have more power – for good or bad – over her health and happiness than she has over yours.

What are you going to do about this?

Reference: Can a Bad Marriage Hurt Your Health? Maybe, If You’re a Woman

Image Credit: © Lyn Baxter | Dreamstime.com

7 Comments on “A bad marriage is worse for her

  1. This is not a “one and done” fix it area. This represents a lifetime commitment to learn your wife’s needs and work to meet them even when it means sacrifices (Eph. 5:25-28)

  2. I have found, and my wife admits, that her expectations of me are much higher than my expectations of her. This sets her up to be more easily disappointed in my actions than vice versa. Is this a common thing in other marriages? If so, then could this explain why “a bad marriage is worse for her”?

    • @newkansan – I’ve seen it both ways, with the man or the woman having higher expectations. But I see different dynamics for those two – when she has higher expectations, men tend to tune out and ignore, which upsets the wife. When he has higher expectations, he tends to become a taskmaster, which is certainly difficult on his wife.

      One study, not sure if it’s the one I linked to, said that the best guess is that because women are far more relational, a bad marriage is far more harmful to them.

  3. I don’t see how a bad marriage is WORSE for a woman. It may have different affects but both are damaged. I guess it depends on what criteria you care about. Her life is shortened. That’s tragic. I’m not minimizing, but I personally would opt for a shorter life in a wonderful marriage, than a longer dull life lived in id cold-fish of a woman. Men’s dreams DIE in bad marriages. So what if they live longer?

    “It means you have more power – for good or bad – over her health and happiness than she has over yours.”

    Except for physical abuse, (which is a HUGE exception I admit) I just don’t see this. I think a wife can deal out misery just as well, I really do.

  4. @landschooner – The research seems very clear to me. Based on things that can be measured (physical health, depression, suicide) women suffer more.

    That does not mean women can’t or don’t “deal out misery”. It may be that women don’t deal with it as well. One of the studies I have seen on this hypothesised that the reason women suffer more is because women tend to be far more social.

    Be it because women have it worse, or because men cope better, or a combination of the two, or something else entirely, the data says bad marriages harm women more than men both physically and mentally.

  5. Ok I hear that. I guess its the whole weaker vessel thing going on?

    I guess from the guy perspective in me. ..The things they are measuring……What do I care about health if I’m miserable?

    Well, your marriage is terrible and your wife hasn’t desired you in 20 years but at least you have your health!

    My health?

    Of course, none of that contradicts that women are more adversely affected by bad marriages. I guess I can see that.

    Thanks Paul!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: