We're All Dying Anyway (or Happy World Health Day)!

It’s come to my attention that it’s World Health Day, so I thought it an appropriate time to deliver some uplifting pointers on what your bad marriage is doing to your health. Surprisingly, it turns out that regular fighting, deep-seated resentment and constant criticism are not good for your mind or body. Who knew?

I’ll give fair warning that these stats and what I say about them might make you uncomfortable. However, in my role as your friendly neighborhood divorce attorney, I feel it’s my duty to bring some harsh home truths.

Health Fact #1: Your crappy marriage is damaging your actual heart. In an ironic twist of fate, your marriage (since you spend so much of it stressed out and/or angry at yourself, your partner and probably the world) is literally increasing your risk of heart disease. If you don’t believe me, ask these doctors.

Health Fact #2: Every time you fight, your immune system goes on vacation. These guys found that for a full 24 hours after your biweekly spousal brawl, not only do your neighbors hate you but so does your body. As punishment, it stops fighting off diseases normally. That’s not allergies, folks, that’s your crappy marriage.

Health Fact #3: A bad marriage means oozing wounds. Wondering why you still have that giant zombie cold sore after two weeks of plastering on the Abreva? Thank your herpes and your horrible marriage. This study found that bodily wounds of couples who frequently argue take longer to heal, and also, your herpes is going show itself more often.

Health Fact #4: Women have it worse. This study found that for women, especially women “of a certain age”, the ill effects of a bad marriage on the heart are intensified, having an equivalent effect to being a smoker or being physically inactive. So in addition to his farting and mansplaining, you now also have to deal with the fact that he’s healthier than you. The bastard.

Health Fact #5: You’re no fun anymore. This study found that people in conflict-ridden marriages are more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms and be diagnosed with depression.

Health Fact #6: A bad marriage makes you fat. By far the most horrifying health effect of all, high marital stress is linked to higher levels of cortisol (thus greater likelihood of being overweight), and this study finds a positive correlation between high stress and a lesser ability to metabolize fats. Relatedly, you’re more likely to become diabetic. And don’t bother trying to diet: this study found that people in bad marriages are less likely to stay on health and fitness plans, so it’ll get you either way.

Fortunately there’s a silver lining to this cloud, which is that none of it really matters. 100% of science agrees that no matter what you do, you’re going to die anyway.

Happy World Health Day, everyone!


James J. Sexton