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Marital Squabbles Can Harm Your Health

A word of caution for couples who routinely communicate through a sharp word and a slammed door: A bad marriage is bad for your health.

A new study suggests that spouses engaged in hostile relationships have consistently elevated stress levels that significantly impede their bodies’ wound-healing capacity.

Blissful honeymooners are not, however, completely immune to the stress effect. Otherwise happy partners will find their healing abilities similarly diminished — although to a lesser degree — following spikes in stress that accompany occasional spats.

Proof of this apparent mind-body connection, researchers say, could have a major impact on the emphasis caregivers place on improving a patient’s frame of mind prior to surgery, in order to optimize the recovery process.

Marital Squabbles Can Harm Your Health

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Marital Squabbles Can Harm Your Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 26, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.