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Happy Spouse, Healthy You

Last Updated: October 15, 2019.

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many studies have shown that a stable and happy marriage is good for the health of both partners, increasing longevity. But did you know that there's also a link between one spouse's happiness and the health of the other?

Building on the idea that a happy person is often a healthy person, researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Chicago explored whether a happy outlook could positively affect relationships. After studying nearly 2,000 couples, they found that people with a happy spouse are more likely to report better health over time -- above and beyond their own happiness.

It may be that a happy spouse offers their partner more TLC than an unhappy one who is often focused more on his or her own needs. A happy partner, especially one who follows a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise and smart food choices, is more likely to motivate their spouse to follow their example and become healthier in the process. Also, a happy spouse is likely to place fewer demands on a partner, reducing the likelihood of unhealthy behaviors like drinking.

How can you create a happier environment within your relationship? It's easier than you might think. Showing affection fosters feelings of well-being. These can be physical demonstrations, like kisses and hugs and holding hands as you sit or walk, as well as verbal ones, such as a simple but heartfelt compliment. And who doesn't respond positively to hearing those three little words, "I love you"?

More information

Psychology Today has more ways to show affection to your partner.

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