Healthy blood pressure in men linked to spouse health, relationship quality

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Heart Health | Saturday, December 05, 2015 - 09:30 AM

healthy blood pressure in men linked to spouse health

A study found that healthy blood pressure in men is linked to spousal health and relationship quality. One’s own stress can lead to detrimental health effects; sleepless nights, pounding headaches and even indigestion are just some of the effects stress has on your body. But when it comes to blood pressure, someone else’s stress may be affecting your numbers. Recent research suggests, a stressed-out wife leads to high blood pressure for the man.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Happy wife, happy life,” and conversely, when your wife is stressed out that can lead to an unhealthy life for you.

Healthy relationships, wives and blood pressure in men

blood pressure in couplesPublished in the Journal of Gerontology, 1,350 couples – born in 1953 or earlier – were evaluated in 2006 and again in 2010. The researchers wanted to determine changes in blood pressure as the couples relationships changed over the years.

The conclusion of the study was that when wives indicated they were stressed out the husband’s blood pressure numbers were higher – even if they didn’t note experiencing stress themselves.
Additionally, when both partners reported negative relationship quality, then both spouses experienced worsened blood pressure. Yet, stressed out women still had lower blood pressure in comparison to their unstressed husbands. The impact, though, was seen more so when the men were unhappy with the relationship.

But why are men holding onto their wives stress so much and, in turn, experiencing higher blood pressure?

Well, it starts with the age group used in the study. The test subjects were older adults who heavily relied on their wives for meals, caregiving and even household responsibilities. Gender roles are then very defined, so when the woman is stressed and these duties are not carried out, it can cause additional stress on the man.

Tips to manage healthy blood pressure in a relationship

manage healthy blood pressureAs you can see, our relationships weigh heavily on our level of stress, which, in turn, can affect our blood pressure. So the secret to healthy blood pressure is creating healthy relationships.

Here are a few tips from the University of Texas Mental Health Center for a healthy relationship to reduce stress and maintain healthy blood pressure numbers.

  • Adjust to change: Changes are inevitable as the years go by, so it is important to adjust to such changes and discuss them with your partner. Adjusting to change can reduce stress.
  • Check in with your partner: On the other hand, even if you feel there are no drastic changes, checking in with your partner can avoid any surprises. Listening to their needs and creating goals can make for a happy relationship.
  • Proper timing during arguments: All relationships are going to have ups and downs but how you deal with them can affect how much stress they will lead to. Although the common notion has been “Don’t go to bed angry,” it has been revealed that sometimes dealing with an argument right away isn’t the best. If things become heated, take steps back to clear your mind and come back together to discuss the issue at hand.
  • Share roles: Because in the study it was shown that the man heavily relied on the woman for many of his needs, it may be smart then to share household roles instead of making them the sole responsibility of the woman. This way, when the woman is stressed out, the man can also contribute to the needs of the household and alleviate some of the stress.

When it comes to blood pressure as a result of a relationship, it is completely manageable. As we age we need to become more mindful of our health and the best way to do so is by monitoring those factors that are in our control. By practicing some of these tips you can have a healthier, more satisfying relationship, and then both you and your partner can continue to live happy lives.

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