How a Bad Marriage Can Cheat You Out of a Healthy Heart

Smiling ethnic woman hugging her husband on the couch from behind in the living room. Middle eastern man having fun with his beautiful young wife on the couch. MId adult indian man with latin woman laughing and looking at each other at home: complicity and love concept.A bad marriage may literally be breaking your heart. New research suggests that heart attack survivors in stressful relationships are more likely to have a difficult recovery.

Researchers found that there is an independent relationship between severe marital stress and the worst outcomes in the first year of recovery following a heart attack.


Compared to people in healthy relationships, heart patients under severe marital stress were 67 percent more likely to suffer recurring chest pain during their first year of recovery. Severe marital stress also increased a person’s chances of rehospitalization by nearly 50 percent and affected their quality of life and health.

On a 12-point scale, participants with severe marital stress scored 2.6 points lower in mental health and more than 1.6 points lower in physical health compared to those reporting little or no stress in their relationship.

Earlier studies have found that people in committed relationships have better heart health than those that were not in relationships. However, this study took the quality of relationships into account.

Relationship stress may impact heart attack recovery in a few ways.

The tension caused by bad relationships may have a negative impact on cardiovascular risk factors, particularly high blood pressure.

Stress can also rob a person’s energy levels and make it difficult to get the sleep needed to recover properly. Stress is also associated with irregular heart rates and rhythm, high blood pressure, digestive problems, inflammation and reduced blood flow to the heart.


It’s also possible that being in a bad relationship can cut off the support a heart attack victim needs to recover at this crucial point in their lives. It is much harder to make changes and adopt regimens without a supportive environment.

So what can you do? It’s a tough one. The first thing you can do is find independent coping mechanisms for stress. These might include meditation, mindfulness, or something else.

The relationship stuff is more tricky. Consider options that may help improve the relationship, like counselling, before you’re in a position where it is threatening to your heart. In some cases, leaving your partner will be the best option.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.