4 NEGATIVE BEHAVIORS THAT MAY BE MAKING YOU SICK
Many health experts won’t tell you that married couples can actually prevent the common cold and seasonal flu by reducing the negative behaviors in their marriage. During the winter months when runny noses, coughs, and fevers are all too common, we’re reminded to wash our hands, avoid contact with sick people, and get a flu shot. Another preventative measure you can take is to increase your positive behaviors toward your spouse.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, who studied married couples’ antibody response to an influenza vaccine, found that people in satisfying marriages had stronger immunity to flu viruses. Researcher Greta Hysi at the University of Tirana in Albania reviewed 40 studies on the effects of marriage on health. She found that higher levels of negativity which contribute to marital dissatisfaction also directly impact a couple’s physical health.
Hysi’s research also included a review of Dr. Gottman’s Love Lab studies, which found higher white blood cell counts in couples that were happily married. This finding is similar to that of Drs. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser and and Ronald Glaser at Ohio State University, who found natural killer cells are more effective in fighting off disease in happily married couples.