Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spouse Spats Mean Long Life?...apparently yes

According to preliminary results of a University of Michigan study, "Couples in which both the husband and wife suppress their anger when one attacks the other die earlier than members of couples where one or both partners express their anger and resolve the conflict."

Researchers looked at 192 couples over 17 years and placed the couples into one of four categories:
*Both partners communicate their anger
*In the second and third groups one spouse expresses while the other suppresses
*Both the husband and wife suppress their anger and brood

Get a load of this stat folks: "When both spouses suppress their anger at the other when unfairly attacked, earlier death was twice as likely than in all other types."

Granted that this is not a huge study, but it is still a very interesting one. The lead author of the study Ernest Harburg explained, "If couples have good parents they can imitate, that's fine, but usually the couple is ignorant about the process of resolving conflict. The key matter is, when the conflict happens, how do you resolve it?"

A final note: This release has a rather misleading title: "A Good Fight May Keep You and Your Marriage Healthy". It is not that fights are good for marriage; it's that anger suppression is bad.....and you can quote me!

So are you ready to drop those hyped up fish-oil potions that promise longevity and try something that really screaming at your spouse? JK