Marital stress can slow recovery from heart disease: how to deal with it

As much as we would like to imagine that life is a fairy tale, unfortunately it is not! And being in a relationship isn’t perfect, it comes with its own share of problems. Most couples experience relationship stress, which can even lead to health problems. That’s right, marital stress not only creates unnecessary conflict in your life, but it can also lead to serious health problems. It can actually make things worse for people recovering from a heart attack, found a study published in the American Heart Association. Here’s everything you need to know about it!

The link between marital stress and heart attack recovery

According to the study, marital stress for people ages 18 to 55 was associated with problems in people recovering after a heart attack compared to people who have less marital stress. Women were more likely to experience severe marital stress. So more stress in your marriage means worse outcomes for people recovering from a heart attack.

Side effects of marital stress in women. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The study showed that people who reported moderate or severe marital stress were 67% more likely to experience chest pain and almost 50% more likely to be readmitted to the hospital compared to their counterparts who reported mild or no marital stress. Participants who had significant marital stress also had worse quality of life.

This study emphasizes the value of assessing the mental health of cardiac patients and is in line with previous research indicating that marital stress has a more negative impact on women’s health. Therefore, managing the stress in your marriage is vital to keeping your overall health in check.

How to deal with marital stress?

Health Shots asked mental health expert and founder of The Mindful Foundation, Geetika Arora Bhojak, to understand how one might cope with marital stress. Here are some tips shared by the expert to help you deal with it.

1. Discuss finances

Financial stress can be a huge obstacle to a successful and supportive marriage. Whether you want separate accounts for spending or joint accounts for monthly bills should be discussed clearly, without disrespecting your partner. Keeping track of spending can help you prepare for the future and save for unforeseen circumstances.

money and marital stress
Manage finances to deal with marital stress. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Communication is vital

It may sound trite, but open communication really is the key to a happy marriage. There is not “too much communication”. Misunderstandings can be the root of doubt and resentment, which can only be avoided through dialogue. Lack of discussion often leads to partners not knowing how the other person is feeling. Eventually this creates an abyss of distance and mistrust where we become inconsiderate or worse, indifferent to each other. It’s important to talk about even the mundane things later in the day to help bring closeness and intimacy to the relationship.

3. Balance of responsibilities

In Indian society, women are still expected to be superhuman and juggle both work and household responsibilities. However, this precedent can be detrimental to the relationship as it leads to resentment and unresolved stress. There must be an equal balance of responsibilities whether both spouses work or not. Couples who love and understand each other should work on each other’s strengths rather than exploiting their weaknesses. It’s all about knowing your limits and supporting each other.

4. Recognize the importance of quality time

Couples often tend to get lost in the juggernaut of marital responsibilities—children, chores, and jobs. Stress relief can come from quality time with your spouse and personal time, which is important to maintaining and nurturing a marriage. It can help couples appreciate each other, enjoy each other’s company, have fun, deepen their understanding, communicate more, and relieve stress.

how to deal with marital stress
Take quality time to deal with marital stress. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Spend time alone

It’s also important to learn to enjoy spending time with yourself instead of being dependent on your partner for activities. Taking up a hobby or running can be an effective way during the day that you can take time out for yourself while your spouse takes care of the house and kids.

6. Let go

Forever is a long time, and humans make mistakes. Holding and holding grudges can create distance between partners. Those who hold grudges feel angry all the time, while those who take grudges feel mean or mistreated. Don’t forget to discuss an issue in detail if you have one. Talk to your spouse if you still haven’t reached an agreement. Talking it over with a counselor can help you get through it.

Marital stress can slow recovery from heart disease: how to deal with it

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