In case there was really any question about it, a new study reveals that the relationships we have in our lives -- and particularly our marriages -- truly are the most important decisions we make. In fact stressful relationships are so dangerous, they may lead to early death.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that those who reported stressful relationships with their partners, children, relatives, friends, and neighbors were more likely to die earlier. Almost half the deaths were from cancer, but other causes included cardiovascular disease, liver disease, accidents, and suicide.
Pretty stark truth, right? But let's be honest: Didn't we already all know this? Think about how you feel after a fight with your husband. Your blood pressure is up, you feel like crying, and the world just feels a little off-kilter. Now imagine feeling that all the time.
People judge those who choose divorce, but in fact, they may be the lucky ones. While it may be impossible to completely excise every unhealthy or stressful relationship from your life, marriage is the one that we choose. We can't dump our sisters or brothers (at least not most of the time), but we can choose whom we marry and we can choose how those relationships go in the long run.
Some might say that if our marriages are bad, we can always find refuge in other relationships in our lives, but maybe not. Our marriage defines everything else. It informs the way our relationships with our children go and the way we feel when we are at home. If it's bad, everything is bad. So bad we die early.
It's simple: Whom we marry is the most important decision we make in our entire lives. A happy marriage very often leads to a happy life. Even when life stresses us out, a happy marriage provides the foundation. If we fight with a friend, having that stable marriage to come home to makes it all OK. Of all the relationships in our lives, none matter as much as the ones we have with our spouses
Do you agree that whom we marry is the most important decision of our lives?
Image via Rosmary/Flickr