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Study Says Men Who Hate Their Marriages Die Way Younger

Daily Mail - If you're stuck in a dissatisfying marriage, alarming new research from Israel suggests you should get a marriage therapy or risk being put in an early grave.

Exploring extensive health data going back more than 30 years, a team from Tel Aviv University tracked the deaths and causes of death of more than 10,000 Israeli men. 

Being unhappy with your marriage, or even perceiving your marriage as bad, made the men as likely to die from cerebrovascular (CVA) conditions, such as stroke, or blocked arteries at the same rate as smoking and a lack of physical activity. 

Those men who felt their marriage was unhappy were 69.2 per cent more likely to die from stroke than those who were happy in their marriage, authors found.

When considering all cases of premature death among the men, the rate of death was 19 per cent higher in men who said their marriage was unsatisfactory.

I consider myself a man who, generally speaking, respects the Scientific Method. I appreciate smart minds using objective, verifiable research to test hypotheses. And yet even as I acknowledge that fact, there are moments when scientists waste their time and ours trying to prove/disprove things that can obviously be deduced by common sense. This is a perfect example. It's like spending 32 years studying whether or not fish live underwater or lava comes from underground. 

Let me save the next research team a lot of time, effort and research grant money You want to know how guys who hate being married die younger than single guys or ones who are happy? Just ask one. They're not hard to find. And once you've found one, they're even easier to get to open up on the topic. Believe me, the bars are full of them. Show me a guy at the pub by himself and I'll show you a guy just dying to expound upon the subject of unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships. Not that I recommend you do. Once you pull that thread, it's hard to make it stop. 

A few December 24ths ago, the Irish Rose and I had gone to the early Mass and decided to hit a local townie place on the way home for one before going home to dinner. A rando started chatting us up and made it clear this was his first Christmas since the divorce and gave us his whole sad story. About 20 minutes later, the place was closing and it was all we could do to get out of there as he tried to drag us to his next stop, a Chinese restaurant. Pass. I'm sure he and millions like him would love nothing more than to help a team member from Tel Aviv U. compile all the data they need. That is, if they don't find an excuse to leave after 20 minutes the way we did.

The way this ties in with the health problems is something that much more useful medical science has already demonstrated. Proven, in fact. The power of the mind to make you sick. The term psychosomatic illness has some bad connotations; like you're imagining things or faking your ailments. But the truth is, emotions and stress can and will have a direct effect on your body. Headaches. Back pain. Ulcers. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. When your marriage is falling apart, it must be all-encompassing. Like having a job you hate, but instead of eight bad hours and then going home at the end of the day, the bad job is your home. There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that could make a fella stroke out. 

More to the point, if every non-fiction book I've ever read about people in a survival situation has been right, then morale is everything. The will to live matters. On the ill-fated Ernest Shackleton expedition across Antarctica, the men trapped in the ice for two-plus years put on shows for one another to keep their esprit de corps up, even as they had to eat their beloved sled dogs to stay alive. And they all made it back to England safely. Now imagine that, instead of being frozen stuck in the worst place in the world, you're frozen stuck in a loveless marriage with a shrew who hates you and reminds you how worthless you are every day. And there's no chance of rescue. I can see where you'd welcome the sweet release of and early death as a preferable alternative to living that life forever.

Anyway, thanks to these researchers for proving the point, no matter how little it needed proving. Now if they were to do a study to find out what a women being married to incorrigible assholes does to their life expectancy, I'd be all about hearing those results. Until then, try not to marry someone if you and they are going to make each other miserable. It sounds simple, I know. But not enough people take the advice. And the life you save may be your own.