Researchers have already been able to prove in several studies that couples – whether married or not – live longer. As early as 2011, an analysis of the data from 500 million people, most of whom came from industrialized nations, demonstrated a "protection effect" in married couples: According to this, married people had a 24 percent lower risk of death than single people.
A study at the Max Weber Institute for Sociology at the University of Heidelberg was able to prove that unmarried couples also benefit from the protective effect. This is because, on the one hand, those who are already physically fit are more likely to find a partner. On the other hand, partners exercise a certain social control over each other. And they support each other when they are sick, which can be a great relief. "For people with diabetes, the partner is often the most important support," says Eva Küstner, a specialist diabetes psychologist from Gau-Bischofsheim, in the pharmacy magazine "Diabetes Ratgeber". Above all, it is helpful to clearly agree in advance how the partner can help and how not.
A study by Emory University in Atlanta, for example, shows that the partner also plays an important role in the healing process after illness. Cardiologists examined 6,000 patients who came to the clinic with suspected severely narrowed coronary vessels and underwent cardiac catheter treatment there. In the years that followed, those patients who were married fared significantly better than those who were single or separated.
For a long-term, harmonious relationship, according to experts, it is crucial whether and how much couples get along with each other. "As long as a couple can talk to each other, that's always good for a relationship," says André Kellner, a psychologist and couples therapist from Munich. It is important that both really talk to each other, listen to each other and try to understand the other. Mutual understanding usually succeeds without problems at the beginning of the relationship.
Only after a certain time do the partners then stumble over what separates and often overlook what connects. "In the beginning, being different in your partner was still exciting. Later, it just annoys a lot of people. Then the same conversations continue over and over again to vent one's own frustration," explains Kellner.
According to the expert, the way to a fulfilled partnership lies in accepting and accepting the other in his own uniqueness. When both can understand each other's needs, there is a rapprochement.
Source: "Journal of the American Heart Association", "Spektrum", Word and Image Publishers