Whether you’re in a committed age gap relationship with an older man or married to him, there’s no doubt that he’s made some sort of an impact in your life, hopefully for the better. But what if you found out that your age gap relationship was actually impeding your health? Would you leave?
Not too long ago, a study of over three million Americans revealed a link between marriage and reduced heart disease risk. But recent research out of the University of Michigan has shed new light on the connection between married life and heart health—it turns out wedded bliss sometimes isn’t very blissful. In fact, it can be downright dangerous.
Yes, a happy age gap relationship, whether it results in marriage or not, can lead to improved health for your older man—thanks to having you to look after him. However, it’s the quality of your age gap relationship that really matters. A happy relationship or marriage is great, but if that union turns sour, it can do more harm than good, especially for your older man.
This new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that those in unhappy marriages are at a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease, compared to happily married couples. In other words, no marriage is better than a bad one.
Researchers analyzed five years’ worth of heart health data for 1,200 older, married adults, including cases of heart attacks, cholesterol levels, and strokes. This data was then compared against interviews with the respondents about feelings toward their marriage, like how close they felt to their partner and how happy they believed their marriage was.
The researchers concluded that staying in an unhappy marriage leads to higher stress levels, which has been proven to adversely impact heart health, especially in older adults. And of course, every marriage has its ups and downs, but in this study, the negative aspects did more damage than the positive aspects helped.
Even if you’re not married, the same thing can be said for age gap relationships. If you’re not happy, it’s eventually going to take a toll, not just on your older man’s heart, but eventually yours as well. The study actually showed that women are more likely to suffer from a toxic union.
That’s why it’s always important to keep the lines of communication open and stay true to your own feelings. If you’re no longer emotionally invested in your age gap relationship, and if it no longer makes you happy, then it may be time to walk away. At the end of the day, a little metaphorical heartbreak now is better than real heart break in the future.
Izadi, E., “A bad marriage can literally break your heart, especially if you’re a woman,” Washington Post web site, November 20, 2014; http://goo.gl/uAenRx.