Monday, December 15, 2008

In Sickness and in Health - II

Does it come as a surprise that breast cancer patients with better marriages have an easier time with recovery than women in troubled marriages?

There were behavioral differences found among the women in this study. Those in better marriages had better eating habits and engaged in more physical activity. They showed less cancer-related stress, fewer symptoms and quicker recovery.

I’m not on an anti-marriage kick, I just happened to come across this study and the one I discussed in my last blog back-to-back.

Perhaps it behooves us to consider just what it is we are getting in our marriages, what we’re missing and what we might think of as important ingredients.

My tip for a better marriage (borrowing liberally from The Good Marriage by Wallerstein and Blakeslee), in addition to genuine love and affection for your partner, is to make sure you have the following:

Honesty, honesty, honesty
Shared values
Togetherness and autonomy
Mutual admiration
Work, work, work

If you don’t, you can try to get it. And of course there’s always coaching and therapy. But address problems as they come up. Like most things, a good marriage is a lot of hard work.

It’s a little corny, but check out True Love (Bing and Grace) on YouTube.

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