Do you argue a lot with your partner? This is how it affects your health – Healthline



Share on PinterestNegative, non-confrontational communication in a relationship can lead to worse mental and physical health for both you and your partner. Click Images/StocksyThe new research adds to the body of evidence showing that the quality of relationships can affect health.The study found that couples who have negative communication styles experience slower wound healing.Chronic negative communication patterns were also associated with greater inflammation.Experts suggest that it’s best to discuss your differences in a positive, non-confrontational way.Being aware of the impact of non-verbal communication also helps.

A new study published this month in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology reports that the ways couples communicate with each other—for example, if married couples tend to give each other the cold shoulder or avoid talking about their problems—can lead to negative emotions and stressful feelings which then affect immune system function.

According to the authors, dysfunctional communication patterns also foster bad feelings about the relationship itself and also create chronic inflammation. In fact, study participants showed up to the lab with elevated inflammation markers already in their blood.

The analysis takes a fresh look at the data from a earlier study from 2005. In this study, the stress that married couples felt after an argument delayed wound healing by a day or more.

The authors note that marriage is known to have protective effects on health, with married couples having lower rates of death and disease. However, this study shows that this is not automatically the case.

A stressful marriage can also have negative effects on health.

The original research, which was co-authored by Jan Kiecolt-GlaserPhD, the lead author of the current study, included 42 married heterosexual couples who had been married for an average of 12 years.

Their blood was tested at the start of the study for the presence of inflammatory markers, and the researchers used a device to create a small blister on each person’s forearm. Blister healing was used throughout the study to monitor immune system function.

Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire assessing their typical communication patterns.

The couples were then asked to have two separate discussions about the movie: one related to social support and the other an attempt to resolve a known problem within the marriage.

The researchers coded any negative or positive behavior during these discussions. Couples were also asked to rate the conversations.

Seconds Matthew D. JohnsonPhD, director of clinical training and professor of psychology at Binghamton University, who was not involved in either study, the goal of the new study was to examine the level of “demand/withdrawal of communication patterns” in couples.

“Typically, this is a pattern in which one partner wants to discuss an issue or event in the marriage, and the other partner withdraws from the discussion (eg, indicating disinterest, exasperation, or physically leaving the space),” he said. Johnson. . “A partner’s withdrawal may lead the ‘demanding’ partner to increase their efforts to discuss the issue, becoming increasingly annoying or pushy.”

According to Johnson, couples who had either of these two communication patterns experienced greater inflammation, slower wound healing, higher negative emotion, lower positive emotion, and poorer discussion ratings at the beginning of the study

“More interesting,” he remarked, “the predicted negative communication patternsslower wound healing, lower positive emotions, and more negative discussion evaluations.”

According to Johnson, this has “important implications for the direction of causality.”

In other words, it may show that marital communication patterns lead to health problems.

Johnson further noted that this study contributes to a growing body of work, including her ownshowing the association between relationship quality and health.

“Communication is the key to success,” he said Hannah M. Garza, PhD, clinical director of TCHATT at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. “Married couples who communicate openly and have the ability to discuss their differences in a positive, non-confrontational way tend to have better, longer-lasting relationships than those who argue and fight regularly.”

Garza added that communication is not just about words. This can include things like making coffee for your partner, helping with household chores, and going shopping together. Even small things like texting your husband or wife during the day to let them know you’re thinking of them “go a long way,” according to Garza.

“By helping, you let your partner know you care and are there to pick up the pieces when they need to, or just be proud of them when they achieve something important in life,” she explained. .

“Go the extra mile to make your spouse feel special, in fact, when you see that smile on their face, it will make all the difference in your and their emotional states,” she added.

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