Yesterday MSNBC ran not one but two articles about the impact of divorce on your health. This one, by Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert examines a study by University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior on the impact of divorce on your health.
Bottom line? Divorce is bad for your health. People whose marriages are interrupted by divorce or death are 20 percent more likely to suffer chronic life-threatening diseases such as heart problems, diabetes and cancer. It postulates that people do better when they repair their marriages. Suddenly the efforts and willingness of Jenny Sanford to pull things back together look like a smart choice for her as well as her family.
Among other things, in the trauma of death and divorce, we let our attention wander from our health. Those wanderings make a difference that even getting back on track doesn’t always impact.
This argues, and powerfully, for yet another reason to make your marriage work. In some circles there are questions being asked as to whether there isn’t a benefit to states health efforts to include marriage classes as health prevention.
Tip: Wedding vows. Finding the right wedding vows for the two of you and keeping them is good for you in so many ways. You can get my free wedding vow templates in the upper right hand corner of this (and every) page of this site. You can get the Wedding Vow Book and learn how to do this yourself right here.
OK. You’re about to share your life with your beloved. Yes many of you are already doing that, but this is one step deeper. Here are somethings that you can do to make yourself a better mate:
Get your check ups: make sure every part of you is healthy as you embark on your marriage. All those things you’ve been putting off? Do them now.
Get in shape: marriage is a marathon. Get fit so you’re ready for it. And oh by the way, it makes you more attractive and gives you better stamina in bed. That’s worth it.
Get organized about your stuff: you’re sharing space, get rid of the stuff you don’t need.
Get clear what your needs are: how much privacy do you need? How much alone time vs. how much togetherness. Can’t talk about it if you don’t know what you need.
Get enough sleep: Figure out what you need and get it. And make sure that there are at some occasions so that you and your SweetieBeloved go to bed at the same time so you can talk and you can snuggle and yes, have sex!
Tip: Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give your beloved.
Why not start out with what always looks like the hard one? But I’m not going to start where you thought! Sex, I believe is about to get it’s own category. Yep, rather than 6, I’m moving to 7! and I’m still arranging things in my head about sex (and you know sex starts in the head!) so, you’re just going to have to wait for sex! Damn! isn’t that always the way!
But physical intimacy in marriage is more than just sex. As you start the wedding planning marathon (there’s some training!) and get ready for your wonderful marriage here are some things to be looking at.
Your Physical Health. Go to the docs. Get your check-ups. Enter marriage dealing with or having dealt with any physical ailments you might have. This includes Eyes, Teeth and Body.
Your Physical Fitness. You’re pledging your life to your beloved. Make sure you have one! Start getting in shape. You don’t need to lose 5,000 pounds, you need to be strong. (ok, some of us may need to lose weight, but not for the wedding, but because we want to be healthy. binge dieting to fit in wedding dresses? not healthy!)
Your Space needs: How do you share space? How does your partner. Work this out! It’s helpful to figure out how to share closets, bathrooms and work space. Who needs things picked up and who doesn’t and who’s going to do it?
Your Privacy needs. What needs do you have for being alone and what needs do you have for being with your beloved alone and then for being in a crowd?
Your Sleep needs. How much sleep do you need? How about your partner? How do you sleep together? How big a bed (or yes, even beds) do you need?
Tip: Take a look at who you are and what your physical rhythms are and figure out how to mesh them with your partners. Physical compatibility is a huge thing. You’re going to be sharing space with your beloved for a very long time!