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Why Be Married? So Your Heart Bypass Lasts

Psychologist and relationship researcher Harry Reis says:

"Getting relationships right is something that people ought to pay attention to, because it is significant."

The University of Rochester professor and nursing professor Kathy King asked 225 heart bypass surgery survivors two simple questions a year after surgery:

  1. Are you married?
  2. Do you feel happily married compared to most people?

Pie charts showing 27% live, 73% die in unhappy marriages, 83% live, 17% die in happy onesFifteen years later, they checked to see who was alive and who was not. 83 percent of the women happily married a year after surgery were still alive. Compare this to the unmarried women (only 27% still alive) and the women in unhappy marriages (only 28% still alive).

The outcome for happily married men was the same: 83% were still alive. For them, just being married was a big factor: only 36% of the unmarried men made it 15 years, but 60% of the unhappily married men did.

While the number of people studied is small, the differences are huge, and Harry Reis is an experienced and highly regarded researcher, If your cardiologist offered you a treatment shown to increase your 15-year survival odds from 27% to 83%, or even from 60% to 83%, would you jump on it? Will you jump on turning your marriage around from unhappy to happy?

Source: Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle newspaper

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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