Men, listen up! It has been widely researched and reported that your blood pressure goes up when you are feeling stressed or facing marital problems. However, a study has found that a stressed out spouse can also have an adverse effect on your blood pressure. That’s because men are just big babies.
The study, lead by Kira S Birditt from the University of Michigan, studied middle-aged and older men and women who were married or living together. It analyzed whether a person’s blood pressure was affected over time by the levels of chronic stress that they or their partners reported experiencing. Prior research had looked at each individual alone, so this was different because the researchers were looking at both parties’ stress and how that affected each person.
What the results showed was that husbands were more affected by their wives’ state of stress than the other way around. “We were particularly fascinated that husbands were more sensitive to wives’ stress than the reverse especially given all of the work indicating that wives are more affected by the marital tie. We speculate that this finding may result from husbands greater reliance on wives for support which may not be provided when when wives are more stressed,” Birditt said.
The effect on husbands was even more pronounced in couples who were facing problems in their relationship where both husband and wife felt that the relationship was stressed. Birditt said, “We were particularly excited about these findings because they show that the effects of stress and negative relationship quality are truly dyadic in nature. An individual’s physiology is closely linked with not only his or her own experiences but the experiences and perceptions of their spouses.”
Go back and read that part about husbands’ greater reliance on wives. Basically women do just fine even when their husbands are stressed, but men fall apart if their wives aren’t there to take care of them. What a bunch of babies!
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