We’ve all heard of the fact that married men live longer than unmarried men and that being married has certain health benefits for men. I’ve have always wondered if the health benefit of marriage for men comes at the expense of the married woman’s health. New research provides some surprising insights into this question…
Dmitry Tumin from Ohio State University studied weight gain in the two years following a marriage or divorce among more than 10 000 people in the USA from 1986 to 2008.
Both men and women who divorced or married were found to be more likely than never-married people to have a small weight gain in the two years following their marital transition.
In most cases, the weight gain was minor and not a serious health threat. But the risk of a larger, unhealthy weight gain was highest among men after divorce and among women after marriage. This risk grew stronger as people grew older.
The study didn’t examine the reasons why larger weight gain is more likely for men after a divorce and for women after marriage but it is interesting to consider the possible causes.
To me there are three likely causes for Male (PDB) Post Divorce Bulge and Female (PMB) Post Marriage Bulge:
1) Pre-Wedding Starvation and Stress
What woman doesn’t go on some manic quite manic dieting craze in the months leading up to a wedding to fit into THAT dress? Combine this calorie deprivation with the emotional stress of wedding preparations and you have a surefire recipe for a lowered metabolism and future weight gain for the new bride.
2) Lazy/Busy Men
When men are single there time is often filled up with work related activities and less time and priority is given to healthy nutrition and exercise.
3)Women Putting Themselves Last
Typically the male focusses on producing income and the female focusses on keeping the family unit safe and strong. Unfortunately the female places herself last
and only allows time for self care after most of her partner’s and children’s needs are met. When her male partner is out of the equation, this suddenly frees up time for herself.
So what is the solution?
Should women just leave men to fend for themselves? Should we abolish the concept of marriage?
I think that the solution lies in the hands of the male. After all men have the most to gain out of marriage and the most to lose if you divorce….
While I have always encouraged the notion of being personally responsible for our own wellbeing this is the one exception…I believe that it should be a husband’s responsibility to ensure that their wife has time for herself so she can refresh and recharge. Understand that your wife is often putting her own well-being at risk in ensuring her partner and family are being cared for.
Husbands should be asking themselves the question, “Am I a health risk for my wife?”
If your wife is getting worn out looking after the family, get off your backside and step up and help out. Any small help is often greatly appreciated.
At the same time, wives need to appreciate that you train others how to treat you. Being a wife does not mean that you are a servant so don’t act like one or allow yourself to be treated like one. Your husband and children do not deserve a tired, burnt -out version of you. Stop putting your family first and put yourself first. That way you bring the real you into the family and that can only be healthy for everyone.