Researchers looking at more than a thousand couples aged over 57 over 5 years have found that men, but not women, in bad marriages are less likely to suffer from diabetes.
They believe the answer lies in the power of nagging.
“Wives are usually more likely to remind husbands to stop smoking, to eat healthily, to stop having chocolate, to take medicine” says Professor Hui Liu from Michigan State University.
“On the one hand this is good for the husband’s health. On the other hand it might increase the tension”
The professor was surprised by the results of her research expecting thereto be a positive relationship between the quality of the marriage and diabetes.
Marriage is well known to promote health, particularly for men.
In this study women’s health improved with the quality of the marriage lowering their risk of becoming diabetic. Among men the reverse was true. The worse the marriage the more their health improved.
The professor suggests that “For men, if you have a nagging wife it might not be that bad. She cares about you, wants you to have a healthy lifestyle and a healthy life”