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If you are feeling healthy today, thank your spouse.  Research shows that married people have better overall health than their unmarried peers and are less likely to develop chronic conditions than their widowed or divorced counterparts.

It’s not just your physical health that marriage strengthens. Married people also have less depression and fewer mental health problems.

Relationships, whether positive or negative, affect health at all stages of life. There seems to be a really strong link between love and happiness.

One study from University of Missouri examined the long-term relationship between self-rated health and marital quality. A University of Missouri researcher says that people who have happy marriages are more likely to rate their health as better as they age.

Married people are twice as likely to be “happy with life” compared to either single, cohabiting, separated, divorced or widowed people. Older adults whose physical health is declining could potentially benefit from improving their marriages.

In another study, researchers from the University of Warwick actually believe the impact of marriage on health end life expectancy, particularly in men, is almost equivalent to giving up smoking, adding seven years to men’s life and three to women’s life.