CLEVELAND CLINIC - We've all heard the saying "happy wife, happy life." But recent research is suggesting that having a happy spouse may actually help you live a healthier life.
Wellness expert, Dr. Michael Roizen of Cleveland Clinic, says that happy marriages and health go together, because after all the closest friendship we have is, in fact, our spouse.
"Happiness and marriage are all incredibly important, they're essentially ways of ablating the stress effect," says Dr. Roizen.
The research looked at about 2,000 couples between the ages of 50 and 94 and found that people who reported having happy spouses also reported having better health. Experts believe that the association between a happy spouse and a healthy life is that happy spouses are more likely to provide social support and are more likely to get their partners involved in regular exercise, healthy eating and getting enough sleep.
Dr. Roizen says that previous studies have shown that men over the age of 50 who are happily married age between three and eight years less than men who aren't married.
And likewise, he says happily married women age two years less than those who are not married.
Dr. Roizen says that it's probably not so much the actual marriage that should get all the credit.
He says that anyone, whether married or not, is likely to pick up on the habits of those they spend the most time with and are the closest to.
"The associations, if you have friends who are happy, if you have friends who have happy marriages, you're much more likely to have a happy marriage; you're much more likely to have friends who do the same activity," says Dr. Roizen.
Dr. Roizen says the key to staying happy and healthy is to seek out those who help you manage your stress and to surround yourself with people who do healthy things.