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Several studies have found a link between marital problems and an increased risk of diagnoses such as generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety.
These links can be difficult to untangle, however, since anxiety has been shown to breed relationship problems (and not just vice versa).
According to a 2012 review, people tend to gain weight as they settle into marriage and lose weight when a marriage ends.
But Troiani has seen the opposite happen quite often, as well: "A happy couple can motivate each other to stay healthy—they'll go to the gym together, set goals, and feel responsible for each other." When couples do pack on the pounds, she adds, it may be a symptom of conflict, not slacking off.
"Dissatisfaction in the relationship can lead to passive-aggressive eating behaviors and sleep problems, which will lead to weight gain," she says. Stress levels Surprise, surprise: Regular physical intimacy appears to reduce stress and boost well-being.
One study, published in 2009 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found that people who frequently had sex were healthier mentally and more likely to report greater satisfaction with their relationship and life overall. And your partner's behavior outside the bedroom can just as easily send stress levels soaring in the opposite direction.
More light lifts the spirits and gives us more energy.
One study, which followed more than 600 couples during their first four years of marriage, found that people's drinking habits tended to mirror those of their spouse; if their partner drank heavily, they too were more likely to do so.
"It only takes a few seconds of contact to stimulate those hormones and to help overcome stress and anxiety." 4.
Sleep problems Sleeping next to someone you love and trust can help you fully relax and embrace sleep, Troiani says.
Relationships can affect sleep in less direct ways, too.
Research shows that relationship insecurity or conflict is associated with poorer sleep—and to make matters worse, sleep problems can exacerbate relationship problems, creating a vicious cycle. Anxiety Relationship difficulties can put anyone on edge, but in some cases they may actually contribute to full-blown anxiety.