The One Tiny Thing That's Damaging Your Marriage — And Your Heart

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The Thing That's Damaging Your Marriage — And Giving You Heart Disease

Research has found that of all the possible issues within a marriage, it's the lack of support from one's partner that does quite a number on the heart by causing heart disease and other health problems.

If you take a look at your marriage — a real, cold, hard look — can you pinpoint exactly where the trouble might be? No one has a perfect relationship, and each marriage isn't without its flaws, but if you were forced to figure out what might be taking the greatest physical toll on you and your partner, could you?

While unsupportive partners definitely make for a disappointing relationship, its effect on your nerves is nothing compared to the impact it has on your arteries, causing a greater risk for heart disease. 

A group of researchers at the University of Utah found that those who deemed their partner to be either completely unsupportive or ambivalent to them were more likely to have "heavily calcified arteries."

Don't know what a calcified artery is? Let's just say it's as gross and corroded as you can imagine, and you really do not want to Google it if you're eating now or will be eating soon. It's that disgusting.

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It's no surprise that our personal relationships can do a number on our physical health, but to have scientific proof that the saying, "You're going to give me a heart attack," is actually legit. This saying should make us all reconsider how we deal with the people, our husbands, and wives especially in our lives.

Marriage is the ultimate commitment. As the ultimate commitment, support should be one of the most important aspects of a partnership.

To not support your husband or wife to the fullest is not only a lack of respect for them, as a person, but as we can see now, a lack of respect for their health. 

Being truly supportive isn't that difficult a feat. If you take even a few minutes out of your day, every day, to show your partner that you have their back, you might be able to save them from heart disease later on in life.

Here are a few suggestions.

1. Inquire about their day.

Even if you think your partner's job is boring, ask them about their day. You’re not only showing support for what they do for a living and how they bring home the bacon, but the interest alone shows that you care.

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2. Take their side.

As Abraham Lincoln said, "A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have," and it's true. Nothing says unbridled support like always taking the side of your partner, no matter how petty you may think the issue at hand may be.

3. Compliment them.

No, this doesn't mean you should drown your partner in physical compliments all the time — although that's fun, too — but rather, point out when they've done well.

Did they get a promotion? Congratulate them and tell them how much they deserve it. They just baked you an epic 4-tier cake? Tell them how awesome their culinary skills are and how lucky you are to have them in your life.

See? Giving positive feedback can easily be done every day.

Wouldn't you rather make the extra effort to show your support than be the reason your partner drops dead of a heart attack at 65? Yes, it's a morbid thought, but it's also a serious concern and something that shouldn't be dismissed.

You signed up for the long haul when you got married, so go big or go home.

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Amanda Chatel is a writer who divides her time between NYC and Paris. She's a regular contributor to Bustle and Glamour, with bylines at Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Livingly, Mic, The Bolde, Huffington Post, and others. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook for more.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in February 2014 and was updated with the latest information.