HEALTHY LOVE: Rockhampton’s Marge and Bill Seeman believe they owe their lifelong happiness to their 60-year marriage. INSET: Marge and Bill Seeman on their wedding day in 1954.
HEALTHY LOVE: Rockhampton’s Marge and Bill Seeman believe they owe their lifelong happiness to their 60-year marriage. INSET: Marge and Bill Seeman on their wedding day in 1954. Lisa Benoit Roklanniversar

Aussie married couples are less likely to experience anxiety

ROCKHAMPTON'S Marge Seeman believes she owes the happiest years of her life to her marriage.

And according to a recent study by Roy Morgan Research, she's not the only one.

The recent study has shown that Australia's married couples are less likely to experience anxiety, depression and panic attacks than those who are single, engaged, widowed or divorced.

Marge, 83, said her and husband Bill had been married for 60 years.

"Marriage is having a companion," she said.

"If you've got someone to talk to and keep you company then you're happier and mentally healthier because you have support. It's nice to have that one person you love and trust through difficult times."

The research showed that only 12.3% of married people suffered from anxiety, compared to 21% who were in a de facto relationship or engaged. The findings also indicated that 3.2% of married people suffered from panic attacks as opposed to 7.8% of people who were separated.

Rockhampton psychologist and marriage counsellor Dr Glenys Conrade said the data from the research made sense.

"I spend a lot of time with married people and single people and I agree with the findings," Dr Conrade said.

"It's good to have emotional support during your life and you're likely to get that if you're married. Relationships in our days are more likely to be based on the emotional support, which is what we look for in a partner.

"Previous research has shown that married men live longer, which is related to the emotional support that you get in a stable relationship or marriage.

"Although Australia has a high divorce rate, people tend to want to partner again after being divorced or widowed, including myself who is remarrying after being a widow for seven years."

Dr Conrade said single, separated and divorced people were more likely to suffer from stress-related problems.

"Single people are more vulnerable to stress because they're more isolated and may have emotional problems, which make it hard to partner in a stable relationship," Dr Conrade said.

"People who are vulnerable to mental health issues are probably less likely to maintain a stable relationship. Their mental health issues may have contributed to their dissatisfaction of the marriage."

MARRIAGE PROS:

You have someone to take care of you when you're sick.

You share household chores.

You have a date for everything.



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