The Correlation Between Marital Harmony and Mental Health: Insights from a 2024 Study

May 13, 2024 |Gideon Hanekom

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The Correlation Between Marital Harmony and Mental Health

Marriage and relationships are an integral part of our lives, influencing our overall well-being and happiness.

A recent study conducted by Bernard Kwadwo Yeboah Asiamah-Asare and colleagues in Australia has shed light on the significant correlation between marital harmony, financial difficulties, and mental health among adults.

The findings provide valuable insights into the importance of a fulfilling relationship, its impact on mental well-being, and why we should pay attention to the quality of our own relationships.

Marital Harmony and Mental Health

According to the survey, people with better mental health scores are usually those who feel that their marriage or relationship is fulfilling and meets their original expectations.

Conversely, people with poorer mental health scores are usually those who love their partner but regret starting the relationship and run into a lot of problems.

That emphasises how important relationship happiness is for preserving good mental health.

Demographic Factors

The study also discovered that outcomes in mental health are also influenced by demographic characteristics.

Seventy-eight percent of the respondents were married, and Australian-born and about sixty-one percent were older than 42.

Better scores on mental health were usually associated with age, most especially with being above 60.

Still, women, those who were not born in Australia, retirees, and students scored worse on mental health.

Marital Harmony

These results imply that in the setting of marriage and relationships, particular demographic variables can affect mental health.

Financial Difficulties

One important element raising mental health ratings was shown to be financial troubles.

The variance in mental health ratings was explained by financial difficulties to the extent of about 3%.

Lower scores for mental health were recorded by participants who had trouble paying utility bills, had to sell or pawn possessions, or asked friends, relatives, or neighbourhood organisations for financial assistance.

This highlights the need to resolve money matters in a partnership in order to improve mental health.

Impact of Relationship Perceptions

10% of the variation in mental health scores was found to be explained by views on marriage and relationships.

This emphasises how much the quality of relationships affects mental health in general.

Maintaining a good effect on mental health requires an awareness of and ability to deal with any problems or difficulties in a relationship.

Surprising Insights

The research also revealed, perhaps unexpectedly, that love by itself does not improve mental health in the midst of marital problems.

This implies a complicated interaction between emotional commitment and realistic interpersonal difficulties.

To foster marital harmony and enhance mental health results, one must address the emotional as well as the practical components of a partnership.

What You Can Take Away From This

The findings of this study have important implications for couples seeking to maintain a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

As mentioned, the study found that couples who reported higher levels of marital harmony also reported lower levels of financial difficulties and better mental health.

Marital Harmony

That suggests that a strong and harmonious relationship can have a positive impact on both financial well-being and mental well-being.

An important takeaway from this study is the importance of open communication and mutual support within a relationship.

Thus, couples who are able to discuss and address financial issues together are more likely to experience greater marital harmony and better mental health outcomes.

That also highlights the need for you as a couple to have regular conversations about your financial situation, set shared goals, and work together to overcome any challenges.

Another key finding from the study is the role of financial difficulties in affecting mental health.

Couples who reported higher levels of financial difficulties were more likely to experience poor mental health outcomes, which emphasizes the need for you as a couple to be proactive in managing your finances and seeking support if needed.

With that in mind, getting professional financial advice, creating a budget, and exploring ways to increase income or reduce expenses can all help reduce financial stress and improve your mental well-being.

So, as a whole, this study seems to suggest that couples can greatly benefit from recognizing the importance of open communication, mutual support, and proactive financial management in maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

By addressing these factors, couples can create a strong foundation for their overall well-being.

Therefore, let’s examine a few simple practical strategies for improving harmony in your relationship and, as a result, your mental health.

Strategies to Improve Marital Harmony and Mental Health

Based on the findings of the study, here are some strategies that can help improve your marital harmony and, consequently, enhance mental health:

  1. Open and Honest Communication: Establishing open and honest communication with your partner is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship. Regularly discussing concerns, expectations, and challenges can help address issues before they become major sources of stress.
  2. Conflict Resolution: Learning effective conflict resolution skills is essential for resolving disagreements without causing harm to the relationship. This includes active listening, compromising, and finding mutually beneficial solutions.
  3. Quality Time Together: Prioritize spending quality time together, engaging in activities that both partners enjoy. This helps strengthen the emotional connection and fosters a sense of intimacy and support.
  4. Shared Goals and Values: Aligning goals and values within a relationship can contribute to a sense of unity and shared purpose. Discussing and working towards common objectives can strengthen the bond between partners.
  5. Financial Planning: Addressing financial difficulties and developing a solid financial plan can alleviate stress within a relationship. This may involve budgeting, seeking professional advice, and setting realistic financial goals.
  6. Seeking Professional Help: If challenges within the relationship persist, seeking the guidance of a professional therapist or counsellor can provide valuable insights and strategies for improving marital harmony and mental well-being.

Take Away Idea

In short, it seems that couples can improve their mental health and marital harmony by being aware of the correlation between marital harmony and mental health, following steps like those above, and putting their relationship first.

It is crucial to put time and energy into cultivating and sustaining a great connection with your partner because a fulfilling relationship can significantly affect one’s overall well-being, positively and negatively.

As I’ve said many times and in many cases, if something isn’t busy growing or you’re actively engaged in helping it grow, it’s busy dying.

There’s no fence-sitting when it comes to your marriage, as you’ll be affected somehow, even if you decide to do absolutely nothing.

Your mental health and well-being are still impacted.

About the author

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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