Nagging, criticism and feeling let down by your other half are among the reasons why people can become depressed in a marriage, according to a new study.
Psychologists from the U.S. found that those who suffer long-term stress within a relationship are less likely to enjoy the positive aspects of being married, including the benefits to health and well-being it can bring.
The study – which was conducted over several years – involved examining chronic marital stress to test how common daily triggers may lead to depression and similar problems.
Married participants were tested at the beginning of the study, then again nine and 11 years later. Researchers were particularly looking at how much the couples frowned after several years of marriage.
Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the study’s findings highlight reasons why some people are more vulnerable to developing depression.
“It is not an obvious consequence of marital stress, but it’s one I think is extraordinarily important,” he said.
“This is the signature of an emotional style that reveals vulnerability to depression.”
This new research starkly contrasts previous studies which show that married people are generally happier and healthier than those who are single. It is however known that marriage can lead to long-lasting social stress.