Your relationship – good or bad – has a huge impact on your overall well-being. Research shows that a strong partnership can help us avoid illness, adopt healthier habits, and even help us live longer. But a troubled relationship increases stress and weakens your immunity. For example, here are a few things that a relationship can impact:

  • Weight. Women tend to gain weight in a relationship. Since they tend to eat more and exercise less when they’re spending nights on the couch with their boyfriend, matching him bite for bite. The same carries over into marriage, women gain weight when they’re raising children – or running the household – because they tend to put themselves last. Men in relationships tend to lose weight, because women make sure they take better care of themselves. But when a relationship ends, women tend to lose weight from the stress, or to slim down to attract a new mate – while men to revert to their bad-eating bachelor days and gain weight.

  • Sleep. Sleeping next to someone you love and trust can help you fully relax and sleep soundly. While research shows that people tend to sleep poorly if they feel tense or insecure in their relationship.

  • Mood. Studies found that long-term relationships can ease symptoms in people with a history of depression. But tense relationships dramatically increase the risk of clinical depression. In one study, women were six times more likely to be clinically depressed if their husbands had been unfaithful, or if their marriage was falling apart.

  • Blood pressure. People in happy marriages tend to have lower blood pressure than single people. But the unhappily married have the highest blood pressure. Because chronic exposure to stress hormones and a faster heartbeat can push blood pressure up over time.