A new research has shown that staying married is a very good idea, as married men live longer than divorced men, and are less likely to suffer from substance abuse and depression.
American researchers have discovered that these men are more likely to succumb to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke at an earlier age.
They say that divorced and single men have a 39 per cent higher suicide rate than their married counterparts – perhaps in part because they are more likely to engage in risky behaviour.
The study, published in the Journal of Men’s Health, says further work is ‘urgently needed’ to investigate the negative health impact of relationship break-ups and calls for doctors to refer more men to therapists.
A case study by Dr Daniel Felix, of the University of Nebraska, said health professionals must recognise ‘divorce related health problems’ in men.
His research centred on a 45-year-old white man who ‘endured a difficult divorce’.
He visited his family doctor for the first time in ten years complaining of bad sleep and persistent abdominal pain.
The man revealed he drank ‘about a six-pack of beer a day,’ had recently begun hating his job in middle management at a local bank and had become irritated with his colleagues and boss.
He eventually reported having limited access to his children and paying a ‘significant amount of child support’.
The man also said his ex-wife ‘took all our friends with her after the divorce’.
The researchers reported the man’s physical condition as ‘unremarkable’ apart from having a slightly enlarged liver and being somewhat overweight.
They instead attributed his mild physical ailments and seemingly mild depressive state to continued anxiety and stress associated with his divorce.
As a result, the researchers warn doctors about treating ailments that have a psychological basis in divorce.
Instead, they recommend nutrition, exercise and sleep education.
They also urge medical professionals to refer men to alcohol and substance abuse treatment programmes, counsellors or other mental health professionals or divorce support groups.
Professor Ridwan Shabsigh, of Cornell University in the U.S. and president of the International Society of Men’s Health, said: ‘Popular perception, and many cultures as well as the media, present men as tough, resilient, and less vulnerable to psychological trauma than women.
‘The fact is men get affected substantially by psychological trauma and negative life events such as divorce, bankruptcy, war and bereavement.
‘Research is urgently needed to investigate the prevalence and impact of such effects and to develop diagnosis and treatment guidelines for practitioners.’