Every couple squabbles over finances, parenting, who does household chores, etc. But constant, unrelenting conflict can take a toll on both parties’ emotional and physical health. The quality of a relationship is important to a couple’s quality of overall health
You might notice common signs of stress when your relationship has hit a rough patch: headaches, irritability, stomach issues, muscle tension, changes in sleep patterns. If that persists and you have unremitting stress your immune system can become compromised and you are vulnerable to many potential physical problems.
Some studies have linked relational conflict and depression to poor digestive health. Others suggest that strained relationships may be connected to an increased risk for heart disease. Stress is also linked to high blood pressure and cancer.
This mind-body connection is well known among researchers and physicians. The impact on health is greatest when relationship stress becomes chronic. Stress, in general, produces a “fight or flight” response that is designed to help in emergencies. If it's constantly activated, the entire body’s internal balance can be disturbed. Continual stress can cause an increase in cortisol which can damage the heart muscle. The longer the time conflict persists over the course of months versus weeks, the more likely you are to experience some physical symptoms,
Couples counselling can help you learn to create an atmosphere of emotional safety for yourself and your partner, to take responsibility for stress relief so your nervous system shifts into “rest and digest” mode and all mind/body systems can function optimally.
Here are some misconceptions about Couples' Therapy published by The Gottman Institute.