What Do You Think Is More Stressful: Marriage Or Parenting? New Study Reveals The Answer

February 28, 2019  |  

Man looking at boy sitting on table by mother

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A lot of people encourage new couples to put off having kids in order to “enjoy married life,” but a new study shows that the marriage part might be the hardest part of family building.

A University of Padova study found that women respondents described marriage work as twice as stressful as family work, Marie Claire UK reports. 

While 75% of the study participants said that they carry the majority of parenting and household chores within their relationship, one out of every five of the subjects said that relationship stress takes the cake.

The women told social scientists that their lives were most burdened when they didn’t feel “supported by their other half.”

To top off the findings, women, who go on to lose their partner due to death, often live healthier after the burden of partner support is lifted from their plate.

It sounds crude, but it’s true.

Lead Researcher on the project, Dr Caterina Trevisan of the University of Padova explained, ‘Widows cope better than widowers with the stress deriving from the loss of a partner.’

Dr Caterina told The Telegraph,  ‘Since women generally have a longer lifespan than men, married women may also suffer from the effects of caregiver burden, since they often devote themselves to caring for their husband in later life.’

Continuing, ‘Widows cope better than widowers with the stress deriving from the loss of a partner and widowhood, with a significant increase in the risk of depression only in the latter.”

The gender differences in recovery after loss of a spouse could be due to women’s natural ability to express themselves more.

‘Many studies have shown that women are less vulnerable to depression than men in widowhood, probably because they have greater coping resources and are better able to express their emotions,’ Caterina described.

‘These aspects may help to explain the lower risk of exhaustion seen in single women, who are likewise more socially integrated than single men, and consequently less exposed to frailty.’

 

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