Skip to comments.'Silent treatment' leads women to death: study
Posted on 09/04/2007 8:08:13 AM PDT by Grig
A study has found that women who use the 'silent treatment' with their spouses during arguments could be on their way to early deaths.
"This is the first time we've seen anything this dramatic that predicts death or heart disease that's not physiological," Dr. Elaine Eaker, who authored the study, told CTV's Canada AM.
The study found that women who silenced themselves during marital disagreements were four times more likely to die earlier than women who expressed their feelings during arguments with their spouses.
However, Eaker found that the health of men who indulged in the same "self-silencing" practice were not adversely affected.
"Even though men and women are equally as likely to, what we call 'self-silence,' during conflict, men did not have any affects on their health if they 'self-silenced' -- it was only the women that suffered detrimental affects on their health," Eaker said.
The study, called "Marital Status, Marital Strain, and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease or Total Mortality: The Framingham Offspring Study," published in the journal Psychomatic Medicine, was based on data from the Framingham Heart Study.
The Framingham Heart study follows over 5,000 men and women in the town of Framingham, Ma. and tracks their health over an extended period of time. The study is credited with providing much of the common knowledge into how diet and exercise affect heart disease.
In Eaker's study, traditional methods of determining marital quality such as the level of satisfaction and the amount of conflict were measured. However, the study also asked what behaviour strategies were used during marital conflicts.
Eaker said the actual practice of 'self-silencing,' not depression or anger, actually caused the health problems, even when other factors such as age, socio-economic background, levels of cholesterol and obesity were taken into account.
"It was the self-silencing that seemed to be particularly detrimental," Eaker said.
The most common illness suffered by women who often used 'silent treatment' with their partners was cancer and the next common affliction was heart disease.
According to Eaker, the study she conducted was the first to look at the factors of behaviour, heart disease and mortality in the context of marital relationships.
Couples should focus on improving their communication to combat "self-silencing," Eaker said.
"I think it goes back to trying to have more constructive communication and having a safe environment where both spouses can equally share and communicate," Eaker said.
Q: Why do men usually die before their wives?
A: Because they want to...
Ping for later reading.
Hillary should live a long time based on the conclusion of this study.
Does this mean men are killing women? LOL
Based on this, I predict that my wife will live a long but not quiet life.
Oddly enough, men who received “the silent treatment” from their wives lived considerably longer (and actually reported enjoying televised sporting events).
I’d guess that this study really reflects the outcome of people who have all of the personality defects that are common to one who routinely practices interactions similar to and associated with the “silent treatment”.....in otherwords those persons who derive pleasure from extended conflict, whatever its nature.
This makes sense. My theory:
For men, silence is a coping mechanism under stressful situations of all kinds. In arguments, silence is a means of avoidance.
For many women, silence is a revenge strategy, which creates its own stress and is a sign of a passive-aggressive disposition.
For the record, I confess I am silent more than my wife.
Phhhhew. I have nothing to worry about then.
This makes sense, since silence is such an unnatural state for women. I suspect that a study of men who do too much shopping would reveal the same results.
Sorry, but I just don’t put a lot of stock in these studies anymore.
Combine that with our extremely advanced selective hearing and we've got some great defense and counter-measure capability.
Men have ways of dealing with it, such as taking a drive, listening to music, playing an instrument, or talking about it with a friend over a few beers. Women just keep it inside forever.
A recent study shows that 74% of these studies are complete horses**t.
Both of those two are getting long in the tooth. Speaking from experience, in his sixties, a person is no longer assured of an endless bit of time in this realm at least. We all have to meet our Maker eventually, and, as Bill once said on another matter “SOONER RATHER THAN LATER”.
Looks like my wife is destined for a long and healthy life.
“Women just keep it inside forever.”
My wife once had a co-worker who kept a book where she recorded things her husband did wrong so she could use it as ammo when they had fights.
Fortunately for my wife, but not always so fortunately for me, she never uses the silent treatment during our disagreements.
I don’t mean to sound rude, but would that include things like leaving the seat up?
My ex had a photographic memory (really) so she didn't even treat herself to the cathartic exercise of writing it out.
At the gates of Heaven there are two lines: “This line is for men who were abused by their wives.” “This line is for men who were never abused by their wives.”
Line #1 stretched on and on and on, out of sight.
Line #2 had one man standing in it.
The admitting angel said to the man in Line #2, “How fortunate you were to have such a wife!”
The man said, “My wife told me to stand in this line.”
Q: why do married men live longer?
A: They actually don’t, it just feeeeeeeeeels longer.
Isn't being silent a key to not getting beat up by your wife? :-)
My grandmother was never sick a day in her life and died just 2 months short of her 100th birthday.
My wife is a Boston Irish redhead with the temper to match, if she gets quiet, I know to run, she is looking for something to hit me with.
‘The study found that women who silenced themselves during marital disagreements were four times more likely to die earlier than women who expressed their feelings during arguments with their spouses. ‘
I’d love to know how they support this data.
We’re to believe that women who go ‘silent’ in response became ‘chatty Kathy’s’ to researchers about it?
Pardon me if I just laugh at this nonsense.
Another joke back atcha - “Ladies don’t sweat, belch, or fart, so if they didn’t bitch they’d blow up.”
They discuss it with anybody but you, ask your wifes hairdresser...
“My wife once had a co-worker who kept a book where she recorded things her husband did wrong so she could use it as ammo when they had fights.”
Why that’s a great idea!
They discuss it with anybody but you, ask your wifes hairdresser...
Sorry, I actually talk to my wife every day. I know, I know, its ‘shocking’....(chuckle)
“Hillary should live a long time based on the conclusion of this study.”
Ha! This is so true.
Of course she will: Heaven doesn't want her, and Hell's afraid she'd take over.
Well, the effort an angry woman expends to keep quiet is roughly equivalent to the effort an angry man expends to chop three cords of firewood...so I guess this makes sense. ;)
Simple explanation. The silent women are still raging on the inside, while the silent man has moved on and just wants a beer.
Bottled up is bad? Nonsense. When you’re not speaking to him, you can always speak to your mother!
I’m going to live to be over a hundred!
Just think how long she would have lived if she had just let it out. ;^)
My condolences on your Grandmother's passing.
My ex will live forever.
That could be simply a survival mechanism. If she's like me she draws a blank when, during an argument, the husband says, "Give me one example of ___________." And if she hasn't written it down she can't remember, espcially in a highly tense situation like a marital fight.
Women remember what they heard, not necessarily what you said.
And just how much are we paying you for this study, Eaker?
MY theory is that where women have a need to self-silence it is because the man is abusive or controlling and there are many areas in her life where she does not feel safe. Silence seems safer than speaking and does not cause immediate backlash. It is the stress of the entire situation that causes a variety of physical problems.
In a perfect world, women would be able to leave an abusive or controlling spouse, but in reality there are many reasons that women feel stuck in these situations. Many times this type of partner undermines a woman’s confidence so that even if she is able to leave, she is not confident enough to do so.
Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I'll be free at last!!!!
Best news I've heard all week.