It’s our hearts, our minds, our lives…
(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)
By Dr T J Jordan
Many relationships result in their happily ever afters. Others do not.
At the risk of taking a deep psychological dive right at the start, please look carefully at this graphic released by the Centers for Disease Control in 2016. It divides numbers of suicides into causes though not by gender. It shows that relationship problems have been connected to more than 40% of suicides. And CDC reports that since 1999, suicide rates are rising by as high as 30% in each US state. Moreover, we fail to take teen relationships seriously. Yet breakups have been shown to be the leading cause of suicides among teenagers.
Other authors as far back as 1988 concluded that the lack of quality social relationships constitutes as high a risk factor as cigarette smoking, hypertension, obesity and clogged arteries. Their report on “Social Relationships and Health” emphasized the importance of close, intimate relationships for long lived, quality lives. And women tend to build more social supports with whom they can unburden their own pain, than do men.
The Ups and Downs of Loving
Once again we view the double edged sword of loving relationships. While studies have established that people in relationship live longer and healthier lives, there is another side to the sword.
A study published in 2014 indicates that the risk rate for male suicide exceeds that of females. In the US, male suicides from all causes are approximately 4 times higher than females. Though not yet quantified precisely, the data suggest that a differential response to breakup is a contributing factor.
One hopes that new concepts of masculinities will enable men better to manage break-ups psychologically, as we assume women might be doing.
Intimacy typically has held different meanings for men than for women. When an important relationship falls apart, women are more likely to seek support…