On Valentines Day, it’s great to know that a fight with your spouse may be good for your marriage, as well as your health.

New research shows that couples in which both the husband and wife suppress their anger when one attacks the other die earlier than members of couples where one or both partners express their anger and resolve the conflict.

Researchers looked at 192 couples over 17 years and placed the couples into one of four categories: both partners communicate their anger; in the second and third groups one spouse expresses while the other suppresses; and both the husband and wife suppress their anger and brood. Psychologist Ernest Harburg discovered that when both spouses suppress their anger at the other when unfairly attacked, earlier death was twice as likely.

In LiveScience.com, Jeanna Bryner reports that couples who don’t get along “view one another as even more irritating and demanding the longer they are together.” She quotes researcher Kira Birditt as saying, “As we age and become closer and more comfortable with one another, it could be that we’re more able to express ourselves to each other. In other words, it’s possible that negativity is a normal aspect of close relationships that include a great deal of daily contact.” In other words, an increase in negativity could be normal part of relationships. It’s certainly good for your health!

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