Marriage isn’t always easy but if you are a man staying married could save your life and health according to a new study.

The study published in the Journal of Men’s Health suggests that divorced men are more likely to succumb to heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke at an earlier age.

They also concluded that divorced and single men have a 39 per cent higher suicide rate than their married counterparts - perhaps in part because they are more likely to engage in risky behavior.

The upshot was that further work is ‘urgently needed’ to investigate the negative health impact of relationship break-ups and calls for doctors to refer more men to therapists.

Some common reasons that a man's health and emotions are compromised after separation are:

  • Friends siding with ex-wife after the divorce
  • Depression
  • Lack of exercise
  • Weight gain
  • Related substance abuse and drinking to excess
  • Expanded financial responsibilities
  • Limited time with their children

In response to these findings medical professionals treating recently divorced men have been urged to refer men to alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs, counselors or other mental health professionals or divorce support groups to deal with these changes and conditions.