Unresolved conflicts in a relationship are linked to more suicidal thoughts, research finds.
People who are unhappy with their relationship and have unresolved issues with their partner’s personality, communication, failure to do housework or bad habits, experience more suicidal thoughts.
In fact, it is better for mental health to be single than in an unsatisfactory relationship with unresolved issues.
In general, though, being in a good relationship is positive for mental health.
Dr Benedikt Till, co-author of the research, explains:
“Data so far clearly show that a person’s suicide risk is lower if he/she is in a relationship.
However, the recent study suggests that the level of satisfaction with the relationship is also important.”
The survey asked 382 people in Austria about their relationships and any suicidal thoughts they were experiencing.
Unresolved conflicts were a warning sign in people who were unhappy with their relationships.
The study also found that the young and middle-aged were less likely to have suicidal thoughts.
The study’s authors write:
“Risk factors for suicide were higher among singles than among individuals in happy relationships, but lower among those with low relationship satisfaction.
Participants reporting a high number of unsolved conflicts in their relationship had higher levels of suicidal ideation, hopelessness, and depression than individuals who tend to solve issues with their partner amicably or report no conflicts.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention (Till et al., 2017).