A failing relationship won’t only affect you mentally, but it may also take a toll on your physical health. According to a new study, when a person’s self-worth is tied to their romantic relationship, the effect of negative events or emotions is magnified.
When this happens, believing their partner is cheating can lead people to sink into depression, feel frustrated and some might eventually use alcohol to cope, says a study.
“We all feel jealousy to some degree. Many people are in relationships that are less than ideal. Many of them end up using alcohol for ­different reasons,” says lead researcher Dr Angelo DiBello from the University of Houston, USA.
The team examined how different types of jealousy affect the link between depending on a romantic relationship for self-esteem and having alcohol-related problems.
They asked 277 people (87% female) about how dependent their self-esteem is on their romantic relationship, the satisfaction, commitment and closeness in their ­relationship, their jealousy and their alcohol use.
The results revealed that people whose self-esteem relies on their relationship, turn to alcohol to cope because of jealousy. These results were true for people who are less satisfied, and report feeling more ­disconnected from their partners. “Given how common jealousy and being in romantic relationships are, this study helps explain associations that may negatively impact an individual’s drinking,” said Dr DiBello.
“The results will also ­highlight the association between these factors and show how our emotions, thoughts, and behaviours are related in potentially harmful ways,” the authors said.