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Saying sorry 'may help your wife to live longer'

world Updated: Apr 18, 2010 13:26 IST

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Saying "sorry" is not always enough, but the simple word may help your wife to live longer, a new study has claimed.

Researchers have carried out the study and found that women who receive an apology for hurtful behaviour from their partners actually suffer less stress and potential damage to their heart than those who don't.

In fact, according to them, the pulse of a woman can return to normal 20 per cent quicker after a well-timed "sorry" word than without it, the Daily Mail reported.

Unfortunately for men, a male heartbeat takes longer to recover after an apology than without, according to the research, suggesting that men become irritated when there is an admission of guilt.

For their study, the researchers in the US used 29 men and 59 women whose diastolic blood pressure -- a measure of pressure in the blood vessels between heartbeats -- was measured throughout an experiment.

The men and women were asked individually to undertake a mathematical task. They were told they had five minutes to complete it but were interrupted after two minutes and told harshly to carry out the arithmetic more quickly.

They were interrupted twice more before five minutes had elapsed and told to speed up. Finally they're told: "You are obviously not good enough." Two minutes later half of the men and women were given full apologies.

The researchers found that, on average, the women's diastolic blood pressure returned to normal some 20 per cent quicker if they received an apology, while the men's took 20 per cent longer to return to normal after a sorry.

"Results indicate that there are potentially healthy benefits to forgiveness and apology," said the researchers.