Terrifying Warning Signs May Mean Your Spouse Will Die Before You

Everybody worries. And for people in relationships, worrying about losing your spouse is pretty common (and understandable). Many people don’t like thinking about what will happen at the end of their lives, while others have a morbid fascination with warning signs and causes of death. But if you have a partner with whom you share your life, the thought has probably crossed your mind: Will you or your spouse die first?

While we can’t predict the future, there are a few warning signs you should look out for, since they may mean that your spouse will die before you.

1. Their parents or grandparents died young

Grandparents And Grandchildren

Family history matters. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Prevention reports that our genes influence our longevity, according to experts. In fact, about 25% of factors that control lifespan have to do with genetics. So it stands to reason that if your partner’s parents or grandparents died young, that may be a sign that your spouse could die before you.  Of course, Prevention notes that the other 75% of factors that control lifespan — factors that we’ll cover in the coming pages — have nothing to do with DNA.

Next: Take note if they can’t keep up with you. 

2. They walk more slowly than you do

Elderly couple

Pay attention if they can’t keep up. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Prevention reports that a slow walking pace is another surprising sign that someone might die young. Experts have associated  a slower walking pace — along with the inability to perform brisk exercise — with an increased risk of disability and death. Walking at a slow pace could indicate that your spouse’s heart, lungs, circulatory system, or musculoskeletal system aren’t in great shape. To help them live a longer and healthier life, encourage them to get more exercise and to seek treatment for any underlying health conditions.

Next: Try to get your spouse to stop doing this. 

3. They smoke

Man smoking a cigarette

Smoking is a major risk factor. | iStock.com/Minerva Studio

This one sounds pretty obvious. But if your spouse still smokes, now is a great time to encourage them to stop. According to research from the Harvard School of Public Health, smoking measurably reduces life expectancy among Americans. In fact, the researchers found that life expectancy in the United States would increase by 2.5 years for men and 1.8 years for women if people didn’t smoke anymore. Getting your partner to quit may help them live a longer, healthier life.

Next: Try to make changes if this doesn’t seem healthy. 

4. They don’t have a good sleep schedule

Senior couple

Everyone needs to get the proper amount of sleep. | Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Are you great at going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, while your spouse gets too much or too little sleep? Then that could indicate that they might die before you. The Huffington Post reports that life expectancies significantly decrease in people who get fewer than five hours or more than nine hours of sleep per night. Chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk for a wide range of diseases. And regularly getting too much sleep also causes problems.

Next: Their attitude at work matters. 

5. They don’t take their job seriously

Business lady texting and using laptop

Texting and using laptop | iStock.com/DragonImages

It’s common knowledge that if you work too much, you can stress yourself out and suffer adverse health effects as a result. But Prevention reports that not taking work seriously enough can also lead to an earlier death. Researchers for the Longevity Project at the University of California, Riverside, found that people who stay committed to their jobs and remain productive tended to live longer lives than those who only work for a paycheck. In other words, you might want to help your spouse find a meaningful career.

Next: Also think about this aspect of their job. 

6. They have a long commute

Senior man having difficulties driving

A long commute wears on you. | eggeeggjiew/iStock/Getty Images

Do you work close to home while your spouse makes a long commute each day? That could indicate that they may die before you. Researchers have linked commutes of about an hour to higher stress levels (and to the same adverse effects of sitting on the couch or at the office). Long commutes also reduce the likelihood that people will consistently exercise. And long commutes can measurably shorten a person’s lifespan.

Next: This can also make a difference. 

7. They’re still looking for a job


Being unemployment increases your risk of premature death. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Alternatively, if you’re employed and your spouse is still looking for a job, that could signify that they may die before you. The Huffington Post reports that being unemployed can increase a person’s risk of premature death by 63%. One recent study even found that older people who lost their jobs during the recession could have seen their lifespan decrease by as many as three years.

Next: Take note if they start doing this. 

8. They don’t want to spend time with friends

Elderly man walks

Spending too much time alone can worsen your health. | CreativaImages/Getty Images

If your spouse doesn’t want to spend time with their friends, that could signify that they may die before you. The Huffington Post reports that people with weak social connections die at much higher rates than their counterparts who maintain close friendships. Researchers say that prolonged loneliness can impact someone’s lifespan as significantly as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. In addition to helping people live longer, social connections also promote brain health in aging brains.

Next: Get them to seek proper care if they have this. 

9. They have high blood pressure

black couple standing outside a large suburban house

High blood pressure can reduce your lifespan. | monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Does your partner have high blood pressure? Then you should encourage them to consult their doctor and get the situation under control. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that high blood pressure measurably reduces life expectancy in the United States. In fact, if that risk factor were reduced to its “optimal level,” life expectancy for men would increase by 1.5 years, and life expectancy for women would increase by 1.6 years.

Next: This isn’t healthy for anybody. 

10. They sit all day

Senior working on computer

Sitting all day can hurt your health. | DragonImages/iStock/Getty Images

Whether your spouse works or is enjoying retirement, you should encourage them to avoid sitting all day. Sitting all day doesn’t do you any favors, as Prevention notes. And a recent study found that older women who stay seated for 10 hours or more per day had shorter telomeres, the protective caps on the end of DNA strands. That means that their cells were biologically eight years older than the women’s chronological ages. And as The Huffington Post, researchers say that sitting more than three hours per day can shorten someone’s lifespan by two years.

Next: They also shouldn’t do this all day. 

11. They watch a lot of television

Bored senior man watching tv

Senior man watching TV | littlebee80/iStock/GettyImages

This factor overlaps with sitting too much. But The Huffington Post reports that according to researchers, watching just two hours of television per day can lead to an increased risk of premature death, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. Watching television seems to make the negative effects of sitting even worse, according to the Post. In fact, some researchers say that every hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

Next: This can become a risk factor. 

12. They never earned a college degree

Seniors with manager

Education also has an effect. | Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

If you have a degree but your partner doesn’t, that could signify that they’ll die before you. Prevention reports that data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that people with a college degree live almost nine years longer than those who didn’t finish high school. According to the publication, a better education likely equips college graduates with more knowledge about protecting their health. Plus, college graduates are more likely to land good jobs with access to healthcare.

Next: They need to keep this under control. 

13. They have elevated blood glucose

Person's Hand Checking Blood Sugar

Checking Blood Sugar | iStock.com/AndreyPopov

If your spouse has elevated blood glucose — or hyperglycemia — you should team up to get it under control.  Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes, and people with diabetes can become hyperglycemic if they don’t keep their glucose level under control with medication or careful meal planning. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, life expectancy in the United States would go up by 0.5 years for men and 0.3 years for women if people reduced this risk factor.

Next: Watch out for this habit. 

14. They love junk food

Smiling older man eating pizza

Watch out for a poor diet. | Nyul/iStock/Getty Images

Everybody has their vices. But if your spouse indulges in junk food more often than not, that could signify that they’ll die young, according to Prevention. Eating a low-quality diet full of processed foods makes you more likely to become obese. That, in turn, increases your risks of heart disease, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer. Alternatively, people who eat a healthy diet have a 25% lower risk of dying early from any cause.

Next: Pay attention if you see this happening. 

15. They struggle to carry the groceries in

woman holding a bag of fruit

Watch out for this sign | Choreograph/iStock/Getty Images

Everybody needs help carrying purchases that are particularly heavy. But Prevention reports that struggling to move just a few bags can be a sign that someone will die young. “A lack of adequate muscle mass puts you at risk for a premature death for a few reasons,” the publication explains. “Weak legs and core up your risk for falls and other injuries that can be life-threatening, and low muscle mass often means you have too much body fat — especially in your abdomen.” That brings us to our next point.

Next: Consider making changes if you notice this.

16. They’re overweight or obese

Woman weighing her weight

Watching your weight is important. | iStock.com/Rostislav_Sedlacek

If your partner could stand to lose some weight, then you might want to make an effort to get in shape together. We all know that being overweight or obese is bad for our health. And abdominal obesity predisposes you to a wide variety of diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, according to Prevention. Plus, the Harvard School of Public Health reports that excess weight also measurably reduces life expectancy. In fact, overcoming this risk factor would increase life expectancy in the United States by 1.3 years for both men and women.

Read more: Unusual (But Deadly) Signs That Mean You Might Have Heart Disease

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