Tagged: divorce rate

How To Survive A BreakUp

online-dating-free-chat-serBreakups are some of the hardest trials in life; they test our ability to cope with loss and stress.  They are emotionally difficult.  Trying not to sound too objective, I understand from experience what it is like to go through a breakup.  It is hard to see any bright side at the time of the loss of a relationship, but this bad experience will lead to better experiences in the future.  Until then try these ideas to cope with a breakup:

  • Fake letters.  Keep a journal or write out letters to your ex.  Write as many letters as it takes or type up fake emails. These can release every emotion you have and express exactly what you feel without hurting anyone directly.  It also keeps the person from responding because if broke up with the person, it is likely that the person was not responding to your needs in a constructive way.  You don’t need a response to get the emotional release.
  • Body pillow.  If you are used to cuddling or sleeping next to someone, the actual object can have a significant impact on your emotional well-being.  Tricking your brain with the physical can help with the emotional.  Snuggle up to a pillow or two and give your brain those feel good chemicals it is used to.
  • Avoid alcohol and mind-altering substances.  Having a clear mind is important in getting over difficult emotional struggles.  A clear mind can lessen the duration of pain.  This is a good time for you to get a clear head and make clear choices.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.  Your friends and family are great people to reach out to.  Familiar and positive people can help you push through a difficult time.  Don’t isolate and reach out to your loved ones often.
  • Stay occupied.  Keep yourself busy. You will have time later to work through all the emotions; sitting and ruminating about a bad situation will not help you start the healing process.
  • Mini-Vacation.  Take a short trip and go with a friend.  Clear your head and break away from the situation before coming back to begin the coping process.
Advertisements

To Prenuptial or Not to Prenuptial

To prenup or not to prenup?  That is the question.  In the local coffee shop, I watch today as an older man discusses this topic with a group of friends.  His sober face suggests that this topic is one of emotional passion.  The man states that he would not sign a prenup and he “would rather have her take him for a ride.”  From what I gather, he believes that if you really love someone, you should not have to sign an agreement of how things will be divided up if you separate.  I have heard this reaction from many people; the prenuptial gives us a way out of the marriage.  Doors also give us a way out, but we don’t go building houses without them.

So is he right or wrong?  Now, I am not in the business of marriage legalities, in fact, as a professor of mine once put it, I am an MFT – Marriage Friendly Therapist.  I work together with couples to help them happily stay together.  However, that means a lot of surrendering to our faults and giving in to someone else’s needs, i.e. our partner.  Most of the time when couples are ready to divorce there has been years of unheard words, unmet expectations, and lack of overall happiness. (Check out this article: When Women Divorce Long Before The Divorce by Quentin Hafner.)

In my life I have had three different views on prenuptials:

The first (early 20’s): That if you truly love someone, you don’t need to sign an “out”contract.

The second (late 20’s): After getting out of a bad business deal with a co-owned restaurant; not having any concrete contracts signed, I felt that you always need a contract no matter what.  I got along with my business partner so I always thought a split would be amicable.  It is true that in the mist of a fight the claws come out.  Marriage is the contract and the prenup is there to protect that asset.

The last (early 30’s):  Premarital therapy.  By-yearly check-ups with the therapist.  I would sign a reverse prenuptial (see below).  In the long run I want a partner that is as happy and silly as I am; we will be adults when it comes to decisions, for better or worse.

Obviously, to make a prenup or not to make one, is up to the discretion of the couple.  Consider this when thinking about the issues:

1. There is a lot of legal advice on the internet about signing prenuptials.  What about other experts on relationships and how they discuss navigating this part of a marriage?

2. Discussion of a prenup needs to be gently entered into.  It needs to be a conversation of understanding and compassion.   Most prenuptials are entered into for protection of the property or assets that one comes into the marriage with.  If you are marrying someone who believes they are owed something you had prior to meeting them, I think a prenuptial is the last of your worries.

3.  If you are not willing to share certain things or benefits you accumulated while in the marriage, whatever that looks like,  you should not get married.  You are a selfish person. Truly selfish people will be unhappy in a marriage.  When you force a kid to share and he doesn’t want to, he will likely throw a tantrum after handing over the toy.  Marry the man or woman who finds joy in sharing with others.  It will make a world of difference in all aspects of the marriage.

4. Over the course of the years of marriage you both make equal sacrifices and you should decide what that is going to look like prior to getting married.  You may be the sole source of retirement and insurance, but your partner might bring in more money each year.  Or your partner might stay at home to with three kids until school age and take care of house work.  At the end of the day it isn’t all about money and assets.  We have to take into consideration the acts of service and the sacrifices.

5. If your prenup has to include things like the religion that your children will be raised, well then, stop right there.  You aren’t putting exacts in the prenup because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter anyways.  If your partner becomes Buddhist in ten years and wants to share some of that wisdom with the children, you don’t pull out the prenup and say – Right here, look this is what we agreed.   People change and you should marry someone who is open to change and that is willing to meet you where you are and go places you feel a need to explore.  You should marry someone who you have similar values with, but nothing in life guarantees that down that road that is going to look the same.

After Much Research on The Topic: Try These

The Reverse Prenuptial

Going back to the analogy of the door. It gives us a way out, but it also keeps us in.  It is a fire escape and a barrier to keep unwanted guests out.  It serves two purposes.  What if our prenuptials started doing the same?  Say that one partner comes into the marriage with a boat, the other does not.  The prenuptial reads that if divorced in the course of the first 15 years, the boat will be sold and the sale split.  However, after 15 years, the asset is given to the rightful owner in full.

Therapy

Yes, therapy.  You are going to be making an appointment with a lawyer to get out of the marriage.  The lawyer doesn’t have an understanding of what makes marriages and relationships work.  He has a law degree and an objective for divorce.  Seek a therapist out to discuss why you are thinking about divorce; gain help from someone who has experience in the area of relationships, not law.  Trust people who work within their scope.  Your lawyer has little interest in your overall well-being.

Overall the conversation of the prenuptial should be one of grace and compassion.  Be comfortable and open to the opinion of your partner.

The Marriage Housing Market

The American housing market has been in a lull for some time now.  At least that is what I read; I am not an expert on housing, real estate or anything of that nature.  A couple of years ago, I overheard someone say, “It is a buyers’ market.”  Some people conceive the market is going back up progressively; it’s all in discussion followed by action.  

 So what does this have to do with your marriage?  Well, the marriage market is similar to the housing market.  There are reports that the divorce rate is increasing and reports that it is decreasing.  However the rate is null and void to the way we need to be active participants in our marriages.

Some people speculate that divorce is more prevalent when:

Divorce is becoming an open forum in which many people willfully or unwillfully take part. Reasons for divorce are said to be:

  • Lack of commitment
  • Lack of positive interaction
  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of sex
  • Lack of real expectations

So when our home does not have enough equity in it to sell, we stay with it.  We know that the investment we made in the beginning and it has to  yield the proper return for us.  Why can’t we do this in marriages? Whether the housing market is up or down, if you are a home owner, you are a home owner. The housing market is boosted by the economy, which is a collective citizen task.  Your marriage is boosted by what takes place in the marriage, which is a collective couple task.

Eventually the marriage will return to the value it once was, we have to try to put in work.  Putting in the due diligence to make your marriage work will predict the end result.  We have to be patient and trust that the process marriage takes will yield happiness later, even during difficult times.

*Sometimes getting divorced is the healthiest decision for all parties involved.  I am not soliciting advice for your specific situation; I am just advising you to take time in making such a decision and seek counsel from professionals.

Electronic Leashes

Someone I met the other day stated the term “Electronic Leashes” and a discussion began about it.  You see, back when our grandparents were dating, grandpa would go out and play a game of golf and have some beers after and grandma wouldn’t be blowing up his cell phone asking when he would be home.  Grandma could go out and hang with the girls for a girls-night-out without getting text messages every hour or so.

Image

Have we sabotaged relationships with our new electronic leashes?  To be specific today, leashes include cell phone calls, text messages and Facebook.  With the divorce rate up, we should begin to ask ourselves what is contributing to this.

It is good for you to spend time apart in relationships.  It is so difficult to be apart today by all the ways we can be connected to one another.  Seek out a routine, but one that gives you each amble time away without having to answer to one another.  It is healthy for every relationship to have time away and to connect with friends and family outside of the relationship.  When did we start to think that being in a relationship meant that you had to spend every second with one another?

Get rid of electronic leashes and give some free time to one another.  What do children always do when they have to answer to mom?  A lot of times they try to get away with what they can.  Getting rid of electronic leashes will make one partner feel less like “mom” and the other partner feel like they will have to rebel less.  Its a win-win.