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by Mira and Charles on March 19th, 2016
When it comes to social issues, like abortion and gay marriage, the tide has been running mostly in one direction for the last 50 years: towards more liberal attitudes. That’s why social conservatives have been getting louder and more angry: they’ve been getting left behind by public opinion as a whole, particularly the opinions of younger adults.
So it might come as a surprise to learn that in one area opinions are actually becoming a bit less tolerant. It seems as though people are becoming a bit less tolerant of the idea that “Divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can’t seem to work out their marriage problems.”
Acceptance of this idea has fallen by 8.7 percentage points among women and by 4.4 percentage points among men. Now that’s not a huge plunge, nor can we read a trend into it.
But still, it’s intriguing: why would there be this hardening in attitudes against divorce when the reason for the breakup is “We can’t work out our problems”? Isn’t that exactly why people leave their marriages?
Well, it turns out there is an explanation for this increase in intolerance. People Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on March 10th, 2016
…and the next thing you know, your health is a mess.
According to a number of studies coming out over the past couple of years, bad marriages have bad consequences for our health. Our heart health, specifically.
Here’s how it works. Marital problems cause stress, stress raises blood pressure, high blood pressure causes heart attacks.
So if your marriage is not working so well, you’re just going to have to do something about it. Divorce is one option. It’s the best option for many people. But many times the best option is to work on making your relationship better. And that means getting professional help.
And in that case there’s good news:
Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on February 4th, 2016
What was St. Valentine—you know, the guy—all about and what does he have to do with us?
The truth is that Valentine was a Roman Christian martyr. What’s more… Well, there is no what’s more, because that’s all we know. According to Wikipedia,
The feast of St. Valentine of February 14 was first established in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among all those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”
So for all you ladies who feel your husband is a hidden man who shares little about himself, but who too often acts like a martyr and demands to be “justly reverenced,” St. Valentine is your guy!
The rest is fairy tales, and a way for retailers and restaurants to make money two months after Christmas.
And that’s only one of the reason I don’t like Valentine’s day. The main reason I don’t like it is Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on January 15th, 2016
I don’t know, but that seems like a fair question when someone writes a newspaper article titled “Can an Affair Save a Marriage?” and then goes on to say
US marriage therapist Mira Kirshenbaum outraged many with her book When Good People Have Affairs, which claimed the “right kind” of fling could “jolt people from their inertia”.
The author then goes on to imply that we’re starting a movement of people having affairs to shake up their marriage. The affair as a marriage tonic.
But IS that what we say?
Of course not. Yes, it sometimes happens that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 15th, 2015
Well, you probably saw this coming. The world is going to hell, so why not: grandma and grandpa are getting divorced. So sad. So selfish. So silly. Do they even know what they’re doing? Who put these dopey ideas in their heads?
Well, maybe not your grandma and grandpa. But evidently lots of them, according to a NYTimes article that sniffs out a heating up of post-50 divorce:
Late-life divorce (also called “silver” or “gray” divorce) is becoming more common, and more acceptable. In 2014, people age 50 and above were twice as likely to go through a divorce than in 1990
Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on December 4th, 2015
If you ask most people, they’ll say there’s too much divorce. And they’re likely to say that half of all marriages end in divorce. Scary, isn’t it? they’ll say.
But the fact is that things are both much better than that…and far worse. This is something we’d all better come to terms with, because the story isn’t about how marriage is in trouble in this country. It’s a story about how our country itself is in trouble.
As far as marriage is concerned, among people who married about 7 years ago, only 11% of them have gotten divorced. That’s practically nothing when you factor in the reality that divorce tends to happen early on and that a lot of people make huge mistakes in who they marry.
If marriage itself was in trouble, there wouldn’t be this 11% figure. Except that, oops, I left one thing out. Those people I was talking about are all Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on November 18th, 2015
Ripped from the headlines
Well, this was an interesting interview! We’ve often been asked how likely it is that your partner will cheat on you. This, for a major women’s publication, switches it around and asks us to talk about how likely it is you will cheat. And that’s a really valuable question, because the pressures can build up without our being aware, and then as if out of nowhere we find we’re having an affair. Yes: it does happen like that more often than you’d think.
So here’s what you need to know:
Q: Most women and men don’t wake up one day and think “I’m going to cheat on my partner today.” Is infidelity a storm that builds slowly or happens out of nowhere—and why?
CHI: One of the reasons some people cheat is that Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on October 27th, 2015
The great health pioneer Dean Ornish, in the Huffington Post, has just written a lovely piece about The Emotional Energy Factor. Ornish really gets what we’re trying to do in that book, as when he quotes me saying in O Magazine,
Emotional energy is the precondition for everything that we care about. Everything worth doing that’s difficult gets lost without it. Marriages fail when we run out of the emotional energy to reach one more time across the divide of anger and silence. Dreams die when we lack the emotional energy to hang in there in the face of all the obstacles.
And Ornish emphasizes that we go on to SHOW you how to increase your emotional energy. Check out the book: you’ll see! (BTW, it’s a 5-star book on Amazon—a pretty rare achievement.)
by Mira and Charles on October 27th, 2015
In today’s NYTimes, there’s an important piece that validates what we said in our book Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: that you can be happy staying in your marriage, if that’s right for you. And you can be happy being single, if that’s right for you.
But the worst thing for your mental and physical health is to stay stuck in ambivalence about your marriage, neither leaving it or really giving yourself to it. Be in or be out, but sitting on the fence will kill you.
Well, now there is important support for our claim that ambivalence hurts your physical health. Read the rest of this entry. »
by Mira and Charles on September 30th, 2015
A recent piece in the NYTimes tells a story of love and family restored after divorce. No, the marriage wasn’t restored. And no, the kind of love that brings people into a relationship wasn’t restored either. But here is a real, and realistic, picture of happy family life post-divorce.
Let’s call this family restoration. The divorce is a given. The grownups are definitely moving on to new lives, perhaps new relationships. But the grownups get along like grownups, and there is the possible of real affection between them. The co-parenting may not go more smoothly than co-parenting does in the typical marriage, but it happens without any unnecessary disagreement. And the family spends happy, comfortable time together. Not a grim facade of fake getting along. But real family feeling—the kind that makes the kids happy to be there, and the grownups too.
Is this a fairy tale? Not at all. It happens all the time, in big ways and small, such as this heartwarming story of Read the rest of this entry. »