Why do Baby Boomers Divorce the Most?

boomers

Why do Baby Boomers Divorce the Most?

Though it’s always quoted as hovering around 50%, the divorce rate in America is now closer to 40% than 50%. This is true for almost every demographic except the baby boomer, those born between 1945 and 1964. For them the rate has grown to 50% in two decades. So why do baby boomers divorce the most? Some experts have posited that since baby boomers came up in an age of great prosperity and challenged every aspect of conventional society from gender inequality to civil rights, they are now challenging what it means to be middle-aged and redefining marriage and relationships too. Others say that they are looking for a relationship that is unattainable, perfection. Still others believe that they want the most out of life, including attraction and sexual satisfaction in their partners. As baby boomers age their peculiarities will be of much study to psychologists, demographers, sociologists and many others. The question will be how marriage and relationships change in this important demographic as they continue to age and what unique qualities will there be when they are seniors.

Baby boomers were the first generation to reject traditional gender roles outright. With the advent of the birth control pill came the sexual revolution as well as great strides in feminism. Of course this was also the generation that challenged the traditional notion of marriage and enacted a record number of divorces through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. It may be their propensity toward divorce that causes their children, the Gen X, Gen Y and Millennial generations to wait longer to get married and start a family. It may also be the reason that the younger generations are cohabitating more. Of course financial considerations also come into play, and perhaps are more of a cause.  But the baby boomers paved the way to make it possible. The mistakes of the baby boomers and their propensity toward divorce may have also made marriages much more stable, decreasing the divorce rate among later generations. This is because people are much more serious when entering into a marriage. They take it very seriously, do not want to be divorced and so they wait and make sure the person is the right one before going ahead and getting married. If you are looking for a relationship as a divorcee from the baby boomer generation, read the book, Boomers Guide to Dating (Again) by Laurie A. Helgoe, Ph.D.

Free yourself from Post-Divorce Negativity

Leave-Negativity

Free yourself from Post-Divorce Negativity

Few events in life can fill you with so many negative emotions such as sadness, a sense of loss, despair, depression, anxiety and hatred like a bitter divorce. Even conscious uncoupling can be deeply unsettling. The first thing to realize is that it is all inside your own head. You may feel a torrent of emotions. But you decide exactly what to do with them, how to manage them and ultimately whether you come out a stronger, more developed, self-actualized person at the end who has experienced a kind of personal growth from this experience, or if you miss that chance due to retaining bitterness. If you are hurling all of this hatred and anger at your spouse, you’ll soon realize it’s like swallowing poison to murder someone; it hurts you terribly, but the impact on them is limited. Instead, an outlook of yourself both as patient and doctor is sufficient. You have these emotions and now it’s time to see how to best tend to them so that you get the best outcome. Your spouse as well may be casting vitriol at you every chance they get. You can’t control what happened or how they feel. Nor can you control their behavior. What you can control is your reaction to it, and how much you will let it bother you. There are some simple beliefs you can adopt to help shed your negativity and also protect yourself against your ex’s. Here’s how to free yourself from post-divorce negativity.

Realize that whatever your spouse says about you is their problem, not yours. Be sure to clear your name. And if they are using the children to spy or as a weapon, make sure to nip that situation in the bud. The children should never be put in the middle. They will suffer for it. But other than that, they will say what they will. You choose how you react to it. Their speech is all about them, not about you. What’s more, other people will be watching how you react. Will you be classy all the way, or sink to their level? In the end others judge them for their behavior, and they’ll sink themselves. Instead of seeing divorce as an end, which it invariably is, see it as a new beginning. You have freedom to be who you want to be, and discover a whole new you. Your life won’t be perfect after divorce, but it is still pretty good and it can be even be better. Make a dream board. Write in a diary. Make a bucket list. Go back to school. Get some more training or try and climb the ladder at work. Invest in a hobby. Take a trip with a friend. There are so many things you can do and so many directions you can take your life in now that your ex isn’t weighing you down. There will be good days and bad. If you need to cry it out, do it. It’s a healing process and think of it as such. But don’t wallow in grief. Know when it’s time to pick yourself up and get going again.

Realize that every experience you have in life is another lesson that makes you wiser and therefore a better person in the end. It may not feel like it now but this could be a completely transformative experience for you. Not everything in life is meant to endure. Change can be very scary and it can be hard to say goodbye. Just keep things moving. Make the necessary steps, no matter how small or staggering. Sooner or later you will make it to where you are supposed to be. Sometimes it feels satisfying to take part in divorce drama with your ex. But sooner or later you will understand that it weighs you down far more than it lifts you up. After a divorce you may feel like damaged goods. But the truth is people are judging you far less than you think. Understand that your life and your happiness is ultimately based on your own thinking and no one elses. You can make the world a better place and you can make your life all you want it to be. It’s all up to you. For more, pick up a copy of the book, The Rediscovery of Me: Reinventing Life after Divorce by Dr. Marcia Brevard Wynn and Earl Sewell.

Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

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Why TIME’s new Marriage App is a Blessing

TIME magazine has a new Facebook app that, using an algorithm, tells women when it thinks they should get married. It comes to this conclusion using data culled from the women’s Facebook friend’s pages. News of the release of this app sent women in an uproar. Articles were written, lines upon lines of comments were found on forums all over the web asking women what they thought. The app has a few shortfalls. It doesn’t collect any data for people who are too lazy to change their Facebook status, or don’t update it because they believe that information is best kept private.

The true nature of this app is to play on the anxieties of single ladies, and to market products to them. The problem is that some women may also see TIME’s new marriage app as a blessing. It could be a wakeup call for some on how much time you really have. For having children, there is a biological window to produce happy, healthy offspring. This app could help wake a woman up to the fact that she better get a move-on with dating, or else the window might close.

Of course, most women who talk to their doctor about it know that a healthy child can be born well into the late thirties and, with procedures, beyond. The question is, should there be? Will the child get all the care, love, attention and energy from parents that they deserve when the parents might be a little too old to chase after them? Of course this varies from person to person, couple to couple and situation to situation. Extreme cases have hit the news. Biologists tell us that the late teens and early twenties are when women and men are most fertile. However, due to the extensive education needed to perform well in today’s economy, most experts take this into consideration and suggest around the early to mid-thirties as the optimal time to have children.

What gets women irritated is a whiff of being judged. It’s whether or not the app is saying that a woman made a wrong choice to stick with her career rather than have a family. Reasonably, this is a choice that every woman, and to a certain extent man, must make. Of course we don’t want to be reminded of the other path. But it’s there. We should think about it and come to terms with the choices we made. It’s the only way to find peace in our life. So don’t let this app get to you. Stand by your choice and love who you are. Come to terms with any regret or misplaced aggression, and you’ll live a fulfilling and happy life. If you are considering marriage read, 1001 Questions to Ask before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

Couples dealing with Chronic Illness Need Help

illness

Couples dealing with Chronic Illness Need Help

When one person in a marriage has a chronic illness, it puts the couple on high alert. The world moves into a holding pattern. The person who isn’t dealing with the condition feels helpless, wanting to do everything in their power to help their spouse but when a condition is incurable or serious one can feel powerless, as if their world has spun out of orbit. Couples dealing with chronic illness need help. Worry, fear and not knowing what the outcome will be will hover over each person and the marriage itself. Neither wants to burden the other with their worries or fears. Luckily some cancer centers and other types of medical centers offer free counseling for those dealing with the trauma of going through cancer or some other serious illness or being married to someone who is. The changing or roles, the stress of medical bills and other financial worries, the stress from worrying about one’s self or one’s spouse, the cancellation of plans, the lack of intimacy, the different means by which each person deals with their grief and more all come into play when a couple is managing one person’s chronic medical condition. Today the medical community recognizes that the patient’s emotional state and the atmosphere surrounding them has a strong influence over their treatment outcomes so more and more are offering free counseling services to couples dealing with this traumatic experience.

Medical professionals today agree that treating the psychological side is just as important as treating the physical side of a chronic illness. Studies have shown that emotional well-being contributes to a better quality of life, lower stress and perhaps even an increase in life expectancy.  The Institute of Medicine in 2008 stated that all cancer patients should be screened for distress. Emotional support should be available at all cancer treatment centers they said. Another esteemed body in the medical industry, the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer, says that each patient should be screened for distress starting in 2015. A psychologist at the Simmons Cancer Institute at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Patricia Fank said of this process, “We start with stress screening as a way to assess for distress at different points throughout treatment, so hopefully we can be aware when people need our support, and we can help patients understand that help is available.” Director of family and support services at Simmons, Chris Noggle, says counseling is often extended to the partner or spouse of the patient. Says Noggle, “When you are talking about cancer, the physical impact or the biological aspects are confined to one person, but when you are talking about the psychosocial impact, it can affect the patient and their family and their relationships, most importantly with their significant other. So our treatment is focused broadly.” If you have a spouse or partner in this situation, consider picking up a copy of A Husband, A Wife, & An Illness: Living Life Beyond Chronic Illness by Dr. William July and Jamey Lacy July.

Want to have a Long and Happy Marriage?

HAPPY-MARRIAGE

Want to have a Long and Happy Marriage?

What traits do you consider pivotal to marital bliss and longevity? Is it good communication, compromise, or developing a deep bond? If you really want to have a long and happy marriage have great sex, or at least enough of it according to research published in The Journal of Gerontology: Series B. 732 married couples between the ages of 57 and 85 were interviewed by researchers, who found that those couples having little to no sex had far lower levels of marital satisfaction. The more often they did have sex, the happier they were according to the study. The researchers expanded their definition in this study to include any sexual act, not just intercourse. So which is it, are these couples hopping in the sack more because they are so happy, or are they happy together because they’re hopping in the sack more? While this chicken and egg scenario hasn’t been sorted out yet, it’s clear that sex is a priority to both partners in a marriage. Of course the more interested and invested you both are in your sex life the longer you will keep your spark alive. One problem is a lot of married people fall into a rut in their sex life. They don’t think they have time considering their other responsibilities such as their career, school, children and more. But investing a little time and energy into your sex life can really improve your mood, help you de-stress and improve the quality of your relationship dramatically.

Do you need some help spicing things up in the bedroom? Consider getting some lingerie or surprising her with some.  There are types for every size and shape. Another idea is trying different rooms in the house. Try the kitchen or the bathroom. Utilize different furniture in your house. Have a conversation with your spouse in a comfortable or perhaps romantic setting and find out what their fantasies are. See what kinds of things they’d like you to do to them and make plans together on fulfilling each other’s fantasies. Take a little trip to a sex shop near your house. Explore toys, bondage, spanking, different role playing scenarios. Make sure each person is comfortable and a safety word is used so that all play is safe and helps build your bond rather than tearing it apart. You can both write sexual bucket lists and start crossing off one from each of your lists, first from one person then to another and back again. Have you ever considered what other positions there are? A quick search online, or in the sex section of your neighborhood bookstore will give you the skinny on different positions you and your spouse might like to try. Why not incorporate some sexy food into the foreplay portion of the proceedings? Really ripe strawberries, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and more can be spread around for a little sultry play. For more, pick up a copy of Sexy Slang’s Bedroom Challenges: 69 Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life by Christi Scofield and Ted Scofield.