Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

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Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Rocky Relationships can be bad for your Health

Sad couple sitting back to back

Rocky Relationships can be bad for your Health

There are plenty of studies that say that marriage is good for you, both for your mental and physical health. But if things aren’t going well, the opposite is true. Rocky relationships can actually be bad for your health. Heartbreak for instance is really painful emotionally. What is less well known is that it can also lead to heart disease. Research published in the American Medical Association’s journal found that medium to extreme marital stress gave women a 2.9 times higher chance of getting heart disease, suffering a heart attack and needing heart surgery. Diabetes, smoking, age, bad cholesterol and blood pressure were all taken out of the equation. Whether they were married or not wasn’t the issue. Cohabitating women showed similar results.

Another study published in 2006 in the American Journal of Cardiology found that couples with the most difficult marriages and in tandem had a chronic disease such as congestive heart failure were more likely to die within four years. Though one study revealed that a healthy, committed relationship is beneficial to mental health, the opposite is true as well. The Journal of Health and Social Behavior published a study in 2003 that showed that those in a rocky relationship had far worse mental health than their single counterparts.

An unhappy marriage isn’t just bad for your mental health. Studies have shown that it can mimic the negative health effects of smoking or inactivity for women. According to a study presented at the American Psychosomatic Society’s back in 2009, those who experienced more arguments and fights in their relationship had high blood sugar, high blood pressure, lower levels of good cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. What’s more, a study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine back in 1993 revealed that newlyweds who took part in a heated argument had lower immune system functions. Constant relationship stress certainly does harm the body’s functioning.

A review published in the journal Physiology and Behavior in 2003 showed that unhappily married people were far worse off in terms of overall well-being that those who were single. These problems spill over into the workplace. Research published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found that those who had a troubled marriage had higher levels of stress, at were at higher risk for serious health issues such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, obesity and depression. Lastly, relationship problems can make it more difficult for you to recover from disease. According to an article published in the journal Cancer in 2009, unhappy couples had functions that were impaired compared to those in solid relationships. What’s more, they were less likely to adhere to healthy behaviors including watching their diet and following doctor’s orders. For more on why it’s better to fly solo than crash and burn read, Better Single than Sorry: A No-Regrets Guide to Loving Yourself and Never Settling by Jen Schefft.

Divorced Wife Wants Donated Kidney Back

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Divorced Wife Wants Donated Kidney Back

Samantha Lamb of the U.K. made the ultimate sacrifice for her husband. She went under the knife and donated a kidney to him. He thanked her by asking for a divorce.  Now the 41 year old mother with one child wishes she could get her kidney back and give it to someone who in her eyes is more deserving. Ms. Lamb speaking to a British newspaper stated, “I can’t believe he now has a second chance to live to see his grandchildren grow up. I would definitely go through the operation again – but I wouldn’t give the kidney to him. I hate him. If I could I’d take it back and give it someone else. Obviously I don’t want people to be put off putting their names on the organ donor list. But all I want from him is his name on the divorce papers.” The couple met working together driving ambulances for an ambulance company. Andy, her ex was funny, quick witted and never stopped delivering punchy one-liners. They originally got together in 2004. Then they broke up, but soon after reunited. They were married in 2007.

Of this period Ms. Lamb explains, “We had a nice life, although there were signs that Andy wasn’t what I had hoped for. He was controlling, like not letting me wear perfume every day. But we had a three-bedroom house in a lovely street and I thought we were happy. Then Andy became sick. His kidneys were failing. But he didn’t face up to it. He just got angry. He thought the world was against him and everyone else was to blame. I loved him and wanted him to get better but his moods were awful and he’d take it out on me.” They discussed it. Over time Ms. Lamb convinced Andy to have one of her kidneys. He had children from a previous marriage and wanted to be around for them. The couple even took part in a BBC documentary about organ donation.

It was after the surgery that Andy started acting differently. He was very ill before. But afterward he was flush, strong and healthy. He even shaved for the cameras. Meanwhile, Ms. Lamb was exhausted. Soon he was as testy as ever. He would pick fights with her then disappear for hours. Soon the truth was revealed. “I confronted him about having an affair with my friend Clare. My mum and sister saw him with his arm around her, “said Lamb. “He denied it and stormed out.” Ms. Lamb confronted Clare who admitted the affair. Though she won’t be seeing her organ returned, she got some revenge, “I did what any woman would do. I cut up his clothes, put them in black bin bags and left them outside the house.” To learn more about infidelity and revenge, read the book, Cheated ON and Pissed OFF! 20 Real Stories of Revenge by Simone Summers.

Why do People Stay in Bad Marriages Rather than Divorce?

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Why do People Stay in Bad Marriages Rather than Divorce?

Oftentimes when you know someone in a bad marriage, they will go through a list of complaints and anecdotes that paint their spouse in a not so flattering light. Sometimes it isn’t a bunch of little things, but one long problem such as an ongoing affair or drug or alcohol abuse. At other times a litany of issues can seem like an avalanche of problems that this person is wallowing under, brought down upon them by their spouse. These could be lying, cheating, disappearing, improper parenting, cruelty and so much more. Confronted with such a list, most people believe that the relationship was beyond redemption. Yet, people in these types of marriages are often ambivalent as to whether or not they should leave. So why do people stay in bad marriages rather than get a divorce when it seems irreparable and hopeless? The first thing one must understand is that these are weighty matters. Don’t take a stand. The person can’t come to the realization all at once, by merely taking the advice of a friend, or even a therapist. The second thing is that we really can’t know what the marriage is like from the inside. We only know what our friend is telling us. There are perhaps other aspects of the marriage that are satisfying.

When asked why they don’t leave, there are a few answers that often pop up; for the children’s sake, an unwillingness to give up economic certainty or assets, an unwillingness to leave the house, being attached to mutual friends and even in-laws, negativity about striking out on one’s own, and the fear of being lonely. Some people feel like they might be alone forever. So which is better, staying in a marriage you don’t like or divorcing and finding out it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be? Let’s take a look at each reason for staying and see if, through analysis, it’s better to stay or go. The effects on children depend, just like anything else, on who you speak to. Some psychologists say that divorce is detrimental to children. One study out of the UK found that children in single parent or step-parent homes were just as happy as those that came from dual-parent homes. Living in a household stuffed with anger and unhappiness is worse. Plus, children model their own loving relationships after what they observe in their parents growing up. Do you want to teach them to go for happiness, or to settle? Chances are they will follow suit to whatever you decide.

Divorce is expensive and it costs more to live apart than together. Still, there are families in every economic circumstance that do it. There are others, more wealthy, who say the money is the reason they still stay together. When a couple divorces, friends will inevitably go to one side or the other, despite everyone saying they’ll keep in touch. In fact, this is just cover for self-doubt in navigating the world post-marriage. The attachment to the in-laws, too, is really nostalgia for the relationship as it was when it was working, when it was good. The truth is, if you and another person share a deep bond, the divorce isn’t going to come between that. There are in-laws and mutual friends that keep in touch with ex-spouses whom they’ve come to hold in their heart. Usually as time moves on they become aunts, uncles, and friends of the family. Divorce is not embarrassing, nor is it shameful as some feel. In fact, it can be a liberating experience to navigate your own course and sail unencumbered, under your own stars. Don’t fail at imagination or fail to dream, or you will fail in spirit. Really, see if you can resuscitate the relationship.  But if you can’t or it isn’t healthy to, find a way to guide yourself honestly, and true onto your own happiness without regret. You will be loved by someone again, when you are ready, and chances are your ex will, too. That’s good and how it should be. But don’t stay miserable in a marriage for a reason that out-and-out doesn’t make sense. If you are still unsure, pick up a copy of How to Know If it’s Time to Go: A 10-Step Reality Test for Your Marriage by Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman.

A Bad Marriage can cause Depression

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A Bad Marriage can cause Depression

Lots of studies have linked marriage with good health. But new research out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that the opposite is true; a bad marriage including high stress can cause depression. 116 participants, divided evenly by gender that were married or cohabitating adults, took part in this 11 year study. The experiment began when participants filled out a survey asking how often tension entered their relationship and how often they felt let down by their spouse or mate. Nine years after the first survey they took one again. Depression and marital stress were again tested. After two more years respondents were asked to come in and take an “emotional response test.” In this sort of test 90 pictures move across a computer screen and the viewer is assessed for their emotional responses. This test revealed that those who had been suffering with marriage stress for years had difficulty responding to positive stimuli, or positive images, a telltale sign of depression.  Dr. Richard Davidson the study’s author wrote in a press release, “This is not an obvious consequence, if you will, of marital stress, but it’s one I think is extraordinarily important.” This study appeared in the Journal of Psychophysiology.

So how can you tell if you suffer from depression? Stomach pain or stomach issues can be caused by depression. These issues include indigestion, queasiness, even diarrhea and nausea. Colitis, ulcers, Crohn’s Disease and other digestive problems can become worse due to marital stress. Dull headaches, usually not in one specific area but generally all around, can be a sign of depression. Usually these headaches are more pronounced in the evening or morning. These are tension headaches caused by the muscles in the neck and scalp becoming taut due to stress. What happens is one gets upset tightening that group of muscles for so long and for such a prolonged period that you create a tension headache. Sleep issues are often a sign of depression. Some can’t fall asleep. Others wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. It’s normal for it to happen to someone once in a while. But if it persists for longer than two weeks the problem may be depression. Back muscles and joints often hurt more. People are also less apt to take care of themselves, eat right and exercise when depressed. Fatigue and utter exhaustion are classic signs of depression. Appetite changes can occur, either hardly ever eating or using food to combat stress. This is usually followed by gaining or losing weight dramatically. If you think you are suffering from marital depression, seek help. For more on overcoming marital stress and the depression that can ensue, read Treating Marital Stress: Support-Based Approaches by Robert P. Ruge.