Tag Archives: men

FOR COUPLES: Can Divorce Make You Crazy?

ConflictNo doubt about it, divorce hurts. And news research shows that some people — particularly men ? actually get some real mental health problems following divorce. But not everyone.

A divorce can be an emotional obstacle for all parties involved, but new research shows that a divorce may not doom all to depression. Many cases of depression that occur post-divorce are attributed to the separation of a family or marriage that occurs. Past research by Augustine J. Kposowa, of the University of California, Riverside department of sociology, found that after a divorce, men are at a higher risk of suicide than women. The increased risk of suicide may be due to a lack of social interaction after divorce, or stress leading to mental health issues, such as depression. However, new research brings new light to the situation.

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Researchers from the University of Arizona published a study in the journal Clinical Psychological Science clarifying individuals who face depression, or mental health issues, before a divorce are more likely to struggle after the divorce. Lead investigator on the study, David Sbarra, Ph.D. commented on the correlations of post-divorce depression. He explained that the emotional distress of a divorce can make depression, or depressive symptoms, resurface for individuals who already struggled with this mental health disease, particularly at the clinical level. He also noted that divorce is not random, certain people are more inclined to be divorced, like individuals who are dealing with mental health issues.

In conducting their study, the researchers analyzed information from the national Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study, a longitudinal study with data collected over multiple assessments. They compared participants who were separated or divorced to those who remained married. This allowed them to see attributes of people who would get divorced based on factors they identified earlier in the study. Investigators also found that 60 percent of adult participants who had a bout with depression before their divorce or separation had a post-divorce episode of depression. ?In contrast, only 10 percent of adults without a history of depression encountered an episode of depression after their divorce or separation. They did not demonstrate the same increased risk of depression.

The study concluded that divorce itself does not make people depressed, most people who suffer from depression prior to a divorce do not possess the same coping skills for these stressful situations, which may lead to a relapse. Divorce and separation are emotionally difficult, however, this research sends a powerful message that human beings are far more resilient than we might think.

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Mature man with headache from stressHave you been blindsided by a divorce? If so, you are not alone. According to divorce attorneys, women are more likely to initiate divorce than men. Plenty of men are happy to stay in good enough relationships because, frankly, they don’t believe their emotional needs are important to survival. But not women. Women put more emotional demands on men than ever before.

So what do you do? If you’re like most men who have been blinded by divorce, your first instinct is to tell yourself, “I’ve got to find a way to stop my divorce. I need to save my marriage.” This is an especially good idea if there are kids in your nest. But if you’re like most men, you’re probably going about it in the wrong way. 

I’ll bet the first things you are trying, are all the things that worked in the past. The things that worked when you courted her originally. You’re showering her with affection and gifts to remind her how valuable she is to you. You tell her you love her. You take her on date nights. Or, you give her all the freedom she desires — more girls nights out, yoga retreats to go “find herself” or even a housekeeper so she doesn’t feel so burdened. When that doesn’t work, you try to give her the emotional attention she says she’s craving. You spend a ton of time in couples therapy while she hashes out all the reasons she wants to leave and you tell her what a great wife she is, and then you pay the therapy bills. While all this makes sense from a logical point of view, the truth is, SHE KNOWS HOW VALUABLE SHE IS. That’s why she is ready to head to the mating market.

Showering her with affection and love may have worked when you were initially courting your wife, but now it underscores her suspicion that she is a valuable partner asset — to someone else! I think you see where I am going with this. Being the nice guy just doesn’t work.

But there’s another problem here. Being the bad guy is even less effective. Changing the locks, blocking bank accounts, or giving her your rages or the silent treatment, only serve to remind her why she wants to leave the relationship. It’s way easier to leave an angry man than a groveling man. That’s why, if your goal is “stop my divorce,” there’s an even better man who must emerge. The strong backbone guy.

Think of a spine. It is flexible but firm. It supports the entire body and controls everything through a balancing act that never bends too far. Growing a back bone in an impending divorce means you must do three things:

1. Raise your own self esteem. Go to the gym. Flirt with women (don’t let your wife know about this harmless flirting or she will perceive you as the bad guy.) If you have kids, win the best Dad award in their eyes. Discover that you are a valuable man in the eyes of the world, your children, and most importantly, your own eyes.

2. Agree with her. She’s not expecting this. She wants you to grovel or be mean. When you do neither, and you calmly make plans to go on with your life, she may second guess her decision.

3. See a therapist — alone. You need to get in touch with your feelings. And if you’ve been sleeping with the enemy, she’s not the person to bleed on. Tell her you’re going to therapy. That you need some support in processing all that’s happening. She’ll beg you to go to couples therapy because she doesn’t want to feel excluded. In fact, if your therapist is a woman, she might even feel a little jealous. These feelings will confuse her, but let her sit with them.

4. Stare into her eyes and use platonic touch – I know you think that sex will cure everything. If you could just get her into bed, she’ll melt and forget about all her crazy ideas of breaking up. But sadly, there’s a pretty good chance she’s already having rocking sex with someone else and exposure to old pheromones will generally not stir her juices. And when women have an affair, they have a 79% chance of falling in love with their paramour. This is a battle for love not sex. That’s where eye contact is important. In a lab, strangers have been known to fall in love simply by staring into each others eyes for four minutes straight. The eyes are the window to the soul. So, while you are having all the calm conversations about the break up, use plenty of eye contact and touch only in a protective, brotherly way. If she sexually comes on to you, tell her you do desire her but feel it’s not the right time. The world’s biggest aphrodisiac is the word no.

Will all this work to stop your divorce? It depends, of course, on the degree of marital discord, if there is substance abuse involved, if she has already made a commitment to someone else. But I’ll tell you this, FOR SURE, playing the nice guy or flipping out like a bad guy will only seal the deal.




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FOR WOMEN: Is Your Spouse Being Financially Unfaithful?

Man taking euros banknotes with stealthy expression.Does your spouse keep a separate safe deposit box? Do the family’s financial statements get mailed to an office address, not the home? Is he or she an ATM junkie? If so, there’s a chance your spouse could be stepping out on you with the family money. And this behavior is far more common with men than women.

It’s one thing to fear that your husband might stray with his heart and/or his body, but what most women don’t realize is that the risk of financial infidelity is far more dangerous and could lead to longer term consequences for women and their children.

“Most divorces are not impulsive decisions. One party or another checks out emotionally three to five years before they file for divorce,” says, Stacey Napp the CEO of Balance Point Funding, an investment firm that invests in women who have become financially disabled during a divorce proceeding. “Long before a man leaves, he begins to squirrel away assets so that he’ll hold the power in divorce court.” The behavior is more common with affluent husbands because, as a family’s net worth rises, couples tend to move into traditional gender roles, with the woman working less and handling more child rearing and household management chores. And if divorce happens these women are left unprotected. Since it is illegal in most states for a family attorney to work on a contingency (taking a percentage of the final settlement) the exit game becomes one where divorcing husbands strive to leave their wives with no assets to hire a good divorce lawyer — who may demand as much as $20,000 on the first visit.

“Divorce isn’t pretty, but it doesn’t have to be dirty,” says Napp, who founded her company after her own divorce and the financial infidelity she experienced that nearly cost her her entire lifestyle. According to Stacey Napp, there are six red flags that women should be on the alert for:

Is he being financially unfaithful?

1)      Your bank, brokerage or financial statements are sent to his office, and not to your  house
2)      You’re not the beneficiary of his life insurance policy
3)      Like clock work, the same amount of money is  being withdrawn from your joint account every month
4)      He has a separate safe deposit box
5)      Significant repeated cash withdrawals on your joint credit cards
6)      Does your husband own his own business and have his family as employees and/or partners in that business?  That alone isn’t a red flag, but if any of the above are also present- watch out!

So, if you do suspect trouble, is there anything you can do to stop the leakage? Yes, according to Napp, you have to act like your own forensic accountant and gather intelligence before he hides evidence from a real court. That may mean photocopying every document he ever brings home — including his entire wallet and briefcase. Since people stay in contact with their money, photocopy cell phone records, check frequent flyer miles, even the home telephone bill. Ever the financial sleuth, Napp says that calling fast food delivery restaurants in areas where phone calls have been made, can reveal what address goes with what number. And always, wives should request a once yearly free credit report from all three credit reporting bureaus. This report can contain information regarding financial institutions that he may have established relationships with that you were unaware of. It would also show any aliases and/or alternate social security numbers being used by your spouse.

With the enormous emotional pain that women experience during divorce, financial unfaithfulness adds another layer of injury. Injury that can have tragic consequences for children who might be yanked from school after losing tuition and women who many lose their home and community support system. Stacey suggests that women who are full-time mothers are especially vulnerable to this kind of infidelity.

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FOR MEN: What’s Your Face Type?

BeerGirlsGuys may think they have a type that they are attracted to, but new research shows that face type is related to what kind of relationship a man in looking for. When a guy is looking for a short-term fling, one kind of gal is much more attractive. But when he’s looking for a solid, long term commitment kind of gal, another kind of face becomes attractive. The difference, masculine and feminine cues.

Anthony Little from the University of Stirling and Benedict Jones from the University of Glasgow conducted a group of 393 heterosexual men, within the group, 207 claimed they had a partner. During the study, participants were shown 10 pictures of women. Each photo was paired with another photo, the difference being that one was more feminine while the other had more masculine traits. The men were given the task to choose which photo was more appealing to them. What Anthony found interesting was how men tend to act the same way as women when it comes to short term relationships: women tend to pick a guy with more masculine features, and for men it is the more feminine traits a women carries that is appealing.

For longer term goals, men chose women who had slightly more masculine facial features.

Why the difference? Evolutionary psychologists could easily speculate that men who want to spread their seed, would choose a woman with fertile cues, but sharing a home, hearth, and bank account might be easier if the woman felt less alien. The other thought is that a less attractive wife would leave him less vulnerable to mate poaching. Trust me, marrying a “10” means a lot of maintenance and mate guarding.

FOR MEN: The New Equality, Male Infertility

man and babyThe much maligned egg of a woman over 35. It’s been the target of criticism for so many years that most women can easily rattle off their chances of a having a down syndrome baby in relationship to their age. (1 in 2000 for a twenty-year-old, 1 in 100 for a forty-year-old.) But now the research lens is finally aimed at male fertility and viable sperm. Turns out, men need to consider their fertility window too.

In the last few decades there has been a huge increase in the numbers of older men fathering babies. In the 35-49 age group, in particular, there has been a 40% increase of new fathers. Delaying fatherhood to play the mating field may now have intergenerational consequences.

A US study,  published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Advancing age has differential effects on DNA change, chromatin integrity, gene mutations, and aneuplodies (chromosome abnormalities) in sperm” has shown that older men have higher chances of passing down genetic issues to their offspring. A French study backed up that finding, showing that infertility issues of men do indeed rise significantly after the age of 40.

Not only men who are waiting to have kids after the age of forty face fertility issues, but when they do successfully impregnate a woman, they have a higher chance of passing two specific gene disorders: schizophrenia and achondroplasia (commonly known as dwarfism.) The authors of the study,  Andrew Wyrobek from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Brenda Eskenazi from the University of California, School of Public Health, blamed the quality of a man’s sperm, which they say, quickly weakens after the age of 40.

Women who are holding out for an older, more successful man, might consider this. One study found that women, regardless of their age, who carry offspring of a man past forty. increase their risk of miscarriage.

Finally, one other US study gathered and examined ninety- seven samples of semen, all coming from men from the age range 22-80, who were not smokers. When looking over the samples, researchers found that the activeness and the movement of the sperm related with DNA fragmentation. The study concluded as well that not only do women have a biological clock, but so do men.

With research like this, suddenly the idea of being young enough to throw a ball with a child becomes less important than simply being young enough to father a healthy child.