Divorce is the New Smoking! How to Save Your Marriage. How to Prevent a Divorce.

Divorce is the New Smoking!

Divorce is very old school. It is what our parents did but not something you should ever do. Yes, marriage is hard. And yes there are times that even the best marriages have rough patches. And yes, there are times that you want to just walk away. But divorce is not the answer. It is almost never the answer. A big-news divorce is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. It is a muddy, horrid mess as many divorces are. And the kids will be the ones to suffer in the end. How can they turn it around? Well, they can. They just need help from wise people who know the long term risks if they continue with the divorce. So read on to see how they could fall back in love and stay married for life. 

Most people who want a divorce are in terrible pain. The pain can be emotional or physical, mental or spiritual but it is real pain they want to escape. This is only natural. Most every human being and animal for that matter hates pain. The body’s natural reflexes, which were build in, make it retract from pain. Just try scaring someone without them knowing by flicking your fingers in their face: the eyelids will automatically close. Or if you accidentally burn your finger, your hand will retract even a bit. 

The body, mind, and soul’s desire to avoid pain is an incredible force and motivator. Especially when one feels that one’s “needs” are not being met or that another, more attractive person is out there, is ready and is available to meet “one’s needs,” it can seem like an easy way out instead of going the long road of working on the marriage to make things work in the end.  Getting out of the marriage can seem like an easy way to avoid the chronic pain you feel when you are in the same vicinity of the one you once loved and now despise. But it is a terrible quick fix which will lead to long term pain and misery, not just in terms of future “happiness scores” (and there is a great deal of data on how divorce makes you unhappier a year from now and in the long term), not just mentally and psychologically but most importantly physically (also many studies on your health after divorce and your kid’s health after divorce) and spiritually. 

Some friends have said to me, “I don’t love him anymore,” or “he does not love me any more,” or “our love is dead.” My friend has a real feeling when she says that, but that is all it is, a feeling. And LOVE is not a feeling, it is truly an action, and it has to always be an action for one to ever have a chance at happiness. 

Love has to be an action verb in all situations. The reason is simple. If someone says, “the love is gone,” well that will happen to your next relationship and the next and the next. That is what countless research shows. This is the reason why one is . It will not end with this current relationship if you treat love as a feeling. Feelings come and go all the time. It is impossible to be 100% of the time angry: eventually someone will tell you a joke and break you even for a moment. Similarly it is impossible to always feel like you want to smile or you want to love. There are moments in life when even the most saintly person does not want to love. What makes that person a saint is the decision that person makes to love others despite that person’s desire to be alone and focus on “self” and no none else. 

Loving till it hurts and beyond is truly the only way to happiness. And even if you know this and you truly believe this and even if you have offered your life as a victim soul and want to be a martyr and are trying to be a saint, it can at times seem like marriage is an impossibility. Yet the true right thing to do is to stick with it, fight the good fight, increase the love and keep loving. But it is very hard at times.

This is where you might need some cold hard facts to snap you out of the funk and help you realize that divorce or the affair may seem to alleviate the pain you are feeling, but actually it is only a mirage and the pain will come back full force when you see what it can do to your health and worse…to your kids! So if you have kids and you are completely selfish, there are still reasons to stay married and still try the best you can to smile every day to your spouse and each child and try to make your home a bright and cheerful home!

Here are the stats: As of October 2016, the CDC has on their website the following. 

  • Number of marriages: 2,140, 272 (49 reporting States and D.C)
  • Marriage rate: 6.9 per 1,000 total population (49 reporting States and D.C)
  • Divorce rate: 3.2 per 1,000 population (45 reporting States and D.C.)
Your goal should not be one of the ones in the divorce statistic.

There is a great deal of research on the effects of divorce on your health and the health of your kids. If we had real, up-to-date facts on divorce, it would likely show you that divorce is the worst thing you can do to yourself and more importantly to your kids: it is worse than even smoking! 

Below are some facts about divorce. There is a great review below that helps note the key issues as well. I see many of these issues every day among my patients, friends, and family members. My divorced patients tend to be on anti-depressants, heart medications, have insomnia, and generally be unhappy more often. You could argue that maybe they were depressed to begin with or had insomnia or bad hearts to begin with and that is the reason why they are divorced. That could be true, but in general the worst thing you can do if you were pre-marriage bad, is to get a divorce as it will make you worse in all aspect. I do have happily divorced patients as well. And there, of course, are the spouses who were physically and psychologically battered and in whom divorce became a life saver; but these patients are not the norm. I honor them for being strong and protecting their children. Still, divorce in general is an unhealthy choice. 

So how can you fix a marriage or fix your marriage. It is not as hard as it sounds if you are willing to try. If both parties do not want to even try, not even for the sake of the kids as they cannot get out of their wallowing misery, sometimes you have to snap them out of it. Take one of them on a spiritual retreat. Take them to a place that can show them how big and wide the world is and how the issues of the marriage are minor in comparison. Have them sign up for Retrouvaille!

This is a hidden gem!


It has saved the marraiges of 3 friends I know and it seems to be partly miraculous. Most couples there truly hate each other when they start. I would love to attend just to see what they say and do as we have heard so many stories of how it really helped dead marriages. Some couples there are already divorced but they want to try to be civil to each other. Some of these ended up falling back in love. They appear to teach a new way of dealing with the issues that led to the divorce and the results have been mind boggling. If you truly hate your former love, do it for yourself, for your health, for your brain’s health. And if you have kids, it is a no brainer, I would say it would be true child abuse to not try Retrouvaille first before going through with the horror of divorce!

As with all things that are worth anything, you still have to work at times on smiling, being positive, saying postivie things, keeping the atmosphere light and cheerful. 

Women sometimes can be the worst at this. We know women are often the ones to ask for the divorce. We know that women are masters of carrying anger and resentment to the grave. Does this make them happy? No! Do they need help, yes! Will they ask for help? Heck no! 

The reason for this is that women absolutely need to be loved and worshiped continuously with their love language: see http://www.5lovelanguages.com.  Furthermore, when women feel unloved, they become cold, dead, wet fish: almost un-revivable. Also they cannot say they are dying until they ask for the divorce because the dumb devil has stolen their tongue…though it seems. 

The husband in such marriages has to be the strong one to lovingly tame the hidden devilish fiend that has taken over the wife. It is a classic scenario: the wife feels unloved, the husband is clueless and is trying to do the best he can but feel unmanly because he cannot fix the situation. The wife then tries to find a better mate. The husband gives up or acquiesces to the new abnormal “normal” of the silent treatment, the no-sex, the “can’t look into your eyes as it hurts too much” life marriage becomes. Resent just spews out of the woman every time she even opens her mouth. It is fixable, I’ve seen it fixed hundreds of times. But it does take work. It takes the ability to forget the pain, which is the hardest for the woman to do. Sometimes I think that those women with early dementia have very happy marriage because they have forgot all the pain a life-time of marriage naturally can bring. Sometimes to fix your marriage, both sides need a little dementia to kick in to start over. 

This is an unfortunate defect all women have. It is just a given. But it is fixable. It is liveable if the husband can act fast to change things around. Don’t give up! Your future happiness and more importantly your kids’ happiness depends on your working it out!

This is from the Retrouvaille website and is so true! Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are in the Misery stage. With your prayers and help they can make it to the Awakening phase, so offer up reading this for them and pray for them and for all marriages, you might just save Angelina and Brad’s marriage. 

4 Stages of Marriage

There are 4 Stages of Marriage: (1) Romance, (2) Disillusionment, (3) Misery, and (4) Awakening. Due to the high divorce rate many couples never make it to the 4th Stage of Awakening.
Most are familiar with the 1st Stage of Romance. Life was so wonderful we couldn’t stand to live without the other. Our thoughts often turned to the other when we were not with them. We had fallen in love and knew that this was the person we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. Little differences between us were cute and endearing.
At some point those little differences started to annoy us. We felt bothered by some of those same things that may have been cute a short time earlier. The self-talk in the back of our mind started wondering why our spouse couldn’t be more like us. We had entered into the 2nd Stage of Marriage, the Disillusionment Stage. During the Disillusionment Stage we start to realize that our spouse is not the perfect person that we had envisioned him or her to be. Sometimes, especially if our Romance Stage had been particularly intense, we are hurt deeply by this Disillusionment. We realize that the expectations we had of the perfect marriage were not going to happen. For some this realization is too heart wrenching and they give up on the marriage and divorce during this 2nd Stage of Disillusionment.
Many people stick with and try to work through their problems during Disillusionment. They seek the counsel of family, friends, clergy and marriage family counselors. Some of these people find the key they are looking for from these resources. Many others continue to struggle and their troubles worsen. Often the marriage deteriorates more deeply due to drug, alcohol or other addictions. Sometimes a third party relationship in the form ofextramarital affairs result. As the couple finds themselves in this 3rd Stage of Marriage they know they have entered the Misery Stage.
The Misery Stage is where many couples find themselves considering a marriage separation or divorce. When children are involved this 3rd Stage of Misery is particularly difficult on them. Regardless of whether the couple stays together in misery or divorce the children often believe it is their fault regardless of assurances to the contrary. The effects of divorce on a child cannot be over emphasized. The pain is so intense during the Misery Stage that it is common to only want it to STOP. Much like the pain of a toothache that consumes your whole being you cannot seem to think of anything else besides stopping the pain. One spouse may be pushing hard for the divorce while the other wants to stop divorce.
If the couple ends the marriage at this point and remarry other partners they are more likely to experience the effects of divorce with their second or third spouse.
Most people whose marriages end in divorce are not bad people. Rather, they are often people who never learned the proper tools for a happy marriage. This is where Retrouvaille (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) can help. Teams of couples who have experienced all 4 Stages of Marriage present the Retrouvaille program. Instead of giving up they found solutions. In Retrouvaille they learned the tools they needed to live a happy marriage. They learned that marriage does not follow the Romance and Happily Ever After formula portrayed in literature and media. Rather, they learn that there are certain learnable skills, attitudes and tools that they can use to deal with the inevitable problems of the real world.
These skills, attitudes and tools give them what they need to move from the 3rd Stage of Misery into the 4th Stage of Awakening.
Whether you are in the Disillusionment Stage grieving the loss of that magical Romance or if you have moved firmly into the Misery Stage Retrouvaille can give you the marriage help you need to rebuild your marriage. Many tens of thousands of couples have turned their marriages around by giving this program a chance.
Can you save your marriage by attending and working the Retrouvaille program? You will never know until you try. Call the phone number or send an email to the caring Retrouvaille volunteers in your area. Ask them those tough questions that keep nagging at you in the back of your mind. The people answering the phone or responding to your email are people just like you who have been there and pushed through to the 4th Stage of Awakening. They will be able to relate to your feelings of hopelessness and loss. They will do their best to give you the answers you need about this program.

Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS

“Typically, after a divorce anxiety levels shoot sky high,” says Fran Walfish, PsyD, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills and an expert panelist on the upcoming television series Sex Box. “You don’t have a companion in the big, bad world anymore,” she says, and the future that you once pictured no longer exists. Plus, there’s a ton of uncertainty, which can lead to feeling insecure. Depending on the circumstances, you might suddenly have to move, get a new job, and survive on less money than before. Your children might need to change schools or get used to a back-and-forth arrangement with you and your ex. Walfish says that anxiety can sometimes manifest itself in controlling behavior, such as sending a gazillion emails to your divorce attorney or emptying your joint bank account to try to take over the finances. 
Drastic Weight Change
Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight is something else you might notice during or after a divorce. Some people turn to comfort foods because doughnuts or fried chicken might temporarily perk them up. For others, divorce has the opposite effect. “I had a patient walk in after a long absence. She was very slim, and I remarked upon it. She said, ‘Yep, I’m getting a divorce. I call it the Grief Diet,’ ” says Walfish. “She lost her appetite. Sometimes you can’t eat when you’re distraught.”
Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome occurs when you have several dangerous conditions at once, including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat, and high cholesterol. It increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who are divorced (as well as women who are widowed or in unhappy marriages) are more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than women who are in happy marriages. 

Photo by WIN Initiative/Getty Images
After a marriage dissolves, “many people feel like failures,” says Walfish. What contributed to the divorce may also play a role. For instance, if your spouse cheated on you, that knowledge might send you into a downward spiral of hopelessness and destroy your self-confidence. “I really and truly believe that this is the pivotal moment in life where it’s beneficial to seek out a good therapist,” says Walfish. For one thing, it helps to gain support from someone who is emotionally removed from the situation. This is also your chance to discover why you were drawn to the relationship in the first place—and learn how to avoid a similar situation. “It’s a golden opportunity to write a new, brighter script for the next chapter in your life,” says Walfish. (Take our quiz to help determine if you might be depressed.)
Cardiovascular Disease
A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family found that both middle-aged men and women are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease after going through a divorce, compared with married people of the same age. It also revealed that middle-aged women who get divorced are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than middle-aged men who get divorced. Why do women have it worse? Here’s one explanation: Research shows that the stress of divorce leads to higher levels of inflammation in women, and those levels persist for some time, explains Mark D. Hayward, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. “Part of the reason for the continued elevation in women is that the period after divorce is highly stressful, too. Women often take bigger hits in terms of finances, and they tend to stay single longer than men.”
Substance Abuse

Photo by Phil Ashley
Post-split, you might find yourself becoming more dependent on cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs to cope with feeling lonely, anxious, or depressed. One 2012 review of scientific literature published in The Journal of Men’s Health found that divorced men have higher rates of substance abuse, as well as higher rates of mortality, depression, and lack of social support, compared with married men. The stress you feel from a divorce is second only to the stress you feel from the death of a spouse, explains study co-author Dave Robinson, PhD, director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Utah State University. “And men are more likely to ignore the significant impact that divorce has on them.” 
“In my divorced clients, sleep disruption is very common, as well as nightmares,” says Walfish. This might mean having trouble falling or staying asleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is very common among those who are depressed, so divorce-related depression is one possible underlying cause of the sleep issues. Be sure tofollow these tips to sleep better every night.
Chronic Health Problems & Mobility Issues
Many health consequences of divorce are linked. For example, it can be harder to eat well and exercise regularly if you’re feeling depressed and not sleeping well. And those unhealthy habits can lead to serious diseases and conditions. A study published in Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that divorced or widowed people have 20% more chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer) than people who are married. They also have 23% more mobility limitations, such as not being able to climb stairs or walk a block. Consider this one more reason to make sure you get a physical each year.
2. Here is more data that getting divorce is deadly!

Divorce tied to increased heart attack risk


By Kathryn Doyle

(Reuters Health) – Women who have been divorced once, or men who have been divorced at least twice, are more likely to have a heart attack than people who get and stay married, according to a new study.

“The negative health consequences of divorce have been known for some time,” said lead author Matthew E. Dupre of Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina.

Remarriage only reverses the risk for men, the researchers also found. And for women divorced at least twice, the heart attack risk was comparable to that of having diabetes or high blood pressure.

The researchers analyzed data on more than 15,000 adults ages 45 to 80 at the beginning of the study period, who had been married at least once and were followed from 1992 to 2010.

At the outset, 14% of men and 19% of women were divorced. By the end of the study, more than a third of people had gone through at least one divorce.

Over the 18-year study period, 1211 people suffered a heart attack, and this was more likely to happen to those who had been divorced, according to the April 14 online paper in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The authors accounted for age, socioeconomic, behavioral and health factors.

Women who had one divorce were 24% more likely to have a heart attack than women who were continuously married, and those who had been divorced at least twice were 77% more likely to have one.

Remarried women were 35% more likely than women who were continuously married to have a heart attack.

For men, risk only increased for those who had been divorced twice or more. They were 30% more likely to have a heart attack than men who remained married or who remarried.

“Earlier studies have suggested that marital loss has a greater impact on the health of women than men,” Dupre told Reuters Health by email. “The reasons for these differences are not entirely known; however, the prevailing view is that divorced women suffer greater economic losses and emotional distress than divorced men.”

“Men are also much more likely to remarry after divorce than women, and among those who remarry, men remarry sooner than women,” he said.

Though the results offer strong evidence that divorce increases heart attack risk, the authors were not able to account for other potentially important factors like elevated stress, anxiety and the loss of social support or changes in medication adherence, Dupre said.

They also were not able to account for whether the risk rises or falls over time following divorce, he said.

“There’s already a substantial literature linking changes in marital status to physical health,” said David A. Sbarra of the psychology department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “I would have predicted men to be at increased risk following divorce, but this is not what the paper reports.”

The immediate emotional shock of ending a relationship may lead to cardiovascular changes, or people who get a divorce may change their behavior, may start smoking to manage the stress of separation, for example, he told Reuters Health by email.

“The difficult spot all of us are in when working on this topic is that you cannot randomly assign people to divorce,” Sbarra said.

Divorce may be a proxy for other variables, like hostility, which lead people to end marriages and also convey heart attack risk, he said.

“If you feel your divorce was done for good reasons, you’ve coped well with the transition (after a period of grief, you’ve got most of your life back together . . . or, at least, you feel headed in the right direction), these results may not apply,” he said.

The study only involved people who had ever married, which includes 95% of the older adult population, but not those who remained single, Dupre said.

People cannot change their marital history in order to reduce their heart attack risk, but recognizing an increased risk may improve doctors’ decision making or screening for divorced people, he said.

“A greater recognition of social stressors will help physicians identify and treat adults at potentially high risk of having a heart attack, as well as provide patients a new (or heightened) awareness of how the social world can get under our skin and damage our heart,” he said.

SOURCE: bit.ly/1ze6D13

Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes 2015.

3. How to Prevent a Divorce.
Is death more significant than divorce?
One interesting datapoint in the study showed that kids whose parent had died were less likely to have tried alcohol by the age of 11; however, those who had tried it were more than 12 times as likely to get drunk than kids with absent parents due to separation or divorce.
How to Prevent Divorce? Regulate your communications!
This study below shows that sometime you have to be taught how to talk and how to express your body’s emotions. If your parents often said many negative, cynical comments to each other or to others, you are more likely to do the same. If you dad made loud sniffs or sounds of disapproval with any mild annoyance, you are likely to do the same. And these negative habits have lasting consequences. A negative statement or sniff or noise is like having a seizure while driving, it can really damage people long term! Divorce often happens over little negative jabs day in and day out that blossom into a monster of hatred and resentment. 
If you see this happening in your marriage, you need to seek help just as if your spouse were having seizures while driving. It is that serious. 
Seeking help early will save you a life time of pain, misery, and health issues for you, your spouse, your kids, and even your friends. 

 2012 Feb;26(1):1-10. doi: 10.1037/a0025966. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Why do even satisfied newlyweds eventually go on to divorce?


Although divorce typically follows an extended period of unhappiness that begins early in marriage, some couples who are very happy throughout the first several years of marriage will also go on to divorce. This study aimed to identify risk factors early in marriage that distinguish initially satisfied couples who eventually divorce from those who remain married. We identified 136 couples reporting stably high levels of relationship satisfaction in the first 4 years of marriage. We compared the couples who went on to divorce by the 10-year follow-up with the couples who remained married on initial measures of commitment, observed communication, stress, and personality. Divorcing couples displayed more negative communication, emotion, and social support as newlyweds compared with couples who did not divorce. No significant differences were found in the other domains, in relationship satisfaction, or in positive behaviors. Overall, results indicate that even couples who are very successful at navigating the early years of marriage can be vulnerable to later dissolution if their interpersonal exchanges are poorly regulated. We speculate that, paradoxically, the many strengths possessed by these couples may mask their potent interpersonal liabilities, posing challenges for educational interventions designed to help these couples.


Another reference on why women need to talk so much: it is entrenched in a woman’s brain. 

 2014 Dec;155(12):4881-94. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1486. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

Androgen modulation of Foxp1 and Foxp2 in the developing rat brain: impact on sex specific vocalization.


Sex differences in vocal communication are prevalent in both the animals and humans. The mechanism(s) mediating gender differences in human language are unknown, although, sex hormones, principally androgens, play a central role in the development of vocalizations in a wide variety of animal species. The discovery of FOXP2 has added an additional avenue for exploring the origins of language and animal communication. TheFOXP2 gene is a member of the forkhead box P (FOXP) family of transcription factors. Prior to the prenatal androgen surge in male fetuses, we observed no sex difference for Foxp2 protein levels in cultured cells. In contrast, 24 hours after the onset of the androgen surge, we found a sex difference for Foxp2 protein levels in cultured cortical cells with males having higher levels than females. Furthermore, we observed the potent nonaromatizable androgen dihydrotestosterone altered not only Foxp2 mRNA and protein levels but also Foxp1. Androgen effects on both Foxp2and Foxp1 were found to occur in the striatum, cerebellar vermis, and cortex. Immunofluorescence microscopy and coimmunoprecipitation demonstrate Foxp2 and the androgen receptor protein interact. Databases for transcription factor binding sites predict a consensus binding motif for androgen receptor on the Foxp2 promoter regions. We also observed a sex difference in rat pup vocalization with males vocalizing more than females and treatment of females with dihydrotestosterone eliminated the sex difference. We propose that androgens might be an upstream regulator of both Foxp2 and Foxp1 expression and signaling. This has important implications for language and communication as well as neuropsychiatric developmental disorders involving impairments in communication.

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