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28 Dec, 2011

Tips to Save Your Marriage from Holiday Stress, and Divorce

New York, NY (PRWEB) December 26, 2011 — Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of Make Up Don’t Break Up, warns couples that they must “holiday proof” their marriage and family in these economically challenging times. The tips she provides in this release can save your family from being the next peril of divorce.

“Holiday stress coupled with money anxiety is a set up for marital problems,” warns Dr. Bonnie. There is a direct correlation between stress and behavior that can be detrimental to relationships. From drinking too much, over eating, lack of sleep, and a myriad of other stress related behaviors a marriage on the brink can suffer irreparable damage.

Dr. Bonnie suggests that couples engage in activities that counteract the stresses many couples are sure to experience this holiday season. “Kiss more, hold more, and look for activities that create playful fun that aren’t costly.” Dr. Bonnie also recommends that couples tell the truth to their extended friends, family and children about their economic situation. “Don’t write checks you don’t have money for. Send a card with a loving sentiment instead of gifts. Friends and family will understand, and are most likely in similar economic situations.”

Another stress to marriages is unhappy kids who act out. Parents must also realize that their children feel stress, and busy parents miss the cues. “According to a 2009 study, (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/11/stress.aspx), teens and tweens were more likely than parents to say that their stress had increased in the last year. Nearly half of the teens surveyed ages 13-17 said that they worried more this year, but only 28 percent of parents think their teen’s stress increased, and while a quarter of tweens ages 8-12 said they worried more this year, only 17 percent of parents believed their tween’s stress had increased. “This has two implications. Children are more stressed than ever, and parents aren’t aware,” explains Dr. Bonnie

Dr. Bonnie recommends that parents have healthy and honest discussions with their children about their fears and concerns, and teach appropriate behaviors to relieve stress, like playing ball instead of video games. Physical activity releases stress, while sitting exacerbates it.

Make Up Don’t Break Up offers communication tips, and assists couples develop skills to stay together when faced with adversity and the stressors of daily life.

Is Marriage Obsolete – or Is It The Economy?

(PRWEB) December 27, 2011 — Fifty-one percent of adults are married today. That’s down from 72 percent back in 1960, according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center (http://bit.ly/ucVfnM), which also appeared on CBS news stating that if this downward trend continues, marriage rates could be below 50 percent in just a few years. Additionally, the average age has jumped to record highs: 26.5 percent for women and 28.7 percent for men.

The report also shows that between 2009 and 2010, new marriages dropped by five percent, an indicator that “may or may not” have to do with the economy, say researchers. Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil agrees that the economic downturn is likely playing a role in marriage decisions, but also notes that our culture is less conducive to marriage than it perhaps was in 1960.

“In earlier generations, marriage was almost a foretold path,” says Dr. Bonnie, “It was a natural progression. Nowadays women can have careers to support themselves, couples buy homes together without being married, singles can adopt children, parents help finance their kids’ lives – so there might not be as much of a push for marriage.” Additionally, Dr. Bonnie cites that practicality might be playing a role. With weddings costing so much, and so many people out of work, it may be a necessity for some couples that they not wed right now. However, Dr. Bonnie says that couples should consider – two can live more inexpensively than one – “marriage can actually be an economical decision,” she says, especially if couples tone down the cost of a marriage ceremony and focus on the long-term picture.

The study also found that divorce plays less of a role than it used to: divorce rates have leveled off recently after climbing in the 60’s and 70’s – but with the recession this could be changing (http://huff.to/hbw1YT). Financial pressures are causing more couples’ relationships to unravel. “Money has long been one of the top causes for divorce, and now things are exasperated” says Dr. Bonnie. Job loss, mortgage payments, school tuition and a myriad other things are much more burdensome for many than they used to be – and this can lead to couples wanting to end the relationship.

With so much divorce around us, Dr. Bonnie says couples may be wary of entering a lasting union. “It’s smart to be wise about a long-term commitment,” she says, “but couples shouldn’t think that their relationship is doomed to fail.” She feels that people use the economy as an excuse for not getting married if they have a fear of marriage failure when they see divorces happening all around them.

Sixty percent of respondents in the Pew Center survey said they still wanted to get married. Dr. Bonnie says this is an opportunity for people to stop making excuses and be honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship: “There’s nothing wrong with opening up early on in a relationship and talking about what your goals are; it can save the agony of a long, mis-matched relationship.” Create a space in the discussion during one of the first dates where each person can be honest about their life goals as well as their relationship goals – no strings attached.

Dr. Bonnie teaches what she calls Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue and teaches in her guide “Make Up Don’t Break Up.” They’re skills that couples need to learn to create, not ones we’ll learn at school or on the job.” But, like going to the gym, it’s possible to teach yourself these good habits. Couples can recreate the same chemicals as when they first fell in love and if done right marriages can be blissful.

Dr. Bonnie says, having these types of interactions early on will either illuminate for couples if they’re not on the same page, or create a long-lasting foundation of relational honesty. Couples can recreate the magic in a long-term relationship, year after year, if they learn the three P’s: prepare, predict, prevent. We need to face our fears of failure and learn the tools to cohabitate and keep the sizzle sizzling – then more people would get married!