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  • midlifelove 2:31 am on January 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: divorce, how to have a great marriage, Ian and Mary Grant, , mens and womens brains different, tips for better marriage, unhappy marriage   

    How to Have a Great Marriage 

    Marriage is a two-storey house – that’s her story and his story, quips Ian Grant*, parenting and relationship guru, who with Mary, his wife of 40 years runs the highly successful Hot Tips on Marriage seminars in New Zealand and Australia.

    Now the couple have combined to write Growing Great Marriages, a book based on the Hot Tips seminars which offers hundreds of practical strategies for giving and getting the love you want in your marriage. Some of their ideas from the book:

    Top Five Tips for A Better Marriage

    1) Watch your language

    Research shows the ratio of praise to blame is like spring rain – praise and your marriage will flourish, blame and it will wither. Couples who say five positive things for one negative should be OK. When the threshold drops to one to two they are in trouble.

    Thousands of trials have shown men are much more affected by arguments than women are:  “flooding” – when brain messages bypass the thinking and judging mechanisms and go straight to the “old reptile brain” – the section of the brain that generates negative emotions and knee jerk reactions – happens at much lower levels of criticism in men than women and they stay in that flooded state for longer.

    2) Commit and invest in the relationship

    A 2002 study by the Institute for American Values in New York showed it was wrong to assume that someone in a troubled marriage has two choices: stay married and be miserable, or get a divorce and be happy. A survey of so-called “unhappily married” couples showed two thirds of the couples who stayed married were actually happier five years later.

    Other research shows if a partner invests into a relationship, he or she is happier. When you invest in something, you bond to it.

    3) Remember men’s and women’s brains work differently:

    Think of the brain like a house: In men brain activity focuses on different sections of the brain and they switch from section to section like someone moving from appliance to appliance in a house, switching them on when needed and then turning them off.

    Women’s brains function more globally – they’ve switched on everything in the house and left it on!

    Bill and Pam Farrel’s best seller Men are Like Waffles Women are Like Spaghetti (Harvest House)  gives a great picture for the way gender affects  the way men and women think.

    Women are good at multi-tasking because like a plate of spaghetti , their brain wiring is made up of lots of different strands, touching and intertwining with each other.  Women process life through interconnections. Every thought and issue is connected to every other thought and issue.

    Men’ brains are geared to work in a more compartmentalised way – like squares on a waffle. Don’t engage Dad in meaningful conversation while he is cooking the barbecue because he is focused on one thing – getting the meat cooked. Men will work on one square at a time, and then move on to the next one.


    4) Operate a love bank

    When difficulties arise, focus on restoring love, not resolving conflicts.

    Only one in four marriages is saved through counselling, which has traditionally focused on conflict resolution. But what most couples want is to maintain the feelings of romantic love, and if they can do that the conflict resolves itself. (Romantic love triggers the endorphins which give the pleasurable feeling of being in love)

    The Love Bank idea was developed by Dr William Harley, author of Fall in Love, Stay in Love. Think about the “love currency” you can deposit for your partner.

    Ask yourself “What can I do that makes him feel the best?” Men thrive when offered recreational companionship, sexual fulfilment and admiration from their wives. Women thrive on affection, openness and honesty. What makes people happiest is receiving attention from the people who matter most to us.

    5) Plan dates

    Ian and Mary Grant have dozens of great ideas of sharing positive time together. Amongst their suggestions:

    A 48 hour retreat; book somewhere special, take candles, special lingerie, etc and create your own haven.

    Work through the alphabet for date nights – some may be elaborate, and others as simples as a DVD you both want to see.

    Stage regular “cloth napkin dinners” with a formal setting, best cutlery and candles.

    On your wedding anniversary each year plan a special dinner and repeat your wedding vows to one another.

    *Ian and Mary Grant are high profile parenting and relationship gurus who founded Parents Inc, an Auckland based centre which runs nationwide seminars and courses on family and relationships.

  • midlifelove 5:08 am on January 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: divorce, , living alone, men in their 40s and 50s, men living alone, , , solo   

    More Men Living Alone 

    Men in their 40s and 50s are the fastest growing part of Australia’s living-alone population – and according to new research many of them are lonely, struggling, and hoping their solo state is temporary.

    The increase in men alone is due to more never having married, and many more getting divorced but not living with their children, according to a recent Sydney Morning Herald report.

    A survey of 2006 census data, and a related La Trobe University project shows the proportion of people aged 40 to 49 who live on their own has risen 75 per cent from 5.2 per cent to 9.1 per cent.

    Living Alone in Your 40s

    People in their 40s are now more likely to live alone than those in their 20s or 30s.

    Living Alone in Australia, shows that for people under 60, living alone is mainly a male phenomenon, and the men have become older.

    The middle-aged men who were living alone were on average less well-off, less educated and in lower-status jobs compared with middle-aged women living alone, or other men, the paper said.

    They also tended to say they were lonely. ”They are considerably more socially disadvantaged,” researcher Professor David de Vaus said. ”It might be they find it harder to partner, or re-partner.”

    Have Your Say

    Are you living alone, or have you had a period living alone in the past? Which do you prefer? What are the pros and cons of living with someone else? Give us your ideas on what you enjoy the most.  If you’re a man who’s worried about starting a new relationship help is at hand at with a new natural sex enhancer which  could give you a new sense of confidence.

    • Poppa John 7:00 pm on January 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I lived with a life partner for 43 years until she died. Living alone stinks. I am sure I will find someone to share my bed but I doubt that I will ever find another person to share my mind. Dont go to church and the person I’m looking for wont be there anyway. Wont find many superior minds in bars so not likely to look there. In the end I’ll settle for the bed being filed and my family, children and grandchildren sharing my mind.

      • midlifelove 12:56 am on February 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        You are so right you will never find another companion who will share your life for 43 years like you last partner. but I wouldn’t be quite so defeatist about never finding someone special again. Why not think about how you can give back to your community in an area you enjoy and are interested in? You just might find someone who shares many of your interests – when you are focusing on needs beyond your own.

  • midlifelove 4:40 am on September 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andrew Marshall, , Billie Piper, Chris Evans, divorce, Duke and Duchess of York, , Geir Frantzen, holiday together, , Laurence Fox, Liz Hurley, marriage break up, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Sarah Ferguson, separation   

    Going on Holiday with your Ex 

    divorceThe Duke and Duchess of York have sparked comment by going on holiday together thirteen years after they divorced.

    Their daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie have described them as “the world’s happiest unmarried couple,”  and they’ve enjoyed a famously close friendship ever since they split, sharing the same home for periods while leading separate lives.

    Now, despite the fact that Sarah Ferguson is said to be in a two-year relationship with the Findus frozen-food tycoon Geir Frantzen, she and Prince Andrew have gone on holiday together, without the children.

    Without anyone, in fact. Just the two of them spending a relaxing fortnight in a secluded six-bedroomed villa, tucked away in 350 acres of Spanish woodland, according to the Guardian newspaper.

    No So Unusual

    Getting on that well with the ex actually isn’t that unusual, although it leaves friends and family guessing.

    Arianna Huffington, editor of the Huffington Post, one of America’s most influential political blogs, recently wrote that “Just like marriage, divorce isn’t easy either.”

    In a July blog from Crete where Arianna was on her first family holiday with her former husband, 12 years after their separation and genuinely enjoying it, she described how on what would have been their 20th wedding anniversary, she received a bouquet of flowers from her ex with a card that read: “Happy 20th Anniversary. We’ll always be the parents of two remarkable young women. Love Michael.”

    Other Famous Ex’s

    UK media tycoon Chris Evans and pop Star Billie Piper are similarly compatible divorcees. Evans was on the scene just 15 hours after Piper gave birth to a new baby with her new husband – actor Laurence Fox (DS James Hathaway in the TV show Lewis).  Evans is now said to have set up a trust fund for the child.

    Meanwhile Hugh Grant remains a permanent fixture in Liz Hurley’s marriage. “If I’m alone with Hugh, [husband] Arun and [son]Damian, I can turn off my cell phone . . . no one else really matters,” she told Harper’s Bazaar last year. (Admittedly, Grant and Hurley weren’t technically hitched, but I think we can grant them common-law status).

    One Third ‘Regret Divorcing’

    Marital counsellor Andrew Marshall (author of I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You, Bloomsbury) says it’s not surprising so many divorced couples choose to go on holiday together.

    This is “partly because about one third of people who divorce regret the decision five years later, but mainly because we fall in love for a reason and that reason is probably still valid – even if events showed that we couldn’t actually live together.”

    There is something very comforting about relationships that go back a long way, suggests Andrew Marshall.  You don’t need to explain your complicated family – because your ex has experienced them first hand.

    “When there are children, it is particularly appealing and it’s cheaper than taking them on two separate holidays.

    “On the one hand, it shows your children that you can still co-operate, keep your differences in check and resolve any issues that crop up – a good lesson for their future.

    Set Ground Rules

    “On the other hand, a joint holiday can raise expectations of a reunion (and most children secretly hope for a reconciliation, even if one parent has subsequently remarried). I

    “If you are holidaying because you are still emotionally tied to your ex, this can mean that there is not enough room in your life for someone new.”

    This is especially ­ problematic if one partner is hoping for another chance but the other feels the time for reconciliation has passed, says Andrew Marshall.

    For that reason it’s good to establish a few ground rules before going on holiday together – like having separate rooms – and a straight discussion about expectations.

    If you have a clear understanding, there’s no reason to holiday alone.

  • midlifelove 3:27 am on September 6, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: All My Life, Billy Joel, Christie Brinkley, divorce, Just The Way You Are, Katie Lee Joel, marriage breakup, Uptown Girl   

    Billy Joel – Songs For Mrs J a Bad Idea? 

    Billy JoelPoor Billy Joel. It seems like writing a song for his wife is the kiss of death to the relationship. At least that’s the theory doing the rounds after he announced he was divorcing wife number three, Katie Lee, after five years of marriage.

    While some figure the age difference might have some part to play, (she’s 27, he’s 60,) the Piano Man might be asking himself whether penning a song for his wife is a good idea.

    All Billy Joel’s marriages have expired shortly after he penned a song about his wife: Just The Way You Are did for the first; Uptown Girl saw off Christie Brinkley, and, just possibly, the recent (well, 2006) All My Life could have triggered this most recent split.

    According to the Guardian it’s unclear whether the wives felt that day-to-day life with Billy failed to match up to the promise of his lyrics, or whether they were only in it for the song in the first place. In the end, the heart wants what it wants.


  • midlifelove 9:26 pm on September 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: age gap romance, ANU, Ashton Kutcher, Calista Flockhart, , Demi Moore, divorce, , , , non-smoker, romance-killer, smoker,   

    Secrets of Lasting Love 

    everlasting love
    We’re fascinated by age gap romances – the relationships where one partner is old enough to be the other’s parent – and there are plenty of high profile couples who seem to be doing just fine.

    Think Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher (she is 15 years older); newly engaged Harrison Ford (66) and Calista Flockhart, (44) or Tom Cruise (47) and Katie Holmes (30).

    And what about Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who share not just a marriage but the same September 25 birthday – it’s just it is 25 years apart.

    These Hollywood matches are all beating the odds, according to new research on the secrets of lasting marriages conducted by the Australian National University.

    Divorce More Likely If Wife Older

    Analysis of 2500 Australian couples over six years shows the chances of getting divorced double if there is more than an eight year difference in age (if the man is older) or more than two years (if it is the woman who is the older).

    And while marrying someone of similar educational, social and religious status helps your chances of avoiding divorce, these factors don’t matter as much as age.

    Marriages in which the husband was nine or more years older than the wife, or two or more years younger, had a separation rate of 17 per cent compared to about 10 per cent for their more age-compatible peers.

    It also helps if the husband is over 25 when you marry, and if neither of you have children before getting married. Having a similar attitude to wanting children or another child is important, also.

    Not Rich, Not Poor Best

    Being comfortably off helps in the cause of marital stability, but not if you are very well off – the richest 25 per cent have a higher risk of separation. Being poor, unemployed and feeling financially stressed, is a deadly trifecta for marriage stability. About 20 per cent of those unemployed at the start of the survey later separated compared to 10 per cent of those who had a job.

    And another thing the demographers advise: don’t marry a smoker if you are a non-smoker. It is definitely a romance killer. Two smokers, however, will get along fine.

  • midlifelove 10:53 am on August 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , commitment, divorce, enduring, , , , romantic meals, silver lining   

    Top 10 Reasons Recession is Good For Relationships 1 – 5 


    There’s an abundance of research showing that stressful events like job loss can be bad news for marriages – what with the ensuing stress, bad moods, and sex lives in the Ice Age.

    But the darkest cloud can have a silver lining, and there is also evidence that tough times can make relationships more enduring.

    One out of three people questioned in a Romance in Recession Poll in January 2009 feel that financial constraints have brought them and their partner closer together.

    So here they are, the Top 10 Reasons – Nos 1 – 5 – recession is good for relationships.

    1)      Economic adversity holds people together. Marriage expert John Gottman says data from the Great Depression suggests families were more cohesive, worked more as a team, and dealt with tough times together. The same seems to be holding true in this “recession”.

    2)      Divorce is down. Even divorce lawyers are feeling the pinch as couples decide to stick together rather than split their assets and separate, either because their jobs are less secure or their property has dropped in value.

    3)      Surviving misfortune together helps a couple solidify their commitment into an unshakeable us-against-the world resolve. Say the people who responded to the Romance in Recession Poll: “As a couple, we have confronted a lot of difficult problems over the past year and we feel it has made us closer.”

    4)      The sex gets better: In the same poll nearly 43 percent agree that they are spending more intimate time together and 20 percent feel that their sex lives have improved as a result of the economy. Typically they say “Our money concerns have made us closer, more loyal to each other and more supportive—mentally, physically and emotionally.”

    5)      Leisure activities became less dollar-driven and more family-based: Over half of all couples are spending more quality time together due to financial constraints “We go out to eat less often and we now enjoy special homemade romantic meals.”

  • midlifelove 12:22 am on June 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: amphetamine, attraction amphetamine, biochemical, crumbling marriage, divorce, divorse, dopomine, fizz, hormone cycle, hottest love cools, kate winslet, leonardo dicaprio, marilyn monroe, mature love, neuro chemicals, , oxytocin, PEA, phenyl ethylamine, revolutionary road, romantic passion, seven year itch, titanic   

    The Chemistry of Love 

    If Leonardo DiCaprio hadn’t sunk with the Titanic, there’s a good chance he and Kate Winslet would have ended up on Revolutionary Road. The misery of a crumbling marriage played out there shows what can follow when romantic passion fades.

    Wind the clock back 50 years and you’ve got a different take on the same human experience – the loss of  sexual attraction over time –  in yet another famous movie – Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch. We’ve recognised for a long time it seems, that even the hottest love cools.

    Now science is explaining how the chemistry of love – a very special cascade of neurochemicals – produces the mad, dizzy, magical experience we call “falling in love”.  Even more eerily, it also points to why the “Seven Year Itch” is not just a figment of a movie producer’s imagination, but a very real hormonal cycle.

    The Attraction Amphetamine

    loveThe key to the hormonal flood that creates romantic love is actually an amphetamine-like substance (also found in chocolate) called PEA – short for phenyl-ethylamine. Along with dopamine and norepinephrine and the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin it produces a rich cocktail designed to bond a couple strongly enough to conceive and rear a child.

    The thing about PEA is that like adrenaline, the body cannot continue to pump it out forever. Firstly, the body builds up a tolerance to it and it takes more to get the same effect. Then after about three years the body’s ability to produce PEA wears down.

    Scientists believe the biochemical high is designed for love to last four or five years, just long enough to get a child safely through infancy.

    Divorce Peaks After Four Years

    Social scientists have found a surprising concurrence in patterns over diverse communities. One survey of 62 cultures found divorce peaked after the fourth year of marriage.

    If a second child is born, the relationship will last another few years but after seven years, for most couples the cascade has become a trickle  … to be replaced in many relationships by a an inexhaustible supply of brain endorphins that support a more tranquil and secure love.

    We say most couples because latest research from brain imaging shows some couples do appear to maintain romantic attraction for longer periods.

    Even for those who don’t, there are compensations. Perhaps the PEA “fizz” is gone, but scientists say the chemicals of enduring love can be more intimate and sustaining – more pleasurable in a different way.

    As long as the cherished partner is near, the body has an infinite capacity to produce these chemicals of “mature love”. But the death of a partner terminates their production and partly explains why the bereaved partner feels horribly “at a loss”.

    Drive declines with age

    Many of the hormones involved in sex and love – including dopamine, serotonin and testosterone – decline with age. They can be boosted by eating the right foods – including cottage cheese, chicken, dark chocolate, yoghurt, eggs, and oats, or by herbal and nutritional supplements like Herbal Ignite.

  • midlifelove 4:15 am on April 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: braveheart, divorce, jews, , Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson, Mel Gibson, oksana, racist, Robyn, robyn moore, supremicist,   

    Top 10 reasons Robyn wants to divorce Mel Gibson. 

    mel-gibson10.  I am divorcing Mel Gibson over religious differences.
    He thinks he is God, and I don’t.

    9.  My love for Mel Gibson was blind but this marriage has been an eye opener

    8. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, I think this concept is worth trying out.

    7. He hasn’t dumped me; I am just setting him free.

    6. I found out that I and Mel are incompatible, I am Virgo and he is an Asshole

    5. He is going out with a less attractive person then me.

    4. He hasn’t had a shower since he starred in “Braveheart”

    3. He keeps calling me “Oksana”

    2. I have just got a tan and Mel is a white supremicist

    1. It is not for the money, (NOT) :P

  • midlifelove 2:35 am on March 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , canberra, capital, carbon footprint, divorce, housing, married, planet, senate, steve fielding, U.S. report   

    Stay Married and Save the Planet 


    Staying married used to be considered a social  rather than an environmental issue.

    But according to Aussie Senator Steve Fielding we should all be staying married to help save the planet.  He told a recent Senate hearing in the Australian capital Canberra that divorce only made climate change worse.

    When couples separate they need two houses instead of one, which means they need more electricity and water. Divorce, he says, is one factor that can diminish the efficiency of housing and increase mankind’s carbon footprint.

    Such a “resource-inefficient lifestyle” meant it would be better for the planet if couples stay married, he says. During the hearing, the senator read out quotes from a U.S. report that advocated his stance.

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