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Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

Marriage and unemployment

News Stoicism Recommended Links Marriage and family conflicts  Over 50 and unemployed Marital Infidelity Perma Temps
Borderliners and sociopaths in marriage Buyer's remorse Conflicts with a narcissistic domineering mother Conficts with a narssistic son Divorcing Borderline Psychopath The Good Wife Bonfire of vanities
Coping with the toxic stress in IT environment Workaholism and Burnout Social Problems in Enterprise Unix Administration Office Stockholm Syndrom Learned helplessness Underemployment The Hare Psychopathy Checklist
Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime Bureaucracies Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Secular Stagnation Information Overload Toxic managers Signs that you might be dismissed soon
Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA IT Outsourcing/Offshoring Skeptic Corporate bullshit Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society Slackerism Humor Etc

Introduction

“No one kind of love will satisfy all our needs on all occasions.”

 Irving Singer

We enter the world prepared to perform roles prescribed by society and manage the impressions of others, with the ultimate evolutionary goal of getting along and getting ahead in the social groups that define who we are. All men raised in the modern USA and other Western societies are socially conditioned to be strong and independent. As adults, they feel encumbered if they must depend on another person, and both make unconscious choices, because of anxiety about their dependency.

That factor tend to destabilize  marriage. Without a woman’s tolerance for or fostering of a partner’s dependence, they often inadvertently are encouraged to seek sex outside of the relationship, often with much younger partners (in a pervert attempt to prove their independence and masculinity) and to make  choices that entail long periods of time apart. Extra-relationship sex, as wee as preoccupation with one’s specialty/vocation, and long periods of time apart from one another diffuse unwanted dependence but, at the same time, undermine both partners’ trust in and love for each other, as well as the stability of the relationship.

There is another factor here: damaged self-esteem can lead to behaviors that try to devalue the partner. Woman are especially sensitive to such behaviors, even if they are unconscious on the part of unemployed male partner. This can increase alienation and dissatisfaction in marriage and lead to divorse.

The crass commoditization of romantic love (along with notable abuse of sex in advertizing), the prevalence of  photoshopped beauty and plastic surgery as well as unrealistic Hollywood standards, also does not help, as any stress typically leads to reevaluation of the relationships and new assessment of the partner.  There are some problems with the concept itself. Nineteenth-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer believed that

“love is an illusion like no other; it will induce a man to sacrifice everything he possesses in the world, in order to obtain this woman, who in reality will satisfy him no more than any other”

But it’s an essential illusion, tricking a man into thinking he's acting in his own interest when, in fact, he's helping preserve the species. American psychologist Robert Sternberg’s “triangular theory of love” posits that it’s simply the combination of three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment. And M. Scott Peck, in his 1978 self-help classic The Road Less Traveled, argues that “falling in love” is not love but a “temporary” and “sex-linked erotic experience,” adding that:

...the myth of romantic love is a dreadful lie. Perhaps it is a necessary lie in that it ensures the survival of the species by its encouragement and seeming validation of the falling-in-love experience that traps us into marriage.

But as a psychiatrist I weep in my heart almost daily for the  ghastly confusion and suffering that this myth fosters. Millions of people waste vast amounts of energy desperately and futilely attempting to make the reality of their lives conform to the unreality of the myth.

Note the quote: "Millions of people waste vast amounts of energy desperately and futilely attempting to make the reality of their lives conform to the unreality of the myth."
 

Millions of people waste vast amounts of energy desperately and futilely attempting to make the reality of their lives conform to the unreality of the myth [of romantic love]

Evolutionary psychologists theorize that love is a survival mechanism which promotes interdependence in mating and parental responsibility,  while eliminating or at least limiting one's exposure to STDs. The romantic love which combines friendship and passion, in which one loves and feels loved by one other person over many years, is often asymmetrical in a sense that one partner loves and the other allow him/her to be loved. When self-esteem has been sufficiently injured, a person does not believe that he is lovable or that he deserves to be happy, he may not be able to make the effort or find the courage to reject "opportunities" in infidelity that might arise due to job search or separation from partner (commuter marriage). This is especially true if the marriage already lasted more then, say, three years (Love - Wikipedia)

Biological models of sex tend to view love as a mammalian drive, much like hunger or thirst.[16] Helen Fisher, a leading expert in the topic of love, divides the experience of love into three partly overlapping stages: lust, attraction, and attachment. Lust is the feeling of sexual desire; romantic attraction determines what partners mates find attractive and pursue, conserving time and energy by choosing; and attachment involves sharing a home, parental duties, mutual defense, and in humans involves feelings of safety and security.[17] Three distinct neural circuitries, including neurotransmitters, and three behavioral patterns, are associated with these three romantic styles.[17]

Lust is the initial passionate sexual desire that promotes mating, and involves the increased release of chemicals such as testosterone and estrogen. These effects rarely last more than a few weeks or months. Attraction is the more individualized and romantic desire for a specific candidate for mating, which develops out of lust as commitment to an individual mate forms.

Recent studies in neuroscience have indicated that as people fall in love, the brain consistently releases a certain set of chemicals, including the neurotransmitter hormones, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, the same compounds released by amphetamine, stimulating the brain's pleasure center and leading to side effects such as increased heart rate, loss of appetite and sleep, and an intense feeling of excitement. Research has indicated that this stage generally lasts from one and a half to three years.[18]

Since the lust and attraction stages are both considered temporary, a third stage is needed to account for long-term relationships. Attachment is the bonding that promotes relationships lasting for many years and even decades. Attachment is generally based on commitments such as marriage and children, or on mutual friendship based on things like shared interests.

It has been linked to higher levels of the chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin to a greater degree than short-term relationships have.[18] Enzo Emanuele and coworkers reported the protein molecule known as the nerve growth factor (NGF) has high levels when people first fall in love, but these return to previous levels after one year.[19]

Striving for personal happiness and self-satisfaction can, and often become, openly selfish. In this sense neoliberalism, with its stress of individualism and selfishness as a virtue,  badly affects long term relationships based on mutual trust, like marriage. During Great Depression men seemed to be more courageous and self-disciplined than they are now, during the Long Recession; they seemed to demonstrate greater loyalty, and were more interested in pursuing and sustaining committed romantic relationships.

Unfettered individualism, however, feeds narcissism and that leads to loneliness and "homo homino lupus est" (
"Man is no man, but a wolf, to a stranger," or more precisely "A man is a wolf rather than a man to another man, when he hasn't yet found out what he's like.")  mentality. One cannot get close to another human without the capacity  to feel empathy with and care for that other person.  High level of individualism are not compatible with the commitment, fidelity, bargaining, and compromises that successful relationships generally seem to require. It pulls the person in quite different direction.

Loss of job as stress factor in marriage

When IT professionals, who are over 50,  found  themselves excluded and marginalized: "without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape." (Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism), typical feelings included emptiness, inadequacy, humiliation, rage, shame, envy, and worthlessness. Additional aspects include  grief over the additional losses that followed the job loss, such as loss of social connectedness, and professional status. For some people, unresolved conflicts vis-a-vis former employers produce strong revengeful feelings.  For others, self-loathing, contempt, self-criticism, and insecurity or fear of trying new things are more prominent. That might affect common activities such as attending children's graduations or weddings, getting through major holidays,  sustaining interest in former leisure activities or hobbies. As the period of unemployment exceeds one year most usually experienced increased and sometimes overwhelming sadness and grief at what had been lost. Paradoxically, reentering workforce now led to comparisons of "there and then" with "here and now". Reactions including rage and feelings of unfairness  were not uncommon. Shame and anger are especially notable.

Long term unemployment is a stress factor that breaks many marriages. It amplifies pre-existing conflicts in marriage. Job loss usually is a very serious blow to the husband's  sense of identity and self-esteem. It is very hard for man, due to their traditional social role of "breadwinners" in marriage (which historically helped to facilitate the removal of children from the workforce). If the partner does not want to cushion this blow to the sense of identity and self-esteem, or, worse, increases it, the marriage comes under additional stress: 

This is especially true for husbands, since many men typically define themselves in terms of their work. That's not to mention that, in some cases, his earnings are the family's main source of income. Even when this isn't true, a man still tends to perceive his own worth in terms of his ability to function as a breadwinner. Add to this that without income, running out of money becomes a very real possibility, since many couples haven't saved enough to get them through a prolonged period of unemployment. All this weighs heavily on both partners, especially the one who feels most responsible to "bring home the bacon."

In families with the breadwinner model, it is common for the non-earner (predominantly women) to have broken career paths, providing unpaid labor to the family or working part-time. This contributes to the blow which unemployment of the spouse brings into the family. It also leads to dramatic increase in financial insecurity or poverty - predominantly effecting women - if the relationship collapses. One TV series that touches this theme and which I recommend to watch is the first season of The Good Wife TV series.

At the same time, since the 1980s, when unemployment rates have risen, divorce rates have dropped (Unemployment And Divorce The Surprising Connection). but that might be connected that many couple are up to the neck with mortgage debt and just postpone difficult decisions, while living separately ("first and second floor couples):

In March 2007, before the bubble burst, 4.6 percent of the labor force was unemployed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Three years later, the unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent. Divorce, on the other hand, decreased by 1.4 percent between 2007 and 2008, according to the report, and then by another 2.8 percent between 2008 and 2009.

... ... ...

“Some research has shown that even though standards of living have increased, their satisfaction hasn’t increased at all,” Amato continued, speculating that divorce decreases when unemployment rates climb because couples are not ready to give up their standard of living by having to pay for one extra household with one less salary. “They wait; they put it off,” he said.

A man’s employment status is a significant factor for divorce. As researchers discovered male unemployment not only increases the chances that his wife will initiate divorce, but also that he will be the one who opts to leave (Male Unemployment Increases Risk of Divorce Psych Central News)

Even men who are relatively happy in their marriages are more likely to leave if they are not employed, the research found. This dramatic influence of unemployment on males, and the increased risk of marital dissolution, suggest an “asymmetric” change in traditional gender roles in marriage, the researchers say.

That men who are not employed, regardless of their marital satisfaction, are more likely to initiate divorce suggests that a marriage in which the man does not work “does not look like what [men] think a marriage is supposed to,” the researchers wrote.

In contrast, women’s employment alone does not encourage divorce initiated by either party. That implies that a woman’s choice to enter the workforce is not a violation of any marriage norms.

Rather, being employed merely provides financial security that enables a woman to leave when all else fails.

“These effects probably emanate from the greater change in women’s than men’s roles,” the researchers wrote. “Women’s employment has increased and is accepted, men’s unemployment is unacceptable to many, and there is a cultural ambivalence and lack of institutional support for men taking on ‘feminized’ roles such as household work and emotional support.

There is also a notion of "attachment security"  This is a measure of how comfortable and stable a person feels in a relationship.  Unemployment decreases the level of "attachment security"

Factors that increase chances of divorce

The bulk of marriages occurred by age 28, with relatively few marriages taking place at age 35 or older. In the USA approximately 42% of marriages that took place between ages 15 and 46 ended in divorce by age 46 ( Marriage and divorce patterns )  Marriages on much younger women are more likely to end in divorce, as well as marriages that began at younger ages. On average, women married at younger ages than men. Most marriages occur around the age 30, with relatively few marriages taking place at age 35 or older. 

College-educated men and women married at older ages (for women the average length of the delay is 5 years) compared with their counterparts who had fewer years of schooling. About equal proportions of men and women who received a college degree married by age 46, 88 percent for men and 90 percent for women. The chance of a marriage ending in divorce was lower for people with more education.

In general, there is an inverse correlation between education and the likelihood of a marriage ending in divorce. College graduates are 10 percentage points less likely to divorce. The educational attainment of women exceeds that of men to a small extent. For those who split at age 46 average duration of marriage is around 10 years.  Around half later remarry.

Women  gain roughly 55% in needs-adjusted family income in marriage, defined as income per adult equivalent; for men, the level of needs-adjusted family income does not change when they make the same transition. In addition, a 2009 study found that marriage lowers female wages by 2 to 4 percent in the year of marriage and lowers the wage growth of men by 2 percentage points and of women by about 4 percentage points.

Just as men with more education were more likely to get married a first time than were men with less education, men with more education were more likely to remarry after their first divorce. For women who have divorced, the propensity to remarry did not increase with education.

Marital dissatisfaction

The marital satisfaction usually declines over the course of marriage. One recent study that followed couples over a 15-year time frame found that the decline in marital satisfaction persisted over the entire time period and that the reduction was substantial (Does Marital Satisfaction Predict Divorce). But it does not mean that it increase chances of divorce without other additional stressors. Also, one dimensional metric such as satisfaction may not capture the complexity of feelings and experiences in a relationship.

Despite the commonsense idea that marital satisfaction should be related to divorce, it is not a particularly robust predictor. Hirshberger and colleagues found that their measure of marital satisfaction immediately before divorce was not predictive of divorce. Likewise, there was no evidence that there were initial differences in “satisfaction” in the early stages in marriage that seemed to lead to divorce.

The only finding linking marital satisfaction to divorce was husband’s dissatisfaction around the time the first child entered school which was on average when most couples had been married eight years. This finding is consistent with other research findings that suggest that husbands have more positive perceptions of marriage and that this buffers the couple’s experiences during difficult moments.

So when they become more distressed, there is increased likelihood of divorce.

One important factor related to unemployment is that long unemployment substantially increases the chances of depression (usgs.gov): 

According to a study of married couples in the U.S., each marital partner’s level of depression predicted their own marital satisfaction and that of their spouse as well. Depressed individuals expressed higher levels of dissatisfaction with their marriage and their spouses were more dissatisfied with the marriage, also. Untreated depression poses a very real threat to a marriage. Statistics show that in marriages where one of the partners suffers from depression, the divorce rate is nine times higher.

As marital dissatisfaction increases, chanced for divorce also increase.  And this in turn leads to heightened negative emotions and different expectations toward the spouse (When Unemployment Hits Home Seven Ways to Help Your Marriage)

“It could be any couple.”

That’s the answer you’ll get if you ask a family counselor to describe the “typical couple” who comes looking for help because of unemployment.

A husband and wife may come because they need assistance reconfiguring the family budget. Because they have to learn to live with less. Because this has affected their sex life. Because they fight over what the children should give up and how to say “‘no” to their sons and daughters. Because a wife resents that she now must be the family’s bread-winner. Because a husband feels he no longer has what it takes to “be a man,” to be the family’s main provider.

They may come because the stress of unemployment has led to depression or illness. To alcohol or drug abuse. To anger or violence. To a combination that’s unique to a couple’s own particular circumstances—to their strengths and weakness both as individuals and as a couple.

They may come because they see that their marriage is crumbling and may not survive. Sadly, some marriages don’t. “Divorce happens. Absolutely,” noted Sarah Griffin, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has a private practice and also works for the Seattle Archdiocese’s Catholic Community Services in Everett, Washington. “Problems build up. Resentment builds up. They thought they were in this for love or at least what they thought love was. But love is more than a feeling. It’s a decision.”

Unemployment can leave an individual—and a couple—feeling overwhelmed, powerless, frightened. In a word, crushed. Yes, the partner looking for work can follow all the recommended steps for landing that next job but in the meantime…the meantime can be a long time. The good news is that both husband and wife can make positive decisions that can ultimately strengthen their marriage. Here are seven ways to help your marriage when a spouse is unemployed.

  1. The unemployed spouse, Griffin said, can choose to accept that things are the way they are. He or she can let go of the misguided but understandable belief that “my life has to be the way things were, or nothing is OK.” Perhaps they need to accept that the new job may not be as good as the one that’s been lost.
     
  2. The employed spouse can remember to let the out-of-work spouse continue to have the same role he or she has always had when it comes to making family decisions. (Griffin pointed out that “those decisions are usually around money.”). He or she can avoid making the out-of-work spouse feel (even more) guilty about the loss of a second income by not fixating on “What are we going to do now!”
     
  3. Both can keep in mind that with loss comes grief. “Losses can be devastating,” Griffin noted, “and being laid off is a primary loss.” A loss like unemployment can bring up old losses nad revive old conflicts.
     
  4. They can keep an eye out for signs or symptoms that they need outside help. A tip-off, said Griffin, is a “situation or emotions that interfere with your daily life. You can’t get out of bed in the morning. You can’t make it through the day. The two of you can’t stop arguing.”. They can seek help from both informal sources (such as wise and trusted friends or family members) and professional ones (including private counselors, counseling services, or programs made available through a parish or diocese).
     
  5. They can notice and appreciate that, in the middle of all this turmoil, there may well be some positives. A formerly two-income family may not be able to afford day care anymore, but now the family doesn’t need day care. A dad may be surprised to discover he really enjoys being home with the kids. (Not that it’s easier than heading out every day to a job!) Now he gets to know them, and they get to know him, in ways that wouldn’t have happened without his unemployment. A couple that has talked about, and seriously considered, simplifying the family’s lifestyle can realize that now there’s both a perfect excuse to do just that – and little option to delay this those decitions.
     

.... ... ...

Stress in marriage

A stressful, high conflict marriage can create more health problems for someone than if they had never married at all. Another suggests that a stressful marriage can beas bad for the heart as a regular smoking habit.” Healthy (and that means polite, tactful) communication is the key here.  It very important to be supportive of one another is such a situation. You need to learn to resolve conflict without doing damage to the relationship, and this this skill quickly. Local library is your friend. Amazon.com too.  Develop the capacity to be genuine and attentive to needs of other. Forget for a time about male/female stereotypes, just ry to help the most.  Listen without judgment. Show your spouse that they’re a priority. They really are, when you are hit with such a problem as long term unemployment.

Programmers and system administrator often ignore others because they are immersed in their work up to the level of obsession with computers. They are literally shunning others, which can be very painful for their spouses. This might be the time to get rid of this obsession ;-) See also Computer-related Variants of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

During period of long  unemployment the main stress on many families is money. Income is halved or declines even more. Among  the most acute is the the problem of keeping up with the mortgage payments, if you own a house. It can be really acute, if you "overbought" a house. Those issues need to be addressed first on a "family council."  Selling of house is not the end of the world, but it can radically improve your financial position.  You can't always keep with Jones. People often overstretch and buy more house then they need. If you are over 50 and have grown up children moving to an apartment can be not a bad choice to consider. Apartment can be closer to work of the working spouse, which would instantly improve his/her standard of living. You this is not such a bad decision after all, if you value your spouse more then a house of course. When one of the spouses is implied he/she can spend more time to get a better deal. That's money.  

Stress Coping Tips for Married Couples

The impact of stress and burnout on a marriage can be devastating. Here are some tips on handling stress. When any of these symptoms start to creep into your marriage, make time together to step back and re-evaluate your life style and commitment to one another. Do this in a positive way so that you are not creating more stress for one another. Point out to each other the areas of your marriage relationship that are running smoothly.

Physical Symptoms:

Emotional Symptoms:

How to Cope with Stress:


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Old News ;-)

[Jun 13, 2016] How long-term unemployment can affect your marriage by Amy Levin-Epstein

March 13, 2013 | CBS News
The financial tolls for an individual suffering through long-term unemployment (LTU) are obvious. LTU has also been linked with various health issues. And in terms of the effect on relationships, extended periods of joblessness can be truly taxing. Recent research from Ohio State shows that it may even be a risk factor for divorce -- particularly if the husband is the one who is unemployed. Here's how to keep your relationship strong while your partner is dealing with this hurdle:

Help normalize unemployment

It's the elephant in the room, and avoiding the topic won't make it go away. "Talk about unemployment as something that happens to anyone and that it is part of the difficulties in life. Share your own experience or those of others who you know," says Robert L. Leahy, PhD, Director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy and author of "Keeping Your Head After Losing Your Job."

Put together a budget

In good times, the greatest stress on a marriage can be money. When income is tight, a budget is essential to preserving the health of your union. "Put time aside to discuss the budget, which, ultimately must start with a good look at priorities and values. Even before saying what items stay or go, the important thing to ask is 'What do we value in our lives? This may include education, recreation, health, etc.,' says Scott Haltzman, M.D. and author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women" and "The Secrets of Happily Married Men."

Praise any progress

While it may seem like failure is anything short of being employed, efforts to become employed should be acknowledged. "Reinforce any move forward. Complement the person for efforts made to advance the job search -- such as informational interviews, job applications, reaching out, etc.," says Leahy.

Maintain your rituals

Try to continue to do what you enjoy doing together as a couple, even if you have to adapt some activities to your new budget. "Instead of going out to the movies, rent them. Instead of going out to dinner, cook a gourmet meal together," suggests Damien Birkel, founder of the consulting firm Professionals in Transition and author of "Bounce Back!: The Professionals in Transition Guide To Recovery & Reemployment."

Focus on their positives

While it's hard to understand what your partner is going through, chances are they're not feeling too great about themselves. "Both members of a marriage must try not to personalize the situation. When they begin to assign blame, it's hard to extricate themselves from the downward spiral," says Haltzman.

Stop talking about it

While you shouldn't ignore the topic of unemployment, take a break from it at regular intervals. "Agree in advance that during the weekend that 'being out of work and reemployment activities will not be discussed,'" says Birkel.

This is part 3 of a three-part series on long-term unemployment. Read part 1, Long-term Unemployment and the Jobs Report, and part 2, Job Interview Help for the Long-term Unemployed.

[May 25, 2016] Oscar Wilde on Love

[Apr 14, 2016] U.S. Women on the Rise as Family Breadwinner By CATHERINE RAMPELL

"... The recession may have played a role in pushing women into primary earning roles, as men are disproportionately employed in industries like construction and manufacturing that bore the brunt of the layoffs during the downturn. Women, though, have benefited from a smaller share of the job gains during the recovery; the public sector, which employs a large number of women, is still laying off workers. ..."
"... ...The economists also found that wives with a better education and stronger earning potential than their husbands are less likely to work. In other words, women are more likely to stay out of the work force if there is a big risk that they will make more than their husbands. ..."
"... ...“Our analysis of the time use data suggests that gender identity considerations may lead a woman who seems threatening to her husband [status] because she earns more than he does to engage in a larger share of home production activities, particularly household chores,” the authors write. ..."
"... As of 2011, there were more married-couple families with children in which the wife was more educated than the husband, according to Pew. In roughly 23 percent of married couples with children, the women had more education; in 17 percent of the couples, the men had higher education. The remaining 61 percent of two-parent families involve spouses with about equal levels of education. ..."
May 29, 2013 | The New York Times

Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data released Wednesday. This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.

The shift reflects evolving family dynamics.

For one, it has become more acceptable and expected for married women to join the work force. It is also more common for single women to raise children on their own. Most of the mothers who are chief breadwinners for their families — nearly two-thirds — are single parents.

The recession may have played a role in pushing women into primary earning roles, as men are disproportionately employed in industries like construction and manufacturing that bore the brunt of the layoffs during the downturn. Women, though, have benefited from a smaller share of the job gains during the recovery; the public sector, which employs a large number of women, is still laying off workers.

Women’s attitudes toward working have also changed. In 2007, before the recession officially began, 20 percent of mothers told Pew that their ideal situation would be to work full time rather than part time or not at all. The share had risen to 32 percent by the end of 2012.

... Of all married couples, 24 percent include a wife who earns more, versus 6 percent in 1960. (The percentages are similar for married couples who have children.)

...The economists also found that wives with a better education and stronger earning potential than their husbands are less likely to work. In other words, women are more likely to stay out of the work force if there is a big risk that they will make more than their husbands.

Perhaps even more tellingly, couples in which the wife earns more report less satisfaction with their marriage and higher rates of divorce. When the wife brings in more money, couples often revert to more stereotypical sex roles; in such cases, wives typically take on a larger share of household work and child care.

...“Our analysis of the time use data suggests that gender identity considerations may lead a woman who seems threatening to her husband [status] because she earns more than he does to engage in a larger share of home production activities, particularly household chores,” the authors write.

Of course, these patterns may change as the job market evolves. College degrees, for example, are becoming increasingly important to both finding and keeping a job. And women are more likely than men to get college degrees.

As of 2011, there were more married-couple families with children in which the wife was more educated than the husband, according to Pew. In roughly 23 percent of married couples with children, the women had more education; in 17 percent of the couples, the men had higher education. The remaining 61 percent of two-parent families involve spouses with about equal levels of education.

Norms are also changing: Newlyweds seem to show more openness to having the wife earn more than her husband than do longer-married couples. In about 30 percent of newly married couples in 2011, the wife earned more, versus just 24 percent of all married couples.

Areas of Marital Dissatisfaction among Long-Term Couples by Duba, Jill D.; Hughey, Aaron W.; Lara, Tracy; Burke, Monica G.

"... Sperry (2010) defined marital satisfaction as how partners meet each other's expectations. Furthermore, researchers have attempted to identify categories or attitudes related to marital satisfaction. Marital satisfaction has been linked to various factors including friendship, companionship, love, commitment, similarity, stability, and togetherness ..."
"... Still other factors include loyalty, trust, moral values, respect, patience, and forgiveness ..."
"... Additionally, communication and coping strategies have been linked to marital satisfaction ..."
"... Couples who engage in the following behaviors during particularly stressful and difficult times tend to move out of those experiences successfully: positive interpretations of marital transgressions, correctly perceiving how one's spouse is feeling about something, and responding empathetically toward each other ..."
"... Furthermore, couples who are able to positively reframe situations, constructively engage with each other (rather than withdraw or engage in violent behaviors), and effectively use optimism during stressful situations tend to be happier and more stable than those who do not use such coping strategies ..."
"... It follows that maintenance behaviors, such as positivity, openness, assurances, and networking, have been found to contribute to the duration of the marriage ..."
"... Various studies have confirmed a strong link between marital satisfaction and marital intimacy ..."
To better understand relational dissatisfaction and duration of long-term married couples, this study surveyed 30 couples married at least 40 years with the Marital Satisfaction Inventory. Findings suggest various areas of dissatisfaction (e.g., affective communication, conflict over child rearing) and relationship among and link to other areas of dissatisfaction (e.g., finances, sex).

**********

Most research on marriage focuses on either the dissolution of the relationship or marital satisfaction among couples recently married or married within the last 20 years (Bachand & Caron, 2001; Rosen-Grandon, Myers, & Hattie, 2004). Little has been conducted on the areas of dissatisfaction and difficulties facing long-standing couples (Henry, Miller, & Giarrusso, 2005). This article summarizes the results of a study that identified relationships among factors and areas of dissatisfaction as reported by couples who have been married 40 years or more. Suggestions for brief interventions as well as further research are provided based on the information gleaned from this study. First, we present a brief discussion related to the definition and factors associated with marital satisfaction and marital duration.

SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH

Cherlin (2005) stated that "marriage is more prevalent in the United States than in nearly all other developed Western nations" (p. 43). Although it appears that Americans like to be married, almost half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce (Pieper Webb et al., 2010). Despite the limited research, several studies have examined what actually keeps couples together and suggested that marital satisfaction, intimacy, and shared religious faith have been linked with marital duration and stability (Bachand & Caron, 2001; Henry et al., 2005; Roizblatt et al., 1999).

Sperry (2010) defined marital satisfaction as how partners meet each other's expectations. Furthermore, researchers have attempted to identify categories or attitudes related to marital satisfaction. Marital satisfaction has been linked to various factors including friendship, companionship, love, commitment, similarity, stability, and togetherness (Bachand & Caron, 2001; Bodenmann & Shantinath, 2004; Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999).

Still other factors include loyalty, trust, moral values, respect, patience, and forgiveness (Bryant, Conger, & Meehan, 2001; Fenell, 1993; Fincham & Beach, 2002; Robinson, 1994; Roizblatt et al., 1999).

Additionally, communication and coping strategies have been linked to marital satisfaction (Bodenmann & Shantinath, 2004; Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999).

Couples who engage in the following behaviors during particularly stressful and difficult times tend to move out of those experiences successfully: positive interpretations of marital transgressions, correctly perceiving how one's spouse is feeling about something, and responding empathetically toward each other (Fields, 1983; Fincham, Paleari, & Regalia, 2002).

Furthermore, couples who are able to positively reframe situations, constructively engage with each other (rather than withdraw or engage in violent behaviors), and effectively use optimism during stressful situations tend to be happier and more stable than those who do not use such coping strategies (Ptacek & Dodge, 1995; Whiting & Crane, 2003).

It follows that maintenance behaviors, such as positivity, openness, assurances, and networking, have been found to contribute to the duration of the marriage (Canary & Stafford, 1992; Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999). Although it remains unclear if marriage duration is a function of marital satisfaction, examining the qualities and behaviors associated with marital satisfaction such as intimacy has served as the focus of research.

Various studies have confirmed a strong link between marital satisfaction and marital intimacy (Greeff & Malherbe, 2001; Kenny & Acitelli, 1987; Ng, Peluso, & Smith, 2010). …

[Apr 14, 2016] Depression Increases Marital Dissatisfaction and Divorce

In relationships where o ne of the partners suffers from depression, the divorce rate is nine times higher
"... A Japanese study found that contented people’s happy experiences most often involved connecting with someone. Happy people have a strong bond with at least two out of three of these essential relationships: a partner, a friend, or a parent. Experts say the best way to improve a relationship is to invest time and energy in it. ..."
"... Do good things for others. Acting kind or helping others makes you feel capable, compassionate and full of purpose. In one recent study, researchers could literally see the benefits of kindness. Subjects were hooked up to a brain-imaging mechanism and asked to click yes or no to charity-giving opportunities. When they donated, the machine registered a boost in blood flow to a part of the brain associated with happiness. ..." (Note, if you unemployed you can donate your time, not money --NNB)
usgs.gov

Symptom Checklist: How Do you know if you’re Depressed?

There are many symptoms related to depression. Some of these include:

NOTE: Professional help should definitely be sought if a person is experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Happiness Improves Health and Lengthens Life

According to a study in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, a review of more than 160 studies of human and animal subjects has found "clear and compelling evidence" that – all things being equal – happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than do their unhappy peers.

"Your subjective well-being – that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed – contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations," said lead study author, Ed Diener, Ph.d.

Tips to increase happiness

The good news? Recent research reports that you can change your thoughts and actions to increase your happiness. To increase your happiness, consider the following:

[Apr 14, 2016] Marriage Dealing With Stress In Your Marriage

couples talk about everything. Steps to take:

2. Approach all financial challenges with teamwork and open communication. Balancing the family budget requires teamwork, especially when introducing children into your marriage, dealing with unusual financial burdens, or losing a job comes your way. People in love support each other through thick and thin; if you don’t work together to address head-on the economic challenges and stresses on your marriage, there is little hope of success. Some steps you can take:

3. Don't blame each other when things get tough. The blame game doesn't work in love and marriage and it is destructive. There is a natural tendency in tough times to blame the one you love for your collective misfortune and stress, but people in love don't blame, castigate or chastise each other in challenging times. Some steps you can take:

Managing Marriage Stress Starts With Self

  1. Developing a healthy, mature relationship with yourself and learning to self-manage your reactions is the No. 1 way we’ve found to manage the stress of a relationship. When we can handle ourselves well, then we are more able to have an effective relationship with another person.
  2. Healthy communication is key. You can learn to resolve conflict without doing damage to the relationship — or each other. Develop the capacity to be genuine and heart-vulnerable. Listen without judgment.
  3. Spend more alone time together. Many couples get so busy that they lead separate lives and understandably feel disconnected. Schedule regular dates and show your spouse they’re a priority.
  4. Learn HeartMath’s Quick Coherence technique to get you into heart-brain coherence quickly when you feel conflict rising.
  5. Read HeartMath’s article on improving relationships and download HeartMath’s Improving Relationships ebooklet for more helpful guidance.

  6. Put away the electronic devices that keep your attention off of your spouse. One that can actually bring you closer together is HeartMath’s emWave®2, our award-winning stress-busting tool. Using this feedback device to get into heart coherence, you and your spouse can transform volatile fights into meaningful discussions that bring insight and resolution to your issues.

[Apr 04, 2016] Surviving Unemployment in Marriage

"... At least for the time being, dad may need to be willing to play "Mr. Mom" while his wife takes on the task of supporting the family in a full-time position. ..."
So what should you do when unemployment hits your household and rattles your marriage? We have several suggestions.
  1. First, if you've been providing for your family but have lost your job, do everything you can to jump right back into the job market. Don't wait and don't delay. Try to find a position you can get enthused about, but if that's not available take anything that will provide your family with a living wage. You can work on longer-term career goals on the side.
  2. Second, though moving away from your support system may sound scary, don't rule out the possibility of relocating. Here again, the principle is to be humble, diligent, and disciplined enough to take whatever you can get until something better presents itself. If you have to move, you can look at it as a fresh start and as an opportunity for the two of you to nurture your couple relationship away from the demands of family and friends.
  3. Third, be flexible about the "breadwinner" role. Sometimes a wife may have greater earning potential than her husband - this is just a fact of the world we live in. If she's taken a part-time job in order to care for her children, that arrangement may need to be re-evaluated. At least for the time being, dad may need to be willing to play "Mr. Mom" while his wife takes on the task of supporting the family in a full-time position.
  4. Fourth, look for ways to cut expenses. Identify habits that can be changed and plans and activities that can be put on hold. Do without restaurant lunches. Avoid buying new clothes for six months. Turn down the heat and wear more sweaters. Shop at thrift stores or yard sales.

====

Part of the Employment Series

[Apr 04, 2016] Coping When Your Spouse is Unemployed Focus on the Family By Roberta Rand Caponey

Unemployment rates high on the list, along with death and divorce, as one of life's top stress-inducing events. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and guidance for those coping with their own unemployment. But what about the rest of the family? Unemployment impacts spouses and children, too.

Joe's wife JoAnn says she feels a combination of sympathy and anger towards her jobless husband.

"I don't know what to say to him when I come home from my own job and he's obviously had another rough day of dead-end leads. The house is a mess and he's lying on the couch in his underwear," she explains. "I know he's had a rough day, but can't he make himself useful while he's waiting for callbacks?"

A Delicate Balance

Unemployment places strain on a marital relationship for obvious reasons. Aside from the financial burden unemployment places on a household, a spouse who continues to work faces his or her own issues in dealing with a displaced, depressed family breadwinner. A wife whose "secondary" job is now a couple's only source of income may suddenly shoulder the burden of paying the bills. Not only that, but she must also play the role of counselor and cheerleader to a traumatized, demoralized husband.

A woman in this situation walks a fine line between compassionate helpmate and tough-talking coach. If you happen to have a "caretaker" personality, you may have to watch a tendency to give your spouse unspoken permission to stay stuck in self-pity and inaction. Push too hard and you risk coming off as cold and uncaring.

Anticipate What's Coming

As soon as possible after a job loss, you and your husband should sit down together and strategize not only the job hunt, but ways you can head off (or at least minimize) conflicts that come with unemployment stress. The days ahead aren't going to be easy. Put your heads together to come up with a "plan of attack" — because that's exactly what you'll need to handle the pressures that can undermine a marriage in these tough circumstances.

Marriage and Family Survival Plan

Your spouse is facing a tough time, but you are, too. Pray to God for the energy, compassion, patience and insight to get you through this challenging season. And remember: like all the seasons that make up a life, this too shall pass!

[Apr 04, 2016] Unemployment And Divorce Does Losing Your Job Lead To Divorce

"... Experts said it took one month for every $10,000 in salary. My wife was getting concerned; being a stay-at-home mom, she didn’t relate to the job search process. And because I was home, why wasn’t I spending more time with her? Tension mounted. Stress culminated. Fear increased. Not for me, but for my wife. ..."
"... At first I thought my situation was uncommon. But as I met more divorced men through my company, I was surprised to learn just how common it was. Being laid off seemed to increase the chances of getting divorced. ..."
"... Further exacerbating the situation is societal norms. He’s the bread winner; he’s supposed to take care of the family. But being unemployed, the spouse’s mind frame begins to create an emotional poker game. ..."
"... Stress builds as the saving account balance dwindles. How will the bills get paid next month? How will we put food on the table? Fear increases at the prospect of major life changes — losing the house or filing for bankruptcy. ..."
"... This isn't only a male phenomenon. My partner left me after being laid off as well - even though I found a job within 6 mths. It is an easy excuse. ..."
12/21/2 | By Divorced Guys LLC for YourTango.com

I was laid off for the second time in November 2005. I’d been laid off once before, so I knew what to do. I sent out resumes, networked, looked online for jobs and leveraged the resources at an outplacement firm. By March, I had a few strong prospects but no job offers.

I knew it was going to be a long haul and felt resigned to that. Experts said it took one month for every $10,000 in salary. My wife was getting concerned; being a stay-at-home mom, she didn’t relate to the job search process. And because I was home, why wasn’t I spending more time with her? Tension mounted. Stress culminated. Fear increased. Not for me, but for my wife.

By June 2006, we had separated, and she filed for divorce. In July, I moved out. I found a job in August (with a nice pay increase), but the inertia of the divorce process and ill feelings towards one another was too great. In May 2007, our divorce was final.

At first I thought my situation was uncommon. But as I met more divorced men through my company, I was surprised to learn just how common it was. Being laid off seemed to increase the chances of getting divorced.

This suspicion was confirmed in a study led by Liana Sayer at Ohio State University examining marital satisfaction and employment status. The examination found that when men are not employed, it heightens the possibility of either the man or woman leaving the marriage. Why? We’ve found that among the men we work with at Divorced Guys, coupled with the results of the above study, there are three main reasons for the layoff-divorce correlation:

  1. Marital dissatisfaction amplifier. If marital dissatisfaction is great, the loss of a job is just another reason to end the relationship. The pesky habit that she has that was a minor annoyance is now blaring in your mind like a voice through a megaphone. The lack of effort he shows to help with housework is like a thousand fingernails scraping against a chalk board. Instead of creating way to stay together, thoughts turn towards dissatisfaction and an exit strategy.
  2. Heightened negative emotion. The uncertainty of sustained living conditions is like a flame accelerant, feeding negative emotions to new heights. Tension mounts as the duration of unemployment increases. Accusations regarding the job search effort increases.

    Stress builds as the saving account balance dwindles. How will the bills get paid next month? How will we put food on the table? Fear increases at the prospect of major life changes — losing the house or filing for bankruptcy.

  3. Broken societal expectations. Further exacerbating the situation is societal norms. He’s the bread winner; he’s supposed to take care of the family. But being unemployed, the spouse’s mind frame begins to create an emotional poker game.

The couple starts to fight and jostle for control like two poker pros raising the bet. “You’re home so why aren’t you spending more time with me?” “Oh yeah, well why aren’t you trying to help out the household and find work? Then one of the two goes all in and says, “I want a divorce”; the other can’t fold or show too much weakness, so the response is, “Fine, sounds like a great idea to me.”

Let’s face it, if two people really loved each other, nothing would come between them. The loss of a job is a relatively minor event. But as marital dissatisfaction increases, ways to create the end of a marriage increase. This leads to heightened negative emotions and broken societal expectations.

As I reflect back on 2006, did my layoff cause my divorce? I don’t think so. We were not happy. The layoff just accelerated the inevitable.

Richelle Taylor

This isn't only a male phenomenon. My partner left me after being laid off as well - even though I found a job within 6 mths. It is an easy excuse.

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