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The Grandparent Effect

If you find yourself sandwiched between two generations — your children and your aging parents — do all that you can to nurture their connection.1

Boomerang Effect

High conflict couples may try to keep denigrating comments out of the kids’ earshot, but angry words can travel through walls and doors before the children have fallen off to sleep at night.

Marriage and the Heart

How to understand the connection between hearth health and marital strain? Perhaps repeated exposure to stress hormones like cortisol (which increases blood pressure) and adrenaline (which increases heart rate and blood pressure) gradually undermine heart function.

Treating Couples Unsure About Continuing Their Marriage

One of the most complicated scenarios in couple therapy involves the situation in which one or both partners express uncertainty about trying to preserve their marriage. As described by Doherty (2011), this “mixed-agenda” couple occurs when one partner prefers to save the marriage (“leaning in”), while the other partner wishes to end it (“leaning out”). When couples come to the brink of divorce before they seek professional counseling, their respective agendas for couple therapy can be so misaligned that any progress the therapist tries to make with the couple is thwarted by the depth of their polarization.

Young Adults & Siblings Feel Less Close to Parents Who Denigrate the Other Parent

Parental denigration was reported by adult children to occur in married, divorced, and never married families, with greater frequency in divorced and never married families. Across all types of families, mothers were reported to denigrate significantly more frequently than fathers. This finding, which was especially strong in divorced families, may be due to the fact that children generally spend more time in their mother’s care. Alternatively, it may be that mothers are more likely than fathers to engage in conversations about the other parent or about the family as a whole with children.
Problems in intimate relationships are associated with a host of negative psychological and physical health consequences, such as depression, anxiety, and heart disease (Hawkins & Booth, 2005; Fincham & Beach, 2010; Whisman, 2007). Researchers have identified several types of interpersonal behaviors among couples that predict relationship distress or break-up/divorce; these are referred to as danger signs. Danger signs can take many forms, from aggressive behavior expressed on a first date to a long-term pattern of repeated escalation or withdrawal during discussions and arguments. Early and accurate awareness of danger signs may help individuals make healthy decisions about how to proceed within a new or long-term relationship.

How Spouses Can Better Communicate in Remarriages

Remarriage is quickly becoming a normative event within our society. Because estimates suggest that more than two thirds of women and three quarters of men remarry after divorce (Sweeney, 2010), eventually more people may be a part of a remarriage than a first marriage (Dupuis, 2007). Unfortunately, however, research also suggests that remarriages tend to end more quickly and more often than first marriages. Compared to first marriages, second marriages are about 10% more likely to end in divorce, while the risk of divorce in third marriages is 20% higher (Sweeney, 2010).

Opportunities and Challenges

About half of all American children will experiencetheir parents’ divorce, and 25% will also face divorce in a parent’s second marriage (Copen, Daniels, Vespa,& Mosher, 2012). While divorce is often stressful for families, a great deal of variability exists in children’s adjustment to divorce. One important factor linked with child outcomes after divorce is the quality of the divorced couple’s co-parenting relationship.

Caution: Facebook Ahead

A 2011 review* of 5,000 divorce petitions revealed that 33% of allegations of improper spousal behavior cited postings on Facebook as evidence. This figure is an increase from 20% when a similar review was first conducted in December 2009 by the popular British divorce website,

Adults experiencing the pain of parental divorce

As more couples divorce at mid-life or beyond, adult children of divorce represent a significant and growing segment of the population. While research and intervention efforts have focused on young children who still live in the family home at the time of their parents’ divorce, adult children who experience the pain of their parents’ divorce after leaving the family home also experience difficulty.