Women's Divorce Blog

  • Baby to the Rescue
    Will having a baby save your marriage and bring out the lovable man you fell in love with? Here are some things to think about before you take that leap of faith…
  • Reasons to Repurpose or Sell Your Wedding Ring
    What once symbolized joy and happiness now sits in the bottom of your jewelry box. So what should you do with your ring?
  • Best Way to Sell an Engagement Ring after Divorce
    After a bad marriage and a bad divorce, many women are ready to get rid of this symbol of eternal love. These tips can help turn your bridal bling into money.
  • Allow Yourself to Heal
    Denying the emotional pain of divorce by trying to avoid it or push it away can actually extend the time it takes to heal. Instead, allow yourself time to work through the grieving process.
  • 9 Ways to Make Visitation after Divorce Easier
    Newly divorced parents have a lot of adjustments to make, but ultimately they want to ease the pain for their children. Here are some tips to help take the sting out of visitation.

Life After Divorce?

The hurt and disruption caused by a divorce can make you question whether there can be life after divorce. How can I pick up the pieces and how good will the quality of life be after a divorce?

Grieving after divorce

  • Grieving is a natural process
  • Permit yourself to feel the emotions but do not wallow
  • Remain active even if you do not feel like it
  • Get help if you are stuck

The end of relationships are naturally painful and difficult. We experience a serious loss not just of the other person but also of who we thought we were.

Often in a marriage, you will become a married person in your head, doing things married people do, having a routine and in time you define yourself or at least part of yourself in terms of being married. After the divorce, you have to grieve that lost part of yourself and redefine yourself.

Food coloring and hyperactive kids

The English food standards agency are advising parents of children showing signs of hyperactivity that eliminating certain artificial food colours from their diets might have some beneficial effects on their behaviour.

Revised advice on artificial food coloring 

In England, the Food Standards Agency revised their advice on certain food additives. This follows an evaluation of the research by the independent Committee on Toxicity (COT), carried out by Southampton University, which suggests that consumption of mixes of certain artificial food colours together with the preservative sodium benzoate could be linked to an adverse effect on children’s behaviour.

Effects on hyperactive kids 

The behavior being studied was hyperactivity including ADHD. In summary the study shows that in certain kids at certain ages eating these additives may contribute to hyperactivity. We have to remember though that  hyperactive behaviour in children has many causes including genetic factors, being born prematurely, or environment and upbringing.

if a child shows signs of hyperactivity or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) then eliminating the colours used in the Southampton study from their diet might have some beneficial effects but given the multiple factors contributing to hyperactivity, there is no guarantee.

The Happiest Places to live

Adrian G. White, University of Leicester developed the first published map of world happiness. Find out which country is the happiest.

Where is the happiest place on earth?

In an effort to answer this question, Adrian G. White, University of Leicester developed the first published map of world happiness. He used responses from over 80,000 people about their subjective well-being as well as other sources to put together this map.

The happiest country in the world turns out to be Denmark. See the end of this article for a link to a tongue-in-cheek paper in the British Medical Journal looking at factors that make the Danes the happiest people on earth.

Loneliness and Genes

A fascinating new study in Genome Biology suggests that loneliness may be correlated to changes in gene expression. A lot of literature correlated lack of social contact  (loneliness) with detrimental health effects. This is the first study of its kind that looks at genome wide expression in such a population.

Social Isolation and Health Risks

A variety of theories explaining the correlation between social isolation and health risks have been put forward. One suggests that the social isolation leads to lack of medical care and support. This idea suggests that not having someone who insists you go to the doctor or runs out to get your pills leads to lack of self care and that evolves into health problems. Depression has certainly been linked to lack of self care.

Other Theories 

Another theory suggests that there is a direct effect of isolation on the body itself. A third theory suggests that there is a biological reason for a person being isolated and this may also correlate with susceptibility to disease. A depressed individual, for instance may become socially isolated and the genetic trait that might have led to depression may also affect the body defences to disease.

Depression after your divorce

  • Depression is an illness
  • Genetics can play some role
  • Can be triggered by major life events including divorce
  • Get professional help
  • Depression can be successfully treated

Depression is an illness

Depression is an illness and is not temporarily feeling "blue". Symptoms include 

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Kids of divorce less likely to care for elderly parents

A report in the September issue of Advances in Life Course Research finds that major events in a child's life such as divorce, widowhood and remarriage affects their level of care provided to their parents later in life. Divorce predicted an adult child would be less involved with day-to-day assistance later in life for an aging parent. A divorce may have happened more than 30 years ago, but the changes it caused can have a long-lasting effect for the child into adulthood.

Data was collected between 1987 and 1994, from 2,087 parents aged 50 and older who reported on their 7,019 adult children in the National Survey of Family and Households.

Analysis of this data showed that it was not the divorce itself that directly affects support but often relocation by a parent. Divorce and remarriage can affect the level of support between the parent and child and this disruption can then carry into later behavior. Such events had less of an impact if they occurred earlier in the child's life but this could mean that children of different ages in the same family could be affected differently.

Recovery after an Abusive Relationship

  • Be nice to yourself
  • Make friends
  • Take your time before getting into another relationship
  • Reassure your children that both you and they are safe. Get them help if needed

If you had an abusive relationship in your marriage where the partner refused to address the issue and are now divorced, congratulate yourself. You have taken a big step in the right direction. Unfortunately many people remain trapped in abusive relationships and are made to feel that it is their fault that such abuse is going on.

Steps to Recovery after an Abusive Relationship

Be nice to yourself

You have been through a lot and your self esteem is probably very low. Recognize that you are a worthwhile person and be gentle with yourself. Find some things to do that you might enjoy. Often these are things you were not allowed to do during the marriage.

Family Exercise

Obesity is on the rise in all age groups so tackling obesity as a family may help address bad exercise habits. In the last two decades the number of overweight and obese children has more than doubled, putting them at risk to become overweight or obese adults with serious problems such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and even psychological and social problems.

Exercising as a family and asking family walks or bike rides are just a few simple ways to get everyone physically involved and interacting. Plus, it helps parents to teach their kids how to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Limiting sedentary activities for kids such as TV, video games and computer time and encouraging them to play outside is one of the easiest ways to get kids exercising.

Keys to motivating family exercise:

  • Find out what your children like to do and make this a focus of your family activities.
  • Keep the word “exercise” out of your vocabulary. Instead, promote “play time” and encourage activities that are fun and physical such as hop-scotch, jumping rope, tag or hide-and-go-seek.
  • Use family walks or bike rides as a time to do more than just exercise together.
  • Try planning social outings to involve physical activity such as taking the family out dancing or roller-skating.
  • Make it a rule to leave the television off one day a week. This encourages physical activity and outdoor play.
  • Don't make exercise a chore or work; keep it light and enjoyable.
  • Vary the activities, and let your children take turns choosing what the family will do.
  • Trips to the park, zoo or miniature golf course can be fun and involve a lot of walking.
  • Try to be available as much as possible when your children play games such as tag, capture the flag, or kickball.

The kids will probably resist at first but by making it part of the family routine and involving the older kids in planning activities, family exercise will become a normal part of life. Whether you are a single parent, a step-family or a blended family, family exercise should be at the core of your family life.

 

Under Stress after Divorce

  • Stress is a normal part of life
  • Chronic stress can cause health problems
  • Accept things you cannot control; concentrate on those you can
  • Use exercise, yoga or meditation to reduce stress

Stress responses are normal parts of our life. Stress can trigger our "fight or flight response".

Fight or Flight

The body has adapted to respond to a perceived threat to life by choosing to fight back or run away. Specific changes in the body occur to enable that to happen including the release of hormones.

Stress can have the following effects

  • It can make you feel angry, afraid, excited or helpless
  • It can make it hard to sleep
  • It can give you aches in your head, neck, jaw and back
  • It can lead to habits like smoking, drinking, overeating or drug abuse
  • You may not even feel it at all, even though your body suffers from it

Acute Stress

When we find ourselves in an emergency situation for example, this is acute stress. Acute stress is a short term event and is a natural response to the situation we find ourselves in. Some stress can be beneficial, keeping us motivated and helping us act in an emergency.

Untying the Tubes

Reversal of Tubal Ligation after Divorce

If you have had your tubes tied (tubal ligation) and are now divorced or remarried, you may have changed your mind and want to have more kids.

Reversal of female sterilization can be quite successful and it is estimated that 10-20% of women regret tubal ligation and wish to have it reversed.

The Biology of Pregnancy

For a pregnancy to occur naturally, sperm must enter the fallopian tube through the uterus by way of the vagina and cervix (opening to the uterus or womb). The oocyte (egg) is released from the ovary and is picked up from the other end of the tube (ovarian or fimbrial end). When the fallopian tubes are blocked, sperm and eggs are kept apart and fertilization is prevented.

The fallopian tube is a narrow muscular tube arising from the upper corners of the uterus and ending just next to the ovary. The inner tubal lining is rich in cilia, microscopic hair-like projections that beat in waves that move a fertilized egg (embryo) towards the uterus. The fallopian tube is normally about 10-12 cm (4–5 inches) long.

Factors in Successful Reversal

In general, at least 5 cm or greater in tubal length is needed for the best chance at success after tubal reversal. There are a variety of ways that the original ligation could be done. Reversal has an even better chance of success if the tubal ligation was performed with clips or rings. The surgery is less successful if the tubes were cut (burned) using an electrocautery instrument or if other pelvic disease such as scaring or endometriosis is present.

Tubal reversal works best for women in good health, in their late thirties or younger, who have a fertile partner. The results are best from this surgery if it has been 10 years or less since the original tubal surgery, and only small sections of the tubes have been damaged by the previous surgery.

Cooking for yourself

  • Learn basic cooking skills
  • If busy, try a crock-pot or prepare lots of food at the weekend and freeze
  • Use recipes you are very familiar with for entertaining

Cooking may not have been a skill you learned growing up but it can be healthy, low cost and even enjoyable activity.

Basic cooking

Basic cooking is simple to do and worth learning.

  • Teach yourself from a basic cookbook
  • Take a cooking class
  • Have a friend or relative teach you

 

Cancer and Risk of Divorce

Studies looking at cancer and the risk of divorce have shown that there is no increased risk and in fact there is a slightly reduced risk for a few years after diagnosis. A new study by a Norwegian group confirms this finding with two important exceptions: cervical or testicular cancer. Women who developed cervical cancer were 40 percent more likely than normal to get divorced and testicular cancer survivors were 20 percent more likely to get divorced.

How cancer might influence divorce

Norwegian researchers carried out one of the largest and best controlled study on how cancer might influence divorce. They presented their finding at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) in Barcelona, Spain today 27 Sept 2007.

Men divorcing breast cancer survivors again shown to be a myth

Looking at over 215,000 cancer survivors, the researchers found that the myth that men are more likely to abandon their wives after breast cancer was untrue, confirming previous studys' findings. In fact breast cancer survivors had an 8% decrease in the rate of divorces. This decrease in divorce rate was true for many other cancers also.

Security for divorced singles

  • Look for well lit areas with plenty of people
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car
  • Keep your cell phone charged
  • Check ID before letting any workmen into your home

You may not have lived alone or may be nervous about living alone again.
Here are some simple tips

Car Security

  • Park in an area where there are plenty of people and it is well lit.
  • Carry a small light on your key ring and check the backseat of the car before you get in
  • Lock the doors and keep the windows rolled up
  • Keep valuables, laptops, bags out of sight. Put them out of sight when you get in the car not when you have arrived at your destination and someone can see where you store them.
  • Make sure your spare tire is inflated and you know how to change a tire if you need to
  • You are most vulnerable when carrying a lot of items. Try to consolidate things into one bag. Be especially aware on heavy shopping days around holidays.
  • Jumper cables or a starter battery pack. Make sure you know how to use jumper cables
  • First aid kit
  • Blanket and bottled water in case you have to spend time in your car when its disabled. The water can also be used for the radiator should that become a problem.
  • A tire inflator that can run off the car battery. This can help you if you have let the spare tire go soft or flat. If you have a slow leak from the tire, it might also help get you to aid.
  • Flares or reflective signs especially important if your battery is dead. Lay them out at intervals at a distance behind the car. Mark your car especially at night so other cars have time to avoid you. Leave your hazard warning lights on.
  • Cell phone and charger. Make sure your cell phone is charged before you leave the house. If your car battery dies, you may not be able to charge a low or dead cell phone.
  • Do not open a hot radiator if you suspect the water is low. A severe steam burn can result.

Marital problems increase risk of heart disease

A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine links marital problems with an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Previous research has shown that being single creates more of a risk for bad health than being married. For men especially being married was associated with better health.

This new study from the University College London examined over 9000 civil servants in England and assessed their relationships between 1985 and 1990. They followed up about 12 years later and found an increased risk of developing heart disease among those with marital troubles.

Those that had negative emotions or were depressed explained some of the effect but even after correcting for this, there was still a link between bad relationships and increased risk of coronary disease.

It seems that being married leads to better health but the quality of those relationships is also important. The effect was fairly weak and so further studies need to be done to understand what underlies this effect. Previous studies have associated high stress and high levels of stress hormones with poorer health. Future studies should examine stress as a possible underlying cause.

Good diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle are strongly protective for risk of heart disease and are the first line of defence. This results of this study are not a signal to end a relationship or engage in expensive therapy to reduce the risk of coronary disease.

Closure after divorce

The Phoenix Ritual

This free PDF file is an exercise designed to help you gain some closure with your divorce.

The definition of a phoenix:

a legendary bird which according to one account lived 500 years, burned itself to ashes on a pyre, and rose alive from the ashes to live another period

In many ways this is what divorce is about. The often painful end of part of our life and the beginning of another. Like the phoenix, we get burnt by divorce but we can get up out of the ashes and live a full and productive life again.

This free PDF file is a series of exercises designed to help you through that process by providing closure and a new beginning. 

New Year Revolutions

So the new year is here and many people have their new year resolutions in action. Many will not make it to the end of January and most will not make it past the three month mark. Similarly after a divorce, we often say we want to do things completely differently and we resolve not to do this or that. Like the new year resolutions, many do not survive and we fall back into our own routines and habits. What we need is a revolution, not a resolution.

The divorce revolution

In a way, a divorce precipitates a revolution. It shakes us to our core; it challenges our beliefs and assumptions. If we can see past the pain and chaos, there is a mostly clean slate to work with. Many new opportunities appear. If you haven't already taken advantage of them, then how about creating your own revolution?

For us to succeed in changing set beliefs and behaviors, we have to shake ourselves up. After a divorce, we often move our home and the new environment can stimulate us to take on new attitudes and behaviors.

For example, always had a messy house? Just never found the time and energy no matter what you promised yourself? Moving house forces you to clean up, pack up and hopefully discard the junk that's lying around. You enter your new home with a clean slate. Yes, there are boxes to be unpacked and decorating to be done but you are creating your own place, a new place and one you can be proud of.

Choosing a family practice doctor

Having a sick child is always unsettling for any parent. Having a competent, available and pleasant family practice doctor makes life so much easier. How can you choose a good quality pediatrician for your child?

Getting references

Personal references

Ask people you know and trust for a referral. Parents with slightly older kids than yours will have already have plenty of experience with family practice doctors and can tell you why they chose the doctor they did.

Reference from your Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

During your pregnancy, your Ob/Gyn has been taking care of you and you have developed a good relationship. Ask for a reference for a pediatrician. Ob/Gyns will get a lot of feedback from their patients regarding pediatricians and so should have a good idea whom to refer you to.

Laugh, smile or howl?

Smiling can both reflect and influence our mood. It can also help deal with the difficult and complex world we live in and reflect a good adjustment to the problems we face including the challenges of rebuilding our lives after divorce. Laughter plays an major role in our society and helps build social support.

Smiling can affect your mood

Studies have shown that we can impact our mood by deliberately smiling. We know smiling occurs spontaneously when we feel happy but it appear that the reverse can be true. This tight connection between smiling and mood can be used to our advantage by battling the negative emotions we can feel after a difficult event such as divorce. Duchenne smiling is the most effective (see below - types of smiles) in affecting our mood.

Smiling is probably the last thing most people feel like doing after a divorce. Yet forcing that smile may be exactly what you need. Smiling and laughing, but not howling have been shown to have a positive impact on mood. Lightening your mood can make you view your difficulties and your situation in a different light and give you the energy to cope and even thrive. Laughing is even more powerful than smiling in lifting mood in most studies.

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