Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Later Life Divorce: Why Boomers Are Calling It Quits

posted by Linda Mintle

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled, The Gray Divorce” brought attention to a growing trend–divorce after 50. The article reported that for people 50 or older, the divorce rate has doubled in he past two decades. At a time when the overall divorce rate is actually declining, what is up with baby boomers?

While the answer is complex, the article notes that boomers are the first generation to focus on self-fulfillment. When the kids are gone, a spouse may look at her current situation and decide she doesn’t want what she currently has for the next 20 plus years. The AARP found that women are the ones initiating more of these later life divorces. Economically, women have more options these days and are less reluctant to leave an unfulfilled relationship.

Other explanations include:

1) People are living longer so divorce becomes an option. Instead of dying, people are divorcing.

2) Happiness needs override commitment.The Me focus of this generation has many boomers feeling their mortality and wanting to get more out of their lives. Divorce becomes an option to that need fulfillment.

3) Personal needs are defining marriage. In the past, role fulfillment was more of a definition. Being a good mother/father was valued over getting individual needs met.

4) Those divorcing (53%) have divorced before and we know from numerous studies that second marriages are high on the risk scale for divorce.

Marriage is being impacted by a change in cultural thinking. When happiness, not covenant is the goal, couples find ways to end marriages in order to pursue individual happiness. But does one preclude the other? I would argue that even in unhappy marriages, the skills to make the marriage better are available and can be applied to trouble marriages. However, people must choose to work on those marriages, not get out. If they are willing to turn towards each other, face their issues together and work with a therapist, happiness can be achieved.

Do we know how to help couples who are unhappy in later life marriages? Yes, but you must choose to work on a relationship instead of ending it.

 

To guard against divorce, get Dr. Mintle’s book, I Married You, Not Your Family. Click the link on the right, More Links by Dr. Mintle

 

Problems? Take the God Challenge

posted by Linda Mintle

I was very challenged today by my devotional reading in Jesus Calling. The entry focused on how we approach problems when they arise. Our human tendency is to get upset. panic or worry, and become distrusting of God. We question why problems have to happen or even become angry when they do. The last thing most of us do is thank God for the difficulty and trust Him to work good out of it. Yet, that is exactly what the Word of God says.

Remember the Andre Crouch song, Through It All?

“I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I’d never had a problem,
I wouldn’t know God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God could do.”

Do we thank God for the valleys? Do we trust that God uses EVERYTHING in our lives to bring about His good? Do we see problems as transforming possibilities?

Do we take a step and actually befriend our problems as Sarah Young (Jesus Calling) suggests. Name the problem, thank God for it and then trust God to bring good from it. She doesn’t say God will remove all our problems, but does believe that God uses all our problems to do work in us. This position is grounded in Romans 8:28–We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (AMP).

So today, if you face a relationship problem, are you befriending the problem? Are you giving it to God and trusting Him to work it for your good? Are you trusting His wisdom? Let’s take the challenge and see what God does.

 

How To Handle a Bully

posted by Linda Mintle

Now that we are well into the school year, kids everywhere are faced with the challenge of how to deal with bullies.

Here’s a typical encounter: Your 5th grade son is playing soccer on the playground at recess. A 6th grade bully comes over and takes his ball, throws it at him and laughs as he walks away. What should your son do?

a) Throw the ball back at him

b) Walk away and say nothing

c) Report the boy to school authorities

d) Go after the kid and try to talk to him

e) Initiate “The Swarm”

Dads tend to choose answer A because they want their sons to fight back. Moms like answer D because we think problems can be solved by talking them out. Answer B is good if you can get your son to do it, but it does nothing to correct the bully behavior.  Answer C works if adults are involved and will actually do something. Reporting a bully is sometimes unpopular because kids fear revenge and being labeled a tattletale. So that leaves us with answer E. The Swarm is an effective technique. Your son gets a number of his friends to literally swarm the bully and tell the bully to stop. There is power in numbers and the bully will have to contend with the entire group, not just your son.

You can also help your children prepare for a bully attack this way. Ask them to write down bully situations on 3 X 5 cards. They will come up with examples in no time. Then role-play the situations and practice different ways to handle a specific problem. Talk about why some solutions are good choices and others not so good. Role-playing exercises like this one helps children think what they might do before they encounter the problem. Then when a bully situation presents, they have a plan and can act more confidently.

 

15 Tips To Stop Overeating

posted by Linda Mintle

A little help to break the overeating habit:

  • Start a journal. Write down where you were, what you were feeling and how you responded every time you overeat. You may find a pattern to your overeating. If a place sets you off, you might be able to avoid it. If a feeling sets you off, you will have to learn a different way to manage it. Food and emotions are usually related.

 

  • Eat at regular times. The biggest mistake is skipping meals and having no regular time to eat. When you skip meals, you set yourself up to overeat. When you eat on the run, you tend to grab fast food or food low in nutrition but high in empty calories.

 

  • Slow down, pause between bites. The slower you eat, the more time your body has to catch up and tell you that you are full. Pause and enjoy each bite rather than cramming the food down.

 

  • Don’t eat standing up. Make it a habit to eat when you are sitting at the table and not everywhere else you may roam. Learn to associate food with sitting down for a meal.

 

  • Don’t eat while cooking. Tasting food can add a lot of extra calories.

 

  • Stay out of the kitchen except for at mealtimes. How many times have you found yourself unconsciously wandering into the kitchen and opening cupboards and the refrigerator? The sight and smell of food cues you to eat it.

 

  • Don’t go places hungry. You will tend to overeat if you do. Instead have a piece of fruit and drink water before you go.

 

  • Drink extra water

 

  • Have healthy snacks on hand so you won’t be tempted to dive into a high calorie one.

 

  • Don’t cook/bake things that will be difficult to resist. If you tend to eat the entire batch of hot gooey brownies, don’t bake them.

 

  • Limit your exposure to food cues – don’t shop often, watch food TV commercials, etc.

 

  •  Replace food with some other relaxing or rewarding activity. For example, take a walk, listen to soothing music, etc.

 

  • Pray and ask for self-control. You need the fruit of the Spirit operating in your life – Love is the fruit that produces self-control.

 

  •  Lose the word dieting from your vocabulary. There are no short cuts. Resign yourself to eating healthy for a lifetime.

 

  • Learn to love yourself regardless of your weight.

 

For more help to break the overeating habit, order a copy of Dr. Linda Mintle’s book, Press Pause Before You Eat and read How to Stop Mindless Eating

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