Divorce is not good for you

Yesterday MSNBC ran not one but two articles about the impact of divorce on your health. This one, by Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert examines a study by University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior on the impact of divorce on your health.

Bottom line? Divorce is bad for your health. People whose marriages are interrupted by divorce or death are 20 percent more likely to suffer chronic life-threatening diseases such as heart problems, diabetes and cancer. It postulates that people do better when they repair their marriages. Suddenly the efforts and willingness of Jenny Sanford to pull things back together look like a smart choice for her as well as her family.

Among other things, in the trauma of death and divorce, we let our attention wander from our health. Those wanderings make a difference that even getting back on track doesn’t always impact.

This argues, and powerfully, for yet another reason to make your marriage work. In some circles there are questions being asked as to whether there isn’t a benefit to states health efforts to include marriage classes as health prevention.

Tip: Wedding vows. Finding the right wedding vows for the two of you and keeping them is good for you in so many ways. You can get my free wedding vow templates in the upper right hand corner of this (and every) page of this site. You can get the Wedding Vow Book and learn how to do this yourself right here.

Physical Intimacy: Getting ready for your Wedding and Marriage

OK. You’re about to share your life with your beloved. Yes many of you are already doing that, but this is one step deeper. Here are somethings that you can do to make yourself a better mate:

Get your check ups: make sure every part of you is healthy as you embark on your marriage. All those things you’ve been putting off? Do them now.

Get in shape: marriage is a marathon. Get fit so you’re ready for it. And oh by the way, it makes you more attractive and gives you better stamina in bed. That’s worth it.

Get organized about your stuff: you’re sharing space, get rid of the stuff you don’t need.

Get clear what your needs are: how much privacy do you need? How much alone time vs. how much togetherness. Can’t talk about it if you don’t know what you need.

Get enough sleep: Figure out what you need and get it. And make sure that there are at some occasions so that you and your SweetieBeloved go to bed at the same time so you can talk and you can snuggle and yes, have sex!

Tip: Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give your beloved.

Physical Intimacy: Get Ready for Your Wedding & Your Marriage

Why not start out with what always looks like the hard one? But I’m not going to start where you thought! Sex, I believe is about to get it’s own category. Yep, rather than 6, I’m moving to 7! and I’m still arranging things in my head about sex (and you know sex starts in the head!) so, you’re just going to have to wait for sex! Damn! isn’t that always the way!

But physical intimacy in marriage is more than just sex. As you start the wedding planning marathon (there’s some training!) and get ready for your wonderful marriage here are some things to be looking at.

Your Physical Health. Go to the docs. Get your check-ups. Enter marriage dealing with or having dealt with any physical ailments you might have. This includes Eyes, Teeth and Body.

Your Physical Fitness. You’re pledging your life to your beloved. Make sure you have one! Start getting in shape. You don’t need to lose 5,000 pounds, you need to be strong. (ok, some of us may need to lose weight, but not for the wedding, but because we want to be healthy. binge dieting to fit in wedding dresses? not healthy!)

Your Space needs: How do you share space? How does your partner. Work this out! It’s helpful to figure out how to share closets, bathrooms and work space. Who needs things picked up and who doesn’t and who’s going to do it?

Your Privacy needs. What needs do you have for being alone and what needs do you have for being with your beloved alone and then for being in a crowd?

Your Sleep needs. How much sleep do you need? How about your partner? How do you sleep together? How big a bed (or yes, even beds) do you need?

Tip: Take a look at who you are and what your physical rhythms are and figure out how to mesh them with your partners. Physical compatibility is a huge thing. You’re going to be sharing space with your beloved for a very long time!

My Mom:

Well, today, I’m taking my mom to the dentist. She’s had a major piece of asphalt fall out of a tooth. Normally, she’s incredibly compliant with doctors. She’s always liked this dentist, but who knows how things will play out today? She doesn’t always know the difference between ‘open your mouth’ and ‘close your mouth!’ One of the behaviors that dementia has given her, and therefore her worldm, to deal with, is teeth grinding. Such force of will. The nurses are wondering if Betty would deal with a tooth guard. I’m not thinking so. But the squeaking of tooth grinding against tooth is pretty awful, and the drugs don’t seem to lesson the behavior, although they’ve lessened whatever terror was originally associated with it.

It’s quite a saga this living with dementia. And yet, there’s so much pleasure. Sunday at Lunch, Mom was stricken with the giggles. The slightest little misstep would lead to hilarity. We both had tears running down our cheeks by the end of the meal.

If you show up only intermittently, you often only get the teeth-grinding, teeth-ruining worry. And that’s hard to deal with, because, sometimes, you don’t know what to DO. But if you are there more frequently, you get the giggles. You get to take an occasional hot fudge sundae with peanut butter ice cream. You can make up for the fact that you didn’t get in to help her with a meal, and therefore she didn’t eat so much. And you know at the end of life, they figure calories are calories. One of my favorite comments from nurses in the dining room is “well, will you at least eat your ice cream?

Take a friend now and again, because maybe your parent will reconnect to his or her social graces… or just have a good time.

It’s important to remember that your mom or dad wasn’t always this person. Daily visits help that. Because you don’t know when they’ll have complete access to themselves… But keep things around that keep you remembering.

The other day my web guru checked in. He had resurrected something that hadn’t been on my site since we made the changes: mom’s art gallery. It’s still not public, but it’s there and will be public. (let me know if you can’t wait to see the rest of this.) My mom is still a real person, funny and sweet. But here’s her picture of who she was before the Alzheimer’s closed off important pieces of her brain and macular degeneration stole her vision.

Self Portrait<br /> - 1976 -

go have a great day with your aging parent!