Recent family related news included a wide variety of topics including the “right” not to have children, the benefits of having a prenup and an argument that a marriage may have “nine lives.” Also in the news is an ode to friends when divorcing, and a look at bias against traumatized women in the Family Court and how to best counteract it.
Frimet Goldberger, The New York Times, April 9, 2023
John Gottman, in his book: “The Marriage Clinic: A Scientifically Based Marital Therapy,” set modest expectations for what qualifies as a fulfilling marriage. “I am likely to think a marriage is good enough if the two spouses choose to have coffee and pastries together on a Saturday afternoon and really enjoy the conversation, even if they don’t heal one another’s childhood wounds or don’t always have wall-socket, mind-blowing, skyrocket sex,” he writes. Esther Perel, a psychotherapist, focuses on the concept of renewal, an idea central to Jewish faith and practice. The idea is that you can have multiple marriages with the same spouse.
Caitlin Kelly, The New York Times, April 21, 2023
A prenuptial agreement is basically a legally binding agreement by both parties to fully disclose their assets and their debts. It can also delineate a wide range of issues, including who will pay a mortgage, who will create a separate fund to compensate a stay-at-home partner or parent and where the signatories will live in case of divorce. A prenuptial agreement can save money, time and emotional pain. Knowing in advance what each person is entitled to mitigates the costly and time-consuming need to argue over everything later.
Marielle Segarra, Clare Marie Schneider, Becky Harlan, Ana Galvañ, NPR, April 28, 2023
A growing share of childless adults in the U.S. do not expect to ever have children, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Some people gave specific reasons, like medical conditions or finances, but a lot of people said they just don’t want to be a parent. Angela L. Harris, who has a doctorate degree in clinical psychology and is the founder of #NoBibsBurpsBottles, an online community for Black women who are child-free, shares: “If two individuals decide that one wants children and the other one doesn’t, there shouldn’t be any manipulation or trying to change someone’s mind. It shouldn’t be, ‘If you love me, you’ll consider this.’ It needs to be a mutual respect of each person’s choice.”
Patricia Fersch, Forbes, May 1, 2023
The author instructs that it must become accepted that victims of domestic violence have suffered a trauma and/or are suffering from PTSD and it must become acceptable that their stories will be fragmented, that their affect may be inappropriate because they are shielding themselves from being re-traumatized. They may forget parts of their story. If they are poor or self-represented, they may not be dressed appropriately to testify in court. They will be imperfect narrators of their own life, but it is this very imperfection that makes them credible.
Maggie Smith, The New York Times, May 5, 2023 The author writes that we don’t talk enough about how terrifying divorce can be. For years, she felt like she was skydiving in tandem with someone; they were “in it together.” Suddenly, she was in the clear blue sky, untethered, free falling alone. Her friends were a parachute. Because, she shares, when you lose “your person,” it’s critical to have “your people.”