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September 11, 2017

Recent family-related news included data indicating that paternal age for new fathers is rising, the role of sleep in managing marital conflict, a personal account of how one parent handled religious lifestyle changes post divorce, a look at the complexity of supporting your spouse while also encouraging them to strive for more, and finally, one therapist’s persective on infidelity.

New Fathers Are Older Than Ever Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times, August 30, 2017 Researchers at Stanford University reviewed data on 168,867,480 live births from 1972 to 2015, making statistical adjustments for missing paternal records. The average age of the father of a newborn in the United States, the investigators found, has risen to 30.9 from 27.4 in 1972.

Relationship Problems? Try Getting More Sleep Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, September 4, 2017 While marital spats were universal among the couples, how they handled them was not. Some couples argued constructively and even with kindness, while others…were hostile and negative…What made the difference? The hostile couples were most likely to be those who weren’t getting much sleep.

Finding God in a Hot Slice of Pizza Tova Mirvis, The New York Times, September 8, 2017 In those early months, with the divorce still fresh, I had been cagey with my children about the changes I was making in my life. When they were home with me, I tried to keep much the same, so that the gap between their father’s world and mine wouldn’t seem too vast.

How to Fix the Person You Love Eli J. Finkel, The New York Times, September 8, 2017 At the heart of the American ideal of marriage lurks a potential conflict. We expect our spouse to make us feel loved and valued, while also expecting him or her to help us discover and actualize our best self — to spur us to become, as Tom Cruise’s titular character in “Jerry Maguire” puts it, “the me I’d always wanted to be.”

Why Happy People Cheat? Esther Perel, The Atlantic, October 2017 Infidelity happens in bad marriages and in good marriages…The freedom to leave or divorce has not made cheating obsolete. So why do people cheat? And why do happy people cheat?” I often say to my patients that if they could bring into their marriage even one-tenth of the boldness, the playfulness, and the verve that they bring to their affair, their home life would feel quite different.

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