Should I Lend Money to Family or Friends?

Five tips on lending money to family or friends

Lending money to relatives and friends
Lending money to loved ones can be tricky. (J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press / October 23, 2006)

If you have friends or family members who are hurting financially, should you lend them money? Some tips from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling:
Don't lend the money if you can't afford to lose it. "Loaning money to friends or family is a gamble, so never make a loan if it's going to put your own financial situation on the skids," the NFCC said. And don't tap your retirement savings. "Protect this nest egg as though you were the mother hen, and don't let any of your chickens touch it."
Involve your spouse or partner in the decision. "If you and your spouse don't agree on making the loan, it could result in significant stress on your relationship," the NFCC said.
Consider how the person got into financial trouble. "Do they want the loan because of an emergency like loss of job or unexpected medical bills, or because they made poor spending decisions?" If it's the latter, giving them more money won't help unless they address the underlying behavior, the NFCC said.
Be clear on the terms of the loan. Put the amount, interest rate, due date and late fees in writing. Have both parties sign. "Consider having the documents notarized, as this will give you more legal standing if the borrower defaults," the NFCC said. If you intend to pursue legal steps in the case of a default, be sure the borrower understands that upfront.
Consider tax implications. "The IRS frowns on loans that charge little or no interest and may require you to pay a gift tax," the NFCC said. If you're lending more than $10,000, consult a tax professional. If the borrower fails to repay you, keep a record of your efforts to get the money back, so you can take a tax write-off.


Deadbeat Dad Laws

The Dead Beat Dad law is a law that refers to a parent that fails to make their obligatory support payments for their children. Legally the law is called Deadbeat Parent Law. The slang term Dead Beat Dad law has been used by many child support agencies because of the larger number of men who fall into the category of dead beat. The dead beat dad law has federal and state regulations attached to it. While each state has its own legal system for enforcing the law, all states must comply with the federal standards for the law. These federal rulings state that a statute of limitations cannot be applied to this law, even if a state allows this. It also states that back child support cannot be absolved in bankruptcy and that payments must be made regardless of the situation or physical capability of the non-custodial parent.

Deadbeat Parents:

When a parent is ordered by the court to pay child support and continuously fails to do so, he or she is commonly referred to as a "deadbeat parent." This pejorative term is used the actual legislation of some states, and is often misunderstood. Parents who fall behind on child support due to job loss or unforeseen circumstances aren't necessarily "deadbeats." Deadbeat is generally reserved for those who have the means to pay, but do not. Parents who are unable to pay may be eligible for child support modification.

Stereotypes About Deadbeat Parents:

"Deadbeat parents" and "deadbeat dads" are not synonymous. Not all deadbeat parents are fathers, and not all non-custodial fathers are neglectfully behind on child support. In fact, there plenty of moms who have been ordered to pay child support, yet fail to do so, as you can see from jurisdictions that post lists of their most wanted deadbeat parents online.

Consequences for the Parent Who Does Not Pay:

There are several things the state can do when a parent falls behind in child support payments. These steps include:
  • Garnishing his or her pay
  • Refusing to allow the parent to obtain a legal passport
  • Intercepting unemployment compensation
  • Offsetting federal and/or state income tax refunds
  • Enforcing jail time

Taking Action When the Checks Stop Coming:

If you are owed back child support payments, you should contact your local Child Support Enforcement Office to report the lack of payments. Be prepared to provide detailed explanations of the missed payments, as well as any information you may have about the parent's last known location.

Inability to Pay:

It's also important to be aware that many times the parent who is in arrears simply does not have the money to pay the child support payments. In some cases, payments may need to be adjusted to reflect the individual's most current earnings. In other cases, the parent owes so much child support that the money will simply never be paid in full.

The Relationship Between Child Support and Child-Parent Visitations:

Child support is completely separate from visitations. In the eyes of the law, the parent who owes back child support payments still has the right to visit with the child. Therefore, any parent who is in distress over missing child support payments should take the steps outlined above instead of withholding visitations. Refusing to allow your child to visit with your co-parent because he or she has unpaid child support could jeopardize your good standing with the courts.


  • Because the list was created with the intent to prevent parents from evading prosecution, the Punishment Act states that the negligent parent and their child must live in separate states for the crime to get attention from federal agencies. If the parent does business in more than one state or country, an investigation will begin to see if they are using multiple employment locations to avoid reporting some of their income. Once a parent reaches the misdemeanor amounts owed and they are suspected of doing this, they are automatically placed on the list.


  • Disputes and cases about child support at the misdemeanor, state level are handled through the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) in the state of residence when the parent and child live in the same state. Once the Punishment Act is in effect and a person is charged with a felony and added to the Deadbeat List, they are beyond the CSEA`s jurisdiction.

National Deadbeat Dad Law

The National Deadbeat Dad List was created after the passing of two laws. The Child Support Recovery Act (CSRA) of 1992 gave state courts the power to force child support payments out of parents who have racked up misdemeanor-level penalties. The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act of 1988 expanded this power to make parents that try to flee the area to avoid payments and other child-support related offenses susceptible to facing felony charges and being placed on the Deadbeat Dad List.


Parenting Classes in San Diego

All parenting Classes offered through San Diego County Library are sponsored by First Five...and FREE!

A variety of free events for parents and families are held at San Diego County Library branches.

Parenting Classes

Descanso Library
Tuesdays: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30;
Nov. 6, 13, 20 & 27;
Dec. 4
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Language: English
For parents of children ages birth-5. Children's activities provided.

Provided by Motiva Associates and First 5 San Diego.

Parenting Classes/
Platicas de Vida

Borrego Springs Library
Tuesdays: Sept. 11 & 25; Oct. 2
6-8 p.m.
Language: Spanish
Children's activities provided.

Presented by Elizabeth Pastrana.

Parenting Classes/
Platicas de Vida

Spring Valley Library
Tuesdays: Sept. 18 & 25; Oct. 2
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Language: Spanish
Children's activities provided.

Presented by Elizabeth Pastrana.

Parenting Classes/
Platicas de Vida

La Mesa Library
Wednesdays: Sept. 19 & 26; Oct. 3
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Language: Spanish
Children's activities provided.

Presented by Elizabeth Pastrana.

Parenting Class

San Marcos Library
Thursdays: Sept. 20 & 27; Oct. 4 & 11
6-7 p.m.
Language: Spanish
For parents of 3 to 5-year-olds. Children's activities provided.

Provided by L.E.A.P. (Learning Early, Adventures in Parenting), First 5 San Diego and Palomar Health.

Parenting Class

Poway Library
Mondays: Sept. 10, 17 & 24; Oct. 1
2:30-3:30 p.m.
Language: English
For parents of babies 0-1 year old.

Presented in partnership with Palomar Health.

Parenting Class

Poway Library
Mondays: Oct. 8, 15, 22 & 29
2:30-3:30 p.m.
Language: Spanish
For parents of preschoolers.

Presented in partnership with Palomar Health.

Futuros Brillantes para Niños

Vista Library
Wednesdays: Sept. 5, 12, 19 & 26;
October 3, 10 & 17
10-11 a.m.
Language: Spanish
For parents of children ages birth-5.

Provided by Vista Community Clinic, Rady Children's Hospital, First 5 San Diego Partner and American Academy of Pediatrics - California Chapter 3.

Bright Futures for Kids

Encinitas Library
Thursdays: Sept. 6, 13, 20 & 27
6-7:45 p.m.
Language: English/Spanish
Parents of children ages birth to 5. Children's activities provided.

Provided by Jewish Family Service of San Diego in conjunction with Rady Children's Hospital and First 5 San Diego.

Parenting Classes

El Cajon Library
Fridays: Sept. 7 & 14
10-11 a.m.
Language: English
Children's activities provided.

Provided by SDSU and First Five.

Parenting Classes

El Cajon Library
Fridays: Sept. 7 & 14
11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Language: Spanish
Provided by SDSU and First Five.

Understanding Your Child's Behavior

El Cajon Library
Tuesdays: Sept. 4, 11, 18 & 25;
Oct. 2
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Language: English
Children's activities provided.

Provided by SDSU and First Five.

Compassionate Parenting

Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library First Saturdays: Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1 • 10 a.m.
Language: English


23% of children in the U.S. lived in an immigrant family in 2010.

52% of U.S. young adults age 25 - 34 did not have a high school diploma or GED in 2010.


Federal Takeover from BIA at North Dakota Reservation

Child Abuse Concerns Spur Federal Takeover at North Dakota Indian Reservation

The Bureau of Indian Affairs said Monday that it will take control of social services on a North Dakota reservation, amid concerns from federal officials that the tribe’s mismanagement of the agency led to the abuse of children on the reservation.
The reservation, home to the Spirit Lake tribe, a group of roughly 6,600 people living in a remote area of the northern United States, has been under scrutiny since August 2011, when federal officials from the bureau began working with tribal authorities to improve child safety after the local BIA office reported “serious deficiencies” at the agency.
The tribe requested federal intervention last week, the BIA said in a statement (pdf) announcing the move on Monday. Tribal officials told the BIA that the move would be in the “best interest of the Tribe, its children, and its families.”
The Bureau of Indian Affairs, which has oversight of some federal funding given to the reservations nationwide, had established a corrective action plan for the tribe in April to improve its social services program. It sent in what it called a “strike team” of federal officials on Aug. 26 to meet with tribal authorities to discuss the tribe’s progress in following the plan, which included supervisory social workers who assessed how Spirit Lake’s Tribal Social Services (TSS) conducted home visits and child protection referrals, as well as its documentation procedure.
The federal control means that the government will now administer social services on the reservation, until the tribe can show that it is able to reassume control.
The decision, made over the weekend, offers a window into the patchwork of federal, state and tribal jurisdictions that oversee social and legal matters on Native American reservations. Tribes have jurisdiction over family law, for example, but the federal government has primary authority to investigate and prosecute violent crimes, including sex crimes. Jurisdiction can, however, overlap with  tribal authorities, depending on whether the perpetrator and victim are members of a tribe, and whether the crime occurred on or off a reservation.
Rape and child sex abuse cases in Indian country are rarely prosecuted, according to tribal advocates. It’s up to the FBI to determine whether it will pursue a case. The bureau doesn’t publish data on how often it declines a case, though it will be required to do so by law beginning next year. However, a Syracuse University study of data from 2004 to 2007 found that the federal government declined to prosecute 50 percent of murder or manslaughter cases in Indian country, 76.5 percent of adult sex crime cases and 72 percent of child sex crime cases. Federal officials have argued this is because evidence is difficult to come by, and the cases aren’t always clear-cut.
Since 2008, FRONTLINE producer David Sutherland has followed a member of the Spirit Lake nation, Robin Charboneau, as she tried to protect her daughter from abuse. He tells her story in the film Kind-Hearted Womanyou can see a preview above.
But the problem at Spirit Lake extends far beyond one woman’s story. In an April assessment obtained by FRONTLINE, the BIA found “high-risk findings” that “pose an imminent danger to the health, safety and well-being of children either in placement or referred for protective services.” Federal officials, former tribal employees and other members of the Spirit Lake nation have said in interviews that in subsequent months, the system has continued to leave children at risk.
Roger Yankton, the elected tribal chairman at Spirit Lake, didn’t respond to two phone calls and an e-mail seeking a comment on Monday. In a written statement to a local paper earlier this year, he said the tribe had worked “diligently” to prevent child abuse. “Compounding issues of system-wide response are legal and jurisdictional complexities, severe funding and personnel deficiencies and difficulties in securing and retaining the services of qualified and well-trained personnel to name a few,” he wrote.
What Happened at Spirit Lake
The abuse allegations gained national attention in April after a letter from Michael Tilus, who at the time worked as the director of behavioral health at the Spirit Lake Health Center was leaked to media outlets. He wrote what he called a “letter of grave concern” [pdf] to federal, state and local officials about the safety of children on the reservation, which was then leaked online. Tilus argued that despite BIA attention to the problem since August 2011, no major progress had been made.
The allegations centered around TSS, a tiny agency charged with the welfare of children enrolled in the tribe. The office is required to investigate allegations of abuse, remove children from a home where abuse is suspected, and place the children with a safe relative or in a foster home until the child’s first home is deemed safe.
It’s set up and run by the tribe, with the help of state and federal dollars, and reports to the tribal council. The tribe acknowledges the office is understaffed, and former employees say a typical caseload is about 150 cases, compared to the standard 15-20 for a social worker off the reservation.
Proper documentation on child cases was often lacking, according to the BIA’s April assessment obtained by FRONTLINE. According to its review, TSS workers had failed to properly document removing the children from their homes, or document that their new placement homes met minimum safety standards. They also didn’t provide documentation to show that federal background checks had been done on people in the homes, nor had the children’s guardians been properly evaluated.
In his report, Tilus said that TSS had demonstrated “unchecked incompetence” that endangered children on the reservation. Tilus was employed by the federal government through his work at the Spirit Lake Health Center, and his office worked closely with TSS officials.
Among other charges, Tilus said that the TSS often failed to keep proper records of abuse allegations and removed children from homes without legal authority. “TSS staff misrepresented themselves in court, lied about fact-finding, and had serious boundary violations in their professional work,” he said in his letter.
Molly McDonald, an associate juvenile judge hired by the tribe in February 2010, told FRONTLINE that about half of the cases she heard involved allegations of child abuse, in which the children had been removed from their homes.
But when TSS staff members showed up in court for a hearing on where to place the children, the social workers tended to lack proper documentation or didn’t always have all the facts about the case, McDonald said. McDonald said that  TSS workers often had no information on whether the parents had been getting necessary help, such as anger management classes or drug and alcohol treatment.
The workers often couldn’t say whether they had followed up on the case to ensure the child was safe in their new placement, according to McDonald. Sometimes, the workers would recommend placing children in homes without vetting the people who lived there — on occasion, she said, these were homes where registered sex offenders lived or visited.
McDonald said her supervisor, the lead judge, complained to the tribal council on her behalf, but no action was taken. McDonald and the supervisor, who didn’t return phone calls, were both later fired without explanation. “I pushed too hard,” McDonald said. “I was wanting answers, and that rubbed people the wrong way.”
TSS also hired a caseworker who had pled guilty to a felony charge of “abuse or neglect of a child” in a state court several years earlier. This worker remained on staff even after her plea was reported to the TSS director, according to Betty Jo Krenz, a nurse who worked as a caseworker for a year and a half with TSS. Krenz was fired by the tribal council, she says, because she complained about the agency’s procedures.
Tilus, the initial whistleblower, received a formal reprimand from his supervisor at Spirit Lake for not following the proper chain of command with his report. That punishment was subsequently rescinded by the Department of Health and Human Services in August.
In the meantime, others were expressing concerns about what was happening at Spirit Lake. In June, Thomas Sullivan, the regional administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, wrote a letter of his own. Sullivan has oversight of human services programs in six states, including North Dakota, and describes himself in his biography on the D.H.H.S. website as having worked throughout his career to prevent child abuse.
In his letter, sent to his superiors, Sullivan said that he suspected that “many children” at Spirit Lake “have been abused and are at continuing risk of further abuse.” He blamed the tribal authorities and federal and state officials for not taking action.
Sullivan specifically blamed the tribal chairman, Roger Yankton, who was elected in May 2011, alleging that under his leadership, children were removed from safe foster homes off the reservation and returned to their families. “When placed back in these previously abusive homes, the abuse and neglect began again,” Sullivan wrote.
In his letter (pdf), Sullivan charged that the tribal leadership also fired TSS staffers who were not enrolled members of the tribe and hired new staff members who were members of the tribe but weren’t qualified to perform social services.
In August, the tribal council defended its efforts to reform the social services system in an editorial [pdf] published in the local Devil’s Lake Journal, under the name of the “Spirit Lake Tribe.” While the authors declined to address allegations about specific cases due to confidentiality concerns, they noted a series of reforms the tribal council, under Yankton’s leadership, had put in place to address problems with social services.
The tribe also said that Sullivan and Tilus had ignored its efforts at reform.
In recent months, the tribe lost state funding it receives to pay families that provide foster care for children enrolled in the tribe. The state found that 31 cases were “out of compliance,” meaning that they weren’t properly documented, according to Scott Davis, the executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, a state agency that coordinates state and tribal affairs. After the tribe showed Davis and other officials that it was taking steps to improve the process, the funding was reinstated in July, Davis said in an interview last month. “We get pressured that we should be doing more,” he said then. “Legally we can’t. That’s just the way it is.”
On July 18, federal and regional representatives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs met with Spirit Lake tribal leadership to discuss other problems with social services.
In its August editorial, the tribal council said that it was “well aware of the gravity and difficult nature of these problems,” but added that the tribe has struggled with “substantial funding and other resource deficiencies,” and multiple floods in the past 18 years that had complicated efforts to provide social services.
The tribe also noted that it had reorganized Tribal Social Services according to the action plan from the BIA, and conducted a comprehensive review of its procedures, cases and records. It also hired a new TSS director, and a child protection services supervisor who was to begin work last month. For the first time, the tribe hired a judge with a J.D. to sit on its tribal court.
“By these actions, the current tribal government has demonstrated a sincere commitment to confronting these issues faced by the Spirit Lake people and improving services and operations,” the editorial said. “Far from a cover-up, the Tribe has been actively working to reform the Department.”
But in a follow-up report to federal officials on Aug. 14 that was obtained by FRONTLINE, Sullivan said that little had changed. He wrote: “Everything else appears to remain as it was or has become even worse for the children of Spirit Lake.”


Veterans Crisis Support

Signs of Crisis
People experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations—from difficulties in their personal relationships to the loss of a job. For Veterans, these crises can be heightened by their experiences during military service. When emotional issues reach a crisis point, it’s time to call on the Veterans Crisis Line for support.
Sometimes a crisis may involve thoughts of suicide. Learn to recognize these warning signs:
  • Hopelessness, feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling like there is no reason to live
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Increasing alcohol or drug abuse
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
The following signs require immediate attention:
  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
  • Looking for ways to kill yourself
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.
If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is experiencing any of these signs, call the Veterans Crisis Line immediately. Responders are standing by to help.
You can also learn to identify and understand risk factors for suicide.

Identifying the Signs

Many Veterans may not show any signs of intent to harm themselves before doing so, but some actions can be a sign that a Veteran needs help. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that indicate a risk of harming themselves.
Learn more about how you can identify additional signs of suicide risk.

Take a Self-Check Quiz

Crisis, stress, depression, and other issues affect people in different ways. Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping or feel out of control. Maybe your energy level is down or you feel anxious all the time. If these issues and others seem to be leading to a crisis, treatment can help. Take a confidential, anonymous risk assessment to see how you might benefit from VA or community-based services.
Take the Quiz Now


How to Avoid Divorce

Sometimes it takes going through a bad marriage to figure out what makes a good marriage. Five strategies for a successful, happy marriage from divorced people who learned these lessons the hard way. Elizabeth Bernstein has details on Lunch Break. Photo: AFP/GettyImages.
Want great marriage advice? Ask a divorced person.
People who lose the most important relationship of their life tend to spend some time thinking about what went wrong. If they are at all self-reflective, this means they will acknowledge their own mistakes, not just their ex's blunders. And if they want to be lucky in love next time, they'll try to learn from these mistakes.
Research shows that most divorced people identify the same top five regrets—behaviors they believe contributed to their marriage's demise and that they resolve to change next time. "Divorced individuals who step back and say, 'This is what I've done wrong and this is what I will change,' have something powerful to teach others," says Terri Orbuch, a psychologist, research professor at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and author of the new book "Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship." "This is marriage advice learned the hard way," she says
Dr. Orbuch has been conducting a longitudinal study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, collecting data periodically from 373 same-race couples who were between the ages of 25 and 37 and in their first year of marriage in 1986, the year the study began. Over the continuing study's 25 years so far, 46% of the couples divorced—a rate in line with the Census and other national data. Dr. Orbuch followed many of the divorced individuals into new relationships and asked 210 of them what they had learned from their mistakes. (Of these 210, 71% found new partners, including 44% who remarried.) This is their hard-earned advice.
Boost your spouse's mood
Of the divorced people, 15% said they would give their spouse more of what Dr. Orbuch calls "affective affirmation," including compliments, cuddling and kissing, hand-holding, saying "I love you," and emotional support. "By expressing love and caring you build trust," Dr. Orbuch says.
She says there are four components of displays of affection that divorced people said were important: How often the spouse showed love; how often the spouse made them feel good about the kind of person they are; how often the spouse made them feel good about having their own ideas and ways of doing things; and how often the spouse made life interesting or exciting.

More Advice From Those Who Have Been There, Done That

The divorced individuals didn't specifically identify sex as something they would have approached differently, although Dr. Orbuch says it is certainly one aspect of demonstrating love and affection.
Men seem to need nonsexual affirmation even more than women do, Dr. Orbuch says. In her study, when the husband reported that his wife didn't show love and affection, the couple was almost twice as likely to divorce as when the man said he felt cared for and appreciated. The reverse didn't hold true, though. Couples where women felt a lack of affection weren't more likely to divorce.
Do something to demonstrate that your partner is noticed and appreciated every single day, Dr. Orbuch says. It can be as small as saying, "I love you," or "You're a great parent." It can be an action rather than words: Turn on the coffee pot in the morning. Bring in the paper. Warm up the car. Make a favorite dessert. Give a hug.
Talk more about money
[image] Photo Illustrations by Stephen Webster
Money was the No. 1 point of conflict in the majority of marriages, good or bad, that Dr. Orbuch studied. And 49% of divorced people from her study said they fought so much over money with their spouse—whether it was different spending styles, lies about spending, one person making more money and trying to control the other—that they anticipate money will be a problem in their next relationship, too.
There isn't a single financial fix for all couples. Dr. Orbuch says each person needs to examine his or her own approach to money. What did money mean when you were growing up? How do you approach spending and saving now? What are your financial goals?
Partners need to discuss their individual money styles and devise a plan they both can live with. They might decide to pool their money, or keep separate accounts. They might want a joint account for family expenses. In the study, six out of 10 divorced individuals who began a new relationship chose not to combine finances.
"Talk money more often—not just when it's tax time, when you have high debt, when bills come along," Dr. Orbuch says. Set ground rules and expectations and stick to them.
Get over the past
[image] Photo Illustrations by Stephen Webster
To engage in a healthy way with your partner, you need to let go of the past, Dr. Orbuch says.
This includes getting over jealousy of your partner's past relationships, irritation at how your mother-in-law treats you, something from your own childhood that makes it hard for you to trust, a spat you had with your spouse six months ago.
It isn't good advice just for those with broken hearts, she adds.
In Dr. Orbuch's study, divorced individuals who held on to strong emotions for their ex-spouse—whether love or hate—were less healthy than those people who had moved on emotionally.
Having trouble letting go of anger, longing, sadness or grief about the past? Keep a journal. Exercise. Talk to a friend (but not endlessly) about it.
Or try writing to the person who has upset you to explain your feelings: "Dear Mother-in-Law. It's about time you treated me like a full-fledged member of this family and stopped second-guessing my parenting decisions."
Then take the excellent advice Abraham Lincoln is said to have given his secretary of war, who had written an emotional missive to one of his generals.
"Put it in the stove," Lincoln said. "That's what I do when I've written a letter when I am angry."
"This is an exercise for you, to get all the emotions out on paper so you can release them," Dr. Orbuch says.
Blame the relationship
[image] Photo Illustrations by Stephen Webster
The divorced individuals in the study who blamed ex-spouses, or even themselves, had more anxiety, depression and sleep disorders than individuals who blamed the way that they and their partners interacted. Those who held on to anger were less likely to move on, build a strong new relationship and address future problems in a positive, proactive manner.
It's hard not to blame. In the study, 65% of divorced individuals blamed their ex-spouses, with more women blaming an ex-husband (80%) than men blaming an ex-wife (47%). And 16% of men blamed themselves, compared with only 4% of women. Dr. Orbuch says the men may simply accept their ex's view of the breakup. More men than women admitted to an extramarital affair.
How do you blame in a healthy way? Say "we," not "you" or "I." Say, "We are both so tired lately," not "You are so crabby." When you remove blame, it's easier to come up with a solution.
Ask your partner for his or her view of a problem. Say, "Why do you think we aren't getting along?"
"There are multiple ways of seeing a problem," Dr. Orbuch says. "By getting your partner's perspective, and marrying it with your perspective, you get the relationship perspective."
Reveal more about yourself
[image] Photo Illustrations by Stephen Webster
Communication style is the No. 1 thing the study's divorced individuals said they would change in the next relationship (41% said they would communicate differently).
Spouses need to speak in a calm and caring voice. They should learn to argue in a way that produces a solution, not just more anger.
They have to practice "active listening," where they try to hear what the other person is saying, repeating back what they just heard and asking if they understood correctly.
To communicate well, partners need to reveal more about themselves, not just do "maintenance communication."
"It doesn't have to be emotional," Dr. Orbuch says. "But it should be about issues where you learn about what makes each other tick." Such topics help your partner understand you better.
Dr. Orbuch suggests a 10-minute rule: Every day, for 10 minutes, the couple should talk alone about something other than work, the family and children, the household, the relationship. No problems. No scheduling. No logistics.
"You need to tell each other about your lives and see what makes you each tick," Dr. Orbuch says.
Write to Elizabeth Bernstein at
A version of this article appeared July 24, 2012, on page D1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Divorcé's Guide to Marriage.


Nine Girls Ask? Ovarian Cancer Fundraiser in La Jolla, CA // Symptoms and Signs.

For the second year in a row, on a rare triple-digit-hot So Cal day, in a nice air conditioned Marriott ballroom, I was the lucky guest of Herb Henderson. With over 530 tickets sold, it was a lovely event in La Jolla, California, September, 2012.

Herb is a true gentleman - just look at his 3-piece wool suit on this scorching hot day!

Through my friendship with Herb, I have learned much about OC that I had never known and am sad to share, think most other women, regardless of self-awareness or education, also don't know.

 Herb lost his beloved wife, Kitty, of 50 years, to ovarian cancer
Joan Wylie, the Founder of Nine Girls Ask? was misdiagnosed nine times by various physicians, prior to her accurate diagnosis of OC.
Symptoms are often similar to other diseases - which results in the advanced stage once finally accurately diagnosed. The prognosis is often very poor at that advanced stage of disease.
Here are symptoms:
abdominal pressure, bloating, consitpation or diarrhea, weight loss or gain, backaches, vaginal bleeding, indigestion, shortness of breath.

TAKE ACTION if any symptoms persist beyond two weeks. Demand a combination of a pelvic/rectal exam, CA 125 blood test, and a transvaginal sonogram. 

A pap smear is NOT a test for ovarian cancer.

As Joan Wylie says, "Be an active participant in your own health care."

Thank you, Herb. 
Your dedication to the cure of ovarian cancer will save lives.


Breastfeeding and Feminism - The Issue of Our Time

Breastfeeding: The Feminist Issue of Our Time

Why is breastfeeding the feminist issue of our time? Let’s start by defining feminism. According to Merriam Webster, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes;” the first known use of the word feminism was in 1895.
Widespread concern for women’s rights dates to the Enlightenment, the European intellectural movement of the 17th and 18th century; in 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft’s, A Vindication of the Rights of Women was published. In 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention called for full legal equality with men, including full educational opportunity and equal compensation. The Woman Suffrage movement gained momentum after this meeting but women in the US did not gain the right to vote until 1920. This was the first wave of feminism.
The second wave of feminism occurred in the middle of the 20th century when feminism addressed the limited nature of women’s participation in the workplace and the confinement of women to the home. At the end of the 20th century, a third wave of feminism arose to challenge middle-class white feminism and to broaden the goals of feminism to include equal rites for all people regardless of race, creed, economic or educational status, physical appearance or ability, or sexual preference. We are part of this third wave or perhaps the beginning of a fourth.

Breastfeeding in public is an issue of social equality of the sexes and equal rites for all people. When we talk about breastfeeding in public as if the breastfeeding mother and infant must be allowed to breastfeed in public, it begs the question of whose public it is anyway. Doesn’t the public space belong to the breastfeeding mother as much as to everyone else? When we talk about breastfeeding in public as if a woman’s right to breastfeed in public is dependent on the approval of those around her, we are doing the same thing we did to our black citizens when we told them they could only eat at “approved” lunch counters.
When instructor Adrienne Pine breastfed her baby in front of her class on the first day of the semester at American University, coverage of the issue focused on the indignation of a few of her students rather than on the rights of Ms Pine and her child. As long as we treat breastfeeding mothers and infants like second class citizens, breastfeeding will be a feminist issue.

Breastfeeding at work is even more illustrative as a feminist issue. If feeding one’s baby the milk of one’s species is a basic human right, then professional women have more of this human right than their blue-color sisters. A professional woman with an office can negotiate bringing her baby to work or can pump in her office. A blue-collar breastfeeding mom cannot even ask about break time to pump, much less have a place provided to do so, without fear of the reprisal of losing her job.
Only thirteen states protect a woman’s right to pump at work, and only five of these have an enforcement clause. And, while the Affordable Care Act’s provision for workplace pumping is laudable, it has limitations and workers may still face the burden of asking for breaks. Breastfeeding women who work remain second class citizens as long as their rights have to be negotiated.
In recent months, we have seen article after article extolling breastfeeding and attachment parenting as anti-feminist, but the apologists have it wrong. Breastfeeding is the feminist issue of our time because women who breastfeed do not have equal rights, either in public or at work.
I increasingly hear young women say that they are afraid to nurse in public, when it was a non-issue for those of us who breastfed back in the day. In the last ten years, the media has whipped us up into a frenzy about breastfeeding in public, and emboldened the minority of people who give a damn about it. The vast majority of people support and are in favor of breastfeeding and of breastfeeding in public.
The minority license to trump the legitimate rights of the majority, and particularly of breastfeeding mothers and infants, makes breastfeeding a feminist issue. Breastfeeding is the feminist issue of our time, and perhaps the fourth wave of feminism, because it is in the breastfeeding arena today that women must continually justify their legitimate behavior and defend their rights.
Peggy O'MaraPeggy O’Mara founded in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.