Another Reason to Love Marriage: Longevity

New York, NY…………… If you feel like fixing the car one more time or taking out another load of laundry might kill you – think again. Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D, comments on a study revealing that getting married could extend your life for up to 17 years: “In this case, a longer lifespan likely has to do with human touch and interaction. For example, babies can thrive without sight, without smell, even without hearing. But they cannot thrive without being touched.”

 The study published in the American Journal Of Epidemiology shows that single men have a 32 percent higher chance of death across their lifetimes than their married counter parts. This means that they could die eight to 17 years prior to the average married man. Statistics for women are better: they face a life expectancy shortened by about seven to 15 years on average.

The lack of continued attention and affection over a lifetime can manifest in what Dr. Bonnie calls a Bio-chemical Craving for Connection, due to dealing with things like stress, separation and loss. People who experience this craving are more likely to engage in risky behaviors as they seek out a “high” that will mitigate the pain they’ve experienced.

Conversely, people in relationships typically receive a positive type of “high” without even knowing it. “Oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” provides warmth and security,” explains Dr. Bonnie. Love reduces stress and makes a person happy.” Touch is important – we see that much from the start of our lives: infants deprived of affection will literally perish from a syndrome called “failure to thrive”. “Babies can thrive without sight, without smell, even without hearing. But they cannot thrive without being touched,” says Dr. Bonnie Weil. This is something that doesn’t change much over our lifetimes – as adults we still thrive most in affectionate environments.

 Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Her book, Make Up Don’t Break Up recently won the New York Times “Relationship Book of the Year” award.

 Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (Making Money Sexy).


Renee Talon, Renee at DoctorBonnie dot com or phone 941-429-8803
Dr. Bonnie has 2 Press Release writers.  Available if anyone would like to speak about our services.

Make Up Don’t Break Up wins Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dating Book 2010

Best selling author and founder of Imago Relationship International Dr. Harville Hendrix, PhD (dubbed the “Marriage Whisperer” by Oprah) writes in the foreword: “This is among the most helpful, complete, and positive manuals for saving a relationship that I have seen.”

New York, NY………Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying In Love by Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD is the 2010 winner of the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dating Book.

Author Dr. Weil is dedicated to assisting singles and couples learn how to communicate using her Smart Heart Dialogue for the purpose of developing sustainable and emotionally intimate relationships. This book is for individuals who can’t find or keep lasting and loving relationships teaching how to get past the third date, and learn how not to sabotage a relationship. The book instructs couples how to heal childhood wounds through their partnerships.

The author walks readers through the many stages of a relationship’s connections and disconnections so that couples will be able to reconnect and solidify their relationships—and recapture the euphoric feelings of first love.

With infidelity and divorce at an all time high, and so many more opportunities to cheat through internet portals like Facebook and online dating services, Make Up Don’t Break Up offers insights, tools, and information about how couples can keep love alive and stay together when issues arise by using Smart Heart Dialogue techniques in communication, listening, and working together for mutual relationship goals.

Dr. Bonnie is a trained and certified Imago Relationship Therapist. Best selling author and founder of Imago Relationship International Dr. Harville Hendrix, PhD (dubbed the “Marriage Whisperer” by Oprah) writes in the foreword: “This is among the most helpful, complete, and positive manuals for saving a relationship that I have seen.”

Valentine’s Day: The Real Story

Why do men “accidentally forget” to buy their wife/lover a gift?

Why are women already mad before Valentine’s day? Year after year, either their husbands “forget” or have an excuse why they can’t honor them on V Day.

Dr. Bonnie says they either:

  • have underlying anger
  • have resentment
  • don’t want to be told what to do
  • feel under-appreciated
  • Have negative feelings about their wife, but have no idea what or why

They may make the “excuse” that it is a Hallmark Holiday, is made up for retail stores to make money, they don’t know what to get her, she has everything, they don’t know how to shop…..etc.
Dr. Bonnie has recommendations for women on how to avoid a Valentine’s blow up:

  • Ask him what he wants? Go shopping with him before VDay
  • Go to the store with him for him to get a card, etc
  • Reward him with sex after he has shopped for her
  • Sit down and ask him in a non threatening way what he is feeling (have Smart Heart Talk)

More tips can be found in the book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD Falling in Love and Staying in Love for Singles and Couples!

Why John Edwards should stay “not engaged”

John Edwards has provided much relationship blog fodder over the past year or two – and now he’s fielding rumors that he’s engaged. To kick things all off, first there was revelation that he in fact did have an affair with the woman who produced videos for his campaign. Although he stated he had come clean to his family it was still a scandal that shed negative light on him politically especially in light of Elizabeth’s battle with cancer. Add into that the fact that Edwards fathered a child with his mistress and it’s enough to severely impact anyone’s life or career!

Then there was news that Elizabeth Edwards was writing a book about her experiences, in my estimation not only to set the record straight but to help her work through some of the issues that arose in her public and private life. During these struggles, Elizabeth had stated that she’d decided to stay in her marriage “for the kids” although later she and John became estranged.

Now, there are reports that just weeks after her death, John Edwards is considering getting married again. His attorney is denying claims that Edwards is engaged to Rielle Hunter, the same women he had an affair with.

Whether or not these rumors or true, it seems that Edwards is still struggling with what I call the bio-chemical craving for connection; something I think he’s been dealing with since Elizabeth was first diagnosed with cancer. The theory is that people experiencing stress, separation or loss often are inclined toward thrill-seeking behavior and this frequently manifests itself in the form of an affair. It’s a way of over-riding true emotions by opting for a “high” instead. It’s probably the case that Edwards couldn’t handle the idea of losing his wife to cancer – either after the initial diagnosis or even now, that she has actually passed on – and so he sought a way to cancel out that fear by deciding to have an affair. It’s a way of acting out – not talking out – extreme feelings in a person’s life. It’s also possible that, subconsciously, he was finding a “backup” for his wife, given her cancer diagnosis.

Traditionally, men have a harder time talking about their feelings and therefore seek “comfort” by engaging in risky behavior. Once this behavior is discovered – often in the form of an affair – it doesn’t have to signal the end of a relationship. Instead, it can be used as a spring board for honest discussion. I believe that just about any marriage or relationship can be saved, and divorce isn’t usually the best option – even in cases of unfaithfulness. Unfortunately, John and Elizabeth weren’t able to work through their struggles but there are no doubt many painful emotions associated with his wife’s life and death. It hardly seems a good time to be seeking out another relationship!

New Year/Old Relationship

Saying you’re in an “old relationship” doesn’t sound too flattering – in fact, given a somewhat negative connotation we associate with the word “old,” attaching the word to just about anything is less than idea. Yet a so-called “old relationship” can be a comforting, reassuring, and – yes – even an exciting thing. What I mean by “old relationship” is simply a committed relationship that may have passed the initial spark or already experienced the honeymoon phase. In this type of relationship, both partners are now dealing with the day-to-day life of a relationship and learning how to relate to and nurture each other many months or years down the road.

Admittedly “old” is a bad adjective to use for this stage of a relationship as it brings many bonuses with it – you’re more comfortable around each other; you’ve gotten through some of the exciting yet awkward parts of getting to know the other person, their past, their hang-ups, their family, their good and bad habits and so on; you have a partner to rely on in any situation life throws at you. And there are many more such bonuses that come with a long term relationship; but what people can tend to focus on when things are lackluster, as they sometimes can be when you’ve been with someone for a long period of time, are the things they may be “missing out” on by continuing in a committed relationship.

Whether or not your long-term relationship is in one of these lackluster phases, as we begin the new year it’s a great idea to commit to renewing your relationship. You may not be able to go through the exact phases of the early relationship that can be so exciting, but you can inject some surprise and romance into it!

*Make a decision to fall in love again.

Fidelity – both sexual and financial – results from intent to REMAIN in love. These types of commitments don’t just happen. A strong relationship may feel fun and exciting at first, but it’s not based on those feelings! It’s normal that these initial impulses start to fade, but you have to commit to growing your love stronger than it was before.

*Treat each other like you did at the beginning.

Why does it seem to be the case that we only hurt the ones we love? We tend to show our “best selves” to the people who play less-important roles in our lives. Aside from learning to be nice to each other again, and learning to treat each other respectfully, bring back things that you did when you first met – and feel free to spice it up. Make these activities your top priority!

*Have an affair with your partner

Just about everyone craves some sort of excitement in their life – and some people push boundaries to find it. Anything from skydiving – to having a physical, emotional or financial affair. If you’re lacking excitement in your relationship and are heading into dangerous territory (i.e., considering some kind of infidelity), know that wanting to seek the high that comes from a risky experience is normal – but how you handle the situation can make or break your relationship.

The great thing about doing some of these things is that they’re even more meaningful when shared with someone with whom you have a history. So enjoy your “old” relationship in the new year!

See my book, Make Up Don’t Break Up, for more ways to connect with your partner and take part in activities that will last throughout the year.

Remember Elizabeth Edwards Courage and Faith

We need to remember Elizabeth Edward’s courage and unrelenting faith as she simultaneously faced her most difficult battles towards the end of her life—infidelity and cancer. Elizabeth Edward’s faith and resiliency skills were tested when her husband admitted to having an affair and finally confessing he had fathered a child with Rielle Hunter, a 42-year-old woman hired to make campaign videos during his run for president in 2007.

In her book Make Up Don’t Break Up, Dr. Weil cites studies that reveal prolonged stress lowers the immune system. Edward admitted in her memoir Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities—that her husband’s infidelity made her physically ill. A recent 2010 study links cancer growth to stress (http://www.cancer.ucla.edu). “Adultery is one of the most brutal betrayals a partner can commit. We never know how long we, or our spouse will be here on this earth. I don’t think partners want the defining moment of their relationship to be about betrayal and cheating.”

While adultery can be overcome, the uphill battle towards recovery includes healing physically, emotionally and spiritually. I ask couples to honor their marriage vows in memory of Elizabeth Edward’s courage, grace, and resiliency. And, remember to protect your relationship by nurturing instead of betraying. Monogamy may not be instinctual, but it is a choice,” Dr. Weil says.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity (Making Money Sexy).

Dr. Bonnie has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating, Discovery Health documentary “Infidelity” and A&E on addictions. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at www.DoctorBonnie.com.

Men and Women Don’t See Eye to Eye on Sex

Dr Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, and author of Make Up Don’t Break Up responds to a recent poll that says 24 percent of 45-65 year old men say they are dissatisfied with their sex lives and sixty one percent of men think sex is a critical part of a healthy relationship while only 40 percent of women think sex is imperative for a healthy relationship. (http://www.lifegoesstrong.com/sex-poll). The poll also shows that women are more confident about sex than men. “This disconnect could be due to the dynamic differences between men and women. Women are emotional pursuers, while men are sexual pursuers and emotional distancers. So, women place less importance on sex alone, are less frustrated and more confident about sex,” explains Dr. Weil.

“Couples need to learn the tools that turn each other on, and the reasons why their sex life is not satisfying. This requires a commitment to meet each others needs, and honest discussions,” explains Dr. Bonnie.

“Couples should learn the Smart Heart Skills and dialogue that I teach on the DVD “Falling in Love and Staying in Love” which accompanies my book Make Up Don’t Break Up. The Smart Heart skills I teach are the glue to keep the relationship new,” says Dr. Bonnie Weil. “A commitment to marriage requires an intentional decision to stay in love.” In the book Make Up Don’t Break Up Dr. Bonnie teaches relationship building dialogue as well as ways to rekindle the romance magic and bring back those beginning stage feelings.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil (Dr. Bonnie) is a relationship expert who was named by Psychology Today as one of America’s best therapists, and by New York Magazine as one of New York City’s best therapists. Known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of Adultery: The Forgivable Sin (adapted into a Lifetime movie starring actress Kate Jackson), Make Up Don’t Break Up, Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples (Revised edition Feb 2010, including DVD How to Fall in Love and Stay in Love for Singles and Couples), Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, Staying Not Straying, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity; The #1 Relationship Wrecker.

Dr. Bonnie has appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, a three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating, Discovery Health documentary “Unfaithful” and A&E on addictions. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN. Visit Dr. Bonnie at http://www.DoctorBonnie.com.

For interview contact Diane Dennis, Inspired Media Communication at 503-678-1356 or dianeden(at)centurytel(dot)net

NFL Wives Cheat Proof Their Marriages

New York, NY…………..Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD endorses the group of NFL wives who created Off The Market as an attempt to shore up their celebrity marriages and “cheat proof” their relationships. Author of Make Up Don’t Break Up, Dr. Bonnie explains that athletes are more apt to cheat for a few reasons. “People who become athletes are more apt to engage in risky behavior due to their biological make-up. There is a certain amount of stress that comes with the territory of being a celebrated athlete. The combination of media exposure, being physically attractive, and easy access to admiring fans adds up to opportunity.”

Cheating is not an accident, it is a choice,” Dr. Bonnie explains. “The fact that this group of NFL wives have taken their secret fears out of the closet, exposed them publicly, and are willing to take steps to strengthen their marriages is a great step forward.”

The book Make Up Don’t Break Up offers tips to strengthen emotional intimacy—the glue of good marriages. “Kiss often, give long hugs, support more and criticize less are some of the tips I offer to keep a partner from straying.” Dr. Bonnie teaches couples that if they are not getting their needs met, or have issues in a marriage, cheating is not the answer. “Cheating is a temporary fix for an underlying problem that straying won’t fix. And, the recovery from infidelity is a difficult path. It takes years to recover from this type of betrayal.”

Inspired Media Communications*www.inspiredMC.com*Diane Dennis*503-678-1356

How to Holiday Proof Your Marriage

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, author of Make Up Don’t Break Up warns couples that they must “holiday proof” their marriage and family in these economically challenging times.

“Holiday stress coupled with money anxiety is a set up for marital problems,” warns Dr. Bonnie. There is a direct correlation between stress and behavior that can be detrimental to relationships. From drinking too much, over eating, lack of sleep, and a myriad of other stress related behaviors a marriage on the brink can suffer irreparable damage.

According to a 2006 survey by the American Psychological Association (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/women-stress.aspx) women are susceptible to feeling more stressed and engage in unhealthy behaviors during the holidays.

Dr. Bonnie suggests that both partners engage in activities that counteract the stresses many couples are sure to experience this holiday season. “Kiss more, hold more, and look for activities that create playful fun that aren’t costly.” Dr. Bonnie also recommends that couples tell the truth to their extended friends, family and children about their economic situation. “Don’t write checks you don’t have money for. Send a card with a loving sentiment instead of gifts. Friends and family will understand, and are most likely in similar economic situations.”

Another stress to marriages is unhappy kids who act out. Parents must also realize that their children feel stress, and busy parents miss the cues. “According to a 2009 study, (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/11/stress.aspx), teens and tweens were more likely than parents to say that their stress had increased in the last year. Nearly half of the teens surveyed ages 13-17 said that they worried more this year, but only 28 percent of parents think their teen’s stress increased, and while a quarter of tweens ages 8-12 said they worried more this year, only 17 percent of parents believed their tween’s stress had increased. “This has two implications. Children are more stressed than ever, and parents aren’t aware,” explains Dr. Bonnie

Dr. Bonnie recommends that parents have healthy and honest discussions with their children about their fears and concerns, and teach appropriate behaviors to relieve stress, like playing ball instead of video games. Physical activity releases stress, while sitting exacerbates it.

Make Up Don’t Break Up offers communication tips, and assists couples develop skills to stay together when faced with adversity and the stressors of daily life.

Side-step Financial Infidelity

Here’s a statistic that may surprise you, especially given today’s economic climate: in 25% of households, women are earning more than their male counter-parts. This could also be especially due to today’s economy given that the men in these households may be out of work while their wives and partners remain employed.  According to a New York Times study done early in the recession, as companies from Citibank to GM announced massive layoffs, 82 percent of the people getting laid off have been men. It won’t be long before women become the majority of the American workforce. And the pendulum is swinging again, re-writing gender roles and our relationship to money.
Typically, as men have been the breadwinners, they find themselves more defined by money and their earning power. But as the statistics above show, we need to change the way we look at male-female power dynamics.  We need a new way to navigate the shift in power due to male-female role reversal and the resulting power dynamic that now faces both couples and singles.
Finances have long been at the root of much relational difficulty, and with this shift, it’s becoming even more important to identify your money patterns and define what areas of your relationship tend toward Financial Infidelity. This is a form of cheating that’s often so subtle, people don’t know they’re engaging in it, yet it can be just as devastating as a physical affair.
In my book, Financial Infidelity, I define this type of infidelity as going behind your partner’s back when it comes to your finances. What this looks like in practice varies for each couple; for couples who are on a tight budget it can mean withdrawing $20 extra at the grocery store and using it for something personal. Or it can be as dramatic as not telling your significant other about a work bonus with the idea of keeping it for yourself. I call this the “money mistress.”
Of course there are many other ways this can manifest itself and a lot of it has to do with how our relationships toward money were cultivated in our early years. This is where what I call “Financial Imago” comes in. “Imago” is a term that references the unconscious image you’ve created which defines the type of partner you’re looking for.
Coined by Harville Hendrix, the term is the Latin word for “image.” As you transition through life changes with your significant other, a big part of making that transition successfully comes from the way you deal with financial stressors as a couple. In order to do this, you have to understand the ways you’re both prone to deal with money – and you have to have a road map for how you WANT to deal with money.
To do this successfully, I suggest engaging in Smart Heart Dialogue. with my patients, the power of non-judgmental communication, or what I call “Smart Heart Dialogue.” This type of communication is even more important now, when egos are fragile, stress abounds, and tempers are short. It’s important that each person give the other a place in which they can be honest and – just as importantly – a place where each person knows the other is going to take their honesty to heart. What good is a conversation if no change comes from the concerns voiced?
But as with any significant change – whether culturally or within your own relationship – tradition, habits and patterns are heard to break so be sensitive and tread lightly.
For more about Imago and the other techniques mentioned in this article, visit http://www.doctorbonnie.com.
Also be sure to catch Dr. Bonnie’s advice on the Today Show:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEJ8tdUBvJY