Don't worry, be happy :)

Focus on life issues.
Ask Arlene MD is to focus on anything that has to do with mental health. In the past I've written about relationships but now I would like to focus more on mental health and try to be educational and entertaining. Life is always about relationships. These are either male, female, parent, child, neighbors, teachers, and the list is infinite. How we interact with others define us. If we are angry, we can develop toxic relationships. If we have a better attitude, then we will be happy. Happiness is really a state of mind. You chose to feel happy. You chose to be sad. You choose to be angry. You chose to be mean. Hopefully if you read this blog you will use it for insight, not to attack others. The purpose is to try to make people have a better and positive look at life. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Golden Handcuffs.

I've met many women that have gone through a divorce after many years of marriage. They had supported their husbands in their careers, raised their children and grown old by their side. Then one day, the husband announces that he is confused, needs his space and eventually, needs to move on. This takes many women by surprise because this was not expected. They go through a long, and sometimes, nasty divorce. At the end, they may get permanent alimony plus half of the marital asserts. This is when it gets tricky. These women think they have "won" because their ex husband has to "pay" for leaving them. Even if they get a "lump sum" alimony, they tend to go back asking for more money, feeling that they have been cheated. I call these the golden handcuffs. Let me tell you about "Laura". Laura is a fictitious name that encompasses some of these women. Laura was 52. She had been married to Bill for 20 years and had a 18 year old daughter. She was looking forward to when her daughter would leave for college since Bill and her could start enjoying more traveling together. One day Bill told her that he didn't want to stay in the marriage. After several months of marital therapy, he moved out and eventually divorced her. She was awarded with the house, and a mortgage attached to it, and $5,000.00 of alimony a month to support herself. This seemed like a sweet deal but she  quickly realized that the amount of money she got a month, barely covered the mortgage and house expenses. She started growing bitter because she felt cheated of what she felt she deserved. Laura was a very attractive woman that looked younger than her age. However, she was unable to let go of her anger. She started to isolate herself from others and would not date in fear of having the same fate happen to her again. She would also say that she was not willing to get married again since she was not about to lose her alimony. Years passed, and her ex husband remarried and had a child, starting a new family. Laura continued alone. She would go to social parties of old friends who were still married. She went to their children's, weddings, birthday parties and grandchildren christenings.Every time any one suggested she go on with her life she would say that she was not going to lose her alimony. Going on with her life did not necessary mean lose the alimony. It meant let go and move on. Ten years gave gone by and Laura continues alone. She has lost some of her looks and the opportunities to find a decent partner had decreased. Every time a decent man approaches her, she finds something wrong with him. Most of her friends have moved on with their own lives and she is very lonely.


  1. I have two daughters aged 20 and 22. This blog is going to be a MUST Read for them! God, I wish I'd had something like this when I was their age! There are so many pearls of wisdom here for young women! Thank you, Dr. Arlene and for my sake, please keep them coming!

  2. btw this was the only way i could contact u sry for putting it on ur blog...i was not gunna call the office cuz this is something u need to see for urself