Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

Husbands’ behaviour improving?

I wonder if the trend has continued?


couple_in_love_1600_wht_10952or are women becoming more tolerant as fewer women sought a divorce in 2013.

Only 4% of wives wanted a divorce in the first 5 years of marriage, the lowest level since 1973 and only half the 1986 rate – the worst year for marriages that led to divorces.

Most divorces are initiated by women and although there were over 100,000 in 2013 that was 50,000 down from a peak of 165,000 in 1993. The Marriage Foundation commissioned the research from the ONS which showed the data for divorces initiated by men and women

The founder of the Marriage Foundation thinks that the decrease must be down to men living up to women’s expectations better. The danger period in marriages is between three and six years which tends to coincide with starting a family.

It seems men who get married now are more committed.

In the past men may have succumbed to…

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How not to choose a mistress


money_stairs_stick_figure_chinese_5753This story goes back a while but I want to share it with you.

Donglu Fan, aged 43 and a factory owner in China, held a competition to decide which of his 5 mistresses to keep.

It was intended to be simple knock-out competition.

First they had to complete a personality test (sounds like good HR practice so far).

Then there was a modelling and singing competition.

Finally there was a drinking contest where the winner would be the last mistress standing who had drunk the most.

Unfortunately for him the five went for a celebratory drive together after the drinking contest and drove off a cliff. Four were injured and one died.

The family of the one who died is suing him for £60,000 and his wife is divorcing him!

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Divorce, conscious uncoupling, or graduation?


graduation_hat_tassel_flip_anim_500_wht_14455A bit tired of your other half? Feel you’ve grown apart? You still love the other person but not enough to be with them all the time?

You don’t want a divorce and if you’re the wrong generation to go the Gwyneth Paltrow route of conscious uncoupling perhaps the trend in Japan might be of interest.

Sotsukon or “graduation from marriage” is a sophisticated way to arrange your life and was proposed in a book by Yumiko Sugiyama back in 2004 –  Sotsukon no Susume or”I recommend graduating“.

It’s for people who still love each other, don’t want the messiness of a divorce, but no longer want to live together all the time.

Once you’ve raised the kids and sent them out into the world your marriage enters a new phase from which you graduate.

In Japan, traditionally the man is the head of the household…

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Marriage isn’t all it’s made out to be


champagne_banner_our_wedding_500_wht_604For years scientists have said that married people are happier, healthier and wealthier than single people.

Well it’s not true!

Single people exercise more, have better health and more friends compared to married people.

Psychologist Bella DePaulo says earlier studies are flawed because they didn’t take into account the consequences of divorce. In most studies people for whom marriage was awful were excluded as divorcees were counted as singletons.

In reality married people are unlikely to see life as a continuous opportunity to learn new things and develop friendships.

They are more likely to be putting up with an unfulfilling job and a dwindling circle of friends a they await their end.

DePaulo says that for many people being single is a positive, rational choice and they are living the dream.

Lifelong singletons also have more fulfilling jobs and are more interested in self-improvement.

Married people who end up getting divorced…

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Facebook Follies

ConfessionFBIt’s been a while since I posted on the perils of having a Facebook account. Things haven’t changed much and it still has no respect for your privacy.

In the past we’ve had stories about how recruiters and divorce lawyers use Facebook to check up on you; how Facebook vigilantes in Delhi shop traffic offenders; how servicemen in war zones are put at risk using it and how the Israeli army catches out people pretending to be Orthodox to skip military service.

And my very first one about how people with lots of Facebook “friends” can still be lonely (which has been in my top five most-read posts for the last 3 years).

So what’s the latest Facebook story to catch my eye? Well it must be Scott Woodburnthe traffic offender who advertised on Facebook for someone to take his penalty points as he was close to being disqualified.

He paid someone, who doesn’t even drive, £250 to take the blame but got 5 months in prison for perverting the course of justice.

Something to put on his Facebook page.


Shoot yourself in the foot – join Facebook 

Actually any social networking site will do it according to an article in The Times (2/7/2010).

The American Academy of Divorce Lawyers says 80% of its members have used or been faced with evidence from social networking sites.

The biggest source is Facebook (66%), then MySpace (15%) and Twitter (5%).

From pot-smoking denials to claims of being childless whilst fighting for child custody, members seem to forget the information is out there forever. And in the UK a DIY Divorce site says 20% of its cases mention Facebook.

But it’s not just divorce lawyers or jilted partners who are using these sites. A survey of British employers found that 20% checked Facebook, MySpace and Bebo – and a quarter of them had rejected candidates because of what they had found. In the USA a Microsoft survey found that 78% of recruiters searched the internet to check applicant’s backgrounds.

So in addition to the potentially negative social and emotional aspects of Facebook you now run the risk of jeopardising your marriage and your job prospects. With 40% of the UK population having a Facebook account there’s plenty of dirt to dig.

Updated 17 January 2011: Social networking sites are being cited with increasing frequency in the UK, particularly in the post-Xmas divorces, according to another article in the Times (15/1/2011). Facebook is the main culprit but Second Life, Illicit Encounters and Friends Re-united are also in the frame. Suspicious spouses are searching these for evidence of flirting and affairs.

Some lawyers report 10 times as many divorces in the weeks immediately after Xmas and a 20% rise overall. One said; “Facebook is the divorce lawyer’s jewel in the crown”. Facebook pages, along with sexy tests and chats are now being used as evidence of “unreasonable behaviour”.

People are also resorting to Facebook to get back at former partners by slagging them off or posting pictures of their new lovers. In fact Facebook already has a divorce page where people can describe what it was like going through their divorce.