Brad Coates (www.CoatesandFrey.com) provided us with an analysis of the pros and cons of three of life’s most crucial choices: to marry, to re-marry, and to parent. Brad knows all about marriages and divorce because he’s been a divorce lawyer in Honolulu, Hawaii for forty years. Dr. Diana and Brad discussed this topic. The biggest marital benefits come in high stress environments, and people who are married can often handle midlife stress better than those who aren’t. Marriage may be most important when there is stress in life. It helps to accommodate a partner’s needs as well. Trust is necessary. Does your partner have your best interests in mind? Can you listen nondefensively? We love this motto: “When you’re in pain, the world stops and I listen.” Humor helps too in that it may soothe couples inside and out during conflict. If a couple decides to have a child, parenthood can wreak havoc on their relationship and sex life. Many will stay together and feel stuck in a mild but chronic depressive state sometimes called “depressively married.” Then there are couples who choose not to have children because they want more pleasure for themselves; in other words, they are hedonists. Here’s the paradox: We expect more from our marriages but feed them less. Check out Brad’s book “DIVORCE with DECENCY” now in its 5th Edition.