Bill and Melinda Gates are not the only ones who have decided to divorce during these trying times. As the threat of the virus lessens, the decision to move ahead with major life-changes, for better or worse, has risen to front and center.

(Just for the record, I don’t view the Gates’s marriage as any more of a failure than was Al and Tipper Gore’s marriage.

Both couples, during long marriages, made great contributions to the lives of all of us.

I hope that their personal life-changing choices work out well for them too.)

Once every year or so, I do like to remind my thoughtful readers, friends and family to take heed and bullet-proof those relationships that may be worth saving, after all.

Beware: This year, the pressure on all of us has increased vulnerability.

There are certain things you should NEVER SAY to your spouse who you claim to have loved, even at the times when you were over-the-top angry or over-the top frustrated. Here’s a short list of No No’s:


  1. NEVER SAY: “Whatever” … with that, you know the one… dismissive look on your face.
  2. NEVER SAY:“You’re just like your mother or father” (when you don’t mean it as a compliment.)
  3. NEVER SAY:“You’re being ridiculous” … while your spouse is trying to communicate a strong emotion (even if he/she is being ridiculous.)
  4. And … in the middle of an argument…NEVER, EVER, EVER SAY…  I WANT A DIVORCE”.


 For now, it may be best to slow down a bit.

 Monumental, life-changing decisions, should not be made, or even suggested, in the throw of any kind of passionate outburst.

 If, what you’re after is a better shot at happiness (abusive relationships and those impacted by drugs/ and/or alcohol, aside) think about banishing the“DIVORCE” word from your marital vocabulary.


Because ping-ponging the “D word” can ultimately pull apart even the best of relationships.

Sure, it’s tempting. You want his attention. You want her to know you are really serious about whatever. You are angry, for real, and sometimes your ultimatum may even seem to work.

 But like the fairy-tale boy who cried “wolf,” threats lose their power over time and can set the stage for unforeseeable and irreconcilable problems.


Never mind how long you’ve been married, never, EVER discuss DIVORCE… unless and until that is exactly what you are going to do, no matter what.

 First…  consider if there is there anything he/she could do to make you love them better? Is there anything he/she could do to make YOU try a little harder… to take responsibility, say, for your own part of the problem?

 Then check in with a trusted confidante and/or a professional who is trained to help you navigate through the decision- making phase and beyond.

 It’s usually worth the effort… regardless of the outcome.

 You can reach out to  me at 949-244 4074 in my new home office… or on line at

Stay safe and be smart,

Dr. Linda




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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Susan UpsonMay 9, 2021 at 3:19 pm

The thing that saddens me about the Gates’ breakup is the reason they give boils down the fact that in the absence of their usual busy travel schedule (apart? together?) of the past couple of decades, their being forced by the pandemic to actually be together at home on a daily basis just didn’t work out for them.


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