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Joy

People share the 16 signs that scream ‘your friend is in a bad marriage’

Here are the big red flags to look out for.

bad marriages, divorce, relationship advice

A couple having a hard time with a therapist.

When you’re single, your best friend is often your wingman or wingwoman when you go out looking for a partner. They’re great at giving an honest take on whether someone is right for you or not.

They can also be an important sounding board for determining whether you’re in a healthy relationship. They know you and your spouse, so they can see it when things aren’t going right. Whether they are comfortable telling you or if you really want to know their honest opinion is another story.

A Reddit user named Anita recently asked the AskReddit online forum about the obvious signs that a friend is in a bad relationship or headed for a divorce. “What are some signs that your married friend doesn’t have a good marriage?” Anita asked, and the question received nearly 2,000 responses in just 3 days.


Evidently, there are a lot of dead giveaways that people in bad relationships broadcast out to the world.

The major takeaway is people know their friends are stuck in a bad relationship or headed toward the end when the couple openly makes snide comments in front of each other at social engagements. Another big red flag is when one partner goes out of their way to avoid the other by working later, surrounding themselves with friends, or sleeping on the couch.

Here are 16 of the most prominent signs that scream “your married friend doesn’t have a good marriage.”

1.

"When my husband died, some friends admitted that they were a little jealous." — EmmyMcD

2.

"Never wants to go home, doesn’t like bringing their spouse as plus one, speaking poorly of spouse, future plans sound more 'I' than 'We,' and lack of excitement around the holidays." — Peaceatthebeach

3.

"An occasional joke at their expense is one thing. My wife and I do it, but you could really insert anyone's name in the joke. But when they criticize their SO for the same, personal thing nonstop, it starts to get telling. Like constantly telling everyone your wife is a shitty cook." — CaptainAwesome06

4.

"They continually complain about their spouse in front of others. Or disparage them." — Mahaloth

5.

"When they advise their single friends to stay single." — Deneenxo

6.

"Ummm, his wife came into the office one day and he introduced her to me as 'his future ex-wife' with a sly smile. Yeah, they're divorced now." — HibouWho

7.

"Look at their face when they get a cell phone call and see that it's from their spouse. Tells you everything." — No-Conclusion8653

8.

"Just... bickering. Passive-aggressive little digs and being generally annoyed with one another. It is WEIRD to me that so many couples I know just kinda pick at each other constantly. They just don't seem to enjoy each other's company at all." — Lizard Possum

9.

"I promise, when you learn this, you’ll see it everywhere and you’ll realize how f**ked up most people in relationships are. Contempt. The one thing to look for in bad relationships is contempt. This comes from Malcom Gladwell’s 'Blink,' where he talks about Dr. John Gottman’s work on relationships and marriage. I’m not going to say much on these two gentlemen’s qualifications, as I can’t really speak to them, but I can tell you that the takeaway has impacted my perspective and experience profoundly.

Gottman came to believe there are 4 horsemen of the apocalypse when it comes to marriage: criticism, stonewalling, defensiveness, and contempt—and contempt is the most powerful one. Contempt means more than just being annoyed with someone. It’s deeper than disrespect. It is complete disregard to the level of disgust for the other's attempt to be. Contempt means you feel yourself superior to your partner and feel no obligation to care about them. You’ll see it in these examples: a wife who won’t let her husband care for the children. A husband who insults his wife’s housework while redoing it. An eye roll behind their back. Passive aggression. Sarcasm. Jokes at their expense. Gottman’s research indicates that contempt can predict divorce with about 90% accuracy. This jibes with my experience." — PAdogooder

10.

"When one of them is out and their spouse does not stop calling them." — BansheeShriek

11.

"They flirt a lot. A lot of unhappily married people I know are quick to flirt with anyone who seems interested because they want to feel that spark again." — FlatulentDwarf

12.

"When their identity is the 'person who is mean to their spouse.' I was at a party this weekend and there was a woman who just bad-mouthed her husband and talked about how nice it was to be away from him and the kids for the night. That’s like her shtick…she talks about how her kids and husband are shitty. It’s such a gross personality, and it’s relatively common. It shouldn’t be common at all." — SpacemanPete

13.

"If they're plastering social media with how HAPPY they are, and they're SO IN LOVE, and THEY'RE GOING TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER, that's a sure sign that things are in the process of going sideways." — wildlowerwolves

14.

"I’ve known two different couples that off and on fought a lot around me at certain points, which isn’t obviously a great sign. The fighting stopped, but what I realized after a while that may be worse is that they didn’t interact at all unless absolutely necessary. I’m mostly oblivious, so it took my wife pointing it out to notice that both of these couples never really talk to each other besides mandatory stuff like plans or the kids. No casual conversations, no eye contact, no touching each other; literally no interaction that’s not necessary for the family to function. I suppose it’s better than fighting in public, but it’s kind of weird once you notice it." — Non_Clever_User_Name

15.

"He games all day and the boys are always over. She sits in the bedroom and is on her phone all day. Because they are both so glued to the screens. I was the one that saw their daughter take her first steps (didn't even realize it until my buddy saw his daughter standing next to him and went nuts). But hey they have been together now almost for 10 years and still haven't broken up, but at the same time I wouldn't call that living." — RootlessForest

16.

"When they don’t care what the other person is doing or where they are. Basically, two people who live separate lives and live like roommates." — LucyInTheSky

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

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Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

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A group of students staring at their phones.

The Norwegian government is spearheading a significant initiative to prohibit students from having smartphones in schools. This move comes in the wake of compelling studies demonstrating the positive impact of removing these devices from students’ hands and allowing them to focus more on their learning.

The effects have been particularly beneficial for girls.

Over the past few years, smartphone bans have cropped up in several school districts throughout Norway, allowing researchers to study how the bans affected students. Sara Abrahamsson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, analyzed students at 400 middle schools and found that the bans had psychological and academic benefits.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health published the results.

1 Girls made fewer appointments for psychological help

The study found that there was a significant decrease in the number of visits that girls made to see a psychological specialist for mental health issues. “Relative to pretreatment this is a significant decline by almost 60% in the number of visits,” Abrahamsson wrote in the study.

2. Steep drop in bullying

The study shows that girls experienced a 46% reduction in bullying after smartphone bans were enacted and boys had a 43% reduction.

smartphone, smartphone ban, norway

Boys looking at memes on a smartphone.

via Max Fischer/Pexels

3. Improved grades for girls

The study revealed that introducing a smartphone ban at the beginning of middle school improved girls' GPAs and increased their chances of enrolling in an academic-oriented high school track versus a vocational study. On the other hand, the ban appeared to have no notable effect on boys’ GPA, teacher-assigned grades, or likelihood of pursuing an academic high school track.

4. The ban had a more significant effect on economically disadvantaged girls

The study found that the ban resulted in greater benefits for economically disadvantaged girls regarding academic performance, appointments for psychological symptoms and the probability of attending an academically focused high school.

The positive impact that the bans have on girls is significant, given the fact that studies show they’ve been the most deeply affected by the rise in mental health issues amongst young people that have coincided with smartphone adaptation.

One of the most disturbing trends is the dramatic rise in suicide rates among girls in developed nations.

smartphones in schools, norway, smartphone ban

Students taking a selfie in school.

via RDNE Stock Project

Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness” and advocate for banning smartphones in schools, explained why smartphone use is more damaging for girls than boys.

“There is a special relationship between social media and girls,” Haidt told “The Reason Interview with Nick Gillespie” podcast. “When boys get together … they're likely to organize themselves into groups to compete [on multiplayer video games].”

“Girls are much more interested in talking about relationships. Who is on the outs with whom? Who's dating who? They have a more developmental map of the social space,” Haidt continued.

When there is conflict within peer groups, social media poses a much greater threat to girls.

“Boys' aggression is ultimately backed up by the threat of physical domination and punching or pain, " Haidt continued. “Girls' aggression is equal in magnitude, but it's aimed at relationships and reputation. It's called relational aggression. Video games, if anything, prevent boys from getting in fights. … The platform settles everything. But girls' relational aggression is amplified. The worst year of bullying is seventh grade. I'm really focused on middle school.”


Family

Mom claims the biggest 'parenting flex' is having grandparents who are 'voluntarily involved'

Grandparents that are eager to help raise their grandkids are a game-changer.

via Kelsey_p90/TikTok (used with permission) and Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Kelsey shares why it's great to have involved grandparents.

Grandparents are often stereotyped as doting and eager to be a big part of their grandchildren's lives. In movies and TV, we often see parents of child-free women begging them to have kids so they can be grandparents.

However, that’s not always the case. Many grandparents are unable to help raise their grandkids because of their location or health. There are also far too many who aren’t that eager to do the work.

For many parents, the presence of grandparents who actively participate in raising their kids can be a game-changer. The support they provide, whether it’s watching the kids on a Friday night or picking them up from school, can significantly ease the juggling act of modern parenting.


Kelsey, a popular TikTok and Instagram mother of two, recently celebrated the joy of having “voluntarily involved” grandparents, calling them the biggest “parenting flex.” Of course, the subtext of the post is that, unfortunately, many grandparents are uninvolved with their grandchildren’s lives and their families could use their help.

Warning: Strong language.

@kelsey_p90

Top tier 🙌🏻🙌🏻 #fyp #foryourpage #foryou #momtok #mom #moms #momlife #momsbelike #momsoftiktok #sahm #grandparents #grandparentsoftiktok #grandma #grandpa #parenting #parentsoftiktok

“Without question, the biggest parenting flex isn’t the mom car, not how much you make a year. It’s not how well-behaved your kids are,” Kelsey starts her video. “Biggest flex is having involved grandparents. Voluntarily involved. Holy f***, having that midday struggle with my children and then getting that text from grandma: ‘Hey, can I pick so and so up for a sleepover tonight?’ Ha ha ha, funny, you should say that! Her bag has been packed. Never unpacked it. She’s ready.”

She noted that “voluntarily involved” grandparents aren’t just doing the bare minimum. They’re stepping up and taking charge of their role in the family.

“Ones that you can text like, ‘Hey, can you fly up this weekend? We need your help.’ ‘Sure, no problem!’ I don’t know what kind of reaction that was. But it came within the depths. Nothing beats it. Nothing beats a grandparent that wants to do more than required to get that yearly Facebook Happy Birthday Grandma post,” Kelsey continued.

Unfortunately, many moms and dads don’t have parents they can rely on to help them raise their kids and it’s a big loss. “A lot of the times, people don’t have help, and I am sorry,” Kelsey said. That f****** blows. We know it’s their loss. We know. Who doesn’t want to be involved with their grandchildren?”

grandparents, grandkids, tiktok

A grandmother looks out the window with her granddaughter.

via Juan Pablo Serrano/Pexels

Many commenters shared why raising kids without grandparents is so hard.

"I recently read a quote that said 'uninvolved grandparents never intended to be parents themselves' everything made sense," Isabel Cardenas wrote. "You definitely got that right. That is the biggest flex of all time. There’s not enough money in the world that would take the jealousy I have for people who receive that type of love freely," Katy Alltop added.

Kelsey shared her thoughts on why some grandparents aren’t voluntarily involved with their grandkids.

“I think a lot of times grandparents have the point of view like ‘I did my time, I raised my children, now it’s my time to do whatever I want.’ They don’t want to be tied down with babysitting and other commitments,” she told Upworthy. “Which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing! They deserve a fun retirement. I would never want to force a grandparent (or anyone really) to be a part of my children’s lives. But it is so nice to see so many grandparents who go out of their way to foster relationships with their grandkids and who want to spend quality time with them (not just to give mom and dad a break).”

Five women hold their bellies in a baby shower photo.

Getting married and having a child is a huge life change and so when a group of friends goes through the same experience together, it’s a great way to bond. Unfortunately, for some people, these changes on the domestic front can take over their lives and become their entire personality.

People who are single and aren’t looking to have kids any time soon can have a hard time relating to their friends who are married with children because they have less in common. Further, when you don’t have children, it can be a little tedious to hear people talk all day about lactation, sleep schedules and spitting up.

These topics can be boring to people who have children, too.


A Redditor who goes by Remarkable_Lake410, who we’ll call RL for brevity’s sake, recently ran into this problem with her friends. Instead of feigning interest in married mom life, she decided to be honest with them about why she didn’t want to join them on a trip.

child-free woman, Reddit, writing post

A woman writing a post on Reddit.

via Magnet.me/Unsplash

“I (27F) have a group of female friends (8 of us). We have been friends for over a decade, since school. Now, we don’t live in the same place, but we meet up a couple of times a year for a weekend on an Airbnb. This used to be a weekend of good food, drinks, hot tub, etc.” she wrote on the AITH forum.

“Around five of my friends are either married or in very long-term relationships. Of these five, two either have a baby or are pregnant. I will be seeing all of my friends this year for various wedding, friend and baby events. I have been invited to this year's girls' trip, but I have said I can’t come. I didn’t originally provide a reason,” she continued.

But a friend pushed her to find out why she didn’t want to go on the trip and she was honest: She didn’t want to be stuck constantly hearing about babies, marriage and weddings on a trip that was going to cost a significant amount of money.

“[Last time], I listened to one of my friends talk about her breastfeeding plans, with vengeance, for over an hour. She is not pregnant or trying. Truthfully, it’s boring, and it feels dismissive,” RL wrote. It’s also a really expensive way to feel bad about myself.”

When her friend heard her reason, she was “really hurt,” and it felt like RL didn’t care about her and her other friends. So, RL asked the Reddit forum if she was in the wrong for being honest and skipping a trip that would be all about marriage and babies.

The post received over 4,000 responses that were overwhelmingly supportive for RL.

"On the surface, this seems like it’s just about engagements, weddings and babies. You go out of your way to be constantly supportive of them. However they don’t reciprocate that for you. They can’t relate to anything or want to relate to anything outside of their lives. It would sort of be like if you just won an award, but all they talked about was the pie they just ate that morning," Dependant_praline_93 wrote in the most popular comment.

"We all change as we get older. You naturally drift apart from some friends, especially if their lifestyle changes dramatically (think married with children, in particular). I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money to spend 3 days with a group that had such dis-similar interests. And I don't think it was wrong to be truthful when your friend asked you why you wouldn't go," Smokin_HOT_Ice added.

baby, happy couple, baby photo

A couple holds their newborn baby.

via Magnet.Me/Unsplash

One commenter with kids has a close friend who is a child-free and she has made an effort to ask her about her life and interests of just talking about parenting.

“I was 38 when I had my first child and I read an article in Working Mother magazine when I was pregnant, and it said not to be the jerk who always talks about your pregnancy and your baby to your friends, especially the ones without babies,” JellyBear135 wrote. “When I see her, I always ask about her work, her activities outside of work and recently, her new baby dog. She lives alone and doesn’t have a lot of people who always ask about her life so I make sure I always do. I check in via text every couple of weeks to ask her about her life.”

After receiving a huge response from her post, RL wrote an update revealing that another friend who’s in the same boat decided not to go on the trip as well. “I have spoken to one of my other friends invited on the trip (who is also not at the baby stage of life); she is also not going on the trip and said she is not attending for the same reason,” RL wrote.

It seems the big takeaway from RL’s dilemma isn’t just that stage-of-life changes such as marriage and having babies can create chasms in friendships. But we need to make sure that we’re not just talking about ourselves to our friends but listening to them as well. Because a one-way friendship isn’t a friendship at all.

Joy

Tense video shows two barbers rushing to save little girl from running into traffic

The heroes say they went into "dad mode" and immediately acted.

@obthebarber/Instagram

Some people step into action without a second thought.

When two barbers noticed a young girl racing by their window and into oncoming traffic, they only had seconds to act. And thankfully, they did without hesitation.

Osvaldo Lugo recently posted a harrowing surveillance video to the Instagram account of his Connecticut-based business, the Look Sharp Barbershop, which shows himself and an employee, Rafael Santana, racing out to scoop up a young girl mere seconds away from bolting into oncoming traffic.

Lugo tells ABC7 that he simply went into “dad mode” the minute he spotted the girl in the shop window, who had escaped her mother at a nearby bus stop. Thank goodness he did, and that he and Santana were able to help the girl reunite with her mom, who seemed “confused and shocked but grateful,” per Today.com.

Even knowing this story has a happy ending, viewers found the footage terrifying, and commended the barbers on their bravery and fast action.

“I can’t believe how long I was holding my breath while watching, even knowing that you both were to save her before she ran into the traffic,” one person wrote.

Another added, “Omg this gave me chills! Thank God you guys saw her & most importantly went into action.”

The East Hartford Police Department also praised Santana and Lugo in a Facebook post, which read:

“Heroic Barbers to the Rescue! Today, we want to give a massive shoutout to the quick-thinking and brave duo, Osvaldo Lugo and Rafael Santana of LookSharp Barbershop.Their swift action saved a little toddler who had escaped from his mother and started moving towards traffic on Main Street. Thanks to them, a potential tragedy was averted, and a family remains whole. We’re incredibly grateful for these everyday heroes among us!”

As for Luca and Santana, their actions aren’t considered anything out of the ordinary. As Santana shared with TODAY.com, “We did this out of love and we’d do it a million times again. We protect and serve our community at all costs.”

It’s never a bad time to share stories like these. But right now, they seem more important than ever.

Representative photos by Viktoria Slowikowska and Karolina Grabowska|Canva

Woman talks to herself like she talks to her dog and gets results.

By now many people heard of positive affirmations and how well they can work for building self-esteem or confidence. They're generally short, positive phrases that relate to whatever the person my be struggling with. People say positive affirmations in the bathroom mirror, on their commute to work or while waiting to pick kids up from school.

The phrases vary from person to person, but the sentiment is always the same, building the person up. Jen Butler, the woman behind the Instagram page, jenbutlersays, put a new spin on positive affirmations that others may want to try. Butler explains in her video that she decided to do an experiment by speaking to herself in the mirror like she speaks to her dog.


The results were surprising to the comedian. Of course there were feelings of ridiculousness, but Butler noticed she actually started to feel better. Initially the experiment was supposed to last 30 days, but with the results being so positive, she says she may keep it up.

"I did not do anything or talk to anyone between when I opened my eyeballs and shimmied my little tush on into the bathroom and stared in the mirror. And then was like, 'You're a little baby angel. It's the babiest little angel,' and something about having that aggressive, intense, ridiculous love first thing in the morning just absolutely terrified any sort of insecurities into fight, flight or freeze, and then they just shut down," Butler explains.

Watch:

People often talk to their pets in an especially happy, over-the-top tone, giving them praise for simply existing, but humans aren't usually that kind to themselves. Based on the comments, the comedian may have just unlocked a new way to do positive self-talk.

"Absolutely LOVE this! On my very first day, using the very words I use on my furry baby, I said 'I love you so much, you bring joy to the world by simply existing and you teach us so much on a daily basis. Thank-you for being part of our family and loving us so much,' I had no idea how much I needed to hear that," one person writes.

"This is so good because I realized that I say to my dog every day 'you are handsome, and smart, and successful, and I am so proud of you' but I don’t even say that to myself," someone says.

"I’m starting tomorrow talking to myself like I talk to my cat. So tomorrow I full expect to have an incredible day like the squishiest mamasita Bonita conchita burrito Dorito should," another shares.

"Why does the thought of doing this for myself absolutely terrify me and bring me to tears," a commenter asks.

So, if you've ever needed motivation to start doing your daily affirmations, just go ahead, stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself what a good human you are. You have the fluffiest best tush there ever was.