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Kidney Transplant Brings Divorced Couple Back Together

March 27, 2009 10:29 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
Seventeen years after ending their marriage, Jim and Bernadette Tobin fell back in love after Bernadette helped save Jim’s life by giving him her kidney.

“He Gave Her Back His Heart”

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The Tobins were what many might call “a typical American couple,” getting married and raising two children, according to The Today Show. Then, when they started arguing over money and other matters, they divorced.

When Jim became sick with kidney disease—which only a kidney transplant would fix—Bernadette asked to be tested and found out she was a perfect match for Jim.

According to Quincy, Mass. paper The Patriot Ledger, the Tobins, who were living apart at the time of the transplant, recovered from surgery together in their daughter’s home.

During that time together they reconnected over the situation and eventually fell back in love. Ten years after the kidney transplant and 17 years after divorcing, the Tobins remarried.
The Tobins said things are different this time around.

“You grow wiser; you know a lot more,” Mrs. Tobin said in an MSNBC article. “And you don’t want to lose each other again,” Mr. Tobin stated.

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Related Topic: When divorced couples remarry each other

Pepper and Ron Miller are another case of a couple who became stronger together following some time apart. After divorcing in 1996, they remarried each other in 2001 and credit the time between their marriages for helping them grow as individuals.

“I wasn’t as secure as I thought I should be,” Pepper said in an Associated Press article. “I made the marriage more about Ron. I didn’t stand up for myself enough. If you don’t know your own value then the other person doesn’t.”

The two also worked on forming a friendship with each other, which they said they didn’t have in their first marriage.

Therapists say that some divorced couples who married young “regret never having played the field,” only to realize they were happier in marriage, according to the AP. They may fall out of love but ultimately end up missing their spouse.

Others realize the importance of cultivating good communication and forgiveness in their relationships.

In 2007, the AP reported that there were no statistics indicating how many couples remarry each other after divorce or how many of those marriages work out. In 2004, however, The Arizona Republic wrote that an estimated 6 percent of divorced couples in the United States remarry each other, based on a study by Nancy Kalish, a psychology professor at California State University in Sacramento.

While some couples find that second marriages to each other are successful, others still have their share of problems. Keven Leman, a psychologist, told The Arizona Republic that remarrying for the sake of children may not be “the best idea.” Leman explained that “kids hurt from divorce”  and a second divorce could be just as painful for youngsters.

Analysis: Divorce myths

At one point, it was reported that a woman’s standard of living would drop by 73 percent after divorce, while a man’s would improve by 42 percent. An article from Rutgers addresses this divorce myth, which was found to be based on a faulty calculation, and others.

Reference: Marriage resources

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