TIME celebrities

Did Nicki Minaj Just Get Engaged to Meek Mill?

Because that's no ordinary ring

Rap star Nicki Minaj fueled rumors Wednesday night that she and rapper Meek Mill are now engaged by taking to social media to flash some serious bling on her ring finger.

Neither Mill’s nor Minaj’s camp has confirmed any engagement, but it is not every day a woman is given a gigantic, heart shaped, diamond-encrusted ring that E!News estimated would retail for approximately $500,000.

💛💎💍😍😍😍😍😍🙌🙈 💛

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

To break it down, the drama began Tuesday night when fans and journalists alike pointed out that Minaj was sporting the rock from an Instagram photo she posted of the couple in Miami.

Those Miami nights 🌴

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

Minaj did her part to encourage speculation by posting a cryptic message on Twitter the next day.

And she delivered a few hours later, posting the close-up photo of her stunning iced-out ring.

For his part, Mill acknowledged the relationship (but not any engagement) by replying “I am!” via Twitter when a user pointed out how lucky he is.

Rumors of the relationship started in February after Minaj shared a picture of Mill kissing her on the cheek and the couple has been spotted together numerous times since.

TIME Heart Disease

What Divorce Does to Women’s Heart Health

broken heart
Getty Images

When it comes to the fallout from a divorce, one spouse is harmed more by it’s biological and psychological effects on the heart

Dissolving a marriage is hard on everyone, but researchers say the psychological stress of a divorce can have serious physical effects on the heart, especially for women.

Women who divorced at least once were 24% more likely to experience a heart attack compared to women who remained married, and those divorcing two or more times saw their risk jump to 77%. In the study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, Matthew Dupre of Duke University and his colleagues found that men weren’t at similar risk. Men only saw their heart attack chances go up if they divorced two or more times compared to men who didn’t split with their spouses. If men remarried, their heart risk did not go up, while for women who remarried, their chances of having a heart attack remained slightly higher, at 35%, than that of divorced women.

MORE: Divorce More Likely When Wife Falls Ill

These findings remained strong even after Dupre’s team adjusted for other potential contributors to heart attack, including age, social factors such as changes in occupation and job status and health insurance coverage, and physiological factors including body mass index, hypertension and diabetes. Previous studies have found links between divorce or widowhood and heart disease that were explained, at least in part, by changes in people’s access to health care and their ability to keep up healthy eating and exercise habits.

But these are the first results from tracking people over a longer period of time—18 years—to capture the cumulative effects of changes in marital status, says Dupre. “We looked at lifetime exposure to not only current marital status, but how many times someone has been divorced in the past. What we found was that repeated exposure to divorce put men and women, but particularly women, at higher risk of having a heart attack compared to those who were married.”

MORE: Study: Marriage is Good For The Heart

And it wasn’t simply changes in health insurance coverage or financial status resulting from the divorce that explained the higher heart risk. Even after Dupre’s group accounted for these, the relationship held. While he admits that the trial did not investigate exactly how divorce is seeding more heart attacks, other studies hint at a possible explanation. Dramatic life changes such as divorce, which signal an end to not only a significant relationship but potentially to stable financial and social circumstances as well, can lead to spikes in the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn can push blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar to unhealthy heights.

The long term scope of the study revealed the impact that social and life events can have on the physical functioning of the body. “The health consequences of social stresses are real,” says Dupre. For women, the 77% higher risk of heart attack connected to multiple divorces was on par with well-established factors such as hypertension (which boosts risk by 73%) and diabetes (which elevates heart problems by 81%).

MORE: Do Married People Really Live Longer?

That’s doesn’t mean, of course, that women should avoid getting divorced to save their hearts. “Another way to put it is to say that women who are stably married are at an increased advantage of preventing heart attacks than women who may have had to go through transitions where they weren’t,” says Dupre.

It also makes a good case for doctors including discussion about potential stressors, including lifestyle and social circumstances, in their health assessment of patients. Recognizing that divorce may be a life event that can contribute to higher heart attack risk, for example, they can monitor patients experiencing divorce more carefully, and be alert to the first signs of potential problems with cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar. “Understanding all of the factors that lead to a physiological response are equally important,” says Dupre. And potentially life saving.

TIME Crime

Woman Faces Prison After Getting Married 10 Times

She faces up to four years in prison if convicted

A New York City woman is facing felony charges after authorities discovered she’d been married 10 times in 11 years, and at one point may have been married to up to eight men at once.

Liana Barrientos, 39, of the Bronx, married 10 different men between 1999 and 2010, but prosecutors say she wasn’t as fond of divorces. She is currently married to four people, prosecutors said, and was married six times in 2002 alone.

Barrientos is being charged with two felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing, for filing a false marriage application and license, and could face up to four years in prison if convicted.

She pleaded not guilty to both charges, and calls to her lawyer were not immediately returned.

MONEY Love and Money

How to Tell if Combining Finances with Your Partner is a Bad Idea

joint finances
iStock

Sometimes separate accounts make for happier couples

A joint bank account can be the ultimate form of financial intimacy.

So say Derek and Carrie Olson, co-authors of the new book, One Bed, One Bank Account. “Sharing a bank account gives couples another opportunity to connect with each other and build up their relationship,” says Derek. “The oneness that a couple will experience through combining bank accounts can’t be achieved any other way.”

That sounds great. But in my experience, it doesn’t work for everyone.

If one or both of you has money drama, co-mingling could backfire. A separate but equal approach to managing money in your marriage—at least until you each sort through your finances—may prove wiser.

A Case Study

Take newly married couple “Brian” and “Theresa” (who prefer to remain anonymous).

They knew just six months into dating that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. “We also realized we didn’t want to merge our finances,” says Brian, 33, a school principal. “We each had independent financial baggage, but we had systems in place to deal with that baggage.” Merging their accounts would only make things more complicated, they explained.

Brian was paying—and continues to pay—for a doctorate program out of his own pocket.

Meanwhile, 27-year-old Theresa, an engineer, has been focusing on paying off student loans. There’s about $65,000 remaining, she says. Her auto debt repayment system is a tad “convoluted,” she explains, with multiple checking accounts tied to various student loan balances.

“It’s complex because of the number of accounts I have and number of transactions I have to keep things moving smoothly,” she says.

How to Manage Money Separately Together

If you plan to split costs evenly, you’ll want to jot down your monthly expenses somewhere that’s accessible to the both of you. You can either both slap down cash or credit when shopping or eating out, or designate one person as the household “spender” and the other as the “payer backer.”

Brian and Theresa adhere to a “modified roommate system,” where they record all shared expenses from rent to dining out on a spreadsheet. Brian usually pays for everything throughout the month and Theresa reviews the itemized list, checks for any errors and cuts Brian a check or transfers money to his account to cover her portion.

“Our agreement is, unless one of us has expressed wanting to treat the other, we split it,” says Brian.

It helps that they each earn roughly the same amount of money; they can evenly afford all their joints costs.

They also communicate a lot. Brian and Theresa hold weekly business meetings to talk about everything from large expenses coming up to the groceries they’ll need to buy for the current week’s meals.

Communication is important in any relationship no matter how you choose to manage the money, but it can be extra important if there’s no bank joint account representing joint goals.

If you’re both going to manage money on your own, you’ll want to check in more frequently to make sure that your saving and spending is measuring up to the goals you want to afford—both big and small.

Now two years into marriage both Brian and Theresa are en route to completing their financial obligations by summertime: Brian will be done paying for his grad program and Theresa will be debt-free. And once they hit those milestones, when “life will be simpler,” they plan to start sharing accounts with the goal to invest in real estate together.

But for now, they’re happy going Dutch. The couple admits that the arrangement isn’t super romantic—“but it’s what’s good for us,” says Theresa.

Every day, MONEY contributing editor Farnoosh Torabi interviews entrepreneurs, authors and financial luminaries about their money philosophies, successes, failures and habits for her podcast, So Money—which is a “New and Noteworthy” podcast on iTunes.

More from Money.com:

How to Watch All the TV You Want Without Paying a Cable Bill

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More on taxes from Money 101:

How can I reduce my tax bill?

How do you know if it makes sense to itemize?

What if I need more time to file my taxes?

TIME relationships

Here’s What One Woman Learned From Taking a Year Off From Her Marriage

Lessons from a year spent sowing wild oats

Robin Rinaldi did what many women dream of but few actually do: she took a year off from her marriage and made an agreement with her husband that they could both sleep with other people for a set period.

Rinaldi’s book, The Wild Oats Project, is a summary of what she learned during the year she spent in an open marriage. The idea came to her when her husband got a vasectomy after a long battle over whether they would have children — she wanted them, he didn’t. Faced with a future without a family, Rinaldi made a decision: “I refuse to go to my grave with no children and only four lovers,” she wrote, “If I can’t have one, I must have the other.”

That’s when she embarked on the Wild Oats Project. Rinaldi and her husband had three rules: no serious relationships, no sex with mutual friends and no sex without condoms. Both broke multiple rules over the course of the year, and it eventually took a toll on their relationship, but Rinaldi says the project wasn’t as much a choice as “a calling.”

“It was unlike me to act that way,” she says. “I had always been a very cautious and somewhat anxious person, I had always played by the rules. It was something instinctual, and something very female driving me to do this. It wasn’t really planned and strategized as much as felt.”

Still, Rinaldi found that, while many of her friends were supportive, some people thought her project was threatening, even terrifying: “The tale of a woman giving up security, even in an above-board way and allowing her husband to do the same thing, giving up all that security in pursuit of passion and adventure, is a scary idea for a lot of people,” she says. “I certainly didn’t write it to intentionally push anyone’s buttons.”

And ultimately, for Rinaldi and her husband, this was their last chance at saving their marriage. “We knew how risky it was, and we might not make it through, but it was really the only choice we had,” she says. “So we both agreed, two consenting adults, to try this first.” Ultimately, she and her husband went their separate ways, but Rinaldi says the project taught her much more than a simple divorce would have.

The biggest thing Rinaldi says she learned from the Wild Oats Project is that she was putting too much pressure on her husband. “Expecting your spouse to provide passion and security and purpose, it’s a lot,” she says. “I was asking too much of that one person… So now, as a result, I don’t look to someone else to kind of unfairly provide all of those things. That’s the biggest thing I learned from it, and I couldn’t have learned it unless I actually went through it.”

She also learned a lot about sex, and about her own body. Rinaldi spent much of the project in new-age sexual workshops and orgasmic meditation classes, so she came away a greater awareness of her sexuality. “The sex was the classroom, but the sex was not the lesson,” she says. “Your body has wisdom, that is very powerful and can kind of show you your path, and you don’t always have to think it through or necessarily act based on other people’s rules.”

Still, Rinaldi wouldn’t necessarily recommend that other women take exactly the same path she did. Instead, she’d advise younger women to “sow your wild oats before you settle down — that’s a no-brainer.”

Read next: Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution

TIME celebrities

Eva Mendes Takes a Stand Against the Tyranny of Sweatpants

Eva Mendes during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas.
Michael Loccisano—2015 Getty Images Eva Mendes during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival on March 14, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

“Ladies, number one cause of divorce in America, sweatpants, no!”

You know how every celebrity divorce is attributed to “irreconcilable differences” and you’re always like: What does that mean? Hollywood insider Eva Mendes is spilling the truth about the root cause of that phrase, and it is: sweatpants.

“No!” you cry, clutching your ratty Sorority Fun Run and Pancake Breakfast ’05 pair to your chest! “You can take my freedom but you can’t take my sweats!” But Mendes is here to deliver the cold, hard truth about your warm, soft pants.

“You can’t do sweatpants,” she said on Extra while promoting her makeup line, Circa. “Ladies, number one cause of divorce in America, sweatpants, no!”

This leaves the question of what she wears to lounge around the house when home with boyfriend Ryan Gosling. Caftans? Teddies? Nothing? What happens if he sees her after a workout? The only reason we ask is because we are looking to lock down a Gosling doppelgänger and will do whatever it takes.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

MONEY Love and Money

11 Financial Clues That Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

torn dollar bill
Getty Images

Certain changes in financial behavior and conversations about money are sure-fire signs that your spouse is preparing to split up.

Over 25 years, I’ve worked on the financial aspects of more than 1,300 cases of divorce. Rarely are both spouses in sync when it comes to filing; one spouse is usually laying the groundwork before the other.

In hindsight, most people on the receiving end of the filing have their “aha!” moment. One homemaker told me that her husband began plying her with gifts and vacations; he also launched all kinds of projects to fix up their house so they could sell it and move to a smaller place. It was all totally unsolicited, much appreciated, and done with loving attention.

Six months into all this thoughtful behavior — as the the couple closed on their new vacation timeshare, downsized to a beautiful condo, and planned for their next vacation — he popped the zinger one Saturday morning: “I want a divorce.”

For another client, the signs were a little more obvious: The bank called her husband to let him know that his mortgage was approved — the mortgage he was co-signing with his girlfriend.

Divorce is an emotional, legal, and financial combat zone. There are actually websites devoted to secretly planning for divorce, in order to “win” the best one possible. Divorces can have win-lose, win-win, or lose-lose outcomes. Preparation helps your case. And the earlier you recognize that divorce is imminent, the better you’ll be able to prepare.

Over the years, I have come up with a list of sure-fire financial indicators that your spouse is heading toward divorce. Changes in behavior about money — some subtle, some not — can be tell-tale signs of a split in the offing.

Most of the time, changes in financial behavior accompany classic non-money signs of marital trouble: lack of communication, stress, physical separation, arguments, and isolation. But it helps to be on the lookout for financial signs on their own. And here’s a good list:

Your spouse…

  1. Argues about money.
  2. Seems to be hiding money.
  3. Has no explanation for why money is missing.
  4. Has stopped direct deposits to your joint bank account.
  5. Puts you on a budget and demands an accounting of all of your spending.
  6. Makes large cash withdrawals.
  7. Pays for his/her own credit card bills — or better yet, has his/her mail sent to the office.
  8. Goes on more business trips than usual and has greater travel and entertainment expenses.
  9. Blindsides you with gifts and trips.
  10. Reduces contributions to savings or retirement. Excess cash is now spent or socked away somewhere else.
  11. Takes out loans because it is a “smart” financial decision during times of low interest rates.

Along with these changed behaviors, there’s a whole other set of red flags to look out for: a noticeable turn for the worse in how your spouse talks about his or her earnings, workplace achievements, or business prospects. He or she starts complaining a lot about money — how business is bad, how jobs are at risk, how this year’s bonus is in doubt.

If your spouse is suddenly and remarkably gloomy about his or her ability to make money, this might be premeditated strategy to lower your financial expectations in a divorce. Attorneys even have a name for it: RAIDS, for “recently acquired income deficiency syndrome.”

On the bright side, if you are familiar with your spouse’s business, customers, and performance reviews, it will be hard for your spouse to paint a credible picture of unexpected gloom. So keep your eyes set on financial reality and do your homework if your spouse complains in detail about the following:

  1. His/her earnings potential is at its peak and is at risk.
  2. Bonuses are reduced or nonexistent.
  3. Company layoffs are imminent or overdue.
  4. The employer has declining revenues and sales.
  5. Clients are deserting the company.
  6. His/her sales territory has been cut despite solid job performance.
  7. It’s the economy, stupid!
  8. His/her age is a negative factor in the business, and he/she is at risk of being fired for being too old.
  9. Our family spending is rampant and unsustainable with probable loss of income or job.

If you start hearing these complaints, it’s time to organize your financial wits and get a handle on your financial lifestyle. If you’re surprised to have a spouse who seems to be premeditating divorce, empower yourself and hire a divorce financial planner. A divorce financial planner will cut through your emotional tangles to track your financial issues and provide a foundation for you to advocate your needs, when and if you should hire an attorney.

———-

Vasileff received the Association of Divorce Financial Planners’ 2013 Pioneering Award for her public advocacy and outstanding leadership in the field of divorce financial planning. Vasileff is president emeritus of the ADFP and is a member of NAPFA, FPA, and IACP. She is president and founder of Divorce and Money Matters, serving clients nationwide from Greenwich, Conn. Her website is http://www.divorcematters.com.

 

TIME faith

Presbyterian Church Votes to Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

The church redefines marriage to include "a commitment between two people"

Correction appended, March 18

The Presbyterian Church (USA) made a historic decision Tuesday night to formally recognize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to marry in its congregations.

The largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S. voted to redefine the church constitution on marriage to include “a commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman,” the New York Times reports.

The vote, which was approved by a majority of the church’s 171 regional bodies (or presbyteries), cements a recommendation made last year by its General Assembly. As of Tuesday night, the vote stood at 87 presbyteries in favor to 41 against with one tied.

“Finally, the church in its constitutional documents fully recognizes that the love of gays and lesbian couples is worth celebrating in the faith community,” Rev. Brian D. Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which advocates for the inclusion of gay people in the church, told the Times.

There is a provision that states no clergy would be compelled to preside over a same-sex marriage.

The denomination has some 1.8 million members and about 10,000 congregations.

[NYT]

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described the Presbyterian Church (USA). It is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S.

TIME Marriage

Indian Bride Ditches Groom After He Flubs Math Test at Their Wedding

wedding
Getty Images

He failed to add 15+6, and she wasn't having it

Here’s an easy math problem: two lovebirds, minus one bride, is one lonely groom. That’s what happened after an Indian bride ditched her soon-to-be groom at their wedding ceremony for failing to answer a simple arithmetic problem.

At her wedding ceremony in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh Wednesday, the bride posed the following math problem to the man she was due to wed: 15 + 6 = ?

The groom answered 17, and the bride fled. The groom’s family tried to get her back, but she refused to marry someone who couldn’t add.

“The groom’s family kept us in the dark about his poor education,” Mohar Singh, the bride’s father, told the Associated Press. “Even a first grader can answer this.” The two families returned all the gifts that had been exchanged before the wedding, and the bride is presumably now looking for someone who knows all their multiplication tables.

According to Indian tradition, most marriages are arranged by the families of the bride and groom, and the pair rarely get to actually meet before the wedding. So the fact that the bride and groom had just met wasn’t that unusual — but the math quiz certainly was.

[AP]

TIME Marriage

This Is How Much an Average Wedding Now Costs in America

It's higher than ever before

The price of weddings has jumped to a new all-time high, reaching an average $31,213 in 2014, new research says.

Surveying around 16,000 American couples, the Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study also found that 45% of weddings exceed a couple’s budgets and, more worryingly, 23% lack a budget altogether. Most brides spent an average of $1,357 alone on their wedding dress.

At the same time, guest lists are shrinking even as costs rise. “The average wedding now has 136 guests, down from 149 in 2009,” says the Knot’s Rebecca Dolgin.

The cheapest place to tie the knot was Utah, where couples spent only $15,000 on the big day in 2014. The most expensive place for nuptials was Manhattan at $76,328.

Read next: Watch This Guy Propose to His Girlfriend 365 Times Without Her Knowing

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