Lauren and David Blair tied the knot in 1984. But they didn’t want their public pledge of love for each other to be a one-time thing. So they decided to renew their vows, again and again, each time in a different location. On October 2nd, they renewed their vows for the 99th time, making it their 100th marriage to each other. To put the numbers even more in context, the couple set the Guinness World Record for the “Most Marriage Vow Renewals by the Same Couple” back in 2001, when they renewed their vows for the 66th time. With each subsequent renewal, they have beaten their own record.
So why does the couple do this?
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I was finishing college when I met my husband, Jason*, a carefree, polite Australian with dreamy blue eyes and shaggy brown hair who was on an extended working holiday. The attraction to his laissez faire personality and quirky accent was arguably a naive American girl’s knee-jerk reaction to a breakup with a controlling and insecure Brit. Yet, it is undeniable that our romance was of Hollywood screenwriting caliber. Set in the picturesque town of St. Andrews, Scotland — ironically at the same time and place where Prince William courted Duchess Catherine — I allowed this delicious Aussie, four years my senior, to sweep me off my feet. We strolled hand-in-hand through ruins on the beaches that lined the North Sea, snuck kisses in-between pints at our favourite pubs on Sunday afternoons, and celebrated my graduation from St. Andrews University in the company of my entire family, who embraced him immediately. I knew he was a keeper when he broke into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club where he worked to show me the grandiose dining room, which had banned women patrons centuries ago.
Nonetheless, reality always finds a way to spoil the fairytale. Soon after graduation, I returned to my parents’ house in Connecticut and Jason returned to his native Australia. While most flings abroad are retired, Jason and I couldn’t shake the feeling that we might be soul mates. We agreed to take a stab at our fledging union and if it didn’t work, we would walk away with dignity and respect knowing that we tried our best. Thus began a journey that far outweighed the rarity of our early beginnings as Jason and B.B. Truly, what was most unforeseen was not the juggling of the typical long-distance relationship, but where this brand of relationship took us and the questions we inevitably had to answer. Keep reading »
has said that he is terrible at marriage and didn’t plan to ever do it again after getting divorced from Talia Balsam in 1993. But he apparently wasn’t afraid to do it for pretend. In this ad for a Norwegian bank, a woman wakes up from a rough night in a posh hotel room with a rock on her finger and a wedding dress hung in the closet. While the photos of the affair show a man in a donkey mask, her fears are soon calmed when George saunters out of the bathroom acting all sweet to her. The ad ends with the words, “Some people are lucky in life.” Indeed. [Huffington Post
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I almost feel bad for black women. It seems like the majority of the time they’re written about in the mainstream media, it’s about one of two topics: Why aren’t any of them married? as a question or None of them are married! as a statement. How frustrating that their representation in culture is thinned down to their marital status, right? The latest example is a new book by Stanford law professor Ralph Richard Banks called Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone about the so-called “man shortage” among middle-class blacks. As promotion for his book, Banks also published a piece in The New York Daily News last week entitled, “Why Black Women Are Justifiably Bitter: The Bleak Relationship Picture For African-American Females,” which began with the paragraph:
“Stereotypes of black women as angry or bitter are pervasive. They are also more accurate than many people would like to acknowledge: many black women have perfectly good reasons to be angry or bitter.”
Oof. Keep reading »
Not so long ago, my wife and I were talking to a recently-divorced friend of ours. She’s younger than we are, in her early thirties, and as far as she’s concerned, she’s never tying the knot again. Not because of an objection to the institution, but because she’s convinced that most men marry for one reason: they want to be taken care of emotionally.
“I got tired of thinking about someone else’s needs all the time,” our friend said. “I’m prepared to take care of a baby. But I don’t want my first-born to be my second child.” When she heard that, my wife turned to me and gave me a grin. She knows my history.
In three previous marriages and a handful of other long-term relationships (I haven’t been single for long since I was 16), I found myself—like so many men—taking on the parts of the “naughty boy” and the “helpless child.” Time and again, I turned wives and girlfriends into mother-figures, and the result was inevitably disastrous. Keep reading »
When I married Jason on August 7, 2010, the same day as his 29th birthday, we didn’t feel that marriage would change our relationship dramatically. After five years of dating, we were true partners-in-crime who had traveled the world together, raised two small dogs as though they were our children, and enjoyed daily debriefing sessions involving beers and work dramas we called “Power Hours.” Classifying us as genuine best friends would be an understatement. However, when Jason was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on April 2, 2011, our world and our relationship was flipped upside-down. Everything changed — and I don’t just mean the obvious cancer hurdle. Striving to feel like a normal newlywed couple was, and still is, the most difficult challenge. Keep reading »