“[Jay and I] have been together since I was 20 years old … We took our time and developed an unbreakable friendship before we got married.We focused three years on our marriage and found that it brought us an even stronger bond and connection. But like anything great and successful in your life, marriage takes hard work and sacrifice. It has to be something both you and your husband deeply want. The best thing about marriage is the amount of growth you have because you can no longer hide from your fears and insecurities. There’s someone right there calling you out on your flaws and building you up when you need the support. If you are with the right person, it brings out the best version of you.”
– Beyoncé in Harper’s Bazaar. When she actually decides to say something about her relationship, it’s well worth the wait. I love the idea of marriage as a growth enterprise. Thinking about how you and the other person can help each other be the best versions of yourself is an empowering way to approach the institution. [Harper's Bazaar]
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 »