Warning: only hardcore nerds — or those with a soft spot for hardcore nerds — will find this YouTube footage touching. It goes on for a while, you can’t quite see what’s going on, and there’s no climactic applause and shouts of congratulations at the end. But with a little background info, it becomes more…
Last week, Illinois lawmaker Deborah Mell spoke on the state House floor to announce her “bittersweet” engagement to her girlfriend of six years — “bittersweet” because she’ll have to go next door to Iowa to tie the knot instead of doing it in the state where she grew up, where she now represents 100,000 people…
Since the 19th century, scientists have been proving that marriage is good for your health. But as recent research has shown, it’s not as simple as tying the knot to ward off the Grim Reaper. It turns out that “it is the relationship, not the institution, that is key,” as marriage historian Stephanie Coontz tells the New York Times. Good marriages are good for your health; bad marriages, not so much. And even within happy, loving marriages, the way that you handle conflict can impact your health. In other words, you may be head over heels in love, but if you fight dirty, then you’re a cigarette habit to your partner’s heart. (Literally: One recent study showed that a stressful marriage can be as bad for the heart as a regular smoking habit.) Some other interesting tidbits from the NYT magazine article that nicely summarized the recent research in this field:
“Despite years of research suggesting that single people have poorer health than those who marry, a major study released last year concluded that single people who have never married have better health than those who married and then divorced.”
“Married people are less likely to get pneumonia, have surgery, develop cancer or have heart attacks. A group of Swedish researchers has found that being married or cohabiting at midlife is associated with a lower risk for dementia. A study of two dozen causes of death in the Netherlands found that in virtually every category, ranging from violent deaths like homicide and car accidents to certain forms of cancer, the unmarried were at far higher risk than the married.”
“The results [of a recent test] showed that the women in unhappy relationships and the women who remained emotionally hung up on their ex-husbands had decidedly weaker immune responses than the women who were in happier relationships (or were happily out of them).”
Before we started reading The Husbands and Wives Club: A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Group by Laurie Abraham (based on this NYT mag cover story), we had a number of preconceived notions. (1) Okay, so other people’s therapy might be interesting when Gabriel Byrne plays the therapist on HBO, but real-life couples and real-therapy therapy? It’s a miserable thing to say about other people’s marital troubles, but they can be so boring. (2) Group couples therapy? Isn’t that a little ’70s? (3) Wouldn’t you want to throw yourself off a bridge after a year of being embedded in five couples’ marital misery? Would you ever be able to have happy thoughts about the institution of marriage again?
Late last year we published an excerpt from our friend Robin’s book (So Sue Me, Jackass! Avoiding Legal Pitfalls That Can Come Back to Bite You at Work, at Home, and at Play) about who gets to keep the ring after a broken engagement. The lawerly response? “While common courtesy dictates that the ring should remain with the dumpee, the law in most jurisdictions dictates that if a ring is given in contemplation of marriage, the woman doesn’t take title to the ring until the marriage takes place. That means if the marriage doesn’t take place, the ring goes back to the giver.”
Neither one of us ever read Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love (soon to be a movie starring Julia Roberts) — we were both faintly annoyed by the idea of being along for the ride while some over-analytical divorcee worked through her problems on paper. But then Curtis Sittenfeld’s review of Gilbert’s Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peach with Marriage convinced us that Gilbert was a smarter, funnier, more insightful, and less annoying writer than we’d assumed. She was right: Committed — a sequel of sorts to Eat, Pray, Love — is a compelling take on marriage and its discontents. Sure, at times it feels like being along for the ride while some over-analytical affianced woman works through her issues on paper. In fact, it feels like this a lot of the time — but it is only very occasional annoying. The memoir is likeable for multiple reasons, but here are five of our favorite relationship tips that we took away from it (whether or not Gilbert intended them that way):
Light Writing Proposal from Derick Childress on Vimeo. Derick Childress wanted to propose to his girlfriend Emily in a unique manner, certainly a more unique one than via the jumbotron during a basketball game. He hit upon the idea of spelling out his question using light writing on an epic scale. He scouted variation locations…
The New York Times collected some valentines written by or to famous New Yorkers. They are quite touching and eloquent, especially the poem that E.B. White wrote to his wife, Katharine Sergeant White. A former New Yorker editor, “in a penciled notation, Katharine recognized it as a rondeau, a French lyrical poem with an unusual…
photo via IMDB
A recent study by the Pew Research Center, comparing marriages in 2007 with those in 1970, found that husbands whose wives earn more than they do jumped from 4% to 22%. This is partly because, for the first time ever, in the under 44 age group, more women than men have college degrees. Make no mistake, women still earn 77c to the man’s dollar, so things aren’t exactly coming up roses. But still, plenty of women are bringing home the bacon while hubby contributes a few Bacos.
We recently spoke with Hannah Seligson about her new book “A Little Bit Married: How to Know When It’s Time to Walk Down the Aisle or Out the Door”:
Why did you write this book? Personal experience?
Of course! I’m my own guinea pig. After my first round of being A Little Bit Married, I became intrigued by this new dating pattern that I saw practically every 20-something friend of mine ebb in and out of. Here were these relationship that fifty or sixty years ago would have most likely culminated in marriage, but today often do not. So the book is an attempt to understand why that’s the case.
photo by walknboston We hope that you’re sitting down to enjoy turkey (or tofurkey) with a loved one today. But if your loved one refuses to partake in the holiday celebration, we thought you should know that — acccording to a New York court, at least — that’s not as bad as refusing to partake…
Image is a summary of states’ attitudes on gay rights issues from a paper recently published in the American Political Science Review
Maine residents will decide Tuesday whether to repeal a law allowing same-sex marriage, an effort that has succeeded in every state where it has been put before voters.
Defenders and haters alike have descended on the state, where it seems the fight is neck and neck.
photo by cliff1066
The cover story in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine is about the First Marriage. It’s both inspiring and a little chastening — let’s see you be President or First Lady and still rock hot monogamy like that. And also a little terrifying — how would we ever recover from an Obama divorce? We’d lose faith in the very institution of marriage! So please, Mr. and Mrs. Obama, hang in there, for us. Here are top 10 reasons why we think they will:
photo from Porn for Women It’s long been a given in the sex advice biz that dudes who break out the vacuum cleaner every once in a while are more likely to get laid. We typically fight such Men-are-from-Mars-Women-are-from-Venus stereotypes, but we’ve heard too much anecdotal evidence to ignore this one. It’s not that watching…
How novel is this? A politician sends out an email to his supporters and doesn’t ask for money…he doesn’t ask you to write letters about policy…or to volunteer your time to some campaign. He simply asks you to “remember a funny story about someone you love, smile, and be thankful.”
We heart Al Franken. Thank goodness he’s one of the Minnesota senators now.
This past Saturday, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the night he met Franni, his wife, he emailed all of his supporters basically an open love letter to her, acknowledging that he wouldn’t be where he is today — the United States Congress — without her. Those with a block of ice for a heart might find this a little too precious, or perhaps even inappropriate for a man in public office, but we think it’s comforting to know that at least one politician in Washington is actually a human being. Even better, a human being with a romantic streak. Here’s the letter:
photo via venetia_joubert_sarah_oosterveld
If you’ve listened to Howard Stern even once over the past decade (that’d be Em, not Lo), then you know that one of his most loyal advertisers is the Ashley Madison Agency — the online dating site that caters to married people with the tagline “Life is short. Have an affair.” Charming. On and off over the years, we’ve thought about reporting on Ashley Madison, but every time we did, steam would come out of our ears and we’d realize that our entire article would consist of seven words, most likely typed in all caps: “Stop cheating you slimeball pieces of shit.” Just because the site sounds like it was named by Nora Roberts, as Jezebel so brilliantly notes, doesn’t mean it’s any less sleazy, immoral, unethical, or just plain wrong.
photo by adactio
We’ve always heard from our less-than-scrupulous guy friends that a wedding band lures single women in like flies to honey — apparently it works better even than a cute puppy or a baby bjorn. Though, we suppose if we’re going to be really fair, we should save the word “unscrupulous” for the competitive biotches who pursue a man not despite, but because of his wedding band. And let it be said for the record that we have heard not one story about the reverse happening: apparently a woman in a wedding band just isn’t an aphrodisiac to men.
On this day in 1967, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in Loving v. Virginia that Virginia’s anti-miscegenation law was unconstitutional and violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
From the book I’m Glad I’m a Boy! I’m Glad I’m a Girl! The new documentary OUTRAGE, opening this Friday, exposes closeted gay politicians who publicly oppose gay rights. The theory being, why should they get to stay in the closet if they’re actively holding back the gay rights movement in their day job and…
It’s this kind of thing — a new, totally rad T-shirt logo from Wordboner — that scares the bejeezus out of homophobes like the National Organization for Marriage. So frightened are they of an imaginary army of gay soldiers forcing them into a life of sodomy that they put together this gem of fear-tactic propaganda…
photo by Maxintosh Love must really be in the spring air this week: not one, but two states have legalized gay marriage in less than 7 days! Last Friday it was Iowa, and just this past Tuesday it was Vermont. That brings the grand total of cool states dedicated to marriage equality up to four,…
photo by greeblie While the rest of us were battling it out over gay marriage in courts, newspaper editorials, elections, marches, and barrooms across the country, a little company called Merriam-Webster was quietly making their own call. So quietly, in fact, that even though their dictionary updated the definition of marriage back in 2003 to…
Making your daily habits more sustainable can require a lot of effort. It is important to get help whenever and wherever you can, because most people are willing to make the effort if they can find the right guidance. Lets assume somebody is interested in having a green wedding. That person could use potted plants…