Tag: Marriage

A Marriage Declaration

 

I got married a few weeks ago and I thought I’d share the declaration that my wife and I gave in front of family and friends. We took inspiration from numerous sources, and I’m not ashamed to admit the closing line was lifted from one of the most important documents in human history.

We collaborated on this declaration and we hope this inspires you if you’re writing vows of your own or if you know anyone who’s getting married.

Together, we declare:

Seeing Time Differently

 

I realized early on that my beloved and I approach time very differently. Case in point: our recent trip. We were going to head out on a real vacation for the first time in over a year. Besides driving to our first stop, we had a couple of errands to run on our way out of town, and the wife announced that we’d be ok if we left at ten minutes to nine on that Friday.

OK, good – I have my mission. Ten minutes to nine. I am 100% committed to that departure time. For the preceding 24 hours, everything I do will be geared toward making sure that at ten minutes to nine we are in the car and headed down the driveway. When we do that, some small part of the universe will be in perfect order.

Member Post

 

As someone whose marriage has gone over the edge, metaphorically speaking, and crawled its way back up, I believe I have some helps to offer for those in a similar struggle. By “over the edge,” I mean that we were separated for a year and a half as we painstakingly worked our way upward and […]

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Member Post

 

Christians and Jews should not think in the same manner as agnostics. There will always be much to explore and to discover. But some answers have been given to us. Sacred scripture and apostolic tradition bear witness to received truths, general or particular, from which research and reason can proceed in confidence.  Hadley Arkes explains […]

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The First Rule of Romance

 

Romance is the lover at play.

An acquaintance of mine told me how he had asked his live-in partner to marry him. He and his partner had lived together for several years. He had been married before and had grown children. The kitchen faucet started acting up, so she got under the sink and began working on it. He was watching her work and was moved by how much he loved this remarkable person.

Ayaan speaks with Dan Seligson about polygamy and the marriage market. They explore the question: does polygamy breed poverty or does poverty breed polygamy? Dan also explains where polygamy still exists, the chronic scarcity it creates, and the commodification of women.

Dan received his PhD in physics from Berkeley. From 1984 until 2001, he worked at Intel Corp. in Santa Clara and Jerusalem where he focused on manufacturing technology and machine learning. He has been an investor in, advisor to, and board member and founder of several genomics-related companies. He has been awarded 9 US patents.

The Four Marriage Questions

 

For the young ones… and the mature, as needs be…

Many people marry for the wrong reasons and end up single, often with obligations, and holding a cynical view of love and relationships. But a short, simple test can help guide you toward what a successful marriage may look like.

Group Writing: Connecting the Years

 

My parents first met in Worcester, MA, after my father returned from World War II. He was a translator in the Army; he’d learned French in high school so “translator” must have seemed like a logical assignment. His first name was Carlton, but everyone called him Tex, after a baseball player named Tex Carlton. As a teenager, he was a skinny kid and his friends called him “Tweet.”

Mom was pretty much a loner named Shirley, but she and my dad made a connection after the war. When they decided to be married, they had a large wedding with lots of family and friends. But when the photographer went to develop the photographs, they were somehow lost or destroyed.* The only testament to their wedding was a movie that was taken on 16mm film. Years later, when my uncle who had the only copy offered to share it with them, they learned that the projector needed to play the film wasn’t readily available. So, the film sat in a drawer.

Finally, a friend was able to convert the film for them so that it could be played! (I have no information about the technical details; I only know that we were going to see a wedding film of my parents’ special occasion—finally!)

A Cabbage Patch Guy in a World of Barbie and Kens

 

I was misled.

I grew up in the era of “Ozzie and Harriett” and “Leave It to Beaver.” In my formative years, I was taught that men grew up to be fathers and women grew up to be wives. Marriage was for life, except for that odd situation where a man abused a woman, or either party cheated. Sex was only proper when you loved someone. Somewhere in between first grade and high school, however, that changed. We had the Summer of Love starting in 1967, and the Vietnam War, and the integration of the public schools. Any one of those things would have been a social phenomenon, but all of them together at the same time truly upset the apple cart.

If I sound like a cranky get-your-kids-off-my-lawn old man, that’s not my intent. Integration was long overdue, and purchased in blood and toil. Women had been fighting for equal rights for decades and were not to be limited to one career choice as breeding stock. Allan Sherman explained in his book The Rape of the APE (American Puritan Ethic) that men and women had been having sex and not following the church rules for about 200 years. In fact, the myths that were sold by Ozzie Nelson and June Cleaver were already on their way out. Change is often painful, but stasis is more so. The Vietnam War put generations in conflict with each other, and it took until September 11, 2001, for that rift to finally heal with a united country. It’s taken less than 19 years for the rift to reappear.

Five Old-Fashioned Values We Rightly Reject

 

After a steady diet of period films, literature, and historical nonfiction, I’ve realized that in some ways, our culture has changed dramatically in the last 250 years or so. If you or I were transported to say, 1820, and we mingled with Americans then, we would struggle to fit in. We often grouse about the loss of shared values over time, and it is true that some of the beliefs that strengthened family units and held our culture together have been eroded. However, a few of those entrenched traditional attitudes were harmful and encumbered our progress. Some of them were held in opposition to the self-evident truths proclaimed in our founding documents, or worked against the family unit, and I say good riddance. Here are some examples:

Marrying Advantageously: One is probably wise to consider a prospective mate’s financial situation (especially to the degree that they reflect work ethic). However, novelists such as Jane Austen, who were contemporaneous to rank-and riches-conscious cultures, detail for us a milieu of shameless social climbing and gold-digging. Behaviors that would today be considered tacky seemed to be somewhat acceptable then, even expected: discussing openly how many pounds a year one was given as an allowance, or whether there was an inheritance to be had. One’s spouse needed to be of the right social class, and (as one biographer argued was true of George Washington’s marriage) even calculated to move one up the social ladder. We might argue that today’s criteria for marriage, a sense of romantic connection, for example, are even flimsier than they were in the past. Even so, we ordinarily do recognize today that character, kindness, and work ethic come into play in choosing a good spouse and likelihood of a productive future together.

Member Post

 

As many readers may recall my wife and I celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary last week.  This past weekend, owing to an inability to fall asleep I got into thinking about how my wife I don’t watch television together anymore.  Watching television together used to be one of the main touch points of our relationship.  […]

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Member Post

 

Fear of Friday The 13th Phobia – Paraskevidekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia. We recently covered Triskaidekaphobia which is the fear of number 13. Today we will talk about Paraskevidekatriaphobia, which is an extension of Triskaidekaphobia. It originates from Paraskevi, (Greek for Friday). Fearof.net  Preview Open

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Member Post

 

I spent time recently driving around town with some young women, and after a bit, one of them began to ask me questions about being married. She was approaching the age when she wanted to find a fellow that she could partner with and have it be a success. These three girls/women were all impressed […]

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Our most requested episode ever: Veteran matchmakers Emily Zanotti and Bethany Mandel lay out the hard truths about dating—and their best advice. Listen up—but be prepared for some tough love!

The Next Cultural Innovation: Throuples

 

OK, if you’re a naïve rube like me you might ask yourself what is a “throuple?” It turns out it’s a relatively new word formed by the blending of “three” and “couple” and it means “a long-term sexual relationship between three people” per a new entry into the Macmillan Dictionary. They must be ahead of the cultural curve from Webster’s.

You would think that the culture couldn’t sink any lower. Every day this absurdity of changing one’s gender identity takes deeper root. Today we were informed that a biological male (is there really any other kind?) will be competing against women in the Olympic trials.

The Perils of Postmodern Love

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, perhaps the one holiday hated by everyone — the one day when all singles long to be coupled and all couples long to be single. With Valentine’s Day come obligations and expectations: Christmas, but without the music, gingerbread cookies, and living-room conifers. (“I bought her a box of chocolates last year — and a bottle of sauvignon the year before that. Hmm. What to get her? I guess a Trumpy Bear will have to do.”)

No doubt, the Internet will soon be awash in articles about the dating scene, which, like the weather, is something everybody complains about … but nobody does something about. It’s frankly a wonder that a problem so universally acknowledged should be in want of a solution. Yet here we are.

Why is it so hard to date in 2020? Why does every single person feel compelled to submit to the ongoing pain and humiliation of online dating? Why does my generation’s romantic pessimism make Greta Thunberg look like a climate optimist? The reasons are simple, really — (a) we’ve failed to develop the requisite social habits, (b) we’ve lost the institutions capable of guiding us toward marriage, and (c) we have standards.

Member Post

 

(Reflections on prior conversations) It’s a fact often remarked on that a lot of us ordinary folk, out here in flyover country, look to celebrities as role models—that we dream of being famous and rich like them, living a lifestyle like theirs—in fact, that many of us want to play-act as if we were celebrities. […]

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Prince Harry and his new wife, Meghan announced they want to step back from royal duties, move abroad and make their own money. The world loves a love story, especially a successful one. I do. I watched their wedding, his mother, Princess Diana’s wedding, her divorce, and sadly the funeral. I hoped as I watched […]

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Winter of Our Discontent: Two Years of Winter

 

Two years ago today I wrote this. Since then it has been two years of being always winter. There is still a Janet-shape hole in my heart and always will be.

Do not get me wrong. I have been in many ways fortunate over the last two years. While it is always winter it is not always winter and never Christmas. My winter is not the Norse Fimbulwinter. There are thaws and mild days. Christmas comes.