At home with two children, I’d learned a home could make you lonely and therefore unhappy. But could a home make you happy, and thereby improve your marriage? Or are you who you are, regardless of the space you inhabit?
I married a man who invented the strong-silent type. He is quiet, logical and often taken aback by my less logical more emotional responses to issues such as him eating the last cookie or telling me that maybe I might look better in another outfit. And while he gets how to do our taxes and exactly how dew point relates to airplanes leaving trails in the sky, he doesn't get that sometimes, I need to know how he feels about an issue and "nothing" is not an emotion. Curiously, it took a mutual affection for the show Dexter, which chronicles the life of a serial killer trying to function in a normal relationship, to get my husband to open up.
It's true that having gays in the military is not a novel concept. Israel, for one, allows open homosexuality in the military, and some military intelligence units are known to have large numbers of gay soldiers. And history is replete with examples of homosexuality and military service. In Plato's Symposium, Phaedras writes that "no man is such a craven that the influence of Love cannot inspire him with a courage that makes him equal to the bravest born." The idea was that a soldier would fight more strongly for someone they were in love with than someone they weren't. Which, when you think about it, explains why all the Spartans in "300" ran around in loincloths. (And yes, I quoted Plato… gotta use that expensive liberal arts education for something…)
Every week, Traditional Love rounds up some of the best links to marriage and relationship news from around the web. This week, we're talking about the premier of Teen Mom and whether society is more likely to judge younger moms than older mom and can Skype really save a realtionship? It did for Kendra Wilkenson. And while we did run our own story on the show Sister Wives, we're obsessed with these non-traditional traditional relationships. Would you take on a second spouse if your faith required it?
My husband's brothers are fundamentally different from me. They talk guns, hunting, fishing, baseball and the intricacies of making lures. I like to talk about books or tell the story I heard about an old woman hiding her scandalous photos in her safety deposit box (true story). To bridge that communication gap, I make my brother-in-laws pies. An apple pie is the universal language for, "I think fishing lures are boring, but you are awesome."
Saturday was my day to go to traffic school. I had to report there before November so my ticket for driving 50 in a 30 doesn't go on my record. When I reported to the class at 8:30 that morning, I never thought I would leave with information to help my marriage. Here is some of what I learned.
If God commanded it, then we would find a way to obey it. The important thing is that we would communicate, and we would work it out together as a couple, with decisions mutually agreed upon. That’s necessary for any kind of marriage. Polygamy as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints used to practice it was never about sexual gratification. It was about family; survival, parents for children, and raising children to learn what we believe are correct and ethical principles. If it were reinstated, it would be about family again.
Each week, Traditional Love rounds up the very best (or at least marginally interesting) news on love and marriage from around the web. This week we're talking about, sticking together, STD's, patriotic puckers and the infidelity rate of careers. One of the more interesting articles comes from The Seattle Times, where they ask if an STD should ruin a marriage? What would you do if you your spouse told you s/he had an STD?
It's not that I deny the power of faith. Faith is an incredibly important part of my life, but I know that faith is no panacea for any relationship. According to a study conducted by the Barna Research Group, couples who profess faith in God are just as likely to divorce as any other couple, and of this segment born-again Christians have the highest rates of divorce. Shocking? Not for me.
According to SmartMarriages, about 70 percent of couples get married in a church. Yet, how did marriage and religion become so closely intertwined? Despite what you may think, marriage didn't start off as a $30,000 religious ceremony. If the Bible is to be believed, the first marriage took place without a $10,000 dollar Vera Wang dress. The bride and the groom were in the nude and consummated their union by hanging out with a snake (not a double entendre). After being kicked out from the Garden of Eden, Adam's descendants had complicated marital relationships often involving more than one wife and several concubines (I'm looking at you King Solomon).