Love  &  Sex

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    Phil Laboon was supposed to get married this weekend in Pittsburgh. But well, stuff happens and sometimes totally altruistic, big-hearted, and -- dare I be shallow and say it -- handsome men get their weddings called off. So the 32-year-old was faced with a conundrum: drown his sorrows in tequila all weekend -- okay, that's probably what I would do and not what Laboon suggested -- or think of those who have even bigger problems than lost love and turn his pre-paid reception into a huge charity fundraiser.

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    "Divorce is the psychological equivalent of a triple coronary bypass," said author Mary Kay Blakely. She's right. Not only is divorce painful, it can also be incredibly complicated.

    And what that means is that it's a breeding ground for mistakes. So many terrible, long-lasting, devastating, regrettable mistakes are made because we're on an emotional roller coaster, or because the legal process is messy, or both.

    "It's what I call the 'divorce paradox,'" says divorce lawyer Rebecca Zung, author of Breaking Free: A Step-By-Step Divorce Guide to Emotional, Physical and Spiritual Freedom. "In the worst emotional trauma, you have to make the most critical decisions of your life."

    Wondering about all the ways women can go wrong when their marriages end? We've got the scoop on the biggest divorce secrets and fails by someone who's seen it all.

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    Thorughout their entire relationship, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have played by their own rules, so it's no surprise the two broke with tradition when they said "I do" this past weekend! The newly-minted Mr. and Mrs. reportedly gave their daughter Shiloh the honor of ringbearer, alongside brother Pax, while daughters Vivienne and Zahara served as flower girls.

    But as novel as the famous pair's move may seem, switching up gender roles in your bridal party has been a widespread trend for a while now.

    "Weddings today are more gender-neutral than they have ever been in the past," explains wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner in Delray Beach, Florida. "Certainly girls can carry in the ring, and boys can sprinkle petals if that’s what suits the bride and groom. And if a bride's best friend is a guy or the groom's best friend is a girl, so be it."

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    There's a lot of talk about what you should and shouldn't do in front of your spouse -- and how much privacy to give each other in marriage. The truth is, the best marriages I know have very low expectations when it comes to all that.

    If that seems counter to everything you've ever heard about "two becoming one in marriage," it is. But also, it isn't.

    Two DO become one when they commit to spend the rest of their lives together. But no one is expecting two different people to blend into one another so completely that neither is a whole person anymore. The reality is, marriage is compromise and more than that, it's an endless exercise in truth-telling. If you can't be yourself in front of your spouse -- the one you live with and see day in and day out, the one who sees sides of you no one else ever will -- then who can you be yourself with? 

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    I took my kids to our community pool the other day to soak up this last bit of warm weather and suffered a terrible shock. Thankfully, it was one that didn’t require CPR. What it did involve was an elderly couple making out in the middle of the swim club.

    When I first noticed them, they were holding each other, and in three-and-a-half feet of water, they looked a lot like the bears we’d seen embracing in a Six Flags Safari exhibit earlier this summer. My first thought was that one of them must have just gotten some terrible news -- death of a loved one, devastating test results -- until they started making out.

    Like full-on "I’m going to stuff your head in my mouth" making out. Honestly, I haven’t seen people gnawing away with such intensity since watching the Coney Island hot dog eating contest.

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    It happens every time -- just when you've had a few too many salty fries and you are left feeling uncomfortably bloated and blimp-like, your man wants to get it on.

    What's a gal to do? Say "yes" but try to keep her Spanx on during sex? Put the kibosh on the whole carnal idea? Stop eating fries forever (because when are men not in the mood)?

    These questions are common and, according to sex columnist Michael Alvear, author of Not Tonight Dear, I Feel Fat: How to Stop Worrying About Your Body and Have Great Sex, 50 percent of women have them, too. In fact, chances are you have turned down sex because you were having a fat day

    It's sad because sex is fun, and what's more? You are wrong about your body size. Oh yes. You, too. 

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    Just when you thought selfies couldn't get more personal, one Florida couple is celebrating not their union, but their divorce by sharing a self-portrait posed with the decree that dissolves their three-year marriage.

    From their enormous grins, you'd never suspect that Michelle Knight and Keith Hinson of Orlando were calling it quits. But sometimes, as this beaming duo proves, knowing when to say when is cause for jubilation. 

    Not long ago a friend of mine told me she was getting a divorce after more than a decade of marriage. When I told her I was so sorry to hear that, she said, "Don't be. I'm thrilled. I've wanted this for a while. Trust me, it's a good thing."

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    Once in awhile, my female friends and I joke about all of us living in the same building together. We would help each other cook and clean and take care of kids. We'd bring each other to doctor's appointments. We'd always have someone to talk to.

    The catch? Husbands are strictly forbidden.

    Yeah, so maybe we don't know who would trap the mouse if we saw one, but there would be much less arguing. We'd get the help we need instead of resenting the help we don't. Sex? Oh sure. Husband or boyfriend could come over for that. But then they'd have to leave.

    Of course, we don't go through with this plan, because we truly do love our men (on good days). But deep in Brazil there is a town that is living this dream. It's called Noiva do Cordeiro, and it's made up of mostly women.

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    Growing up, my mom, at nearly 6 feet tall, made no secret that height was a highly valued attribute when it came to dating or finding a mate. 

    I couldn't blame her. She came from a family of veritable giants. Plus, over the years, she'd shared countless stories of attending parties and dances where she and her similarly statuesque friends would be asked to dance while they were seated. Once they stood up, the potential suitors, measuring inches shorter, would quickly turn and flee. 

    Even though I topped out at an average 5-feet-6, each time I told her I'd met someone I liked, her first question was always, "How tall is he?" While I wasn't actively looking for someone based on height, the fact that my husband is 6-foot-2 certainly seemed attractive based on what I'd been conditioned to look for.

    So imagine my surprise when I read a recent study that suggests short men stay married longer. (Mom, we need to talk!)

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    This is not one of the classic moments you think of when you picture your wedding. And yet, it is so very, very perfect. A newlywed groom photographed his "drunk wife trying to order Taco Bell after the reception." At the drive-through. On foot. It's a photo so winning it went viral instantly and nabbed a million views in just one day.

    No one, I mean no one, has ever looked more like a glowing Disney princess while ordering Taco Bell. I think that groom just fell even more deeply in love than he was before. And you know what? This makes for a beautiful start to their lives together -- seriously!

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