POSTS WITH TAG: marriage

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    This piece is part of an ongoing series featuring real people's epic love stories. Each one is a poignant reminder of true love's power to conquer almost anything.

    Have you ever been curious about arranged marriage? Maybe not curious enough to try it out yourself -- but it does hold a certain mystery in American culture.

    We've all heard the horror stories about child brides. But for millions of middle-class people around the world, arranged marriage has far less drama. It's simply an accepted way of joining families together based on shared values and backgrounds. The success rate of arranged marriages is astounding.

    Except sometimes such a union just doesn't work out. What happens then? For Pratima Aravabhoomi, a young mother who left her arranged marriage to start a new life on her own terms, the answer was anything but simple.

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    I don't know about you, but as a mom of three, I've got no room for any extra whining in my house -- especially from my husband! 

    So I have to say, when Super Bowl champ Tom Brady confessed that his "trick" to getting his wife's attention is throwing a tantrum, I laughed, then cringed, and thought, "Wow, for once I'm glad I'm not Gisele Bundchen!" 

    The 37-year-old, who has two kids with the supermodel and one from a previous relationship, said he isn't afraid to act like one of them if it'll help him get noticed by the leggy Brazilian.

    "I like attention from her. So when I’m not getting it, I let her know in immature ways, like a young, immature child would. You throw fits ... you pout and you whine until you get what you want," the quarterback told Us Weekly.

    Say what?? While some women might find this cute or flattering, I don't care how handsome you are, that's just not attractive.  

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    For all of us, a certain amount of touching is absolutely essential to a good marriage. It's just a fact. Touch is the very essence of marriage, that which separates you and your spouse from siblings, friends, or two roommates who happen to share children.

    But "touch" encompasses a wide swath of intimate gestures that range all the way from a hug in the kitchen when one of you had a bad day to hot sex in your bedroom that lasts all night long. So which of these two is the proverbial "glue" in a marriage? In an epic smackdown between the cuddles and the wild sex, which would win the last round?

    It should be simple enough to answer, right? People have preferences. And yet, like almost everything else in marriage, it's neither simple nor straightforward.

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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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    What really turns women on? Is it really all those qualities we're fed as being attractive? You know the usual suspects: a wide-toothed grin, captivating eyes, a sparky sense of humor, bulging muscles, smarts, the ability to look jaw-droppingly handsome in a crisp, collared shirt. Those are the obvious things that get us hot and bothered, right? Sure. But maybe not exclusively ...

    Because while those may be what makes a man sexy on the surface, it's a different ball game once he's your husband. As I settle into life as an "old" -- okay, older -- 30-something married lady, I've opened my eyes to a new kind of turn-on which has very little to do with my husband resembling a rom-com's dashing lead and more to do with him resembling ... a dad.

    More specifically, my husband changed his very first diaper recently. And I have to tell you, it was oddly ... hot.

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    You love your partner, right? But what would you do if you were suddenly given the chance to trade him or her in for the upgraded 2.0 version? You know, the kind of mate that writes you poetry just because, never forgets a birthday or anniversary and somehow has a fully prepared meal waiting for you on the table every day when you get home?

    That's actually one of the questions raised by the new movie The One I Love (release date August 22 -- today!), a sci-fi/rom-com hybrid about a couple that on the brink of separation agrees to go to a country retreat recommended by their therapist (Ted Danson) in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage.

    What they don't know [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD] is that in the guest house on the property, each partner would encounter basically a clone of their spouse, but one who embodied the traits they thought they wished their real-life partner actually displayed.

    And that’s when things get interesting…

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    Before my husband slipped an engagement ring on my finger and popped the question, I knew I wasn't going to take his last name. My reasoning was two-fold: One, there are no boys in my family, and two, I just didn't like the idea of getting rid of the name I've always had -- it sort of seemed like I was erasing my old self.

    Here's my thing, though: I didn't take my husband's last name but I didn't keep mine, either. I hyphenated.

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    After months of dropping hints, visiting jewelers, and quizzing your soon-to-be fiance on your ideal engagement ring, the first time you laid eyes on the diamond he chose, your heart sank.

    While you still wanted to marry him (of course), your once-in-a-lifetime moment was marred by a rock you immediately wanted to exchange -- and he probably felt terrible. What could have prevented that disappointment?

    Enter the placeholder ring: a fake engagement ring to wear until the "real" ring is found.

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    There is a new kind of food fight out there, married couples, and it doesn't involve the throwing of apples or oranges. It's "hanger." And it's real.

    Have you ever been with your husband at 2:00 in the afternoon on the weekend and all of a sudden, apropos of nothing, he's just PISSED?! For us it happens when we have fed the kids, but there is nothing left in the house for us to eat and both of us are too lazy to grab take out. Like clockwork, the Hulk makes an appearance.

    "WHY ARE THE LIGHTS ON AGAIN?!" my husband might scream out of nowhere, his usual polite demeanor becoming a distant memory, veins bulging in his neck, face red. If he were a cartoon, steam would be coming out of his ears. For years, I have wondered what was wrong with this man.

    Now I have an answer: He was "hangry."

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    When we heard the awful news that we'd lost actor Robin Williams to suicide, we were stunned -- and deeply saddened. How could a man who projected so much joy and mirth be so wracked by the devastating mental illness of depression?

    The disease is tricky that way. And when it wins, it leaves behind spouses and children who desperately wish they could have rescued the victim.

    Men have a particularly hard time dealing with depression because of the perceived stigma in admitting they're suffering from a condition that may be stronger than they are. Many self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. For the women who love these men, there are no easy answers.

    So what do you do if your husband is dangerously depressed but can't -- or won't -- get the help he needs?

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