Raven Gates Says She & ‘Bachelor In Paradise’ Beau Adam Gottschalk Talk Marriage ‘All The Time’

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Justin Bieber Asked Stephen Baldwin for Hailey’s Hand in Marriage

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Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos Celebrate 22 Years Of Marriage With Sweet & Sexy Tributes To Each Other

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Kelis Accuses Nas of Physical and Mental Abuse, Details Their Violent Marriage

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Brooke Burke-Charvet Files For Divorce From Husband David Charvet After Nearly 7 Years Of Marriage

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6 Ridiculous Fights Marriage Therapists Have Actually Had To Mediate

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Ryan Reynolds Comments On Marriage Trouble Rumors Like Only He Can

“I wish.”
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Logic Pulled Plug on Marriage, Has Prenup with Estranged Wife

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Logic & Wife Jessica Andrea Split After Two Years Of Marriage (Report)

Rapper Logic and his wife, singer Jessica Andrea, have reportedly called it quits.


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Logic And Jessica Andrea Have Reportedly Split After Two Years Of Marriage

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Donald Trump Jr.’s Wife Vanessa Trump Files For Divorce After 12 Years Of Marriage

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Jay-Z Says He Fought for Marriage to Beyoncé to ”Break the Cycle”

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Gwyneth Paltrow to give marriage a second shot

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Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1) – Shayne Parkinson

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Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1)

Promises To Keep, no. 1

Shayne Parkinson

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: March 8, 2009

Publisher: Shayne Parkinson

Seller: Smashwords


“I won’t have her forced,” Jack said. “Let her decide for herself.” Amy knew her father meant it. She could say no if she wanted. But this marriage would make everything all right. They could put all the trouble she had caused behind them. Everyone would be happy again. Everyone except her. “Sentence of Marriage” is the first book in the three-volume “Promises to Keep”. In nineteenth century New Zealand, there are few choices for a farm girl like Amy. Her life seems mapped out for her by the time she is twelve. Amy dreams of an exciting life in the world beyond her narrow boundaries. But it is the two people who come to the farm from outside the valley who change her life forever, and Amy learns the high cost of making the wrong choice. "One of the best historical novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in years." – WorkingGirl Reviews. "The story was captivating, the characters real, the dialogue crisp. I admit to having cried and laughed and even having wanted to murder a character and beat another one within an inch of his life — which is simply a testament to how well written these books are." – AmericanEditor.

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Danladi Was An Unrepentant Proponent Of The Idea Of Living Together Before Marriage

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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – William Blake

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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

William Blake

Genre: Art & Architecture

Publish Date: September 3, 2014

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


This book is a series of texts written in imitation of biblical prophecy but expressing Blake's own intensely personal Romantic and revolutionary beliefs. It was published as printed sheets from etched plates containing prose, poetry and illustrations. It is written in prose, except for the opening Argument and the Song of Liberty. The book describes the poet's visit to Hell. It also tells that good and evil are different kinds of energies, and both are needed to keep the world going.

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Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (Abridged Nonfiction) – Dave Barry

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Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (Abridged Nonfiction)

Dave Barry

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 6.95

Publish Date: February 16, 2000

© ℗ © 2000 Macmillan Audio

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Chris Hemsworth Reveals His Film Schedule Put A Strain On His Marriage to Elsa Pataky

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Luann D’Agostino Divorcing Husband Tom After Seven Months Of Marriage

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The Marriage Whisperer

As a practicing clinical psychologist, I have found that the best outcomes occur when the therapist and client are a “good fit.” That is part of the reason I employ a diverse staff of associates: to maximize the chance of a client finding a good fit. I recently spoke with two women who shared the same goal of getting married, but had very different circumstances and sets of obstacles to overcome.
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‘The Marriage of Kim K’: Theater Review


Kim Kardashian’s love life gets operatic treatment in the new British stage musical ‘The Marriage of Kim K,’ which is heading for London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Andy Cohen Grills Real Housewives of New York City’s Luann D’Agostino About Her Marriage

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Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (Abridged Nonfiction) – Dave Barry

Dave Barry - Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (Abridged Nonfiction)  artwork

Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (Abridged Nonfiction)

Dave Barry

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 5.95

Publish Date: January 1, 1987

© ℗ © 1987 Macmillan Audio

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A Formula For Making Any Marriage Work

A couple whose marriage is at a turning point — with only four days to decide if they’re going through with divorce proceedings — gets powerful advice from Dr. Phil in the video above, as he reveals his formula for success in any relationship: “The quality of a relationship is a function of the extent to which it is first based on a solid underlying friendship. Then it’s a function of the extent to which it meets the needs of the two people involved.” That means it’s your job to figure out your partner’s needs and vice versa — and then get busy meeting them.  

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Marriage is Not a Diamond

I had been married to my partner, Barry, a week. Our wedding was the perfect day–gorgeous weather, good food and our closest loved ones.

We had a lot of leftover beer and wine, so last night a few of friends came over for drinks. The conversation inevitably turned to Barry’s new bling, and one of the guys expressed that he wanted to get a ring tattoo instead of a band when he gets married, since he has a phobia issue with rings.

I immediately said “No, don’t do that.”

Our friend looked puzzled, so I continued.

“Nobody goes in to a marriage thinking it is going to end. You’ll regret that.”

There was an awkward silence punctuated by glaces toward my new husband. I felt the need to clarify, with some defensiveness, that every single person I know who has a ring tattoo is now divorced, and of course we all laughed and moved on from the topic with some relief.

My feelings about the symbolism of a tattoo as a wedding ring goes much deeper than simply being pessimistic, and explores a lot of misconceptions about marriage in general. Specifically, how many couples are approaching their vows with the wrong attitude, one that is old fashioned and should be the blame for divorces before 30.

Marriages are not like diamonds or tattoos. They are not eternal and undying. They are henna and wood, constantly made new to be beautiful, daily polished in order to shine. Relationships are not meant to be declared permanent and then taken for granted as a fixture. This attitude is why marriages fail, and why Barry is my second husband, not my first.

My first union started out beautiful and happy. In the pictures of the wedding, I look terrified, but content. There were holes in the foundation, but nothing that we could not have overcome if I had a true partner.

After a very rough first year, our flame of desire had been extinguished, there was no communication, no emotional support for difficult times, and I was handling the finances and household tasks completely on my own. We had the same arguments over and over about my need to have him be a more present husband and support system. Requests for counseling were denied. After four years, I reached a critical mass event of loneliness and depression and self-destructed, taking my paper-lantern marriage down with me.

I was accused of giving up, and I won’t lie that I did give up. I was young and stupid and didn’t realize that even though I was married, the ultimate commitment to people can make to one another, I still had to continuously renew that promise to push through difficult times.

I also didn’t realize that marrying someone means acknowledging that you take them as they are, flaws and all. Don’t expect someone to change, or expect disappointment. My ex-husband’s flaws were deal breakers that I realized after it was too late and they left a raw hole of dissatisfaction inside of me that I couldn’t cope with.

I broke his heart and betrayed his trust and we parted ways.

I learned a lot about myself through my divorce and subsequent five year relationship. I owe a lot to those exes who helped me figure out what I wanted, and didn’t want, and brought me to a place of strength, maturity and confidence in myself and what makes me happy.

Every morning I wake up I renew my promise to Barry to love him as he is, to take his feelings, goals and struggles into consideration in everything I say and do and to be a true partner to him. My husband does the same for me.

However, if I didn’t think I could love him as he is, right now, I wouldn’t have married him in the first place. Barry makes it easy by being the sweetest, most loving and awesome man I’ve ever met, of course.

In our vows, we promised to be responsible for each others happiness and well-being, not to stay together as forever roommates out of legal obligation or fear. We also didn’t go into this thinking that on September 5th, 2015, our relationship would solidify into an unbreakable fixture or that a marriage certificate would become a shield and make our relationship bulletproof.

Marriage certificates are just paper. They can be burned if left unattended too close to a flame.

Barry and I protect our marriage through constant diligence. We consider each others feelings, goals, happiness and desires the same way we did before our vows, and I hope that only deepens and becomes more instinctual and fulfilling the longer we are together.

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Divorce – The Huffington Post

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Should Christian Couples Be Kissing Before Marriage?

Many Christian couples engage is premarital kissing, but that doesn’t make it right. The Bible is our moral standard, so that is what we look to for an answer.
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Josh Duhamel’s Secret To A Happy Marriage

While promoting “Lost in the Sun,” Josh Duhamel talks to Access about his wife Fergie, and how they balance their personal and professional lives.


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My Kids Are Better Off Now That My Marriage Is Over

“You and Daddy yell at each other all the time,” my 6-year-old son told me, leaning into the bathroom where I was brushing my teeth one morning. “I’m afraid of the fighting.” I spit the toothpaste into the sink and watched it swirl in the water. I wanted to slip down into the drain with it.

 

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Divorced at 29: Reflections on a Marriage That Wasn’t

Saying ‘I do’ in my 20s was not one of my brightest moments.

It probably ranks down there with drinking OJ after brushing your teeth and/or eating Whataburger at 2 a.m. with a stomach full of alcohol. All occurrences, while widely varied, end with the same sour face.

I attended college at a private university in the south, where women were applauded for getting engaged before the end of their senior year, and expected to become mothers by their mid-20s. While I do not blame society for my poor decisions, I cannot help but acknowledge that my environment certainly encouraged me to place a greater importance on marriage at a young age, rather than on a career.

There are women far smarter than I who did not fall into the trap, and I applaud them. I, on the other hand, felt driven by a ticking clock. My timeline was etched in stone, and damn if it would be altered in any way.

Oh, to be young and foolish. Post-divorce me winces at the determination of my younger self; a girl blinded by others’ expectations of her and oblivious to what she truly wanted.

And that’s the thing: I believe that very few women (and men) genuinely know what they want and need in a partner until they have the opportunity to experience the antithesis. My marriage served as the antithesis of what I needed in a spouse — we could not communicate our way out of a cardboard box, sadly, and did not see eye to eye on…basically anything.

We met in our late teens, during a time when emotions ran high and rational conversations were non-existent. In retrospect, he and I were the poster children of opposites attracting — a relationship that began as a relatively harmonious yin and yang, but slowly evolved into a gasoline and matchstick situation. Sporadic grumbling became the norm, and at the end, our differences resulted in days of resentful silence.

Those around us chalked up our bickering to youth (“he will grow out of it, she will mature”), but as the days and years progressed, it became harder to write off our warring dynamic. I, like many other twenty-something divorcees, experienced an internalized tennis match during every fight. Do our issues stem from immaturity or incompatibility? Is this a phase, or permanent? Is irrational, childish behavior pushing us to fight like this, or are our personalities forever ill-matched?

All questions that I asked myself on what seemed like a never ending loop. All questions that I wish I could have answered far sooner.

Ultimately, it took the better part of 10 years to realize that we were simply not right for each other. A decade lost to unnecessary wars over grocery lists, dirty socks, and whose car took up more room in the garage. Yelling. Finger pointing. Rinse and repeat.

So while it would be easy to look back with ample remorse and bitterness, as I am further removed from signing my name on the divorce papers, I find myself grateful. For the opportunity to learn (albeit the hard way) and grow into someone who embraces her independence.

22-year-old me was terrified of that word.

30-year-old me loves who she is because of it.

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6 Things Men Complain About In Marriage Counseling

What do husbands talk about — and more pointedly, complain about — when they sit down with their partner and a marriage therapist?

Below, three psychotherapists who work extensively with couples share the biggest issues that men say cause friction in their marriages. 

1. My wife expects me to be a mind reader. 

Men talk a lot about how unfair it is that they’re expected to know exactly what their wives are thinking and feeling at all times, said Marcia Naomi Berger, a psychotherapist and author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted. Then when the husbands misread the situation, they feel like they’re somehow the bad guy. 

“It’s so wrong for women to assume, ‘My partner should know how I feel and what I want. I shouldn’t have to tell him,'” said Berger. “Wives should be direct but husbands can also help by encouraging their spouses to say specifically what they want. Then, he should either accommodate or negotiate so both of their needs are met.” 

2. The late night arguments are getting out of hand. 

He’s just about to drift off to sleep… and then his wife rolls over and brings up some major household or relationship issue that needs addressing right away, sleep be damned. It may sound like a relatively minor problem, but it’s an almost universal complaint among married men, said Elisabeth J. LaMotte, a couples psychotherapist and founder of the DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center.

“Often, from the woman’s perspective, the topic feels so important that she can’t possibly sleep until things have been adequately discussed,” LaMotte explained. “But for many men, this is the least appealing time to talk. They feel like their exhaustion and need to sleep is being dismissed by their wives.” 

To curb unexpected late-night convos, LaMotte suggests carving out some time — maybe it’s 10 minutes after work or right after dinner — when spouses can give their full attention and mental energy to issues that matter.

3. She doesn’t appreciate me. 

When speaking with husbands who’ve cheated, psychotherapist and Neuman Method co-creator M. Gary Neuman said the biggest complaint usually isn’t a lackluster sex life, but rather feeling under-appreciated by their wives.

“The problem is, too many women think that if they are overly appreciative to their husbands, they’ll reduce their husband’s desire to please her. It’s quite the opposite. actually. Men are energized when they feel their wives are appreciating them,” he said.

4. She doesn’t back me up when I discipline the kids. 

To be an effective parenting team, you need to establish a genuinely united front for the kids’ sake: When dad says to take it easy on the Halloween candy, mom needs to back him up. But Berger said many husbands complain about having to go it alone on discipline. 

“They feel like there’s no backup,’ she said. “Couples really need to support each other in front of the kids and talk to each other in advance so they can agree on what disciplinary action will occur. When children know their parents disagree about what they’re allowed to do or on consequences for breaking rules, they’re likely to play one parent against the other — and that only results in stress for the couple.” 

5.  She’s not interested in sex.

Sex may not be as hot and heavy as it used to be, but for most couples, it still needs to be a priority. Neuman said that men often complain that they’re starting to feel more like roommates than spouses — their wives just don’t seem interested in sex anymore.

“The biggest complaint in the intimacy department for men is not about how satisfying sex is with their wives, but that they feel there’s simply not enough,” he said.

The solution doesn’t rest squarely on wives’ shoulders, said Neuman; husbands need to work on fostering intimacy by lending their wives some support outside the bedroom. 

“Research shows that when men split the duties of household chores and child-rearing, they have more sex,” he said. “Couples need to talk about what will make both of them happier — what each need in order to create a more intimate relationship.”

6. Our marriage is no longer a priority for her. 

In therapy sessions, men tell Berger that at some point in time, they feel like their marriage took a backseat to nearly everything else in their wives’ lives: the kids, her career, nights out with friends. To rebuild that sense of partnership, Berger tells couples to make a real effort to go on date nights once a week. 

“It should be a time to relax and daydream out loud, like when you were courting — before the responsibilities of married life kicked in!” she said. “Then also schedule marriage meetings where you work on resolving issues and fostering teamwork within your marriage.”

Date nights — along with loosely structured conversations about marriage and family responsibilities – should go a long way in bringing spouses closer together, Berger said.

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I Was Divorced By 30 And It Totally Changed My View On Marriage

2015-09-25-1443204316-422753-AloneonSwing.jpg

When I was younger, I always pictured that I would get married, have a nice house, raise a few kids and retire with some money in the bank. I vowed that if I did get married I would never let it end in divorce. I assumed that I would marry someone who would always reciprocate my love and together we would take on the world, trusting that neither of us would ever dare hurt the other. I saw marriage as a magical venue full of hope and growing, a partnership intertwining friendship and intimacy. I believed that marriage truly would bind two souls together and hold them tight through even the wildest storms.

And now, after battling the storm and finding out that some bindings just don’t hold as tight, I find myself drenched in conflicting emotion and drowning in contradictions. A part of my naïve heart wants to keep believing in the dreams of marriage I had before, but the divorced part of my mind insists on cynicism. It’s a battle I struggle with often and I try to be an optimist and see marriage in the positive light I used to but sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to me like it once did.

My views on marriage have changed drastically in the past year, not specifically on the institution itself, as I still see the value that many religions place upon it as well as the non-religious benefits of sharing such a deep union with another person. I still respect marriage and the people close to me who choose to take that path. Never would I tell someone that marriage is not the right choice, because as previously mentioned, my heart still remains hopelessly in love with love.

But it has a different meaning now. It no longer means ’til death do us part. Marriage no longer feels like it could be forever and in turn, feels cursory. The wedding, the ring, the vows, the spectacle — I did it, I believed in it, and it let me down so I have begun to place my hope in strong relationships instead of the idea of marriage itself. The wedding industry plays tricks on people’s minds and makes us believe we need to get married to secure our relationship. We need a white dress and a diamond to add significance to what should already be a strong union. Yes, I did the big hurrah and it was an amazing day, but would I do it again? Most likely not.

Because what getting divorced at such a young age has taught me is that the relationship you have with someone matters more than the actual wedding and the marriage that follows. My views have shifted from needing a marriage to fulfill the life I pictured in my younger years to knowing that a piece of paper and an exchange of vows doesn’t change much of anything. You still wake up the next day and everything feels the same.

I try to view my change of heart in a positive light and consider it a lesson learned. My belief in marriage and my views on such a union have definitely been tainted and as much as I say I would never get married again, I know that I can’t predict the future. I know that if love happened for me once more, I would consider marriage but in a completely different light than the first time around.

The thing I want most if I do end up married again is a solid foundation. A relationship that can weather any storm, whether there’s a formal wedding involved, a simple ceremony at city hall, or maybe no legal binding at all. My views on marriage have shifted from superficial to entirely sensible. I believe that people can technically be married even though there are no documents to prove it. I believe that serious relationships that are strong and cohesive are just as meaningful as those that include marriage. I believe that people need to stop putting so much emphasis on buying or receiving a ring and instead put that energy into bettering themselves and their partnership. At the end of the day, I respect every single couple’s choice of how they want to solidify their partnership but I encourage everyone to include love, trust, and respect in their union no matter what path they choose.

I’ll continue on my own path, edging the line of hopefulness and cynicism, knowing one thing for sure: My divorce changed me in a way I could have never predicted and in a way I know some can’t understand. But realizing that my beliefs are able to shift and adjust as I continue to grow proves that I am maturing; and, in reality, that is what I really hoped for when I was younger.

If you divorced in your 20s and learned a lot about love, life and yourself in the process, we’d love to hear your story for our series, Divorced By 30. Send us a 500-800-word essay or an idea for a blog post to divorcedby30@huffingtonpost.com

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6 Things Men Complain About In Marriage Counseling

What do husbands talk about — and more pointedly, complain about — when they sit down with their partner and a marriage therapist?

Below, three psychotherapists who work extensively with couples share the biggest issues that men say cause friction in their marriages. 

1. My wife expects me to be a mind reader. 

Men talk a lot about how unfair it is that they’re expected to know exactly what their wives are thinking and feeling at all times, said Marcia Naomi Berger, a psychotherapist and author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted. Then when the husbands misread the situation, they feel like they’re somehow the bad guy. 

“It’s so wrong for women to assume, ‘My partner should know how I feel and what I want. I shouldn’t have to tell him,'” said Berger. “Wives should be direct but husbands can also help by encouraging their spouses to say specifically what they want. Then, he should either accommodate or negotiate so both of their needs are met.” 

2. The late night arguments are getting out of hand. 

He’s just about to drift off to sleep… and then his wife rolls over and brings up some major household or relationship issue that needs addressing right away, sleep be damned. It may sound like a relatively minor problem, but it’s an almost universal complaint among married men, said Elisabeth J. LaMotte, a couples psychotherapist and founder of the DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center.

“Often, from the woman’s perspective, the topic feels so important that she can’t possibly sleep until things have been adequately discussed,” LaMotte explained. “But for many men, this is the least appealing time to talk. They feel like their exhaustion and need to sleep is being dismissed by their wives.” 

To curb unexpected late-night convos, LaMotte suggests carving out some time — maybe it’s 10 minutes after work or right after dinner — when spouses can give their full attention and mental energy to issues that matter.

3. She doesn’t appreciate me. 

When speaking with husbands who’ve cheated, psychotherapist and Neuman Method co-creator M. Gary Neuman said the biggest complaint usually isn’t a lackluster sex life, but rather feeling under-appreciated by their wives.

“The problem is, too many women think that if they are overly appreciative to their husbands, they’ll reduce their husband’s desire to please her. It’s quite the opposite. actually. Men are energized when they feel their wives are appreciating them,” he said.

4. She doesn’t back me up when I discipline the kids. 

To be an effective parenting team, you need to establish a genuinely united front for the kids’ sake: When dad says to take it easy on the Halloween candy, mom needs to back him up. But Berger said many husbands complain about having to go it alone on discipline. 

“They feel like there’s no backup,’ she said. “Couples really need to support each other in front of the kids and talk to each other in advance so they can agree on what disciplinary action will occur. When children know their parents disagree about what they’re allowed to do or on consequences for breaking rules, they’re likely to play one parent against the other — and that only results in stress for the couple.” 

5.  She’s not interested in sex.

Sex may not be as hot and heavy as it used to be, but for most couples, it still needs to be a priority. Neuman said that men often complain that they’re starting to feel more like roommates than spouses — their wives just don’t seem interested in sex anymore.

“The biggest complaint in the intimacy department for men is not about how satisfying sex is with their wives, but that they feel there’s simply not enough,” he said.

The solution doesn’t rest squarely on wives’ shoulders, said Neuman; husbands need to work on fostering intimacy by lending their wives some support outside the bedroom. 

“Research shows that when men split the duties of household chores and child-rearing, they have more sex,” he said. “Couples need to talk about what will make both of them happier — what each need in order to create a more intimate relationship.”

6. Our marriage is no longer a priority for her. 

In therapy sessions, men tell Berger that at some point in time, they feel like their marriage took a backseat to nearly everything else in their wives’ lives: the kids, her career, nights out with friends. To rebuild that sense of partnership, Berger tells couples to make a real effort to go on date nights once a week. 

“It should be a time to relax and daydream out loud, like when you were courting — before the responsibilities of married life kicked in!” she said. “Then also schedule marriage meetings where you work on resolving issues and fostering teamwork within your marriage.”

Date nights — along with loosely structured conversations about marriage and family responsibilities – should go a long way in bringing spouses closer together, Berger said.

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At Synod Opening Pope Francis Reminds Everyone That The Catholic Church Is Against Gay Marriage

Pope Francis on Sunday reaffirmed Catholic opposition to gay marriage as he opened a three-week gathering of bishops from around the world but said the Church had to show love and understanding towards all.

Francis presided at a solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to open the meeting, known as a synod, on the theme of the family in the modern world.

But the run-up to the synod, attended by some 300 bishops and other delegates, has been dominated by gay issues.

On the eve of the gathering, the Vatican dismissed a Polish priest from his Holy See job after he came out as gay and called for changes in Catholic teachings against homosexual activity.

Conservative Catholics held a conference in Rome just before the synod started on how homosexuals can live by Church’s rules that they should be chaste while Catholic gay activists held another demanding full acceptance of active gays in the Church.

Francis dedicated one third of his homily to the topic of love between man and woman and its role in procreation.

“This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self,” he said.

He also spoke of the “true meaning of the couple and of human sexuality in God’s plan,” a clear reference to heterosexual marriage.

But Francis also stressed that the Church must be more welcoming, charitable, compassionate and merciful to all people, particularly those whose lives have been wounded and who those find it difficult to adhere to all of the Church’s regulations.

The leader of the 1.2 billion member Church said the person “who falls or errs must be understood and loved.”

“The Church must search out these persons, welcome and accompany them, for a Church with closed doors betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock,” he said.

In its explanation of the firing of the Polish monsignor on Saturday, the Vatican said his very public coming out was intended to put undue media pressure on the synod on gay issues, which are expected to be only a small part of the bishops’ discussions.

The story made the front page of nearly all Italian newspapers, with one headline calling it “An Earthquake in the Vatican”.

At a preliminary synod last year, bishops watered down a initial statement that was seen as a major change of tone toward homosexuals. That statement spoke of “gifts and qualities” of homosexuals but was changed after a backlash by conservatives.

One key topic at the synod will be how to reach out to Catholics who have divorced and remarried in civil ceremonies.

They are considered by the Church to be still married to their first spouse and living in a state of sin. Some bishops want a change to the rules that bars them from receiving sacraments such as communion.

Last month, Francis made it simpler and swifter for Catholics to secure a marriage annulment, the most radical such reform for 250 years, and told bishops to be more welcoming to divorced couples.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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Still Fighting Against Marriage Equality? “Dude, Get Over It.”

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I’m From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit archive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer stories. New stories are posted on the site every Wednesday.

When Paul Lalonde was in his early 20s, he would watch conservative televangelist Charles McVety on TV every Sunday evening. Needless to say, it rubbed him the wrong way. Paul recalls:

He would just go on and on about how if gays get married, it would be the end of society, nothing will work, trains wouldn’t be on time, it would be terrible, chaos everywhere. I think what made me so mad is that when I would watch him, he would be talking to me, directly at me, and telling me that I’m a terrible person and I’m awful and I would be a terrible father.

Instead of just getting angry, Paul decided to do something about it. He joined Canada’s LGBTQ pro-equality organization “Egale” and was put to work. One day he was asked to attend a public meeting organized by the anti-marriage equality side, which had an unexpected speaker: the very televangelist whose actions and words motivated Paul to get involved in the first place. Sitting in the same room as Charles McVety, Paul remembers his range of emotions:

I was enraged, I had to just sit there and listen to this guy and tell me that I’m going to be an awful parent, society is going to hell and all that stuff. And I think it was actually sitting through that day, that rather than actually being angry, because I wasn’t anymore, we won, we got what we wanted, I had won, I beat him, but instead I just almost pitied him. I was looking at this guy like, “Really? You’re still fighting this? Dude, get over it.”

Get over it, indeed.

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Kim Davis, Clerk Who Refused To Issue Marriage Licenses To Gay Couples, Claims She Met The Pope

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky clerk who went to jail for defying a federal court’s orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses says she met briefly with the pope during his historic visit to the United States.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, didn’t deny the encounter took place but said Wednesday in Rome he had no comment on the topic.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis and her husband met privately with Pope Francis last Thursday afternoon at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., for less than 15 minutes, said her lawyer, Mat Staver.

Davis, an Apostolic Christian, spent five days in jail earlier this month for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In a telephone interview late Tuesday, Staver would not say who initiated the meeting with the pope or how it came to be, though he did say that Vatican officials had inquired about Davis’ situation while she was in jail. He declined to name them.

Davis was in Washington for the Values Voter Summit, where the Family Research Council, which opposes same-sex marriage, presented her with an award for defying the federal judge.

Pope Francis did not focus on the divisive debate over same-sex marriage during his visit last week. As he left the country, he told reporters who inquired that he did not know Davis’ case in detail, but he defended conscientious objection as a human right.

“It is a right. And if a person does not allow others to be a conscientious objector, he denies a right,” Francis said.

 

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‘True Life’ Update: Did Mike Finally Adjust To Life (And Marriage) In Japan?

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Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting reportedly divorcing after 21 months of marriage

Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting are ending their marriage, only 21 months after tying the knot, according to reports.


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The 8 Most Overlooked Threats To A Marriage

We’re all familiar with the common, harmful mistakes people make in relationships: failing to communicate, having an affair or running into financial problems — just to name a few.

But beyond the usual suspects, what other relationship-testing problems should couples be aware of? Below, marriage therapists and relationship experts share some of the most overlooked threats to a marriage. 

1. Thinking honesty is always the best policy. 

Yes, being transparent about how you feel is generally the best route when having one of those Big Relationship Conversations. But communicating your feelings to your partner in an aggressive or sarcastic way is not the right way to do it, said Bonnie Kennan, a Southern California-based marriage counselor.

“When partners assume they can say whatever they feel, in a completely unbridled way, they often unwittingly do great harm to their partnerships and sometimes it’s irreparable damage,” she said.

In other words, your “I just have to be honest about how I feel” excuse isn’t going to fly. When you do catch yourself saying something overly critical, try to offset it with some positive remarks. Marital researcher John Gottman found that a ratio of 5:1 is necessary for marital health: five positive interactions for every negative interaction with your partner. 

2. Buying into the idea that marriage transforms people. 

Cornell University professor Karl Pillemer spent five years interviewing older couples for his book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans. In that time, he learned one critically important thing: It’s a huge, inexcusable mistake to go into a marriage believing you can change your partner. Marriage won’t solve all your relationship problems or make the two of you more compatible, he said. 

“Treating your potential or current spouse as a do-it-yourself project is a recipe for failure,” he said. “Take, for example, your sense of humor: What he or she thinks is funny is important because it’s one thing that is certain not to change — and you will be stuck with it for many, many years. If his idea of high humor involves practical jokes and yours doesn’t, rest assured that you will not find the hand buzzer or the whoopee cushion more hilarious fifty years from now.” 

3. Believing you can change your family’s opinion of your spouse.  

If your partner and your parents fail to make nice before you wed, it’s not likely that a bond will form after you marry, said Kennan. And it’s a big mistake to believe your spouse can control his or her family and get you in their good graces, she added. 

“While spouses need to stand up for each other, it is unwise to assume the family members will change their minds — some parents will never think anyone is good enough for their child,” she said. “The couple needs to be pleasant and polite with the family, while not trying to change the rigid system. This can be a big challenge if the two partners aren’t willing to do the work of neutralizing it.”

4. Ignoring what your partner said he wanted before you married.

When your partner tells you he or she doesn’t want kids or can’t wait to move out of your current state of residence, believe them. You’re not likely to change their minds on the important issues once you marry, said Becky Whetstone, marriage and family therapist based in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

“Maybe when you were dating, your future life-mate told you things like they wanted to move out of state or weren’t that into sex,” she said. “You heard these warnings, knew they were out of sync with what you wanted, but went ahead with the relationship. The reality is, you can’t get them to change their mind.”

5. Expecting marriage to be easy. 

Repeat this to yourself before even considering walking down the aisle: Marriage is hard work — worthwhile, valuable work but still hard work. Few engaged couples really take the time to absorb that before saying “I do,” but the reality is, it’s what needs to be foremost in their minds, said Pillemer.

“To stay married for life requires resilience, spirit, and discipline. It also requires an acceptance of predictable stressors and unexpected difficulties, without giving up,” he said. “Like many good things in life, the immediate gain sometimes has to be sacrificed for a long-term payoff — like winding up still in love with someone after a half century.” 

6. Putting your spouse on a pedestal. 

You go into your marriage thinking your partner is really something special. (Otherwise, why would you say “I do”?) But idealize your spouse a little too much and you risk disappointment when you find out they’re only human, said Whetstone. 

“The problem with over-idealizing someone is that sooner or later you’ll realize they aren’t the infallible person you thought they were and they’ll tumble down to reality,” she said. 

7. Not setting boundaries on what is shared outside the relationship.

If you’re an oversharer and your partner likes to keep his personal life under wraps, it doesn’t bode well for the relationship, said Kennan.

“If one partner is very comfortable turning to friends and family members for support when he has a problem and the other is not, it creates a pattern where partner B is nervous about being candid and shuts down the flow of sharing,” she said. “At the same time, partner A may feel stifled and lonely without a support system.”

To address the issue, Kennan said couples need to anticipate this issue and set up rules for disclosure of information to people outside the marriage.

“You’ll probably have to operate outside of your own comfort zone to accommodate your partner’s needs and feelings,” she explained.

8. Putting too much stock in the belief that opposites attract. 

You’re a left-leaning introvert whose ideal weekend is a good “Masterpiece Theatre” binge-fest. Your partner is an Republican-voting extrovert who loves to travel and tries to maximize each weekend. While it’s nice to believe opposites attract and love conquers all (hey, it worked for Mary Matalin and James Carville!), it’s a mistake to invest too deeply the idea, said Pillemer.

“I interviewed couples who’ve been married for years and their strongest recommendation was simple: Marry someone a lot like you,” he explained. “Marriage is difficult for anyone, but it’s much easier with someone who shares your interests and background. Small differences can spice up a relationship but what has to be almost identical are core shared values on money, career goals, child-raising and sex.” 

 

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Kim Davis Asks Appeals Court To Let Her Refuse To Issue Marriage Licenses

MOREHEAD, Ky., Sept 12 (Reuters) – The county clerk from Kentucky who was jailed after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples has asked an appeals court to let her continue her stand until a lawsuit against her is decided.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, due back at work Monday after six days behind bars, has said her beliefs as an Apostolic Christian prevent her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and her attorneys have said the 49-year-old woman will not violate her conscience when she returns to work.

In her absence, deputy clerks have been issuing licenses and have said they would continue to do so.

Davis was jailed when she refused to comply with U.S. District Judge David Bunning’s order to issue licenses. He ordered her released when the deputy clerks began issuing the licenses.

In a Friday motion filed with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Davis’ attorneys asked that she be allowed to continue banning marriage licenses for her entire office until the case is settled.

Davis’ attorneys argued that Bunning’s initial order had only covered couples who were suing her. They said he violated her right to due process during her appeal when he expanded his initial injunction to include any couple legally eligible to marry, the filing says.

She should thus be allowed to continue her ban now that the couples covered under the first order have been issued licenses, the attorneys argue.

In a separate filing on Friday, her attorneys said “this case would be over” if the governor, using the same authority that allowed him to change the certificates to be gender neutral, would simply remove her name from the documents.

Bunning warned Davis in his release order that there would be consequences if she interfered with the issuance of marriage licenses when she returned to work. A deputy clerk has said he will continue to issue licenses.

On Tuesday, Davis walked out of the Carter County Detention Center to a roaring crowd. Her supporters continued protests last week after her release, demanding the firing of any deputy clerks who provide marriage licenses without Davis’s permission.

Her attorneys have said marriage certificates issued without her authority have been void.

The issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Kentucky and other states has become the latest focal point in the long-running debate over gay marriage that has continued even after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June allowed the practice nationwide.

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Man Claims His Wife’s Odd Addiction Is Destroying Their Marriage

Sherman claims his wife of 15 years, Delphi, is addicted to kava and kratom teas, and he says it’s tearing their world apart. “When Delphi drinks the kava and kratom, it affects her behavior,” Sherman explains. “Kratom gives her energy and a high. Kava gives Delphi a euphoric effect. She’s flaky, and nothing else can get accomplished.” He says she spends $ 400 to $ 600 a month at kava bars.

Sherman says his wife is in total denial about her addiction to the teas, which come in the form of powder, capsules and liquid, and are marketed as herbal pain relievers. He also claims his wife is addicted to alcohol, Adderall and vaping.

Delphi is adamant she’s not addicted to anything. “My husband is always yelling at me about being addicted, but I don’t think that I’m addicted to it,” she says in the video above. “I do not think that kava impairs me; if anything, it helps me to get more things done.”

Delphi says the only problem she has is her husband, whom she calls controlling, condescending, verbally abusive and “completely unbearable.” She admits she goes to kava bars 4 to 5 times a week because it’s “soothing and comforting,” adding, “I’m doing it out of spite, because all my husband does is yell at me about it, and it makes me just want to do it more.”

Is there any hope of saving this marriage? Dr. Phil weighs in on Friday’s episode. Watch more here, and don’t miss the Season 14 premiere on Monday, Sept. 14! Watch a preview here.

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A Merger by Marriage (Unabridged) – Cat Schield

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A Merger by Marriage (Unabridged)

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Genre: Romance

Price: $ 17.95

Publish Date: September 8, 2015

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Good and Bad Surprises You Can Expect in the First Year of Marriage

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Watch Caitlyn Jenner open up about same-sex marriage, future love on ‘Ellen’

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7 Things My Divorce Taught Me About Life, Love and Marriage

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At the start of 2014, my life imploded. After countless efforts to work through issues in my marriage, I finally had to admit: I wasn’t going to have my happily-ever-after in my present situation. I left my marriage, my home, and one of my dogs. (If you consider that the ex also kept the truck, my life was a country song.) I knew I was doing the right thing for both of us, but I was blindsided by how much — and for how long — it hurt. Slowly, I healed, and I learned invaluable lessons.

1.  Opposites attract. But you need real common ground to stick together.

My ex-husband and I were a classic case of opposites attracting. I’m liberal. He’s conservative. I’m a whirlwind of athletic activity. He might run to the fridge for a beer. Initially, we enjoyed our differences. And yeah, there was the SEX. We could’ve made Sting and Trudie say, “No, thanks. That sounds exhausting.” Trouble is, you can’t spend your entire life in bed. When it came to the big stuff — money, work, family — we simply weren’t on the same page. Worse, we couldn’t discuss how to get there.

2.  Communication is key.

When you’re dealing with pretty much anyone, communicating openly and respectfully is key. In marriage, it’s essential. Psychologist John Gottman has made a career of studying how married couples interact. After listening to a couple argue for only five minutes, he can predict with 91% accuracy whether or not they will divorce. He’s found that partners who disengage (i.e., give “the silent treatment”) or treat one another with contempt (eye rolling) are in a marriage that is doomed. Sadly, I can vouch for this.

3.  Happiness is your own responsibility.

Too often, we marry because we’ve bought into a romantic fallacy: that someone else will “complete” us. Here’s the unvarnished truth: if you aren’t already complete, you’ve got no business getting married. Me? I was waiting for Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet. He did — and then he was slowly crushed by the weight of the responsibility. The brutal irony was that when I found my own bliss, it underscored how incompatible he and I were. But in parting, we each assumed responsibility for our own happiness. Whether we are sad or happy going forward, at least now we each have only the person in the mirror to blame — or to thank.

4.  We are all alone.

I don’t mean that in a depressing, soul-crushing way. Quite the contrary. We are born alone. We die alone. In between, though? It is our relationships with other people that make the journey worthwhile. Some people pass through our lives quickly. Others stay for the duration. We generally accept this where friendships are concerned. But because we say “forever” when we say “I do,” we think marriage should be an exception to the rule. In the end, though, even those of us who stay married will likely exit this life on our own. What really matters? The love we share in the time we spend together — and how graciously we manage to move on from those relationships that don’t last.

5.  A failed marriage isn’t necessarily a failure.

Look, if you hook up on Tinder, get married in Vegas that same weekend, and then your marriage fails — well okay, that’s a failure. But if you follow the typical trajectory of romance, love and commitment only to find yourself divorced down the road? That’s life. Love may lead us to the altar, but marriage requires two devoted people working ceaselessly toward common goals. For many once-happy couples, that becomes impossible over time. If we can look realistically at the reasons our marriage failed, we can gain valuable insight that will lead to happier relationships in the future. In the words of Winston Churchill, “Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

6.  Tomorrow is another day.

I thought the hardest part of my divorce would be arriving at the decision to leave my marriage. Ha! This positive go-getter of a girl spent several months occupying her bachelorette pad in pajamas, watching reruns of Law and Order and washing down frozen yogurt with chardonnay. I was a mess, and not even the hot variety (as the local pizza-delivery folks can attest). I beat myself up for handling things so poorly. And then, one day, I gave myself permission to grieve. With the help of an excellent therapist, I began to focus on the road ahead. I decided I could take things one day at a time, and eventually, I would find myself where I want to be.  And you know what?

7.  Here and now is pretty awesome.

At the start of 2014, I was heavily focused on my losses. I missed my home, my dog, the ex, and even that old pickup truck in which we’d logged so many miles and memories. Turns out, though, that time really does heal all wounds. Slowly but surely, I found myself savoring moments in my new solo life. I found myself trying new things, building new friendships, even giving dating a whirl and meeting some really great people in the process.

More than midway through 2015, I feel happy. Grateful. Excited about the future, and also just plain glad to breathe deeply and experience it all.

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7 Signs You’re On Your Way To A Sexless Marriage

It’s a common refrain from couples who’ve split up: “Somewhere down the line, we became more like roommates than spouses.”  

The truth is, passionless, sexually unsatisfying marriages don’t get that way overnight. Below, relationship experts offer up seven signs you’re on your way to a sexless marriage  – and tips on how to reignite the passion between you and your partner.   

Let’s start with the obvious. If you can’t remember the last time you had sex with your spouse — or you’re only having special-occasion sex (birthdays, vacations, anniversaries) — it’s not a good sign. Maybe it’s been months, maybe it’s been years — but the more time passes, the harder it becomes to revive your sex life, said Tammy Nelson, certified sexologist and sex therapist and the author of Getting the Sex You Want.

“Biologically, the body stops producing the sex hormones that make you aroused, especially if you have gone long periods without it,” she explained. “And then you may start to feel like you aren’t interested in it anyway.” 

So how do you take sex off the back-burner? Schedule in sex dates. It may seem like the least sexy plan of attack but it will likely get you and your partner back on track, Nelson said.

“The more sex you have, the more sex you want,” she explained. “Having sex can jump start the engine and it may even remind you that you enjoy making love to your partner. You might get out of the roommate rut and start to do it more often.” 

Forget your lackluster sex life. You’re not even touching these days. You knew the PDA-filled, heady early days of your romance weren’t going to last but at this point, you’re not even embracing before week-long work trips. The key to making touch a priority again is to reach out to your partner without intentions, said Nelson. 

“Enjoy a simple and sensual night together with candles, where you’re just watching TV,” she said. “Sit next to each other, hold each other, lie in each others lap, stroke each other’s hair. Get the dopamine going again. If the mood is right you might take off each other’s clothes and have sex — or you may just end up watching another movie. But just touching again is important.” 

You may share the same bed, but that’s about all you share with your spouse lately. When your lives rarely intersect — and everything but your marriage takes priority (kids, work, travel, friends) — there’s little time left for sex, said Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a psychologist who writes Psychology Today’s “Fulfillment At Any Age” blog. 

To get back on the same page, make an active decision to drift back together, Whitbourne said. 

“You may live hectic lives, but you need to build into your calendars time to talk face-to-face, without distractions — preferably daily,” she said. “Your dinner hour may be taken over by the feeding schedules of your kids but find a way to have alone time even if it’s just sharing a late-night glass of wine.

Eventually, Whitbourne said, “you’ll realize you got together for a reason, and if you dedicate time to each other, those reasons will become very apparent again.” 

If sex is painful or uncomfortable for you or your spouse, it’s understandable why it’s gotten the short-shrift lately. If it just doesn’t feel right, the “the problem may be one of technique,” said Susan Heitler, a psychologist and the author of the marriage betterment program Power Of Two Marriage.

“Getting informed can help this problem,” she said. “For instance, if you’re a woman, sometimes a warm-up before you hit the sack — an exercise to get the blood flow going or a warm shower — can enhance your responsivity from the get-go of couple contact. And if you feel sexually aroused, it will likely be contagious and enhance your spouse’s arousal as well.”

If the problem is pain or dryness brought on by menopause, Heitler said medical attention may be able to remedy it. Check with your doctor if you suspect that’s the case.

If you (or your partner) have developed feelings for someone else — a co-worker you’re inexplicably drawn to, for instance — you may start to feel less invested in your marriage. It may not have turned physical yet, but the mental energy involved in an emotional affair – and being physically attracted to someone who’s not your spouse — takes attention away from your bedroom, said  Krauss Whitbourne. 

“The fact that this other person seems to hold so much attraction means that something is missing in your relationship,” she said. “The truth is, obligations and time can wear away even the best relationship unless both partners are willing to make the effort to keep it vital. Don’t get comfortable. Put that extra effort in, try to look your best for your husband or wife and you’ll send a message that what he or she thinks about you really is important.”

If the thought of initiating sex leaves you feeling anxious — and you’ve exhausted your list of excuses — you’re probably in a sexless marriage, said Nelson.

“Initiating sex means that at least one of you is taking responsibility for the sex part of your marriage,” she said. “Someone needs to take charge of keeping the marriage or relationship spicy — someone needs to dress up, buy the sex toys or turn on the porn. It’s perfectly fine for one partner to be the driving force if it keeps your sex life alive and moving. But when you both stop trying, it can grind the whole sex machine to a halt.”

Sex isn’t just physical when you’re in a long-term relationship. It’s all tied up in how you and your partner feel about the state of the relationship in general. The ultimate foreplay starts with you making your partner feel wanted by simply showing how much he or she still means to you, said Heitler. 

“Emotional loving and sexual loving tend to go hand in hand, each enhancing the other. The more thirsty you are for one, the more likely you are thirsty for the other as well,” she said. “To get things started, compliment and appreciate your spouse. Share your time, attention and your curiousity about what the other is doing or thinking about and you’ll be on the right track.” 

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American Voices: County Clerk Who Withheld Marriage Licenses Jailed

Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis has been sent to jail following her continued refusal to issue marriage licenses for gay couples due to her religious beliefs. What do you think?




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10 Pieces Of Tough Love Advice From Marriage Therapists

A marriage therapist’s job is to listen to couples’ frustrations and try to help each spouse work through his or her issues. Sometimes, that requires doling out some tough love, hard-to-hear advice.

Below, 10 marriage therapists share the most blunt — but constructive! — piece of advice they’ve ever given a couple during a session. 

“A couple had struggled for a long time with the following stubborn pattern: their arguments started innocently over minor things. Despite the couple’s best efforts, the tension escalated until the man was raging at his wife, leaving her afraid and ashamed. Then she would regain her courage and wall herself off from her husband, freezing him out. The wife’s frustration and hurt had grown to the point that she was just about ready to leave their 22-year marriage when I suggested the following: The husband wrote out five checks of incrementally increasing amounts to a cause he despised (in this case, the Republican Party). The couple agreed that the wife would send in the first check for $ 10 if he raged at her once, the second check for $ 20 if he raged again and so on and so forth. The raging stopped. The wife held onto the checks for years but they were never sent in! ” –Bonnie Ray Kennan, marriage and family therapist 

“In my 35 years as a therapist, I have discovered that when one or both people have significant individual problems (an affair, depression or substance abuse, for example), we need to meet individually and straighten it out before I can really focus on the couple’s problems. I tell the spouses, ‘To begin marriage counseling without going through this process will be a waste of time, money and energy on the part of everyone.’  It simply isn’t possible to try to deal with major personal issues, and say, an affair, at the same time. Once both of partners are in a better place individually, we can began to tackle and hopefully resolve the relationship problems together.” — Beatty Cohan, psychotherapist, author of For Better, for Worse, Forever: Discover the Path to Lasting Love

“Couples all too often get caught up in the conflict and being right and lose sight of the triggering issue. When this happens, I tell them, ‘Give up on being right. Recognize this does not make you wrong! Do not deny your partner’s perspective to avoid being wrong. Be a good partner by validating his experience and understanding why he felt hurt. Give up on being right and focus on your partner and the relationship. Work on being connected instead of being right.'” – Anne Crowley, psychologist

“This couple was in their late 40s and had been married for 18 years with two kids. The husband found out that his wife was having an affair for the better part of a year with a man whom she had met in a special art study program. They both wanted to understand what happened and how they could move forward — both partners wanted to save their marriage. Trust needed to be re-established. Almost always post-affair, the other woman or man must be removed from the couple’s life. But in this case, the wife was trying to assure the husband (and me) that it was possible for her to still see this man for coffee or lunch, just as a friend. I told her, ‘If you continue to see this man in any capacity — or if you have any contact with him (email, text, Facebook) — I can guarantee you that your marriage will not survive. You need to ask yourself how such contact would be right or fair or emotionally tolerable for your husband.'” – Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, marriage and family therapist and the author of A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage

“I was seeing a couple in their late 50s who had been married for more than 30 years. The husband had a major anger problem and was very controlling. His wife believed he had some sexual flings which he denied. She was at the end of her ropes with him and told him in the session that she couldn’t stand to see him, look at him or be near him and wanted out of the marriage. I told them quite honestly, ‘It seems the only option left for you is to go your separate ways but for everyone’s sake, please do it as amicably as possible.” – Michael Hakimi, psychologist, assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine 

“Despite successful couples therapy with Kathy, his wife of 12 years, Jeff couldn’t shake the feeling that he should not have married on the rebound from a former girlfriend. He loved Kathy and their daughter but he could not answer with a clear ‘yes’ when she asked if he was committed for the long haul in the marriage. Kathy was confused, upset and nearing an ultimatum to commit or leave. I did everything I could with Jeff to help him look at his commitment resistance, including exploring his family of origin where he had lost his father at a young age. But he couldn’t get past his ambivalence, especially under pressure to pony up a definitive ‘I’m in it forever.’ Here’s what I said to him: ‘Jeff, you may always be ambivalent about commitment in relationships. It may just be your nature. The big question is whether this is the woman you want to be ambivalent with.’ He smiled and immediately answered ‘Yes.’  I asked why. He said, ‘Because I love Kathy and can’t imagine loving anyone more — and I love our family.’  Kathy wisely took it in — and it was enough.” – William J. Doherty, psychologist and author of Take Back Your Marriage

“Therapy isn’t very effective if both partners aren’t completely honest about what’s creating distance between them. In spite of being told this from the start, people always lie about infidelity. But there are indicators and behaviors that advertise cheating to an experienced therapist. When I suspect it I’ll ask the person, ‘Are you distracted by a relationship outside of your marriage?’ And they always say, ‘Absolutely not.’ And I’ll say, ‘It is vital that we have the truth here, I can’t help you if you aren’t truthful.’ And they become incredulous and say, ‘I am telling you, I am not! When would I have the time? Who would it be with? My spouse always knows where I am!’

The denial goes on and on. When this happens, I turn to the other spouse and say, ‘If I were in your shoes I would sniff around and find out any way I could.’ Then I turn to the suspected cheater and gently suggest we schedule a lie detector test. ‘Schedule it,’ the person will say. The couple will leave and soon afterward they’ll call and tell me no lie detector test is necessary — the spouse has confessed. Now, I have a chance of being able to help them.” – Becky Whetstone, marriage and family therapist 

“A husband liked to spend all his free time with his wife and she found it stressful. She needed some time alone to relax and recharge her batteries, as many of us do. I advised the husband, ‘Do more things on your own or with a friend. Think about activities you’d enjoy doing by yourself. You’ll be happier and your relationship will benefit. No one person can satisfy all the companionship needs of another.’ He started playing golf with a friend. He went fishing. He took scenic hikes on his own. It proved that all couples need to find a balance between together time and time spent independently.” — Marcia Naomi Berger, psychotherapist, author of Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted 

“A couple came to see me because the husband had had an affair and their marriage was in shreds. The husband was deeply sorry and wanted to do anything in his power to repair the marriage. The wife was, of course, devastated. She never expected it. Session after session, the wife claimed she couldn’t figure out how she could ever forgive him. Weeks, then months, went by.  The husband hung in there. She asked him to move out while she determined what she should do. He did. She asked him to move back in. He did. Then, she asked him to move out again because she needed more time. He did everything she asked him to do but nothing seemed to move her out of her pain.

This merry-go-round continued seemingly endlessly. Finally, I said to her, ‘Look. You can stay in the marriage or you can leave. But you can’t spend the rest of your life — and his — in this cycle. You can’t punish him every day of his life for having an affair. If you think you can forgive, then do so. If you can’t — and that’s OK, too — move on. This isn’t fair to either one of you.’ The last I heard, they were still stuck in this cycle.” — Abby Rodman, psychotherapist, author of Should You Marry Him?

“When couples fight in my office, I tell them ‘You can fight for free at home, but you are here to work on solutions.’ The man will usually shut up because he realizes that he is wasting money!” — Caroline Madden, marriage and family therapist, author of After a Good Man Cheats: How to Rebuild Trust & Intimacy With Your Wife 

 

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Clerk Who Refuses To Marry LGBT Couples Performed Trans Man’s Marriage

A county clerk in Kentucky who petitioned the Supreme Court to allow her to refuse to wed LGBT couples unknowingly married a trans man and a pansexual woman, the couple says.

Camryn Colen and his wife, Lexie, said they were wed in February by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. Davis has made headlines for refusing to issue any marriage licenses after the Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal nationwide in June. 

Davis issued the marriage certificate without asking for Colen’s birth certificate, which identifies him as a female, he told the Courier-Journal.

“She saw just a straight couple in love, and she should see everybody like that,” he told the newspaper. ”She shouldn’t just see straight couples like that.”

The couple joined about 100 people who protested outside Davis’ office on Saturday, The Daily Independent in Ashland reported.

Since going public with his story, Colen has been flooded with support from local LGBT couples who were denied licenses by the clerk, he told BuzzFeed.

“It was one thing to have the government say no to your marriage, but to have one person do it is something else,” he told the website.

On Friday, Davis filed an emergency request with the court to put a temporary hold on a lower court ruling that effectively forces her to begin marrying gay couples. Doing so would violate her religious beliefs, the petition says.

“She holds an undisputed sincerely-held religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, only,” the petition says. “Thus, in her belief, [same-sex marriage] is not, in fact, marriage.”

Davis could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Kentucky Clerk Who Refuses To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses Begs Supreme Court For Help

After defying multiple orders to issue marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, a Kentucky clerk is taking her case to the Supreme Court.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis on Friday filed an emergency request with the court to put a temporary hold on a lower-court ruling that effectively forces her to begin serving gay couples, saying that complying with the order would violate her religious beliefs. 

According to Davis’ petition, her “conscience forbids her from approving” marriage licenses to gay couples “because the prescribed form mandates that she authorize the proposed union and issue a license bearing her own name and imprimatur.”

“She holds an undisputed sincerely-held religious belief that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, only,” the petition continues. “Thus, in her belief, [same-sex marriage] is not, in fact, marriage.”

Equality Case Files, a nonprofit that tracks litigation around same-sex marriage, posted a copy of Davis’ filing on its website. The filing can be read in full here.

Davis’ request was addressed to Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees emergency petitions from Kentucky. Justices from time to time are asked to review such petitions, which are only procedural in scope and are meant to delay implementation of lower-court rulings. Kagan could either act on Davis’ petition on her own or refer it to the full court for adjudication.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Following the landmark ruling, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear — who was one of the defendants in that case — ordered state clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and heterosexual couples alike. 

But Davis refused. And then refused again after she was sued and was ordered by a federal court to comply. On Wednesday, an appellate court told her that she had “little or no likelihood” of winning her case.

In her Friday petition to Kagan, Davis argues that adding her “name, authorization, and approval” to marriages by gay couples would amount to a “searing act of validation” that “would forever echo in her conscience.”

The petition goes on: “If Davis’ religious objection cannot be accommodated when Kentucky marriage licenses are available in more than 130 marriage licensing locations … then elected officials have no real religious freedom when they take public office.”

That’s the crux of Davis’ legal argument, but any Supreme Court action in response would be much narrower in scope. Rather than opining on whether Davis’ religious freedom is being violated, a ruling from Kagan or from the full court would be limited to deciding whether to halt the original court order requiring Davis to issue marriage licenses to all couples. 

According to BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner, that court order is set to go into effect on Monday. 

David Ermold and his partner have been turned away by Davis’ office twice. Ermold told The Associated Press that all the back-and-forth is “getting tedious.”

“We get torn down, built back up, torn down, built back up,” he said. “It’s emotionally draining.” 

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What the Ashley Madison Hacking Dump Means for Divorce — and Marriage

When the Impact Team announced it had hacked the Ashley Madison site back in July, the 40 million plus subscribers were likely shaking in their boots. The hackers threatened to dump the personal and financial data and publish customers’ records unless the company took down the AM and Established Men sites.

Well, that day has come.

The internet is flush with articles sharing advice on how to get over a spouse’s affair yet ask a roomful of women what they’d do if they caught a husband in midst of even a steamy sext and the clothes are flying out the window.

So, what if a woman (or man) finds out the one who shares the bed and the remote subscribed to a site with the sole intent of extramarital sex?

I’d suspect finding out your husband (or wife) was trolling websites for a new bed partner or partners is a whole lot different from finding out he had a drunken encounter with a colleague on a business trip but maybe not.

According to the article 20 Important Emotional Affair Statistics featured on the HRF.Org site, 88 percent of married women surveyed say they’d be much more devastated by an emotional affair than a roll or two between the sheets. About 35 percent of women and 45 percent of men surveyed said they’d had an emotional affair and 60 percent will be touched by some sort of infidelity during the span of their marriages. (I guess that would account for the 40 so million on Ashley Madison!) Oh — and 60 percent of those who had affairs met at the office.

Advice for the scorned spouse that I’ve found on a slew of sites mostly focus on a whole lot of apologies, rebuilding trust, and figuring out what went wrong. I’ve interviewed men and women who have had extramarital affairs and most have cited a need to be valued or desired. (I would guess there’s also a fair number who are addicted to the thrill of something they’re not supposed to do kinda like sneaking some ice cream when mom says to wait till after dinner.)

Perhaps some people just form a connection between someone other than the betrothed, whether at work or at the local Starbucks. Either way, engaging with someone other than your spouse is a choice.

When a spouse or even significant other makes a conscious effort to find an on the side dance partner, I’d suppose the forgiveness part would be a lot more challenging. Perhaps the key to self-preservation has to do with trying to maintain your self-esteem and changing the locks!

Still, maybe things like infidelity don’t happen in a vacuum. Couples grow apart. People are exhausted from work responsibilities. Add in a baby or a few kids and it’s even more challenging. Relationships take nurturing and communication. Nonetheless, if a spouse is looking to supplement the main squeeze with something on the side, you need to have a frank discussion.

I’ve discovered a few sites like The Marriage Foundation place the blame on the spouse at home, advising wives to “Stop being no-user friendly. Become more loving. And the biggie, “Take care of his sexual needs!’

Because we know if he were happy at home, he wouldn’t be looking, for God’s sake!

No matter if you decide to hang in there and work things out with a weekend away and a spree at Victoria’s Secret or to allocate that money towards the divorce lawyer, nobody deserves to be blamed for someone else’s choices.

Can a marriage survive Ashley Madison or an uncovered sexting session? That’s up to the people involved. Infidelity doesn’t have to be the death knell of a relationship unless it’s a deal breaker. If you’re willing to give it a go, a healthy relationship would need a rebuilding of trust and communication. Turning a blind eye isn’t necessarily healthy.

What do YOU think?

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The Real Donald: Excerpts From Trump’s Books On Women, Marriage, Sex And More

Before he jumped into the presidential race and the media frenzy that comes with it, real estate mogul Donald Trump preferred to communicate with the American people via a more intimate medium — the simple written word.

The Huffington Post has reviewed nearly a dozen books by and/or about Trump, including one by John O’Donnell, a former executive in Trump’s business empire, and one by Tim O’Brien, a longtime journalist and former HuffPost editor. Reading through these works, which go back a full 25 years, one gets a better sense of the businessman’s macho persona, his taste for extravagance, his views about women and his rise to the top of the New York City social scene. All quotes are Trump’s words except where noted otherwise.

On marriage

“A good marriage is like negotiating an important deal: You have to consider all the factors, thoughtfully and thoroughly. If you were investing a large part of yourself and your fortune into a venture, believe me, you’d make sure you thought about it for a long time first. That’s how I see marriage. It’s serious, and it’s important. I don’t approach it any more haphazardly than I do a very important deal. In fact, considering the amount of deals I’ve made compared to the number of marriages I’ve had, I’d say I’m quite cautious about marriage. You should be, too.” (Think Like A Billionaire, Donald Trump with Meredith McIver, 2005)

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“For a man to be successful he needs support at home, just like my father had from my mother, not someone who is always griping and bitching. When a man has to endure a woman who is not supportive and complains constantly about his not being home enough or not being attentive enough, he will not be very successful unless he is unable to cut the cord.” (The Art of the Comeback, Donald Trump with Kate Bohner, 1997)

“If he doesn’t lose the ballbreaker, his career will go nowhere.” (The Art of the Comeback

On prenuptial agreements

“There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else.” (The Art of the Comeback)

On women

“I was always of the opinion that aggression, sex drive, and everything that goes along with it was on the man’s part of the table, not the woman’s. As I grew older and witnessed life firsthand from a front-row seat at the great clubs, social events, and parties of the world — I have seen just about everything — I began to realize that women are far stronger than men. Their sex drive makes us look like babies. Some women try to portray themselves as being of the weaker sex, but don’t believe it for a minute.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“I remember attending a magnificent dinner being given by one of the most admired people in the world. I was seated next to a lady of great social pedigree and wealth. Her husband was sitting on the other side of the table, and we were having a very nice but extremely straight conversation. All of a sudden I felt her hand on my knee, then on my leg. She started petting me in all different ways. I looked at her and asked, ‘Is everything alright?’ I didn’t want to make a scene in a ballroom full of five hundred VIPs. The amazing part about her was who she was — one of the biggest of the big. She then asked me to dance, and I accepted. While we were dancing she became very aggressive, and I said, ‘Look, we have a problem. Your husband is sitting at that table, and so is my wife.’

‘Donald,’ she said, ‘I don’t care. I just don’t care. I have to have you, and I have to have you now.’ I told her that I’d call her, but she had to stop the behavior immediately. She made me promise, and I did. When I called I just called to say hello, and that was the end of that. But the level of aggression was unbelievable.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“One woman, who was socially prominent, was getting married, and I had bumped into her on Fifth Avenue while she was exchanging wedding gifts. I had my limousine nearby, and she asked if I could give her a ride back to her apartment on Park Avenue. I said absolutely, not even suspecting that within five seconds after the door closed she would be jumping on top of me wanting to get screwed. I said, ‘You’re getting married next week, and I’m going to your wedding.’

‘I don’t really care,’ she said. ‘ I never liked him that much anyway, and you know that.’ I was really in a quandary, because she is a truly great-looking and sexy woman.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“There’s nothing I love more than women, but they’re really a lot different than portrayed. They are far worse than men, far more aggressive, and boy, can they be smart.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“I don’t know why, but I seem to bring out either the best or worst in women.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“I love women. They’ve come into my life. They’ve gone out of my life. Even those who have exited somewhat ungracefully still have a place in my heart.” (The Art of the Comeback)

*

“She’s just a woman. She can’t take the business.” (As quoted in Trumped!, John R. O’Donnell with James Rutherford, 1991)

*

“I don’t need this, some woman crying. I need somebody strong in here to take care of this place.” (Trumped!)

*

“She is really something else. God, what a body she has!… She’s a beautiful girl. Just a beautiful girl. Fucking gorgeous. An incredible body, just an incredible body. The girl is so physically fit. Beautiful face. A beautiful, beautiful girl.” (Trumped!)

*

“It’s all about the hunt and once you get it, it loses some of its energy. I think competitive, successful men feel that way about women.” (As quoted in TrumpNation, Timothy L. O’Brien, 2005)

“Sam Jackson should have gotten the Oscar for [‘Pulp Fiction’], not Travolta,” Donald mused. “My favorite part is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up: ‘Tell that bitch to be cool! Say: “Bitch be cool!”’ I love those lines.” (O’Brien, writing in TrumpNation)

*

“I think that putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing. There was a great softness to Ivana, and she still has that softness, but during this period of time, she became an executive, not a wife… You know, I don’t want to sound too much like a chauvinist, but when I come home and dinner’s not ready, I’ll go through the roof, okay?” (TrumpNation)

*

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” (TrumpNation)

On beauty pageants

“Nobody cares about the talent. There’s only one talent you care about, and that’s the look talent. You don’t give a shit if a girl can play a violin like the greatest violinist in the world. You want to know what does she look like.” (TrumpNation

On publicity

“Publicity is important because it creates interest in my hotels, residential buildings, and other projects. But sometimes it gets out of hand, and my every move is scrutinized by the press to the point of absurdity… The Trump Organization is in some ways like the Disney Company: Image means a great deal to me. If people don’t associate my name with quality and success, I’ve got serious problems.” (Surviving at the Top, Donald Trump with Charles Leerhsen, 1990)

On his youth

“I was especially carefree. I had a comfortable little studio apartment on Third Avenue in the city, and I maintained a lifestyle that was fairly commonplace then but that now, in an age when people are worried about dying from sex, is hard even to imagine. I didn’t drink or take drugs, as far as stimulants go, I’ve yet to have my first cup of coffee. But I was out four or five nights a week, usually with a different woman each time, and I was enjoying myself immensely.

Wild things happened all the time back then, and nobody thought very much of it. For instance, one day a friend called me at the office and said he needed to set up a date for a certain well-known married woman. This woman was visiting from out of town and was, he said — using a typical swinging-seventies expression — ‘really hot.’

I had a girlfriend at that time, and so did he, but I knew a guy named Ben who was very worldly-wise. Ben, I was sure, could serve as this woman’s escort and be discreet about it… She turned out to be the wife of a man who was then the prime minister of a major country. I’d heard stories about this lady, but I never thought much of them until that night. We met at the house of the friend who’d phoned me. After we’d all chatted for a while in the living room, the four of us who already knew each other drifted out to the kitchen, leaving Ben and Madame X in the living room to get better acquainted. Which they did. In fact, when we drifted back in, about ten minutes later, she and Ben were involved in an incredibly torrid scene on the couch. I remember standing there and thinking to myself, ‘Well, Donald, you’re not in Queens anymore.'” (Surviving at the Top)

On Michael Jackson’s sex life

“Somehow, Michael feels comfortable with me. I asked him how he was doing, and we started talking about his life, including his sex life. I was somewhat surprised when Michael told me he had a new girlfriend. I congratulated him and asked, ‘Who is it?’ He was very shy and looked down into his napkin, then put the napkin over his face and said, ‘Trump, Trump, I don’t want to talk about it, I’m so embarrassed.’ I chided him. ‘Come on, Michael,’ I said, ‘tell me who your new girlfriend is.’ When he finally looked up, he said that it was a girl named Lisa Marie.” (The Art of the Comeback)

On onerous litigation

“Litigation in the United States has gotten totally out of control. It has actually become an accepted business practice for people to use the court’s time, money, and energy in order to effect deals, break up deals, and receive money unjustly. I know people who virtually can’t function without starting a lawsuit, thinking that this will give them the upper hand in even the most simple of negotiations. Politicians ought to be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating this ridiculous situation. Court systems have become backlogged for years with superfluous cases.” (The Art of the Comeback)

On germaphobia

“I happen to be a clean-hands freak. I feel much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as often as possible. Recent medical reports have come out saying that colds and various other ailments are spread through the act of shaking hands. I have no doubt about this.

Almost nothing bothers me more than sitting down for dinner at a beautiful restaurant and having a man you’ve just seen leaving the men’s room, perhaps not even having washed his hands, spot you and run over to your table with a warm and friendly face, hand outstretched. You have a decision to make. Do you shake this total stranger’s hand, or do you insult him by saying that you would rather not? I have done both, and nothing works. If you shake his hand, you then get up to rewash your hands and inevitably somebody else comes over to you to shake hands. If you don’t shake his hand, he walks away with a long face, totally insulted, and bemoans for the rest of his life how that bastard Donald Trump would not shake his hand.” (The Art of the Comeback)

On his fear of AIDS

“It was painfully obvious how ill at ease he was in public situations. In part, I think it was really beyond his control. He was preoccupied by a fear of communicable disease, especially AIDS. Sometimes he’d joke about it, but he went so far as to warn a high-ranking Trump’s Castle publicist to avoid the Jacuzzi in the luxury health spa there because he considered it a potential breeding ground for the deadly virus.” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

*

“What went on in Studio 54 will never, ever happen again. First of all, you didn’t have AIDS. You didn’t have the problems you have now. I saw things happening there that to this day I have never seen again. I would watch supermodels getting screwed, well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room. There were seven of them and each one was getting screwed by a different guy. This was in the middle of the room. Stuff that couldn’t happen today because of problems of death.” (TrumpNation)

On his “tremendous fear of baldness”

“For Donald, image and reality were always in conflict. The Windsor knot in his tie was always pulled tight to his throat. At the same time, he let his sand-colored hair dip down to his eyes and curl over his ears and collar, and he plastered it on the sides with a greasy gel that he believed fostered hair growth. He had a tremendous fear of baldness. He swept his hair across the front of his head like a man trying to hide a thinning patch. He once observed to Mark that he considered baldness a sign of weakness. He gave a tube of the gel he used to Mark, warning him, ‘The worst thing a man can do is go bald. Never let yourself go bald,’ as if nature could be circumvented through sheer force of will.” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

On boxer Mike Tyson

“Tyson sat down in Donald’s corner office hundreds of feet above Fifth Avenue and the two men chatted for about fifteen minutes before the boxer got to the point. Donald recalled their conversation in detail.

‘Mr. Trump, could I ask you a question?’ Tyson asked.

‘Whatever you want, Mike,’ Donald responded.

‘Are you fucking my wife?’

‘What?’

‘Are you fucking my wife? Everyone’s telling me that you’re fucking my wife.’

Tyson then pulled out a copy of a Vogue magazine that featured a picture of Ms. [Robin] Givens wearing a Trump Princess hat from Donald’s yacht.

‘Everyone’s telling me that you’re fucking my wife and I think you’re fucking my wife,’ Tyson said.

‘Mike, let me tell you something: I never ever even thought about it. And I heard those rumors and they’re disgusting. In fact, I called you a couple of times to tell you that I heard those rumors and it pisses me off. And I never, ever even thought about it. She’s your wife, she’s with you, she’s loyal to you, and it’s total bullshit.’” (O’Brien, writing in TrumpNation)

On dealing with setbacks

“Finally, the ceiling was installed. One Saturday, Donald went up to have a look, accompanied by Steve, some of our hotel executives and a group of contractors. Donald looked up at the ceiling as if it was the first time he had seen it; then he looked at Steve. ‘What the fuck is this?’ he said. ‘Who said to make this ceiling so low?’

‘You knew about this, Donald,’ Steve replied. ‘We talked about it, if you remember, and the plans –‘

Suddenly Donald leaped up and punched his fist through the tile. Then he turned on Steve in a rage. ‘You cocksucker! Motherfucker! Where the fuck were you? Where was your fucking head?'” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

*

“’Where’s my wife? Get Ivana down here,’ he said. When she arrived, Donald turned on her fiercely. ‘How could you close one of my tables on the busiest fucking night of the year!’ he shouted. ‘I can’t believe you could be so stupid. Do you know how much money I’m losing here? Stupid! You’re costing me a fortune! This is the stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen!’” (O’Donnell, writing in Trumped!)

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‘RHOOC’: Shannon Beador On Mending Her Marriage After Husband’s Affair

Shannon Beador tells Access why she feels it’s so important to address her husband’s affair on ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County.’


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We Are Having a Model Marriage Moment Right Now

model engagements

No, it’s not just your imagination—everyone really is getting married. Just glance at the catwalks (by way of Instagram) to see that models are among those now taking the whole summer love thing to another level: Just this past weekend, Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel announced her engagement to longtime model boyfriend Hermann Nicoli. In a nod to his Brazilian heritage (or a shared love of hip-swiveling), Swanepoel announced the genetically blessed union in a video of the duo enjoying a romantic dance complete with the caption “Meu eterno namorado”—or “my boyfriend forever” in Portuguese.

But Swanepoel isn’t the only runway strutter to receive an invitation to walk down the aisle—not even the only one to receive one on the beach. Street style siren Hanne Gaby Odiele was popped the question in Vieques, Puerto Rico, last week by her longterm boyfriend, John Swiatek, a DJ who also works for Acne Studios. In happy news for street style photographers, the pair often wears similar duds, from matching biker jackets on a walk down the Williamsburg Bridge and sun-glazed sporty tanks on vacation, to matching oversize white tees on rooftops. We’re betting this will be a stylish walk not down the runway, but to the altar for both these couples.

 



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Photo: Courtesy of @yawnjohn

The post We Are Having a Model Marriage Moment Right Now appeared first on Vogue.

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Daryl Hall’s Wife Files For Divorce After Six Years Of Marriage

 Hall & Oates singer Daryl Hall is headed for divorce.

The musician’s wife Amanda Aspinall has filed for divorce after six years of marriage, Page Six reported Thursday.

The docs were reportedly filed back in May; TMZ reports that the couple has a prenup.  

Hall, 68, is currently on a summer tour across the U.S. with John Oates. This will be the blue-eyed singer’s second divorce; he was previously married to to Bryna Lublin from 1969 to 1972. 

Aspinall is the daughter of the late British zoo owner and gambling tycoon John Aspinall. The pair, who married in 2009, have no children together but Aspinall has two kids on her own. 

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The Marriage Diaries (Volumes 1-4) – Erika Wilde

Erika Wilde - The Marriage Diaries (Volumes 1-4)  artwork

The Marriage Diaries (Volumes 1-4)

Erika Wilde

Genre: Erotic Romance

Publish Date: September 9, 2013

Publisher: Janelle Denison, Inc.

Seller: Janelle Denison, Inc..


Erika Wilde turns up the heat in THE MARRIAGE DIARIES, an erotic series about a married couple who take intimacy and passion to the extreme. WARNING: Contains explicit sexual content and is recommended for mature readers who enjoy erotic situations, as well as graphic language and imagery. THE MARRIAGE DIARIES Set Includes: The Awakening (Volume #1) The Seduction (Volume #2) The Taking (Volume #3) The Temptation (Volume #4)

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Hey, Rick Santorum, Here’s Why The Dred Scott Case Has Nothing To Do With Marriage Equality

Conservatives never want to talk about slavery until it helps them push their agenda.

Enter Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania and one of the junior varsity GOP candidates. On Thursday night, during the first Fox News 2016 debate, Santorum compared Obergefell v. Hodges, the recently decided Supreme Court case that upheld marriage equality, to the Dred Scott case in 1857.

Asked whether the Obergefell case was still up for debate, Santorum said, “It is not, any more than Dred Scott was settled law to Abraham Lincoln … This is a rogue Supreme Court decision.”

The Supreme Court ruling in Dred Scott’s case determined that black people were property and not, nor ever could be, U.S. citizens.

Now, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with marriage equality — and the answer is nothing.

Conservatives maintain that, just as Lincoln ultimately overturned the decision in the Dred Scott case, they will overturn legalized gay marriage. But there’s a lot of false equivalence floating around. It’s insulting to invoke America’s history of legal racism to explain why states should be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples (many of which include people of color, incidentally).

Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts made similar remarks in June when they compared the decision to slavery and interracial marriage, respectively.

At the time, Santorum said that, as president, he would do all he could to strike down the court’s ruling.

“As president, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright — to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home,” he said. “I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution.  And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.”

Santorum also compared the marriage equality ruling to Dred Scott at that time.

“Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate,” he said. “The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.”

For more GOP debate coverage, visit our liveblog.

 

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When You Are Lonely In Your Marriage

By: Katie Parsons

When you get married, you are psyched for so many reasons. You are finally with your one-and-only, forever. You’ve got a partner in crime. It’s you and your spouse against the world. You’ve got each other’s backs, you’re best friends. Shall we go on? Oh, yeah. One more. You’ll never be lonely.

Uh, not so fast on that last one. Research shows marriage can be one of the largest sources of social stress. When expectations are not met within the union, it can lead to depression, resentment and, yes, loneliness.

Researchers found that one or both members of a couple can feel isolated even if they spend a lot of time together. But why?

How Marriages Become Lonely

“Sometimes marriages fall into an autopilot pattern,” explains Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of The 30-Day Love Detox. “Partners no longer court each other or exchange the care that they did in the early days and they become more concerned with selfish interests.”

Other times, one partner in the marriage may be unhappy but unable to communicate that effectively, which can lead to feelings of loneliness too, she said. Spouses who are also parents face an even greater risk of feelings of isolation or abandonment, especially when one parent is playing a role (worker or caregiver) that makes him or her unhappy.

“When children arrive, sometimes couples fall into traditional gender roles or battle about gender roles for the first time,” says Dr. Walsh. “One may feel a need to work more outside the home to provide for the family, another may feel a need to nurture more. This is definitely a time when the battle lines can be drawn. Children put a lot of stress onto a marriage.”

Fix the Feelings of Isolation

For whatever reason you’re experiencing loneliness in your marriage, Dr. Walsh offers these three tips to help you start repairing your relationship.

1. Find the source.

Instead of automatically blaming the marriage, or bottling up any negative feelings, take some time to figure out why you feel the way you do. Perhaps the real reason for the feelings of isolation stem from something internal that needs to be addressed.

Ask yourself whether it’s about something that’s actually happening in the marriage, recommends Dr. Walsh. “Are you being abandoned or are you perceiving that you’re being abandoned?”

2. Avoid blaming your partner (or yourself).

Wallowing in your own sadness or allowing it to morph into anger won’t solve anything — and it could actually make you feel worse. If your spouse is acting in a way that bothers you, confront him or her with a positive tone and try to express that. Blaming a spouse for working too much, or not paying enough attention to you, or doing anything else that you perceive as “wrong” will only cause him or her to be walled off from you. Approach issues in a constructive, open way.

“It’s never anyone’s fault,” says Dr. Walsh. “It’s better to ask someone to help you process your feelings than to blame them for your feelings.”

3. Don’t rely on your spouse for everything — spread your wings.

If you expect your spouse to fill all the roles of best friend, emotional confident, lover, domestic partner, co-parent and your primary intellectual stimulant, you might always feel a little disappointed. Instead of relying on your spouse to fulfill all these needs to the fullest, divide those tasks among a few platonic friends. “This is a way to take some of the pressure off of the marriage and improve self-confidence too,” says Dr. Walsh.

If you can start by identifying why you’re experiencing loneliness, you can move forward to the actions needed to feel better about yourself and your marriage.

More from GalTime:

1. 3 Biggest Mistakes Women Make in Bed
2. Why Date Night is So Important
3. 3 Benefits of Having ‘Couples Friends’
4. What May Be Causing Your Slow Sex Drive (And How to Fix It)

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The Reaction John Kasich Got For Embracing Gay Marriage Shows How Far The GOP Has Come

WASHINGTON — Ohio Gov. John Kasich drew applause during Thursday’s Republican presidential debate for saying that he accepted gay marriage even though it was counter to his “traditional” views.

“Our court has ruled and I said we’ll accept it,” Kasich said in response to a question from moderator Megyn Kelly about what he would do if his child were homosexual. “And guess what? I just went to a wedding of a friend of mine who is gay.”

“Just because they don’t think the same way doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them,” he added. “That’s what we’re taught when we have strong faith.” 

The crowd cheered Kasich’s response. The reaction contrasted starkly with a 2011 Republican presidential debate in which audience members booed Army Capt. Stephen Hill, a gay combat veteran, for speaking favorably about the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. 

“In 2010 when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was because I was a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job,” Hill said via videoconference during the debate. “My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?”

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum responded to Hill by vowing to reinstate the ban on being openly gay in the military. “What we’re doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now, and that’s tragic,” he said, prompting cheers from the crowd.

“The military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country,” Santorum continued. “I believe this undermines that ability.” 

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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell – William Blake

William Blake - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell  artwork

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

William Blake

Genre: Art & Architecture

Publish Date: September 3, 2014

Publisher: Public Domain

Seller: Public Domain


This book is a series of texts written in imitation of biblical prophecy but expressing Blake's own intensely personal Romantic and revolutionary beliefs. It was published as printed sheets from etched plates containing prose, poetry and illustrations. It is written in prose, except for the opening Argument and the Song of Liberty. The book describes the poet's visit to Hell. It also tells that good and evil are different kinds of energies, and both are needed to keep the world going.

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A Marriage Expert’s Theory On Why Celebrities Can’t Stay Married

It’s been a rough summer for celebrity couples, with many — including Jennifer Garner and Ben AffleckGwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale and even Kermit and Miss Piggy – calling it quits. And while it’s sad to watch our favorite Hollywood pairings un-tie the knot, marriage expert Fawn Weaver says most celebrity couples are doomed from the start. 

As the Argument-Free Marriage author explained in a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday:

The problem with celebrity marriages is that they’re not built to last. It’s very difficult to stand up against the spotlight in that manner, so we’re looking at these guys — we put them on these pedestals so they feel as though they have be fake all of the time and they have to go over the top, and that’s hard to do. They’re not able to really deal with their stuff.

Weaver, the founder of The Happy Wives Club, urges quarreling couples to slow down in their approach to problem solving.

 ”When you feel your emotions accelerating, immediately decelerate them,” she said. 

 Watch more from Fawn Weaver’s conversation with HuffPost Live here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

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Texas Must Recognize Gay Marriage On Death Certificate, Judge Rules

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 5 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered Texas officials to recognize on a state death certificate the surviving spouse in a same-sex marriage whose husband died earlier this year.

The case comes as states such as Texas, which had barred same-sex marriage, grapple with changes brought by the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that made gay marriage legal in the United States.

Texas, where Republican leaders have tried to push back against gay marriage, had balked at recognizing John Stone-Hoskins as the surviving spouse on the death certificate of James Stone-Hoskins, according to court documents.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio ordered defendants including Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, and the state’s acting health commissioner to appear in his court next week as he considers whether they should be held in contempt.

The two were not immediately available for comment.

John and James Stone-Hoskins were lawfully married in New Mexico in August 2014 and James died in January 2015. 

Texas refused to recognize John as the surviving spouse at the time of the death and he is seeking to have Texas change its ways now that gay marriage is legal in all states.

He filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in federal court, which prompted the judge’s order. It said Texas has refused to fill in the space on the death certificate for surviving spouse.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Paxton, a county clerk and the acting health commissioner were named as defendants. None of them responded to requests for comment on the case.

“Although John has made numerous attempts to have James’s death certificate corrected to reflect John as James’s surviving spouse, Defendants refuse to make this correction – thus refusing to recognize John and James’s marriage,” the lawsuit said.

Neel Lane, an attorney for Stone-Hoskins, said the reason Texas officials refuse to put John’s name on the death certificate is because at the time his spouse died Texas was aggressively denying same-sex couples the right to marry.

“The only reason that he was denied that is because the state was intent on depriving him of his constitutional right,” he said. 

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Gwen Stefani And Gavin Rossdale Split After Nearly 13 Years Of Marriage

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are calling it quits after nearly 13 years of marriage. 

“While the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment,” the couple told Access Hollywood in a statement.  “To that end, we respectfully request privacy from the media during this time.”

According to the divorce filings obtained by TMZ, Stefani cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the couple’s split and both musicians asked for joint custody of their sons Kingston, Zuma and Apollo.

The couple first met when their bands No Doubt and Bush went on tour together in 1995 and the two began dating shortly after. They tied the knot on Sept. 14, 2002, in London and followed it up with yet another wedding in Los Angeles two weeks later.

The relationship was not without its bumps, as Rossdale would soon learn he was father to then-14-year-old model Daisy Lowe, whose mother is former Powder singer Pearl Lowe. Stefani was rumored to be “devastated” by the news, but couple stayed strong and welcomed their first son in 2006. 

The couple has been plagued by divorce rumors for years and Stefani is the first one to admit their marriage hasn’t been easy. This past February she told Cosmopolitan, “We go through so much together — it’s a miracle that we could stay together this long,”

 

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Gwen Stefani And Gavin Rossdale Split After Nearly 13 Years Of Marriage

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale are calling it quits after nearly 13 years of marriage. 

“While the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment,” the couple told Access Hollywood in a statement.  “To that end, we respectfully request privacy from the media during this time.”

According to the divorce filings obtained by TMZ, Stefani cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for the couple’s split and both musicians asked for joint custody of their sons Kingston, Zuma and Apollo.

The couple first met when their bands No Doubt and Bush went on tour together in 1995 and the two began dating shortly after. They tied the knot on Sept. 14, 2002, in London and followed it up with yet another wedding in Los Angeles two weeks later.

The relationship was not without its bumps, as Rossdale would soon learn he was father to then-14-year-old model Daisy Lowe, whose mother is former Powder singer Pearl Lowe. Stefani was rumored to be “devastated” by the news, but couple stayed strong and welcomed their first son in 2006. 

The couple has been plagued by divorce rumors for years and Stefani is the first one to admit their marriage hasn’t been easy. This past February she told Cosmopolitan, “We go through so much together — it’s a miracle that we could stay together this long,”

 

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The Marriage Bargain – Sandra Edwards

Sandra Edwards - The Marriage Bargain  artwork

The Marriage Bargain

Sandra Edwards

Genre: Contemporary

Publish Date: March 11, 2012

Publisher: SE Press

Seller: Sandra Edwards (books)


In book one of Billionaire Games, Julian de Laurent needs a wife. Camille Chandler needs a job after he inadvertently gets her fired. If she agrees, he'll pay her five million to marry him for six months. It's just a business deal, but neither could have foreseen what happens next, especially Camille, when she learns he's capable of stealing her heart. Also available in the New York Times & USA Today Bestseller Billionaire Games Boxed Set. Sign up for Sandra's NEW RELEASE ALERT at bit.ly/1k31XDr

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Why ‘talking about marriage’ should not be a relationship taboo

Relationship experts Matthew Hussey and Francesca Hogi answer viewer’s questions about love and dating and share their thoughts on whether or not to combine bank accounts with your spouse and when they think a couple should “talk about marriage.”


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A Letter To My Uncle Who Isn’t Dealing Well With SCOTUS’ Marriage Equality Decision

Last week, a relative reached out on his own accord to assure me that although he disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, he still loved and respected me as a gay family member. Drawing on my own experiences growing up in the Church, our collective family history, and my eventual coming out in a conservative religious culture, I sent the following response to him.

Dear Uncle G,

Your letter expressing your love and respect for me even though you disagree with the Supreme Court marriage equality ruling speaks to the heart of our current national dialogue regarding marriage equality and civil rights, specifically within religious communities and families. Please indulge me as I respond.

Within the Church, we are taught that we can (and should) “love the sinner and hate the sin.” In doing so, people of faith disassociate themselves from any harm or accountability to those whose identity is deemed inherently “sinful,” specifically: gay people. My understanding when I attended church was as follows:

If we can accept someone and yet not accept their “sin,” we’re effectively demonstrating love while still not condoning sinful behavior. Any confusion or hard feelings from outsiders due to this practice are misplaced. We’re merely maintaining God’s will on earth and adhering to His instructions as to how we should live. If our actions translate to prohibitive politics, reformative therapy, or the repression and rejection of someone’s identity, the church bears no responsibility for simply carrying out what we’ve been instructed to do. Furthermore, as sinners ourselves, we recognize that we all have to work to achieve salvation and it’s not on us to water down what is required of us as followers of Christ. Any dissension from those on the outside is often an instance of persecution for our faith.

Here’s the truth: that’s not the case. To ascribe to as much essentially passes the buck for some severely damaging policies and attitudes. Whatever the genuine, faith-based intentions of the church have been over the last five decades, their actions through anti-gay marriage campaigning and legislation have been inarguably prohibitive, discriminatory, and scathing to the American gay community.

During the decades in which churches have claimed to uphold a “standard” by campaigning and asserting the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman (even regardless of sexual persuasion), countless gay men, women, and couples have been shut out and left federally unrecognized. They’ve paid higher taxes than married couples with comparable assets, have been denied medical benefits, willfully withheld from visiting their partners in the hospital due to the fact that they aren’t “family,” and experienced countless inequalities on a consistent and massive scale.

Furthermore, the gay community has suffered an extraordinary amount of persecution and violence towards them in a country that bears responsibility for as much by consistently denying gays rights and, therefore, basic human value. Compounding that violence, churches have passionately preached and characterized gay folk as harmful, synonymous with pedophiles, and in danger of hell no matter what their personal actions demonstrate. Lastly, churches have ruthlessly preached the fearful ideology that legalizing gay marriage will rob America of its morals and values and fundamentally compromise the American family structure.

I alternately witnessed and felt every one of these examples in my childhood. When my parents told me at the age of eight that Uncle John was gay and had AIDS, it was intensely confusing and traumatizing to try to experience John’s love, affection, gifted nature, and presence in my life, yet have the legitimacy of that called immediately into question because of what I had been negatively taught about gay people as a child in church. Thankfully, my parents chose to keep my brother and I close to John until the end, as tragic as it was. However, after John’s death, you can imagine my sheer terror when my first substantial attractions leaned towards the other boys at school. This is not okay, I told myself. What have I done wrong? I felt betrayed by my own body, worthless, that I had done something terrible to cause these feelings which had to be rectified, and, of course, that I was in danger of hell. I hadn’t yet turned thirteen.

To make matters worse, just a few months after John’s passing our church began holding intensely emotional and distraught “Town Hall” meetings during Sunday night services in response to local petitions from gay men and women seeking legal recognition as couples (not even marriage, at that point). During these meetings, our leaders vehemently warned the congregation that this petition heralded the church’s darkest hour: that the passage of such laws would bring an assault on the church, hail the end of morals and values, and that the church MUST stand in the way of such destructive legislation. This only struck further terror into me and intensified my self-loathing.

School was no better: Taunted for being artistic and effeminate (the latter I effectively beat out of myself by high school), I received consistent harassment both physically and verbally for being “gay.” Truly, from school, to church, to John’s horrific death, there was no worse thing to be called or to be. And even, John, I wondered, did he bring this on himself? Was his death God’s punishment for being gay? Did his extraordinary mind, talent, his noteworthy contributions to the computer industry, generosity, love, and struggle with his identity not count for something in the eyes of God…?

Guess not.

After a painful and confused adolescence with some pretty self-destructive behavior, I moved into the present. The world finally opened up to me as I came out. To say “opened up” does not mean that life became easier, but gradually became clearer as I eventually found the integrity and honesty I thought I could never possess due to my attractions. The precept that I was doomed to a life without integrity because I was gay was the most insidious lie taught to me as a teenager, relentlessly communicated over and over again through church and church-influenced culture.

Much to my relief (and theirs), my immediate family didn’t pull away when I came out. Though we’ve moved through a few issues over time, they’ve got my back. There’s not merely an understanding between us, but a joyful acceptance of my identity. Something I know they’ve been longing for since they felt their own internal struggles with Uncle John when he came out to them in the ’70s. Being gay has become a welcome and celebrated part of me and my nuclear family.

Over time, I witnessed firsthand the frustrations, inequalities, and discriminations fced by my gay friends who were partnered. Gradually, marriage equality passed into legislation state by state and granted the couples in those states with equal rights regardless of their orientation. Few of these gay couples who benefited were religious. They sought a purely legal recognition of their partnership, even refusing to accept “civil unions” which still denied gay couples in certain benefits and rights afforded to those straight couples who were married.

As conservative opposition increasingly mounted from the naysayers in California, and in every state where this swiftly came to the forefront of the political stage, the overriding sentiment among my current community was one of befuddlement and incredulity. “What is their PROBLEM?” we asked. “The majority of us don’t WANT to get married in a church and aren’t TRYING to infringe on anyone else’s rights! MY rights have been infringed upon for the last 10/30/50 years! I want equal standing!”

So finally, after a battle spanning several generations, the Supreme Court cited the Constitution to recognize gay married couples as federally legitimate in all 50 states. Every marriage, regardless of orientation, now receives equal treatment under the law, granting victory to those who have worked tirelessly for their own benefit and the benefit of others for decades. As I walked jubilantly to work that Friday morning, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders that I hadn’t realized was there: I was finally an equal citizen in this country and no longer needed to fear that equality being threatened or taken away.

I took a moment to reflect on Uncle John and his legacy. I thought about the terror and uncertainty he had experienced growing up all the way until his death and considered my own traumatic history. Taking a breath, I reached toward John to share the hope and promise that this landmark decision would eradicate from the experiences of future generations of gay men and women the fears and abuses he had suffered. Nor did those fears hold a part in my story any longer. This ruling not only guarantees us equality, it dignifies and legitimizes us in a way we have not been prior to this moment. Whether marriage is a prospect for any one gay individual or not (and though there are certainly still battles to fight) we are equal and we are free. I thanked John for his and his generation’s part in that.

I know, and have known for some time, that you have not sided with gay Americans on this issue and further, your church has actively campaigned against marriage equality. Knowing this has not affected how I’ve interacted with you or the warmth I’ve shared when seeing you over the last few years. While I’ve not wholly ignored your stance on this issue, I figured a conversation regarding it would happen at the right time. Until such time, I didn’t feel we should hold back any of the love and affection we feel toward each other in the so few times we’re able to visit. I hope none of this will change.

However, I also hope this letter gives light to my confusion when you express that you love and respect me even though you disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision. The SCOTUS ruling, as I’ve detailed it, gives my community and I legal recognition and validation in a way we have never had. It extends my rights, legitimizes me and a prospective partner should we choose to marry, and affords me equal standing with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, likely my nephew, and you.

To hear you say you love me and yet disagree with that is confusing. In fact, as frustrating as it may be to hear, to say as much is discriminatory. That’s not an accusation, it’s a clear-cut fact. You can’t say you love someone (which assumes you want the best for them) and then disagree with a positive movement for their civil rights.

I love you. Sometimes when I visit with extended family on either side, there’s a distance from one or two people that’s never articulated. I can sense they feel awkward due to my sexuality and yet, they want to be warm. As a result, much to their own bewilderment, when they share that they’re proud of me and love me they’re also keeping an emotional distance.

This annoys me. Not because I think less of them for not having it all figured out or because I think they’re stupid, but because they don’t have to feel that way. Their confusion is completely fear-based and obstructs the positive energy they’re naturally trying to express. I’m guessing they’re annoyed, too. Not to mention fearful and sad.

That’s a crime. I should never have felt sweat-inducing fear for Uncle John’s soul at the age of eight and no one should feel fear for me (and you can be sure my nephew won’t feel any such fear, even if I have to strong-arm it). These fears only cause distance, which is needless and tragic. If you hold any of these fears within you, I hope you can find a way to process and move through them because distance isn’t fun, it’s not family, and it’s not necessary. Let me know how I can help.

Thank you for reading. I hope this provides an avenue for further dialogue.

All my love,

Colin

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Americans Are Still Divided Over Gay Marriage After Supreme Court Decision

NEW YORK (AP) — The Supreme Court’s ruling last month legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide has left Americans sharply divided, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that suggests support for gay unions may be down slightly from earlier this year.

The poll also found a near-even split over whether local officials with religious objections should be required to issuemarriage licenses to same-sex couples, with 47 percent saying that should be the case and 49 percent say they should be exempt.

 

 

Overall, if there’s a conflict, a majority of those questioned think religious liberties should win out over gay rights, according to the poll. While 39 percent said it’s more important for the government to protect gay rights, 56 percent said protection of religious liberties should take precedence.

The poll was conducted July 9 to July 13, less than three weeks after the Supreme Court ruled states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

According to the poll, 42 percent support same-sex marriage and 40 percent oppose it. The percentage saying they favor legal same-sex marriage in their state was down slightly from the 48 percent who said so in an April poll. In January, 44 percent were in favor.

 

 

Asked specifically about the Supreme Court ruling, 39 percent said they approve and 41 percent said they disapprove.

“What the Supreme Court did is jeopardize our religious freedoms,” said Michael Boehm, 61, an industrial controls engineer from the Detroit area who describes himself as a conservative-leaning independent.

“You’re going to see a conflict between civil law and people who want to live their lives according to their faiths,” Boehm said.

Boehm was among 59 percent of the poll respondents who said wedding-related businesses with religious objections should be allowed to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. That compares with 52 percent in April.

Also, 46 percent said businesses more generally should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples, while 51 percent said that should not be allowed.

Claudette Girouard, 69, a retiree from Chesterfield Township, Michigan, said she is a moderate independent voter who has gradually become supportive of letting same-sex couples marry.

“I don’t see what the big hoopla is,” she said. “If they’re happy, why not?”

Girouard said local officials should be required to perform same-sex marriages, but does not think that wedding-related businesses should be forced to serve same-sex couples.

“If the official doesn’t like what he’s being asked to do, then quit,” she said. “But businesses are kind of independent, so if they have a strong belief against it, there are enough other businesses out there for someone to use.”

 

 

 

The poll found pronounced differences in viewpoints depending on political affiliation.

For example, 65 percent of Democrats, but only 22 percent of Republicans favored allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in their state. And 72 percent of Republicans but just 31 percent of Democrats said local officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses.

By a 64-32 margin, most Democrats said it’s more important to protect gay rights than religious liberties when the two are in conflict. Republicans said the opposite, by 82-17.

Clarence Wells, 60, a conservative from Rockwood, Tennessee, said he strongly disapproved of the Supreme Court’s ruling. He anticipates friction as gay couples try to exercise their newfound rights and people with religious objections to same-sex marriage balk at accepting them.

“I don’t believe it’s going to go over smoothly,” said Wells. “I think a lot of them will be shunned in church. … I think there will businesses that are going to close, because some people are stubborn enough to not want to deal with it.”

Andrew Chan, 41, a moderate independent from Seattle, said he has tried to remain neutral on same-sex marriage.

“For me, it’s always been about tolerating,” said Chan, who works for a nonprofit organization. “I’ve got friends on both sides.”

Chan said he was happy for gays and lesbians who have found someone they want to marry, and he expressed some wariness toward politicians who might try to roll back the Supreme Court ruling.

“That just creates more division,” he said. “Are we looking to move the country forward or move it backward?”

___

The AP-GfK Poll of 1,004 adults was conducted online July 9 to July 13, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. Some questions were ask of half samples of respondents and have smaller margins of error. Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel who didn’t otherwise have access to the Internet were provided access at no cost to them.

___

Swanson reported from Washington.

 

 

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Kendra Wilkinson Defends Hank Baskett Marriage

Kendra Wilkinson is silencing the haters.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
Entertainment News-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

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Marriage

My friend was about to be married when her future mother-in-law met my friend’s seven-year-old niece for the first time. She asked her how she was
going to participate in the wedding.

“I’m going to be the flower girl,” she said excitedly, “my brother’s going to be the ring bearer, Dad’s going to be the emcee, and Mom said she’s
going to be broke.”

Received from Da Mouse Tracks.
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Midlife Crisis, Marriage Crisis Or Both?

2015-07-04-1436044340-7634571-MidlifeCrisisMarriageCrisisorBoth.jpg

What do you do when someone you thought you knew like the back of your hand mutates into someone you don’t recognize?

The midlife crisis. Or that’s what we tend to call it.

She says maybe she never really loved you. She wants to be independent. She hangs out a lot more with her divorced girlfriends. Suddenly, you go from being the man she wanted to grow old with to the guy she wouldn’t be caught dead with.

He starts working out. Guards his cell phone. Buys new, smarter-looking clothes. It’s classic but you don’t want to see it. Then he lets you know there’s “someone else”. He met her on Facebook. And he wants a divorce.

You’ve been married 32 years.

It’s a crisis all right. A midlife crisis maybe. A definite marriage crisis.

CBS did a report in 2011 on the current research on midlife. It stated that the huge majority of folks take midlife in stride. Psychological theories add that when you have led a life where you have been able to follow some passion or interest, whether it’s your job, your family, an activity or talent, that you will be fulfilled. In midlife, you become someone who wants to give back. To your community. Your culture. Your family. Your relationships.

Erikson, who developed a theory of the stages of human development, defined the issue in midlife as the decision between “generativity” and “stagnation”. You are going to blossom or wilt. If happy, you know what you stand for.

Most midlifers fare pretty well.

Yet those that are not content get a lot of attention. Because they can cause a lot of hurt.

The two things — a marriage crisis and a midlife crisis — can obviously be intertwined. One of the partners in the relationship becomes unsure of themselves. Of their choices. Of what their life means. What have they missed? How much time is there left to enjoy? To learn? To experience? That frantic self-doubt and fear can lead to leaving a partner, who seems to symbolize only what was. Not what could be.

Cathy Meyer, the divorce support expert for About.com, stated that men have midlife crises out of fear. Fear of death. Fear of aging. Fear of losing power. Women? Out of an awareness of opportunity. Ms. Meyer’s observation is that women’s focus has been more about getting children grown, security established. After that is done, her own life opens in an exciting, even seductive way. She further reports that if someone has not been attentive to their own needs — has made their whole life about others — making a living or raising children — no matter their gender, they are more likely to be drawn toward drastic change in midlife.

Esther Perel, a highly sought after speaker on the subject, believes that infidelity can emerge from happy marriages as well as unhappy ones. That they are more about reconnecting with parts of the self that are being rediscovered or perhaps discovered for the first time.

If you believe yourself to be in a midlife crisis:

A midlife crisis can be distinct from a marriage crisis
.

Maybe your partnership is in trouble. Maybe you have fallen into a rut. Have stopped expressing gratitude. Maybe there are some dynamics or issues that have always been disappointing that you are tired of. That if you talked about, might be changed.

If that’s the case, you can confront those things. Try to do something about them. If your partner is willing. Often, if they hear you are considering ending your commitment, their desire to listen and change will increase.

Perhaps you are in a midlife crisis. All by yourself.

A question I ask:

“What makes you think you have to leave your partner to find the fulfillment you desire?”

You need to figure out what your life is missing. Something you have been afraid to try. Or too busy to develop in yourself. As Ms. Perel would say, discovering yourself.

It may mean really changing things. Asking your partner to hang in there with you and adapt. Maybe you decide that the high-powered corporate world is no longer for you and you want to retrain as a massage therapist. Maybe you want to train for a marathon. Go to college for the first time.

Try to discover that first. See what happens in the relationship if you get more excited about your own life.

If your partner is in a midlife crisis:

What if you are on the receiving end? If you get told that your partner is unsure of his or her commitment to you? Maybe they have even involved someone else?

Much of the response to this question lies in the context. The situation. There is one thing I have learned.

Know if you are considering divorce, that it will always be only yours. Not your mother’s. Not your best friend’s. Not your therapist’s or your lawyer’s. Yours. You will be living whatever benefits come from it, and what painful consequences might be. Wait until you feel ready to make that decision.

If you are getting feedback that you are being terribly self-destructive, then you should probably take that into account.

But it’s still your choice.

You can find more of Dr. Margaret on her website, DrMargaretRutherford.com! SUBSCRIBE and receive a free copy of her eBook, “Seven Commandments of Good Therapy”, a basic guide on how to evaluate a potential therapist or your current therapist.

Originally published by Midlife Boulevard.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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After Marriage Equality, What Will We Create Next?

After Obergefell v. Hodges, the first decision from the Supreme Court of the United States that broadly affirms the lives of lesbian and gay people and provides us with vital recognition for our intimate relationships, many national organizations and leaders quickly pivoted from marriage equality to workplace and public accommodation protections. The stark reality that a gay or lesbian person could marry in the morning, be fired in the afternoon and evicted from an apartment or restaurant in the evening, echoed across my screen as people shared these messages on social media.

I support federal legislation to protect LGBT people at work and in public, of course, and I recognize how crucial federal legislation is for people who do not live in states or cities that already provide these protections. At the same time, I want time to take a deep breath and savor marriage equality before moving to the next national issue.

The struggle to recognize loving, committed relationships of same-sex partners has been a long struggle. While Justice Scalia’s words in the Lawrence v. Texas dissent in 2003 portended this victory in 2015, gay men and lesbians have been talking about relationship recognition for decades. Before Genora Dancel and Ninia Baehr in Hawaii, there was Jack Baker and Michael McConnell in Minnesota; before them, there were discussions about marriage in The Ladder and One Magazine, and before that, there were other gay men and lesbians thinking about how their relationships could be recognized in the worlds where they lived. Lesbians and gay men have imagined the day when they could be fully, completely, and legally married for a long time–decades, even centuries. Savoring the decision honors the work and dreams of those who came before us.

Savoring the decision also gives us space and time to recognize the importance of imagination and creativity in our movements for social change. How do we create and promote communities that value imagination and creativity? How do we nurture the minds and spirits of people who help us imagine a different world and defy the conventions of the day to envision this new world and take steps to create it? How do we affirm the significance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender creative production? In particular, how do we carve out space for queer creativity amid increasing mainstreaming of LGBT people and identities? Thinking about and answering these questions is as urgent as workplace and public accommodation protections. Without imagination and creativity, our community cannot envision the changes we want to see. From our creativity, from our imagination, come the visions of the worlds we might create.

Imagination transforms worlds. Nurturing imagination and creativity is crucial. What can we do to nurture LGBTQ imaginations? How can we envision worlds where LGBTQ people can live and thrive? Considering these questions and answering these questions are an important part of our political worlds today. The imagination of a world transformed, the imagination of a world with marriage equality helped to create the world that we have today. How can we ensure that imagination and creativity are a part of the forefront of LGBTQ communities as we move forward?

Yes, attorneys and legal strategists were crucial to marriage equality. Yes, we need political strategies to win new federal, state, and local victories that make the daily lives of lesbians, gay men, bisexual, and transgender people better. We also need transformative imaginative capacities in our community. I want to hold space for creativity and imagination in our new world where organizations and individuals reorganize their priorities after marriage equality.

My greatest hope is that new resources will flow to organizations that build and celebrate LGBT culture in the aftermath of marriage equality. Tending to our culture, building on the rich and vibrant cultural tradition of LGBTQ communities, promoting queer creativity and imagination is for me an opportunity for LGBTQ people in this new world of marriage equality.

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American Samoa Questions If Gay Marriage Ruling Applies To Territory

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) – American Samoa stands as the only U.S. territory to hold out against the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage.

But as the Pacific island’s attorney general reviews the decision, legal observers and gay rights advocates are saying it should go into effect immediately.

“It should be unquestioned,” said Rose Cuison Villazor, a professor at University of California, Davis’ law school and an expert on territorial law. “The Supreme Court’s decision was pretty strong.”

American Samoa Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale, however, hasn’t been ready to take that step.

“We’re still reviewing the decision to determine its applicability to American Samoa, and I have no specific comments at this time,” he said.

Asked if same sex marriage is legal in the territory, Ale said, “I don’t know. We’re reviewing the law.”

U.S. territories have some self-governance rights. The right to marry, however, isn’t a question of self-governance, said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, staff attorney for national gay rights group Lambda Legal. “This is a question of individual right, individual liberty.”

Other U.S. territories have voluntarily complied with the Supreme Court decision.

In Puerto Rico, Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla signed an executive order soon after the ruling. U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp has said he would issue a similar executive order. In Guam, there is no effort to ignore or challenge the ruling, said territorial legislative Vice Speaker Benjamin F. Cruz, who is gay. The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is also supporting the decision.

As of Thursday, no one has applied for a same sex marriage license in American Samoa, according to the island’s Office of Vital Statistics.

Christian churches with conservative social views dominate in American Samoa, home to about 50,000, and the government’s motto is “Samoa, Let God Be First.” Yet the territory has a tradition of embracing faafafine – males who are raised as females and take on feminine traits.

There are many faafafine who aren’t supportive of gay marriage out of “respect for our Samoan culture and religious beliefs,” said well-known faafafine Princess Auvaa.

The lack of marriage license applications by same-sex couples shouldn’t be taken to mean no one in American Samoa desires gay marriage, Villazor said. The attorney general’s review may have a chilling effect, she said. “I would think there are cultural barriers to begin with. The AG might present some other legal and social barriers, too,” she said.

For gay marriage to be recognized in American Samoa, there needs to be a voluntary decision or litigation, said Chimene Keitner, an expert on territorial status issues at University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

Litigation would require “plaintiffs who have been denied the right to marry and are willing to take a public position on that and challenge their inability to marry,” she said. Plaintiffs could also be those who were married elsewhere and want the marriage recognized in American Samoa, she said.

Auvaa said she wants gay marriage to be legal in American Samoa. If it’s determined that it is, she said, “I would be the first person to apply for a marriage license – if I had a boyfriend who would agree to marriage.”

___

Kelleher reported from Honolulu. Graces Garces Bordallo in Guam and AP National Writer David Crary contributed to this report.

 

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The 6 Most Common Complaints Men Have About Marriage

  

What do married men complain about behind closed doors during couples and family therapy?

Below, marriage therapists open up about the gripes they hear most often from long-married men — and the advice they give both partners during sessions. 

1. They complain about their spouses‘ tendency to complain. 

Men tend to be tight-lipped in couples’ therapy, said Tim Cavell, a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of experience counseling couples. When they do voice frustrations, they usually complain about their spouses’ tendency to complain, he said.

Why are guys so hesitant to open up about their own specific marital concerns? 

“The answer lies in the definition of complain,” the Fayetteville, Arkansas-based therapist said, ”It’s ‘to state that one is suffering or in pain.’ So to complain is to say that you’re vulnerable or weak. Most men don’t do that.”  

To encourage constructive conversations between the couples, Cavell tells them to phrase their complaints as requests instead. He also gives them a little homework. 

“I tell them to schedule times when they can talk safely without interruption and follow basic rules of communication covered in our sessions,” he said, “For instance, taking turns talking and making I-statements instead of you-statements.” 

2. They’re bored with their spouses. 

Psychotherapist Abby Rodman often hears long-married men complain about becoming disillusioned with their marriages — and a little bored by their wives. 

“These men aren’t talking about their sexual interest waning — although that’s a byproduct of the real issue — but rather that their wives no longer make efforts to enrich their own lives through self-improvement, professional growth or new interests,” the Newton, Massachusetts-based therapist said. “I want to be clear that these men aren’t jerks; they really, really want to be connected to their wives in meaningful ways but instead come home every night to partners who only complain about driving carpool and work.” 

In her sessions, Rodman encourages the men to cultivate a connection with their spouses, whether it be in the form of a new shared hobby or penciling in weekend trips together.

“I also remind them that they found their wives interesting once and that it’s imperative they find the time — and make the commitment — to rediscover their spouse.” 

3.  They think their spouses are bored with them. 

Men are equally fearful that their spouses are bored with them, said Jim Walkup, a marriage and family therapist based in New York City.

“When husbands come in for therapy after an affair, they will confess, ‘I just didn’t think my wife cared.'”

While it may sound like a convenient way to shift the blame, Walkup encourages the couples to use that statement as a jumping-off point for a deeper conversation.

“Most couples do not get around to a discussion of how much they matter to one another,” he said. “Perfunctory ‘I love yous’ do not suffice. Real attention to the temperature of the marriage makes a difference — and the discussion will head off his sense that you’ve gotten lost with your children or your job and he doesn’t matter.  One partner’s lack of concern may make the other susceptible to an affair with someone who does care”

 4. They’re not having sex.  

Bonnie Ray Kennan has heard quite a bit about the stale sex lives of long-married couples.  

“So many husbands can’t understand why their wives don’t initiate sex and or want to have sex,” the marriage therapist of 10 years said. “The thing is, men feel closer when they have sex with their wives, but women will want to have sex with their husbands when they feel understood by them and closer to them.” 

 

While it’s not always going to be hot and heavy between the sheets, physical intimacy needs to be a priority for both spouses, said Ray Kennan, who’s based in Torrance, California. 

 

“The advice I give to men is to really initiate relationship work with their wives,” she said. “Take her to a place away from the home, sit down and work to understand her better. Tell her she seems unhappy and that you would like to help her with this. Then, listen non-defensively to what she says.” 

 

5. They’re not speaking the same love language as their spouse. 

Walkup hears plenty of complaints from men whose wives show affection, just not in the way the men want them to demonstrate it. (The husband may live for quality time together, for instance, while the wife prefers expressing her affection verbally.) 

 

To get on the same page, Walkup suggests this simple prompt to couples: “Ask each other: ‘During our life together, could you name five times when I have done something that made you know that I loved you?’ Together parse out the ingredients: Was it an action? Was it touch? Was it words of affirmation? Was it a gift? Was it listening? Armed with this knowledge, you’ll hopefully spend your energy caring in a way that makes each other glow.” 

 

6. They’re sick of the “good cop/bad cop” parenting routine.

No parent wants to be perceived as the sole disciplinarian in their children’s’ eyes. Many of the married men that walk into Ray Kennan’s office feel they’ve been locked into that role.

 

“Frequently, the husband will be the disciplinarian and the wife will become excessively permissive. They get trapped in that ‘good cop, bad cop’ dynamic.” 

 

To address the imbalance, Ray Kennan reminds her clients about the importance of presenting a united front as parents. 

 

“Your children will be healthier and balanced if you’re contributing in the same way,” she said. “Negotiate with your wife to find ways to integrate both parenting styles into a seamless unit that your children see and trust.” 

 

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1) – Shayne Parkinson

Shayne Parkinson - Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1)  artwork

Sentence of Marriage (Promises to Keep: Book 1)

Promises To Keep, no. 1

Shayne Parkinson

Genre: Historical

Publish Date: March 8, 2009

Publisher: Shayne Parkinson

Seller: Smashwords


“I won’t have her forced,” Jack said. “Let her decide for herself.” Amy knew her father meant it. She could say no if she wanted. But this marriage would make everything all right. They could put all the trouble she had caused behind them. Everyone would be happy again. Everyone except her. “Sentence of Marriage” is the first book in the three-volume “Promises to Keep”. In nineteenth century New Zealand, there are few choices for a farm girl like Amy. Her life seems mapped out for her by the time she is twelve. Amy dreams of an exciting life in the world beyond her narrow boundaries. But it is the two people who come to the farm from outside the valley who change her life forever, and Amy learns the high cost of making the wrong choice. "One of the best historical novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in years." – WorkingGirl Reviews. "The story was captivating, the characters real, the dialogue crisp. I admit to having cried and laughed and even having wanted to murder a character and beat another one within an inch of his life — which is simply a testament to how well written these books are." – AmericanEditor.

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How This Woman Left A Sexless Marriage And Found Relationship Bliss

Lindsey Ellison first experienced sexual incompatibility with the man who would become her husband when she was in her mid-20s. After a largely sexless 17-year marriage, she decided to end the relationship, and now she’s in a sexually satisfying union with her husband of over a year.

Ellison, who works as a divorce coach, shared her story with HuffPost Live’s Nancy Redd on Tuesday. After struggling with intimacy, Ellison thought there could be something “hormonally wrong” with her. When a doctor found no physical problem, Ellison realized the trouble was coming from a handful of issues within her relationship.

“The sex part of it was just really an ingredient to a much larger recipe,” she said.

When she hit her mid-30s, Ellison gave herself permission to seek sexual fulfillment and decided to leave her “incredibly lonely” marriage. The key to finding the happiness she has now, Ellison said, was being up-front with her new partner from the get-go.

“When I met my [new] husband, I almost feel as though it was the second date [when] I said, ‘Hey, FYI, these are my requirements and this is my parameter, and I refuse to have a sexless marriage,'” she remembered. “I probably gave him the amount of days I expected [to have sex] because I just didn’t want to go back to that place.”

Ellison closed by offering some words of advice to other women who are newly out of a relationship:

It’s one thing if [newly single women] just — let me put it bluntly — if they just want to get laid. Go for it. I say use protection and just manage your expectations and his… If you’re coming out of a relationship where you’re feeling wounded or vulnerable, my advice is to get your love mojo back on for yourself. Worry about sex, do things by yourself, go to a sex toy store, do what you need to do, and really protect yourself because you can get hurt and get sucked back into another unhealthy relationship if you don’t really know what you’re doing. 

Watch Lindsey Ellison share her story in the video above, and click here for the full HuffPost Live conversation about sexless marriages.   

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Fox Plans Movie About Same-Sex Marriage Case Plaintiff


It has acquired rights to the story of Jim Obergefell as well as an upcoming book ’21 Years to Midnight.’

read more


Hollywood Reporter

Love Wins Again – SCOTUS’ Marriage Equality Case Movie On Its Way

Hollywood will adapt the true story of Jim Obergefell, whose fight for equal marital rights changed the nation.
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So Gay Marriage Biblically Offends You? Then You Should Read This…

I want to start by saying that I am a Christian. I always have been and always will be… and I’m also a gay woman who is happily married to a beautiful British Woman named Megan. Since the recent Supreme Court ruling of legalizing same-sex marriages in the United States, I have seen the ugly and the uglier come out in people I never expected. Having moved to live with my wife in the UK, I find myself in awe at the complete and utter ignorance that has been clogging up my news feed and other social medial outlets in the past few days from my so-called American friends back in the South. It’s important to state that I’m not generalizing all, as I’ve also seen a positive response from those Christian in the South; even including support from an amazing pastor. However, it saddens me that amongst the many rainbow-colored pictures on my feed, there is also a great deal of hatred.

What I don’t understand is quite simply, this: why does gay marriage bother people so much? If you are making an unnecessary palava because you’re offended by gay marriage then you seriously need to look at your own life and educate yourselves a bit. If the sole reason you feel that gay marriage is wrong because it’s a sin, and the Bible tells you this is wrong, then I sure as hell hope you don’t have bacon with your eggs or indulge in shrimp. Oh, or better yet, do you have any tattoos? Ever been drunk, told a white lie or been divorced? Yep, whoops. Those are all sins, too. And all sins are equal, right? I don’t see anyone going off the handle because of any of these ‘sins’ and I most certainly don’t see protests or hurtful propaganda against those. Just because you disagree with something — and we all have the right to do so — it is an absolute disgrace to treat the LGBT community the way you do. What if we treated all sins in this way? Bacon eaters would be doomed.

Therefore, if gay marriage or ‘homosexuality’ doesn’t affect you personally in the way you live your life in any way, why do you feel the need to even get involved? Why worry about something that is, frankly, none of your business? For instance, I’m not divorced, but many people I know are, and I’m not going to judge them. We shouldn’t judge anyone for the way they live their life. If you don’t agree with gay marriage, then don’t have a gay wedding. Simple.

I know what you must be thinking. If the LGBT community can protest and stand up for their rights, then why can’t Christians? They have every right to stand up for what they believe in also… To a degree, yes. Christianity and gay rights will always butt-heads. Luckily, we have the Equality Act 2010 in the UK, where we’ve seen it in the favor of gay rights; e.g. where a gay couple were wrongly turned away from a B&B due to the owners Christian views, to in favor of Christianity; e.g. the nurse who was wrongly fired for telling her lesbian colleague she’s committing a sin. I don’t expect the battles to ever fully cease, but choose your battles wisely. Is this really worth your time? Could your time not be better spent with showing kindness and acceptance — isn’t that what being a Christian is truly about, rather than showing hatred? It is not your duty to judge and tell others how to live theirs to ensure your angelic conscious is clear. However, it does change the lives of the LGBT community and gives us freedom and the same rights as anyone else. This means that now my wife and I, if we ever decide to move back to the U.S., can do this freely and can move to any state. Your hatred towards this is unjust and unfair and don’t even try to the quote the Bible at me; you may want to actually read it first.

To all of the haters, how would you feel if your rights were completely stripped from you because you had a divorce or because you had a baby out of wedlock, for instance? How would you like someone judging and telling you that you’re going to hell because of this?

As a Christian, I wholeheartedly believe that God does not make mistakes and he would not have accidentally made millions of people (and animals) gay by chance. We are all who we are for a reason and no one should ever make you feel bad for that. If anything, my relationship with God is better than ever, and I know that I am definitely not going to hell or that my lifestyle is wrong. It’s important for people to know that you can be a Christian and gay. You do not have to choose one or the other. We need more people like Christian singer Vicky Beeching, who came out as a lesbian last year, to look up to as role models.

So, my dear fellow Christians, from one Christian to another, please mind your own business and PLEASE make sure that your hands are clean before you point your finger at me and my community. Amen.

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What Evan Wolfson and Marriage Equality Have Done for the People Who Despise Them

At a moment when Marriage Equality has become national law, albeit by the slimmest of margins, (and, thank you Justice Kennedy), LGBTQI folk and our allies would be moronic not to realize how harrowing is this decision for millions who don’t share our belief in what is now deemed to be a Constitutionally guaranteed right. Revolted by their visualizations of what same-sex unions mean, and haunted by unreal notions, including that we will soon agitate for the freedom to marry dogs, they spin their wheels in an effort to comprehend what has happened to a country they thought they understood as one explicitly defined by the Bible.

In fact, what “the father of marriage equality” Evan Wolfson and his colleague, Mark Solomon, (among others who worked at Freedom to Marry) have done is to make the nation stronger. Though our adversaries don’t yet realize it, this transformation of consciousness will be perceived much in the same light as the 1919 law granting women the right to vote. Or the momentous Civil Rights — and Voting Rights — legislation which LBJ passed, thereby enfranchising African Americans. Both advances were epochal; both had been met with stout resistance; in both cases, the losing side bewailed the future of the United States, as previously received.

As previously received….

Therein lies their fallacy and the same blunder which opponents of Marriage Equality make today. For in these movements towards “a more perfect union” postulated by the Constitution, the Republic and its people make actual progress. In the process, of course, old givens are recycled; that which was known — a received wisdom, oftentimes never questioned — are subjected to new inquiry. It is the never-ending quality of regeneration at the heart of the American Experiment: our willingness to start over, to cast aside the unworthy or the unworkable and put our shoulders to the wheel in the service of a finer and more compassionate Whole. And this is the very essence of healthy democracy.

One side doesn’t necessarily have to degrade or shame the other for being tardy. As Lao Tze wrote 2500 years ago, “If one leads, another must follow.” It is the law of Nature; it’s also human nature — to grow and stretch, expand and put aside the archaic in favor of what meets the reality of the Present.

This is where we are as a People: in the Present.

The gift which Evan Wolfson, Mark Solomon and their colleagues at Freedom to Marry bestowed upon the nation is to help harness a huge and still-expanding recognition of humanness. And human diversity. In its way, it is as stunning an achievement as the Emancipation Proclamation or the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education. As a civil people, we have the right to expect leaders to lead; legislators to legislate; and courts to rule. This is the usually difficult, oftentimes infuriating, way in which our system plays out. That some will bridle is to be expected. But, in due course, they certainly will come to appreciate that what makes us truly strong isn’t our weaponry. Our power — true power — lies in our character. Some may call it virtue. I do. But in leading us to this wider embrace of our own citizens, irrespective of superficial differences, the patriots who ushered this issue forward brought us into the moment, reminded us of whom, and what, we are and renewed our collective sense of Self.

They are heroes.

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First Came Love, Then — With the Law on Our Side — Came Marriage

Reposted from Cognoscenti.

When my partner, Mal, and I moved in together, my grandmother knit us an afghan. No doubt she’d worked on it for months — the perfect square stitches and intricate floral pattern were the work of an artisan, not a crafty grandma. But the gift itself felt like an afterthought. I was standing in the hallway at my cousin’s house after a family dinner, when my mom handed me the afghan in a plain cardboard box.

My sister got her afghan at her bridal shower. Friends put down their cake plates to run their hands across the perfect stitches. My grandmother blushed a little at the compliments.

It was 2001 when I got my afghan. I imagine my grandmother assumed there would be no further milestones. I would never marry a man or be the guest of honor at a bridal shower. But my same-sex partner was big-hearted and funny and appeared not to be going anywhere. That tough, resilient purple blanket was a gesture of acceptance. But without the structure and ceremony of a wedding, that gesture became an afterthought, lost in the chaos of clearing the table and loading the dishwasher.

When Mal and I started dating, my mom and grandmother could barely look at her. They would come to Boston to visit my sisters in college, and Mal and I would push through our dread to meet them for dinner.

“You grew up in Boston,” my mom once said to Mal. “So you must be a bad driver.”

But Mal learned my grandmother’s cookie recipes and helped her grate potatoes at Thanksgiving. She fed me ice cream when I had my wisdom teeth pulled and did my laundry six months later when I had mono. She joined our raucous holiday celebrations and added her voice to our off-key show tune sing-alongs. Mal would never be a son-in-law, but she was something. 

Then, in 2003, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that same-sex couples couldn’t be denied the right to marry. The first call I got the morning of the court decision was from my mother. Mal and I had just told our families we planned to have a commitment ceremony, and my mom was overjoyed that our wedding would be, in her words, real.

It didn’t matter that the months leading up to our wedding were spent rallying at the State House instead of choosing cake toppers. I was a woman getting married. For the first time in my adult life, I was doing something my family understood.

May 17, 2004, was the first day cities and towns could accept marriage license applications from same-sex couples. While most municipalities waited until the morning, Cambridge began right at midnight. City Hall opened the night of May 16, and the lawn outside was as packed as Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

My mom and grandmother were with us as we walked past the cheering crowds and into City Hall. We kept noticing that people were cheering louder for us than the couples around us. I couldn’t understand why, until someone leaned over and congratulated my mom and grandmother on their marriage.

We gathered in the City Council chamber with couples in tuxes, couples in matching sweatshirts, two men wearing angel wings. The city clerk and a dozen municipal employees worked through the night to process our applications. At 3:15 that morning, Mal and I became the 147th same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in Massachusetts.

Mal and I got married that October in an outdoor ceremony at an Audubon Society nature preserve. In her wedding toast, my grandmother told the story of being mistaken for a couple at City Hall. When our guests’ laughter died down, she raised her glass and gave us her blessing: “May you be together,” she said, “as long as me and your mother.”

My grandmother went into hospice the day the Supreme Court heard arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges. She died the next day, surrounded by people she loved, wrapped in an afghan she’d made for herself. I don’t know if last week’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage would have mattered to her. In her mind, we were married in 2004, and all the civil rights victories that followed didn’t seem to phase her.

But I can’t help thinking about the grandmothers in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. I wonder if the right to marry will make their grandchildren’s loved ones easier to embrace. I wonder what it means that recognition from my state’s government made Mal’s and my relationship more “real” in the eyes of my family.

The last time I saw my grandmother, she was sitting in a wheelchair, looking out the window to the courtyard of her nursing home. Mal and I tried to coax her into conversation, but the effort of discussing the flowers in the garden outside seemed like too much. Her eyes were glassy. She was barely holding up her head.

I asked if she wanted to listen to music.

“Frank Sinatra,” she said.

I found an old recording of “Luck Be A Lady” on YouTube. Mal and I took her hands and danced around her wheelchair. She smiled and swayed a little. At the end of the song she asked for help getting back into bed. As we said goodbye, I couldn’t imagine Mal not being with me. The time when my family treated her with anything less then un-ambivalent acceptance feels as remote as the Ice Age.

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Polyamorous Attorney Agrees SCOTUS Decision Could Lead To Group Marriage

One of the conservative right’s favorite arguments against legalized same-sex marriage nationwide is that it’s a slippery slope that could lead to polygamy — and if you’re Justice Anthony Scalia or Ben Carson, it could even lead to beastiality. Others argue that drawing a connection between gay marriage and plural marriage is both an irrelevant and unfounded argument. However, one attorney argued on HuffPost Live on earlier this week that polygamy could have legal precedent.

Andy Izenson, an attorney with Diana Adams Law and Mediation who also identifies as polyamorous, explained to host Nancy Redd that the same legal reasoning to protect same-sex marriage under the 14th Amendment “could plausibly” be extended to protect group marriages, presuming it’s consensual.

“The idea that a three-person or four-person union between consenting adults is not fundamentally different from a two-person union between consenting adults is absolutely legit,” Izenson said.

But she added that the conservative “slippery slope” rhetoric that somehow leads to “beastiality and then people marrying their toasters” is baseless because it negates the need for consent. Izenson said Scalia invokes these presumptions as a means of scaring people because he’s perturbed by the country’s current socio-political climate.

“He’s just trying to scare people. It’s not actually a thing to be concerned about. It discounts the fact that as individuals, and as a society, we actually have the capacity to make rational reasoned choices about what we do,” she said, later adding, “But as long as you’ve got a consensual union between adults who know what they’re doing, then I think the logic is sound.”

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about marriage law here.

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No, Gay Marriage Wasn’t a Conservative Win

Conservative Michael Gerson damns the Supreme Court as an “unrepresentative clique of lawyers,” while also trying to pretend gay people want to marry because conservatives convinced them sexual liberation was wrong.

According to Gerson, the gay community fought for marriage because

public intellectuals such as Jonathan Rauch and Andrew Sullivan… urged gays to embrace the conventional, bourgeois practice of marriage. What had seemed to many Americans a sexual liberationist movement requested access to the institution designed to limit sexual freedom for the sake of social order and effective child-rearing (while delivering joys that arise only out of commitment).

Most gay people will be surprised, because relatively few have heard of Rauch and Sullivan. Rauch seems more libertarian than conservative and Sullivan has no consistent viewpoint other than admiration for Sullivan. It just isn’t true that a couple of “public intellectuals” changed the community, nor is it true there is a conflict between the sexual liberation of the early gay rights movement and marriage.

Sexual liberation for gays was first and foremost about decriminalizing homosexuality. It would be ludicrous to spend much time worrying about marriage when your mere existence was a crime in most states. This is not to say the gay community didn’t discuss the marriage issue; some gay couples sought the right to marry soon after homosexuality was decriminalized.

That conservatives such as Gerson didn’t notice it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Gay couples have been fighting for the right to marry for decades; it isn’t some new fad. It was happening before any “public intellectual” was willing to take a stand on the issue.

Only after homosexuality was decriminalized could same-sex couples settle down with the security of knowing they wouldn’t be arrested merely for loving someone. Once liberation came, people were free to seek relationships without threat of incarceration. That is precisely what they did. This is not to say gay couples never had done so before, but being open in the past was a risky affair at best.

As these couples, accustomed to fighting for their rights, experienced a relationship, they discovered the state was still inhibiting and harming gay people. They learned the hard way that the inability to marry could inflict real damage, so they fought back.

When their beloved was hospitalized they found themselves excluded because they weren’t family. When a medical decision had to be made they discovered distant relatives could make that decision, but they couldn’t. Some even found that when their spouse died they weren’t even allowed to claim the body for burial. They were legal strangers.

When Patrick Atkins had a stroke and was incapacitated, his lover of 25 years, Brett Conrad, rushed to his side. So did Patrick’s anti-gay mother. She banned Conrad from the hospital. She claimed custodial rights as next of kin, something Brett couldn’t do. She took Patrick away so Brett couldn’t see him. She confiscated Patrick’s business, bank accounts and the house he and Brett had shared, evicting Brett.

When Conrad fought for his partner in the courts the judge sympathized but said his hands were tied because the couple was not allowed to marry.

I remember my moment of enlightenment on marriage rights. I was living overseas and in a committed relationship. After three armed attacks I had to leave. I could return to the U.S., but my partner could not come with me. Had we been allowed to marry, there would have been an option. The law left us none.

In the reality of day-to-day living, gay couples saw the results of not being allowed to marry. They tried to create patches through private contracts, but found that option unaffordable. Even those patches were no guarantee. Law gives presumptions to families. Marriage hands those presumptions to your family of choice — your spouse. Wills can be challenged by family arguing “undue influence.”

Some couples brought with them children from previous relationships, or that one of them adopted. They might be together for years when one dies, and the other discovers he has no parental rights to the child he was parenting. The kids could be packed up and sent off to some distant relative they’ve never met.

Gay people started demanding marriage because “patches” didn’t work. Government was impeding the well-being of their relationship by forbidding equal access to the protections of marriage. They demanded marriage because of real-life experiences, not the writings of public intellectuals.

Public intellectuals added to the debate, but didn’t sway the LGBT community from “sexual liberation” to marriage. Sexual liberation merely allowed gays to form relationships and the natural progress is to seek long-term or permanent relationships. Gay couples discovered all sorts of legal problems marriage would have solved for them. They started demanding marriage because practical experiences taught them the alternative wasn’t a good one.

As someone who has followed the debate within the LGBT community, something Gerson never did, I saw the issue evolve because of practical experiences of gay couples. Public intellectuals were pretty much inconsequential in that evolution.

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What Was It Like to Be at the Supreme Court When the Marriage Equality Judgement Was Announced?

What was it like at the Supreme Court when the marriage equality judgment was announced?: originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question. Ask a question, get a great answer. Learn from experts and access insider knowledge. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Answer by Stephanie Vardavas

I arrived at the Supreme Court building at about 9:25 and waded directly into the crowd. It was a big crowd. We're talking hundreds and hundreds of people. The mood was very festive. Many people had brought their kids and even their little dogs. People were reasonably confident of a positive decision but still a little wary. Everyone was friendly and animated. People were handing out little flags from the Human Rights Campaign and the ACLU, "Proud to be a Democrat" stickers, signs that read "America is Ready," and rainbow buttons with President Obama on them. Chatted with the woman next to me, who had brought her teenaged daughter. She said she was from “the reddest, most horrible part of Michigan, but I hope soon that won’t matter anymore.”

There was a lot of jovial speculation about what Justice Scalia's dissent might be like.

MSNBC estimated at least a 10:1 ratio between supporters and opponents of same sex marriage in the crowd. I would peg it at more like 20:1 or even 25:1 or 30:1. There was one guy in a black t-shirt covered with Biblical references to Sodom and Gomorrah. The vast majority of the crowd were gay rights supporters who were there in the hope of seeing justice done. Several of them were Christians with colorful signs proclaiming their support for marriage equality.

In addition to the two above I saw other people with signs that said things like "I'm an Evangelical for Marriage Equality."

There was a guy with a giant homemade sign collage proclaiming that the wages of sin are death, and that HIV/AIDS are God's wrath. There were a few other "Christian" demonstrators but they disappeared relatively quickly after the decision came out.

A minute or two after 10 am we saw "the running of the interns" carrying copies of the decision and dissents to the various TV reporters waiting at their setups on the sidewalk. At about this time somebody who had been able to load SCOTUSblog on his phone started shouting, "We won! 5 to 4!" Everyone started cheering and hugging.

I was standing next to about 20 guys in identical blue t-shirts, who turned out to be the DC Gay Men's Chorus, and just a minute or two later they began to sing the national anthem. Everyone around me joined in. We were all singing the national anthem and by the end of it I was crying like a baby. I am almost 59 years old and in my whole life I have never been prouder to be an American.

Gay Men's Chorus of Washington

They followed it up with a wonderful song called "Make Them Hear You," about fighting for justice. I cried some more.

I started wandering around, listening to snippets of the various standup reports being done by the TV news people, taking pictures for groups of people who wanted to get pictures with the Supreme Court building in the background. I was interviewed by a reporter and cameraperson from ThinkProgress and while I haven't seen the video I believe I was reasonably coherent, although I'm sure my eyes were still full. I'll post it here if I ever find it online.

The Gay Men's Chorus started singing again. They repeated the national anthem and "Make Them Hear You," then added "The Impossible Dream," which was incredibly moving, and then they sang some modified lyrics to "We Shall Overcome." "We shall marry free / we shall marry free / we shall marry free today…"

I never got close enough to hear any of the remarks by the plaintiffs, their counsel, or the lawyers representing the other side. But we had set our TiVo to record MSNBC from 10 am till noon, and I was able to watch that after I got back.

This decision was exceptionally meaningful for me because my old friend Evan Wolfson is the godfather of the marriage equality movement. He is the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, and spoke today on MSNBC about his plan to unwind the organization now that it has achieved its objective.  We've been friends for almost 40 years and I'm so proud of him that I could burst.

Stephanie Vardavas' answer to Who is your favorite LGBT person and why?

tl;dr It was amazing.

More questions on Quora:

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A Former Proponent of ‘Traditional Marriage’ Changes Camps

Until very recently, I was an ardent partisan of the conservative view on marriage. By the time this column makes it out into the blogosphere, the Marriage Equality folks will almost certainly have marched up Capitol Hill and walked away with all the marbles.

And if not now, then very soon.

You have caught me alone and away from the so-called traditional marriage camp. In truth, I am AWOL. I have abandoned my position and now find myself wandering the battlefield of the culture war.

Look, in that blown out Fox (news) hole, it’s the mangled corpse of Ben Carson’s credibility.

A lot has happened to prompt my flight. I’ve met some gay people, for one. They’re nice, and I can’t help but want them to like me. It’s hard to judge them when their relationships seem to be working out better than mine.

For two, I live in New Orleans. Being anti-gay marriage in New Orleans is like being the only Neo-Nazi in Tel Aviv.

That’s not to say I’m bending to social pressure; rather, living among sincere real-life examples of my supposed enemy has thrown my own guile into sharp relief.

Finally, I’ve come to the realization that as a deeply religious person, my choice to let a 1,400-year-old book dictate how I live my life must seem strange to you, perhaps as strange as gay marriage seems to me.

Maybe we can find common ground in that strangeness?

As a young undergrad and student columnist, I defended the “one man, one woman” position with zeal. In doing so, I fear I wounded many people. I vowed never to do that again, and this is my first attempt at writing on the subject since those heady, self-righteous days.

It would be easy to take a week off and slide quietly back into the news cycle to comment on an issue that doesn’t reveal the blood on my hands — but in my experience, cowardice makes for bad punditry.

It’s poetic irony that the Confederate flag would die in the same year that marriage equality is born.

This is my second contribution to HuffPost, my first was an appeal to my fellow Southerners to rise above and beyond General Lee’s battle flag.

A call to surrender that racist emblem to history.

I guess that puts me in, what? The year 1866?

Above all else, I beg your patience. There are millions like me, we’re not bad people — just products of a different time and place.

I was raised by my grandparents. People born in Mississippi. In 1940.

I swear to God I am trying to be a better person. I hope you’ll understand just how serious of an oath that is coming from the right.

I’d like to go back to the traditional marriage camp and let everyone know we’ve lost, but my former comrades have taken to the hills — to prosecute a guerrilla war, no doubt.

I’m afraid nothing good will come of that.

This is your moment of triumph, and you’ve fought hard to get here. Let those of us on this side figure out how to deal with our strays — or perhaps we could work it out together.

In parting, I would not blame you for refusing my surrender. All actions have an equal and opposite reaction, after all.

In fact, I do believe I see some shadowy figures… down there, in the comments section.

They appear to be erecting a gallows.

I wish we’d never had this goddamned fight, I wish I’d never been so callous.

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The Welcome Challenges of Marriage Equality

For some time now, my spouse and I have been bickering over where we should live in our retirement years. She, being a child from the South, and me, being from the North, well, we have our tensions. I have jokingly dubbed them our “Mason-Dixon line feud.” We are not stretching our imaginations much to feel some of the same concerns our enslaved ancestors must have encountered as they considered the free states up North.

My spouse is tied to the weather of the South — a moist, subtropical climate with sultry summers. I like the four seasons of the North, but could live in autumn all year round.

During particularly heated battles, I have questioned if her desire to live in Georgia was worth living in a state that didn’t recognize our marriage. Our marriage would be de facto dissolved.

Our ongoing exhaustive argument gained a new complication (in my mind, at least) with last week’s historic Supreme Court ruling — Obergefell v. Hodge — that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was once again the swing vote on this tough ruling. Kennedy wrote all recent decisions protecting LGBTQ rights, including the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas — which struck down sodomy laws that targeted gay men; and the 2013 US v. Windsor — recognizing and providing federal benefits to same-sex married couple in states where their marriages were legal. His argument last week was Loving v. Virginia (1967) redux, showing how these two historic struggles for marriage equality are interconnected.

Of course, I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision. It would have been both wrong-hearted and wrong-headed to rule otherwise.

But with victory comes backlash. This change in law will not come easy. A movement is already afoot with a 50-state plan to pass “Religious Freedom Restoration” acts to roll back progress.

As the country battles this issue on a new front, we should hold on to Thomas Jefferson‘s words about how change is required for progress:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But . . . laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.”

Same-sex marriage is of our times. And it’s democracy at its best.

I understand democracy to be an ongoing process, where people are part of a participatory government working to dismantle all existing discriminatory laws truncating their full participation in society.

But democracy can only begin to work when those relegated to the fringes of society can sample what those in society take for granted as their inalienable rights. The right to marry regardless of a couple’s sexual orientation or gender identity is now one of them. How wonderful to know that a same-sex couple in Mississippi has the same right to marry as someone here in Massachusetts.

Back to the challenge in my home: My spouse is all smiles now with this new ruling. She has been doing what I call “nicey nicey,” which is her way of using charm to wear down my recalcitrant stance on issues.

In celebration of Obergefell v. Hodge we went out for drinks at Legal Sea Foods in Harvard Square. While enjoying the evening summer breeze, my spouse said we could have this experience all year if we moved to a milder climate.

I snapped back and said, “I ain’t moving to Georgia!”

And that’s what marriage equality looks like.

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Bobby Jindal Gives Up Last Stand Against Gay Marriage Licenses In Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has been relentlessly resisting the Supreme Court’s historic decision that made same-sex marriage legal in every state. On Thursday, the federal trial court in New Orleans released a ruling that ended Jindal’s nearly weeklong effort to hold out.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman officially struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban and directed all state agencies in Louisiana to recognize gay marriage, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Jindal’s administration finally relented and agreed to abide by the ruling.

While most of the remaining states with gay marriage bans immediately began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last Friday, the day of the Supreme Court ruling, state officials in Louisiana looked for ways to postpone the inevitable.

Jindal himself took a particularly extreme stance. Last Friday, the 2016 presidential hopeful denounced the Supreme Court and suggested it would be better to just disband the nation’s highest court.

“The Supreme Court is completely out of control, making laws on their own, and has become a public opinion poll instead of a judicial body,” Jindal said. “If we want to save some money, let’s just get rid of the court.”

Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (R) meanwhile said that because the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling did not directly order states to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, “there is not yet a legal requirement for officials to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for same-sex couples in Louisiana.” Local court clerks were instructed to hold off for 25 days. Clerks across Louisiana issued licenses anyway, except in New Orleans. In the state’s largest city, a state agency, which reports to Jindal, has control over marriage licenses.

Jindal argued that he wanted to wait until a lower court applied the Supreme Court’s decision to Louisiana. On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit formally overturned Louisiana’s gay marriage ban, seemingly giving Jindal the go-ahead.

But the governor persisted in his stall, releasing a statement indicating that he would wait for a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. When that court said this means you on Thursday, Jindal had no choice but to give up his resistance.

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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George Takei Calls Justice Clarence Thomas A ‘Clown In Blackface’ Over Marriage Equality Dissent

George Takei has come under fire this week for calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in blackface” over the judge’s stance on marriage equality. However, the “Star Trek” actor insists that his comment was not racially motivated.

During an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix, Takei, who is gay, discussed the Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Takei said he was “angry” at Thomas, who dissented to the decision, for his position on the issue.

“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court,” said Takei. “He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there.”

In his dissent, Thomas, who is black, wrote that “human dignity cannot be taken away by the government,” adding: “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them.”

Takei, whose family was held inside a Japanese internment camp during World War II, took issue with this logic.

“For him to say slaves have dignity, I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back?” Takei said. “My parents lost everything that they worked for in the middle of their lives, in their 30s. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified?… This man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.”

In the wake of the interview, Takei has been slammed for what has been called a “racist” comment — an accusation that the 78-year-old fiercely rejects.

On Thursday, he wrote on Facebook:

A few fans have written wondering whether I intended to utter a racist remark by referring to Justice Thomas as a "clown…

Posted by George Takei on Thursday, July 2, 2015

Takei elaborated on his thoughts in a op-ed for MSNBC.

“To say that the government does not bestow or grant dignity does not mean it cannot succeed in stripping it away through the imposition of unequal laws and deprivation of due process. At the very least, the government must treat all its subjects with equal human dignity,” he wrote. “It seems odd that Justice Thomas, as an African American, would be an opponent of marriage equality. His own current marriage, if he had sought to have it some fifty years ago, would have been illegal under then-existing anti-miscegenation laws. I cannot help but wonder if Justice Thomas would have felt any loss of dignity had the clerk’s office doors been shut in his face, simply because he was of a different race than his fiancée.”

Thomas is married to attorney Virginia Thomas, who is white.

William Shatner, who has been known to “feud” with Takei online, defended his “Star Trek” co-star on Twitter.

In October 2008, a few months after California became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage (and a few weeks before Proposition 8 made it illegal again), Takei and his longtime partner Brad Altman tied the knot in Los Angeles.

The couple have been together for almost 30 years.

Watch Takei’s interview with Fox 10 below:

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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George Takei Calls Justice Clarence Thomas A ‘Clown In Blackface’ Over Marriage Equality Dissent

George Takei has come under fire this week for calling Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas a “clown in blackface” over the judge’s stance on marriage equality. However, the “Star Trek” actor insists that his comment was not racially motivated.

During an interview with Fox 10 Phoenix, Takei, who is gay, discussed the Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Takei said he was “angry” at Thomas, who dissented to the decision, for his position on the issue.

“He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court,” said Takei. “He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there.”

In his dissent, Thomas, who is black, wrote that “human dignity cannot be taken away by the government,” adding: “Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them.”

Takei, whose family was held inside a Japanese internment camp during World War II, took issue with this logic.

“For him to say slaves have dignity, I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back?” Takei said. “My parents lost everything that they worked for in the middle of their lives, in their 30s. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified?… This man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.”

In the wake of the interview, Takei has been slammed for what has been called a “racist” comment — an accusation that the 78-year-old fiercely rejects.

On Thursday, he wrote on Facebook:

A few fans have written wondering whether I intended to utter a racist remark by referring to Justice Thomas as a "clown…

Posted by George Takei on Thursday, July 2, 2015

Takei elaborated on his thoughts in a op-ed for MSNBC.

“To say that the government does not bestow or grant dignity does not mean it cannot succeed in stripping it away through the imposition of unequal laws and deprivation of due process. At the very least, the government must treat all its subjects with equal human dignity,” he wrote. “It seems odd that Justice Thomas, as an African American, would be an opponent of marriage equality. His own current marriage, if he had sought to have it some fifty years ago, would have been illegal under then-existing anti-miscegenation laws. I cannot help but wonder if Justice Thomas would have felt any loss of dignity had the clerk’s office doors been shut in his face, simply because he was of a different race than his fiancée.”

Thomas is married to attorney Virginia Thomas, who is white.

William Shatner, who has been known to “feud” with Takei online, defended his “Star Trek” co-star on Twitter.

In October 2008, a few months after California became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage (and a few weeks before Proposition 8 made it illegal again), Takei and his longtime partner Brad Altman tied the knot in Los Angeles.

The couple have been together for almost 30 years.

Watch Takei’s interview with Fox 10 below:

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Same-sex Marriage, Divorce and Love in the Second Act

I was on Twitter this morning and realized that I retweeted an article outlining 7 signs that you should divorce right after I sent a tweet celebrating the Supreme Court of the United States’ historic ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. I had to smile: in my world, marriage is followed by divorce in 140 characters or less.

I may be the Divorce Doula but I still believe in the institution of marriage and that everyone — regardless of sexual orientation — has the right to marry the person they love. I join millions of people celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision today and wish many people long, happy, beautiful marriages. I will also support anyone who decides to end their marriage. No judgement or discrimination will ever appear on this blog. I began writing Divorce Doula to tell my own story of overcoming a failed marriage to find respect, honesty and humor in my co-parenting adventures with my ex-husband. Over the years, my blog has evolved and become a resource and place of hope for others. I’m proud of this growth and will continue to write about my relationship with my ex, our fantastic kids and my life in The After Wife.

But I sometimes wonder: will living in The After Wife mean that I will always be divorced?

Here’s something that as a proudly, happily divorced woman I don’t often share: I’d love to get married again. I loved being married and for a long time, I was really good at it. I’m very content in my current relationship with The Ginger Snap: we are happily, deliriously, deliciously in love, share important core values and interests, and are deeply committed to one another. We have our own lives that are very separate from one another but at every moment of every day, I know that he loves me and would do anything to make me happy. He is, in the simplest of middle-age relationship vernacular, My Person. The intellectual, independent and fiercely feminist part of me reminds me that I don’t need a husband. I’m a financially independent professional with a big life that includes many friends, interests and a wonderful family. I am a woman who can travel solo, pay the bills, take care of the kids AND take out the trash, RSVP without a plus one and kill all of the spiders. I don’t need a husband but goddamn it, there are some days when I would really like one.

Like a schoolgirl, I fantasize about my Mulligan Wedding. I catch myself thinking about the Anne Sportun engagement ring, the poignant wedding song, a sunlit field in late August surrounded by our children and all of our loves as I walk toward my handsome husband-to-be. I am wearing The Perfect Dress. And that man, with his warm smile, infectious laugh and quiet strength is waiting for me at the end of the aisle, offering me the chance to do over all the things I fucked up in my first marriage.

My ex-husband and I discuss our children — their development, their education, their misbehavior, their hilarity — all the time. That is the bond that we will always share but we rarely go deeper. We don’t often discuss our personal or professional situations. I never know when he is having a great day or a shit day and I rarely discuss my days from him. Our days as partners in crime are long over but there are days when I long for a post-dinner conversation with my man that doesn’t involve Minecraft, body odor or homework. Sharing an incidental or intimate moment from our day over a glass of wine or a cup of tea. Waking up with in the morning with his arms wrapped around me, imprinting me with his love until he can hug me again that night. Sharing adventures and weathering difficult times, watching me soar to new heights but there to catch me should I fall.

If there is one thing that I have learned in the After Wife it’s that divorce is hard but marriage is much harder. A beautiful wedding is just the beginning of a lifetime of commitment, communication, sacrifice and compromise, of great joy and tough times. Should I get married again, it will not be for the wedding or the chance to right the wrongs of my first marriage. I will get married again because I will be truly ready to share the rest of my life to another person.

For now, I am happy with the status quo: I am in love and I am loved. I am hopeful that this relationship will continue to blossom and surprise me each day. I look forward to to discovering the hidden depths of this extraordinary man, to growing and inspiring one another. I don’t need to get married again but I am so grateful that I live in a country where two people who love one another can solidify their commitment through marriage. And that now, our neighbors to the South have finally, finally given their citizens the same basic human right. Love is love, gay or straight, married or unmarried.

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Need to File for a Divorce!

Arkansas County Clerk Resigns So She Doesn’t Have To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

A county clerk in Arkansas intends to resign from her position because she doesn’t believe in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Cleburne County Clerk Dana Guffey said Monday that she intends to step down June 30, according to ArkansasOnline, because she has a moral objection to same-sex marriage. The Huffington Post repeatedly tried to contact Guffey, but the line for her office was busy.

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, making marriage equality the law of the land.

Couples have started to marry in every state since the decision, although there are a handful of state and local officials — primarily in Southern states — trying to hold out. In a few states, there are county clerks who — instead of stepping down — are simply refusing to issue any marriage licenses, including to straight couples, in order to avoid helping same-sex couples.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has told state workers that they don’t have to issue licenses to same-sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs.

Alabama is also experiencing a significant amount of confusion. On Monday, the state Supreme Court issued an order delaying same-sex marriages for 25 days. Technically, there is a 25-day period after a U.S. Supreme Court decision to request a “rehearing” of a case. It is extremely unlikely that the court will do so on marriage equality, since it requires the agreement of a majority of justices.

At the same time, however, the Association of County Commissions of Alabama told probate judges that they have to follow the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling and issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Some Alabama counties have ignored the order to delay and have begun issuing licenses.

“There is no justification for delaying or obstructing the clear message of the Supreme Court of the United States — marriage equality must begin in Alabama, and probate judges who stand in the way of that legal imperative risk exposing themselves to legal consequences,” said Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “There is zero chance of marriage equality being reheard by the Supreme Court — particularly given that all four states that were parties in this case have accepted the outcome — and as a result the Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodeges should be implemented across the country immediately.”

So far, there haven’t been mass resignations. ArkansasOnline spoke with the president of the Arkansas Association of County Clerks, who said she had not heard of any more clerks planning to resign over the decision.

Want more updates from Amanda? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth.

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Guide Shows Teachers How To Talk With Kids About Gay Marriage

The largest American LGBT civil rights organization and the largest teacher’s union want to help educators talk to kids about gay marriage.

The educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the National Education Association on Friday released a guide for educators to talk with students about marriage equality. The guide was put out the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and said states must recognize same-sex unions.

The guide, titled “Who Can Marry Whom? Inclusive Conversations About Marriage,” includes sample conversations for teachers to have with students and a checklist for creating an inclusive school environment.

Here’s one of the sample conversations:

“Can Jorge’s dads get married? I thought two men couldn’t get married.”
“Yes, his dads can get married now. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court
decided that all the states should allow two men, two women, or a man and
a woman to get married.”

The checklist for an inclusive school environment asks teachers to consider whether they use inclusive language on school forms, whether school art displays diverse family structures, and whether students are exposed to diverse role models in literature.

“Do staff and educators treat all families with respect and avoid stereotyping or judgment when communicating with two mom and two-dad, single-parent, racially diverse and/or multi-linguistic families?” asks the checklist.

The Human Rights Campaign also recommends books for kids that highlight diverse families with same-sex parents.

We asked some of our teacher Twitter followers about how they plan to discuss the topic with their students after the Supreme Court ruling. Here’s what they told us:

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Meet The Evangelicals Who Cheered The SCOTUS Gay Marriage Ruling

After the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on same-sex marriage last week, the heavyweights of evangelical Christianity — like Franklin Graham, the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention — charged forward to voice their discontent.

Yet a smaller but equally impassioned group of evangelicals celebrated the fact that marriage equality is no longer just a dream for LGBT couples across America. And it’s these leaders who may be pointing to the future of the movement.

About 100 evangelical pastors and leaders signed an online letter published Friday supporting the ruling, and then went one step further by calling on Christians around the country to continue to work for LGBT rights in other areas — like bullying in schools and employment and housing discrimination.

“As Evangelical pastors and leaders, we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of good news for all people,” the letter read. “For far too long, we have been silent and complicit in the discrimination and marginalization of LGBTQ people around the world. Today, we commit to no longer stand by while discrimination and inequity flourish, but to lift our voices on behalf of all of God’s children.”

The letter, released by the evangelical RISE Network, included signatures from Richard Cizik, a former leader within the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. David Gushee, a Christian ethicist, and Randy Thomas, a former leader of the defunct ex-gay ministry Exodus International.

Many of the pastors who signed the letter have faced backlash for showing their support for gay marriage, including Rev. Danny Cortez, the pastor for California’s New Heart Community Church. The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, kicked the church out of its fellowship after Cortez changed his views on marriage equality.

“I believed for years that marriage should only be between one man and one woman,” Cortez said. “But as I began relationships with LGBT persons, I saw that my beliefs had been destructive and not in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. The church doesn’t have to fear the positive changes happening in our nation.”

On the same day RISE released its letter, more than 100 evangelical leaders signed their own letter defending the idea that God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman.

Evangelicals are the largest religious group in America, making up 25.4 percent of the country, according to The Pew Research Center. They have been relatively slow to support same-sex marriage compared to members of other religious traditions. But that doesn’t mean their views haven’t changed — about 27 percent of white evangelical Protestants support same-sex marriage in 2015, compared to 11 percent in 2004.

This change in tone towards LGBT people appears to be resonating the most with younger evangelicals. White evangelical millennials are much more accepting of LGBT couples than older generations. About 43 percent of white evangelical Protestants between ages 18 and 33 support same-sex marriage, compared to 19 percent of those who are 68 and older, according to a 2014 Public Religion Research Institute survey.

Still, Rev. Stan Mitchell, pastor of Nashville’s GracePointe church, lost about one-third of his weekly attendees after he announced in January that he would fully affirm LGBT members. But he’s refused to budge.

The response Mitchell received from fellow evangelicals falls in line with comments from Rob Schwarzwalder, the Family Research Council’s vice president. In a piece written for Real Clear Religion, he suggested that evangelicals who support same-sex marriage no longer have a claim to that name.

“Those professed Evangelicals who are willing to jettison the Bible’s teaching regarding homosexuality can no longer claim to be persons of the Gospel — Evangelicals,” Schwarzwalder wrote. “They are diminishing what God’s Word teaches about sin.”

But according to Time magazine, Mitchell has traced his change of heart back to the four basic tenets of the evangelical tradition — scriptural authority, a focus on the cross, personal conviction and conversion, and finally, activism.

“As Christians who believe in the resurrection, we see that our LGBT friends have long suffered,” Mitchell said. “It’s my Christian and evangelical tradition that reminds me that suffering is always joined to the suffering of God, and will not only be overcome, but redeemed. This is just the beginning, and we have a long way to go.”

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Larry Kramer Talks Gay Marriage and ‘Normal Heart’ Sequel, Says Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy “Were Both Gay”


At 80, Kramer is the subject of a glowing HBO documentary and the author of a controversial new book. After he barely survived a near- death experience last fall, many people expected the activist and author to gently exit the stage. But now recovered, and feisty as ever, he opens up to THR about everything from Lincoln’s homosexuality to his own marriage.

read more


Hollywood Reporter

Love Is Love as Last State Issues First Gay Marriage License

Louisiana, the last state to issue a same-sex marriage license, was off to a romantic start this afternoon. The first license was issued to a couple who work for the Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court and have been watching for the state to comply with the Supreme Court’s Marriage Equality ruling. After being together for almost 40 years, Celeste Autin and Alesia LeBoeuf made history by obtaining the first same sex marriage license in Louisiana.

Following closely behind was the first couple to wed in New Orleans, after obtaining a marriage license from neighboring suburb Jefferson Parish. Michael Robins and Earl Benjamin proclaimed husband and husband “under the laws of this nation and the State of Louisiana.” “It’s great that it’s happening in a state that we both love, louisiana,” Robinson told the assembled press. The waiting period was waived by the judge, and the couple said their next destination is Disney World.

In honor of Marriage Equality making it to Louisiana, New Orleans native John Boutte soulfully sings Love is Love in a track (full disclosure) written and produced by my husband Jeff with Three Cranes Productions, part of the proceeds going to It Gets Better. Artwork by L. Steve Williams, Jr.

As NOLA.com music critic Alison Fensterstock suggests: “Lie down in a meadow and hold someone’s hand while you listen. ” Or throw some rice at Louisiana’s new wave of newlyweds.

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Some States Are Still Trying To Resist Gay Marriage

County clerks in Texas will be able to turn away gay couples seeking marriage licenses, the state’s attorney general Ken Paxton (R) announced on Sunday.

Clerks can refuse based on religious objections, Paxton told the Austin American-Statesman, and because the clerks will probably be sued, “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs,” he said.

Texas was one of 13 states that banned gay marriage before the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that those bans were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage across the country. Therefore, it’s not surprising that its lawmakers are trying to resist following the ruling.

Paxton railed against the ruling in an opinion, ordered by Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who wanted to find a way to legally protect those who were against gay marriage.

“Friday, the United States Supreme Court again ignored the text and spirit of the Constitution to manufacture a right that simply does not exist. In so doing, the court weakened itself and weakened the rule of law, but did nothing to weaken our resolve to protect religious liberty and return to democratic self-government in the face of judicial activists attempting to tell us how to live,” Paxton wrote in the opinion.

Lawmakers in Louisiana and Mississippi, which also previously had bans on gay marriage, are actively resisting the ruling by delaying its implementation. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell (R) claimed that because the Supreme Court’s ruling did not include an official order for states to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, “there is not yet a legal requirement for officials to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for same-sex couples in Louisiana.” County clerks were instructed to hold off on issuing licenses for 25 days, the amount of time states are allowed to appeal the Court’s ruling.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said the Supreme Court “usurped” each state’s “authority to regulate marriage within their borders.” He and other state leaders are considering various legal options, including halting all marriage licenses.

Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are in the minority: most other states that had same-sex marriage bans in the books are now abiding by the Supreme Court’s historic ruling.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) said Friday the state “is subject to the laws of the United States” and a judge at a county court in Atlanta began performing the state’s first gay marriages.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) urged compliance with the ruling on Friday, asking the state to “treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Alabama’s attorney general, Luther Strange (R), issued a statement acknowledging that “the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling is now the law of the land” and pledging to enforce the ruling, though some counties in the state have stopped issuing all marriage licenses in an effort to avoid allowing gay marriages.

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Stars React To Marriage Equality Ruling & Blake Shelton’s NASCAR News

Stars react to Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality. Plus, Blake Shelton’s ‘Bringing Back The Sunshine’ kicks off NBC’s coverage of NASCAR, which begins July 4 weekend.


Access Hollywood Latest Videos

Uncomplicating Same-Sex Marriage Law

With its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court uncomplicated same-sex marriage law. The Court’s clear-cut rule that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry replaces the previous piecemeal approach generated by over a decade of new federal court decisions and state laws. Some states had banned same-sex marriage, some states permitted it legislatively, and some states permitted it by state court decision. Some federal courts upheld the state bans, others struck them down. The U.S. Supreme Court has now definitely settled the debate by allowing same-sex marriage across the county.

The U.S. Supreme Court found constitutional protection for same-sex marriage in the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Court had previously interpreted this Amendment to encompass various constitutional rights not explicitly enumerated, including, for example, parental rights, the right to marital privacy involving the use of contraceptives, and the right to marry. In Obergefell, the Court confirmed that the right to marry applied to same-sex couples for the same reasons it applied to opposite-sex couples, such as the benefits of supporting marriage in society.

The speed of the development of same sex-marriage is practically unparalleled in the family law. Just in 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld a Georgia law that criminalized certain homosexual acts. In 1996, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples under federal law. Contrast this to 2003, when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled its own Bowers decision and 2012, when the Court struck down part of DOMA. Same-sex marriage is now guaranteed across the country, 12 years after Massachusetts became the first state to permit same-sex marriage.

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‘Great day for America’: How stars reacted to landmark same-sex marriage ruling

Various TV personalities, musicians and actors weighed in on the historic moment; here’s what they had to say.




TODAY Pop Culture

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A Photographer Lost A Client For Supporting Marriage Equality. His Response Shows Why #LoveWins

A photographer in Florida says he lost a client after he showed his support online for marriage equality. His response to the situation has won him legions of fans.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide last week, Clinton Brentwood Lee of Brentwood Photography took to Facebook to show his support for the decision, changing his profile picture and cover photo.

Lee says a client later contacted him to say that they would no longer be “using [his] services” for their upcoming wedding.

“My fiancé and I support traditional marriage between a man and a woman and don’t want to our money going to places that supports otherwise [sic],” the client allegedly wrote.

The photographer shared a screenshot of the exchange on Facebook Saturday, with the caption: “Lost a client for supporting gay marriage. But that’s ok! We love everyone, even this now former client who may not have liked our reply. Lol.”

This was Lee’s full response to the client:

Wow, I’m not really sure what to say here. I would say this disappoints me, but I actually find this to be a good thing because our company now would now not like to work with you as well.

It’s not that because you have a different view from us, but it’s because, since you don’t like an support gay marriage, no one else should be able to have it. That’s like me not liking broccoli, and demanding that everyone else in the world should not have broccoli either! If you’re not in favor of gay marriage that’s fine, don’t marry a woman.

Personally, I was taught not to judge others and to love everyone else. So I will try not to judge you here and say anything more as to my opinion of you.

At Brentwood Photography we see love in all forms. Now as far as your retainer goes, I hope you’ll read the first article in the contract you signed stating that this retainer is nonrefundable.

But don’t you worry, I’m not going to keep it!

Because of this conversation, I have decided to donate your $ 1500 to GLAAD [the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation], a group created to help and support gay rights.

So let me be the first to say [redacted], thank you very much for your donation and support for this great cause!

I couldn’t have done it without your money.

Sincerely and with Love,
Brentwood Photography

The Facebook post has since been liked more than 58,000 times, with scores of netizens praising the photographer for choosing principle over profit.

Lee told Buzzfeed that he’s also received his fair share of hate mail.

“I think it’s truly beautiful the amount of positive messages and words of encouragement I have received, it is been about 90 percent positive and 10 percent gut wrenching sad personal attacks,” he said. “The hate that comes out of these people’s mouths make me want to cry, but the 90 percent give me the strength to stay strong and not doubt what I did.”

The photographer added that he’s been called a “crook” for not returning the money to the client. He stressed, however, that they signed a contract clearly stating that the deposit was non-refundable.

“The retainer is paid for and there to protect us,” he told Buzzfeed, adding that the client responded to his message with the words: “Companies like yours are the reason our country is falling apart… Good luck with the queers, ASSHOLE!”

Ultimately, Lee says he’s “happy I took a stand.”

There’s just one thing he wishes he could change.

“The only thing I wish I had changed … is where it says I support ‘Gay Marriage,’” he wrote on Instagram Sunday. “While I 100 percent do, I wish I had just said that I support marriage opportunity for all. We shouldn’t have to call it ‘gay marriage’ like it is something different. It’s just marriage. Like it is between a man or a woman or a black person and a white person. Every person on this planet deserves their own happy ever after, even if it is different from your view of it.”

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Why Should We Support Same Sex Marriage?

2015-06-28-1435517022-4323939-samesexmarriageHP.gif

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Stephen Colbert Destroys Dissenting Justices In Same-Sex Marriage Decision

We have a feeling his monologues are going to be pretty great.

Not even into his “Late Show” tenure yet, new host Stephen Colbert can’t wait to dig into the current events and find the funny.

With the landmark 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in all 50 states, Colbert justifiably tore into the four dissenting justices.

As for which of the judges wrote the dissenting opinion, Colbert said, “I’ll let you guess which ones.” He then broke into a Frankenstein monster impression with an “ARGH, GAY BAD!” thrown in for good measure.

The four judges voting against legalization were Justice Antonin Scalia (gasp!), Chief Justice John Roberts (no!), Justice Clarence Thomas (shock!) and Justice Samuel Alito (what?!).

But Colbert insists the ruling is not great for everyone: “My condolences to gays with commitment issues who are asking their partner IF WE CAN JUST PLEASE TALK ABOUT THIS WHEN I GET HOME FROM WORK TODAY.”

In the end though, it’s great news, even if it took longer than it should have.

“It’s hard to believe that gay Americans achieved full constitutional personhood just five years after corporations did,” said Colbert.

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Gay Marriage

Written by Soren Kisiel, Katie Goodman and Simon Adams, based on an idea by Simon Adams. Featuring Katie Goodman, Soren Kisiel, Erin Roberg and Cara Wilder of Broad Comedy. Directed and edited by Soren Kisiel. Camera by Jeff Dougherty.

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June 26th as “LGBT Rights Day” — A Coda to Marriage Equality That Includes Trans Persons As Well

I move that June 26th shall henceforth be known as LGBT Rights Day. Three blockbuster decisions — Lawrence v. Texas, United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges — were announced on this day. And as the celebrations continue, some organizations devoted to marriage close up shop, and others gear up for the next campaigns, I would like to add a coda to today’s court decision.

I said June 26th should be “LGBT” Rights Day for a reason. While the Court did not reference trans persons in its decision, the ruling that all marriages between two persons are the same — marriage — applies to transgender persons as well as cisgender persons. Not only because many trans persons are queer, but because trans persons in marital relationships have suffered great hardship from our legal system as it had existed before June 26th. Let’s also remember that there is no such thing as a “gay” marriage — it is “same-sex” marriage, and trans persons have a biological sex just like cis persons, so Obergefell applies to us as it does to our friends and neighbors.

I’m not surprised that few are aware of this; many trans persons had no idea that this decision impacted their lives in any way. There’s a reason for this — we were asked many times over the past decade to not discuss our marriage issues in public for fear that they would muddy the messaging and confuse the public. Though I received the first same-sex divorce in Maryland, I was not free to discuss my personal belief in the importance of marriage equality, neither in Maryland nor beyond. As a good ally, I advocated just like any other gay person, my gender history ignored as irrelevant to the discussion.

The law, however, meant as much to me then as a married woman as it would today. I could have been denied a divorce, which would have forced the issue into the open and might have impacted the campaign in the state. Fortunately, I was not denied, and the divorce was granted with nary a raised eyebrow. Others, however, have not been so lucky. Trans persons, solely because of their gender history, have needed to discuss their surgeries, provide birth certificates and expert testimony as to their fitness as a parent. Vicious, selfish spouses continue to have a field day in court.

Looking back, the most famous case is Littleton v. Prange. The Fourth Court of Appeals of Texas voided the marriage between a deceased husband and his transgender wife, Christie Lee Littleton. The Court ruled that, for purposes of Texas law, Littleton was considered male, and that Littleton’s marriage to a man was therefore invalid because Texas law did not recognize same-sex marriage. So we had a court invalidating a marriage after the death of a spouse.

Another famous case is that of Nikki Araguz, a trans woman who, again in Texas, and again with her deceased husband’s family trying to steal her death benefits because she was trans, lost her initial case on May 26, 2011, as a state District Court Judge ruled in favor of her husband’s family and nullified the marriage. Fortunately, a state Court of Appeals voided that district court judgment and remanded the case back for further litigation, the outcome which will probably turn out to be very different thanks to today’s decision. Because today same-sex marriage in Texas is just plain marriage, and the widow, Nikki Araguz, is entitled to the same death benefits as any other spouse.

Things have been so bad in Texas that trans women have reverted to being legally men for a day to marry their wives. Cruel and unusual, but sometimes you do what you gotta do. No more.

Another well publicized case from the former Confederacy was that of Michael Kantaras, a trans man who divorced his wife who then sued to deny him custody of their children by claiming he was still a woman and therefore they were never legally married. She, of course, knew his trans status from the beginning, but was willing to deny him his dignity to win in court. He won in district court (televised on Court TV), but the judgment was overturned by the state’s Court of Appeals in 2004 and the Florida Supreme Court denied a review. Then, with the help of Karen Doering of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and, believe it or not, “Dr. Phil,” the couple settled out of court. The Appeals Court decision is much less likely to happen the next time, and Dr. Phil won’t be needed.

While these Supreme Court decisions do not touch on issues of gender identity and expression, they do remove the justification that courts have used to deny trans persons their rights — that by refusing to recognize their gender transitions they were entitled to invalidate legal marriages as same-sex marriages. Clearly there is no way to know that a trans person won’t suffer in court in the future due to a judge’s transphobia — and family court judges seem to be the most prone to such prejudices, in comparison to state and federal court judges — but it is much less likely that problems will arise. Even if a court should rule in our favor because of misgendering, the legal victory will still be a victory. Educating the nation about gender identity remains our challenge, now that the nation understands sexual orientation.

Justice Kennedy wrote:

Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The fundamental liberties protected by this Clause include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

In addition these liberties extend to certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy, including intimate choices that define personal identity and beliefs [italics mine].

He then continues:

When the American Psychiatric Association published the first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1952, homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder, a position adhered to until 1973. Only in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.

Today, the nation’s psychiatrists recognize the personal identity known as gender identity as immutable as sexual orientation, and we have an even better handle on its roots in the brain than we do with sexual orientation. Therefore, the arguments that today apply to the issue of sexual orientation will likely, based on the majority’s reasoning, apply just as well to trans persons who enter into what today we now call (just) marriage.

This victory impacts all of us because it is a great victory for civil rights in general, and the civil rights of sexual minorities in particular. Putting the potential animus of future judges aside, this decision should stand as firmly under trans persons as it does under cis persons.

Justice Kennedy’s concluding paragraph applies to us all:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.

As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.

Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

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With Gay Marriage Legalized, Lena Dunham Tells Jack Antonoff to Propose: Get On It, Yo

Lena Dunham famously said that she and Jack Antonoff wouldn’t consider marriage until it was legal for everyone, everywhere in the United States. “The idea of having a celebration that can’t be fully shared among…




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Why It’s Never Too Late For ‘Premarital’ Counseling (Even After Years Of Marriage)

Sarah says her husband Jason, a pastor, can be controlling — wanting to always know where she’s going, listening to her phone conversations and checking her social media accounts — but she says she wants to make her eight-year marriage work.

Jason admits he can be a jerk but says he doesn’t know why he acts the way he does. “I can be controlling and manipulative,” he says. “I want to know what’s happening, when it’s happening, why it’s happening. There have been times I’ve been verbally abusive … Why I act that way, I don’t know. But I know that I shouldn’t.” They turn to Dr. Phil for help.

Dr. Phil tells the couple that relationships continually need to be negotiated to meet the needs of both people. “There’s a formula for success in a relationship,” Dr. Phil says in the video above, “and the formula is this: It’s a function of how well it meets the needs of the two parties involved. In order for it to be successful, you need to learn what her needs are and make it your life’s mission to meet them. And you need to learn what his needs are and make it your life’s mission to meet them.” He explains that marriage is not a 50/50 partnership; rather, both spouses need to contribute 100 percent. “Everybody has to be all in all the time,” he says.

Dr. Phil also suggests that even though the couple has been married for eight years, they should go through “pre-marital” counseling. “I want you to sit down and talk about all the things that are topics in a marriage: parenting philosophy, and religion, and sexual expectations, and division of labor, and finances, and future planning and all of those things that go into a marriage,” he tells them. “I want you to negotiate until you come up with a plan that both of you can be really excited about.”

As for Jason, Dr. Phil says he needs to hold himself to a higher standard to fulfill his role as the man in the family. “If you wake up every day and ask yourself the simple question: What can I do today to make my wife’s life better? You’ll be amazed how things can begin to change,” Dr. Phil says.

Take Dr. Phil’s “Marriage Inventory Quiz” to see if your marriage could be at risk of falling apart.

Have a question for Dr. Phil? Ask it here!

Like Dr. Phil | Follow Dr. Phil | Be on the Show | Ask Dr. Phil

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

14 Things Divorce Teaches You About Marriage

breakup

It’s easy to dwell on the mistakes you made when a marriage ends, but look on the bright side: going through a divorce makes you smarter about love. The marriage didn’t last but you undoubtedly walked away with a better understanding of what you need to do to establish a stronger, healthier relationship in the future.

With that in mind, we recently asked HuffPost Divorce bloggers and our community on Facebook to share the most valuable marriage lesson they learned from divorce. See what they had to say below.

1. You need to love yourself before loving anyone else.
“Fall in love with yourself before you fall in love with someone new. Make the same promises to yourself that you would to another: to cherish and support your dreams and to protect your heart.” — Heather Leiva

2. Don’t ever put your needs on the back-burner.
“I learned that I have to be as important in a relationship as the other person. Putting everyone else ahead of me kept me from feeling valuable and deserving in my marriage. My needs were of equal importance but I didn’t recognize that so how could I expect someone else to?” — Wendy Mooney

3. Marry someone with your eyes wide open.
“Make sure you marry for the right reasons, not because you simply think it’s time to get hitched.” — Jack Lipton

4. You need to be able to support yourself.
“My marriage didn’t work out but it taught me the importance of independence. I don’t mean doing things by yourself. I mean being able to take care of yourself. When I got divorced I was used to relying on my ex-husband to take care of certain things, like making money and paying the bills. When I got divorced I had to figure out how to provide and take care of myself and my children. I feel so much more empowered now, knowing that I can take care of myself. Even though I am now in a partnered relationship, I will never give up my ability to do things on my own.” — Melissa Marks

5. Make sure to choose well.
“Marry well. Honesty and mutual respect are a must.” — Susan Renáe Grace

6. The truth is, marriage isn’t for everyone.
“Marriage is wonderful…but I don’t think it’s for me.” — Candace Brown

7. Don’t marry someone who wants to change you.
“You shouldn’t have to change yourself to make your partner or anyone else happy. They should love you as you are.” — Michelle Shaltry

8. You’re not responsible for your partner’s happiness.
“There’s a fine line between a partnership and co-dependency. For me, it has everything to do with recognizing that I am responsible for my own happiness, as is my partner for theirs. We should help each other achieve our goals, but we are not responsible for the work involved in achieving those goals.” — Suzannah Porter

9. Love is a choice.
“You have to actively choose and work to love each other.” — Aubrey Keefer

10. J.Lo was right: Love really doesn’t cost a thing.
“Marriage has nothing to do with a big diamond ring, a fancy house or nice things. At the end of the day, I’d rather live in a cardboard box with a man who truly loves me. Money is nice but love trumps anything you could possibly buy me. Today, I’m madly in love with a man who loves me, not one that buys me material things. Real love trumps everything.” — Stephanie JC

11. Quality communication is key.
“Communicate — and do so honestly. You need to work at it.” — Terri Shook

12. Address your relationship problems head-on.
“Ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. And if you have to fight just to face the problem, that’s a bigger problem in and of itself.” — Robert Hatch

13. Your relationship status shouldn’t define your self-worth.
“I learned that I am strong and my marriage status does not define who I am as a person.” — Angie Lyn

14. You may love your partner, but you need to actively show it.
“I realized you should never take anyone for granted. I assumed my ex knew he was important to me even when I was too busy to say the words. If a personal relationship means something to you, do everything in your power to nurture it.” — Wendy Mooney

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook.

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Divorce – The Huffington Post

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News in Photos: Supreme Court Legalizes Gay Marriage After Landmark 193,000,000-115,000,000 Decision





The Onion

Marriage Equality Just Became The Law Of The Land. Here’s How That Plays Out.

WASHINGTON — Friday’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage may not end every couple’s legal struggle to have their marriages recognized.

Some states that had banned gay marriage announced after the ruling that they would comply. But officials in other states, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, took a more defiant tone.

In Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood (D) said same-sex marriages wouldn’t begin until the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts a stay on a ruling from last year that struck down the state’s gay marriage ban. How long that takes is up to that court’s judges, according to Dennis Hutchinson, a law professor at the University of Chicago.

In Louisiana, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said in a statement he sees nothing in the Supreme Court opinion to indicate it’s effective immediately. “Therefore, there is not yet a legal requirement for officials to issue marriage licenses or perform marriages for same-sex couples in Louisiana,” he said.

The Supreme Court will wait 25 days to allow individuals to file a petition to rehear the case — something it rarely grants — before officially returning the litigation to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Louisiana Clerks of Court Association is advising county clerks not to take action until that 25-day period expires, according to The Advocate.

Hutchinson said that the plaintiffs in the 5th Circuit case would ask the court to lift the stay, but that the court may wait to see what the Supreme Court does in that 25 day period.

In Texas, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia on Friday lifted a stay of a ruling that allowed same-sex marriages in the state, but it’s unclear whether state officials will allow the marriages to proceed.

Despite the delays, the Supreme Court ruling on Friday makes it unequivocally clear that marriage equality is the law of the land.

When state or county officials refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses, couples will have to file lawsuits against them to force them to comply with the Supreme Court, Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA, wrote in an email

“Because the law is now clear, courts are likely to issue orders quickly forcing officials to act properly,” Winkler said. “If officials refuse to comply with those orders, they can be held in contempt of court — and jailed.

“The law today is as the Supreme Court has announced it and that’s what every court in the land has to follow.”

This story has been updated with additional comments from Hutchinson.

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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SCOTUS Legalizes Gay Marriage: Fashion Folks React on Social Media


Jeremy Scott, Cara Delevingne and Rachel Zoe are among fashion’s biggest names sharing their support for SCOTUS’ decision with an outpouring of love on social media.

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Community Celebrates Marriage Equality Victory At Iconic LGBTQ Battleground

What better way to spend the last weekend of pride month than celebrate a hard-won marriage equality victory in one of the LGBTQ rights movement’s most iconic battlegrounds?

The Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality ensuring same-sex couples the right to marry was quite an introduction to New York City pride this weekend. After the decision, members and allies of the queer community gathered at the Stonewall Inn, the landmark bar that was home to the infamous 1969 riots between queer patrons and the police — and the place that many point to as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ Civil Rights movement.

stonewall inn

Nearly a half-century later, The Huffington Post headed to Christopher Street on Friday to talk to revelers at The Stonewall Inn, where many shared their reactions to the historic victory.

Couple Ally and Lauren and were thrilled about the court’s ruling. “It’s amazing that in any state, no matter what state, you can be married and love who you love and the government acknowledges that finally,” Lauren said.

ally and lauren outside stonewall

The pace of marriage equality had accelerated in recent years, with 37 U.S. states passing legislation ensuring the right of gay couples to marry in the years and months before Friday’s ruling. Dennis, pictured below on the right, told HuffPost he wasn’t sure he’d have the opportunity to celebrate this pivotal moment in his lifetime. “Just five to seven years ago I didn’t think that it would happen so fast — I did not think this would happen in my lifetime,” he said.

dennis outside stonewall

“It’s honorable to here on such a momentous occasion,” Patrick, below, second from the left, said as he and his friends celebrated outside of Stonewall. “We were here two years ago when New York passed it, now we’re here and the country’s passing it, and I’m excited to see what the next step is — where we go from here.”

patrick and friends outside stonewall

Geff, from the UK, offered an international perspective. “I think that this is sending a signal to other countries around the world globally because people look to America as a source of inspiration,” he said. The Supreme Court’s decision makes the US one of 21 other countries to legalize same-sex marriage.

As the day went on, hundreds visited the Stonewall Inn and shared their celebration of this historic moment in one of the many places we owe it to. See some of their beautiful images below.

So happy to be here, and lucky

A photo posted by Luke Austin-Paglialonga (@lukeaustinphotosthe3rd) on

Love wins

A photo posted by Luke Austin-Paglialonga (@lukeaustinphotosthe3rd) on

#scotusmarriage #Stonewall

A photo posted by Lisa Granatstein (@lisagranatstein) on

Today my neighborhood is the happiest place on earth. #lovewins #fuckyeah ❤️

A photo posted by Erin (@erinkathryn) on

Outside the #stonewallinn #lovewins ❤️

A photo posted by jennifer gandia (@jennifergandia) on

Here for the NYC Pride celebration on historic SCOTUS #MarriageEquality decision

A photo posted by Elton Lugay (@eltonlugay) on

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Lena Dunham Drops Proposal Hints to Jack Antonoff Following Marriage Equality Ruling


Talk about subtle.

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Twitter’s Best Reactions To The Supreme Court’s Historic Ruling In Favor Of Gay Marriage

Twitter’s Best Reactions To The Supreme Court’s Historic Ruling In Favor Of Gay Marriage

Twitter’s Best Reactions To The Supre…
Twitter had plenty of wonderful things to say in reaction to the Supreme Court’s historic gay marriage ruling.
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Keywords: funny twitter best tweets scotus supreme court gay marriage same sex marriage marriage equality antonin scalia supreme court rules civil rights
Views: 61,147

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Ex-Pastor Wasn’t Going To Set Self On Fire Over Gay Marriage… Probably

Inquiring minds are wondering whether Rick Scarborough, a conservative Christian political advocate who was said to have threatened to set himself on fire if the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, is now merely a pile of smoldering ashes.

Several outlets reported Scarborough’s supposed threat. But it turns out it was a bit of an exaggeration.

The reports come from a statement that Scarborough, a former pastor, made on the National Emergency Coalition show — a podcast linked to a right-wing group Staying True to America’s National Destiny, the Independent reported this week. Scarborough never actually mentioned lighting himself ablaze.

What Scarborough said — referring to how devoted he and his followers are to “traditional values” — was, “We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary we will burn” Have a listen for yourself:

While it’s tempting to imagine a man so fanatically committed to bigotry that he would take a match to himself, it’s more likely that Scarborough meant he’d burn figuratively.

The Huffington Post contacted Scarborough’s organization, Vision America, to ask about any potential plans for self-immolation in light of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage. We have not heard back.


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Marriage Ruling: Stephen Colbert Dissects Justice Scalia’s Dissent, Invites Him on ‘Late Show’


In a web clip, the comedian took a cheerful tack to familiar culture war turf.

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Hollywood Reporter

Donnie McClurkin: “GOD Set The Only Standard For Marriage To Be Between Man And Woman”

Count Donnie McClurkin as one of the people upset that the Supreme Court of the United States had the nerve to legalize gay marriage. Apparently the minister and gospel singer, who used to be gay but was allegedly “delivert,” isn’t here for man and man or woman and woman getting married.

Why? Because God said so.

“GOD has set the only standard for marriage to be between man and woman…in biology, in physiology, in history, biblically & scripturally and that..I will NEVER speak against!,” he said in a Facebook post.

Mr. McClurkin, thou doth protest too much, maybe?

Do you agree or disagree with McClurkin’s sentiments? Let us know where you stand in the comments.

 Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 5.56.34 PM

SUPREME COURT RULES & OVERTURNS BAN ON SAME SEX MARRIAGE…MAKES SAME SEX MARRIAGE CONSTITUTIONAL!!!THE CHURCH NOW…

Posted by Donnie McClurkin on Friday, June 26, 2015

Photo: RCA

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Hip-Hop Wired

Adam Lambert Celebrates Marriage Equality, But ‘No One Is Free While Others Remain Oppressed’

Back in 2009, when Adam Lambert became a household name on American Idol, he made headlines when he came out in a Rolling Stone cover story and was…
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Gay Marriage Is Legal: It’s About Fucking Time, Right?

Gay Marriage Is Legal: It's About Fucking Time, Right?

Gay Marriage Is Legal: It's About Fuc… 1:49
In a historic decision, the Supreme Court ruled that all 50 states must recognize same sex marriages. We went to gay rights landmark the Stonewall Inn in New York City to ask people, “It’s about fucking time, right?”
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Keywords: gay marriage same sex marriage same sex marriage is legal gay marriage is legal same sex marriage is legal now supreme court supreme court decision gay marriage decision gay marriage supreme court same sex marriage supreme court decision about fucking time person on the street video man on the street video gay marriage is legal finally is gay marriage legal gay pride pride pride weekend stonewall stonewall inn street
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White House Goes Rainbow After Gay Marriage Supreme Court Decision

The White House was lit up in the colors of the rainbow on Friday night to celebrate the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across all 50 states.

“Tonight, the White House was lit to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to progress and equality, here in America and around the world,” the White House said in a statement. “The pride colors reflect the diversity of the LGBT community, and tonight, these colors celebrate a new chapter in the history of American civil rights.”

wh rainbow

White House lit with rainbow colors on Friday, June 26, 2015. (Photo: Igor Bobic, The Huffington Post

Hundreds gathered outside the fences to view the colors and celebrate the ruling, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.

A bold decorating choice, but sometimes, you just gotta go with your heart. And it matched the mood around the nation, and the double rainbow that appeared over the White House not long after the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Tonight. #lovewins

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

DSLR version.

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Another iPhone version from tonight. #lovewins

A photo posted by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Sir Ian McKellen: Supreme Court’s Decision to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Is ”a Great Relief”

Ian McKellenWe already know Sir Ian McKellen’s celebrations today included confetti and some Queen, but the actor also chatted with MSNBC today to discuss the exciting news concerning the Supreme…


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Watch Kacey Musgraves Sing ‘Follow Your Arrow’ To Celebrate Marriage Equality

Kacey Musgraves performed her 2013 anthem for acceptance and equality, “Follow Your Arrow,” to celebrate the legalization of gay marriage.
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Melissa Etheridge on Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: ‘Hate Doesn’t Win Out Over Love’ (Guest Column)

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states. Below, Melissa Etheridge shares her thoughts on the landmark…
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John Kasich Says He’ll ‘Abide By’ Supreme Court’s Upcoming Gay Marriage Decision

DES MOINES, Iowa — Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said Wednesday that if the Supreme Court strikes down his state’s ban on same-sex marriage, he’ll “abide” by the decision.

“If the Supreme Court rules another way, they are the court and the law of the land, and we will abide by it,” Kasich, a potential 2016 presidential contender, told reporters ahead of an appearance at a caucus candidate forum. The two-term governor has not yet announced he’s in the race.

The Supreme Court is set to issue a decision any day in Obergefell v Hodges, which could strike down state bans on same-sex marriage. The lead plaintiff is Ohio resident Jim Obergefell, who wanted to be listed as the surviving spouse on his husband’s death certificate. Obergefell married his partner of 20 years, John Arthur, aboard a medical jet in 2013, while Arthur was dying from ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Arthur died that October, three months after the couple filed their lawsuit.

Kasich on Wednesday made clear that he continues to believe in what he called “traditional marriage.”

“Too many people worry about polls, election results, focus groups and all this other nonsense,” he said. “I’ve given you my answer. I stand by traditional marriage, but we will see what the court does.”

Kasich’s promise to respect the Supreme Court ruling differs from other GOP presidential hopefuls. In an interview with the Washington Examiner last month, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said that if elected president, he would take executive action to protect individuals who don’t believe in same-sex marriage.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a longtime foe of gay rights, has said he would “fight back” as president if the Supreme Court issues a ruling with which he disagrees. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) has said states could simply ignore what the court decides.

Kasich made his debut in Iowa on Wednesday, his first public appearance in the state in 16 years — putting an end to some speculation that he would skip the Hawkeye State and focus on the New Hampshire primary.

“When I was here 16-17 years ago, I might get three of you to come here to hear me,” he told a packed crowd at an event hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “I’m kind of amazed how many of you are here. … I’m not giving away canned hams today, just to let you know.”

A Bloomberg/Des Moines Register poll out earlier this month showed Kasich polling at 2 percent among likely Iowa caucus-goers.

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Mariah and the Billionaire — We’re Already Talking Marriage!!! (PHOTOS)

Mariah Carey doesn’t waste time … just days after she hopped on a yacht with new billionaire BF James Packer, they’re already talking marriage.  Our Mariah sources say it’s insane … they’ve been “dating” for just a matter of days, but he’s…

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Marriage by Mistake – Alyssa Kress

Alyssa Kress - Marriage by Mistake  artwork

Marriage by Mistake

Alyssa Kress

Genre: Romance

Publish Date: November 28, 2011

Publisher: Alyssa Kress

Seller: Smashwords


He woke up to discover two days of his life completely gone. Workaholic Boston blueblood Dean has made it his life's goal to be the opposite of his irresponsible, womanizing father. But Dean discovers that while in a hypnotic trance he'd acted exactly like his father, travelling to Las Vegas where he'd wooed and wed some sexy, airhead dancer. Now, Kelly may be sexy, but she's no airhead. She knows the cold and puritanical man who claims to be her husband is not the man she'd married. But she suspects the warm and tender man she does love is buried somewhere deep inside. And she's determined to find him…

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Here’s How Quickly America Is Embracing Same-Sex Marriage

No matter which way the U.S. Supreme Court rules on same-sex marriage later this month, data shows that support is surging ahead in every single state–and yes, that does include the historically conservative Midwest.

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Carmen Ejogo Urges America To ‘Do The Right Thing’ On Marriage Equality

Carmen Ejogo and Susan Sarandon are the latest celebrities to add their voice to LGBT advocacy group Lambda Legal‘s campaign for marriage equality.

Ejogo, who starred as Coretta Scott King in “Selma,” said in a video for the group’s #IDo campaign that her support for LGBT rights traces its roots in her Nigerian-Scottish heritage.

“I haven’t fully [fit] into the black community, the white community, I’ve had to sort of find my space. And I think for that reason I have a lot of empathy for anyone that’s going through the same kind of desire for identity approval in the mainstream,” she said. “If we do the right thing in terms of marriage equality, there may be other nations that could follow suit. And that’s for the betterment of all of us.”

Watch Ejogo’s video above.

Last month, Julianne Moore recorded a video for the campaign detailing the reasons why the fight for LGBT rights doesn’t end with marriage equality.

Lambda Legal’s board co-chair, Karen Dixon, blogged for HuffPost earlier this year announcing that she and her wife, Nan Schaffer, would match up to $ 1 million in donations to the #IDo campaign. The organization announced Thursday that it had met the $ 1 million mark.

Watch Sarandon’s message below:

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