By Emma Teitel - Sunday, March 3, 2013 - 0 Comments
Emma Teitel on the educational side of casual sex
In 1925, when American anthropologist Margaret Mead was 23 years old, she travelled to the volcanic island of Tau, in eastern Samoa, to study a group of “primitive” teenage girls. Her findings—namely that Samoan adolescents were unusually free with their bodies and their hearts—would make their way into her most famous book, Coming of Age in Samoa, three years later. Mead didn’t fetishize Tau as a modern-day Eden. Rape was frequent. Entertainment was scarce (unless you like weaving fish baskets, I wouldn’t recommend it). But she did laud something on the island: casual sex. “The Samoans,” she writes, “laugh at stories of romantic love, scoff at fidelity to a long-absent wife or mistress, believe explicitly that one love will quickly cure another.” In other words, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. She suggests that the cloistered West—prudish and purity-obsessed—could learn a thing or two about sex from teenagers on a remote island thousands of miles away.
Apparently we did. It’s been 88 years since Mead set sail for Tau, and in that time, Samoa—Mead’s version of it, anyhow—has made its way to the Americas. Casual sex among unmarried people is no longer taboo. It’s the norm. The average age at which a Canadian loses her virginity is 16. The average age at which she gets married is 31. The notion that, according to Mead, one of the “uniform ambitions” of young Samoan women is “to live as a girl with many lovers as long as possible and then marry” is also possibly the modus operandi of every college girl today, not to mention a contender for the official tagline of HBO’s Girls. In this day and age, unless you are older than 25, exceedingly religious or naturally chaste, second base precedes the first date. Dinner and a movie is something that happens after sex—if at all—and people don’t call. They text.
What Mead found charming about sexual promiscuity in a distant culture, American university professor and author Donna Freitas finds rather dismal in ours. She’s conducted her own anthropological study of sorts: not of sexual Samoan mores, but of her own time and place. Her forthcoming book, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused about Intimacy, is an exploration of “hookup culture” on American university campuses— secular and religious, public and private.
By Katie Engelhart - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM - 0 Comments
The soulmate search will soon be mobile, transparent and constant
In 2003, a young Mark Zuckerberg sat in front of his computer and instant-messaged a friend. Back then, “the facebook thing” was still a rough idea, and 18-year-old Zuckerberg was trying to finesse the concept.
Already, he knew what he didn’t want. “I don’t think people would sign up for the facebook thing if they knew it was for dating,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I think people are skeptical about joining dating things.”
A decade later, a somewhat savvier Zuckerberg has had a change of heart. Last week, Facebook unveiled “Graph Search,” a new search engine that will allow users to comb through data from their existing online networks. At a press launch, Facebook reps showed off the new product, explaining that it could be used to search for restaurants, or for job recruiting. At one point, a Facebook employee stood to demonstrate a search for “friends of my friends who are single and living in San Francisco.” Continue…
By macleans.ca - Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 5:10 AM - 0 Comments
How to make a clean break when your ex is a jerk who won’t take no for an answer
At some point, the majority of women will date the type of guy Kristin Carmichael calls a jerk. He’s charming at first, abusive later, then won’t take “no” when told the relationship is over.
Carmichael is a social worker in Santa Fe, N.M. Her college boyfriend turned out to be a stalker. Through her work at a hospital and a women’s shelter, she’s counselled thousands of women who were trying to leave or stay away from a bad relationship.
“Staying gone is not a sprint, it is a marathon,” she observes in her new book, X That Ex: Making a Clean Break When the Relationship Is Over. “If you resist going back to your partner a thousand times, and on the 1,001st time, you relent, all your hard work can be unravelled.”
Bad exes will say anything to get you back, everything from, “I love you; I’ll change,” to, “We’ve got to make it work for the kids.”
By Brian Bethune - Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
A Toronto professor fires a volley into the culture war
Michael Cobb, 39, an English professor at the University of Toronto, also teaches in the university’s Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies. He’s the author of God Hates Fags: The Rhetorics of Religious Violence and now of Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled, a literary theorist’s take on how popular culture has not caught up to social reality when it comes to singles. Despite the fact that singles now outnumber married people, they don’t really exist as a recognized category, because our prevailing cultural narrative sees them as “real” people in waiting. Single is Cobb’s opening volley in a culture war.
Q: You’ve written quite a polemic over something scarcely noticed by the world. But singles’ cultural invisibility is the starting point of your issue with coupledom.
A: I had a lot of frustration with why singles weren’t being represented. We were always pre- or post-coupled—widows or bachelors or divorcees, unfortunates of some kind. Just a really awful category. When I started the book, I’d been single for 10 years of my life, and quite happily so, and not because I had endless freedom to pursue whatever person or fleeting irresponsible experience [I wanted]. It was more a joy of being by myself and being able to cultivate all sorts of relationships and not have one person completely be the centre and focus of the world.
By Julia McKinnell - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 8:10 AM - 0 Comments
A terminally ill husband can anger, even infuriate, his loving wife
Anger and annoyance are often dirty little secrets for women whose husbands are terminally ill. Sometimes the wife is furious at her husband for smoking and causing his own cancer. At other times she is riled when she has to clean up after him because he won’t wear adult diapers, viewing them as “babyish and feminine.”
In The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook, author and widow Diana Denholm urges wives to write down everything that upsets them as the first step in the process toward fewer fights and more peace.
“Nothing that affects you is off-limits to your list. Whether it is a toilet seat that stays up, disrespectful behaviour, or crumbs in the bed: if it bothers you, it should be on your list.” Denholm, whose partner was diagnosed with colon cancer a month after he proposed to her, illustrates with examples from the women she interviewed. “Cathy” wrote: “What I hate most is when I’m trying to fix him a meal, he gets in my way. Then something falls or spills and he has a fit and he threatens to pack a bag and move out. Sometimes, I wish he would move out!” Later, the same woman writes, “Gee, what am I supposed to do about the smell? His bedroom has such a smell—it makes me sick to go in to help him. Yes, he’s got a colostomy bag, but he has the strength to get up and take care of himself.” On her list, “Fran” wrote: “I pray his death will be peaceful. But I really need to know when he’ll die. Yes, I feel guilty about wanting this to be over. But how much more can I take?”
By Anne Kingston - Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 9:20 AM - 19 Comments
Your man can’t make you happy, but there’s a new theory on how a lengthy union can help get you there
Cynthia is a 68-year-old woman in a 45-year “committed marriage” who has figured out how to keep it that way. Every other month or so she goes out to lunch with her college boyfriend Thomas, who is also married and has no intention of leaving his wife. Usually their outings end in a hot and heavy “petting session” in his Mercedes. Sometimes, he rubs Jean Naté lotion, the scent Cynthia wore in college, onto her legs and compliments her beautiful feet. They’ve never consummated their relationship, nor do they intend to. Being with Thomas is “like a balloon liftoff,” Cynthia reports, one that eases some of the tensions between her and her 74-year-old physics professor husband. “I’m a nicer, more tolerant person because of this affair,” she says.
Cynthia’s story is one of more than 60 confessionals from long-time wives that punctuate Iris Krasnow’s new book The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married. And what their stories reveal is that marital longevity requires wives to establish strong, separate identities from their husbands through creative coping mechanisms, some of them covert. Krasnow spoke with more than 200 women, married between 15 and 70 years, who report taking separate holidays, embarking on new careers, establishing a tight circle of female friends, dabbling in Same Time, Next Year-style liaisons and adulterous affairs, and having “boyfriends with boundaries.” Yoga and white wine also feature predominately.
The 58-year-old Krasnow, an author and journalism professor at American University, writes she was “stunned by the secrets and shenanigans” in her journalistic journey through American marriages. She comes to the subject from the vantage point of her own 23-year marriage to an architect she loves but admits to “loathing” occasionally. She credits summers spent apart, separate hobbies and her close relationships with male buddies for some of their marital stability.
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
Before moving in with your boyfriend, make sure you know about his ‘quirks,’ including pet issues
First, think of all your deepest, darkest secrets, then write them down and show them to your boyfriend. For the author of a new advice book called How to Move in With Your Boyfriend (and Not Break Up With Him), that list would have included: my hair sheds like crazy, and I never bother cleaning it up; I read my boyfriend’s emails when I’m bored; I’m bossy; sometimes I forget to flush the toilet when I pee.
Tiffany Current didn’t actually hand over this list but she claims she should have, and advises others to do so in this slender guide that takes the stance that most live-in relationships are doomed because too many couples rush in under a haze of “love mist.”
Another thing: if you’re still telling friends that you’re dating the perfect guy, you’re not ready to move in. “No man is perfect,” she writes. “If you think your boyfriend is, you’re either delusional or you haven’t met the real him.” Insist he divulge his quirks, too. Swap lists. “Think of it as an incredibly weird and awkward bonding experience.”
By Rebecca Eckler - Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM - 23 Comments
A lot of women, it seems, have trouble explaining what exactly their partners do for a living
“What is it I’m supposed to say you do again?” I ask my boyfriend as we head out to see friends. “Just say I own my own software company,” he says, which is true. But it’s a very specialized software company, focusing on registration for the “conference and trade show industry.” I’m still not sure what that means, though I have rehearsed my lines.
I’m not the only one who has a hard time explaining or understanding what my partner does. When I posted on Facebook recently that he was headed off to do his “something-something” job in Washington, numerous women replied, admitting to being in the same clueless boat I was. “I can’t even remember the current title of my hubby. So don’t worry about it,” wrote one. Another replied, “I had a guy like that once. I tried to explain to people what he did but in the end gave up and boiled it down to, ‘He goes to an office tower in a suit and comes home with money.’ ” Still another suggested I just “say he’s in business.” This woman added, “Gone are the days when everyone had one job responsibility or title.” I’ll say.
“Not knowing, understanding, or being able to say what your husband does is very this-generation,” says Sari Friedman, an HR consultant and career coach. “The landscape has changed so much. Roles are more specific these days and more complicated to explain.”
By Joanne Latimer - Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM - 4 Comments
All those shots of him and the kids make him look like a dutiful father. Meanwhile…
You see pictures of them playing with their kids in the park or posing at movie theatres. They document every family trip to a restaurant and every birthday present. Who are these seemingly devoted parents with digital cameras? They are the scourge of single moms everywhere: phony Facebook dads. “It’s infuriating! My ex’s Facebook page is full of pictures of our kids with their dad. Talk about false advertising! I still have to make him do activities with the kids!” says “Gail,” a single mom who is a translator in Montreal. (All of the single mothers in this piece requested anonymity.) “What am I going to post? Pictures of me making their lunch for school or banning the Xbox?”
“Tina,” a professor and another single mother, finally de-friended the father of her daughter. “He’s visibly trying to construct a narrative of himself as an involved father,” she noted. Aesthetician and single mom “Dina” put it another way: “What a crock! My ex’s photos say ‘Look at me, I’m a good dad,’ but I had to [garnishee] his wages to get child support. He complains about gas money to drive his daughter to birthday parties and he won’t babysit, yet he’ll post photos where he looks like the world’s best dad…right!”
Phony Facebook dads are the newest irritant for fractured families. “It’s very grating for the custodial parent, which is often the mother,” noted Deborah Brakeley, a clinical counsellor and collaborative divorce coach in Vancouver. “It’s well known that exes, particularly moms, become resentful when their partner suddenly becomes a more dutiful parent, or at least appears so. They ask, ‘Where were you?’ They feel deceived and angry.”
By Rebecca Eckler - Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM - 0 Comments
Spa Date was conceived as a more ‘positive’ way to look at a relationship
“The Spa Date is not therapy,” insists clinical therapist Ashley Howe. “It’s meant to revitalize and celebrate all that is wonderful about you and your relationship. Spas are all about mind, body and spirit. This focuses on the mind.” Well, you can dress it up however you want—in this case, in robes and slippers in a spa room—but it’s still two people talking about their relationship in front of a professional.
Howe, who has a master’s degree in couples and family therapy, founded Spa Date last year. “I don’t believe that traditional couples therapy works,” she says. “Couples will show up and just end up hammering out their issues in a last-ditch effort or because one party feels guilty and figures they should at least try to save their relationship with counselling.” After years of working with couples on the brink, Howe realized, “This sucks.” And, also, that traditional couples counselling was “not helping to encourage the relationship.” She thought couples needed a more “positive way to look at their relationship.”
It can’t hurt that couples going to see her (or one of her trained professionals) on a Spa Date are offered a glass of champagne and a cheese plate. Still, I’ll admit I was skeptical. Wouldn’t men feel less comfortable talking about their relationship in a robe in front of a stranger? Most importantly, I wondered, “Does she not know I’m naked under here?”
By Kate Lunau - Wednesday, February 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM - 35 Comments
Sociologist Mark Regenerus on hooking up, marrying down, and the effect of women’s success on our sex lives
When it comes to having a career and education, women have more opportunity than ever. But their chances of finding a stable, long-term relationship have actually declined, argues Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin. In his new book, Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying (co-authored with Jeremy Uecker), he says that the “price of sex” is at an all-time low.
Q: What do you mean by the “price of sex”?
A: Sex is, at bottom, an exchange between a man and a woman. One can use this exchange in [homosexual] relationships, but I didn’t go there; it would double the size of the book. It’s not a simple pleasure-for-pleasure exchange: men and women tend to seek different things from the act of sex. They often mean different things by it. This isn’t to suggest that women don’t like sex or that they don’t gain pleasure from it. We know that they do, but there’s more to it than that. Women tend to prefer sex that comes with commitment, attention, conversation, love and, sometimes, material gifts. As the price of sex diminishes, that commitment becomes harder to get.
Q: What’s driving down the price of sex?
A: Part of the story is women’s success: they make up the majority of college students today. When you look at the college campus, 57 per cent of American college students are women. In Canada, it’s comparable. And that’s a big imbalance.
Q: You argue that when women outnumber men on campus, it gives men more power to dictate the terms of sex. Your book notes that virginity, for example, is more common on campuses where men outnumber women.
A: Isn’t that interesting? When men outnumber women, women tend to get more commitment in exchange for sex. And women tend to like to marry someone of a comparable education status. But I don’t know how that’s going to happen 10 or 15 years from now. If the college imbalance remains stable, there will be a large oversupply of college-educated women interested in marriage, and there won’t be enough college-educated men. So they’ll have to marry down, and I know some who have. It’s not that it can’t work, but it is a little bit different.
By Rebecca Eckler - Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 9:40 AM - 1 Comment
It’s not that easy hiding Botox treatments from a disapproving spouse
Women have always kept secrets from men, whether it’s wearing double push-up bras, or sneaking new clothes into the house. But nowadays what they’re hiding is right on their faces. “Women hiding Botox from husbands happens every day,” says Dr. Romy Saibil, who co-owns the Toronto-based True MediSpa with Dr. Francine Gerstein. Both doctors have seen the lengths women go to hide treatments.“Women will bring their children with them and say, ‘I’m getting a needle,’ and will openly talk to friends about Botox,” says Saibil, “but when it comes to husbands they’ll come up with any excuse so they don’t find out.”
A lot of women, says Saibil, will time injections when they know their husbands will be away on business. “When their husbands don’t travel, we don’t see them as often,” she says. Even the receptionist at True MediSpa gets it. Women want to pay in all different ways so husbands don’t find out. They’ll say, “Half on Visa, a quarter on my debit card, and here’s some cash.” “Literally, our receptionist knows every bank in the area,” says Saibil. “She’ll be like, ‘Oh, you want a Scotiabank? Turn right. You’re a Royal Bank client? Go around the corner.’ ”
By Nancy Macdonald - Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
A banner year for gay rights
It’s hard to believe that a year marked by the heartbreaking suicides of a number of gay U.S. teens, including 13-year-old Asher Brown and Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi, could also be a banner year for gay rights. But their tragic deaths spurred an outpouring of public sympathy, hope and help for gay youth, including It Gets Better—a popular project featuring gay adults talking about overcoming bullies and hurt.
By Anne Kingston - Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 9:40 AM - 0 Comments
A fairy-tale romance, yes, but the union of Will and Kate is also an economic juggernaut, moving product and reviving industries
On Nov. 16, 2010, the world’s longest job interview came to an end: Prince William and Kate Middleton ﬁnally announced their decision to wed. In a televised sit-down with her fiancé, Middleton, the first commoner to marry into the British monarchy in 350 years, said she was “shocked” when the prince popped the question in October during a holiday in Kenya.
That would make one of us. The couple, both 28, met in 2001 at the University of St. Andrews; since 2006, when it was announced Middleton would have her own security detail, there has been fervid “when-will-they-wed?” speculation. Throughout, Middleton, or “Waity Katie” as she was dubbed by the British press, displayed poise, discretion, loyalty, and a decided absence of personal ambition—all traits that will serve her well in her new job. Certainly there’s pressure on this union to succeed, especially after William’s parents’ scorched-earth divorce. Even the most staunch monarchists agree the royal family can’t survive another marital meltdown. Thus the prince doesn’t need to make a love match as much as a dynastic consolidation. Palace advisers are reported to be acclimatizing Middleton for life in the fishbowl, offering instructional videos so she can study Diana’s technique.
By Julia McKinnell - Monday, December 6, 2010 at 1:20 PM - 37 Comments
Straight women with kind, loving husbands explain why they became lesbians
In a new collection of true stories about straight women turning lesbian, all of the women are, and were, married to extraordinarily kind, supportive husbands. Laura Andre, co-editor of Dear John, I Love Jane, points out that these women are “living proof that sexuality can change over time, often against our will. The women in this book didn’t set out to dismantle their marriages and relationships; the last thing they wanted was to hurt their husbands or boyfriends.”
One woman writes that her husband thought it was “cool” at first that she was attracted to women. “I wasn’t the jealous type so it never bothered me if my husband said another woman was sexy or beautiful. In fact, sometimes I would agree, and I spoke freely about different women I found attractive. He thought he had the coolest wife ever,” writes Crystal Hooper. “We always said that nothing and no one could ever come between us. Then along came Zoe.”
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, December 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
If you’re the ‘martyr’ in a relationship with a ‘taker,’ here’s some expert advice
Selfishness pervades every romantic relationship, according to Jane Greer. It creeps in “as you grow more comfortable with your partner and worry less about pleasing them.” A couple starts out “picture-perfect but grow ugly to each other over time,” writes the psychotherapist in a new book, What About Me?: Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship.
But lately, Greer has been seeing more and more young couples who are “constantly squabbling, jockeying for position, searching for ways to get their needs met.” She blames advancements in technology and a new kind of self-centredness that has reached epidemic proportions. “Never before has the lament ‘You’re not listening to me’ rung so true. In fact, people are listening to and paying attention to everyone and everything except their partner and their relationship,” she writes. “Porn is a click away, old flames are waiting on Facebook.” The new selfishness is changing even the way people think about their relationships: “When it comes down to giving time to your partner, it can feel like a loss of your personal needs rather than an expression of love,” writes Greer.
By Andrew Coyne - Friday, November 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 307 Comments
COYNE: We don’t need to ban polygamy to ban rape: it’s banned already.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m against polygamy. I think it’s wrong, and harmful, for all the usual reasons: that it devalues women, impairs the trust on which marriage and family life depends, upsets the sexual balance in society at large, and is broadly incompatible with the egalitarian, individual-based political values of Western civilization.
So when it came to opening statements in the landmark British Columbia Supreme Court reference on the issue, the government lawyer had all the best arguments, in my view. And yet I found myself agreeing with the conclusions of the amicus curiae, the lawyer hired by the court to represent the other side of the case.
The specific question the court is being asked to answer is whether the Criminal Code ban on polygamy is in violation of the Charter of Rights. But at bottom the issue is the role of the criminal law in regulating conduct. If the reference helps to clarify our thinking on that, it will have served a much broader purpose.
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM - 10 Comments
Shut down conversations about finding a man, and brainstorm new places to live
For one woman, the most lonely night of being single came when she had to drive herself to the emergency room. The doctor “asked if I could get anyone to pick me up because of the narcotic medicine he needed to give me, and I briefly thought about it and said no. Maybe there were people I could have called in a dire emergency, but lots of my friends go to bed early and I didn’t feel comfortable waking them. So I had to wait until the sedative wore off, then drove myself at 1:00 a.m. to find a 24-hour pharmacy,” remembers the 41-year-old nurse.
“This should never, ever happen to anyone,” writes Michelle Cove in Seeking Happily Ever After: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Being Single Without Losing Your Mind. She spent three years interviewing single women, many of whom worry about a future medical emergency. Cove suggests lining up support well before you need it.
Start with girlfriends: “Let them know it would comfort you if you knew they could be part of a support team to help you in duress.” Each friend should know she’s part of a small team, not the only one helping, and be specific about what you are asking for, “such as being your emergency contact, taking care of your pets if you’re hospitalized, bringing you to the ER if necessary.”
By Stephanie Findlay - Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 11:20 AM - 0 Comments
With more women at most schools, young men have never had so many dates. And boy, they’re playing the numbers
“If you strike out everywhere else, just come to the Mount,” says Cody Brown, a congenial second-year student at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. The reason is simple: the Mount’s student body is 79 per cent women. “It’s a great ratio,” says the 19-year-old enthusiastically. “A phenomenal ratio.”
Though the Mount is an extreme example, female-dominated campuses are an increasing reality at universities across the country. According to Statistics Canada, 57 per cent of the student body in universities is female. Of the 69 schools Maclean’s surveyed in its 2010 university guide, 24 institutions have a student body that’s over 60 per cent female. And it’s not just Mount Saint Vincent where the females make up more than 70 per cent of the population. It’s the same at NSCAD University and Université Sainte-Anne.
The trend is welcome news for women who want to focus on homework instead of being incessantly courted, and men who like all the attention. But as the female-to-male ratio skews, dating must adapt.
By Kate Fillion - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
On pain, nerves, the future, and how their relationship almost fell apart before the Olympics
2010 Olympic gold medallists and world champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have skated together since she was eight years old and he was 10. In early October, Virtue had surgery on her legs to reduce the pain and pressure associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome, so the pair will not compete in Skate Canada. However, their book Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold comes out next week.
Q: Tessa, you’re still on crutches. How are you feeling?
Tessa Virtue: Relieved, more than anything, because finally there’s an answer to the pain I’ve been experiencing. For years it was, “Oh, skate through it,” or, “Work on your breathing to get more oxygen to your shins.” We were actually planning on skating this season, and it’s funny because mentally I was really blocking out the pain, not admitting it to myself. It wasn’t until I met the new team doctor at our national team skating camp and she suggested I do some follow-up testing in Edmonton that we realized surgery was even an option. We considered, briefly, postponing it until after the season, but whenever we take the ice we always want to be at our best, and I think the last two years, training in that pain, I haven’t felt that.
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
It’s common practice to unload reminders of an ex, and a growing number of websites like Ex-Cessories.com and FromMyEx.com are catering to this
Several pieces of actress Anne Hathaway’s jewellery were recently sold in an online auction, pieces given to her by ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri, who was arrested two years ago in a multi-million-dollar scam. (Proceeds went to pay back his victims.)
Even when the police aren’t involved, it’s common practice to unload reminders of an ex, and a growing number of websites like Ex-Cessories.com and FromMyEx.com are catering to this. The best-known is ExBoyfriendJewelry.com, which is half online auction site, half blog—people post juicy anecdotes about the item for sale, whether it’s a handbag, an iPod or a wedding dress. (“The relationship went from hearts, butterflies and kittens to a collection of self-help books and a therapist,” one writes about a pair of earrings.)
Sob stories have brought extra attention—and traffic—to these websites. After all, breaking up is something almost everyone can relate to, and unlike some relationships, diamonds are forever.
By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 4:00 PM - 0 Comments
Women who’ve ‘outgrown’ their husbands need to ask themselves some key questions
If it feels like you’ve “outgrown” your husband, you may be wondering if you should stay or leave. Advice columnist Kimberly Ventus-Dark wants to help you with that. In a new book, she offers up various scenarios.
Women who make more money than their husband and carry the majority of responsibilities at home and are unhappy with the situation would be better off leaving, she writes in When You Have Outgrown Him: Whether to Stay or Go. And if your husband makes some money but “completely dismisses his financial responsibilities to the household,” again, you’ll be happier if you go, she writes. “Women often mention to me that when they do bring home enough income to pay the bills and support the family, some men feel that their own paycheques should be kept for their own personal pleasures or building financial worth. Unless this problem is rectified, it is nearly impossible for the couple to maintain a meaningful relationship.”
In another situation, Ventus-Darks describes the marriage of Mark, a mechanic, and Maria, a nurse. “Maria wants to pursue a master’s degree but is confused because, recently, Mark has started to accuse Maria of thinking she is better than him. Mark doesn’t understand why Maria has changed so much since their marriage. Neither one of them had a degree before the marriage, and Mark doesn’t understand why Maria seems to have become so much of a snob or why she has to get a degree.”
By Jane Christmas - Thursday, September 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM - 0 Comments
The love letters a famous columnist wrote to woo his wife were his most important assignment
She had grown into a tall, gorgeous blond, but it was her intelligence and kind heart that won him over. He was thankful to have grown into a taller-than-her fellow, but he was gangly and shy with a prominent Adam’s apple and an even more prominent nose. He fell in love with her when they were just children in Chicago, but he could never muster the courage to tell her how he felt. Instead, he became her best friend, playing Cyrano to her Roxane, and vetting suitors for her. He did such a good job that she married one of them.
Crushed, he packed up for military duty in Korea. But a year later, when he returned to a new posting in Blaine, Wash., he learned that she had filed for divorce. Wasting no time, he grabbed pen and paper and wrote to her, boldly and finally declaring his love.
By Julia McKinnell - Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 10:00 AM - 0 Comments
Something’s triggered yet another angry stony silence. Here’s what not to do.
Here’s the problem: your wife makes sarcastic comments about you in public. Later, when you object, she insists you have no sense of humour. At home, she withdraws into a stony silence. You try to talk to her but she says she wants to be left alone. If this infuriates you and makes you want to scream or file for divorce, psychologist Robert Nay has some advice specifically for people living with angry romantic partners.
Sarcasm and stony silence are just as much anger issues as yelling and name-calling, says Nay, who’s been helping couples deal with anger for 30 years. In his new book Overcoming Anger in Your Relationship: How to Break the Cycle of Arguments, Put-Downs and Stony Silences, Nay admits it’s impossible to force change on someone, but “there’s a lot you can change even without the co-operation of your angry partner. With a strong lead from you, there’s a good chance your partner will follow, and repairs can be made.”
By macleans.ca - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 2:06 PM - 0 Comments
Genetic, psychological factors can influence relationship’s stability, experts say
A growing number of researchers are looking into the science of marriage and commitment, looking at biological factors that influence a relationship’s stability and even a person’s psychological response to flirting with a stranger, the New York Times reports. It seems some people may be more naturally prone to resist temptation, but both men and women can train themselves to stay committed. In one study, a Swedish biologist looked at 552 sets of twins to find out about how a gene relates to the body’s regulation of a bonding hormone called vasopressin, and found men who carried a variation in the gene were less likely to be married. Those who were married were more likely to have had serious marital problems. And studies from McGill University psychologist John Lydon have looked at how people in a committed relationship act when tempted. In one study, highly committed married men and women were asked to rate the attractiveness of members of the opposite sex in photos. When shown the photos again, and told they were interested in meeting them, they scored the pictures lower.