Should you change your name when you get married?

Kate Winslet is marrying again and has announced that she will not be taking on her new husband’s last name. With a name as famous as hers, this seems like a no-brainer. Yet the question is vastly complicated. Should you, would you, or did you, change your name upon marrying?

A recent survey of Facebook users showed that women are again taking on their husbands surname after a long decline in the practice. In partnership with The Daily Beast, Facebook looked at the names of 14 million married females, ranging in age from 20 to 79. Facebook found that 65 percent of the survey group in their 20s and 30s changed their names. Even more women in their their 40s, 50s, and 60s changed their names — 68 percent, 75 percent and 80 percent, respectively. Continue reading Should you change your name when you get married?

Trust in relationships: New research reveals its unique importance

It may not be surprising to hear that trust is a key factor in successful partnerships. In fact, an entire branch of relationship psychology called “attachment theory” argues that trust is really the primary experience we seek in a relationship. A romantic relationship, like a mother-child relationship, is based on being able to place complete trust in another person. Trusting your spouse to follow through with their promises, to support you, to be faithful…on the whole, to not hurt or abandon you. We long for someone to trust. Continue reading Trust in relationships: New research reveals its unique importance

Does having siblings help your marriage?

The more siblings you grew up with, the longer your marriage will last, reports a new study from Ohio State University. For the study, the researchers crunched data on 57,061 adults  collected between 1972 and 2012.

“We found that if you had a sibling, for each additional sibling your divorce rate decreased by two percent,” said Douglas Downey, co-author of the study, in an interview for Only-children were less likely to marry in general than their peers with siblings, as well as being more at risk for divorce. The benefits of having more siblings seem to level off at seven. Continue reading Does having siblings help your marriage?

4 things you need to know to navigate marriage and retirement

Divorce rates for couples over 50 are rising. The culprit? Marriage and retirement. Retirement represents one of the biggest life changes since graduating college or having children. This complete rearrangement of your daily routine, social status, and perceived purpose in life has the potential to put untold stress on your marriage. Here are some tips for navigating the waters of marriage and retirement in a way that preserves your strength as a couple and steers you clear from the turbulence of divorce.

1. Marriage and Retirement Planning

One of the biggest problems starts with pre-retirement planning. As we prepare for retirement, we often make lots of mental plans about what and how to do it. When these develop in our minds and don’t share them with our spouses, we are setting our marriage and retirement up for miscommunication, disappointment and conflict. Continue reading 4 things you need to know to navigate marriage and retirement

The increasing danger of reconnecting with ex lovers online

Social media is wonderful for keeping in touch with friends and family. At the same time, there is one category of person that you should not be reconnecting with-ex flames. Facebook has made it incredibly easy to indulge in nostalgia and look up people from the past. The Australian magazine The Age recently delved into the near-epidemic of social media-inspired affairs with the article “First love, the second time around.”

Nostalgia drives social media searches

Most people do not reach out to past romantic partners consciously looking for an affair–yet this is what often happens. Old flames hold strong sway over our hearts, triggering powerful and deep-set emotions related to desire, regret and attachment. Relationships that occurred during teenage years seem to be especially powerful. Continue reading The increasing danger of reconnecting with ex lovers online

Want a good marriage? Don’t call your spouse a “Ball and Chain”

Thanks to Stu and Lisa Gray of the Stupendous Marriage Show for turning me on to this topic! Check out their podcast for some smart commentary.

Negative stereotypes about marriage are so pervasive in our society that it is almost impossible to escape them. Name almost any TV show with married couples and you’ll find at least one example of the “ball and chain” metaphor. Marriage is the end of fun. It is the end of sex. It means constant bickering and being tied to someone who you can’t stand for the rest of your life.

Media and popular culture certainly perpetuate these damaging stereotypes, and, at the same time, we are all just as guilty ourselves. Every time we complain about or badmouth our spouses to others, we perpetuate marriage stereotypes and hurt our own marriages. Continue reading Want a good marriage? Don’t call your spouse a “Ball and Chain”

Workplace stress is killing our marriages

America has the highest divorce rate in the world. We also have one of the most stressed out and over-worked workforces in the world. More and more, I believe this is not a coincidence.

Here are some sobering statistics about our dysfunctional relationship with work:

Wedding proposal fail ends in 4 arrests

In the history of how to not propose to your girlfriend, this wedding proposal fail wins a gold star for complete ridiculousness:

All was well along the 10 Freeway in West Covina around lunchtime on January 7th. That was, until approximately 200 to 250 motorcyclists stopped simultaneously, blocking all lanes and surrounding a bike with a man and his girlfriend. After his girlfriend–clearly confused–got off the motorcycle, it released a giant puff of pink smoke, and the driver got down on one knee to propose. She said yes, some bikes did wheelies, and they hugged. Continue reading Wedding proposal fail ends in 4 arrests

Online dating, online marriage?

It’s not unusual for spouses to have met online these days and the internet has made keeping long-distance love alive infinitely easier. I’ve heard numerous stories of long dating periods done solely online. But what about that next step: getting married digitally, via Skype?

It’s not exactly a movement, but online marriage is happening.

Is it legal to get married online?

Proxy marriage, in which one spouse is absent, is actually a very old practice. Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI were technically married remotely in Marie’s home country of Austria. She later made the trek to France and they had another public ceremony. These days a proxy marriage is rare and mostly occurs among deployed soldiers who are concerned about leaving their significant other without benefits in case of death. In most other cases, U.S. law requires both parties to be physically present in order to legally wed. Continue reading Online dating, online marriage?

10 Aweseome health benefits of sex

When you fool around with your honey-bunny, you do more than have a good time: you’re making an investment in your health! Here are ten wonderful health benefits of sex that should inspire you to write yourself a prescription for sweet, sweet lovin’.

1. Lower stress levels and blood pressure

Several studies have suggested that sex can lower your stress levels and your blood pressure.

Participants in a Scottish study logged their sexual activity and were then put in stressful situations such as speaking in public and doing math out loud. When their blood pressure was measured, those who had had intercourse showed better stress response than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or were abstinent. Continue reading 10 Aweseome health benefits of sex