Marriage is Becoming Obsolete…Or Is It? (via EmBodyPolitic)

26 Nov

Marriage is Becoming Obsolete...Or Is It? The media coverage over the last week would have one think that Americans are racing to trade in the clang of wedding bells for the sweet sound of independence… or at least cohabitation (“shacking-up”). A Pew Research study released Thursday documented the continued decline of traditional marriage and a rise in cohabitation and remaining single. The study also found that when asked ,“Some people say that the present institution of marriage is bec … Read More
via EmBodyPolitic

Very interesting article… While we should all remember that polls and statistics are generalized by many factors, the question still remains – Is marriage becoming obsolete? Keep in mind that according to this research study 4 in 10 Americans think it is – while the other 6 don’t. Check out my comments and leave yours too! I would love to hear your thoughts…

the Mrs. | November 26, 2010 at 12:07 PM | Reply

I agree wholeheartedly that marriage is EVOLVING. Throughout history the institution of marriage has changed to represent it’s respective societal ideologies.

The purpose of marriage continues to be refined according to our lifestyles and geographic locations. In North America, since the early 1900′s marriage has steadfastly been rooted in love, and with such an elusive ideal placed on the institution it is no wonder that marriage has crumbled under such weight.

Originally marriage presented a contract that secured financial, political and social status for families; now – through glamorized media it offers a promise of finding your soul mate and happily-ever-after.

Unfortunately, we all have multiple soul mates, and love ebbs and fades seasonally so marriage has begun to ride the same waves of popularity contests. Although marriage is no longer at the forefront of North American bucketlists, there will be a season again where the institution will offer and represent something elusive, treasured, and rare.

Right now we are focused on including everyone’s rights to get married – gays, lesbians, anyone interested will be able to practice. This is a historical precedent that will further change the institution of marriage as we now know it.

I believe that these changes are incredibly fascinating and focus on our changing society’s beliefs. Marriage will never be obsolete – the institution will always continue to evolve, but the practice of sharing our lives together will always stand resolute and remain an integral part of our lives…

Discussion anyone?

the Mrs.

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Everything Happens for a Reason: Right?

23 Nov

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Why or why not?

In my opinion – yes.

I believe we are metaphysical beings. Our soul and conscience have an impact on everything that we are. This gives our lives purpose —- our actions reason.

While we each chose our own reason, we cannot possibly label any ignorance as chance. We are so much more than fate.

Reason evolves every day as we grow and interact. Call it karma, luck, spiritual guidance, faith or whatever else.

Sow positive reason and love into your sphere of influence even though you may never see the impact.

Just a smile could save someone’s world from crashing.

the Mrs.

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How to travel together and not lose your minds…

11 Nov

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” — Miriam Beard

This past month has brought the Mr. and I through a new experience. Travel on short notice. Not an emergency but pressing. And I’m almost thankful I didn’t have the time to stop and think because I’m a routine girl – and spontaneity can definitely throw me right off.

Living across the country from family and friends has opened our world of travel – both domestically and internationally.  And now, after years of traveling, we’ve finally developed a system that works for us.

For some, traveling can actually be a stressful experience. Especially, if both have different ideas of what a vacation really is. But as we’ve learned, travel even under tough circumstance and short notice, can still be fun, relaxing and memorable.

Compatibility between travelers is pretty essential to a stress-free experience; whether you are taking a road trip, luxury cruise, international resort, flying domestically, camping, or even backpacking.  While everyone fits a different travel personality, and matching personalities are ideal, opposites can actually bring even more to each trip.

So which travel type are you? Romantic, luxury, budget or adventurous? Each type brings a different dynamic to travel so balancing your strengths can actually extend your trip past your comfort zone and into new worlds.

If you don’t know which type you fall into, here’s a quick and easy quiz that will point you in the right direction. Those who are seasoned in travel will actually find Dr. Stanley C. Plog’s Travel Personality Quiz surprisingly accurate. Plog further breaks travelers into six categories and goes as far as listing the Top 30 Travel Destinations based on what you would love.

At the planning stage it’s equally important to take your time, share your ideas, and know your boundaries. Everyone has a comfort zone that shapes each experience so take the time to identify what you think would make your trip easier and more relaxing.

The hubs and I have a divide and conquer theory. Where one of us has a weakness, the other has a strength. He’s great with directions so he gets to be the navigator, and quickly takes the lead when something goes wrong in this area. Whereas, I am great at handling planning, so I gladly book the hotels, flights, car rentals and such.  And as I have a bad short-term memory, the Mr. always keeps the most important documents on himself. That way I don’t have to worry about forgetting shampoo or minor items that we can pick up almost anywhere we go.

If you are pressed for time consider using a travel agent. They are very knowledgeable and fees are normally quite reasonable. We have one that we bounce all of our trip ideas off of, even though not all come into being. We have used her for so many trips now that she has our preferred airport and hotels on speed dial if we make that call.

We also try to give ourselves a lot of buffer time for both unexpected delays and time apart. It’s easy to overcrowd one another so make time to be flexible and stretch out your own wings. Try sometime different and share your stories afterward – it’s amazing what you’ll find and who you’ll meet when given space to do your own thing.

Find your balance as over time traveling together gets easier and you can actually develop a nice routine. Just remember to take baby steps and have a broad sense of humour. Travel brings unexpected plans like camping brings bad weather. Be prepared to be challenged, and remember that some of the biggest mistakes make the best stories.

When outlining your trip’s budget, don’t forget to consider one another’s spending styles. Many of us enjoy bringing home momentos, gifts, and shopping while on vacation. Hubs loves eating at restaurants, so I let him splurge and plan our dinner dates while traveling. I’m always given a budget for updating our travel gear, sending out postcards every trip, and supporting the local artisans.

As travel reduces a lot of personal space, you will sometimes have to disagree in public. Being able to read each others body language simplifies decision-making in the company of friends or even when in danger. Sometimes, trouble finds you, so have a good back-up plan and solid trust in one another. In the worst of scenarios if you are somehow left with no resources, remember that together you have more chance of surviving than alone.

On most trips, you won’t have much more to worry about than flight times and accommodations. So to make these trips even easier, make use of early check-ins, and chat up your lodging’s concierge (they are always full of great local knowledge and tips). Invest in durable luggage, eat proper meals, and get plenty of sleep. These make a world of difference and start each day properly.

With practice, we have found that we bring less stuff and rather rely on one another’s skills to provide our needs. Becoming increasingly mobile, allows us more flexibility and eases our travel efforts.

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” — John Steinbeck

Remember that your partner is really the best candidate for an amazing trip. So make it easy on each other and communicate, communicate, communicate. Submit to one another when it benefits both of you – and each trip will be better than the last! All in all, have fun! We wish you the best travels with much laughter and memories for a lifetime.

Think I missed something that you couldn’t travel together without? Drop me some of your tips and tricks!

Cheers with Wine!

the Mrs.

What NOT to bring to a funeral…

6 Nov

“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
From a headstone in Ireland

So our dearly beloved Auntie passed away this October and off we flew to be with family in under 48 hours notice.

Auntie was on the Mr.’s side – and very close to his heart and family. Our parents had thankfully kept us in the loop while her health was failing so we were fortunate enough to pass the shell-shock of losing a loved one without any forewarning.

As soon as the story unfolded the hubs called me to book flights home and start packing. Good fortune and a great boss was on my side allowing me vacation time despite any notice. This was entirely my man’s decision – his family – his call.

Normally, I would have hummed and hawed over ticket prices, timing, work, and such… but my gut just told me to do as I was told and make everything easier on my man who’s heart was just broken.

48 hours later we were on the other side of the country accepting condolences from family and friends at her visitation. The whole trip there I was wide awake mulling over what I was going to say to not only my husband but to his immediate family whom we haven’t seen in years…

Outside of the travel part, I was intrigued that we had never really discussed how we would handle death in our shared families. Until now, it wasn’t a reality, not even a passing thought… So I’ve done a little bit of research to understand and share some advice for couples through the loss of a loved one.

To start, I think the most important aspect to remember when dealing with the death of a close family member is that we ALL grieve differently. This is not just because as men and women we deal with issues in our own ways, but  our fundamental beliefs (what happens after death?), our ending relationship to the deceased and lastly our current daily struggles have quite an impact on how we chose to absorb and digest the event as a whole.

Generally speaking, the closer the family member the bigger the impact. This was our Auntie, not a parent/sibling or even a child – which I’m sure would have a much more profound impact on our marriage. So for now, I am going to try to just focus on the death of a loved one within your marriage’s now-shared family…

Honestly, I had no idea where to start with my man… I knew Auntie but not like he did. She was a second mother to him so all I DID know was to be careful and listen if he wanted to share his feelings with me. Each of his family members were absorbing her death in different ways too. I quietly just kept close and tried NOT to give any false support.

Interestingly enough, although many people shut down and keep it all inside, his family chose to celebrate the time they did have with her by sharing stories, reconnecting with distant family (aka us) and breaking bread together. They talked about the good times, her funny quirks and how we will never forget her.

Although we left in renewed spirits, I still keep a close eye on hubby – just in case. The process of grieving has no time limits, and there are many varying stages to boot such as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.

Looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, probably the WORST thing you could do is diminish or even ignore the significance of it’s impact on your partner. So make a point to recognize the loss as REAL by sharing your thoughts with one another. Take the time to reinvest in your surrounding family – grief begets isolation, so show your support and re-sync your lives to accommodate the loss as easily as possible.

I’ve mostly learned to help the Mr. cope with his loss by sharing his sorrow and being patient. There are very few times when he leans on me – so I’ll pick up my post gratefully and support his needs – whatever they may be.

Have you shared a loss together with your spouse? What worked/didn’t for you?

Here’s some great related articles I found quite useful:

How to Support a Grieving Spouse

How do you  help your spouse through the grieving process?

Supporting Your Spouse While They Are Grieving

Words to Comfort Someone Grieving

Why Some People Don’t Grieve

In only three weeks? Happy Halloween

31 Oct

I’m feeling quite irked that I haven’t written for three weeks… Not that I haven’t been mulling over different topics for future posts but married life has just been incredibly busy!

Let’s see here – this month has given me two perfect weeks together with the Mr. (who’s normally away from home for work), a trip across the country, a funeral, hubb’s birthday, and tonight – Halloween.

While all of it has taken my attention away from MAO I must admit I have collected quite a few things to share! :)

But for now – all is well. And I haven’t forgotten you…

I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe Halloween!

Coming soon!

What NOT to bring to a funeral…

How to travel together and not lose your mind…

Round-up of the best couple outfits for Halloween 2010… [Update – I’ve changed my mind, this is dumb.]

When you can’t be together for your spouse’s big day…

~Cheers with Wine!~

the Mrs.

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