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Articles from July 2011

July 30, 2011

Why Did You Get Married?

loveblanket.jpgI ask only because forgetting the answer got me into so much trouble, really made me miserable. Almost ended my marriage.

Twice, I got married because I was really in love with someone who was really in love with me. I loved the feeling of being loved. And I especially liked how I felt about me when I was loving someone I really admired.

I have hired painters, snow shovellers, trash removers, lawn mowers, bug killers, investment advisors, and oil changers. I have paid cooks and chefs to feed me when I don't feel like cooking and drivers to drive me when I am too tired to drive. I have had live-in child care helpers, laundry washers, and mantle dusters.

Some were very, very good. None would have broken my heart to lose. I did not marry to save money on them or to have them on call every day.

I married for love. And when I remember this, our relationship is even better than when we first decided to marry. Everything else is lagniappe.

July 25, 2011

We're Never Going to Get Divorced

Author and journalist Susan Gregory Thomas has a new memoir out. It looks like a great read. An excerpt appeared earlier this month in the Wall Street Journal as their Saturday Essay. It broke my heart to read this from this Generation X latchkey kid, part of the 50% of her generation from split families:

"'Whatever happens, we're never going to get divorced.' Over the course of 16 years, I said that often to my husband, especially after our children were born. Apparently, much of my generation feels at least roughly the same way: Divorce rates, which peaked around 1980, are now at their lowest level since 1970."

But hers was not one of the marriages that survived. In spite of each of them marrying their best friend, in spite of testing their compatibility as roommates for eight years before they married, in spite of waiting until they were in their 30s to have children, they reached a point where they slept separately, talked only about logistics, and quietly seethed over all they were not getting from each other.

When you expect your spouse to be your best friend, you leave yourself very little room to get what you need. It is a triple-whammy to discover your children's other parent, your lover, and your best friend all agree that what you want to do or talk about is not interesting. It puts you in danger of waiting until you are divorced or widowed to do the things you dream of or long to try. It lets you both see your mate as an obstacle, instead of the fervent supporter he or she longs to be.

When you expect your spouse to be a compatible roommate, you eliminate all the easy things you could use to practice finding Third Alternatives together. It is the creative Third Alternatives you discover for the really big differences in your life that make marriage so worth having, a source of so much growth and joy.

Expectations make such a mess of our marriages. Expect just one thing: love. The moment you notice it taking a back seat to avoiding disagreements or juggling parenting duties, drop everything and pay much closer attention to the tiniest ways your spouse shows you love. I cannot promise you will never get divorced, but it will certainly improve your chances of staying in love for the rest of your lives.

I am so, so, so sorry marriage fell apart for Susan Gregory Thomas, as it did for me. I look forward to reading In Spite of Everything and learning from her experience. Have you read it already? Is it as good a read as it looks?

July 22, 2011

Marriage No Longer Counts in Canada

Canada has announced they will stop tracking national marriage and divorce rates, to save some money now that they have one unmarried couple living together for every two married couples. As a parting shot, here are a couple of interesting statistics from 2008, the last report they will issue, according to The Globe and Mail:

  • 73.2% -- Marriages in Newfoundland and Labrador expected to last until one or both die or they reach their 50th anniversary

  • 37.4% -- Percentage of marriages in the Yukon expected to last until one or both die or they reach their 50th anniversary

What do you think? Are marriages and divorces worth counting?

July 17, 2011

Why Be Married? To Enjoy Your Lottery Winnings Together

I love this story! Colin and Christine Weir, a Scottish couple with two grown children, now rank just behind David and Victoria Beckham on the UK's Sunday Times Rich List. Just the interest on their recent lottery prize will give them £5 million a year.

According to The Upshot, a Yahoo! News blog, the two have been married for 30 years. They stayed up all night together after discovering they had won too late in the day to alert the lottery. They plan to travel together and to set up their kids with a house and car each.

It's a wonderful thing to have someone to share good fortune with. I hope they have a grand time together.

July 16, 2011

Enjoy Being Married for a While

bridebouquet.jpgLike many bloggers, I have several Google Alerts delivering me stories daily. One of my standing queries is for mentions of my marriage resource website, Enjoy Being Married. This one also sends me lots of marriage announcements of big-time and local celebrities.

Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo "are probably going to enjoy being married for a bit," says reporter Julia Bodeeb.

From a blog: "What's next for you as a couple? Right now we want to enjoy being married to each other."

Christine Bleakley, recently engaged to British footballer Frank Lampard, "made it clear she would want to enjoy being married for a while," in a June article by Rob Leigh in the Mirror.

Carrie Underwood, who married hockey player Mike Fisher, "just wants to enjoy being married for a while," according to reporter Kinsley Goldman.

What will put an end to all this enjoyment? I will let "ImgonnabeMrsC" answer, with her post on the discussion forum. "Although I would LOVE to have kids right away, it is just not in our budget yet! I think we are going to enjoy being married for a whole year, take 2 years to save and try in 3 !"

If you think it would be great to still enjoy being married after you become parents or financially responsible, I encourage you to visit You will find ebooks, podcasts, a newsletter, relationship video and book reviews, and even a self-study course for those who might enjoy being married while they launch a new business.

July 7, 2011

What Should You Expect from a Husband or Wife?

There are days when expectations creep up and try to rob me of the great relationship I have with my husband. Then I remember what I figured out the day I got my comeuppance, my karmic payback. My first husband died a day after I listed my unmet expectations for him. I was left to meet them for myself. Only then did I take stock of what he was doing for me instead of the things on my list. I don't ever want to turn away love again.

In case you wonder what you ought to expect from your husband or your wife, there is just one thing: expect love. This is a roundup of earlier posts on why.

The expectations that made a mess of my first marriage
Love me and...
What does your garden grow?
10 killer expectations
All the wrong places
Another name for an expectation
Why not expect nothing, then?

Have you let go of any expectations? How did it turn out?

July 5, 2011

Gotta Crow a Little

I feel like everything in my life is coming together, and it feels so good!

My first online marriage workshop launched this weekend. This full-day workshop is available on your schedule, because it is all online. Complete the 19 short lessons when you want. Take as long as you like—you have full access to them, at any hour of the day, for an entire year.

I titled it Enjoy Being Married When You Take the Self-Employment Plunge, because it will be the first in a series of courses on how to Enjoy Being Married through life's many ups and downs.

This first one is for those of you thinking of going freelance or launching your own business. If you want advice on choosing a business or launching it, check out Barbara Sher, Pace and Kyeli Smith, Jonathan Fields, Pam Slim, Seth Godin, Michael Port, Barbara Winter, or the wonderful gang at Third Tribe Marketing. This course is about how to keep your marriage happy and healthy while you take the roller coaster ride of your life.

What came together for me in this course?

  • My love of helping others enjoy being married

  • My 37 years of creating training that works for corporations, government agencies, and universities

  • The past seven years of helping others do what they love, thanks to finally meeting Barbara Sher in 2004 and becoming one of her Success Teams Leaders

  • All the positive psychology and marriage research I have studied, meshed with all my experiences as a self-employed person for most of my working life

  • The wonderful, fantastic, people-connecting internet, and the chance to use it to reach and teach so many people

  • My lifelong desire to change the world, even just a little bit

I am tickled pink to present this course to you. If your own Independence Day is coming up soon, I really hope you will check it out. To encourage you, I am offering a big discount until the end of July at

To the rest of you, I say Follow Your Dream. It feels great. And thanks to ProNagger Rachel Z. Cornell for keeping me putting one foot in front of the other, to Beth LaMie for cheering me on for so long, even as she put out two great books on capturing who you are and where you come from, and to Barbara Sher, the Resistance Whisperer, who has taught me so much.

The Author

Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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