marriage

6.30.14: The Wedding Show

Jun 30, 2014
no lurvin here. via Flickr Creative Commons

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Today Word of Mouth takes a matrimonial journey, from “I do”, to “I don’t”. First, how the American wedding has evolved from private affair, to public extravaganza. Then, put your iPhone down! Why more couples are opting for an unplugged wedding. Plus, a look into the legal barriers that make gay divorce even more complicated than same-sex marriage.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments


The Bride Wore Black

May 22, 2014

All Dressed in White - it's the title of author Carol Wallace's look into the history of the American wedding, but it hasn't always held true for brides. On the frontier - a culture centered around migrant work & making do - a woman may only have a single good dress, designed for a decidedly different purpose.

Taylor Quimby for NHPR

For the parents of young children, getting out to a nice restaurant can require some tricky logistics.   Between babysitters, winter colds, and sheer exhaustion, it’s understandable when parents ditch romantic efforts in lieu of pajamas and another night of bad TV. But why not have a date night from the comfort of home?  My wife Tiffany and I discovered a way to enjoy the both of best worlds…sort of.

Want to know more about Plated, the service featured in this piece? Here's their website. 

Matt Romack Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

For centuries, marriage functioned as a political, practical, and economical union, depending on your station in life. For the aristocrats, a good marriage secured fortunes and position. For common folk, it meant having enough kids to work a farm. It is only in the last 100 years or so that the idea of a passionate marriage took hold of the popular imagination. Today, most of us are less worried about basic survival and can focus more on what we desire in a union. Usually a healthy, dynamic, secure, relationship that is predictable, but not when it comes to sex, which people want to be anything but staid and predicable. Our guest is Esther Perel, she's based her career on how to unite those conflicting desires. She’s a psychologist, sex therapist and author who specializes in couples and sexuality. Her TED talk (watch it below) on “The Secret to Desire in a Long-term Relationship” has over 2 million views. Her bestselling book is called “Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.

Matt Mendelsohn

There’s a lot of pressure on a wedding photographer, after all the expense and attention to planning the day, the photographer is charged with capturing all of it -- the fleeting expressions, the flattering angles and happy guests – images that reinforce the undisputable rightness of a couple’s decision to unite. But it’s just the beginning of a union. Only when the guests have gone home and the camera’s been put away does marriage begin in earnest.

Matt Mendelsohn is a writer and professional photographer of more than 450 weddings since 1999.  Matt explores the meaning of marriage by reconnecting with five couples whose weddings he photographed years before, to find out whether they’re relationships have grown, evolved, or ended.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, ‘tis the season for awkward dinners with your loved ones’ parents. It’s no secret that navigating your relationship with your in-laws can feel like walking through a minefield, but a new study suggests that keeping close to them is a sign of a healthy marriage – for some. According to Dr. Terri Orbuch, men who get close to their in-laws within a year are 20% less likely to go through divorce later in life, but women who do the same are 20% more likely to split with their husbands down the road.

Dr. Terri Orbuch is a professor of sociology and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, where she’s known as “The Love Doctor.” This year, she published a 26-year study looking at love in relation to the in-laws.

Jean KOULEV via flickr Creative Commons

In 2007, researchers from the University of Texas categorized 237 motivations for humans to have sex. Recently, researchers at the University of Toronto divided the most common into two broad categories: approach motives pursue a positive outcome, like increasing intimacy; avoidance motives aim to avoid conflict or guilt. The Canadian team found that adding the fairly un-sexy drives of duty, resignation and guilt which significantly affect the health of a relationship, and could spell the difference between a happy marriage and a rocky one. Elizabeth Bernstein is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, where she wrote about the studies published by University of Toronto in October.

Thea Dodds

In 2005, photographer Thea Dodds was hired to shoot a wedding in Massachusetts. She spoke to the prospective bride on the phone and drove down to meet the happy couple.

Dodds: I went and met them and it was two women (laughs). So I didn’t even know before I met them that it was a same-sex wedding.

That two-brides no groom job led to other same-sex weddings. And as she gained more experience, Dodds began to realize that she was falling into the same trap.

Rick Ganley, NHPR

This week the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on two high-profile cases about gay rights, including a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA.

Christopher_Hawkins via flickr Creative Commons

Suffragette Lucy Stone is remembered as the first modern woman who decided to keep her maiden name after marriage – that was back in the 1850s.  The trend took more than a century to peak in the 1990s, when nearly a quarter of women bucked the tradition of taking on their husband’s name. Since then, that number has been in steady decline. According to the wedding website theknot.com, today a mere eight percent of women stick with their given name.  Of course, that doesn’t mean the decision has gotten any easier to make.  Word of Mouth’s Taylor Quimby reports on the reasoning, and occasional regret, behind the decision to keep or leave behind a name.

Top 3 High-Tech Marriage Busters

Dec 3, 2012
macropako via Flickr Creative Commons

We discussed the quickly-developing market for spousal surveillance technology with Wall Street Journal reporter Jennifer Valentino. You can listen to her interview here:

In the meantime, we were surprised to learn how marriage and divorce are being affected by technology...and how quickly it's all happened:

1) Social Media: Breeding Ground for Evidence

Crazy Love

Sep 24, 2012
sugarsnaptastic via Flickr Creative Commons

Pop singer Rihanna made news recently when she confessed to Oprah Winfrey her sympathy for ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who beat her up on the eve of the Grammy Awards in 2009. Rihanna’s tears for her abuser had many domestic violence advocates up in arms, and many of the rest of us scratching our heads. Here to give her take on the complex and often baffling emotional life of domestic abuse victims is Leslie Morgan Steiner.

(Photo by Pareeerica via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced with Emma Ruddock

Photo by swirlingthoughts via Flick Creative Commons

In those gin-soaked days of yesteryear, a beautiful woman on the arm was an executive’s secret weapon for landing the deal.  A young knock-out by your side signaled power, style, and proof that you had it all. Just ask all those Mad Men...

That was then.

"Mad Men" certainly portrays the familiar notion of resistance to women in positions of power in the workplace, something that still rings true in many companies today. But a recent paper published on the “Social Science Research Network” explores a surprising twist in the glass ceiling story, that men in so-called “traditional” marriages with stay-at-home wives are more likely to prefer a mostly-male work environment.

Globally, the prevailing form of polygamy is of one man with multiple wives – generally older men marrying younger wives. Social scientists have quantified that crime rates are higher in those cultures, with younger men having few prospects for family life. And it is no great shakes for young, often pre-pubescent girls forced into marriage by culture, economics, and tradition.

Photo by F. Tronchin via Flickr Creative Commons

Same-sex marriage is back in the headlines with a ruling on Proposition 8 in California and legislative action in Washington state. Earlier this week, New Hampshire saw rallies both for and against traditional marriage. As this front in the culture war rages from coast to coast, maybe it’s time to figure out exactly what we’re fighting over.

Photo by annstheclaf via Flickr Creative commons

Maintaining a healthy and happy relationship is challenging for any couple…perhaps more so when one, or both, partners suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?  ADHD is an increasingly common diagnosis among school age children and can be tricky to identify in previously undiagnosed adults.  Symptoms are often similar to those of depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder.