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Britain:Supreme Court rules woman in ‘loveless marriage’ cannot have a divorce and must stay married to husband


Tini Owens, who is in her late sixties, has been told she cannot divorce Hugh Owens, 78, despite claiming their marriage has broken down following an affair she had several years ago

‘Remarkable’ ruling demonstrates divorce laws are not fit for 21st century, say politicians and lawyers

 

The Supreme Court has ordered a woman to stay married to her husband of 40 years, rejecting her attempts to divorce him because the marriage is “loveless and has broken down”.

Tini Owens, 68, has been told she cannot divorce Hugh Owens, 78, despite claiming their marriage has broken down following an affair she had several years ago.

Politicians and legal experts said the “remarkable” ruling demonstrated that divorce laws were not fit for the 21st century and showed the need for “no fault” divorce, which forces couples to justify to the court why their marriage has broken down.

Supreme Court justices analysed rival legal arguments, which revolved around concepts of “unreasonable” behavior and “fault”, at a Supreme Court hearing in London in May and delivered a ruling on Wednesday.

One, Lord Wilson, said justices had ruled against Ms Owens “with reluctance”, saying the “question for parliament” was whether the law governing “entitlement to divorce” remained “satisfactory”.

Lord Wilson indicated that Ms Owens would be able to divorce in 2020, when the couple have been separated for five years.

Another, Supreme Court president Lady Hale, said she found the case “very troubling”, but she said it was not for judges to “change the law”.

The current law in England and Wales does not allow one spouse to unilaterally decide to divorce because they are in an unhappy marriage. Instead, the spouse that wishes to leave must allege “unreasonable behaviour” and give examples of this to the Court.

Alternatively, if they do not wish to apportion “blame” to the other spouse and there is no adultery, then they must wait two years where a divorce can be granted if both spouses consent to it.

If both spouses do not consent, then the spouse who wishes to divorce must be separated for five years from their spouse before being entitled to a divorce.

Richard Burgon MP, Labour’s shadow justice secretary, said the ruling underlined why the UK’s divorce laws needed to change urgently.

“Labour is committed to introducing no fault divorce proceedings. The Conservatives should stop denying people this basic right and immediately agree to do the same, so that our divorce laws are fit for the 21st century,” he said.

Emma Nash, associate at the International Family Law Group LLP, said: “The court’s decision is remarkable, particularly bearing in mind that Mrs Owens gave 27 examples of what she perceived to be unreasonable behaviour.

“This clearly highlights the need for reform in this area of the law and is an example of the need for ‘no fault’ divorce to be reconsidered by law makers.”

Katie Lowe, partner at leading law firm JMW Solicitors, said the ruling was one of the most significant family cases decided by the Supreme Court since it took over from the House of Lords in 2009.

“The result highlights the reality that desperately unhappy people can be forced to remain married for up to five extra years if they cannot find sufficiently ’strong’ examples of their spouse’s behaviour and there has been no adultery,” she said, adding: “The case has shone a light on our broken divorce law.”

Ms Owens has already lost two rounds of the legal battle since she petitioned for divorce in 2015 after moving out of their home in Broadway, Worcestershire.

In 2016, she failed to persuade a Family Court judge to allow her to divorce, and last year, three appeal judges ruled against her after a Court of Appeal hearing in London.

The judges said Ms Owens had failed to establish that her marriage had, legally, irretrievably broken down and dismissed her challenge to a ruling by Judge Robin Tolson.

Ms Owens’ lawyers said she should not have to prove that Mr Owens’ behaviour has been “unreasonable” – only that she should not “reasonably be expected” to remain with him.

Barrister Philip Marshall QC, who leads Ms Owens’ legal team, told Supreme Court justices that a “modest shift” of focus in interpretation of legislation was required.

But barrister Nigel Dyer QC, who leads her husband’s legal team, disagreed and raised concern about the introduction of divorce “on demand”

 

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I Can Sum Up Marriage In These 11 Texts I’ve Sent My Husband


By Susannah B. Lewis (Blogger):Your Tango.com
Our text messages say a lot about our marriage.

 

While scrolling through my phone and reading the text exchange between my husband and me, I see a love story.

No, I don’t see a bunch of Xs, Os and lovey-dovey emoticons.  But I do see mistakes, arguments, parenting advice and venting sessions . I see two people navigating this life together. I see a parenting partner .I see a best friend. I see a union that thrives on a healthy dose of sarcasm.

When I read our text messages, I see a real marriage   AND I laugh ….

 This may be the most truthful text message I’ve ever sent my husband, but honesty is key in a successful relationship.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 Not only does my husband go grocery shopping, but he always takes the time to carefully and considerately explain life’s greatest mysteries to me.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 Communication is the lifeline of any marriage. I want to personally thank the inventor of text messaging for keeping ours together.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

Communication via text is wonderful, but sometimes we still need to pick up the phone for a personal exchange or just to hear our spouse’s voice. Oh, and to make sure they know when to do what they need to do.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

It’s a common misconception that the little weak lady needs to first consult with the big strong man when handling business. My husband often reminds me that I can do things on my own. Thanks for nudging me towards independence, honey.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 Sure, he thinks I’m a beautiful and amazing woman, but I know the difference between a sincere compliment and an “I need sex” compliment. Even through text.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 It’s the story of our lives, isn’t it, ladies? They don’t hear a word we say if it doesn’t involve the words, “Get naked now.”

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 Sometimes I think he messes things up on purpose so I won’t ask him to do them again. It’s actually pretty genius. That’s why I kept running the golf cart into bushes the last time he invited me to play 18.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And the way to mine is if I don’t have to cook.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 Firmly letting your better half know that he needs to back off is acceptable.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

 This. You know you’ve got a good one when he tries to console you and then volunteers to be your PMS punching bag.

11 LOL Texts That Completely Explain Marriage

Wife catches husband having five-year ‘affair’ with prostitute, takes him back then charges £40 every time they have sex


The woman said she could accept it better if he’d “screwed a few here and there” (Image: Getty)
A wronged wife was forced to undergo a HIV test and was driven to self harm  after discovering her husband  of 30 YEARS had been having a five-year  affair  with one prostitute.

And after wringing the truth from her lawyer husband, the anonymous woman began charging her husband £40 every time they have sex – the same price he paid per session with the prostitute.

The woman is demanding codes of conduct are implicated at brothels masquerading under the guise of spas, to stop sex workers monopolising one punter.

She said had her husband “screwed a few here and there” she could accept it better.

“Why the same person?” she asked, when speaking to the Sunday Mercury.

“The fact that it was the same person, that really does bother me.

“That is the main betrayal.

“If he’d screwed a few here and there I could accept it better – it would still be devastating, but I could accept it better.”

The high-flying professional in her 50s, from the West Midlands, said her husband admitted his ‘affair’ with the prostitute began after he discovered poppers – a sex-enhancing drug.

The woman said her partner always slept with the same prostitute after discovering sex-enhancing drug poppers (Image: Getty Images)

And after finally discovering the truth, the humiliated wife had to undergo a HIV test.

To protect her children, the woman remains anonymous, but is referred to as ‘Sarah’.

“Thankfully, the test has been all clear,” sighs Sarah, speaking about the test.

“The nurse was looking at me and I said ‘This is not my fault’.

“She replied ‘I’m a nurse, I don’t judge’. I just repeated ‘This is not my fault’.”

From the outside, the pair’s marriage appeared solid, idyllic even.

Sarah was similarly content with her lot – until the shocking truth emerged last November.

The hard facts – and questions spawned by those facts – have tortured Sarah to the point of self-harm.

“It scares me that he could be so duplicitous,” she said.

“It’s awful to live with someone who has that much power over you.

“My mum said ‘I didn’t know he had it in him’. I’m no nearer to getting to the real truth.

“Why was it only her for five years? How many times did you meet?

“Did she undress you? Did you undress her?

“Was she in her slinky red or black underwear that you can buy for £2.99?”

Time and again, Sarah has mentally pieced together the scenarios. In her imagination, the meetings between her husband and the hooker darken with each passing day.

“I can imagine what she looks like,” Sarah says bitterly.

“Long, dark hair, brown eyes, she’s going to be very typical.

Escort
Sarah now charges her husband £40 every time they sleep together (Image: Getty)

“I have children, I am half-a-stone above my ideal weight, but I still look bloody good in a Liverpool shirt.”

“I know my worth,” she spits out defiantly.

“I know of all the women he could’ve chosen, I was the golden standard.

“A good woman is worth more than rubies, the Bible said, because she will keep herself just for him. I have invested so much in our marriage.”

Sarah first confronted her husband in 2013 after dialing a number on her husband’s phone and being put through to a Birmingham massage parlour.

“I confronted him, and he said he went there, but didn’t do anything,” says Sarah, shaking her head.

“Lies, lies, lies, but I believed him.”

Darker discoveries were to follow. In 2015, Sarah found a handful of poppers in an office drawer.

“I said ‘What are these?’” she says.

“He was literally crying. I said either you are gay or there is another woman.

The woman now charges her husband for sex – £40 a go, the same as he paid for the prostitute (Image: Getty)

“I saw those things disappear and return. He didn’t give any information.

“There was a number on his phone and it was the Romanian. I rang her and said ‘You are a prostitute, aren’t you?’ and got abuse.

“I said ‘Keep away from my husband!’ and deleted the number.”

Bruised and sickened, Sarah was prepared to forgive, if not forget.

But that number was again discovered on the phone late last year. This time, the cast-iron evidence drew a confession – and another call to the other woman.

“He said it was just the poppers, just the chemicals,” says Sarah.

“He just didn’t get it.

“I told her ‘He has to pay you. I do it for free, and I do it because I love him.”

Not anymore. In a show of strength, Sarah has told her husband that sex between the two of them now comes with a starting price of £40.

“I hate the girl,” she snaps angrily.

“I hate what she’s done, not just to me, but to anyone else. Is she aware, or does she care, that our world has fallen apart?

The wronged wife now wants brothels to have codes of conduct

Sarah says her husband has attempted to heal the wounds he’s caused, and knows he ricked everything for a cheap, if regular, thrill.

“His brain has blocked everything,” says Sarah. “He says he is not that person anymore. He says he’s fallen in love with me again.

“He spends more time with me. All I do is hurt him. It is unreal, totally unreal.

“I’ve told him I’m not prepared to take on his guilt – and I’m very good at dealing with other people’s rubbish. That’s what I do on a daily basis in my job.

“It is the lack of trust that’s left. I can’t trust him – and he is the one person I should be able to trust completely.

“If he goes out of the house, I feel anxious. He has done that to me and I’m supposed to be the most important person in his life, the person he should be able to trust implicity.

“Forgiveness is a sticky thing. Some people say you should forgive all of it and start again.

“The lesser part, I have forgiven, but the ramifications of the infidelity are so much greater.

“He denies he had a relationship – so what was it?”

Sarah has a simple message for those who believe their partners are unfaithful.

“You need to listen to that inner voice, it was certainly nagging me all the time,” she says.

She believes her story underlines the reason why more should be done to stem the steady stream of massage parlors offering extra services.

“I think the local authorities turn a blind eye,” she adds.
“How do we know who and what are in these places?  “There needs to be a department dedicated to ensuring these places are run properly.”

Before I Do: Why History Matters


His or Her Past, may have a major impact on your future as a couple

Sex and the Heart has ruined many relationships because they often distract from reality.    

The heart wants one thing and one thing only, love.   The heart is hopeful, it tells the brain to overlook what it sees because love concurs all.

The euphoric feeling after sex has led to many spontaneous marriages, where virtual strangers have married.

But what do you really know about this person?  Of course, the feeling with this person is unlike any you’ve experienced.  And you have bared your souls, but what do you really know about this person other than they make your heart pound?

Were going to exlore some topics you should consider before moving in or saying I do.

Image result for wait a year or two before marrying

___________________

Money

1 Us Bank Note

It’s not as sexy as infidelity, but most people divorce over (control) MO-NAY!

You’ve moved away from home, your making a living and you buy what you want, when you want it!    No one can tell you want to do or buy your-your own person.  Now your married or living with someone and now you have to compromise, have limits to how you spend your hard earned mo-nay.  Its a challenge for most relationships.

If you enjoyed his spontaneity while your where dating.  Trips to Las Vegas or Paris, gifts just because…. the best seats and restaurants.  Your view of him may dim after marrying him when he can’t pay the mortgage.

If your partner likes the finer things in life…..clothes, jewelry and cars, this unlikely to change after I do.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as long as the two of you are on the same economic page(A meeting of the minds) before you move in together or marry.

Asking to see their portfolio may be a wee bit invasive 

Image result for signs signs read the signs

1.Does he or she buy clothes, jewelry, parts for the car every weeks.  The priority is things. For some of these people, the future is the future, they believe they work hard and should have things to make them happy.  The downside, these people rarely have substantial savings.  So if saving for a home, retirement or for a rainy day is important to you. This may not be your life mate. 

  1. Have they moved a lot, say four or five times in the last three years in the same area This is often an indication of instability.  If there are flaws in the home, neighborhood  this person moves.  It also may mean he/she has difficulty paying his rent. 

3. Do they spend a lot of time online showing you things they are interested in purchasing? See #1

  1. Are they are over 30 living with family members?  A lot of us fall on hard times.  However,there are a few who are repeat offenders.(approach with caution)  If you see a future with this person. Wait until he or she lands completely on their feet (3 or 4 years) AND WHAT EVER YOU DO? DO NOT OFFER FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE!
  2. Is your potential mate always running short of money, or juggling money! Warning!    Eventually they may ask you for financial assistance OR you may want to help.  Dont!!!

DO NOT:  Co sign for anything, add them to your phone plan, open joint accounts/merge accounts.  Issue Credit cards Offer to rescue them and should they ask you for financial assistence within the first six months!  RUN FAST! RUN FAR!      

There is a reason they have bad credit, a reason they came to you instead of a friend or family member they have known much longer.(What do those people know, that you don’t?) 

Turn down your heart.  You may want to help -but take a moment.  If your partner is having financial problems now. When you marry or move in, you inherit their financial problems and those problems are often much greater than you anticipated.  In the long term, this may affect your credit and limit your abilty to purchase a home or buy a car.?                                        __________________

Image result for friendships

 

“Our friendships is often a reflection as to who we are as person”  

Long term relationships often indicate stability.  How does he or she interact with his friends? Is there joy or ongoing conflicts? (Not to be confused with disagreements)  Is he or she short tempered with his friends?

Image result for signs signs read the signs

  1. Anytime he or she talks about their friends or family its nearly always negative.  She or he may be projecting or have a negative view of the world.
  2. They never talk about their friends. Not a good sign, has she or he burned their bridges? Wanted by the police?  Ask questions! 
  3. After a year, you have never met more than one of his or her friends.  See#2
  4. Has a trail of severed friendships. Impatience, anger.  He/she hasn’t attacked you yet? Give it time!  Run! 
  5. Rude to their friends.  If she or he will eventually be rude to yours See#4

_____________________

Related image

Are you in sync with your partner? This is the conversation that most couples avoid.  Sometimes out of fear and other well, love will fix it.   The truth is, love isn’t enough. Its very complicated as it has many moving parts.  Are you on the same page politically?  For most marriages this isn’t a deal breaker but for a special few, it could be.

Deal breakers! (Disccusions you MUST have before the committment)

Children?   If children is very important to you.  You need to know if your potential life partner is on the same page.  DON’T ASSUME,ask?   Don’t make a deal with the devil hoping that he or she might eventually change their minds. If he or she has children, do you like them?  What is your relationship with them?  Will they live with you?  The reality is they will be a part of your lives.  If your partner children do not like or respond to you.  The relationship will suffer.

Religion?  Similar to the issue of children.   Can your coupling survive a different Religion?  If there are children.  What religion?  This could affect relationships with in the families. 

Family?  Is your partner a caretaker? Elderly or disable family members who require his time?  Will they live with you?   

( A week after their honeymoon, her husbands friend and two siblings moved in with them?)

____________________________________

Image result for blinded by love

The heart says, if I love hard enough.    If I believe.   Love will find a way to make it better.  If this is you.  I suggest you talk to a few divorced individuals before making a commitment.    Relationships take time and requires ongoing maintenance.

Early on in the relationship its not uncommon to feel as if we are overthinking  relationships, but there are important signs we cant afford to overlook.  The first time your hit.   If their drinking and recreational use of alcohol and drugs make you uncomfortable.   The second time they disrespect you.  The first time they asked you for assistance.  Do they value you?

There are no guarantees in life, but trust what you see and hear.

 History matters.

CityFella

 

How an economic miracle transformed love and marriage in post-war Italy


How an economic miracle transformed love and marriage in post-war Italy
A newly married couple walks near Rome’s Arch of Constantine. Photo: AFP
By: Catherine Edwards/The Local
Italy in the 1960’s was experiencing a whirlwind of change. The Second World War had left a legacy of acute poverty and a country suffering an identity crisis after years of fascism and occupation, but by 1964, the transformation was so stark as to be dubbed a ‘miracle’.

With the help of US aid, Italy rebuilt its infrastructure, evolved from a primarily agricultural economy to an industrial one, and became known for its innovative production techniques and impressive design.

This meant profound changes, not just for the Italian economy but also for the lives and feelings of ordinary Italians.

“Love and marriage were completely redefined in Italy after the war,” says Dr Niamh Cullen, a lecturer specializing in the history of modern Italy at the University of Southampton, who has studied personal documents from the era to piece together how everyday life was affected.

Cullen first became fascinated by the era after spending a year in Turin. The city, home of FIAT and the ‘capital’ of the industrial boom, was one of the centres of post-war mass migration, as young people left the countryside seeking work and a better life. This migration, together with the rise of mass culture and celebrity culture, was the catalyst for Italy’s transformation.

“I wanted to uncover as much as possible how ordinary people lived through these changes; what they thought and how they felt about the world they were living in,” Cullen tells The Local.

Her research has focussed on the evolution of dating, love, and marriage, from the pre-war days when relationships were often decided by families through to a growing acceptance of ‘marriage for love’.

           An Italian street pictured in the 1960’s. Photo: RomanNerud/Depositphotos     

But while Cullen can trace a broad shift from traditional values to modern ones, her studies of hundreds of diaries and memoirs revealed that for the individuals involved, “matters were almost more complex and messy than this”.

For one thing, the change to a modern view of love was not linear.

“Modernization had already begun in the early 1900’s,” explains Cullen. “But [Fascist dictator Benito] Mussolini tried to turn back the tide of these changes. Mussolini’s ideal woman – at least according to official propaganda! – was the traditional peasant woman, more interested in having lots of babies than in fashion and beauty.”

The regime passed laws aimed at curbing migration to the cities, as his regime glorified rural Italy and wanted to keep people – particularly women – in traditional peasant ways of life.

Fascist propaganda painted a negative picture of the ‘modern women’ who lived in the cities and followed trends, in an attempt to dissuade women from rejecting the traditional role of wife and mother. Though these efforts were unsuccessful in halting falling birth rates and migration to the cities, it wasn’t until several decades later that the change became drastic.

The outbreak of the Second World War meant couples and families were separated, often for many years. And the violence and upheaval of war seemed to press pause on the change which had seemed inevitable, with Italians desperate to return to ‘normality’ when peace was restored.

“There was a renewed emphasis on conservative morality and on traditional, domestic roles for women in the 1950’s, and Italy this meant that the Catholic Church had a particularly strong hold on society in the 1950’s,” says Cullen.

What’s more, the stagnant economy and widespread unemployment of the 1950’s meant that most young people were focussing on getting by rather than modernizing.

That all changed towards the end of the decade. As the Marshall Plan saw money poured into Italian industry, jobs opened up in the cities, especially in the North – and the youngsters followed in their droves.

This was a seismic shift in the Italian family model, and its traditionally strong ties began to loosen.

Generations had traditionally lived under the same roof, but now young people on the cusp of adulthood had unprecedented freedom. They could not only earn their own money and live independently, but also meet, date, and marry new people in big cities hundreds of miles away from the watchful eye of their parents – and the suitors their family may have picked out for them.

At the same time, rural ways of living were eclipsed by urbanization and the growth of mass culture, meaning that traditional ideas of gender roles and courtship gave way to more modern attitudes.

“Broadly speaking, young Italians were moving away from marriages arranged by their families and increasingly beginning to choose their marriage partners themselves,” says Cullen. “There was an increased emphasis on marriage for love, in Italy as everywhere in the post-war Western world.”


                                  Photo of Venice: RomanNerud/Depositphotos

But as the rules began to change, young people struggled to navigate the rapidly evolving dating scene.

Cullen has studied problem pages of popular women’s magazines, which discussed topics such as the new rules of courtship, the acceptability of socializing in mixed gender groups, and whether girls could approach a boy or should wait for a traditional formal ‘declaration of love’.

“Often the advice was contradictory; customs were changing so quickly that nobody was really sure how to act,” says Cullen.

“One girl wrote to [magazine] Grand Hotel in 1955, asking for help choosing between a goldsmith and a poor labourer, who she said she was in love with. The agony aunt told her to choose the labourer if she felt she would die without him, but marrying for love was clearly not such a clearcut decision for the letter-writer!

“This shows that while the idea of marriage for love was all very well in magazines and films, it was often not a very helpful notion for young women who were not expected to work and have an independent income. Not marrying was not considered an option either in rural Italy and in the advice columns there was a strong emphasis on finding a husband, any husband before it was too late,” Cullen explains.

She says that in the memoirs and diaries she has studied, men were generally much more romantic, “describing their love for their fiancées in strong, definite terms”. Women, meanwhile, who were very often financially dependent on their husbands, were more likely to have a more pragmatic view of the relationship, and often “emphasized doubts and anxieties”.

“Simply put, not everyone could afford to be romantic,” Cullen says. “Of course, with memoirs, these accounts are filtered through memory. But it’s still possible to glean some sense of how emotions and attitudes were changing. I found it important to pay attention not just to what was said but what was not said; where do the gaps and silences lie?”

Arranged marriages and marriages for love weren’t always easy to tell apart, not only for historians, but potentially even for the young people involved at the time.

One account, which Cullen describes as the most moving she came across, had to be read between the lines. A Tuscan woman described meeting her husband at a dance, their courtship, and eventual decision to marry, in what seemed like a typical marriage for love.

“But she seemed somehow ambivalent about these events, and looking closer, it was clear that her family put her under pressure to marry,” the historian says. “As the youngest daughter in a large family, it was made clear that she was a burden.

“The wording she used to describe the wedding day was a little odd but made it clear that it was primarily her family who felt happiness (and relief) at seeing her married off. Her own feelings were less clear; it seemed she could not even admit them to herself. At the same time, it was clear that she loved her husband and they shared a long and happy life together.

“This memoir showed, to me, how love, marriage and happiness could be understood in very different ways depending on the world that a person is born into.”

7 Things You Need to Know BEFORE You Get Married (To Avoid Divorce)


Beat the divorce statistics BEFORE you get married.

By:Laura Miolla/Your Tango.com

Beat the divorce statistics before you walk down the aisle.

The institution of marriage has long been idealized in the United States, especially when compared to other developed nations in the world. Here, getting married for the first time is a huge milestone in most people’s lives. Little girls dream about it. Mothers and fathers insist on it. The gay community lobbies for it. It is the norm within our society.

However, 40 to 50 percent of first-time marriages in the United States end in divorce. Clearly, most couples aren’t thinking about divorce when they are planning their wedding. But, given this statistic, they should.

Divorce can be psychologically devastating. It can destroy your self-esteem. It can cripple you, financially. It can negatively impact the well-being of your children. Choosing the right partner when it comes to marriage is the key to decreasing this statistic.

Overall, fewer people would get married, but those marriages would have a far better chance of success.

In order to have a happy marriage, here are 7 things you need to know before taking the plunge:

1. The wedding is not the goal.

The goal is to create a fulfilling, sustainable marriage. The wedding is just the exciting beginning of (what is meant to be) a lifelong partnership based on shared values and goals. Given the time, effort and money that goes into a wedding these days, it’s no surprise that it feels like a major accomplishment. And it is.

However, the REAL accomplishment is in fulfilling your vows on a daily basis: “To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”

I know, I know. Making the wedding the goal is SO much easier. It is more immediate and you get to check the box afterward on your list of things to do before the age of 35. If you don’t shift your perspective on what is most important, though, your odds of celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary are cut in half.

2. Invest more in the honeymoon than the wedding. 


Tenor

There is a huge emphasis on weddings in our society. Weddings have become a major industry in their own right with the average wedding coming in around $30,000. And they typically take at least a year to plan. Family and friends are all involved in making this the celebration of your life. And there is huge emotional investment in a wedding.

Everyone involved wants it to be just “perfect”. There is no such thing as perfect though. Social expectations around what a wedding “should be” often become more important than what it really is — a celebration of two people’s love and commitment to one another.

In many ways, weddings are now more for the guests than the two people getting married. While having a celebration is important, the real celebration of the relationship occurs during the honeymoon as you begin to fulfill your vows of love, honor, and respect. It is these first steps that set the stage for the rest of your married life.

Honor that private time together as much as possible. It is rare to have such focused time together in our fast-paced society and it deserves to be cherished in its own right. This is where the real work of marriage begins.

3. What you don’t like about your partner is just as important as what you do like. 

The old adage is true. Whatever you don’t like about your potential partner or their habits will only get worse after the wedding. Sweeping these little annoyances under the carpet in a pre-wedding glow of optimism will not serve you. Everyone knows that communication is one of the keys to a successful relationship.

So, let’s be real and honest in acknowledging what we don’t like about each other before agreeing to a life-long commitment. No one is perfect. Really know your potential partner for who they are and not just what you would like them to be.

If you can’t learn to love or, at best, accept those flaws about your partner, then you might want to re-think spending your life with them. Almost everyone I’ve coached going through a divorce can look back and identify the red flags that should have sent them running in the opposite direction.

The seeds are planted here, but you need the courage to see them and make better decisions for yourself.

4. The real you is a gift.


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No one is perfect, not even you. Sharing your authentic self with your partner is a great gift and provides crucial information about whether your match will stand the test of time.

So, no matter how embarrassing some of your personal habits might be, it is better to have them known by your partner now, rather than after you’re married. If this is the person you love — and who loves you just as much — there won’t be any negative judgment.

And if there IS negative judgment, then this probably isn’t the right person for you. The person you decide to spend the rest of your life will love and appreciate everything about you, without any desire to change who you really are.

5. Shared values are key to successful long-term relationships. 

Typical causes for divorce usually revolve around money, communication, and expectations — all superficial symptoms of misaligned values. Our values — like integrity, respect, family, love, achievement — are immensely important.

There are a few core values, though, the ones that are most important, that determine how we view the world and how we think and act. And yet, when asked, very few people can name what their core values actually are, let alone what their partner’s might be.

That’s the thing. Our values are unique to each of us and yet, even though we don’t acknowledge them, we assume that everyone shares our values, that they will think and act the way we do. That assumption causes huge misunderstandings and feelings of hurt and betrayal.

When partners don’t know their values, they can’t know if they share the same outlook in life. And if they don’t share the same core values, they are potentially heading down two different paths in life.

6. Successful marriages take work. 


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Marriage is not easy. Love does not conquer all. The sheer act of living life can make us forget what is most important. Over time, partners can begin to take each other for granted. Major life transitions — such as having children, buying a house, changing jobs — test a relationship in ways you can’t imagine.

While these transitions can be blessings, they ultimately change the dynamic of the relationship. It takes some effort to avoid these relationship traps and adapt to life’s changes together.

Be present with your partner. Be honest and sincere with each other to eliminate unfounded expectations and unrealistic assumptions that can lead to anger and resentment.  Laugh together. Find appreciation and gratitude for each other every day.

7. Divorce is lonely and expensive. 

It typically takes as much money and time to get divorced as it does to get married. And if you have children, it will be even more. The glory of marriage is in two people building a life together. Everything gets combined — income, assets, retirement funds, friends, furniture, etc.

When that marriage breaks, everything gets divided. Divorce robs you of the income and lifestyle that you used to have. You will be with your children less. You will probably have to sell your house. Your retirement funds are depleted — from legal fees, as much as the division of assets — forcing you to work far longer than you had originally planned.

And the friends you made as a couple are nowhere to be seen. All of a sudden you are behind the eight ball, older and single now, trying to re-build your life all by yourself.  Marriage might not be easy, but divorce is downright hard.

Getting married is fabulous and exciting, but it is also a momentous decision that will impact your life forever. Be honest with yourself and choose your partner wisely.

Kenya legalises polygamy without wife’s consent


Kenya legalises polygamy without wife's consent
Polygamy is very common among traditional communities in many parts of Africa, as this family in South Africa. PHOTO/AFP

NAIROBI – Kenya’s parliament has passed a bill allowing men to marry as many women as they want, prompting a furious backlash from female lawmakers who stormed out, reports said Friday.

The bill, which amended existing marriage legislation, was passed  to formalize customary law about marrying more than one person.

The proposed bill had initially given a wife the right to veto the husband’s choice, but male members of parliament overcame party divisions to push through a text that dropped this clause.

“When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way, and a third wife… this is Africa,” MP Junet Mohammed told the house, according to Nairobi’s Capital FM.

As in many parts of Africa, polygamy is common among traditional communities in Kenya, as well as among the country’s Muslim community, which accounts for up to a fifth of the population.

“Any time a man comes home with a woman, that would be assumed to be a second or third wife,” said Samuel Chepkong’a, chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, the Daily Nation newspaper reported.

“Under customary law, women or wives you have married do not need to be told when you’re coming home with a second or third wife. Any lady you bring home is your wife,” he added.

Men fear ‘women’s tongues’

Female MPs stormed out of the late-night session in fury after a heated debate.

“We know that men are afraid of women’s tongues more than anything else,” female legislator Soipan Tuya told fellow MPs, according to Capital FM.

“But at the end of the day, if you are the man of the house, and you choose to bring on another party — and they may be two or three — I think it behooves you to be man enough to agree that your wife and family should know,” she added.

A clause in which a partner who had promised marriage but then backed out of the wedding could face financial damages was also dropped, as male MPs argued it could have been used to extort cash.

They also argued that marriage should be based on love, and not have a financial cost placed upon it.

Parliamentary majority leader Aden Duale, a Muslim, said that men marrying more than one woman was part of the Islamic faith, but also highlighted Biblical stories to justify Christians not asking their wife before taking another.

“I want my Christian brothers to read the Old Testament — King David and King Solomon never consulted anybody to marry a second wife,” Duale told the house.

Women are not allowed to marry more than one man in Kenya.

The bill must now pass before the president to be signed before becoming law.

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