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Oct 18 2012

Why I Keep a Separate Bank Account from My Husband

By at 4:59 pm

pink wallet with credit cards

As part of our Women, Work & Money series, Carla Naumburg enlightens us on the joys of a separate bank account.

Soon after my husband and I got married almost 9 years ago, we set up a joint bank account. My husband closed the personal account he had maintained since college. I did not. I kept my own account, under my own name. Nearly a decade later, I still have it.

We each have a checkbook and ATM card for our joint account. I also have a checkbook and debit card for my own account. My husband’s credit card is linked to our shared account; my credit card (which is also under my name alone) is linked to mine. My husband is the primary earner in our family, and his income is deposited into our joint account each month. My inconsistent income from writing, teaching, and advising, goes into my account. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 11 2012

Why Being Orthodox Didn’t Work For Us

By at 10:12 am

skirt and long sleeveFour years ago my husband and I were married in a traditional Orthodox ceremony. There was no question about what kind of wedding we would have.

My husband was raised as an Ultra Orthodox Jew. Two years before meeting him I had an Ultra Orthodox (ultra kosher) conversion. I made the commitment to live my life as an observant Jew. I committed to marrying a Jew and raising my future children up in the Jewish faith. I could not have been happier with my decision or felt more fulfilled as a Jew and a human being. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 22 2012

Apparently My Interfaith Marriage is Too Happy

By at 3:47 pm

interacial familyDue to past writing I’ve done on Kveller, as well as on InterfaithFamily.com, about my interfaith, interracial, and intercultural family, I am often asked to speak on the subject. I tend to agree because I love to talk about my family. (And I love to talk in general.)

This past week, I was invited to participate in a radio show. As is typical, the producer called me in advance for a pre-interview. And then eventually (politely) dis-invited me from appearing on the show. Because my marriage was too, well, happy. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 20 2012

Prepare to Be Shocked: Kids Will Change Your Relationship

By at 10:07 am
friends with kids movie poster

Or, Attractive People with Kids.

You may not know that in my spare time (ha!), I’m also a bit of a film buff/reviewer. I’ve interviewed my share of A-list film stars and directors, and I’ll take you with me when I cover the Tribeca Film Festival for the Forward next month. I love the feeling when the lights go off and the screen lights up with other people’s stories. And one film I saw recently about parenting made me think, wow, you’ve got it all wrong.

Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 14 2012

Romantic Heroes, Post-Marriage

By at 9:06 am
When a man loves a woman by alina adams

... he cleans up kid vomit.

Prior to marrying my husband, I published four romance novels. Since marrying my husband–thirteen years ago–I have published figure skating murder mysteries, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. But, no more romances.

My husband’s theory is that, since meeting him, no fantasy hero conjured from my imagination could live up to the comparison. (My husband has a very high–though, self-aware–opinion of himself. While we were touring potential kindergartens for our daughter, he said of one principal we met, “I like her! She’s even more arrogant than me!”)

He’s right. But, not in the way he thinks. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 10 2012

Shabbat: The Valentine’s Day of Every Week

By at 1:35 pm

finger people huggingMy husband is an entrepreneur who runs his own company, and I’m a doctoral candidate. This means that five to six nights each week, he comes home from work just as I’m getting the girls in bed. We’ll have a quick dinner together, and then we both sit down in front of our respective computers to get some more work done before we get in bed way too late. Our conversations tend to be more like updates than discussions; he’ll tell me how much the car repair bill is, I’ll remind him that we have to get up early in the morning to make lunch for the girls. It’s not much of a connection, to be honest. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 26 2012

For a Happy Marriage, Put Your Kids First

By at 9:18 am

anniversary champagneMy husband and I celebrated our anniversary recently. We met at summer camp when he was 17 and I was 16-years-old. I knew, in the middle of my senior year of high school, that he was the one for me. While I was dating someone else. But that’s another story.

As a geriatric social worker, I have been privileged to know, and learn from, many older adults. Many have shared their life stories with me. And it is clear to me, based on those stories, and my own observations of my peers, that the families that work best achieving self-actualization and happiness for its members are the ones where the kids, not the marriages, come first. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 23 2012

Our Divorce Panel

By at 12:22 pm

divorce drawingOver the past couple of weeks, our seriously brave and open-hearted blogger Sarah Tuttle-Singer has written about the fact that she is going through a divorce. Both her pieces, “Whirling Out of the Darkness” and “Loving Your Kids & Loving Motherhood Are Not the Same Thing,” had us all achy and heartbroken, but something else surprising happened, too. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 4 2012

My In-Laws Ditched Me, So I Got a Puppy

By at 11:53 am

Moses, our new dog.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Without so much as a phone call, email, or discussion, my in-laws were extremely upset and offended by a post I wrote about Thanksgiving. Even though I wrote it about my anxieties going into the holiday, they read it as an autobiographical account of the actual event. To my dismay, I discovered that to even question the perfection of a family event on my husband’s side is cause for divorce.

I had no idea they were so upset. They chose not to discuss it with me and instead talked to other family members, digging for dirt and gossiping about me in an attempt to build a case that I am a person who is not “honest, truthful, or loving.” Those are their exact words as written in a nine-page rant that is the most hateful letter I have ever read (since high school). The letter arrived after my birthday trip to Vegas. What a welcome home! While I was away, my in-laws cornered my husband and laid out their argument against me. They offered their home for him and our son to escape to and threw themselves behind him if he should want to divorce me.

Divorce!?  Over a blog post!?

My husband admits that he participated in a hypothetical discussion about divorce, and he deeply regrets it. It is no secret that my husband and I have been bickering since we got to Austin. We’ve been dealing with unemployment, infertility, finances, family issues, going into business together, and adjusting to a new city. Each of these alone would introduce stress into a marriage, and we’ve been facing them simultaneously. When his parents confronted him on the first night they saw him, he had been caring for a sick child all day, hadn’t slept well in a week, was battling a nasty sinus infection, and was trying to placate parents that he trusted and idolized. I love my husband dearly and I forgive him for being indiscreet. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 17 2011

Sex After Baby, Easier Said Than Done

By at 12:07 pm
heidi klum

I'm no Heidi Klum, but I'm trying my best.

I really appreciated Mayim’s most recent piece on Judaic sexy time. Even though I already knew most of what was in her post, it reminded me of how amazing a woman’s body is and how celebrated sexual relations are in Judaism. Trust me, my Jewish husband celebrates any time we have sex.

And herein lies the struggle.  Why does it happen more than I’d like and less than he’d like?  We have a child, we’re busy, and we’re tired. My body is a squishy version of its former self and my boobies still belong to the toddler sleeping in the next room.

Meanwhile, hubs is sexy and never stopped being hot for me even after watching a human being expelled from his happy place. This guy works his ass off, changes diapers, tells me I’m beautiful, and deserves a win now and then.  If he were to reject me even once I’d be slicing my wrists with insecurity, yet he comes back time and again in hopes of a kiss–okay, with tongue.

In my experience, having sex is like going to the gym in that even when I have to drag myself there kicking and screaming, I feel so good and I’m always glad I went. So why do I keep a monthly tally of our encounters in my mind to use as ammunition when I’m tired?

Much like Mayim’s post inferred, I used to think that Orthodox women were oppressed by obligatory sex. I pictured them dreading of the day they were “clean” because they were going to have to put out, like it or not. But I can also see how the mikvah could be an empowering prelude to getting down and dirty.  So much preparation, anticipation, perhaps, even butterflies, all leading up to a familiar connection that you’re contracted to uphold. Plus there’s the added bonus, YOU’RE CLEAN (Moms know, we never have time to shower.) Read the rest of this entry →

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