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Jan 17 2013

Three Secrets to a Long-Lasting Marriage that the Relationship Books Don’t Tell You

By at 5:01 pm

secrets to a long-lasting marriage alina adamsMy 14th wedding anniversary is this month. And now that I’m mere days away from passing the Seven Year Inch Deadline–twice over–I finally feel qualified to share the Three Relationship Tips No One Ever Tells You (or, to be honest, agrees with). But, I’m going to do it anyway. Because, like “Hooked on Phonics” says, “It worked for me!”

Tip #1: Never Compromise

My husband is a math teacher and an engineer by training. So he approaches all aspects of life like an engineer. And this is how he did the math: When you compromise, two people are left unhappy. When you don’t compromise, one person, at least, is happy. So how do we come to a final decision if compromise is off the table? At our house, the person who feels most strongly, wins. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 15 2013

Love and the Older Dad

By at 2:00 pm

My father was 46-years-old when I was born. He already had two children in their early 20s, and had recently been through a bruising divorce. He raised my half-siblings through his own 20s and 30s, a time when he was building his career, buying his first house, and going to school part-time. Before he knew it, they were grown.

This happens to so many parents…so busy providing for our kids that we miss some of the magic of their childhoods. But how many of us actually have a chance to go back and do it all again? My dad did.

This time, he promised himself that he would be there to experience everything. As a kid this translated into Daddy and Me classes, frequent dinner dates, a built-in chauffeur for all my weekend enrichment activities, constant homework help, and much more. I took all of this for granted–it was the only thing I knew–but as a parent I now realize that he carved out an astounding amount of time to spend with only me. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 10 2013

Mixed Marriages–Vegetarian & Carnivore Edition

By at 12:09 pm

We all know studies have shown that married couples who share religious beliefs, practices, and values have an easier time maintaining a successful relationship. What about food values? This also matters.

First it’s just about the two of you. Then you have kids. That united front every child development expert will tell you to present, should probably include food. That has proven easier said than done in my house. I think we’ve become experts at the art of compromise. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 4 2013

How to Readjust Your Marriage

By at 11:47 am

Erica Fleischer is OK with her husband working for a porn site.

Heck, I wouldn’t be OK if my husband were a Republican.

Which got me thinking (again) about marriages, especially as my anniversary was this week.

When we choose a life partner, we look for similar values, we look for “chemistry,” and (most of us) just fall in love. All of us hope for long happy lives together as we take a leap of faith. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 28 2012

Divorce Does Not Define Me

By at 9:36 am

Whenever I make a passing reference to having been married prior to my current husband, the reaction is almost always the same. A moment of silence and then, “How long were you married?”

When I answer this question with, “About a year and a half,” the reaction is far different than when I say “We were together about seven years and a year and a half of that we were married.” It’s as if the asker wants to size up how much sympathy they should have for me based on the amount of time we were together. Married only a little over a year? Not that big a deal. But together for such a long time, far more tragic. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 21 2012

Don’t Forget About Your Marriage

By at 11:43 am

We’re thinking of going on a trip to Russia. I suddenly realized that I have no idea what happened to the arch villain of my youth, the Soviet Union. I know it broke apart, but why and when I can’t tell you.

I also realized that there are specific social references to popular TV shows and music that are unfamiliar to me. Totally. Never heard of them.

When I thought about it, it came to me that the 80s were my lost decade. Actually, I lost from 1976 to 1992. Those were the years that I was immersed in raising young children.

Everything from those years seems to be just a blur, although I do remember large shoulder pads. Read the rest of this entry →

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 →

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