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Marriage

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mX Column: There Is No “Mostly Equal”

NB: This column has been altered slightly from it’s original publication as I have an infinite word count on this blog. There are many things straight couples take for granted that gay couples have had to fight for. And on Monday, Eliza Bern’s article in mX sparked even more conversation on the topic. Bern suggested [...]

Man-Colds Proven to Exist!

Man-colds do exist! I knew it! I’ve been saying it all along. Says the Daily Mail in London: “Half of men will upgrade a common cold to flu and describe headaches as a migraine to gain maximum sympathy. They will also moan more than women when suffering a bug or virus. This is despite the [...]

Marriage is Good For Your Health!… Until It’s Not

Marriage: When it’s good, it’s very good. But when it’s bad, it’s… deadly? New York Times Magazine recently published this long piece on whether marriage is good for your health or not. Very early studies into the matter, circa 1858, concluded that marriage is a healthy estate and that single people died from disease “in [...]

How to Save a Marriage

Laura Munson’s new book This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness has just been published, containing the account of the time her husband walked in the door one night, after 20 happy years of marriage and two children, and told her it was over. “I don’t love you. [...]

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Happiness expert Sophie Keller wrote this great piece over at Huffington Post about whether you and your partner are “Incompatible, or Refreshingly Different” “My husband loves the middle of a quiche and I love the outside. He hates exercise, I love it. He knows everything there is about music, I know very little. Does that [...]

Will Marriage Always Have a Place in Society?

It’s pretty much common knowledge by now that the marriage rate in the Western world has been on a steady decline since the 1950s. Even moreso in Europe than in the US, people are electing again and again not to get married. The divorce rate is insane, and divorces are easier and cheaper than ever [...]

The Same Four Tracks

You learn a lot about a person when you work and live with them all day, every day. I am fast learning that my husband is a creature of habit. He gets very comfortable with the things that he knows well. For example: All day every day, we hear the same four music tracks over [...]

Mistresses vs. Wives – The Showdown

A survey conducted by the Women’s Weekly shows that nearly half the 1115 respondents that answered the survey report that when they were single they had had an affair with a married or otherwise-committed man. While these affairs rarely led to the break up of the man’s marriage/relationship, over a third of them lasted for [...]

Alphabet Dating: 9 Date Ideas Beginning with A

So to support you (and us) through an Alphabet Dating adventure, we are going to publish a list of date ideas each week that start with our Letter of the Week (Sesame Street, we’re coming after you!) If you’re thinking of Alphabet Dating, now’s a great time to start. You can check back in every [...]

Getting Back on the Date Night Horse

I have to confess, ever since Christmas hit Den and I have been kind of… slack when it comes to date night. It’s been a blur of road trips, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, partying… summer nights at rooftop bars… bad, bad date night couple. We’ve waned from our usual Wednesday night date night, which means some [...]

mX Column: Lessons from Marriage

It’s my first wedding anniversary today. I can hardly believe a year has flown by, but at the same time it seems almost a lifetime ago. I’m acutely aware that each anniversary is cause for celebration – particularly when statistically speaking, there’s at least a 40% chance that any given couple may not stay married [...]

8 Paper (First) Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

It’s our first wedding anniversary today! That makes it a paper anniversary. We’ve decided that we’re going to stick with the traditional gifts in the traditional order. Of course being a guy, Den automatically went “Well, what do I get you? A ream of A4?” No, Den. No you don’t. Here’s a list of paper-anniversary [...]

mX Column: Hand-in-hand

Nothing melts the heart quite like watching an elderly couple walking along hand-in-hand together. I saw an octogenarian couple crossing Swanston Street the other day. They didn’t even look as though they could negotiate the street without one another. The husband had a walking stick, the wife a hunched back. They were clinging to each [...]

How Much Does Your Man Pay Attention?

I wrote late last year about creating Love Maps in your mind, to track the small details about your partner that are important. The Daily Mail has reported how millions of men don’t know the most basic of details about their partner – including dress size and even eye colour. 2,000 men in the UK [...]

Real Life Couples: Rebecca and Murray

Welcome to one of our new segments for 2010 – Real Life Couples. A tiny insight into the lives of real, actual couples from all over the globe, all going through their own journeys… a very real way to see that each relationship can have it’s ups and downs and that you really do need [...]

New Year, New Goals

Welcome back! I feel like I’m waking up from a really long hibernation today…. so much to do to! So many things to think about! A new year is a great time for couples to set new goals together… something you can both look forward to, work on together or learn as a couple. It [...]

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Guys! We’re here in rural Victoria celebrating with Den’s family (presents any minute!) after spending a relaxing day with my family yesterday. Denis looks like a stuffed turkey, he’s beached himself on the loungeroom floor after three days of too much food (the Croatian in him doesn’t have a “full” switch!). We’re taking [...]

To Have and to Hold, and to Buy All the Presents.

Ah, the Christmas season. What I want to know is, where on my marriage certificate was the small print that stated “now that you are my wife, the job of sourcing, buying and wrapping presents for everyone we’ve ever known in the history of the world – including my own family – falls to you. [...]

Is Music Unhealthy for Your Relationship?

The Boston Public Health Commission has proposed a new initiative to categorize music into “healthy for your relationship” and “unhealthy for your relationship”. The campaign will arrive in the form of a badge – kind of like the health department’s tick of approval on healthy foods – and is aimed at teenagers, encouraging them to [...]

In Sickness and in Health?

I was fairly taken aback to read recently that a US doctor has just discovered that women with terminal illnesses are seven times – that’s seven – more likely to go through a divorce than men with the same illnesses. Says the article: “When Dr. Marc Chamberlain, a Seattle oncologist, was treating his brain cancer [...]

How to Survive the Festive Season Together

Love it or hate it, there’s no escaping the festive season. And it’s approaching fast! For some, it’s dreams of a white Christmas in front of yule logs, singing carols and trimming the tree… a lot of the time though, the stress of the holidays can result in heated arguments, crappy presents and trying to [...]

Are You and Your Sweetie Speaking the Same Love Language?

It turns out, Denis and I are not speaking the same Love Language… in fact, our Love Languages are so different that Denis might as well talk to me in Klingon for all the good it does to get through, and likewise right back at him. The Love Language theory was developed by a lovely [...]

When Musical Tastes Collide

I went to see Britney Spears last night! I love her, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Den didn’t come, of course. Britney is definitely not his thing. But, bless him, he’s tolerating it right now as I play her entire back catalogue through his precious Bose speakers and into the apartment. And sometimes, [...]

Elizabeth Gilbert Talks Soulmates

I was sitting down to lunch the other day and I flipped on the TV to find Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the beautiful book Eat, Pray, Love, was on Oprah. I’d been looking for some source of inspiration all week after feeling a little stuck and Elizabeth was a breath of lovely, fresh air for [...]

The Secret to Hugh Jackman’s Happy Marriage

Well, we were thrilled to see this headline in The Age newspaper today: “The Secret to Hugh Jackman’s Happy Marriage” The Age reports: “Hugh Jackman has a happy marriage because he has date nights. The X-Men Origins: Wolverine star – who has been married to Deborra-Lee Furness since 1996 – has revealed he and his [...]

Love Plug: Old School Polaroids

What is it that’s so romantic about having an old Polaroid photo? I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the sense of nostalgia is overwhelming. We found this site Rollip.com where you can work back your favorite pics of the two of you into vintage-style Polaroid. Here’s a few I prepared earlier…

Do Soulmates Exist?

I got thinking about this after reading a recent guest post on Mamamia… Do soulmates exist? I think… I think so, but I think there is more than just one other true soul mate out there for everyone. Like maybe there’s a certain – batch – of people that we are somehow connected to. The [...]

Tinky-Winky-Pummy-Umpkin-Snookie-Bum.

Rove’s little presenting dance got me thinking… It’s amazing the things we’ll do in a relationship. The way Den and I act sometimes, I swear… there’s the silly in-jokes that make no sense to anyone, chasing each other around the house squealing like children, singing silly songs loudly at each other with made-up lyrics (in [...]

Government Gives Second Honeymoon for Troubled Couples

A Malaysian state government is taking it upon themselves to give assistance to troubled couples, encouraging them to work on their relationship rather than divorcing – by sending them on a second honeymoon and providing counseling. (Source: AP) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian state government says it plans to offer free honeymoons to save [...]

Pleased to Meet You!

After our marriage in March, I started to go about the process of changing my name. It was a decision I made (with some very strong encouragement from Denis) and am still very happy with. I like the idea of being on Team Merkas, of me and my children all having the same unified family [...]

“Some People are Just Happier in a Relationship”

I know I’m one of those people. Last time I was single, I gave myself a horrible haircut, dyed my hair a different (hideous) colour and promptly stacked on 10 kilos (that’s 20 pound in American-speak) which was quite the feat considering I was training in dance for hours per week… I was the exact [...]

How to Make a Love Map

In our spring clean-up this week (more on that later), I unearthed a file of papers from when Den and I did our pre-marriage education weekend earlier this year. In Australia, these weekends are generally a prerequisite for marrying in any given church – though after being pleasantly surprised by the genuinely great information we [...]

Do Opposites Really Attract?

Den and I, we’re not much alike in many of our behaviors. That is to say, we definitely were not much alike when we first met, but over the years I think we have softened each other away from our extreme opposite behaviors… we’re becoming more and more similar all the time – to the [...]

Planning Holidays Together

Coming up to summertime in Australia, it’s about that time of year we should be planning our Christmas holidays if we want even a chance at securing a good holiday house, hotel or destination… or even securing a good bunch of people to holiday with. I’m not actually sure if we will take a holiday [...]

Domestic Goddess, I Am Not

Forgive me for saying this (and hear me out, please, before you start with any hate comments!) but (oppression aside) I’ve always loved the image of the 50s housewife… a capable, industrious woman who took the running of her household into hand and knew that having a harmonious family life was just as important as [...]

The Heart Grows Fonder

Den is away this week; gallivanting off in the snow with a group of friends while I’m here at home holding down the business fort. He’s having a wonderful time, and I’m having a great time too. I quite love having the house to myself, my own space to relax, think, play my cheesy pop [...]

How Much Time Do Couples Spend Together?

Wow – what a week! Spring has kicked off here in Melbourne with a plethora of gourmet food and high end fashion events and Den and I have barely seen each other since last Wednesday! (oh, and I’m obliged to do that thing here that EVERY blog advice site you read tells you NOT to [...]

Living With Messy People

My poor husband. I’m messy, you see. I’m not talking about dirty or unclean. It’s just… I thrive best in organized chaos. You should see my desk. It’s piled with papers, notepads, post-its, books, an ornament of Ganesh (no idea), a calculator, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, unopened mail, stray jewelry that I take off and never [...]

The Proposal: Part 1

It occurs to me that Den and I have been doing some spouse-bashing on this blog lately, what with our airing of bad habits and petty annoyances! It’s all in good humor of course… that’s just the way we are with each other. We’ve faced reality about our differences and are happy to air them [...]

In Pursuit of Healthiness

I’ve taken up Pilates, which has been a long time coming for me. I have kind of an… aversion… to exercise. In that I hate it. Well, mostly I hate it. You could call it a like-hate relationship, I suppose. My newfound okayness with Pilates makes for a Very Pleased Husband. Den is somewhat of [...]

My Wife is a Petty Thief!

How many guys out there have woman who loves your stuff? Emma says using my things makes her feel closer to me – from my daggy clothes, to my pyjamas (yes I love pyjamas!) to my socks and worst of all – my pens! “I feel closer to you when you’re not around…” I think [...]

Things I Wish My Husband Would Let Me Throw Out

Bringing two people’s belongings together into one house was never going to work. Lifetimes of memories, sentimentality and just plain bad taste will always haunt us… here is a comprehensive list of things I wish Denis would let me throw out… or at least move to some ‘man room’ – which we don’t have in [...]

In Defense of Marriage

In my recent web-travels, I stumbled across Sandra Tsing Loh’s “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” article, complete with subheading ‘The author is ending her marriage, isn’t it about time that you did too?’ I am deeply disturbed, and I’m trying to put my finger on why. I’m not usually a ‘I’m-going-to-write-a-letter-about-this!’ kind of person. [...]

6 Other Ways You Can Hang Out With Your Sweetie

Date night isn’t the only way to spend time with your sweetheart! We give you 6 more great ways to make sure you get some quality time together instead of getting caught up in the humdrum of daily life. These six ideas are great if you find yourselves pressed for finding time. 1. Do the [...]

What About a Little Mystery?

I’m an old-fashioned kind of gal… one who still believes in ladylike manners, in never belching at the dinner table and certainly never farting in the company of others. Others, including my own husband. I also under no circumstances leave the bathroom door open and I flat-out refuse to undertake any kind of hair removal [...]

Is ‘Happily Married’ Unfashionable?

I just stumbled across this wonderful article by Aaron Traister: It’s hot! It’s sexy! It’s… marriage! Traister writes: My wife and I have been married anywhere from seven to 150 years (I’m not good with dates). During those years we have moved six times, and each move was like an exotic gift that happened to [...]

Excerpts from 365 Ways To Say ‘I Love You’

I found this vintage book in my mother’s collection just recently… 365 Ways To Say I Love You was written in 1968 by a young, fanciful woman named Jani Gardner who had oodles of helpful wifely advice for any woman out there looking to show her husband how much she cares… assuming she has nothing [...]

How to Be Romantic in Modern Times

I don’t know about you, but I find these days that romance can be so clichéd. True, some elements of romance will never go out of fashion. Candles will always be beautiful, the right music will always set the mood… flowers will always soften hearts. But modern times come with a heavy lashing of cynicism. [...]

Collection of the Best Wedding Dances Ever!

Weddings should be a fun celebration of life, of friends, of family and of course of love. We love these three couples who went out of their way to deliver some fun into their wedding day and shirk off the staid traditions that can threaten to make the day far too serious! Kudos to you [...]

Love Plug: Nookii Adult Board Game for Two

Nookii is a cheeky adult game made only for two. I bought this game for Emma as a Christmas present in 2006… I had to discreetly hand it over to her at a family gathering – although Em’s mother was all over the smoke and mirrors and knew I was up to something something… About [...]