A few months ago, David and I sat down for a conversation with a couple we met online. Tony and Michelle Peterson, co-creators of the #staymarried blog reached out to us, asking if we’d join them for an episode of their podcast. I have to admit, we were a little surprised—we had been reading their blog, and we loved it, but we had also gathered that they’re Christian. The Petersons started their blog after a series of divorces in their close circle of friends left them feeling discouraged, wondering if their own marriage could last.
I am a writer. It has taken me years to speak those words, and even then I tended to mumble my way through them when anyone asked what I did. I am a writer. A while back I quit a job and pursued my dream of writing full-time, but still it took me years to adopt that as part of my identity. Now, just as that label has started to feel comfortable and true, life and relationship are changing my priorities. I am a writer. I don’t know if that mantra fits me anymore. What do we do when marriage reorders our dreams and shifts our goals?
Our one-year anniversary practically snuck up on us this past Sunday. Time is strangely elastic when it comes to the defining moments in our lives—it has a way of moving simultaneously fast and slow. It seems like it was only last week that we were rushing about, finishing last-minute details for the wedding while greeting friends from out of town and hurriedly packing for our honeymoon. But it also feels as if we’ve lived a lot of life, both good and bad, in the past 12 months. I wonder about whether marriage has changed us, and about the trajectory on which we’ve set our relationship for the years to come.
Today’s connectivity has made dating simultaneously easier and harder. It’s easier to find matches (Tinder!), but harder to get to know them as people. It’s easier to express interest in someone (swipe right!), but harder to make that leap into authentic vulnerability. And thanks to Facebook profiles, one day you’re single, and the next you’re suddenly “in a relationship.” But it’s that wide gap between singleness and relationship that is so nebulous, and the cause of so much angst.
There’s no shortage of advice on how to keep a marriage healthy. Many people write love letters to their spouses. Some buy flowers and chocolate. Others take sexy boudoir photos. Us? We blog about each other. It’s one of the most wonderful, and wonderfully painful experiences we’ve had in our marriage. And maybe it’s not for you, but we recommend every couple find their own version of “blogging.” Here’s why...
Today in our mailbag, a question about wavering attraction at what it might mean: "I just don't seem to even experience much attraction to anyone. I'm in my early 30s and started dating a year or so ago, after years of being closeted and then years of celibacy. In that process I naturally suppressed a lot of emotions and any hints of attraction (which have existed over the years; I don't see myself as asexual). Do you have any insight into what's going on here?"
There are a number of private holidays I observe throughout the year. I’m slowly introducing David to them, and one of them has become particularly meaningful to me now that I’m married: December 26th, my grandparents’ anniversary. This year would have been their 80th. And sure, it’s many months away, but as we get close to Valentine’s Day—a holiday that both David and I find silly and haven’t usually celebrated—I thought I’d share about the one holiday that, to me, means love
David and I wrote last Friday about the government’s move to ban Muslim refugees. Today I’m supposed to go back to writing about marriage and relationships. But I can’t. As much as we both want to change the subject away from politics, I can’t. Not yet. We all want to pretend that life goes on as normal; we want to pretend that we’re sure life will look the same in a year or two, and we want to pretend that our plans for the future have solid footing. Failing to pretend risks caving to fear, to melodrama, to alarmism. Failing to pretend risks making us sound like a bunch of Chicken Littles. And yet we still can’t, and shouldn’t, change the subject.
We’re both old enough now that virtually all of our LGBTQ friends are out of the closet, so sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that this isn’t the everyday reality for everyone. Many LGBTQ folks are still struggling to figure out their sexuality and testing the waters to see if it’s safe to be open. Whether someone’s coming-out process takes days or decades, it’s a season through which no one should be rushed. And because it’s such a complex and stressful time of life, we’ve been asked by readers: Should I even date someone who’s still closeted
This weekend marks the first Sunday of Advent, when we traditionally reflect upon hope. It’s a strange time in history to be hopeful. Many people are in the grips of fear and despair; politically for sure, but also personally. Constantino and I wrote earlier in the week about the fear many of our friends are feeling in a world that seems increasingly hostile toward them and divided in its values. How do we celebrate Advent, a season of hopefulness and anticipation, when there seems to be so much hopelessness and grief?