Tales of Rock – Rod Stewart was a Teen Dad

Like Charlie Sheen, ’70s rock legend Rod Stewart had a reputation for being quite the ladies man. So, it’s not surprising that he also became a dad in his late teens. According to The Daily Mail, Stewart got his girlfriend of one year, Susannah Boffey, pregnant with their daughter, Sarah Streeter, when they were both 18-years-old in 1963. Stewart, who had yet to find success in his singing career, wanted to give the child up for adoption. Boffey initially refused, and tried to raise baby Sarah on her own, but found it too difficult, and after several months, eventually agreed to the suggestion.

After many years, and several awkward encounters during the ’80s when her true identity was discovered, Streeter and Stewart started piecing their relationship back together around 2010, after the death of Streeter’s adoptive mother. Streeter remained estranged from her birth mother for “20 years,” telling The Mail they “don’t get on.”

“The relationship broke down somewhat because she was a bit awkward and had a big chip on her shoulder which I can’t blame her [for]. But in the last couple of years we’ve become somewhat close,” Stewart told Piers Morgan of his once-estranged daughter in 2011 (via The Daily Mail.) “It’s all water under the bridge now. It’s nerve-racking, too, but just as much so for him as it is for me,” Streeter told The Mail.

Stewart went on to impregnate four other women with seven other children (pictured above), of whom he now says, “It’s the best, proudest feeling to look at your kids.” Well, we sure hope so, Rod, you busy boy, you.

 

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A relationship therapist breaks down the 10 most common fights couples have

The most common fights couples have aren’t regarding infidelity or childcare.

They’re relatively trivial things, like chores and social media, according toRachel Sussman, a relationship expert and marriage counselor in New York City.

Sussman explained that the fight isn’t so much about the issue itself as it is about a lack of communication. “If you’re someone who has really poor communication skills,” she told Business Insider, “that might mean that the minute your partner brings something up, you get very defensive, or you start with the ‘tit for tat.'” Which means that “no matter what you’re arguing about, that could escalate into a really big fight.”

Sussman described 10 of the most common sources of conflict among the couples she sees — and importantly, she said, working on your communication skills is the key to resolving them all. “If you can communicate well, you can get through these issues in a way that can actually bring you closer together,” she said. “And if you can’t communicate well, it makes it so much worse and can actually tear you apart.”

Couples fight when one partner feels like they’re more committed than the other.

Couples fight when one partner feels like they're more committed than the other.Pavel Yavnik/Shutterstock

When unmarried couples come to see Sussman, they often want to talk about commitment. Typically, Sussman said, one partner feels like they’re more committed than the other. Or one partner wants to “move the relationship forward” by moving in together or getting engaged and is encountering some resistance.

If couples are fighting about household chores, Sussman said, it’s probably because “one person feels like they’re taking the lion’s share of the work.”

If couples are fighting about household chores, Sussman said, it's probably because Shutterstock

In Sussman’s experience working with heterosexual couples, that person is usually the woman. Meanwhile, she added, “I often hear the men feeling that they’re doing a lot but they don’t get credit for it. They get picked on a lot.”

In fact, American moms are spending more time in the labor force than in the past, but also more time on childcare, according to a 2019 Pew Research Center report. Moms spend 16 more hours a week on paid work than they did 50 years ago, yet four more hours a week on childcare.

Younger couples get frustrated with their partner’s overuse of social media.

Younger couples get frustrated with their partner's overuse of social media.Flickr/m01229

Sussman said she’s seen a spike in the number of complaints about a partner’s social media habits in the last five years. Typically, couples with these kinds of problems are in their 20s and 30s.

One person might complain, for example, “that their life is plastered all over social media or they think their partner is addicted to their phone.” Sussman’s also heard from people who are worried that their partner is following a ton of models on Instagram.

Another common issue? Staying in touch with an ex on social media.

Fights about money come up later in a relationship.

“It’s very normal in a couple that one person is a spender and one is a saver,” Sussman said. The problem is “you think you’re justified and the other person is at fault.” The saver might accuse the spender of being fiscally irresponsible; the spender might accuse the saver of being cheap.

Don Cloud, president and founder of Cloud Financial Inc., previously told Business Insider that he frequently works with spender/saver couples. The first step, he said, is for each partner to share their beliefs and feelings about money.

Yet Sussman said issues also tend to arise when couples move in together or get married and face the decision about whether to combine finances, a notoriously difficult choice. If they’re hesitant, “might this show that there’s a lack of trust?”

Or, fights about money might come up later. Maybe both partners worked when they started dating, but once they had kids, one partner stayed home. The partner who works might be “holding that over [the other partner’s] head,” or even engage in financial blackmail, Sussman said.

Couples fight when one partner prioritizes work over the relationship.

Couples fight when one partner prioritizes work over the relationship.Hero Images/Getty Images

“Someone might be a workaholic,” Sussman said, “or someone might be prioritizing work over relationships.”

As Michael McNulty, a master trainer from The Gottman Institute and founder of the Chicago Relationship Center, told Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett, “Having a spouse addicted to work can feel like as much of a betrayal as extramarital affair to the other spouse.”

Couples can sometimes argue over addiction.

Couples can sometimes argue over addiction.David Silverman/Getty Images

Sometimes people bring their partner to see Sussman because the partner has an alcohol problem — or at least the person perceives it that way.

As it turns out, one small study, published 2013 in the journal Couple and Family Psychology, found that substance abuse was a common “final straw” in the decision to get divorced.

After couples have children, they often argue about not spending enough time with one another anymore.

After couples have children, they often argue about not spending enough time with one another anymore.Hrecheniuk Oleksii/Shutterstock

Sussman says she sees a lot of couples with small children who aren’t finding enough time to connect with one another. Sometimes they feel “their relationship has become very transactional.”

Scientists who have studied the transition to parenting say there are three factors that help a couple maintain intimacy after having a baby:

• “Building fondness and affection for your partner”
• “Being aware of what is going on in your spouse’s life and being responsive to it”
• “Approaching problems as something you and your partner can control and solve together as a couple”

Couples fight if there is too little (or too much) sex.

Couples fight if there is too little (or too much) sex.t.germeau / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sometimes one partner wants sex more than the other, Sussman said. She’s also been told that one of them is “feeling that their sex life has died.”

Bat Sheva Marcus, the sexual dysfunction specialist and clinical director of The Medical Center For Female Sexuality, previously told Business Insider about the usefulness of a “sex schedule,” which is exactly what it sounds like. “If you want to have sex, you need to schedule sex,” Marcus said, especially when both partners are busy, or when they have different desire levels. “That doesn’t make the sex any less special.”

Infidelity can be detrimental to relationships.

Infidelity can be detrimental to relationships.StockLite/Shutterstock

This is something Sussman said she sees plenty of in her practice.

While the discovery of an affair can potentially destroy a relationship, it doesn’t have to. Couples therapist Esther Perel previously told Business Insider that couples can sometimes become closer and more honest with each other in the wake of infidelity, almost as though they’re entering into another marriage.

Couples disagree over how to raise their children.

Couples disagree over how to raise their children.Areipa.lt/Shutterstock

A common parenting problem Sussman sees is that one parent is more lenient and one parent is stricter.

That’s why Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist who’s written multiple books about parenting, previously told Business Insider that the No. 1 question you and your partner should discuss before having kids is: How do you manage joint decision-making?

“If you have parents who have a hard time bridging disagreements,” Pickhardt said, “that’s probably not a great sign. They’ve got to be able to know how to communicate, and how to change, and how to make concessions, and how to compromise.”

The bottom line: If you’re arguing over and over about the same thing, it may be time to see a couples counselor.

The bottom line: If you're arguing over and over about the same thing, it may be time to see a couples counselor.‘The Break-up’/Universal Studios

“Too much bickering will wear down any relationship,” Sussman said. “I’ve heard people say, ‘This relationship ended by death by a thousand paper cuts.'”

That’s why she makes the following recommendation: “If you’re going over and over again about something and you can’t seem to create a solution, go see a couples counselor — not to solve the problem, but to learn the skill set so you can do a better job of working through these conflicts as they come up in your life.”

 

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Cherie – Chapter 53 – Why I’ll Never Marry a Black Man

“Black women and white men aren’t the only diverse duo out there, but it’s something to chat about if you’ve ever been in that type of relationship.”

Aside from the historical separation of black people and white people, there are a few barriers you should get out of the way in the present.

Words from Cherie herself.

I’m never going to marry a black man…

Why would I want to? Why would I commit myself to a lifetime of disappointment and misery? I don’t need a man to ruin my life; I can do that on my own without his help and with much less drama.

I’ve made up my mind to marry a white man because life is too short for you to live it hoping that you’ll find that one in a hundred black men who will be true to his word and won’t turn out to be a deadbeat.

White men are simple. They don’t have mothers from hell who expect you to visit their house so you can cook, clean, kneel and kiss their feet. They have boundaries and understand that marriage means a man leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife. Black mothers think marriage means a woman leaves her mother and father and becomes drafted into the family as an indentured slave.

White men are liberated. They don’t feel threatened by their woman earning more or having aspirations. A white man will have dinner ready for you when you come home late from work. He will have the children bathed and put to bed without being asked.
White men are faithful. You can trust that if he’s out late with his friends he’s not going to end the night having acquired a small house. You know that when he dies there won’t be any kids coming out of the woodwork making claims on his estate. White culture values monogamy, whereas black culture puts a premium on how many notches he has on the bed post.

White men value family and financial security. They invest in trust funds and leave an inheritance for their children. And oh the children! The caramel skin, the pretty brown eyes and the big, curly hair… I want gorgeous children! Have you seen those beautiful interracial family photos? I deserve that in my life.

It’s not that I hate black men. It’s that after more than two decades of being in relationships with black men, I’ve gone through enough grief for a lifetime. I want to be happy and for me that means not committing the rest of my life to a black man.

For a long time that’s how I felt about black men and that’s how many young black women feel today. We’ve seen our mothers cry over the hurt of discovering yet another affair and have witnessed them covering up the bruises in makeup. We’ve watched our sisters going down the same path, like history repeating itself. We have borne the wounds ourselves and are left with scars as reminders.

It’s hard to argue with experience when all a person has known is one side of the story. Hurt speaks way louder than platitudes like, ‘There are good black men out there. God has one for you.’ That’s not helpful. What is helpful is looking deeper and exploring why some black women feel like white men are the only viable life partners.

 

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Tales of Rock – Former Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman says he was ’stupid to ever think’ marriage to teen bride would work

Rock star Bill Wyman (52) of The Rolling Stones pop group, kisses his new bride, the former Mandy Smith (19) outside St. John’s church, London, England on June 5, 1989. The couple were married in secret on June 2 at a civil service and the second ceremony was to bless the marriage in church. (AP Photo/David Caulkin) (David Caulkin/AP)

At the time, wild horses couldn’t drag him away — but now former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman admits regret over marrying Mandy Smith in 1989 when she was just 18 and he was 52.

In the controversial documentary “The Quiet One,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival Thursday night, Wyman, now 82, says he was “stupid to ever think it could possibly work.”

The film, which makes use of the meticulously kept photos, film footage and memorabilia from the rocker’s personal archives, was pulled from England’s Sheffield Doc/Fest next month because of his scandalous relationship with Smith. The pair met when she was 13 and he was 47 in the mid-80s. And though Smith was of legal age when they married, following their divorce a few years later, she claimed they first had sex when she was just 14.

Rock star Bill Wyman (52) of The Rolling Stones pop group, kisses his new bride, the former Mandy Smith (19) outside St. John’s church, London, England on June 5, 1989. The couple were married in secret on June 2 at a civil service and the second ceremony was to bless the marriage in church. (AP Photo/David Caulkin) (D. Caulkin)

Wyman and Smith split in 1991 just two years after their marriage, and then finalized their divorce two years later.

In “The Quiet One,” Wyman defends the relationship, saying, “It was from the heart. It wasn’t lust, which people were seeing it as.”

But he also admits, “I was really stupid to ever think it could possibly work. She was too young. I felt she had to go out and see life for a bit.”

In 2013, following other prominent sex scandals in England, Wyman said that he offered to be interviewed by authorities about his relationship with Smith. “I went to the police and I went to the public prosecutor and said, ‘Do you want to talk to me? Do you want to meet up with me, or anything like that?’ And I got a message back, ‘No.’”

Wyman, a founding member of the Rolling Stones, played bass guitar for the legendary rock band from 1962 until 1993.

“The Quiet One,” written and directed by British filmmaker Oliver Murray, features plenty of footage and photos from his years with the Stones. But it also touches on his family life growing up in working-class London, including the tension he had with his father who pulled him out of school to work for a bookie to help support the family.

Wyman also expresses the love he had for his grandmother, who he lived with on and off as an adolescent, and was the only family member who showed him affection, he says.

In the film, the bass player addresses his womanizing in the early days of the Stones’ success and admits that was partially to blame for the split from his first wife, Diane, who he was married to between 1959 and 1969. He and Diane had a son Stephen, who Wyman won custody of when he felt that his ex wasn’t properly taking care of him, he says.

Wyman married his third and current wife Suzanne Accosta in 1993 and they share three daughters.

Jerry Hall, the former longtime romantic partner of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, was in the audience at the film’s premiere, along with her husband, media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Also in the house at the SVA Theatre in Chelsea were Wyman’s wife, Suzanne Accosta, and their youngest daughter, Matilda.

 

 

Heather – The Family

I went on tinder to try to get more dates. This was a couple of years ago. I’d been working too much. I just wanted to have more fun.

I got a message and set up a date with this girl. It’s my 5th date from the site, it’s been fun. But this one girl was like one of those love at first sight moments when we met at a restaurant. I saw Heather and she was perfect. I tried to play it cool but I felt like I could just cut ties with all the girls I’ve dated and just commit to her.

Physically she was everything I could ever ask for and exactly my type. Her personality seemed about a 10/10. About 30 minutes into sitting down, we didn’t even order cause we were just talking. The chemistry was as good as it was with my first love when I was 14. It was perfect, sparks were flying, I thought I was done and ready to commit here.

But then she tells me to forget about ordering food, let’s go somewhere else, and she has this idea. She won’t say much and I like surprises so I didn’t ask much. We jumped in my car and drove to this restaurant about 20 minutes away kind of out-of-town. It was half way up a mountain near a ski resort. I’m familiar with the area so no big deal.

We walk in and her family is celebrating her aunt’s birthday. There was only family and a lot of it, about 40 people. She introduces me and everybody was happy to meet me and really nice. Everybody also knew that she was out on a first date. They were asking her stuff like, “Is this the guy?” “Is this your date?” “Is this the one?” All of the sudden I wasn’t so cool and relaxed. I felt pressure to be on my best behavior. It was high pressure to the 3rd degree. But everybody was nice so that helped. We sat down and I started being questioned by her older sister, her aunt, and another lady that I forget her relation to my date. The mom started kind of defending me and telling them to back off and let me eat. But the interrogating continued. After I don’t know how long they turned to my date and jokingly said, “we approve.” Then I was able to kind of get my bearings for a minute.

I was totally off-balance all night, just tense. I was afraid the back of my shirt would get that a big wet spot cause I felt sweat on my back. So the sister brings her cute little girl and let’s me hold her and she and my date started taking pictures of me holding her, and somebody else’s baby boy as well. I started to feel like the tone of it all was that we were a couple. I kind of felt like I was married to her and these nice people were my in-laws.

After a couple of hours probably closer to 3 hours, everybody was kind of tiring out and everything began to wind down, keep in mind her car is still at the other restaurant down the hill. Then her dad suddenly asks me “jokingly,” what my intentions are with his daughter. Though I can’t remember how he phrased the question. Everybody looked at the table looked at me which is about half the people there.

I guess I was exhausted from all the questioning (I was questioned by multiple people, multiple times) and the pressure of it all cause I kind of lost it. He asked the question, I looked across the table at her, and she told her dad to stop it. Her dad smiles and jokingly says that he’d really like to hear my response, and her uncle (I think) also said he’d like to know (jokingly). I looked at my date and said, “Can I talk to you alone for a minute.” To which her dad laughs loudly and says “I made him nervous.”

So everybody is laughing now and I guess it was a big joke. I stood up in place, kind of, it was one of those long bench seats and I couldn’t push it back cause other people were sitting on it. Then her sister (I think) says, “Oh there are no secrets in this family, speak your mind.” People then laugh again and everybody starts making jokes about not having secrets and this man who married into the family somehow tells me that he remembers being in my place and he says, “Let me give you some advice, the best thing to do right now is speak your mind and be honest.” Then others join in and echo his sentiment, all jokingly I think.

So I looked at my date and she says something like, “You can tell me anything here, we’re all family.” She also I think was joking. But I had started to lose my ability to tell when people were joking and when they were serious. So the dad says, “Wait, I haven’t gotten an answer to my question.” So finally I speak directly to the dad and say, “I’d like to discuss that with her first.” But I REGRETFULLY, laughed as I said it. So her dad says, “I asked you first, I wanna know.” I turn to my date and she says something like, “Go ahead you can tell me, I’m a big girl I can handle it.”

So I said ok, and sat down then took a couple of breaths while her dad kind of quieted everybody down. I started with “I think I made a huge mistake.”

It all spiraled down from there. I said harsh things like that I felt like I was having a bad dream where I was suddenly married. I questioned her intentions in bringing me there. I said stuff like, “What were you thinking?” Yes, I liked you, but I just met you, and right now I know your aunt (I pointed at her sitting next to me) better than I know you.”

I think she was humiliated but I couldn’t stop, the more I spoke the more bad stuff came out, total fucking tail spin. I said I want to find someone special but I don’t want to skip the first 29 dates and skip to date 30 which is what I’d done that night.

Then people started interrupting and chiming in and suggesting that she and I slow down and have a real first date. I wasn’t having it, I was out of control. I said, “No, it’s too late for that, I feel robbed here, I wanted to meet this girl, get to know her, date her, and maybe fall for her, but now it’s like we’re engaged and her whole family is here and there are all these expectations. We skipped the getting to know each other, and dating part so I feel robbed.” Then I said yet another thing I regret. I said “It’s a HUGE RED FLAG (with an emphatic gesture) that I asked for minute alone with you to talk, and this is what I got instead.” I added something like “you’re all great and a great family, but the lack of certain boundaries is a huge red flag for me. I would never let my relationship become family business.”

My date interrupts me at this point and says, “Okay, so let’s talk in private, let’s go outside and talk, I’m sorry I didn’t give you that minute, let’s go outside and talk privately, I’ll give you all night.” She was visibly shaken and I could tell tears were inevitable. I stood up again and realizing that I had insulted all of them I just quietly walked out. I felt really bad cause they were all nice and had nothing but the best intentions for me. They love her, and they were literally telling me that I was good enough which should’ve been a compliment, but I somehow took it the wrong way and spat in their face. I didn’t even drink.

I drove home alone in silence.

 

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5 Things you should never say to your partner

Not good…

Words are powerful

“You never do anything around here!”

“You’re overreacting!”

“Are you that dumb?”

Yep. Chances are, that in the heat of an argument, you’ll either hurl a ‘low blow’ at your partner – or be at the receiving end of a not-so-nice comment!

 

We all know that communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. But, just as words have the ability to build up, they also have the power to tear down.

Relationships are fragile – and all it takes is one snarky comment or snide remark to tear down months – or years – of ‘good’.

While it’s impossible to ‘police’ every word that comes out of your mouth (especially when you’re angry or hurt) – it is probably a good idea to practise a little mindfulness when it comes to choosing what you say, and of course, how you say it!

Here are five things you should never say to your partner:

1. “You always!” or “You never!”

Absolute phrases like “always” and “never” carry a lot of weight.

How truthful are you being when you say something like “You never help with the kids!”? Is it that your partner truly, never helps? Or, that he often works late, and thus only helps with what he can?

If you think about it, there’s a big difference.

Instead of assassinating your partner’s character with hurtful, unproductive statements during an unrelated fight; rather take a minute when you’re not at each other’s throats and acknowledge what your partner does do, and then ask them if they could find time to help you out in other ways!

In a marriage, it’s normal for silly arguments to spiral out of control

2. “You’re overreacting”…

We often pass remarks like “Calm down!”, “You’re too sensitive” and “You’re overreacting!” when we don’t understand why our partner feels a certain way. But, what we tend to forget, is that just because we might not understand how they feel, doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t justified.

Your partner’s emotions are always valid – and need to be heard, not dismissed.

An alternative statement to try might be something like; “I can understand why you feel that way, but maybe tomorrow you will feel differently about it!”.

3. “I want a divorce”

In a marriage, it’s normal for silly arguments to spiral out of control. What is not normal, and not OK, is to hurl the ‘D’-word around – unless you are 100% sure that you have come to that point in your relationship.

If you haven’t, then threatening divorce is nothing more than that – an idle threat – and all you’re essentially communicating is that you have one foot out of the door, and your partner can’t feel ‘safe’ in your commitment anymore!

4. “I make more money than you”

Bringing up who pays for what will never get you anywhere. It shouldn’t matter who makes more money – because at the end of the day, you’re a team that’s building a life together.

5. Nothing

Sigh.

‘Nothing’ is probably the worst thing you can say in a relationship – but a lot of people serve up the silent treatment when they’re upset about something.

While there is a place to reserve your words when you feel like you’re being irrational, there’s a big difference between holding your tongue and the silent treatment.

Refusing to talk to your partner is not only an immature way to communicate that you’re upset, but is also a form of punishment and manipulation.

Giving your partner the cold shoulder ultimately does more harm than good – as it hinders communication and finding solutions to your relationship problems!

 

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9 Divorce Myths You Need to Ignore (And What to Do Instead)

It’s not always what you think.

There are a lot of myths about divorce and divorce statistics that keep infecting our society. For starters, despite what we’ve heard, the divorce rate actually is not 50 percent. In fact, that number is actually one that was a projected number based on the fact that the divorce rates were on the rise in the 70s and early 80s.

The reality, according to a piece by the New York Times, is that divorce rates are dropping, meaning “happily ever after” is actually a pretty good possibility.

We spoke to therapist Susan Pease Gadoua and journalist Vicki Larson, authors of the eye-opening book, The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels, to get their insight. Here’s what Gadoua and Larson had to say.

1. One in two marriages end in divorce.

That 50 percent statistic is wrong and was based on a projected number that is far too outdated. I mean, the 1970s were 40 years ago, and a lot has changed since then. While divorce rates increased in the 1970s and 1980s, they’ve actually dropped in the last 20 years.

The New York Times found that 70 percent of marriages that occurred in the 1990s actually reached their 15th year wedding anniversary. Statistics also show that thanks to people marrying later in life, maturity is helping to keep people together longer. At the rate that things are going, there’s a good chance that two-thirds of marriages will stay together and divorce will be unlikely.

So if the divorce rate isn’t 50 percent, what is it? It really depends on when couples married, explains Vicki.

“Just under 15 percent of those who tied the knot in the 2000s have divorced, but many of those couples may not have had kids yet—kids add stress to marriage. Of those who married in the 1990s, 35 percent have split. Those who married in the 1960s and 70s have a divorce rate in the 40-45 percent range. And those who married in the 1980s are approaching a 50 percent divorce rate — the so-called gray divorce.”

2. Divorce harms children.

According to Gadoua, divorce can be stressful on kids, but not so much harmful. What does the most damage is parents fighting in front of the kids.

“Think about it. Who likes to be around conflict all the time? Tension is contagious and kids in particular don’t have the tools or defenses to handle angry exchanges from their parents. There is a great deal of research indicating that what children need more than anything is a stable and peaceful environment. That may be with parents living together, but it can also occur when parents are living apart.

The key is that parents get along and stay present for their children. Kids shouldn’t be caught in parental crossfire, used as a pawn or treated like a surrogate spouse. They should be able to relax and feel confident that their parents are in charge,” explains Gadoua.

3. Second marriages are more likely to end in divorce.

While statistically this is true, Living Apart Together (LAT) marriages and things like conscious coupling are changing that by challenging the conventional norms of how a marriage should be and providing more options for how married people can live their lives.

Gadoua and Larson encourage couples to explore those options fully.

“We’re all for you choosing a LAT marriage — or giving each other space in your existing marriage — because it offers you and your partner exactly what you want: connection and intimacy with enough freedom to avoid the claustrophobia that often comes with living together 24/7 as well as whatever it is that makes many people take each other for granted, whether they’re married or cohabiting.”

4. Divorce equals “failure.”

No way. Whether it’s a starter marriage (a marriage that ends within five years and doesn’t result in kids) or a marriage that has stood the test of time, divorce doesn’t mean you’ve failed.

“The only measure we have to determine whether a marriage is successful or not is by how long it lasts. Yet, there are many people who have healthier, better lives after divorce. Perhaps the couple has raised healthy kids who’ve flown the coop and now they want to take a different direction in their lives.

Why is that a failure? Look at Al and Tipper Gore. The media was clamoring to place the blame somewhere, yet there was no one and nothing to blame. Their marriage simply ended with both of their blessings,” say Gadoua and Larson.

5. Wedding size and cost relate to the length of a marriage.

The New York Times published a piece on the correlation between the size and cost of a wedding and its effect on the length of a marriage. While the authors of the study, Andrew Francis-Tan and Hugo M. Mialon, said that wedding expenses and marriage duration could be “inversely correlated,” they couldn’t pinpoint which wedding, expensive or inexpensive, would have a higher chance of divorce.

Gadoua and Larson agreed, in a roundabout way. Although lavish expenses on an engagement ring and a wedding could mean the marriage will start off with a lot of debt, and nothing strains couples more than money: “What our studies and what research by others seem to indicate is that personalities — being empathetic, generous, appreciative, etc.—and matched expectations are much better gauges of whether a marriage is going to last happily.”

6. You can (and should) divorce-proof your marriage.

As Larson wrote in an essay for WeVorce, “you can’t affair- or divorce-proof a marriage because you can’t control another person’s behavior, you can only control your own.”

When we asked her about this topic she explained: “You can’t control your partner’s behavior and if you could that would really dangerous! You can be the best possible spouse and do all the things relationships experts recommend — from dating your spouse to having great and frequent sex to being a supportive, appreciative partner — and still end up divorced.”

Larson also added that you shouldn’t even want to divorce-proof your marriage, because sometimes it’s healthier to let go and move on.

7. Living together before marriage lowers the chance of divorce.

It has often been said that those who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce, but recent studies say that’s not true.

A 2014 study by associate professor Arielle Kuperberg from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro found that contrary to myths that either living together or not living together before you’re married actually has nothing to do with whether or not those couples will divorce. In her research, Kuperberg found what really plays a role is just how young these people decide to cohabitate, because “settling down too young is what leads to divorce.”

LAT marriages also are throwing a wrench in the correlation between cohabitation and its effects on divorce. Couples, especially older ones, are choosing to live apart, but manage to keep their marriage very happy, healthy, and alive.

8. Infidelity breaks up marriages.

While it’s easy to say that infidelity is the major cause of marriages ending, that isn’t always the case.

As Eric Anderson, an American sociologist at England’s University of Winchester and author of The Monogamy Gap: Men, Love, and the Reality of Cheating, told Larson, “Infidelity does not break marriages up; it is the unreasonable expectation that a marriage must restrict sex that breaks a marriage up… I’ve seen so many long-term relationships broken up simply because one had sex outside the relationship. But feeling victimized isn’t a natural outcome of casual sex outside a relationship; it is a socialized victimhood.”

9. If you’re unhappy at a certain point in your marriage, you’re going to get divorced.

Marriage isn’t easy. It’s something that requires a lot of energy, understanding, and most importantly communication. Just because you’re unhappy at a certain point, doesn’t mean divorce is inevitable – every marriage has a bad patch.

But if that bad patch is more than just a patch and you’ve really given it your all, including attending couples counseling (“three or four sessions aren’t enough,” says Gadoua) for several months or a year, then maybe it’s time to call it quits. However, a short-lived unhappiness doesn’t warrant an end.

There’s no doubt about it: the shape of marriage is definitely changing. Gadoua and Larson discuss several alternative couplings that are becoming more mainstream in their book. These are two less-traditional marriages that are undoubtedly becoming more popular.

“LAT relationships are pretty big in Europe, especially Great Britain, and are also growing in the States. For young people, it generally is a reflection of the so-called emerging adulthood period, when they’re spending more time in school and building careers,” Vicki explains. “But for older people, who may be divorced or widowed, it’s more a reflection of their desire for commitment and freedom, and also, especially for women, a way to not fall into gendered patterns of housekeeping and caregiving.

As for couples who get together to co-parent, some may be romantic partners, but that’s not always the case. “There are websites like Modamily.com just for that purpose,” says Vicki. “We interviewed a couple that was committing to each other and their child for 18 years, with an option to renew, so they could give their child the stability and consistency children need to thrive.

Couples may even transition their traditional marriage into a parenting marriage. “Some couples that are not happy after kids come along and might have divorced in the past are opting to convert their marriage into a parenting marriage,” say Gadoua and Larson.

“They stay in the same home and remove the romantic equation from their partnership, which reduces conflict while allowing each of them to spend time with the children. This week alone, Susan helped two couples transfer their marriage from traditional to parenting.”

 

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