Interfaith Marriages: There Is Hope

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are in a religiously mixed marriage. Before we had kids, it wasn’t an issue and we usually just did our own thing. But ever since our daughter was born, everything seems a lot more complicated. Each of us is committed to our own religion and to our marriage. How are we supposed to raise our children?

Well, there’s good news and bad. The good news is that you’re not alone. Before getting married, fewer than half of interfaith couples discuss the religious upbringing they plan to give their kids, and 80 percent say that having “the same values” is more important than having the same religion, according to Naomi Schaefer Riley, author of “’Til Faith Do Us Part: How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America.” Interfaith marriages are getting more and more common. Back in the 1960s, only 19% of marriages were interfaith, according to a new Pew Research Center report. But among couples who married since 2010, 39% say their spouse is of a different religion (and 49% of cohabiting couples are in interfaith relationships).

The bad news is that, according to Schaefer Riley, interfaith couples are significantly less satisfied than same-faith couples, and that the more religiously active spouse is usually the unhappiest one.

[Read more…]

Tales from Mother Runners + Ridiculous Pursuit of the Perfect Marriage + Calm the F*** Down

Sarah Bowen Shea, co-editor of Tales from another Mother Runner.
Triumphs, trials, tips and tricks from the road.
Issues: The many ways mother runners experience running: ownership, perspective, support, joy, strength, ambition, persistence.

Mark Hurst, author of Pairfection.
A look at the ridiculous pursuit of a “perfect” marriage.
Issues: HOw to stop chasing after perfection and focus on purusing each other’s happiness; trust your relationship instincts; have open discussions and work through differences; keep your marriage from becoming stale; look forward to your future together.

David Vienna, author of Calm the F*ck Down.
Could this be the only parenting technique you’ll ever need?
Issues: A variety of scenarious that make parents anxious–and down-to-earth reassurance and guidance on how to relax and enjoy the moment.

How (Not) to Be a Husband + Creating Books For Middle Schoolers

Tim Dowling, author of How to Be a Husband.
Exactly what not to do in every situation.
Issues: Forty guiding principles of gross marital happiness; twelve labors of marriage; how to become a relevant, productive member of your own family and household; intimate, embarrassing, and very funny stories that will resonate and delight.

George Hagen, author of Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle.

Issues: Creating books for middle schoolers; riddles and puzzles, ravens, magic, mystery, family secrets, and redemption; childhood literary idols.

Successful Co-Parenting + In Faith and In Doubt

Karen Bonnell, author of The Co-Parents’ Handbook.
Raising well-adjusted, resilient, and resourceful kids in a two-home family
Issues: Building a mutually respectful co-parenting relationship; keeping children at the forefront while protecting them from adult conflict and concerns; helping children build resilience and competence in the face of family change; successful strategies and protocols for living in a two-home family.

Dale McGowan, author of In Faith and In Doubt.
How religious believers and nonbelievers can create strong marriages and loving families.
Issues: Negotiation tips to set the stage for harmonious relationships; dealing with pressure from extended family; helping kids make their own choices about religious identity; handling holidays, churchgoing, baptism, circumcision, religious literacy.

How to Include Children in Your Wedding Ceremony

remarriage and wedding

If you have children from a previous marriage or relationship, your upcoming wedding ceremony is a new beginning—not only for you but also for your children. Including them in the ceremony is a beautiful and meaningful way to begin your new family relationship.

remarriage and wedding

Before the Ceremony

Your children should be included in your wedding right from the start. Be prepared for girls to want to be involved in the planning side more than boys. The one aspect of wedding planning that both daughters and sons will gladly partake in, however, is cake and food tastings. Invite them along to join you at the tasting appointments and ask them to list their favorite selections. If you’re using a cake topper, include your kids in the process of reviewing options online. There are several styles to choose from, including whimsical non-traditional cake toppers that guests of all ages are sure to love.

[Read more…]

Debunking Myths about Marriage and Divorce

Shaunti Feldhahn, author of The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and The Good News about Marriage.
Debunking myths about marriage and divorce and discovering the little things that make a big difference.
Issues: The truth about marriage (most are happy) and divorce (the actual divorce rate is nowhere near 50%); improving your marriage by doing completely un-intuitive things: go to bed mad, keep score, don’t tell it like it is, and more.