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June 11

Stay together for the kids? Or not.

Filed under: News,Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:07 am

Via Mary Elizabeth Williams at Broadsheet:

Marital breakups are rarely easy, but for couples with children, they often come with the added nagging fear that you’re forever ruining your kids’ lives. But a new study (PDF) affirms what anyone whose own childhood resembled a Richard Yates novel suspects — that sticking together for the sake of the kids can backfire.

The study, provocatively titled “Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental Conflict and Young Adult Well-Being” (from the California Center for Population Research at the University of California-Los Angeles), charts the progress of 1,963 households from teens to early 30s. While citing that “children tend to do better living with two biological married parents,” the study is a reassuring academic loogie in the face of self-sacrifice, an acknowledgement of the role of “poor quality marriage” in drinking and dropout rates.

Speaking about the study to Science Daily, the paper’s co-author, Cornell associate professor Kelly Musick, said, “the advantages of living with two continuously married parents are not shared equally by all children … Children from high-conflict families are more likely to drop out of school, have poor grades, smoke, binge drink, use marijuana, have early sex, be young and unmarried when they have a child and then experience the breakup of that relationship.”

An intact marriage isn’t automatically a successful one — for anybody. (The study also helpfully cites previous findings that “although marriage confers benefits to adults on average, those in poor quality marriages are no better off than the single and, indeed, may fare worse on some measures.”) Despite our continued cultural insistence upon equating divorce with failure, for parents whose relationships have become unbearable, the best way to save the family may be to dissolve it.


June 10


Filed under: News — posted by Rose @ 8:28 pm

How fitting that the quickie-wedding chapel that recently popped up on New York’s Lower East Side — the real one, not this one — is itself a fly-by-night operation. In fact, it’s still looking for backers. Small-time backers, in case you’re interested.

Wackadoo design/consulting firm GrandOpening has a performance-arty habit of opening-then-closing a number of businesses in its Norfolk Avenue storefront space. Over the past year and change, that’s included a ping-pong lounge and a drive-in movie theater. (Fer rills! Chex it!) The nameless chapel is its latest incarnation.

Getting hitched here includes an ordained dude at the ready, some Vegas-y Elvis backdrops and stuff, live, streaming vid of your nups and a few snapshots. In addition, you can book an hourlong reception to follow, complete with DJ and, I might assume, gawking manorexics.

But, according to the firm’s site, they’re hoping to find another $2k of funding before July 1 in order to really get the party started.

Who’s gonna bet on love?


Date night, 1933?

Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:23 pm

Via Broadsheet:

Today, as we know, all that’s required to be a good husband is to take your wife to a show, let her mother move in and lead the free world as a symbol of hope and change. But now we have evidence that some degree of enlightenment has long been expected of the male helpmeet. Witness this recently exhumed 1933 “Test For Husbands” (via Fark), which — while stating, in parts, the should-be obvious — is not quite as fossil-icious as one might expect. It assigns 1 demerit each for transgressions such as “objects to wife’s driving auto” and “snores” (and 5 for “tells lies, not dependable” and “flirts with other women while out with wife”), while awarding 5 points each for “gives wife ample allowance or turns paycheck over to her,” “frequently compliments wife re looks, cooking, housekeeping, etc.” — and, yes, “has date with wife at least once per week.” (Thirty years later, Don Draper: FAIL.) Precisely what kind of date is not helpfully specified. Today, thank goodness, we have Rick Santorum for that.


The fourth estate on the first couple

Filed under: Celebrities — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:23 am

Bitch Magazine on the press’s love/hate (mostly love) relationship with the Obama Marriage:

“The media wants to go on a big, fat date with the OBAMA MARRIAGE and either propose to it and embarrass it in front of the whole restaurant, or stand it up and embarrass it in front of the whole restaurant, depending on who you ask. Why is that?” And: Which camp are you in?


Just a small town girl

Filed under: Superheroes,Treats,TV — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:00 am

Seriously, this gal is just like the Glee girl, only less annoying. Don’t stop believing, Natalie!


June 9

Love in the time of colander

Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:25 pm

BG has long maintained that breakups are the messy stuff of life, not the sloppy kiss of death. For one thing, most relationships really do leave us enriched in some way that may outlive the romance: we get to know a new neighborhood, acquire a hobby, finally understand — when our squeeze subjects us to a Buffy marathon conversion process — what all the fuss is about. Why, from one old flame BG learned to snowboard and to change a tire (using a jack, not super-strength); from another, I got art history, and rage. I KID.

But what about those of us lucky (and smart) enough to have swooned for a good cook? (Or, in other news, cooked for a good swoon?) The honeymoon may have ended, but his/her honey-glazed salmon lives on … in your repertoire. Enter (via a friendly tipster) The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook: They Came, They Cooked, They Left (But We Ended Up with Some Great Recipes),
which, yes, is a cookbook, but not of the To Serve Man variety. The authors: “‘God,’ we’d find ourselves saying, ‘he made the most incredible vinaigrette….”. It’s a couple of years old, but I’m sure it, and Ezra’s Sticky Chicken, will stand the recipe-test of time.

And while we’re at it, dish: Have any of your relationships, even the less savory ones, yielded delicious results like these?


Radio free wedding

Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:51 am

Anyone remember the arranged wedding at the Mall of America? Cynics might assume that that couple — the bride chosen by the groom’s friends, the two met at the altar — would be long divorced, you know, from their third marriages. Not so! Eleven years (and three kids) later, they’re still happily committed. What’s their secret? “I don’t think it’s that much of a secret,” David Weinlick told TODAY last year. “It’s really about how we make it work together. Committed to being together.” (Okay, that’s not saying so much, but I think he knows what he means: to italicize “committed.” As in: not “let’s see IF this works,” but rather, “let’s see how we can commit to making this work.”) And voila.

All of this is to say you should probably seriously consider getting married at Navy Pier in Chicago on June 25. Now, the major difference here is that it’s okay if you’ve, you know, met your intended before you walk down the aisle. It’s a charm-us-with-your-charming-story contest run by  Vocalo.org — sort of like if NPR did Current TV, with much content supplied by users — who will supply the charmingest coupe with an officiant, cake, musicians, hair-styling and makeup for the bride — plus a lovely venue on Lake Michigan and a potential listening audience of zillions (who, one hopes, will all be directed to your gift registry).

Vocalo is seeking to interview couples on-air over the next weeks. More info here. Fun! (Really, you can’t afford not to enter.) And who knows, maybe next year they’ll have some sort of charm-us-with-your-charming-I-dig-being-single story contest. With cake, too, of course.


June 8

“Barack Obama, stop ruining my marriage”

Filed under: Celebrities — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:21 pm

Sean Gregory at Time.com:

The list of reasons to admire Barack Obama is longer than Pennsylvania Avenue. But please, and I’m begging here, let’s not hold him up as an exemplary husband simply because he takes his wife out on a date.

On Sunday, the New York Times did just that, with a story headlined “If They Can Find Time For a Date Night…” The gist: if the Obamas — with Mom committed to her various causes and Dad trying to save the free world — can still find time for each other, hey, lame husband sitting on the couch watching sports, time to step it up. /snip/

Yes, daily down time and date nights are cathartic and healthy: my wife and I, working parents with two young children, have strived, with varying amounts of success, to find the right moments to put out an APB for a sitter. But in the relationship department, no husband or couple should ever wonder why they’re not meeting a standard set by the Obamas.

Did you catch that NBC special on the White House? The Obamas happen to have some of the world’s smartest people working tirelessly on the dirty details of governance. Think those staffers working ’til midnight and grinding away the weekends spend a ton of blissful time with their wives? Chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel is killing himself while his wife and kids are stuck back in Chicago. Now there’s a guy I can relate to. /snip/

Air Force One makes romantic evenings in Paris a lot more possible.

The thing is, Obama is the first to acknowledge his enormous leg up when it comes to family life. He’s obviously working hard, and you can’t blame him for taking advantage of his situation to eat dinner with Michelle and the kids. I would do the same thing if I were President. But I’m not. And I’d thank the world to stop reminding me of that little fact, especially on date night.


What single women can learn from Michelle O.

Filed under: Celebrities,Psychology — posted by Breakup Girl @ 12:10 pm

Writing in today’s WaPo, Jenée Desmond-Harris wonders: “It’s easy to see now that [Barack Obama] was a great catch, but how many of us would have been open to this guy who strayed so far from the black Prince Charming ideal, starting with his very name?” Her exhortation: “[I]f black women are going to defy the statistics, they need to start being more realistic. Holding out for the perfect man, someone who is intellectual but not nerdy—cool but not arrogant—impeccably dressed but not effeminate—not a player but with just the right amount of edge—is useless.” Read the piece, then let us know: just another scolding for the “picky“* among us, or does Desmond-Harris have a point?

* “picky,” as in: about the person with whom you’re going to spend the rest of your life


Still at MSN: He won’t make time for her

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:12 am

MSN datingAsk Lynn, Breakup Girl’s alter ego’s advice column at MSN.com (powered by Match.com), is now being updated monthly rather than weekly, so now you’ll get two new letters each month, starting with…

1. Frustrated was given her name by a man who has become “too tired” to make time for her as often as he used to. Is this legit?

2. Mr. Hug — aka mr-shoulder-to-cry-on — is a nice guy finishing last with two different crushes. Does he have a real shot with these ladies, or should he dry off?

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