Relationships & Family


How a Ruling on Gay Marriage Gave a Lesson on Decision Making

Whether or not, as the saying goes, Virginia is for lovers, now that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has overthrown the state’s ban on gay marriage, it will at least be for those more inclined toward marriage, including same-sex couples. But perhaps more interesting than the decision itself, which I admit I support, is the thinking that animated Judge Henry Floyd, writing for the 2-1 majority. The judge’s decision is striking because it speaks to something far bigger than the issue of same-sex marriage – as if that were not a......

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Making Travel Plans with Loved Ones: Why So Much Drama?

Ever make plans with someone, and then all of a sudden they switch things up on you? Of course you have! That’s life. Does it bother you? My guess is, even if you’re one of those people who pride themselves on your flexibility, if the plans were about something you consider a big deal, you’d find yourself annoyed. But why? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not challenging the legitimacy of the annoyance, because I experience it, too. It’s distressing when those around us depart from what we thought was an agreed-upon plan.......

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Vacationships: What We Can Learn from a Short Term Encounter

When can a one night stand be more than a one night stand? When, according to Kristin Newman’s slightly trashy, definitely sexy, new book – What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir – it’s a “vacationship“. Of course, hooking up while on vacation is hardly new or noteworthy. But Newman claims that there’s something so potentially elevated about these hook ups, something so real, that not only should they be accepted, they should be genuinely celebrated. Could she be onto something? What do you think? Personally, I think her......

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Love Is Elusive When You Don't Nurture Yourself

If you were asked to name who you love, what would your intuitive answer be? Your life partner? Your kids? Perhaps your parents? Would you even think to immediately include yourself on the list? Your answer can enhance or diminish your ability to give and receive the love you most want. Giving and getting love are about the most fundamental human needs there are. Can you fully imagine the pain of never having been loved or of loving another? I hope not! I hope instead, that we all find ways to deepen......

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Opening Day and My Father

Baseball season opens this week. Yes, hope springs eternal. We made it through winter even if winter wants to hang on a few more days. It is the start of new careers for players and the opportunity for new beginnings for players who had a bad season last year. What makes baseball so much fun is you never know how the arduous 162 game regular-season and three-tier playoff series system (that can extend the season by up to 19 more games for teams that reach the World Series) will play out. Underdogs......

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What If Your Teen Is Caught Sharing Sexy Selfies?

Teens getting drunk at parties is nothing new, and by now, neither is the even more disturbing (though thankfully less common) practice among teenagers of sexting. However, a recent article from psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow reports that it isn’t just sexting; many kids are sharing explicit photos of themselves online. Dr. Ablow offered some parenting advice which I found myself both sympathetic to, and genuinely upset by. He suggests: Regular drug-testing, Confiscation of cell phones, Removal of internet connectivity, Temporary suspension from school, Intensive psychotherapy. But that’s it. That is all he......

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Video: What Do Parents Owe Their Children?

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record series: This week, a New Jersey judge decided that 18 year-old high school student Rachel Canning is not entitled to ongoing financial support from her parents. Brad Hirschfield calls for better communication and understanding. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment.? Visit Odyssey Networks at www.odysseynetworks.org....

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How Intimacy Partners With Distance

The yearning for intimacy, real intimacy – be it emotional, intellectual, spiritual or physical – is one of the most profound, and yet tragically often unrealized, yearnings that humans experience. The desire to truly know, and to be known, by another is a primal intuition which is arguably foundational to who we are as human beings. So what value could there be in setting limits on such pursuits? Intimacy. The word itself means to be close with. So can there ever be reasons for setting up rules and limits, regarding parties who......

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The Dating Game

Jim Lange, the host of the 60’s and 70’s hit TV show The Dating Game, died this past week. In an era when women were expected to wait for men to ask them out, The Dating Game was seen as progressive and even a bit risqu?. Each week a woman would question three members of the opposite sex hidden from her view but visible to the audience. Based on how wisely and engagingly (and how gently racy) they responded, she would decide which one would be the best date. The couple would......

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Do Babies Have a Moral Compass?

Is it possible that some babies are more moral than others? That babies are born with an innate moral inclination? That morality is biologically encoded and not learned over time? The short answers are: yes, apparently so, and let’s not get carried away. The new study which addresses these specific questions should interest anyone with kids, or anyone interested in how we help create a more decent world. After all, the future of our world depends largely on how humane and moral we are or can be. In fact, the study and......

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