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Private sex with married couples

This option of a registered relationship is not available to residents of Western Australia or the Northern Territory. When it comes to Mr Abbott`s reference to "rights", Fact Check takes this to mean the legal right to be considered as a couple or member of a couple for the purpose of family law, financial arrangements, healthcare and other official matters. Proponents of same-sex marriage argue that marriage is a right in itself. However, it would be nonsensical to take Mr Abbott`s description of "rights" to include "marriage", given the claim would be contradictory. A significant series of reforms by the Rudd government extended a number of rights held by married couples in Commonwealth law to same-sex and opposite sex de facto couples. These reforms covered areas including family law, social security, veterans affairs, superannuation, healthcare, immigration and industrial relations. More than 80 laws, ranging from the Family Law Act 1975 to the Defence Service Homes Act 1918, were amended. The main changes involved the inclusion of same-sex couples within the definition of de facto couples, and reducing or eliminating any distinction between de facto and married couples for the purpose of Commonwealth law. In announcing the reforms in April 2008, then attorney-general Robert McClelland said : The changes will provide for equality of treatment under a wide range of areas, including superannuation, taxation, social security, workers compensation, pharmaceutical benefits… It will also ensure that, from the point of view of Australia, we now complete the picture - discrimination on the basis of sexuality has long been removed from State and Territory laws, and this will complete the picture by introducing long overdue reforms to remove discrimination from Commonwealth laws." Rights traditionally held by married couples that were extended to same-sex couples focused on areas including: workplace rights including parental leave, personal, carers and compassionate leave. Marriage was specifically excluded from the reforms. Asked by a reporter whether discrimination would still exist in the absence of a "ceremony", Mr McClelland responded: "No, these reforms won`t change the Marriage Act. Consistently with Labor Party policy we made it clear before the election that the government regards marriage as being between a man and a woman; and we don`t support any measures that seek to mimic that process". In May 2013, Mr Rudd, then a backbench MP, began to advocate for same-sex marriage, suggesting a conscience vote take place in Parliament or "a national referendum at an appropriate time...which would also have the added advantage of bringing the Australian community along with us on an important social reform for the nation." In WA, the law applying to same-sex couples (and other de facto couples) on family law issues is governed by state (not Commonwealth) law. However, WA broadly instituted similar reforms via the Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Reform) Act 2002. There remain some subtle differences between the rights available to same-sex couples and those of the opposite sex. In an opinion piece for The Conversation, Associate Professor Fiona Kelly and Hannah Robert, of La Trobe University, pointed out : "Couples who are or were married must file for property and/or spousal maintenance proceedings in the Family Court within one year of finalising a divorce, but have the option to agree to an extension of time in which to file. No such provision exists for de facto couples; they must file proceedings within two years. In many states, a new marriage nullifies an existing will, unless that will was quite specifically worded. This is not the case when you enter a new de facto relationship. In the latter situation, if you die before making a new will, a court might need to decide how your assets are allocated." The states and territories also brought in reforms that removed discrimination against same-sex couples. In a 2007 report on the rights of same-sex couples, the Australian Human Rights Commission pointed to reforms introduced by the states and territories between 1999 and 2006, saying: "The effect of these reforms is that, in almost all circumstances, same-sex and opposite-sex couples can access the same state and territory financial and work-related entitlements." Nevertheless, in September 2015, the South Australian Law Reform Institute issued a report that found there were "over 140 pieces of legislation that, on their face, discriminate against individuals on the basis of sex or gender diversity." "When we did the review of the South Australian statute book we did find many examples of different treatment based on sex and gender. By law, state health services are supposed to treat couples equally. A spokesperson for NSW Health said: "In the NSW health system, patients in a de-facto, same-sex or heterosexual relationship are treated in the same way as a patient who is married. For example, if one partner in a de-facto relationship lacks capacity, their de-facto spouse can make certain health decisions for their partner, in the same way that if one party in a marriage lacks capacity, their spouse can make certain health decisions on their behalf." In all states and territories other than in WA and the NT, couples can register their relationship, making it easier for them to prove their status. In most places, it is a straightforward process for a same-sex couple to register. This is a hurdle that opposite-sex couples do not have to clear before they can get married. Related Story: Fact check: Is the same-sex marriage survey a completely novel idea that is not actually a plebiscite? And while states have sought to standardise laws between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, in practice, anomalies can occur. For instance, in 2016, a British same-sex couple, married under English law, travelled to South Australia on their honeymoon. Because Australian law does not recognise same-sex marriage, the marital status entry on Mr Bulmer-Rizzi`s death certificate stated "never married" and Mr Bulmer`s husband was apparently not treated as next of kin by local authorities. Following this incident, South Australia in August 2017 brought in its relationships register and changed the regulations around births, deaths and marriages so that same-sex partners could be referenced on a death certificate. "It will mean people will have a clear avenue to have their relationship legally recognised, but also will make the process of accessing their entitlements and asserting their rights, including in situations of a medical nature, far simpler." Liberal Senator Matt Canavan, who is campaigning against same-sex marriage, recently argued that "as long as we have been writing about it, marriage has been about having children, or the even more beautiful concept of becoming a mother, not about love alone." Whatever the truth of that statement, under current Australian law same-sex couples are free to access fertility treatment and, in most parts of the country, can also adopt children. Professor Michael Chapman, president of the Fertility Society of Australia, told Fact Check: "IVF treatment is available to all couples in Australia regardless of marital status or whether they are a same-sex couple. However, Medicare benefits and private healthcare rebates are only available where the person obtaining IVF services has a medical condition that impacts fertility. Whether a person qualifies is based on medical criteria, not marital status or sexuality." Following South Australia`s change to its adoption laws in February 2017, same-sex couples can adopt children in all parts of Australia except for the Northern Territory. And things are changing there, too. Territory Families, the responsible NT Government department, told Fact Check: [T]he issue of same-sex adoption is one the government is committed to rectifying. Work has already commenced on the amendments, and it is anticipated they will be introduced into Parliament before the end of the year." Given current NT law requires a couple adopting a child to be a married "man and woman", a change to Commonwealth law to allow same-sex marriage would not, in itself, allow adoption by a married same-sex couple in the NT. While the law has, in most cases, extended rights to same-sex couples, on a practical basis these couples face administrative hassle and uncertainty that married opposite-sex couples do not face. Couples who have not registered their relationship may have to, on demand, prove that their relationship exists and meets the criteria for de facto status. And it may be difficult, both emotionally and practically, to provide this information in urgent or traumatic circumstances, such as when a loved one falls ill or dies. According to Associate Professor Kelly and Ms Robert: "There are many examples of a couple`s "de facto" status being challenged by one partner`s family of origin. Marriage on the other hand, is undeniable." And even if they have proven their status, a same-sex couple must rely on the bureaucracy (government and its employees) to fully understand the law in relation to the recognition of same-sex couples and apply it correctly. Professor Williams, of the South Australian Law Reform Institute, said: "There is a non-legislative story here to be told. In Tasmania, Ben Jago lost his partner to suicide but says he was not recognised as next of kin by authorities because the couple`s relationship was not officially registered. In fact, Tasmanian law recognises same-sex relationships without registration. Mr Jago`s case is currently before the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal. Long time same-sex marriage advocate Rodney Croome told Fact Check: "In the absence of marriage equality, it`s too easy for people in authority to assume same-sex partners don`t have the same rights and responsibilities as different-sex partners. Even those couples with a registered relationship may find it is not recognised outside their home state or territory. "Unmarried de facto couples often experience difficulties attaining residency and/or working rights overseas," suggested Associate Professor Kelly and Ms Robert. That said, neither is there any guarantee that foreign nations would recognise Australian same-sex marriage.

Anthropologist Jack Goody `s comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas found a strong correlation between intensive plough agriculture, dowry and monogamy. This pattern was found in a broad swath of Eurasian societies from Japan to Ireland. The majority of Sub-Saharan African societies that practice extensive hoe agriculture, in contrast, show a correlation between " bride price " and polygamy. [16] A further study drawing on the Ethnographic Atlas showed a statistical correlation between increasing size of the society, the belief in "high gods" to support human morality, and monogamy. [17] In the countries which do not permit polygamy, a person who marries in one of those countries a person while still being lawfully married to another commits the crime of bigamy . In all cases, the second marriage is considered legally null and void. Besides the second and subsequent marriages being void, the bigamist is also liable to other penalties, which also vary between jurisdictions. Governments that support monogamy may allow easy divorce. In a number of Western countries divorce rates approach 50%. Those who remarry do so on average three times. Divorce and remarriage can thus result in "serial monogamy", i.e. having multiple marriages but only one legal spouse at a time. This can be interpreted as a form of plural mating, as are those societies dominated by female-headed families in the Caribbean , Mauritius and Brazil where there is frequent rotation of unmarried partners. In all, these account for 16 to 24% of the "monogamous" category. [18] Serial monogamy creates a new kind of relative, the "ex-". The "ex-wife", for example, remains an active part of her "ex-husband`s" or "ex-wife`s" life, as they may be tied together by transfers of resources (alimony, child support), or shared child custody. Bob Simpson notes that in the British case, serial monogamy creates an "extended family" – a number of households tied together in this way, including mobile children (possible exes may include an ex-wife, an ex-brother-in-law, etc., but not an "ex-child"). These "unclear families" do not fit the mould of the monogamous nuclear family. As a series of connected households, they come to resemble the polygynous model of separate households maintained by mothers with children, tied by a male to whom they are married or divorced. [19] Polygamy is a marriage which includes more than two partners. [20] When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny , and there is no marriage bond between the wives; and when a woman is married to more than one husband at a time, it is called polyandry , and there is no marriage bond between the husbands. If a marriage includes multiple husbands and/or wives, it can be called group marriage . [20] A molecular genetic study of global human genetic diversity argued that sexual polygyny was typical of human reproductive patterns until the shift to sedentary farming communities approximately 10,000 to 5,000 years ago in Europe and Asia, and more recently in Africa and the Americas. [21] As noted above, Anthropologist Jack Goody `s comparative study of marriage around the world utilizing the Ethnographic Atlas found that the majority of Sub-Saharan African societies that practice extensive hoe agriculture show a correlation between " Bride price ," and polygamy. [16] A survey of other cross-cultural samples has confirmed that the absence of the plough was the only predictor of polygamy, although other factors such as high male mortality in warfare (in non-state societies) and pathogen stress (in state societies) had some impact. [22] Marriages are classified according to the number of legal spouses an individual has. The suffix "-gamy" refers specifically to the number of spouses, as in bi-gamy (two spouses, generally illegal in most nations), and poly-gamy (more than one spouse). Societies show variable acceptance of polygamy as a cultural ideal and practice. According to the Ethnographic Atlas , of 1,231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous; 453 had occasional polygyny; 588 had more frequent polygyny; and 4 had polyandry. [23] However, as Miriam Zeitzen writes, social tolerance for polygamy is different from the practice of polygamy, since it requires wealth to establish multiple households for multiple wives. The actual practice of polygamy in a tolerant society may actually be low, with the majority of aspirant polygamists practicing monogamous marriage. Tracking the occurrence of polygamy is further complicated in jurisdictions where it has been banned, but continues to be practiced (de facto polygamy). [24] Zeitzen also notes that Western perceptions of African society and marriage patterns are biased by "contradictory concerns of nostalgia for traditional African culture versus critique of polygamy as oppressive to women or detrimental to development." [24] Polygamy has been condemned as being a form of human rights abuse, with concerns arising over domestic abuse, forced marriage, and neglect. The vast majority of the world`s countries, including virtually all of the world`s developed nations, do not permit polygamy. There have been calls for the abolition of polygamy in developing countries. Polygyny usually grants wives equal status, although the husband may have personal preferences. One type of de facto polygyny is concubinage , where only one woman gets a wife`s rights and status, while other women remain legal house mistresses. Although a society may be classified as polygynous, not all marriages in it necessarily are; monogamous marriages may in fact predominate. It is to this flexibility that Anthropologist Robin Fox attributes its success as a social support system: "This has often meant – given the imbalance in the sex ratios, the higher male infant mortality, the shorter life span of males, the loss of males in wartime, etc. – that often women were left without financial support from husbands. To correct this condition, females had to be killed at birth, remain single, become prostitutes, or be siphoned off into celibate religious orders. Polygynous systems have the advantage that they can promise, as did the Mormons, a home and family for every woman." [25] Nonetheless, polygyny is a gender issue which offers men asymmetrical benefits. In some cases, there is a large age discrepancy (as much as a generation) between a man and his youngest wife, compounding the power differential between the two. Tensions not only exist between genders, but also within genders; senior and junior men compete for wives, and senior and junior wives in the same household may experience radically different life conditions, and internal hierarchy. Several studies have suggested that the wive`s relationship with other women, including co-wives and husband`s female kin, are more critical relationships than that with her husband for her productive, reproductive and personal achievement. [26] In some societies, the co-wives are relatives, usually sisters, a practice called sororal polygyny; the pre-existing relationship between the co-wives is thought to decrease potential tensions within the marriage. [27] Fox argues that "the major difference between polygyny and monogamy could be stated thus: while plural mating occurs in both systems, under polygyny several unions may be recognized as being legal marriages while under monogamy only one of the unions is so recognized. Often, however, it is difficult to draw a hard and fast line between the two." [28] As polygamy in Africa is increasingly subject to legal limitations, a variant form of de facto (as opposed to legal or de jure) polygyny is being practised in urban centres. Although it does not involve multiple (now illegal) formal marriages, the domestic and personal arrangements follow old polygynous patterns. The de facto form of polygyny is found in other parts of the world as well (including some Mormon sects and Muslim families in the United States). [29] In some societies such as the Lovedu of South Africa, or the Nuer of the Sudan, aristocratic women may become female `husbands.` In the Lovedu case, this female husband may take a number of polygamous wives. This is not a lesbian relationship, but a means of legitimately expanding a royal lineage by attaching these wives` children to it. The relationships are considered polygynous, not polyandrous, because the female husband is in fact assuming masculine gendered political roles. [27] Religious groups have differing views on the legitimacy of polygyny . It is allowed in Islam and Confucianism . Judaism and Christianity have mentioned practices involving polygyny in the past, however, outright religious acceptance of such practices was not addressed until its rejection in later passages. They do explicitly prohibit polygyny today. Polyandry is notably more rare than polygyny, though less rare than the figure commonly cited in the Ethnographic Atlas (1980) which listed only those polyandrous societies found in the Himalayan Mountains. More recent studies have found 53 societies outside the 28 found in the Himalayans which practice polyandry. [30] It is most common in egalitarian societies marked by high male mortality or male absenteeism. It is associated with partible paternity, the cultural belief that a child can have more than one father. [31] The explanation for polyandry in the Himalayan Mountains is related to the scarcity of land; the marriage of all brothers in a family to the same wife (fraternal polyandry) allows family land to remain intact and undivided. If every brother married separately and had children, family land would be split into unsustainable small plots. In Europe, this was prevented through the social practice of impartible inheritance (the dis-inheriting of most siblings, some of whom went on to become celibate monks and priests). [32] Group marriage (also known as multi-lateral marriage) is a form of polyamory in which more than two persons form a family unit, with all the members of the group marriage being considered to be married to all the other members of the group marriage, and all members of the marriage share parental responsibility for any children arising from the marriage. [33] No country legally condones group marriages, neither under the law nor as a common law marriage, but historically it has been practiced by some cultures of Polynesia, Asia, Papua New Guinea and the Americas – as well as in some intentional communities and alternative subcultures such as the Oneida Perfectionists in up-state New York. Of the 250 societies reported by the American anthropologist George Murdock in 1949, only the Kaingang of Brazil had any group marriages at all. [34] A child marriage is a marriage where one or both spouses are under the age of 18. [35] [36] It is related to child betrothal and teenage pregnancy . Child marriage was common throughout history, even up until the 1900s in the United States, where in 1880 CE, in the state of Delaware , the age of consent for marriage was 7 years old. [37] Still, in 2017, over half of the 50 United States have no explicit minimum age to marry and several states set the age as low as 14. [38] Today it is condemned by international human rights organizations. [39] [40] Child marriages are often arranged between the families of the future bride and groom, sometimes as soon as the girl is born. [39] However, in the late 1800s in England and the United States, feminist activists began calling for raised age of consent laws, which was eventually handled in the 1920s, having been raised to 16-18. [41] In the year 1552 CE, John Somerford and Jane Somerford Brereton were both married at the ages of 3 and 2, respectively. Twelve years later, in 1564, John filed for divorce. [42] [43] While child marriage is observed for both boys and girls, the overwhelming majority of child spouses are girls. [44] In many cases, only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female, due to the importance placed upon female virginity . [39] Causes of child marriage include poverty , bride price , dowry , laws that allow child marriages, religious and social pressures , regional customs, fear of remaining unmarried, and perceived inability of women to work for money. Today, child marriages are widespread in parts of the world; being most common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa , with more than half of the girls in some countries in those regions being married before 18. [39] The incidence of child marriage has been falling in most parts of the world. In developed countries child marriage is outlawed or restricted. Girls who marry before 18 are at greater risk of becoming victims of domestic violence , than those who marry later, especially when they are married to a much older man. [40] As noted above, several kinds of same-sex, non-sexual marriages exist in some lineage-based societies. This section relates to same-sex sexual unions. Some cultures include third gender ( two-spirit or transgender) individuals, such as the berdache of the Zuni in New Mexico. We`wha , one of the most revered Zuni elders (an Ihamana, spiritual leader) served as an emissary of the Zuni to Washington, where he met President Grover Cleveland . We`wha had a husband who was generally recognized as such. [45] While it is a relatively new practice to grant same-sex couples the same form of legal marital recognition as commonly granted to mixed-sex couples, there is some history of recorded same-sex unions around the world. [46] [47] Ancient Greek same-sex relationships were like modern companionate marriages, unlike their different-sex marriages in which the spouses had few emotional ties, and the husband had freedom to engage in outside sexual liaisons. The Codex Theodosianus (C. Th. 9.7.3) issued in 438 CE imposed severe penalties or death on same-sex relationships, [48] but the exact intent of the law and its relation to social practice is unclear, as only a few examples of same-sex relationships in that culture exist. [49] Same-sex unions were celebrated in some regions of China, such as Fujian . [50] Possibly the earliest documented same-sex wedding in Latin Christendom occurred in Rome, Italy , at the San Giovanni a Porta Latina basilica in 1581. [51] Several cultures have practiced temporary and conditional marriages. Examples include the Celtic practice of handfasting and fixed-term marriages in the Muslim community. Pre-Islamic Arabs practiced a form of temporary marriage that carries on today in the practice of Nikah mut‘ah , a fixed-term marriage contract. The Islamic prophet Muhammad sanctioned a temporary marriage – sigheh in Iran and muta`a in Iraq – which can provide a legitimizing cover for sex workers. [52] The same forms of temporary marriage have been used in Egypt, Lebanon and Iran to make the donation of a human ova legal for in vitro fertilisation ; a woman cannot, however, use this kind of marriage to obtain a sperm donation. [53] Muslim controversies related to Nikah Mut`ah have resulted in the practice being confined mostly to Shi`ite communities. The matrilineal Mosuo of China practice what they call "walking marriage". In some jurisdictions cohabitation , in certain circumstances, may constitute a common-law marriage , an unregistered partnership , or otherwise provide the unmarried partners with various rights and responsibilities; and in some countries the laws recognize cohabitation in lieu of institutional marriage for taxation and social security benefits. This is the case, for example, in Australia. [54] Cohabitation may be an option pursued as a form of resistance to traditional institutionalized marriage. However, in this context, some nations reserve the right to define the relationship as marital, or otherwise to regulate the relation, even if the relation has not been registered with the state or a religious institution. [55] Conversely, institutionalized marriages may not involve cohabitation. In some cases couples living together do not wish to be recognized as married. This may occur because pension or alimony rights are adversely affected; because of taxation considerations; because of immigration issues, or for other reasons. Such marriages have also been increasingly common in Beijing . Guo Jianmei, director of the center for women`s studies at Beijing University, told a Newsday correspondent, "Walking marriages reflect sweeping changes in Chinese society." A "walking marriage" refers to a type of temporary marriage formed by the Mosuo of China, in which male partners live elsewhere and make nightly visits. [56] A similar arrangement in Saudi Arabia , called misyar marriage , also involves the husband and wife living separately but meeting regularly. [57] There is wide cross-cultural variation in the social rules governing the selection of a partner for marriage. There is variation in the degree to which partner selection is an individual decision by the partners or a collective decision by the partners` kin groups, and there is variation in the rules regulating which partners are valid choices. The United Nations World Fertility Report of 2003 reports that 89% of all people get married before age forty-nine. [58] The percent of women and men who marry before age forty-nine drops to nearly 50% in some nations and reaches near 100% in other nations. [59] In other cultures with less strict rules governing the groups from which a partner can be chosen the selection of a marriage partner may involve either the couple going through a selection process of courtship or the marriage may be arranged by the couple`s parents or an outside party, a matchmaker . Some people want to marry a person with higher or lower status than them. Others want to marry people who have similar status. In many societies women marry men who are of higher social status. [60] There are marriages where each party has sought a partner of similar status. There are other marriages in which the man is older than the woman. [61] Societies have often placed restrictions on marriage to relatives, though the degree of prohibited relationship varies widely. Marriages between parents and children, or between full siblings, with few exceptions, [62] [63] [64] [65] [66] [67] [68] [69] have been considered incest and forbidden. However, marriages between more distant relatives have been much more common, with one estimate being that 80% of all marriages in history have been between second cousins or closer. [70] This proportion has fallen dramatically, but still more than 10% of all marriages are believed to be between people who are second cousins or more closely related. [71] In the United States, such marriages are now highly stigmatized, and laws ban most or all first-cousin marriage in 30 states. Specifics vary: in South Korea, historically it was illegal to marry someone with the same last name and same ancestral line. [72] An Avunculate marriage is a marriage that occurs between an uncle and his niece or between an aunt and her nephew. Such marriages are illegal in most countries due to incest restrictions. However a small number of countries have legalized it, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Malaysia , [73] and Russia . [74] Family chart showing relatives who, in Islamic Sharia law, would be considered mahrim (or maharem): unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous . In various societies the choice of partner is often limited to suitable persons from specific social groups. In some societies the rule is that a partner is selected from an individual`s own social group – endogamy , this is often the case in class and caste based societies. But in other societies a partner must be chosen from a different group than one`s own – exogamy , this may be the case in societies practicing totemic religion where society is divided into several exogamous totemic clans, such as most Aboriginal Australian societies. In other societies a person is expected to marry their cross-cousin , a woman must marry her father`s sister`s son and a man must marry his mother`s brother`s daughter – this is often the case if either a society has a rule of tracing kinship exclusively through patrilineal or matrilineal descent groups as among the Akan people of West Africa. Another kind of marriage selection is the levirate marriage in which widows are obligated to marry their husband`s brother, mostly found in societies where kinship is based on endogamous clan groups. Religion has commonly weighed in on the matter of which relatives, if any, are allowed to marry. Relations may be by consanguinity or affinity , meaning by blood or by marriage. On the marriage of cousins, Catholic policy has evolved from initial acceptance, through a long period of general prohibition, to the contemporary requirement for a dispensation. [75] Islam has always allowed it, while Hindu texts vary widely. [76] [77] In a wide array of lineage-based societies with a classificatory kinship system , potential spouses are sought from a specific class of relative as determined by a prescriptive marriage rule. This rule may be expressed by anthropologists using a "descriptive" kinship term, such as a "man`s mother`s brother`s daughter" (also known as a "cross-cousin"). Such descriptive rules mask the participant`s perspective: a man should marry a woman from his mother`s lineage. Within the society`s kinship terminology, such relatives are usually indicated by a specific term which sets them apart as potentially marriageable. Pierre Bourdieu notes, however, that very few marriages ever follow the rule, and that when they do so, it is for "practical kinship" reasons such as the preservation of family property, rather than the "official kinship" ideology. [78] Insofar as regular marriages following prescriptive rules occur, lineages are linked together in fixed relationships; these ties between lineages may form political alliances in kinship dominated societies. [79] French structural anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss developed alliance theory to account for the "elementary" kinship structures created by the limited number of prescriptive marriage rules possible. [80] A pragmatic (or `arranged`) marriage is made easier by formal procedures of family or group politics. A responsible authority sets up or encourages the marriage; they may, indeed, engage a professional matchmaker to find a suitable spouse for an unmarried person. The authority figure could be parents, family, a religious official, or a group consensus. In some cases, the authority figure may choose a match for purposes other than marital harmony.[ citation needed ] A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married against their will. Forced marriages continue to be practiced in parts of the world, especially in South Asia and Africa . The line between forced marriage and consensual marriage may become blurred, because the social norms of these cultures dictate that one should never oppose the desire of one`s parents/relatives in regard to the choice of a spouse; in such cultures it is not necessary for violence, threats, intimidation etc. to occur, the person simply "consents" to the marriage even if he/she doesn`t want it, out of the implied social pressure and duty. The customs of bride price and dowry , that exist in parts of the world, can lead to buying and selling people into marriage. [81] [82] In some societies, ranging from Central Asia to the Caucasus to Africa, the custom of bride kidnapping still exists, in which a woman is captured by a man and his friends. Sometimes this covers an elopement , but sometimes it depends on sexual violence . In previous times, raptio was a larger-scale version of this, with groups of women captured by groups of men, sometimes in war; the most famous example is The Rape of the Sabine Women , which provided the first citizens of Rome with their wives. Other marriage partners are more or less imposed on an individual. For example, widow inheritance provides a widow with another man from her late husband`s brothers. In rural areas of India, child marriage is practiced, with parents often arranging the wedding, sometimes even before the child is born. [83] This practice was made illegal under the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929. The financial aspects of marriage vary between cultures and have changed over time. In some cultures, dowries and bridewealth continue to be required today. In both cases, the financial arrangements are usually made between the groom (or his family) and the bride`s family; with the bride often not being involved in the negotiations, and often not having a choice in whether to participate in the marriage. In Early modern Britain , the social status of the couple was supposed to be equal. After the marriage, all the property (called "fortune") and expected inheritances of the wife belonged to the husband. A dowry is "a process whereby parental property is distributed to a daughter at her marriage (i.e. inter vivos) rather than at the holder`s death (mortis causa)… A dowry establishes some variety of conjugal fund, the nature of which may vary widely. This fund ensures her support (or endowment) in widowhood and eventually goes to provide for her sons and daughters." [84] In some cultures, especially in countries such as Turkey , India , Bangladesh , Pakistan , Sri Lanka , Morocco , Nepal , dowries continue to be expected. In India, thousands of dowry-related deaths have taken place on yearly basis, [85] [86] to counter this problem, several jurisdictions have enacted laws restricting or banning dowry (see Dowry law in India ). In Nepal, dowry was made illegal in 2009. [87] Some authors believe that the giving and receiving of dowry reflects the status and even the effort to climb high in social hierarchy. [88] Direct Dowry contrasts with bridewealth , which is paid by the groom or his family to the bride`s parents, and with indirect dowry (or dower ), which is property given to the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage and which remains under her ownership and control. [89] In the Jewish tradition, the rabbis in ancient times insisted on the marriage couple entering into a prenuptial agreement , called a ketubah . Besides other things, the ketubah provided for an amount to be paid by the husband in the event of a divorce or his estate in the event of his death. This amount was a replacement of the biblical dower or bride price , which was payable at the time of the marriage by the groom to the father of the bride. [Exodus 22:15–16] This innovation was put in place because the biblical bride price created a major social problem: many young prospective husbands could not raise the bride price at the time when they would normally be expected to marry. So, to enable these young men to marry, the rabbis, in effect, delayed the time that the amount would be payable, when they would be more likely to have the sum. It may also be noted that both the dower and the ketubah amounts served the same purpose: the protection for the wife should her support cease, either by death or divorce. The only difference between the two systems was the timing of the payment. It is the predecessor to the wife`s present-day entitlement to maintenance in the event of the breakup of marriage, and family maintenance in the event of the husband not providing adequately for the wife in his will . Another function performed by the ketubah amount was to provide a disincentive for the husband contemplating divorcing his wife: he would need to have the amount to be able to pay to the wife. Morning gifts , which might also be arranged by the bride`s father rather than the bride, are given to the bride herself; the name derives from the Germanic tribal custom of giving them the morning after the wedding night. She might have control of this morning gift during the lifetime of her husband, but is entitled to it when widowed. If the amount of her inheritance is settled by law rather than agreement, it may be called dower . Depending on legal systems and the exact arrangement, she may not be entitled to dispose of it after her death, and may lose the property if she remarries. Morning gifts were preserved for centuries in morganatic marriage , a union where the wife`s inferior social status was held to prohibit her children from inheriting a noble`s titles or estates. In this case, the morning gift would support the wife and children. Another legal provision for widowhood was jointure , in which property, often land, would be held in joint tenancy, so that it would automatically go to the widow on her husband`s death. Islamic tradition has similar practices. A ` mahr `, either immediate or deferred, is the woman`s portion of the groom`s wealth (divorce) or estate (death). These amounts are usually set on the basis of the groom`s own and family wealth and incomes, but in some parts these are set very high so as to provide a disincentive for the groom exercising the divorce, or the husband`s family `inheriting` a large portion of the estate, especially if there are no male offspring from the marriage. In some countries, including Iran, the mahr or alimony can amount to more than a man can ever hope to earn, sometimes up to US$1,000,000 (4000 official Iranian gold coins). If the husband cannot pay the mahr , either in case of a divorce or on demand, according to the current laws in Iran, he will have to pay it by installments. Failure to pay the mahr might even lead to imprisonment. [90] Bridewealth is a common practice in parts of Southeast Asia ( Thailand , Cambodia ), parts of Central Asia , and in much of sub-Saharan Africa . It is also known as brideprice although this has fallen in disfavor as it implies the purchase of the bride. Bridewealth is the amount of money or property or wealth paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom. In anthropological literature, bride price has often been explained as payment made to compensate the bride`s family for the loss of her labor and fertility. In some cases, bridewealth is a means by which the groom`s family`s ties to the children of the union are recognized. In some countries a married person or couple benefits from various taxation advantages not available to a single person. For example, spouses may be allowed to average their combined incomes . This is advantageous to a married couple with disparate incomes. To compensate for this, countries may provide a higher tax bracket for the averaged income of a married couple. While income averaging might still benefit a married couple with a stay-at-home spouse, such averaging would cause a married couple with roughly equal personal incomes to pay more total tax than they would as two single persons. In the United States, this is called the marriage penalty .[ citation needed ] When the rates applied by the tax code are not based income averaging, but rather on the sum of individuals` incomes, higher rates will usually apply to each individual in a two-earner households in a progressive tax systems. This is most often the case with high-income taxpayers and is another situation called a marriage penalty. [91] Conversely, when progressive tax is levied on the individual with no consideration for the partnership, dual-income couples fare much better than single-income couples with similar household incomes. The effect can be increased when the welfare system treats the same income as a shared income thereby denying welfare access to the non-earning spouse. Such systems apply in Australia and Canada, for example.[ citation needed ] In many Western cultures, marriage usually leads to the formation of a new household comprising the married couple, with the married couple living together in the same home, often sharing the same bed, but in some other cultures this is not the tradition. [92] Among the Minangkabau of West Sumatra , residency after marriage is matrilocal , with the husband moving into the household of his wife`s mother. [93] Residency after marriage can also be patrilocal or avunculocal . In these cases, married couples may not form an independent household, but remain part of an extended family household. Early theories explaining the determinants of postmarital residence [94] connected it with the sexual division of labor. However, to date, cross-cultural tests of this hypothesis using worldwide samples have failed to find any significant relationship between these two variables. However, Korotayev `s tests show that the female contribution to subsistence does correlate significantly with matrilocal residence in general. However, this correlation is masked by a general polygyny factor. Although, in different-sex marriages, an increase in the female contribution to subsistence tends to lead to matrilocal residence, it also tends simultaneously to lead to general non-sororal polygyny which effectively destroys matrilocality . If this polygyny factor is controlled (e.g., through a multiple regression model), division of labor turns out to be a significant predictor of postmarital residence. Thus, Murdock`s hypotheses regarding the relationships between the sexual division of labor and postmarital residence were basically correct, though [95] the actual relationships between those two groups of variables are more complicated than he expected. [96] [97] There has been a trend toward the neolocal residence in western societies. [98]

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Then move away from the personal issue, and move on to the cultural issue, which is that society teaches people that marriage is primarily about sex — that people can’t help their sex drives, can’t be happy without sex, and marriage is an outlet for it. When Ms. Lu started with “1) the husband should find better and less combative ways to address the problem,” I asked, why does he think there’s a problem to begin with? Building marriage around sex naturally leads to bad marriages. Its natural that you stop having as much when you start having children and you get busier. Couples who don’t understand this, often have trouble coping, and sometimes even realize they don’t like each other that much, and the marriage often starts to fall apart. In order to keep their marriage together, many experiment with role-playing and pharmaceuticals. Yes, we are used to understand this kind of thing this way. For that reason, if contraceptives are marriage-killers, and sex-on-demand tends to turn into uninteresting-sex, we will probably not deepen our understanding of that as a society and are thus damned to marital crisis. Good for the sex toy shops, which perhaps not coincidentally have proliferated from my point of view. Of course that is only a possibility, one which I myself cannot verify, not being married, though my knowledge of too-much-ice-cream-being-a-bad-thing enables me to give it credit. Relying on sentimental and marital education received from Hollywood and declining to consider othe people’s experiences, that will surely keep us in the dark. Great article – really made me think about PD James’ book, Children of Men. In the dystopian society she depicts in London in 2021, everyone is infertile – no children have been born in more than 2 decades. There is no “risk” of pregnancy in having sex… But, no one wants to have sex. Not married couples, not singles – no one seems to want to have sex. Rachel’s fine article helps us understand why. I hadn’t thought about that book in a long time, Anne, but great reference. Very apropos. My mother warned all my sisters and I more than 3 decades ago, (while we were teens) why the pill was so bad…aside from being against Church teachings. We saw this pattern a long time ago. In the ’70’s my sister had a friend who was in a new marriage and they were ready to divorce after a few years. They had a house paid for, a large boat, good jobs, lots of holidays, no children and already almost couldn’t stand each other. After a few years of intense alienation my sister said they decide to go off the pill and even though they were a non-religious couple, their marriage blossomed after that. That story always stuck in my memory even though I was around 16 when I heard it. Since then my husband and I (many years later )became a Billings teacher-couple and have ourselves enjoyed the benefits and joys of a no-contraception marriage (for 30 years so far…) and lots of wonderful children! Throw in homeschooling and it even got better! When I was a kid and wanted more of something that I really liked — ice cream for instance — my mother would always say “no” and explain, “it’s too much of a good thing.” That same wisdom applies here. An interesting question, “does absence make the heart grow fonder?”, but not much will be gleaned from the couple described. It sounds like they have the opposite problem (and quite a few others). Truly. If he’s only not going to miss her because there is not enough sex, there are deeper issues. I have a number of close friends whom I miss a great deal when we are apart, because there is banter and deep conversation and shared activity, and sex has never been part of the equation. How about a spiritual partnership of shared faith experiences directed at helping each other obtain the grace for eternal life. And how about the living of that faith in tandem, directed toward the love of God and neighbor. Mutual love and support in all areas of life and shared leisure activities, too. All that stuff better be in place for the couple that plans to grow old together. True enough but neglects to mention the oft-observed complaint among Catholics practicing NFP and trying to avoid a pregnancy. The natural hormonal rhythms keep women generally uninterested in sex during the infertile times of the month. It’s also true that women having lots of babies and doing ecological nursing have diminished interest too. Women with many small children, whether from exhaustion or hormones or tiredness of being touched all the time by their kids, they have a diminished interest by the end of the day. This article seems an insufficient theory to explain these phenomena. jd…I don’t know if you are male or female or prefer to be gender-anonymous. I tend to think male, since I have a nephew named JD. Anyways, there probably isn’t a “perfect” system to be moral, natural AND still have all the hormonal drive. All the stars needn’t be lined up before a husband and wife can experience intimacy. I would say that having a large amount of small children should make the father feel a little more understanding and sensitive to his wife, and on the other hand, having copious amounts of children doesn’t make a wife into an ice cube. I had many small children, at one point, three in two years with an older child also. We were never closer than we were then. It’s a matter if one grows up with everything perfect and has high expectations of things always going their way. When you’re accustomed to compromising, life stays interesting because you really appreciate the unexpected good moments! I grew up with 6 sibs so really learned to enjoy very small pleasures in life, and my husband grew up in a third-world country, so we absolutely enjoy even the smallest of pleasures that come our way. I think our children are that way also and people notice that. They ask why they are so friendly and I don’t honestly know, just that we didn’t really plug into the ever-shifting me-culture as they were growing up (no TV, still don’t have one) and the kids were always heavily involved in music (hence 3 are professsional musicians now…4th almost done cello studies….) and so their “spare” time was actually practice time and time to jamb with other musician friends. I don’t think we need to have a perfect theory to “…explain these phenomena…” of a family being called on to be understanding and compassionate to each other. If a person is always thinking about their sex drive and not in the context of a family they really shouldn’t have got married in the first place. Yes, a woman is most interested during fertility and less interested the rest of the month. But if she is “generally uninterested”, either she has a hormone imbalance or her husband may not be giving her anything to be interested in. I’ve been married to my lovely wife for close to 2 decades now and I have found her very irresistable more than ever. My challenge on the matter of intimacy is to remember to keep my passions(me first) subordinate to reason(her first). I used to ‘pout’ when denied requests/attempts for intimacy which I used to silently argue as my spousal ‘right’. I have learned since that my ‘duty’ to her trumps any of my ‘rights’. The marriage vow implicitly includes a permanent relinquishing of any right whatsoever to deny/withhold sexual relations. “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time…” (1 Corinthians 7:4-5) This is unequivocal, and basic to the nature and substance of the marriage commitment. I cringe and throw up a little whenever I read stuff like this. I don’t know if people just don’t get it, or if it just doesn’t occur to them how easy it is to abuse this. My ex husband put his foot down about his marital rights, and I laid there and took it for more than a decade, until my soul was shredded. Beating a wife over the head with a Bible until she lies down and pulls up her dress is rape. Sex is an excellent barometer for the rest of the relationship. If a woman does not want to have sex, trying to guilt or pressure her into it only makes things worse. We want to share our bodies as gift, not because they are demanded of us. Solve the underlying problem in love rather than insisting on “rights.” Being obliged to have sex isn’t rape. Rape is forced sex, the use of force in this situation implying psycological or physical violence. Coercion does not equal forced. Nor does submitting to coercion make you a rape victim. Not all marital sex is entered into, or finished off, in a spirit of deep unity and togetherness, like some Richard Gere love scene. Much marital sex is by necessity quick, vigorous, strenuous and initiated by only one person in the couple. And that’s okay too. I don’t speak for your marriage, but to use your own experiences as a measure for all relationships of what you deem to be a similar character is a mistake. There is a big difference between coercion and persuasion. Coercion is not consent. Insisting on sexual access is not an act of love. Marital sex is to be both unitive and procreative, and saying, “It’s an obligation; problem solved.” is not useful. I would not object to a reminder that sex is an essential part of marriage and needs to be taken seriously, but that’s not what I was responding to. Agreed. We must always be wary of the commodification and objectification of our spouse. Let’s remember that the marital embrace is to be modeled after Trinitarian Love. It is against this revelation that we enter into all marital encounters. And the Sacrament of Reconciliation is there for us when we come up short. (At least it’s there for me when I come up short of the mark). The consent was given during the marriage ceremony. No. St. Paul describes the role of men and women in marriage beautifully. As my holy parish priest said, men have to be the type of husbands that women will lovingly submit themselves to. Your above comment is not an example of that man because you disregard the free will of the wife. False. Women have an independent a priori obligation–if Eve had followed that obligation, or Adam had enforced it as was his duty, events would’ve transpired very differently… The freewill has been freely committed during the marriage ceremony, and is no longer free–its all an issue of faithfulness after that. The irony is that after 2000 years some females still seek and find their own way to make a manipulative uproar out of the simple truth. There is no prerequisite to the authority of the husband–if there were, it would not be authority. As Paul makes clear, a wife is to be in submission even to an ungodly, unbelieving husband–thus submission depends not at all on the qualities exemplified by the husband (that is a totally seperate issue). One cannot give free will once, at a marriage ceremony and then never again. Free will is temporal. By your understanding, the woman is then merely acquired at the wedding and is the man’s slave. St. Paul says that a man must love his wife as Christ loves his Church. Last I checked, Christ never once MADE is church love Him and serve Him. He allows us to choose Him. We choose Him because of His great love for us, His church. And some do not choose to love Him. Such it is with free will. The same is true of husband and wife. If freewill can permanently relinquish the right to divorce, it can relinquish other ‘rights’, obviously. You have the wrong idea about what consititutes freedom. Persons are free not to chose Christ, but they can never be free of the consequences of failing to chose Him as they must. There can never be a facade of legitimacy given to the failure to chose as required–and service will per force be given, the only question is to whom. “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve,…” (Joshua 24:15) Your emphasis on sovereign individuality as an overarching value is a falsehood, and is a cheap descent from the significance of transcendent marriage. There is no such thing as divorce. There is a civil divorce, but that is of man. There is no divorce with Christ in His Church (Catholic). The two that are married relinquish nothing at the moment of their vows. A person is free to not chose Christ and then they pay the consequences. Same is true for marriage. If the husband does not choose the self-denying love that Christ exemplified and St. Paul exhorted husbands to do for their wives, than the wife will not choose to lovingly submit herself to his authority. And the married couple will suffer the consequences of a painful marriage. I don’t quite follow the third paragraph. I am not emphasizing sovereign individuality. I am pointing out that both man and woman are made with free will. To say once a woman marries her duty is to meet her husband’s wants for sex at all times reduces the woman to chattel. There are times when it can be right and just in the eyes of God for a woman to deny her husband. This is not to say that some women may turn down their husbands too frequently. This could be due to a fault on either partner’s part of not living as Christ exhorted. Are you Catholic? The Church does not view marriage as you are presenting it. Not even close. In fact, if one of the two people entering into the Sacrament of Marriage were to believe that the woman relinquishes her free will upon marriage, than the marriage is invalid and does not exist. Complete nonsense. You have a false conception of what freewill is, and of what marriage entails. You have created for yourself a secular and false dichotomy between an exaggerated freedom of will, and an exaggerated bondage of will–“chattel”. God’s word is clear, and quite simple in this particular matter–though you have avoided conforming or answering God’s word, and have sought to substitute your own. I have substituted nothing. I get my interpretation of God’s word from His church, the one headed by the pope in Rome. So if I am wrong about free will, what is it then? Excellent, Evelyn! Thank you for those good words. Sorry, you are WRONG!!! Coercion IS forced sex and has nothing to do with what it is supposed to be, making mutual love. Anything less is simply using the spouse without any regard for her general disposition and sensibilities, which should never be a necessity. Here’s my guess: Judging by the content of sites like No Longer Quivering, it seems to be a fairly common experience in Christian fundamentalist churches, that husbands are pretty much expected to force themselves on their wives whenever they want sex, regardless of the timing or other considerations. This is so foreign to the Catholic mindset, that it’s hard for us to believe it actually happens. When people with those experiences hear/read about an obligation to sex, that’s their reference point, and it’s heinous. Yes, there seems to be quite a bit of projecting fundamentalist theology onto Catholic teaching. The Catholic Church does find such a view abhorrent. The Vatican recently listed it as a serious problem in certain areas of the world that the Church must oppose. I am surprised to find this ‘obligation to sex’ thinking at a Catholic site. Entering into a Catholic marriage with a view such as this would be grounds for nullification. Furthermore, I find these men seemed hyper-focused on the sex aspect of marriage. They are seemingly constantly displeased with the amount of sex in their marriage, and they feel their wife owes them. Nothing in this thinking is of self-giving, it is all me,me,me, I, I, I. There is no place for it in Catholic marriage. I know two men who were summarily “cut off”. In one case 15 years, the other 13. Both men are lying there and taking it. Lifetime network hasn’t yet done a special on this sort of situation, if you get my drift. That’s awful, and it shouldn’t be happening, and I hope there is some way for them to redeem the situation. That said, lying there and “taking” not-sex is very different from lying there and taking it as one’s body is being used for another’s pleasure. One is deprivation and the other is violation. Both bad, but in very different ways and with very different consequences. The reality is the dominant culture likes to portray some fat, hair guy in a sleeveless t-shirt spewing curses and abuse about his home, with a wife and children living in fear-but ignores other forms of the sort of situation I described. If I, in my small circle of friends, know of two individuals with this issue- and they aren’t insisting on marital rights, or straying I wonder how many more haven’t revealed it. “My ex husband put his foot down about his marital rights, and I laid there and took it for more than a decade, until my soul was shredded.” I still wonder about this-what does this mean? Did you marry without any intimate desire for your husband. It’s my experience that when people start insisting on “rights”, that’s a last resort-are just realizing that they have been denied significantly for a long time.In any fight, there’s ger side, his side and the truth. We only have your side, just as I only have the accounts of my friends. Things turned abusive. He decided that he didn’t like the natural consequences of his behavior and pulled the “rights” card, supported by clergy and the church we attended (not Catholic). Like you say, I wonder how many haven’t revealed it, given how until I started talking to Catholics, church people told me this was appropriate and I should do my duty and wait for God to change his heart. Once again, we only have your account of things. Of course you only have my side, because that’s all I can tell. Rest assured that I did nothing without the guidance of my pastor and spiritual director. Because I don’t care to share possibly identifying information in a public place, I’m nebulous on purpose. I’m feeling squeamish enough that I will probably delete some of what I’ve written already. Are you “Evelyn” or “Guest” or both? The redemption is that the husbands keep their vows of fidelity, while the wives have decided summarily that intimacy is no longer part of the marriage. Most men have no problem being “rain-checked”, but this is different. Make no mistake, these two men are the victims of “soul-shredding” spousal abuse. The cultural context of 1 Cor matters here. Through our individualistic modern American eyes, we like to read this as a straightforward “permanent relinquishing of any right whatsoever to deny/withhold sexual relations,” written to remind tired spouses with headaches that the spouse with the higher sex drive holds the God-given trump card. In Corinth, though, what was going on was a trend on the part of married Christians to give up sex as a part of their pursuit of holiness, in stark contrast to the licentiousness of the world around them. Paul is reminding Christians that except for special cases, and except for brief seasons mutually agreed upon, giving up sex in the context of marriage does not make one holier. Sex is a good and holy part of marriage, and it’s heretical and dualist to say it’s not. Apples and oranges. No. None of this would matter even if it were accurate. Paul obviously gives here the broad basic prescription, regardless of whether or what any local reason to give it may have been. The absolute is quite clear. That is not to say it is not simultaneous to other absolutes, but the fact that all the ‘yeses’ have already been said is clear. The selfishness, hyper-individualism, would be on the other side–the Bible here defines what unselfishness is. It is a sign of humanistic modernism to define the selfishness on the one particular side as you do, rather than on exactly the other side. To interrupt the Biblicaly defined unselfishness with thoughts of, “Do I…I…I want, or not…” is the relevant selfishness here. Committing to Christian marriage is a mutual permanent renouncing of this form of selfishness/individuality. Here’s a practical difficulty: if the husband is interested and the wife is not, she can lie back and think of England, however unwanted the interaction. Last I checked, though, the reverse is not true, and a husband whose wife requests intercourse when he is too tired/whatever to perform, cannot avoid depriving his wife if he cannot convince his body to become aroused (and there is no other licit way for him to satisfy her). It seems to me that this scripture cannot be taken as a simple, literal, overarching principle, since biology keeps it from applying mutually to both members of the couple. Who cares? What difference to the principle could it possibly make? Where does a person get the equality fetish from? Equivalent worth as a soul before God very obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with physical, material equality. “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:8-9) What is best for woman is, again obviously, what she was created for–her beliefs should fall into line therewith, for her own good and the good of others as God intended. That’s what she has those small, delicate, dexterous hands for. You didn’t mention the influence of TV in The Sad Case of the The Spreadsheet Chap. His wife was often watching the goggle, if I remember rightly, and didn’t want to miss ‘her’ show. Telly has a direct effect on fertility rates; people would rather watch it than have sex, and once they’re done with ‘their’ show, are too tired or emotionally exhausted to get down to it. I have a friend with lots of kids who occasionally gets those questions about “Don’t you know what causes that?” and “Don’t you have a TV or something?” and her reply is always that if they think TV is better than sex, they’re doing it wrong. my best friend’s mother-in-law makes $62 hourly on the internet . She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay was $19960 just working on the internet for a few hours. you can look here. ===>>> www. work76 .com uncharitable, Jesus would have spoken thoughtfully to her/him? Now why does the Catholic Church (and others) spend so much time pondering such personal questions. interference in the private lives of people? Mote and beam maybe the first consideration and having considered, maybe it then might occur that this is plainly intrusive. It whiffs a lot of being seen strolling in the market place – there are a lot of “the least amongst us” (that is, the least in the eyes of each of us) out there whom we all need to recognise. I suggest that there is enough work to go round for all of us recognising the godhead in each of these, the least, and no time for such prurient pre-occupation. Squatting down, Jesus sees the woman still standing there after her would-be stoners have melted away. “Who has condemned you” “No one” “Neither do I, go and sin no more”. By the way, that was sin in round not adultery …. And of marriage, Jesus also says it’s not for everyone. (The Church always insists it is bar the clergy.) For example (so there will be others), he says, the eunuchs, of 3 kinds: those born so, those made so and those by choice – the last mainly not about self-emasculation but about the celibate etc. The second, those brutalised by the powerful, robbed of their sexual capacity. Of the first group, I have read that it contained not only the sterile from birth but also the word was used to denote effeminate men and gayness in general. That is, Jesus recognised reality, diversity and the need tor tolerance and acceptance. He didn’t inquire, so far as I have read, into any couple’s sexual capacity or privacy, the sanctity of their vows indeed. He did, we are told, turn water into wine at a wedding party ….. MYOB = Mind Your Own Business. Where else do you exclude Jesus? No. Where do you exclude him? He included. All. You post said you exclude Him from your private life. Fantasy, it’s you I might well exclude given such a comment. typical arrogance, those who use him to justify their own warped intentions to make all of us do what they want. I’ll leave it between him and me to discuss whether I exclude him. I just don’t agree with your right to determine what he meant, I can read for myself and think for myself. I exclude prurient snooping. You don’t seem to recognise privacy even in the marriage bed. What a nasty religious viewpoint masquerading as virtue. Jesus didn’t spy into the life of the woman taken in adultery but you want even to pry into the marriage bed. Again, what other parts of your life do you exclude Jesus? It’s an artificial separation you make, kind of “willing it to be so”, this notion of a purely personal space absent from any concern for others. . . or others concern for/in you. You’re in the human race, like it or not. And the love of Jesus isn’t really something one should ignore. Nice try …. I don’t need you to tell me whether Jesus loves me or not, that’s for sure. Nor was he much concerned with the rules you have set around him. “Purely personal space” … what a marvellous excuse for you to be able to tell me or anyone else what they can do in their bedrooms. If love is there, then it’s no matter how much or little sex takes place, and you have no right to demand any accountability from anyone. If it’s not, then the issue is wholly irrelevant for, whether it’s within or outside marriage makes no difference. Tell me that love only occurs within marriage and that it always occurs within marriage and that it doesn’t happen outside of. I think that is better understanding of the human race than your lecturing. I go back to the fact that Jesus said a lot more about recognising the godhead in the least of us (whoever that may be for me or for you), that has to be the hardest demand of love, far more challenging than your bedroom pre-occupations. If Jesus says he doesn’t judge, then why do you think you have such a right? His injunction is “to sin no more”. All sin, not adultery. He didn’t say that to her. He warns about being seen as righteous in the market place …. you have your reward (a rather acid point, meaning you won’t get brownie points from him for it….. We do have personal space, Jesus speaks of it. You have created a new Church. Christ already founded His Church. You must think you know more. Christ is there in the marital bed…..whether you choose to believe it or not. Pathetic justification. Listen to yourself. It’s incredible. Next you’ll tell me the Virgin Mary was impregnated through her ear (a theory in the Middle Ages to get round their insistence it was not through “normal channels”). “Christ is in the marriage bed”. What on earth do you mean? This is your unhealthy preoccupation with the sexual lives of other people. Christ would have had none of it. You measure the marriage bed but take no measure of decency. You may want to be there in another’s marriage bed, I am damn sure Jesus doesn’t. Don’t type angry….! Why such angst? Christ is everywhere. Especially during the marital act, whose primary end is procreation. The creation of life. Can you really argue that Christ has no involvement at that point? Angst? Some impatience after so many centuries. How literal of you. He also respects privacy, he can do both, unlike us. We cannot be both there even if “in mind only” and respect privacy. He can. You cannot question Jesus on that, none of us would understand how. “Primary” as opposed to “sole” (so maybe some progress). But primary denotes secondary maybe other orders of priority. The primary has to be regulated so as not to produce more children than a family should try to manage – for some that is one, others ten etc. For some, none? But in any case, logic and experience tells us that the primary, if there be so, is going to be many less instances than the secondary. So if secondary is mainly leisure/ pleasure, then we can see it will predominate is instances if not importance. Here comes the privacy bit you dislike, it seems. It is for the couple, with their Maker, to decide which is which, and them alone. You have no say, nor do I. God respects their free will. They have the sex, they may use means to try to plan, but in the end they do not decide conception. You will argue, as you must, that God alone decides that. How any of this squares with a quantum-based reality, God only knows – I really believe that. Does this apply outside of church-sanctioned marriage? Does God’s law not apply there too? Yes, it must. Whom God hath joined …. not man. We perhaps need to ask, who does God join? That has to be a fundamental question, and no ‘pat’ doctrinal answers, please. If you claim that there are not couples who have not had church- or state-sanctioned marriage ceremonies who are not as joined by God, then I would think you are somewhat blind to the world around you. Praying in secret: I rather think that would cover me and a partner in private asking for God’s blessing and understanding from our lives that God has rewarded our prayer in a happy and loving relationship thereafter, come thick and thin. Is it alright for people married in church not to have children? Tell me that. Not, oh they can’t because of this and that fertility issue etc etc, but simply because they don’t want to. If they have sex it is not for procreation. Condemned? You may ask why get married? Well, they love one another, try that one. They want God to join them together. Jesus got very angry indeed, scathing. A little angst I may be allowed. After all this whole business came to me in a communication not me seeking it out. What nonsense. Jesus is not a “snoop”. His moral law exists no matter how much you deny it.

Is Your Marriage Falling Apart? Marriage Quest is a private personalized 3-day marriage retreat program located in Cabot Vermont. It is for married and non-married couples who are looking for an intensive and effective approach to relationship or marriage counseling, even healthy divorce counseling. The two of us work with one couple at a time so that we can focus on your specific goals. You do not need to figure out which program is right for the two of you. We tailor the sessions to your situation. Marriage Quest has been named the #1 Best Marriage Counseling Retreat in the U.S. by Guide Doc since 2015, is in The Top 10 Marriage Intensive Retreats by Rank My Therapist, one of the 5 Best Marriage Boot Camps and Couple`s Retreats by The Coolist, is #2 in The Top 50 Marriage Intensive Retreats in 2018 by The Marriage Intensive Network, and is #2 in the list of Top Marriage Retreat sites by Top 20 Sites. It is not a group program like workshops, seminars, or marriage encounters. The two of you will meet together with the two highly-trained Marriage and Family Therapists, Israel Helfand, PhD, MS, LMFT, CST and Cathie Helfand, MS, MFT who have been working together as a couple with couples since 1983. We have found that our private intensive couple-to-couple retreat (the four of us working together) is a highly effective way to help couples understand and resolve their problems, whether they are in a crisis and at a crossroad in their relationship... or hoping for a deeper intimate connection. Many couples come to us after an emotional or sexual affair, with one person wanting a divorce and the other person wanting to keep the relationship together. In this situation our job is to understand the roots of their problem, explore the options together, and help them make their momentous decision. Unlike other programs, we advocate for marriage but not at any price. The objective of our marriage retreat is to support the two of you in your specific personal relationship goals, whatever they may be, while concurrently enhancing your relationship. As a husband and wife team, counseling couples together for more than 25 years, we have specific training in marriage therapy and marriage repair. We know personally and professionally about the challenges of modern day relationships. With this knowledge we bring to marriage therapy a blend of male and female perspectives and a comfort with the issues common to evolving relationships. Whether it is to renew and awaken your fading love, repair a marriage that is ready to fall apart, or make a major relationship decision, our couple to couple intensive marriage retreat can help you gain insights into your personal situation while teaching you healthy communication skills to keep your discussions focused and fair. Our work is professional and non-denominational. We believe that people have the right to be happy, and that children greatly benefit from authentically happy parents, and that the most important goal is to follow the truth... to treat each other honestly... and to do that with love and respect. Our three-day marriage retreat has been designed for the couple wanting a private marriage counseling experience that is deeper and more comprehensive than that which they may have experienced in regular weekly counseling sessions. The marriage retreat is offered regularly throughout the year at our Cabot, Vermont retreat center. Unlike most marriage encounters, seminars, workshops, and retreats this is not a group experience. Meeting with you, one couple at a time allows us to deal exclusively with your personal relationship issues. The four of us usually meet together in our comfortable counseling room, but often we meet one-on-one for a short period of time to explore a specific issue. Many couples come here to get in touch with their deeper truth: whether it is to rekindle and rescue their relationship, explore the decision of a separation, or to work towards a friendly divorce and healthy co-parenting. The marriage retreat will include: Opportunities to discuss what you each see as the problems, as well as strengths, in your marriage An in-depth discussion of your personal backgrounds and experiences, including your history as a couple together Depending on the problems that brought you to Marriage Quest, we may together discuss and learn what you saw in each other in the first place, stages of marriage and where you are today, problems of non-communication or mis-communication, how to identify misconceptions and change your reactions, stereotypes and prejudices and how to change them, and changing self-defeating behaviors Couples have come to Marriage Quest from many faraway places... from Alaska, St. Thomas, Scotland, California, and many places in-between. They stay at a local B&B, motel, or hotel while meeting for three days of intensive marital therapy. Couples have come to us for many phases of relationship (including pre-marital) counseling to build better communication skills and a structure for a healthy marriage. (Hey Mom and Dad, what a great idea for an engagement present!) We have often heard from clients, many of whom themselves are therapists, that our 3 day program is worth more than six months to a year of 45 minute weekly therapy sessions. Come experience what many other couples have found to be a more satisfying, comfortable, private, cost effective, and time-efficient way to nourish or heal your marriage/relationship. More than half of the couples that come to our retreats are considering a divorce. Usually, one partner thinks that they should get a divorce and the other thinks they should not. Our job is to determine the source of the problems, help you to understand them, and find ways to eliminate these problems (if possible). If you are trying to make this momentous decision we can help you work through your questions, choices, and decisions. If you then decide to get a divorce, we can help you acquire the skills to move forward in a positive direction, improve your relationship, and learn to be better co-parents. You can make a better decision if you have explored the situation more completely. Click here to learn more about Exploring Divorce . The discovery of infidelity is an earth-shaking experience - often tearing a marriage apart and leading to a cold relationship or an instant initiation of divorce. We have helped many couples turn the excitement of an affair back into the marriage while rebuilding trust and commitment within the marriage. Intensive marriage therapy, when accompanied by motivation on the part of both partners, provides an opportunity to address the nature and motivation of an affair and move forward. Couples we work with have the courage to face the truth and explore the options of staying together, a possible trial separation, or discussing divorce. Paradoxically this often leads to increased relief and a positive outcome. Click for more information on Marriage Therapy to Survive Infidelity . Emotional affairs can be anything from regular emails with an old lover or office friend... to secret meetings that are leading up to a sexual affair. For the spouse involved in this relationship it often seems innocent and exciting. For the uninvolved spouse it usually is devastating, shows a lack of trust and extreme betrayal of the marital bond, and hurts deeply. Our job is to help navigate healthy discussions of what has been missing in the marriage, how the marriage can be more intimate (emotionally and sexually), and agreement on what is reasonable behavior with friends of the opposite sex. Click for more information on Detecting and Surviving an Emotional Affair . If you have detected a change in your partner`s personality, actions, or habits perhaps the problem is what is known as a mid-life crisis. A mid-life crisis can have many effects on one`s life, many behaviors that need attention. Since these behaviors affect the marriage relationship, at Marriage Quest we evaluate the problems, seek the underlying causes, and work with you to find solutions, in order to revive the marriage. Click for a more detailed description of The Mid-life Crisis . When the last child leaves home some couples breathe a sigh of relief while others find themselves lost and disoriented. This time of change can be a time of crisis and lonliness, or soul searching and growth. Click here to learn more about the Empty Nest "opportunity" . Retirement, even if it is planned, is usually a major life change and often creates a strain on the marriage. Many of the couples coming to our Intensive Marriage Retreat are considering divorce after one spouse has retired and their marriage is full of conflict and stress. Click here for more information on Retirement challenges. Human sexuality is an extremely complex subject and is, for many couples, a very tender and sensitive issue. Even therapists may avoid the subject because of their personal discomfort. At Marriage Quest, it is with great care that the four of us, couple to couple, may enter the discussion of sex in your marriage, when it seems appropriate. Click here for more information on Sexuality . The symptoms of marital problems are often exhibited in problems of intimacy... including emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, and sexual intimacy. Each partner often sees the problem quite differently, and has a different solution in mind. When we see that intimacy is one of the marriage problems we both call upon our experiences as Marriage and Family Therapists and Sex Therapists to carefully work through the barriers to intimacy. Click for more information on our approach to counseling in the areas of Emotional Intimacy and Physical Intimacy . Traumatic occurrences, past or present, can cause many kinds of emotional challenges in a marriage. If a couple has recently experienced a traumatic event, or are in the middle of a crisis, we help them sort things out and make some good decisions. Whether the trauma is recent or from the past, we help couples gain insight and understanding along with new skills to improve their individual and their marital situation. Click here for more information on Emotional Traumas. No new phase of your life is as tremendous as the step into marriage. Take time to prepare and acquire the skills to make a success of it. Make sure you start off on the right foot. Second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first, so learn from the past, and make this the best marriage ever. Click here to learn more about Marriage Quest Pre-Marital Counseling . Email us at the link below if you want more information on scheduling and pricing. Call us at 802-563-3063, if you want to talk more about your specific situation and how our Marriage Quest retreat can help the two of you. Come experience what many other couples have found to be a more satisfying, comfortable, private, cost effective, and time-efficient way to nourish, heal, or re-direct your marriage/relationship that ran in Seven Days February 26, 2014. To view Full Publication List of articles By Us or About Us, please click here .

Decked in Zac Posen, Ellen and Portia got hitched during a super intimate candlelit ceremony at their home in 2008. Because why rent out a venue when your house is gorgeous, right? The ceremony was witnessed by just 19 guests, and — in an especially cute touch — their vows were handwritten. By the way, Ellen announced her plans to wed Portia during a taping of The Ellen Show, after California`s Supreme Court reversed their ban on gay marriage. Clearly, this was a long time coming! Watch the couple`s insanely cute wedding video here . Modern Family`s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband, Justin Mikita, made their love official in 2013 at a celeb-filled New York City ceremony. "I think the service at Justin and Jesse`s wedding was so beautifully honest," So You Think You Can Dance judge Nigel Lythgoe tweeted . "It was so emotional that when we weren`t laughing we were crying." The couple asked that donations be made to marriage equality charity Tie the Knot instead of gifts, because that`s how hard they rule. Neil and David looked all kinds of dapper in Tom Ford suits at their 2014 Italian wedding , which took place five whole years after they got engaged. Neil even tweeted about the big day, saying, "Guess what? David Burtka and I got married over the weekend. In Italy. Yup, we put the `n` and `d` in `husband.`" In other news, Elton John performed at their nuptials. *cut to the rest of us hiring a mere DJ* Speaking of Elton John, he and David Furnish got married in 2014, a whopping nine years after they entered into a civil partnership. They had an intimate ceremony , but chose to broadcast the event to anyone wanting to bare witness to their marriage by posting pictures with the hashtag #ShareTheLove. "We don`t feel the need to take an extra step legally," Furnish said of the union. "But since we`re committed for life, we feel it`s really important to take that step, and take advantage of that amazing change in legislation. We all live by example." Lance and Michael made history as the first gay couple to have their wedding televised on American TV, and their special, Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding, is definitely worth watching. Spoiler alert puppy ring bearers and hand-written vows were involved, and the ceremony itself took place at the Park Plaza Hotel in 2014, which they chose for its royal theme. "We needed a space that really reflected our dream wedding," Bass said . "We wanted it to have a royal vibe, and everything about the place is over the top and gorgeous. It was exactly the backdrop we needed." Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon and Christine Marinoni got engaged at a rally supporting same sex marriage, and three years later (in 2012, to be exact) they tied the knot in New York. "I`m enjoying being engaged very much," Nixon said of waiting for same sex marriage to be legalized. "I don`t mind a long engagement, which this one is surely turning out to be." (P.S. Nixon wore custom Carolina Herrera ... to die for). Designer Tom Ford married journalist Richard Buckley (at the time, his partner of 27 whopping years) in 2014, and dropped the news during an interview at the Apple store like it ain`t no thing, saying , "Richard, yes, 27 years, and we`re now married, which is nice. I know that it was just made legal in the U.K., which is great. We were married in The States." Designer Michael Kors wed his longtime partner, Lance, in a private ceremony on Dune Beach in 2011 (they got engaged after New York legalized same sex marriage). His statement on the union? Basically the cutest thing ever: "To marry someone as wonderful and special to me as Lance barefoot on a glorious beach is more than I could have dreamed of." Comedian Wanda Sykes and her wife, Alex, got hitched in 2008 (a month before Wanda came out as gay). The couple are pretty private about their relationship, but Wanda did open up about her thoughts on the resistance toward gay marriage being legalized. “I don’t understand why people really get upset about something that doesn’t affect them," she told Oprah . "And I say, do you know how many people got married yesterday? Neither do I and I don’t care.” Jodie Foster married Alexandra Hedison in 2014 after less than a year of dating, and since Foster is notoriously private, not much is known about the wedding. Fair enough, most people don`t want their most emotional and meaningful day splashed around the entire world!

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