80 Year Old Bride Marries for First Time in Nursing Home

80 Year Old Bride Marries for First Time in Nursing Home

(Link): 80 Year Old Bride Marries for First Time in Nursing Home

Nov 18, 2016

One 80-year-old bride finally found the love of her life.

Maria Cobar wed 95-year-old widower Carlos Suarez inside their Miami Beach nursing home, the Aventura Plaza Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.

Nearly 100 guests, including Aventura Plaza staff, friends and family, joined the newlyweds for their nuptials.

The bride wore a champagne-colored sequined dress with matching jacket along with a veil, while the groom wore khaki slacks and a crisp white shirt.

Continue reading “80 Year Old Bride Marries for First Time in Nursing Home”

Dad Buys Full-Page $900 Newspaper Ad Seeking a Wife for His 48 Year Old, Never Married Son

Dad Buys Full-Page $900 Newspaper Ad Seeking a Wife for His 48 Year Old, Never Married Son

I hope this father realizes that men over 40 who father kids are more likely to father a kid with various diseases, see link 1, link 2, link 3.

(Link): Dad places newspaper ad to find wife for son

(Link):  Dad seeks ‘wife’ for 48-year-old son with full-page newspaper ad

(Link):  Wife wanted: Dad places spouse-needed ad in Idaho newspaper

  • The ad gives a brief description of Brooks, including a photo with the disclaimer, “I look just like my picture, except I now have grey hair.” The “About You” section states applicants “Will be attractive being height and weight proportional.” It also goes on to say that applicants should be prepared to have children with Brooks and also be a stay-at- home mom.

(Link):  MEDDLING BEVERLY HILLS DAD PUTS OUT FULL-PAGE AD TO FIND 48-YEAR-OLD SON A WIFE

  • He said his father has been ill and wants a grandson to carry on the family name.Brooks compared his father to Larry David’s character in the TV series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” saying he “thinks he does the right thing, and then it all blows up in his face.”

    He said he’d never buy an ad like this himself, but “it’s worth a shot. Can’t hurt.”

(Link):  Full-page newspaper ad seeking wife

(Link): Dad Buys Full-Page $900 Newspaper Ad Seeking a Wife for His 48 Year Old, Never Married Son

  • One father in Beverly Hills is trying to find his son a wife the old-fashioned way.
  • Arthur Brooks, 78, spent $900 on a full-page ad in Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Press newspaper using the headline “Looking For a Wife.”

Continue reading “Dad Buys Full-Page $900 Newspaper Ad Seeking a Wife for His 48 Year Old, Never Married Son”

Woman Marries First Time at Age 50 – A 700 Club Episode

Woman Marries First Time at Age 50 – A 700 Club Episode

This woman’s story was on today’s broadcast of Christian TV show “The 700 Club”

She did not marry for the first time until she was 50 years old to a guy the same age or a bit older than her. I think the show said he was divorced before.

You can listen to her story here:

Her story starts around the 11:15 mark of the video

——————–

Related Posts:

(Link): Stop Telling Women Their Most Valuable Asset Is Their Youth (From Time) 

(Link):   True Love Waits . . . and Waits . . . and Waits – editorial about delayed marriage and related issues

(Link): The Grief, Happiness, and Hope of Late-in-Life Singleness by H. Ferguson

(Link):  Want To But Can’t – The One Christian Demographic Being Continually Ignored by Christians Re: Marriage

(Link): Woman’s First Marriage at Age 40+

Continue reading “Woman Marries First Time at Age 50 – A 700 Club Episode”

How Sorry Do We Feel for the Lonesome Single Bachelors of New York? by T. Moore (never married men in their 40s talk about being tired of being single)

How Sorry Do We Feel for the Lonesome Single Bachelors of New York? by T. Moore (never married men in their 40s talk about being tired of being single)

I am not surprised to see some of these 40 something men, who have never married, pine for a 20 something women – some claiming it’s so they can “start families.”

Hey, sexist, ageist entitled never-married male buffoons: women in their 30s and 40s menstruate and can have babies too, if that’s your thing. See the links below on this page under “Related Posts” for more on that.

But I’d also have to point out that many 20 something women have no desire to marry men over five to ten years their senior. Most women are grossed out by dudes who are ten or more years their senior “hitting on them.”

I’m in my 40s and have no desire to marry or date a 60 something or 70 something dude, yet sometimes, these jokers contact me on dating sites, in spite of the fact my age cap cuts off after about 6 or 7 years my age.

(Link): How Sorry Do We Feel for the Lonesome Single Bachelors of New York? by T. Moore (never married men in their 40s talk about being tired of being single)

Excerpts:

  • It’s not a trick question: There’s a piece in the New York Times about aging single men in their 30s and 40s who are finally ready to settle down, but bummed that it takes actual effort and stuff.
  • What shall we do here? A round of sympathy drinks? Or a heartless, sarcastic boo-hoo?
  • First, let’s get to know the men (Link): in the piece:
  • Scott Slattery, 35-year-old communications and marketing consultant

    Slattery wants to be a dad but realizes old age is encroaching. “I still want to take care of [my kids] through their entire lives, so I don’t want to be old.”

  • There are more: Paul Gollash, the 40-year-old who realized in his late thirties that he was “fed up with being single” and so he suddenly had to hit up all the sorts of places he’d never have gone before to do the dreaded mingling, like cocktail parties and work events.

  • Or Alan Yang, the co-creator of the Aziz Ansari Netflix show Master of None who admitted that it wasn’t until his sister had a baby that it struck him that he might want a family of his own.

  • Or there’s 44-year-old Paul Morris, who doesn’t want kids, but doesn’t want to be single forever, either. He was out at a bar at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night—trying to be “out there,” and wondering if this was what 44 really looks like.

  • ….So, truth be told, it’s easy to mock these guys—careerists out working hard, having fun, seemingly oblivious to the notion that time ticks along for everyone.
  • It’s, yes, amusing to see men grappling mid-life with an insight that was tucked into an invisible pamphlet issued at birth to every woman I know. It read: Better lock something down before it’s too late and your looks are all dried up. Women have spent decades fighting this cultural notion of a female expiration date, only to find out that men have one too?

Continue reading “How Sorry Do We Feel for the Lonesome Single Bachelors of New York? by T. Moore (never married men in their 40s talk about being tired of being single)”

Things Married People Should Not Say to Singles (via Hax)

This was published in an advice Hax column, December 2015.

Advice from a single adult to married people (this was not written by me; it was written by a guest writer at the Hax column):

——————————————-

On being single in a familial sea of marrieds:

I highly recommend that those who are married consider the following do’s and don’ts before they spend time with only one single person (or very few).

●Do not monopolize the conversation with discussions of your kids.

Being interested in keeping up with nieces, nephews and other relatives doesn’t mean wanting to hear a scene-by-scene description of little Sally’s role in the kindergarten play.

Besides being mind-numbingly boring, it can be disheartening to hear someone else go on about their joy in raising a child when you may never experience it for yourself.

●Do engage single people in conversations about their own lives such as job/career, hobbies or travel.

Continue reading “Things Married People Should Not Say to Singles (via Hax)”

Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

(Link): Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop

Excerpts:

  • I am 43, single, never married, and have no kids. That’s me. While those statistics do not define me, sometimes I let them do just that.

Continue reading “Single and 40: Dealing with Disappointment by L. Bishop”

‘Great Christian Love Debate’ speakers tell singles to keep looking

‘Great Christian Love Debate’ speakers tell singles to keep looking

(Link): ‘Great Christian Love Debate’ speakers tell singles to keep looking

Excerpts:

  • “Rejection is God’s protection.” Ah, the salve of comfort for broken hearts.

Continue reading “‘Great Christian Love Debate’ speakers tell singles to keep looking”

Obnoxious, Condescending, Sexist, Pervy Esquire Editorial by 50-Something Year Old Man: “In Praise of 42 Year Old Women” – Condescendingly Reassures 40 Something Women He’d Sex Them Up

Obnoxious, Condescending, Sexist Esquire Editorial by 50-Something Year Old Man, Tom Junod: “In Praise of 42 Year Old Women” – Condescendingly Reassures 40 Something Women He’d Sex Them Up
—————
WARNING: This post contains the “F” word in it a lot, mostly by other people who I am quoting. I am not going to sit here and edit out all the “F” words. Proceed at your own risk if naughty words make you blush

Edit. There is a follow up to this post on this blog here:
(Link): Follow Up – Reactions by Other Writers to Sexist, Condescending 50 Something Men Who Think They Are Final Arbiters of If Women Are Attractive Past Age of 40 (Re: Esquire Editorial by Junod)
—————-
I do acknowledge that there is a lot of sexism and ageism in our culture. Women are thought to have “sell by” dates – and I notice this age varies.

(By the way, the same thing has caught up to men now. See for instance: (Link): Men Become ‘Invisible’ And Lose Sex Appeal At 39 – Article from Daily Caller)

This attitude about women and women’s ages varies from person to person, and from decade to decade.

I remember when I was a kid, age 40 was thought to be a little on the “old” side – not by me personally, but by the wider culture, the TV shows, magazines, newspapers, people in their 20s and maybe 30s at the time.

(Starting when I was around age eight, I began reading the newspaper almost daily, even the front section, that had the political and cultural news, and I watched the evening news with my father every night. That’s how I can say with confidence I’m pretty well attuned to how people viewed things back then.)

In the last few years, sexist PUA and MRA guys have said a woman’s expiration date is age 25, while others of them say no, it’s 30, while others might say 35. Of course, all of them overlook the fact that women do not even have an expiration date to start with.

That none of these males can agree with each other on when a woman supposedly loses her hotness testifies to the truth that it’s all bogus.

Even in the sub-heading of this nauseating editorial, it is stated from the out-set,

    In our occasional ranking of the ages, we found that this year’s most alluring is not what you’d expect. It’s not 27 (honored in 1999) or 39 (2008) or 86 (1937 and 1983). No, this year it’s 42. Because it’s not what it used to be.

You might be tempted to think, well, if that is so, if this magazine is honoring 40 something women, wouldn’t you be thrilled that a magazine is writing an editorial saying that 40 something women are no longer considered old, past their prime, or old hags? No, not entirely.

Because the editorial is condescending, and the author, Tom Junod, says insulting things, such as, a woman’s beauty is fading when she is in her 40s (no, it’s not).

This reminds me of an editorial at a Christian site, by a married man, who tried to reassure adult singles that we are fine dandy dan just they way we are.

I appreciate that the Christian author was trying to be helpful or compassionate to older singles, but the condescending attitude was more of a put down (read that page here: (Link): Oh geeze. Another married Christian condescendingly patting single Christians on the head, reassuring them they are dandy as-is, and to remember they have the fictional Gift of Singleness)

It’s the same thing with this editorial. The male author, who is 55 or 56 years old, says he would gladly have sex with a 42 year old woman.

I saw photos of this guy at Gawker, and I find him terribly unattractive. I am in my early 40s, fit, attractive, and I would not give him the time of day. What on earth makes him think I’d want to do him, out of gratitude that he says he finds women of my age still attractive? No, no, no. That is condescending.

As an author at Gawker summarized the Esquire editorial:

(Link): Esquire Writers: We’re Willing to Fuck Early Middle-Aged Ladies, (from Gawker)

The original ed is here:
(Link): IN PRAISE OF 42-YEAR-OLD WOMEN, by Tom Junod (on Esquire’s site)

Yeah, see, I don’t need a dude more than ten years my age reassuring me I’m fine as I am. I already know I’m fine as I am.

Here’s the intro:

    by Tom Junod
    Published in the August 2014 issue

    Let’s face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman.

    With half her life still ahead of her, she was deemed to be at the end of something—namely, everything society valued in her, other than her success as a mother.

    If she remained sexual, she was either predatory or desperate; if she remained beautiful, what gave her beauty force was the fact of its fading. And if she remained alone… well, then God help her.

From the Gawker author’s take on Junod’s editorial:

    Esquire magazine (Motto: “The Inactive Ingredients of Erection Pills, in Magazine Form”) has a very important message to all the 42-year-old women out there: Esquire writer at large Tom Junod might like to fuck you.

    That’s right, ladies of a certain age (42). Tom Junod has decided you may still be hot.

    This was not always the case. Once upon a time, 42-year-old women were not really worth wanting to fuck, or if Tom Junod did want to fuck one, it made him sad.

    [snip Juno intro]

    Now, though? Now 42 is awesome. Tom Junod can name several famous women who are 42 who he would be willing to fuck. Right in their 42-year-old vaginas. Cameron Diaz. Sofia Vergara. Leslie Mann. Amy Poehler.

    He would fuck these women, despite their age, and even share a joke with them, because the 42-year-old woman, she is a person, or at least a person-like idea:

    [Gawker author quoting Junod]:
    It is no accident that every woman mentioned here has comic as well as carnal appeal, and entices with the promise of lust with laughs.

But it’s not all easy. Being sexually attractive to Tom Junod at the age of 42 is a real job:

    [Gawker author quoting Junod]:
    Of course, they have to work for their advantage; they have armored themselves with yoga and Pilates even as they joke about the spectacle.

    Still, what has made them figures of fantasy is not that they have redefined the ideals of female strength but rather their own vulnerabilities.

    Go to a party: There is simply no one as unclothed as a forty-two-year-old woman in a summer dress. For all her toughness, and humor, and smarts, you know exactly what she looks like, without the advantage of knowing who she is.

Were you afraid you might go to a summer party, as a 42-year-old woman, and not have a magazine writer mentally appraise what you would look like without your clothing on? Fear not (as long as you’ve been doing yoga and Pilates)—Tom Junod is so thoroughly prepared to undress you with his mind, you’re already naked.

What accounts for society’s and Esquire’s sudden tolerance of women of this age, 42? Tom Junod, according to Wikipedia, was born in the Eisenhower Administration, and is currently either 55 or 56 years old. Nevertheless, Tom Junod is gracious enough to admit he’s capable of wanting to fuck women who are within 13 or 14 years of his own age.

I, myself, by coincidence, am 42 years old right now. But I am male. As such, I would like to follow Tom Junod’s lead and reassure all the 28-year-old women of the world that I do not believe their advanced years should render them sexually unattractive to me.

Or maybe he’s using a percentage, rather than a spread of years. Tom Junod is willing to entertain the thought of intimate relations with women all the way up to 75 percent of his own age.

Tom Junod, age 21, cruises into the high school parking lot to tell the 15-year-olds they’re still OK. (He shakes his head at Sweet Sixteen parties, though.)

Tom Junod, age 30, is ready to consider dating a summer intern in his office, even if she has already finished college. Tom Junod, age 85, tells a 63-year-old woman not to worry, she’s still got a little something going on, in his eyes.

It boils down to feminism, you see:

    [Gawker author quoting Junod]:
    A few generations ago, a woman turning forty-two was expected to voluntarily accept the shackles of biology and convention; now it seems there is no one in our society quite so determined to be free.

    Conservatives still attack feminism with the absurd notion that it makes its adherents less attractive to men; in truth, it is feminism that has made forty-two-year-old women so desirable.

This is what it was all about, ladies.

But Tom Junod is, after all, only one man. You may be asking yourselves: Do other men also want to fuck 42-year-old women? Do they ever!

There’s a double feature playing at the Esquire Drive-In, and the second show is by Stephen Marche, who is not quite even 40 yet. Guess what?

    [Gawker author quoting Marche]:
    Women who are 42 are grown-ups, they are in control of their own lives, or as in control of their own lives as they are going to be anyway, and it is altogether good that American men desire women in this state. Desirability and self-possession should go together.

Marche, though, is not sure this is so nice. He is writing to express the fact that he is uncomfortable about the use of the term “MILF,” when applied to these 42-year-old targets of male desire.

Why? Possibly because it is a porn indexing term, inherently and exclusively used to objectify women? Well, yes, but no. The fact that “MILF” is a popular pornographic search term, to Marche, indicates not that it is a constructed concept, which is shaping men’s sexual expectations, but the opposite—that it reflects some deeper or prior impulse. You can ((( click here ))) to read the rest.

No, I don’t find it flattering or reassuring that a wrinkly looking 55 year old writes an editorial telling women of my age he’d still like to boink me.

The guy who wrote this travesty apparently thinks this is a one way street, where only men are visual and only men care about what a person looks like. Wrong! Women are visual and care about when men look like.

I find that condescending on so many different levels, that for one, he assumes I’d find him handsome or charming enough to want to boink back (and the answer to both is no, I don’t).

I don’t need anyone reassuring me it’s okay to be 40-something. I already know that. Trying to convince me it’s okay is actually insulting in a way.

Here are a few of the reader comments from Gawker that were underneath this article:

by NoLackawannaTom Scocca
Yesterday 8:04pm
I find it sadly comical that men— aging, fat, balding— always think they can attract women half their age. (Actually, they often can—if they’re rich or famous or both.)
I wonder if they ever considered that some hot, beautiful women ten years older than them would drink battery acid before they would fuck them.

by baddoggy
Thursday 2:05pm
This is fucking jaw dropping.

It takes a lot to get a rise out of me but this Tom Junod guy has hit a spot I didn’t know was there. I’m a 40 year old male and this sickens me.

This guy is disgusting.
I couldn’t even finish the article.

The parts I did read made me puke in my mouth a little bit. He’s what? 55 or 56? So who in the hell is he lusting after in real life? What age is the lady he’s dating or married to? Jeez.

by courtneys_keyboard
Thursday 1:58pm
What the shit is this shit.

This is nauseating to men and women. The idea that women have a sell by date is ludicrous, and the idea that men should determine who to sleep with based on chronology is moronic.

The truth is that people will sleep with almost anyone. People (mostly in Florida) will have sex with relatives, with animals, with warm soup.

The attempt to make yourself feel more successful by only copulating with what the Esquire staff considers acceptable is pretty pathetic. Fuck who you want, provided they also want you, and shut up about it.

Continue reading “Obnoxious, Condescending, Sexist, Pervy Esquire Editorial by 50-Something Year Old Man: “In Praise of 42 Year Old Women” – Condescendingly Reassures 40 Something Women He’d Sex Them Up”

Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)

Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult Children to Murder or Sickness (links)

Disclaimer: I am not anti-motherhood, nor necessarily against people taking their mothers out to brunch on Mother’s Day, or buying dear old Mom some flowers to mark the occasion.

I am, however, against the excessive focus on motherhood, the failure to acknowledge and celebrate childless and childfree women, the onslaught of syrupy Mother’s Day hoopla, on and before the day, and the church services that honor mothers because:

  • Some people (women included) were abused by their mothers and so find the holiday awkward or painful,
  • some people had or have mothers who are/were cruel or overly-critical,
  • some people’s mothers are dead and they miss them terribly,
  • some women desire to be a mother but cannot because they are infertile, their spouse is infertile, or they are single and cannot find “Mr. Right” (and don’t believe in getting pregnant outside of marriage, or don’t feel they could support a baby alone)
  • some women choose to be child free, but feel excluded or shamed by church and secular staggering emphasis on motherhood on the holiday

Some Christians have turned motherhood (as well as fatherhood and marriage) into idols, which they should repent of.

That is one reason why churches are losing visitors and members: despite the fact that 44% of American adults are single (edit: as of 2014 studies, (Link): that figure is now 51% or greater) and a big chunk are childless, most churches either…

– IGNORE adult singles/ childless adults,
or,
-preachers and Christian talking heads insult adult singleness and adult virginity from their blogs, pod casts, books, organizations, and pulpits, by implying or forth rightly saying, that adult singleness (or being childless) makes a person stunted, or makes a person not as “godly” as being married with kids.

Now, why the hell does anyone suppose I, a never-married celibate woman, would want to attend a church where I am insulted before I ever step foot in it?

Most churches spend mountains of money on “family” ministries, family dinners, programs for youth and married couples.

Most churches and denominations do not budget time or money for adult singles anything – not classes, social functions, dinners. The big message from that is, “At our church, we don’t care about adult singles or those without children. You have to be married with a kid to count here.”

If you are a church that has a “Mother’s Day” celebration or ceremony of some sort, even if it’s very brief, you should also have one the following Sunday for all the childless, never-married women, the child free women, and infertile- but- married women too, or women who have not been able to carry a baby to term (ie, miscarry) – it’s only fair.

If you are unwilling to honor ALL women in ALL situations, ages, and life stages, at one time or another during the year in your church, nobody should get a holiday or party, none, nope, nuh-uh.

This post discusses being single and childless or childfree on Mother’s day, or other circumstances that make Mother’s Day painful for some women.

—–THE LINKS—–

(Link): For the childless this Mother’s Day (and those who love them) by S. Burden

(Link): When Mother’s Day isn’t so rosy: 6 recommended ways to cope

Excerpt

    Happy Not-A-Mother’s Day to every woman who might be reading this and does not have children. This coming Sunday, it will be Mother’s Day yet again.

  • More than likely the author of this article will attend church services with her husband and quite a few children will be passing out flowers for each of the mothers in attendance. When one of them reaches her and starts to place a beautiful blossom in her hand, she will gently refuse but thank him or her anyway.
  • The child may become confused but that will just have to be.
  • He or she does need to learn that not all the adult women that are in attendance for church are mothers.
  • The author is in her very early 40’s, an adult, and a wife but she is not anyone’s mother. For as long as the Earth has existed, the persistent ticking of most women’s biological clocks have equated their lives with one purpose only and that has been to have children.
  • However in today’s society, great numbers of married women have decided not to have them.
  • Happily the writer of this article was lucky enough to have been born at a time in history where such a choice was accepted with women, and also to luck out and find a husband who felt the same way she did about children.

(Link): ‘Childless’ or ‘Childfree’: The Difference Matters

Excerpts

    Here’s the problem: While “childless” means the condition of being without children, it implies that everyone who does not have children would like to have them. However, being “childfree,” like Mirren—and like me—means that one does not want to have children at all.
  • ….The taboo that surrounds women without children, childless or childfree, is potent.
  • We spend a lot of time explaining ourselves (or avoiding explaining ourselves) and looking for people who understand us, who don’t ask us to or expect us to explain. But at the same time, the difference between childless and childfree folks is important to take note of and apply correctly, because we are not, in fact, the same.
  • As a woman who’s childfree, I’m not experiencing reproductive challenges.
  • I’m not waiting for the right partner, or enough money, or the perfect geographic location.
  • I don’t feel like something is missing from my life because I don’t have children. I don’t want to have kids. There is no yet.
  • … That might be hard to swallow, for some—childfree folks constantly hear things like, “You’ll change your mind” and “You’ll regret it.”
  • Perhaps, because it’s still so unfathomable to the world that a woman wouldn’t want a baby, the term is deliberately misunderstood. If we keep confusing the language, the thinking may go, we can deny that childfree women exist.
  • The experience of not wanting children in a world where women are defined by their reproductive desire and potential—where women are expected to structure their lives around babies—is very different than being a woman who would like a baby or would like to be a parent some day. That difference has to do with desire.
  • If you’re a cisgender, heterosexual woman—especially a white woman—who doesn’t have a kid but wants one, you’re still in line with expectations about how a woman should behave.
  • You’re not threatening, you’re adhering.
  • A cisgender, straight woman who doesn’t want a baby is transgressive, subversive, pathological, a perpetual mystery to be solved.
  • Things may be different, of course, if you’re queer, trans, single, poor, or a person of color; as a society, we’re pretty clear on who we want to be having babies.

(Link): Mother’s Day After Abortion

    Mother’s Day is a wonderful celebration – a time when mothers are honored for their constant love and daily sacrifice, and when life itself is recognized and treasured as the gift that it is.
  • But for many women who have had abortions, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest triggers of painful memories, regrets, and remorse over what “might have been.”
  • My heart breaks for these women.
  • Even though they accepted and believed the messages our society esteems so highly – messages about a woman’s right to choose and the importance of “family planning” – these women have learned, through bitter experience, the truth that abortion is tragic for women.

(Link): Why You Should Watch What You Say on Mother’s Day

Excerpts:

      • by Lori Holden, May 2014
      • ——————–
      • An open letter to ministers, yoga teachers, rabbis, spin instructors, pastors, professors, priests, Zumba leaders, imams, motivational speakers, reverends and anyone addressing mothers and fathers in mid-May or mid-June.
      • ——————

Dear Person at the Front of the Room,

  • I know you worked really hard on that homily about Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. It’s a time of joy and appreciation and community for almost everyone you address. Thank you for your special sentiments to soothe those in your audience who don’t have their mothers or fathers accessible to them. It’s a nice touch to bring in that compassion.
  • You may not know this, but there are likely other outliers receiving your message. That 30-something lady who pulled tissues out of her purse and filled up three of them with tears and snot? That man who had to excuse himself awkwardly? That woman who tried to hide the fact that she was sobbing on her yoga mat?
  • These are people who desperately want to be a mother or father, to join the parenting club at long last. To have the cards and commercials and 30% off sales apply to them. To bring into their lives what others are able to effortlessly.
  • These are the outliers in your audience.
  • Let me tell you about some of them.
  • Could be a woman who found out this morning that her third IVF attempt didn’t work — no line on the pee stick. To make matters worse, she turns 35 next week and her medical chart will be marked AMA — advanced maternal age. Her prospects for success with future treatments looks unbearably bleak.
  • Could be a couple who has been waiting in an adoption pool for 28 months. Each period she has — each turn of the calendar page — marks another month their prayers have gone unanswered.
  • Could be a couple who thought they were finally going to be admitted to the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day club, but whose hopes ended in a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.
  • Could be a couple whose planned surrogate is suddenly unavailable to them.
  • Could be a man who wore the title of Dad for a few months — until his baby died.
  • Could be a woman who experienced an unexpected pregnancy and took the course to place her baby in the arms of another mother.
  • Could be a couple who has exhausted their options and who has resigned themselves to living a child-free life. Not so much by choice as by circumstance.

Written by a Child Free, lesbian Woman (you do not have to be a lesbian or agree with or endorse lesbianism to relate to what this woman says):

(Link): On Not Being a Parent by Julie R. Enszer

    As the United States moves into the frenzied celebrations of female parenthood, I want to register an alternate voice and declare my autonomy from children. I am not a parent, and I am happy to not be a parent.
  • I am a child-free woman. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2008, about 17 percent of women between the age of 40 and 44 had not had a child. This is a significant number of women without children in the United States today.
  • Child-free women do not speak out enough. We are not necessarily women who wanted children but could not have them; we are not necessarily women who forgot to have children; we are not necessarily women who missed a crucial life milestone. Being child-free is not necessarily a source of shame or regret.
  • I want to say plainly: I am blessed to not have children. I have more time and energy to devote to creative pursuits and projects that fuel my passions in the world.

(Link): A Bittersweet Mother’s Day

    Mother’s Day can be such a bittersweet time. It is a special day to celebrate our mothers, but for those of us who have lost our mothers, did not have a caring mother or have not been able to experience the joys of motherhood despite trying, it can be a painful reminder.

Continue reading “Being Childfree, Childless, Infertile, or Dealing With the Death of a Mother on Mother’s Day, Or Dealing With An Abusive or Insensitive Mother, Mothers Who Lost Adult or Young Children to Murder, Abortion, Miscarriages, or Sickness (links)”

Jennifer Garner: ‘I wish I’d waited until I was 30 for marriage’

Jennifer Garner: ‘I wish I’d waited until I was 30 for marriage’

And I was just saying about a week ago that women (especially from religious families) should wait until age 40 to marry, not in the early 20s as so many Christians are pushing for the last couple of years.

(Link): Jennifer Garner Wishes She’d Waited For Marriage

(Link): Wait till you’re 30 to get married

(Link): Jennifer Garner regrets getting married in her 20s, believes women become more beautiful with age

    BY JOYCE CHEN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
    TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012, 7:00 AM

    Jennifer Garner did a lot of growing up between the ages of 13 and 30, and one big lesson she learned during that period was how to properly pace the major milestones of her life.

    The soon-to-be mother of three opened up to Britain’s The Sun about being raised by strong, confident women and how that has impacted her in the Hollywood realm — namely, when it comes to love.

    “I did marry in my 20s [to Scott Foley, who she divorced eight years ago] and I found divorce a crushing experience,” she told the newspaper. “I thought the divorce statistics would never apply to me. I was beyond heartbroken when they did.”

    Following her divorce from “Felicity” co-star Foley, Garner, now 39, started dating Ben Affleck and the two wed in 2005.

(Link): Jennifer Garner wishes she hadn’t gotten married in her 20s

    Jennifer Garner says that she wishes she had waited until 30 to get married, and implies that she would like to wipe her marriage to Scott Foley off the record.

    Jennifer Garner has revealed that she wishes she had waited until after her 30th birthday to tie the knot for her first marriage.
    “Everyone reaches maturity at different times. I wish I’d known to wait for marriage until I was 30 or over,” Garner tells The Sun, referring to her marriage to actor Scott Foley, whom she had met on the set of “Felicity.” While the dimpled pair married in 2000, they filed for divorce just two and a half years later.

    “I did marry in my twenties and I found divorce a crushing experience,” Garner continues. “I thought the divorce statistics would never apply to me. I was beyond heartbroken when they did.”

    After Foley and Garner finalized their divorce, she began seeing her “Alias” co-star Michael Vartan. When that romance ended in 2004, she started dating current husband Ben Affleck, who she had co-starred with in the film “Daredevil” while she was still married.

    “I got up and got on with it. I also kept my belief in marriage,” Garner said. “I did not have a fairytale vision of the future but I still believed I would find someone to commit to and raise kids with.”
    Garner and Affleck married in 2005 in a private ceremony in the Caribbean. And of course Garner sings her husband’s praises to the newspaper.

(Link): ‘I wish I’d waited until I was 30 for marriage’: Heavily pregnant Jennifer Garner speaks out about being a young bride

    By SARAH FITZMAURICE
    8 February 2012

    She is heavily pregnant with her third child to Ben Affleck but ahead of her 40th birthday Jennifer Garner has been reflecting on past experiences.

    The actress, 39, who married actor Scott Foley when she was in her twenties has revealed that she regrets marrying so young.

    Speaking to the Sun Jennifer said: ‘I wish I’d known to wait for marriage until I was 30 or over.

    I did marry in my twenties and I found divorce a crushing experience.’
    The marriage lasted just four years and the couple divorced in 2004.
    Opening up about the experience Jennifer admitted it left her ‘beyond heartbroken,’ but added: ‘But I got up and got on with it. I also kept my belief in marriage.’

    Shortly after her divorce from Foley, Jennifer began dating Ben Affleck and the couple married in June 2005.

    The acting duo have two daughters together, Violet, six, and Seraphina, three, and they are currently expecting their third child who is due any day now.

(Link): Jennifer Garner Talks Failed Marriage, ‘I Wish I’d Known To Wait Until I Was Thirty’

    The 39-year-old actress met her first husband, Felicity co-star Scott Foley, when she was just 22, and now she says she regrets tying the knot so early in life.

    “I wish I’d known to wait for marriage until I was 30 or over,” Garner told Britain’s Sun newspaper in an interview. “I did marry in my twenties and I found divorce a crushing experience.”

    Garner married Foley in 2000 and they divorced in 2004 and she soon began dating Ben Affleck, whom she married in 2005 and has two daughters with, Violet, 6, and Seraphina, 3.

    She said that the demise of her four-year marriage was devastating. “I thought the divorce statistics would never apply to me. I was beyond heartbroken when they did.”

(Link): Jennifer Garner – Jennifer Garner’s first marriage ‘didn’t have a shot’

(Link): Jennifer Garner wishes she’d waited to get married

    Actress Jennifer Garner believes she wasn’t mature enough to enter into her first marriage with Scott Foley at 28 and wishes she had waited to tie the knot.

    The 39-year-old, who is currently married to actor Ben Affleck, first tied the knot with Foley in October 2000 and their union ended just three years later, reported Contactmusic.

    “Everyone reaches maturity at a different times. I wish I’d known to wait for marriage until I was 30 or over. I did marry in my twenties and I found divorce a crushing experience.

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Related posts, this blog:

(Link): Why It May Be Wiser For Women to Enter First Marriage At Age 40+ – especially ones from religious or conservative families

(Link): The Stupid Advice We Give To Single Women Over 40 (from the Current Conscience Blog)

(Link): A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)

(Link): Christian Early Marriage Position Advocates A Low View of Celibacy and Virginity and Adult Singleness – another example: Justin Deeter Blog about Early Marriage

(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link): A Critique of – 10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry by J. Lee Grady / And on Christians Marrying Non Christians -and- Unrealistic, Too Rigid Spouse Selection Lists by Christians

(Link): Woman’s First Marriage at Age 40+

(Link): Never-Married Men Over 40: Date-able or Debate-able?

(Link): Singleness and Scripture – responding to Christian myths about singleness

(Link): First Time Marriage for Man and Woman Both Over Age 40

Why It May Be Wiser For Women to Enter First Marriage At Age 40+ – especially ones from religious or conservative families

Why It May Be Wiser For Women to Enter First Marriage At Age 40+

I never cared if I had a baby or not, so the kid thing is not a factor for me.

By the way, women can and do get pregnant past the age of 40 (see this link, link, link, link, link – if you want to find more material on this blog like that, or posts with links to scientific info about women over 40 having babies, use the search feature off to the right or the menu and look under topics such as “infertility,” “women over 35 having babies” “IVF,” etc).

Most women continue menstruating into their forties. Menstruation does NOT stop at age 35 or 39.

I pasted an article in here months ago stating that one reason tons of women age 40 and up are getting pregnant the last few years is that they go off their birth control, under the mistaken assumption “I’m over forty now and cannot get pregnant,” then they end up getting pregnant.

People in our culture have been absolutely brainwashed to think women dry up, become infertile, and asexual merely for reaching their 35th or 39th/40th birthday.

Anyway, what I wanted to do was paste in comments that originally appeared below an older post I made about a day or two ago here

I think it may be wisest for American women – to their own benefit – to wait to marry the first time until the age of 40.

I’m not going to be legalistic about the age at which one marries, but IMO, it would be the wisest move, especially for women who come from religious, conservative backgrounds.

I’m alarmed by all the religious conservatives who are pushing early marriage (I have many links about that topic and related ones on the blog, including, but not limited to, this link, link, link, link, and link – use the “early marriage” search term in the blog’s search box upper right, or tag, to find more).

Early marriage stipulates that Christian women should marry prior to the age of 25. The exact age varies from Christian to Christian, with some seriously saying age 16, with others saying 18, others saying 21.

Here is what I said in the (Link): last post about it:

You’ll notice the woman who wrote this addresses a few things I’ve mentioned before in older blog posts.

One reason of several I don’t think people should marry prior to reaching age 25 is that people – women in particular – have no idea who they are.

This is especially true for women raised in certain faith traditions, which teach codependency as being “biblical gender roles,” which includes, in part, teaching females that they are “number two” in a marriage, the husband has final decision-making ability and veto power, women should go through life in a passive mindset, never taking charge of their own life, never getting their own needs met, putting other people’s needs first, they are to act as a “help meet” to the spouse (as interpreted by many conservative Christians as the wife helping her husband achieve HIS dreams, HIS goals, etc).

All of that is sure as hell true of Reformed, Baptist, fundamentalist, and evangelical Christians, and based on this woman’s story, it sounds like it is true of Orthodox Judaism as well.

If you are a woman who is raised that way, sooner or later – probably by age 40 (for some women, it might be age 30, or later, by 50), you realize what an absolute bunch of bullshit all this is, you realize you have no damn clue WHO YOU ARE because you were never told, never permitted, to figure out who YOU are and what YOU want to do with YOUR life.

You were raised by your religious leaders and conservative parents to go through life always deferring to men (even ones not your father or spouse). You were so busy looking outside yourself to cater to other people’s needs, you never had time to figure out who YOU are.

By the time you start to figure out who you are, you may alter or reject some of the former things you were taught to believe in, including certain religious beliefs and views about men, dating, marriage.

I am sure as hell not the same person now (I am in my early 40s) that I was in my 20s or even mid 30s.

I think the 40th birthday is a big one for a lot of women who were raised, brainwashed, into thinking that appropriate female behavior is to be codependent.

You spent your entire childhood, teens, and 20s, and your 30s, bending yourself into a pretzel to please everyone around you but YOU. It starts to dawn on you by the age of 40, or maybe before, that being really nice and giving to other people all the time has done nothing FOR YOU.

Back in my doormat days, I had so many people take advantage of my giving nature. Others were not appreciative of my kindness.

You come to realize that being so super nice has no pay off or benefit FOR YOU, and has even caused you some loss or harm in your life – all the corner offices or promotions and raises you lost at work because you felt it would be too “selfish” to march into your boss’s office and ask for more.

You start to think of all the ex boyfriends who took sexual or financial advantage of you because you felt saying “No” to their requests was being mean, unChrist-like, or selfish.

I actually think most women should wait until age 40 to marry. That will sound insane to a lot of people, especially the child obsessed wackos who think women should pop out three to ten children by the time they are 25 – 35, but women have no freaking clue who they are at those ages, not if they were brought up to be forever compliant, smiling, sweet things.

What happens if you marry at 21 is that you end up divorcing the guy by the time you are 35 or 40 because you are not the same person anymore, and you have different goals and dreams for yourself.

To sum it up: considering that a lot of women from conservative, religious families and conservative, religious backgrounds are trained from childhood onwards to be extremeley codependent (in Christian circles, such unhealthy ways of viewing one’s gender and role in life is often couched in terms of it being “biblical womanhood” or “gender complementarianism” or “being a good Christian girl”), they are taught to stuff down their own views, needs, and goals and at that with the end goal to act as an accessory for a spouse later in life.

End result: women grow up not knowing who they are.

By the time the blinders fall off – usually around age 40, based my own experience and testimonies I’ve seen from other ladies – such women are no longer the same person they were when they married the first time at age 20, 25, or even 30. Many such marriages seem to end in divorce.

I think it’s far better for a women to live on her own, pursue her own goals and interests, than jump into marriage prior to the age of 35 / 40.

For a lot of women from conservative religious upbringings, a lot of them – the ones raised to think that being codependent was “biblical” – they may not fully know who they are and not have healthy boundaries and not truly be ready to date or marry until they are past 35.

I know it can be difficult to be single in your late 20s or mid 30s when you very much desire marriage – I was once there myself – but upon reflection, in a way, I’m glad I did not marry at those ages.

I think it’s foolish for Christians to encourage Christian women to marry prior to the age of 35, 40 – and especially before the age of 25 – since so many of them do not know who they are and what they want for themselves. To marry in that way at that age is just about to guarantee a divorce later.
———————————
Related posts this blog:

(Link): The advantages to getting engaged at age 37, by Patricia Beauchamp

(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link): The Stupid Advice We Give To Single Women Over 40 (from the Current Conscience Blog)

(Link): First Time Marriage for Man and Woman Both Over Age 40

(Link): This dad is glad he postponed fatherhood (commentary – first time father at age 40 or older)

(Link): Never-Married Men Over 40: Date-able or Debate-able?

(Link): Woman’s First Marriage at Age 40+

Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)

You have to be a member and logged on to read the entire editorial. Or, you might be able to read the entire thing by clicking (Link): here.

Some women DO make a choice NOT to become mothers. They are called “child free,” and they should not be marginalized in or by churches, either, not just the women who wanted children but for whatever reason could not have any.

(Link): Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless

Their editorial preview:

    Is there a place at church for those of us who don’t have kids?
    by Jean E. Jones

    Recently, a woman asked, “My husband and I are childless. How do you cope with the feelings of rejection and of being a minority in the church community?” Both she and I are unable to have children, and her question brought back memories: the hurt as friends with babies bundled in blankets pulled away, the struggle to fit in at church, and the hurdles of gracefully handling ignorant and hurtful comments.

    Childlessness is a growing church issue: The number of women who will never bear children has doubled in the last 30 years from 1 in 10 to almost 1 in 5 (Pew Research).

    In 1976, the number of childless women ages 40–44 (considered the end of childbearing years) was 580,000; by 2008, it had more than tripled to 1.9 million.

    What’s causing this rise in childlessness?

    First, Americans are delaying marriage until they’ve achieved educational goals and financial stability. The median age for women’s first marriage is now 27, and more than half of women age 25 to 29 have never married, says the 2013 report Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America.

    Delaying marriage leaves fewer childbearing years in which to find a suitable husband. It also decreases a woman’s chance of having a successful pregnancy.

    But the bigger reason is that more women are choosing not to have children: Among women ages 40–44, the number of voluntarily childless now equals the number who wanted children but couldn’t have them.

    In TIME Magazine’s recent cover article “None Is Enough,” Lauren Sandler cites many reasons for the surge in opting to be child-free. Some non-moms say they don’t want the “bone-tired” lifestyle their mothers had “doing it all,” or never felt they were “mother material.”

    The financial costs in raising a child are formidable, and leaving the career track for a mommy track can cost “$1 million in lost salary, lost promotions and so on.”

    Women who delay marriage may develop enjoyable lifestyles they’re reluctant to give up. Society’s portrayal of all it takes to be a great mom seems unrealistic.

    Whether being without offspring is voluntary or not, the biggest stress the childless face is isolation as “friends just peel off into their small domestic worlds,” Lauren says.

    The late 30s and early 40s are the loneliest because friends are parents, but not empty nesters.

    Another strain is being judged harshly. Others assume lack of progeny is by choice, and that that choice is selfish. In the 2008 movie The Women, Sylvie (Annette Bening) says to Mary (Meg Ryan): “Do you know that’s the last impermissible thing you can say at a dinner party? That you don’t want children?”

    The childless feel scolded in a culture that mandates motherhood, says TIME.

    Unintentionally illustrating the point, Fox & Friends host Tucker Carlson responded to TIME with, “But having children means less time for vacations and spin class, where the real meaning in life resides, right? I mean, have you ever seen anything more selfish, decadent and stupid?”

    Problems don’t stop at the church door. Lauren Sandler says that for some, the church community seems so “oppressively family-centric,” they abandon it.

    At church as elsewhere, moms naturally seek out other moms as they look for friends not just for themselves, but for their children. Church groups for couples, singles, and women in their 30s and 40s consist almost entirely of parents who gravitate to each other to chat about potty training, children’s soccer, and teenage angst. The childless feel sidelined.

    Criticisms take a spiritual edge with some arguing that procreation is God’s command, not just his blessing. Too many pronounce infertility a sign of divine disfavor, leaving women reticent to admit their situation. Controversies over the morality of fertility options make discussions seem like minefields. The result: Church feels unsafe.

    But all this can be changed. Here are ways those with children can help those without feel included in the church community instead of isolated, and accepted instead of criticized.

    Create opportunities for diverse friendships.

    Rather than getting together with just moms your age, reach out to the childless woman. Invite her to coffee and share about your lives. Plan get-togethers that women in different life stages can enjoy and that will naturally engender conversations about more than just children: For instance, tea in an antique district gives lots to talk about. Make sure the conversation includes everyone.

    Continue reading “Don’t Judge Me, I’m Childless (from Today’s Christian Woman)”

Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias

Well then. This post by Driscoll (see link much farther below) will certainly come as a surprise to the guy, Steve Dewitt, I blogged about who worked as an unmarried preacher until he got married for the first time around age 44.
(Link): Male Preacher Marries For First Time At Age 44

(By the way, the Bible nowhere sets a mandatory or even recommended age for marriage; the “wife of your youth” bit that some marriage idolaters enjoy quoting is not prescriptive; it is not commanding that all people have to or should marry young. See also: (Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness )

The real reason it is, as Driscoll states in his blog post response to a reader question, so “improbable” for a single man to obtain work as a preacher, is not because of any of the reasons Driscoll outlines in his blog page, but because of the prejudice and suspicions Christians harbor against unmarried Christian adults.
(For example, (Link): More Anti Singleness Bias From Al Mohler – Despite the Bible Says It Is Better Not To Marry)

Many churches are biased against hiring singles because:

    1. they hold the nasty, unfair stereotype all single adult males are sexual predators, or would-be predators;
    2. if they hire a married man, the wife is viewed as a freebie, a “bonus,” she will work in the church pro bono, say, as the church piano player

I tire of how Christians allow their personal views or cultural views color how they interpret Scripture to disqualify folks, which is precisely what Driscoll does in his reply to the question:

    Pastor Mark,

    Do you think that God still calls men with the “gift of singleness” into pastoral ministry? If not, what role do you think single males can play in serving the church?

    –Carter

Source:
(Link): Single Pastors?

Basically, Driscoll falls back on the old saw and some misunderstandings – which are used to discriminate against Christian singles – that only a few are given the “gift of singleness”

, and to note that Jesus and Paul were single, but for some reason, they are grand exceptions.

(And see: (Link): Ever Notice That Christians Don’t Care About or Value Singleness, Unless Jesus Christ’s Singleness and Celibacy is Doubted or Called Into Question by Scholars?)

Yes, even though the founders of your religion were childless and unmarried, it’s not okay for others who follow their teachings to be single, childless, and in leadership positions. What a peculiar and unbiblical double standard.

That the Bible states in the New Testament that an overseer may be married with children, and that such a family should be orderly and under control (see (Link): 1 Timothy 3), does not need to be interpreted in such as way to mean, or does not necessarily mean, that ONLY married men with children may apply…

And what of married men with infertile wives, or married men who have only ONE child?

Being ‘overly’ literal or narrow with the “must be married with kids” verse unnecessarily disqualifies many people, so I think a fresh interpretation of, or study of, such passages is needed, since it is being used to discriminate against whole swaths of people.

I also note that Driscoll himself, despite being married, apparently fails several criteria of 1 Timothy 3, in that he is most certainly not “gentle,” is not “above reproach,” and has been, in the past, “quarrelsome.” Driscoll is, from my view, most likely guilty of being “a lover of money.”

To cite but a few examples (but I would encourage you to google the guy’s name and do more research):

    Driscoll’s odd obsession with sex and use of sexually explicit references in sermons (see Link);
    deeming heretics such as Trinity- denier T D Jakes as being a fellow Christian (and was this for the love of money, one wonders?) (see Link);
    bullying people out of his church and chuckling with glee at the thought of “throwing them under the bus,” (Link): Mark Driscoll – There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus
    his grossly explicit sexualization of ‘Song of Songs’ (see Link);
    and teaching that Esther from the book of the same name was a whore (see Link)

Continue reading “Preacher Mark Driscoll Basically Says No, Single Christian Males Cannot or Should Not Serve as Preachers / in Leadership Positions – Attempts to Justify Unbiblical, Anti Singleness Christian Bias”

Never-Married Men Over 40: Date-able or Debate-able?

Never-Married Men Over 40: Date-able or Debate-able?

(Link): Never-Married Men Over 40: Date-able or Debate-able?

    “I’m getting married in fall 2013,” my 38-year-old friend John told me, when we caught up in Paris the summer before. Congrats! Who’s the lucky woman? I asked.

“Oh, I haven’t met her yet,” he’d responded, deadpan, over dinner. “But I’ll be married by 40,” said the guy who’s deliberately been a player for the past two decades. “Because if you’re a single guy after that, it’s like, you know, ’What’s wrong with him?’”

He’s always been very self-aware, John. Very conscious of his life choices, of his — some might say — semi-misogynistic way with women. But I’ve always found my old friend’s honesty refreshing, and rather insightful.

Anyone with salt-and-pepper hair who shows up in your online matches as ’Never Married’ might as well come with a flashing Warning Sign.

In many ways, he’s right: Never-married heterosexual men over the age of 40 have always had a stigma. Especially back in 1970, when they represented only 4.9 percent of the male population. But I wondered: As marriage inches toward the take-it-or-leave-it category — for both sexes — and there are more never-married men between the ages of 40 and 44 than ever before (20.4 percent at last census count), is being a perpetual (hetero) bachelor still considered a little … creepy?

Apparently, yes. Unless, of course, the perpetual bachelor is George Clooney — and let’s be honest, most aren’t. Still, even Clooney was once briefly married. Anyone with salt-and-pepper hair who shows up in your online matches as “Never Married” might as well come with a flashing Warning Sign, say women with marital aspirations who date them anyway. They are Workaholics. Playboys. Commitment Phobes. Gay. Definitely gay.

Oh, we can collectively cry, Double standard!! over the sad fact that never-married women of a certain age aren’t players; they’re pitied. See Bridget Jones 1 and 2; in 3, she’s a 51-year-old widow, cougar and mother of two.

But in a way, steadfastly heterosexual single men over 40 are sort of pitied too. Or, rather, they are dissected, thoroughly examined — not by a class of seventh-graders using microscopes but by a table of 30-something women, well into their third bottle of wine.

Continue reading “Never-Married Men Over 40: Date-able or Debate-able?”

Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40

(Link): 10 Myths About Singles Over 40 (excerpts are below)

My comments on the topic:

I don’t think people realize that some of us who arrive at 40 or older and have never married did date and were engaged in the past, but for whatever reason, those relationships did not lead to marriage.

I tire of the negative assumptions that if you’ve not married by 40, it’s because there is something wrong with you, nobody else showed interest in you, or you never, ever dated previously.

I was engaged in my early 30s but realized the guy was not right for me, so I broke up with him. I could have married the guy. But I knew I would have been miserable if I had.

You should not assume that someone is still single at 40+ because they were never engaged, never dated, and never tried. Sometimes people do get engaged in their 20s and 30s, have to break up, and don’t manage to meet a compatible partner for years – and that is not that person’s fault.

It is incredibly difficult to meet a decent life partner the older you get. I marvel at people who fall into marriage after marriage (eg, Liz Taylor) just as easy as some of us change our socks daily. I don’t know how these people marry so easily and quickly. It’s not so easy for the rest of us.

I have also come to loathe the books and magazine articles that purport to explain to singles “why you are still single,” as these are nothing but typically victim-blaming and shame-inducing pieces.

I have seen some never married adults in my life who yes, had issues, and it was somewhat obvious to me why they had never married, but I’d say the vast majority of never married adults who want to be married are not socially awkward, physically unattractive, or weird.

(Link): 10 Myths About Singles Over 40

Excerpts:

    By Dana Robinson

Let’s say you’re checking out someone who just might be your soul mate. Maybe a friend sent you a link to this person’s Facebook page after you agreed to be set up on a blind date, or perhaps you were matched up via an online dating site.

You’re digging this person’s pictures, winning smile and non-smoker status…then, you notice that your potential life partner is past 40 and has never been married.

Suddenly, your excitement does a swan dive into a pool of doubt, suspicion, and — let’s face it — stereotypes and myths about the perpetually unmarried. If your prospective beloved has never been married, it’s clearly due to anger management issues or a cat-hoarding obsession, right?

But if you let those kinds of assumptions guide all of your dating decisions, then you just might be missing out on finding The One. Your first step on the road to an awesome relationship should be questioning these common myths about the never-been-married dater… regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman.

Top five misconceptions about over-40 bachelors:

1. “He’s probably a jerk.”
Well, it’s true that he might be — but there are plenty of men out there who have been married who have the exact same character flaws.

When it comes to online dating sites, this particular trait is more likely to reveal itself in places like photos and usernames (i.e., he’s shirtless in front of the bathroom mirror with a username like RichHotLover75).

If so, marital status notwithstanding, he might be a jerk… or he might just be clueless on how to make the right impression on women.

3. “He’s a commitment-phobe who’ll never marry.”
In this case, the exact opposite might be true. Perhaps he was laser-focused on settling down before now, but his ex-girlfriend decided that she wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge when he proposed.

We’ve all bet on the wrong partner before at some point in our lives, and there’s no reason to punish the guy simply because his previous relationships didn’t work out.

Top five myths about unmarried women over 40:

1. “She’s too ‘difficult’ for any man to deal with.”
That word can refer to anything from someone who’s hard to please to someone who simply has her own ideas and isn’t willing to do what everyone else wants her to do — and neither interpretation is necessarily a character flaw.

“The modern woman, at any age, is [very] independent,” says relationship blogger Anjana Dixon of The Anjana Network. “And if a man wants to go from stereotyping to making a real connection, he must go about his search with an open mind.”

That “difficulty” that you think you’ve identified in someone’s personality may just be what makes her the perfect mate… for you.

2. “She’s desperate.”
Lack of a past marriage doesn’t mean that she’ll accept a ring (much less a date) from just anybody.

Maybe she’s been working her way through medical school or caring for an elderly relative until now, or feels no sense of urgency about children.

So don’t go into the situation thinking that your B-game will suffice, because this woman just might end up dumping you before the waiter’s even taken your drink order on date #2.

3. “She’s too picky.”
We all have the right to select the partner that’s right for us, and it’s possible that The One simply hasn’t crossed her path quite yet.

Resisting the temptation to marry to the wrong person just for the sake of getting married should be applauded, not vilified — wouldn’t you like to be given the same courtesy?

4. “She doesn’t know how to be in a serious relationship.”
“Remember that ‘never married’ does not mean ‘has never been in a serious, committed relationship,’” says psychologist Dr. Holly Parker.

There’s no reason to think that a woman who’s never been engaged is in any way ignorant of how to be a good long-term partner. Parker notes that “we tend to only pay attention to whatever confirms our stereotypical beliefs, and we ignore anything that contradicts it.”

So, in the interest of broadening your own horizons, Parker recommends looking past the lack of marital status and instead paying attention to any aspects of her personality that may indicate that she’s kind and easy to get along with before you pass judgment.

5. “She’s already married to her job.”
These days, you can’t really blame anyone for working 60 hours a week — it may be the only way to ensure that you still have a job next month. But the truth is that women can (and do) successfully juggle relationships along with their demanding careers. And hey, if you can manage to balance both, remember that she can, too!

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Related posts this blog

(Link): How Not To Help All The Single Ladies

(Link):  The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan

(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles

(Link): Article by J. Watts: The Scandal of Singleness – singles never married christian

(Link): Topics Preachers Should or Shouldn’t Mention When Discussing Singlehood

(Link): List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 1 (includes cliches and platitudes)

(Link): New-ish Christian Cliche’ About Singlehood: “Don’t Waste Your Singleness” -or- “Make the Most of Your Singleness”

(Link): List of Christian Singlehood Annoyances, Part 2 (more cliche’s tossed at singles, other annoyances, etc)

(Link): Book: ‘Feminine By Design’ – Married People (supposedly) Fully Reflect God – Singles Do Not / When Christianity Looks More Like Islam and Less Like Christ

First Time Marriage for Man and Woman Both Over Age 40

First Time Marriage for Man and Woman Both Over Age 40

That’s right. Not everyone will get married, and some, when they do, may not get married for the first time until their late 30s, their 40s, 50s, or older.

This was on Ask Amy:

DEAR AMY:

    Is it appropriate to give my son’s fiancee a (relatively) expensive ring? I’m thinking of giving her a ring I had made for myself more than 40 years ago. It has great sentimental value, but I don’t wear it anymore. It has been rolling around in a safe-deposit box for the last 30 years.

My intention was to present it to her as a gift from the heart welcoming her into the family.

My son’s fiancee is not from this country, and both of her parents died a little over a year ago. She is a delightful, upbeat, loving and unselfish person.

My son is 41, and his girlfriend is 40; neither one has ever been married before. We are delighted for both of them.

If you think it is okay, could you please suggest some appropriate wording? — Lost for Words in Seattle


Related:

(Link):  The Reason Why Men Marry Some Women And Not Others by D. Brennan

The Single Journey [Guest Post by Rebecca at another blog]

The Single Journey [Guest Post by Rebecca] from Blogs by Christian Women

(Link): The Single Journey, by Rbececca

Excerpts below. Please use the link above to visit the page to read the whole thing. She discusses, with a few examples from her own life, some of the shame, stigma, and scorn that gets placed upon women over 25 – 30 merely for being unmarried.

    Rebecca from Caravan Sonnet is a 30-something, PhD student who has some thoughtful words on being a single Christian women.

    April 2013

    … But as I started blogging I realized that there were many people who like myself, were single and while longed to be married were enjoying life but that “got it” with how difficult the single journey life can be.

    …Despite being a woman who is madly in love with her Savior I have found that the American church often does not know how to handle the singles who are in their churches that are over the age of twenty-five. In my experience it is the rare church that knows how to lovingly involve singles into the community. To address the need that while we long to be married and would love to meet a spouse we also want to feel completely apart of a church even if they don’t offer a singles group.

    [Discussing her experience of asking a male co worker about attending a church and how to get involved at their church – his wife was involved in a ministry there]

    He looked at me and I will never forget what he said: “This is a family church. I just don’t think this is the church for you. You need to find a church that has more people like you.” I remember being mortified and making some excuse of why I needed to leave the room and made my way to a restroom where I promptly burst into tears. The thing that I felt in that moment was what a lot of singles experience: feeling completely alone and not whole because we are an “I” instead of an “us”.

At another point, at a job where parents were visiting, Rebecca, the author of that guest post, over-heard one woman tell her little girl that she didn’t want to become an “old maid” like her (Rebecca, the author).

Drop by that page and read the comments while you are there.

Yes indeed, at times secular culture treats never married women like losers and freaks, and much to its shame -because it should be different from culture and Jesus taught his followers to be inclusive- so does the church. Christians are just as unloving and discriminatory against older singles as secular society is.

Although, oddly enough, sometimes segments of secular society are more accepting of singleness. There are pockets of secular society, or the occasional Non Christians, who ‘get it’ and who won’t judge you for being single and childless, who will accept you as you are, unlike many Christians who believe marriage and having kids is the norm.
——————
Related posts, this blog:

(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single

(Link): Part 1: The World Does Not Need Another Marriage Sermon

(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t (re: how Christians exclude singles the unmarried the childless and worship marriage kids parenting children nuclear family)

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High (how Christians have made an idol out of nuclear family and marriage)

(Link): Part 2, The Parable of the Neglected Unmarried – Single – Christian

(Link): The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

(Link): If your sermon or program supposedly benefits everyone… (post about Christian singlehood)

(Link): The Obligatory, “Oh, but if you’re single you can still benefit from my marriage sermon” line

(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity

The Trend of Older People Becoming First Time Parents

The Trend of Older People Becoming First Time Parents

The person who wrote this page doesn’t seem too keen on the idea that people are becoming parents later in life:

(Link): How Older Parenthood Will Upend American Society The scary consequences of the grayest generation. by Judith Shulevitz

Two reasons I am linking to that page (which is very, very long), is…

1. It points out that older males produce deformed kids. Often, there is sexism involved, where people assume only older motherhood is dangerous, but older males produce defective sperm.

In that way, Shulevitz’s article is similar to this one:
(Link): The Ticking Male Biological Clock – WSJ.com

2. The mere fact the page is discussing the situation at all shows it’s becoming more and more common in American society.

Typical of Christians and conservatives (and I am a conservative myself, but one who disagrees with other conservatives in how they handle or behave about some cultural issues), but in this otherwise left-leaning publication, the author (who I would assume is liberal) chooses to bitch and gripe about the situation, rather than just acknowledge that things change in culture. She sounds like a typical conservative.

Here are excerpts from the very long article:

    by Shulevitz

    Over the past half century, parenthood has undergone a change so simple yet so profound we are only beginning to grasp the enormity of its implications. It is that we have our children much later than we used to.

    This has come to seem perfectly unremarkable; indeed, we take note of it only when celebrities push it to extremes— when Tony Randall has his first child at 77; Larry King, his fifth child by his seventh wife at 66; Elizabeth Edwards, her last child at 50.

    This new gerontological voyeurism— I think of it as doddering-parent porn— was at its maximally gratifying in 2008, when, in almost simultaneous and near-Biblical acts of belated fertility, two 70-year-old women in India gave birth, thanks to donor eggs and disturbingly enthusiastic doctors. One woman’s husband was 72; the other’s was 77.

    These, though, are the headlines. The real story is less titillating, but it tells us a great deal more about how we’ll be living in the coming years: what our families and our workforce will look like, how healthy we’ll be, and also—not to be too eugenicist about it—the future well-being of the human race.

    That women become mothers later than they used to will surprise no one. All you have to do is study the faces of the women pushing baby strollers, especially on the streets of coastal cities or their suburban counterparts.

    American first-time mothers have aged about four years since 1970—as of 2010, they were 25.4 as opposed to 21.5. That average, of course, obscures a lot of regional, ethnic, and educational variation.

    The average new mother from Massachusetts, for instance, was 28; the Mississippian was 22.9. The Asian American first-time mother was 29.1; the African American 23.1. A college-educated woman had a better than one-in-three chance of having her first child at 30 or older; the odds that a woman with less education would wait that long were no better than one in ten.

    It badly misstates the phenomenon to associate it only with women: Fathers have been getting older at the same rate as mothers. First-time fathers have been about three years older than first-time mothers for several decades, and they still are.

    The average American man is between 27 and 28 when he becomes a father. Meanwhile, as the U.S. birth rate slumps due to the recession, only men and women over 40 have kept having more babies than they did in the past.

    In short, the growth spurt in American parenthood is not among rich septuagenarians or famous political wives approaching or past menopause, but among roughly middle-aged couples with moderate age gaps between them, like my husband and me.

    OK, I’ll admit it. We’re on the outer edge of the demographic bulge. My husband was in his mid-forties and I was 37—two years past the age when doctors start scribbling AMA, Advanced Maternal Age, on the charts of mothers-to-be—before we called a fertility doctor.

    … Soon, I learned that medical researchers, sociologists, and demographers were more worried about the proliferation of older parents than my friends and I were.

    They talked to me at length about a vicious cycle of declining fertility, especially in the industrialized world, and also about the damage caused by assisted-reproductive technologies (ART) that are commonly used on people past their peak childbearing years.

    This past May, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that 8.3 percent of children born with the help of ART had defects, whereas, of those born without it, only 5.8 percent had defects.

    … What science tells us about the aging parental body should alarm us more than it does. Age diminishes a woman’s fertility; every woman knows that, although several surveys have shown that women—and men—consistently underestimate how sharp the drop-off can be for women after age 35.

    The effects of maternal age on children aren’t as well-understood. As that age creeps upward, so do the chances that children will carry a chromosomal abnormality, such as a trisomy.

    In a trisomy, a third chromosome inserts itself into one of the 23 pairs that most of us carry, so that a child’s cells carry 47 instead of 46 chromosomes. The most notorious trisomy is Down syndrome.

    We have been conditioned to think of reproductive age as a female-only concern, but it isn’t. For decades, neonatologists have known about birth defects linked to older fathers: dwarfism, Apert syndrome (a bone disorder that may result in an elongated head), Marfan syndrome (a disorder of the connective tissue that results in weirdly tall, skinny bodies), and cleft palates.

    Continue reading “The Trend of Older People Becoming First Time Parents”

Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts

Single Adults Why They Stay and Why They Stray (from church) Book Excerpts

Note: several questionable people have roles in this book, in the form of editing, or as contributors, such as…

    – a gender complementarian, Wayne Grudem; gender complementarianism (Link):

is not biblical

    ;
    -neither is “biblical counseling,” yet Edward T. Welch, who is a “biblical counselor” also had some kind of role in this book,
    – C. J. Mahaney – accused of being involved in a ten year cover up of child sexual abuse at his churches,

so I offer this link with a caveat.

The author of the particular chapter I am quoting seems okay, and I don’t see too much that I disagree with in his chapter.

What is really funny is that this book (I’m not sure when it was published, I am just now finding it today), echoes many of the things I’ve said on this blog before.

Edit: this book was published in 2003, but this is the first I am seeing it, or reading excerpts from it. It is incredible how the author noticed most of the same disturbing anti-singles views and trends that I have in this blog the last three years.

As I am a NEVER MARRIED woman, I am not going to present the full section under “divorce” in the chapter. You can visit the link to read it if you want.

The following is available for free on Google Books (this particular book is entitled “Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood”) :
(Link): Single Adults in Your Ministry: Why They Stay and Why They Stray
by Dick Purnell

    … Do you know how many single adults sit in your congregation each Sunday? Recently I was speaking in a church to three thousand people. I asked for all the people who were unmarried and twenty-two years old or older to stand up. Over a thousand people stood up! The audience was surprised and gasped at the large number…

Do you realize that the number of single adults in America exceeds the total national population of all but eleven of the world’s 192 nations? How shocked would you be to discover that the number of single parents is greater than the entire population of Colorado and Tennesse combined?

According to the 2000 U.S. census 40 percent of all adults eighteen and older (forty-eight million) are single. We are seeing a tremendous shift in American social values.

The median age of a first-time marriage is now twenty-five among women and twenty-seven among men. The fastest growing family type is single parents.

If your church is in an urban area, the percentage of single adults near you is much higher than a rural area. Singles gravitate to the cities for jobs, things to do, and others to meet. They are searching for connection and community.

They are often afraid of loneliness, commitment, and isolation. Most of those under thirty have never been married. The average age of a married person’s first divorce is thirty-four. That means after years of marriage, they are thrown back into the dating scene. They feel awkward and unprepared. They face the same relationship challenges that teens face, but they feel out of place.

One woman said to me, “I am now single, but I feel married. I don’t want to be single, but that was forced on me.” They have been out of the dating world for so long that they have very little idea what to do. And no one is helping them or even having a discussion about some of these issues.

Most singles are invisible to churches.

… They represent every economic stratum you can imagine – everything from presidents of major corporations to the unemployed and all in between. Fifty-three percent of all unchurched adults are single.

But our churches are built on a mind-set of marriage, and singles are often neglected. They are the “Great Invisible Mission Field.” However, businesses are very aware of singles. If you look at the advertising on television or in magazines, you will find that a huge number of ads are geared to attract single people.

Sports clothing, beer, cell phones, and a myriad of other products are marketed to singles. They have the largest amount of discretionary income. But the church in general has a difficult time attracting them and capturing their attention and commitment.

Many single adults believe that the church excludes and ignores them. They feel like the church is either neglecting them or is just not interested in them. So single adults vote with their feet. They come to church for a few months or years; but when their needs are not addressed or they never hear a sermon addressed to their unique issues, they fade away and go somewhere else – or stop going to church altogether. They hear sermons preached on topics such as “How to be a Godly Husband” or “Becoming a Godly Wife.” But they have never heard a sermon on “How to be a Godly Single Adult.”

… [Singles] don’t stay because there is no emotional glue to keep them there. They are not the “squeaky wheel” that is going to ask the pastor to give a sermon directed toward them or to pound on the door of the budget meeting pressuring for more funding. They just fade away.

Are you desperate to attract single adults to your ministry and get them involved? Here is my top ten list on “Why Single Adults Are Turned Off by the Church.”

Number 10: Frivolous jokes degrade the single lifestyle.
Grandparents, pastors, and married friends all have jokes about singles. All the married people laugh, but the single buries the snub under a weak smile.

I was single for forty-two years. When I served as an assistant pastor in my middle thirties, I heard lots of good-natured jokes, but often the ribbing was not funny to me. “Hey, are you afraid to take the responsibility for a mate?” Here I was in charge of several significant ministries in the church, and they tell me I’m afraid to take responsibility?

“Maybe you are just too picky. Are you looking for a perfect wife?” In other words, if you lower your standards you may get somebody.

“You’re not getting any younger, you know.” That was supposed to pressure me to get moving? Sometimes I would get the big one: “What are you waiting for?” Like I better hurry up before I miss the “right one.” But isn’t there a sovereign God? His timing may not be my timing – or the timing of the people who ask me to hurry up.

In trying to encourage me, people would give what I call romantic testimonies: “I finally gave everything to God, and six months later I found the right one.” But I was forty years old and had been a full-time minister for over fifteen years.

Was there something I had not given up to God that some married twenty-year-old ha already given up to God? All the marriage formulas that people give singles may be individual experience they had, but those formulas are not normative for all believers. Why should I seek the holy grail of marriage if God wants me to be content in every situation?

After four years as a pastor, I resigned from my church. Even though I was no longer was the pastor, I continued to attend the church. A single female friend of mine from Kansas came to our city one weekend to visit some of her college buddies. I brought her to the 11 A.M. church service. As we were walking down the aisle, an elderly usher led us to a front row for seating. The organ was softly playing and everybody was kind of quiet. When we stopped to turn into the row, he handed my friend a bulletin and said to me loudly so most of the people could hear, “Hey Dick, when are you going to marry her?” I wanted to die right there, but first I wanted to punch his lights out.

These kinds of jokes will not attract singles to your church! No way! They degrade single life as if the only bright future is for married people. That idea is not found in the Bible. Even the apostle Paul stated that an unmarried person can have undivided devotion to the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32-35). He did not consider singleness a joking matter.

Number 9: Church leadership is mainly interested in the interests and needs of married people.
The pastor and leaders are usually all married with very little significant empathy or understanding of the unique needs and concerns of single adults.

Single Christians are rarely eligible to be members of the governing board. There are very few single senior pastors. The silent criterion of marriage eliminates singles from serving in many aspects of the typical church. If you carry that to a logical conclusion, the Apostle Paul would not be qualified to be a pastor or elder. Even Timothy would be shut out of the opportunity for leadership.

After four years as an assistant pastor, I wanted to become a senior pastor. I had a total of fifteen years experience in the ministry and two Master’s degrees. However, when I sent in my resumes, not one church ever asked me to candidate, because I had to write on the front page of the resume my marital status: “Single.” Who wants a senior pastor who is single?

It was a bitter experience. I was unqualified to be a senior pastor of a church because I did not have the “Mrs.” degree. Many men graduating from seminary have tremendous pressure put on them. If they want to rise above the level of youth pastor, they must be married. Why is marriage the unspoken golden key that unlocks the door to pastor advancement?

Number 8: Budgeted funds for single ministry are usually inadequate or nonexistent.
Many churches don’t budge anything for singles. When the churches that have budgeted some funds for singles ministry must cut the budget somewhere, the singles ministry often is the one that gets the ax. “Singles are adults – they can handle it,” the budget committee says. But the message that gets across is, “You are not as important as other people in our church.”

… The message the singles hear is loud and cleaer: “You are the lowest on the totem pole. Your needs come last. You are not worth our paying a minister who can meet your needs.” Therefore, singles respond with their feet. They say, “I’m out of here.”

Number 7: Singles feel the church neglects them.
They feel like barnacles on the side of the church ship – there but forgotten. Marriage is espoused as the norm, and singles just don’t fit the model.

I have conducted over three hundred single adult conferences throughout America, Canada, and twelve other countries. Yet only nine senior pastors stopped by to observe and/or greet the crowd.

The even was in their church, in their building, and these are adults. I remember each of the nine because they are so rare….

Number 6: There is a perception that single adults are morally loose.

If a person is not married by mid-twenties, there is something wrong, it is generally thought. A particular church was in the process of trying to hire a youth pastor. Since they could not find one for over a year, they held a congregational meeting to explain the progress they were making. The elder in charge presented all kinds of reasons for the delay in locating the right person for the position. At the end of his explanation, I stopped up and asked, “Does the person you are looking for have to be married?”

You could have heard a pin drop on the carpet. People gasped. It was the unthinkable question. The elder hemmed, and he hawed, and he slithered all over the platform. All I wanted was a yes or no. He was very obviously unnerved by my question. Finally some lady in the very back said, “What we need is a role model for the young girls. So I think he should be married.”

“You mean to tell me, in this entire congregation there is not one woman who’s a role model for the girls?” Silence.

“I tell you what I think the real reason is. You are afraid that a single pastor would be sexually frustrated and have sex with one of the teenage girls. Out of all the pastors I have known personally, four have had affairs and left the ministry in disgrace. Each of them was married. Almost all the other pastors I have read about in magazines and books who have committed adultery were married. True, married people do not have a corner on the market in becoming immoral. But you should not be prejudiced against a single adult simply because he is single.”

I tried to tell them that some of the best youth pastors in America are single. I wasn’t a very popular guy after that. The elders eventually hired a youth pastor. Yes, he was married.

Some churches won’t allow singles to teach Sunday school for fear these men and women will succumb to sexual temptation. That is unfounded fear. We all need the power of God to overcome temptation. Don’t single out single people as the most likely to succumb. That is unfair and inaccurate. Single adults want to be respected and trusted. Let them show by their faithfulness that they have a genuine relationship with God.

Number 5: Marriage is portrayed as normal for everybody.
If someone is not married by thirty something, there must be something wrong with him or her.
(please click on the “continue reading/ read more” link to see rest of the post. Thank you)

Continue reading “Single Adults – Why They Stay and Why They Stray From Church – Book Excerpts”

The Disestablishment of Marriage – people delaying marriage

The Disestablishment of Marriage – people delaying marriage

(Link): The Average American Gets Married at This Age…

    Every year a woman delays marriage, her chance of divorce decreases. Good reason to take your time and choose

    By Chiara Atik for HowAboutWe

    The New York Times (Link) ran an interesting story on the “disestablishment” of marriage this weekend, which unpacks the state of marital unions in this country – which is not as bleak as you might think! People are still getting married – just a little bit later than what used to be the norm.

    And whereas anyone who’s seen Our Town or played the board game Life can tell you that marriage used to be the biggest decision a person makes in their lifetime, one that defined their time on earth more than any other, these days, marriage is just. An important decision still? But one of many, many you will make over the course of your life, and no more life altering than deciding what college to go to, whether to take that new job at a smaller company, or move to Paris for a year, or go back for your Master’s, etc., etc.

    By the time the average American is getting married, they’ve probably made a bunch of important decisions already. In other words, marriage is no longer the start of adult life (as it was mid-century), but rather the merging of two. (The decision to have children, however, and who with, still remains a doozy, though.)

    The average age of a newlywed in the US in 2011? 27 for women, and 29 for men. And if that (sort of low-seeming?) number is panicking you, keep this in mind: every year a woman delays marriage, up to her early 30s, her chance of divorce decreases. Good reason to take your time and choose wisely.

(Link): The Disestablishment of Marriage

    By STEPHANIE COONTZ

    …But rumors of the death of marriage are greatly exaggerated. People are not giving up on marriage. They are simply waiting longer to tie the knot. Because the rate of marriage is calculated by the percentage of adult women (over 15) who get married each year, the marriage rate automatically falls as the average age of marriage goes up.

    In 1960, the majority of women were already married before they could legally have a glass of Champagne at their own wedding. A woman who was still unwed at 25 had some reason to fear that she would turn into what the Japanese call “Christmas cake,” left on the shelf.

    Today the average age of first marriage is almost 27 for women and 29 for men, and the range of ages at first marriage is much more spread out.

    In 1960, Professor Cohen calculates, fewer than 8 percent of women and only 13 percent of men married for the first time at age 30 or older, compared with almost a third of all women and more than 40 percent of all men today.

    Most Americans still marry eventually, and they continue to hold marriage in high regard. Indeed, as a voluntary relationship between two individuals, marriage comes with higher expectations of fairness, fidelity and intimacy than ever.

    But marriage is no longer the central institution that organizes people’s lives. Marriage is no longer the only place where people make major life transitions and decisions, enter into commitments or incur obligations. The rising age of marriage, combined with the increase in divorce and cohabitation since the 1960s, means that Americans spend a longer period of their adult lives outside marriage than ever before.

    … An analogous process is taking place with marriage. Many alternatives to traditional marriage have emerged. People feel free to shop around, experimenting with several living arrangements in succession. And when people do marry, they have different expectations and goals. In consequence, many of the “rules” we used to take for granted — about who marries, who doesn’t, what makes for a satisfactory marriage and what raises the risk of divorce — are changing.

    Until the 1970s, highly educated and high-earning women were less likely to marry than their less-educated sisters. But among women born since 1960, college graduates are now as likely to marry as women with less education and much less likely to divorce.

    And it’s time to call a halt to the hysteria about whether high-earning women are pricing themselves out of the marriage market. New research by the sociologist Leslie McCall reveals that while marriage rates have fallen for most women since 1980, those for the highest earning women have increased, to 64 percent in 2010 from 58 percent in 1980. Women in the top 15 percent of earners are now more likely to be married than their lower-earning counterparts.

    ….Until recently, women who married later than average had higher rates of divorce. Today, with every year a woman delays marriage, up to her early 30s, her chance of divorce decreases, and it does not rise again thereafter. If an American woman wanted a lasting marriage in the 1950s, she was well advised to choose a man who believed firmly in traditional values and male breadwinning. Unconventional men — think beatniks — were a bad risk. Today, however, traditionally minded men are actually more likely to divorce — or to be divorced — than their counterparts with more egalitarian ideas about gender roles.

    Over the past 30 years, egalitarian values have become increasingly important to relationship success. So has sharing housework. As late as 1990, fewer than half of Americans ranked sharing chores as very important to marital success. Today 62 percent hold that view, more than the 53 percent who think an adequate income is very important or the 49 percent who cite shared religious beliefs.

    Two-thirds of couples who marry today are already living together. For most of the 20th century, couples who lived together before marriage had a greater chance of divorce than those who entered directly into marriage. But when the demographer Wendy Manning and her colleagues looked at couples married since 1996, they found that this older association no longer prevailed. For couples married since the mid-1990s, cohabitation before marriage is not associated with an elevated risk of marital dissolution.

    In fact, among the subgroups of women facing the greatest risk of divorce — poor minority women, women who have had a premarital birth or were raised in single-parent families, and women with a history of numerous sex partners — cohabitation with definite plans to marry at the outset is tied to lower levels of marital instability than direct entry into marriage. America may soon experience the transition that has already occurred in several countries, like Australia, where living together before marriage has become a protective factor against divorce for most couples.