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Entries in Marriage (47)

Friday
Feb082013

Many Single Women Don’t Want to Marry a Virgin, Survey Finds

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nine in ten U.S. singles want to get married one day, but 51 percent of the single women polled say they don’t want to marry a virgin, a new survey finds. 

Just 33 percent of single men say they don’t want to marry a virgin.

The survey of 5,481 U.S. singles and 1,095 married people ages 21-65 was sponsored by Match.com and conducted by MarketTools. The sample was representative of the United States and was not of the Match.com membership.

Additional findings from the survey:

  • More than 80 percent of married men and women said they would marry the same person again.
  • 76 percent of married men and 73 percent of women said they were still very much in love with their spouse.
  • 52 percent of singles and 46 percent of married people go out one to three times a week.
  • 78 percent of married people and 55 percent of singles prepared home-cooked meals on a typical weeknight.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec072012

Relationship Ranch: Horses Help Couples Heal Broken Hearts

Horses are being used in an unconventional form of couples counseling at a Colorado ranch. (ABC News)(LOUISVILLE, Colo.) -- It's fascinating to watch a man trying to win back the love of his life by talking to a horse.

Horse therapy has been used for decades to help treat people with physical disabilities or learning disorders, but now they are also being used in an unconventional form of couples counseling.

Nancy Hamilton and Lottie Grimes are marriage therapists who run Relationship Ranch in Louisville, Colo. They are convinced that horses can help feuding couples make peace.

"You wouldn't think they would have any role in marriage therapy," Hamilton said. "But because horses are so exquisitely sensitive, they can help us determine what a couple is actually, really feeling."

For three weekends, "Nightline" followed one couple's last-ditch effort to save their crumbling relationship and attended their equine therapy sessions.

Justin and Lyz, both 30 and never married, have been together for nine years and have two sons. But lately, they said, the bickering and fighting at home got so bad that Justin reluctantly agreed to move out.

"We have piled problem on top of problem on top of problem for years," Lyz said. "Who knows what's at the bottom of that?"

Although he was skeptical about the healing powers of horses, he said he was willing to try just about anything to make his family whole again.

On their first day of therapy, the couple was introduced to the ranch's herd of horses. Justin was magnetically drawn to the newest and most aggressive horse, Danny, who came to the ranch after surviving a grizzly bear attack. Danny wasn't fitting in with the other horses, which hit home for Justin, who felt exiled from his own herd. Hamilton said horses can sense and read people's emotions.

"They're almost like a Rorschach projective test with a mane and a tail, where people can project onto them their feelings, their thoughts and their fears," she said.

Hamilton said she believes those fears can stem from what she called unresolved childhood wounds, which plague adult relationships. That was the case with Justin. When he was 9-years-old, his sister was brutally murdered by an ex-boyfriend and young Justin saw the murder scene.

"He chased her down and cut her throat," he said. "We went back several days later and they hadn't cleaned anything up."

After working with Justin and Lyz, Hamilton said Lyz saw Justin as controlling, but those tendencies are rooted in his childhood trauma.

"Trauma survivors are very concerned with being able to control their present environment because they were not able to control their environment when they were traumatized," she said.

Hamilton had Justin go through a blind trust exercise with Danny to force Justin to surrender control to his partner. The goal was to expose Justin's old wounds. Hamilton instructed him to talk to Danny about what had happened when his sister was killed. Danny, the trauma-surviving horse, set the stage for a major breakthrough.

"It seemed so stupid at first, and then it was actually helpful," Justin said. "Therapeutic."

Watching Justin talk to the horse, Lyz said she never saw him so vulnerable. After the session, the two apologized for hurting each other.

Two weeks later, Justin went through a final exercise to fully cope with his past. In a pen, surrounded by the herd, Justin became 9-years-old-again. He was instructed to confront his absent father through a role-playing exercise, while Lyz acted as a stand-in for his dad.

"You abandoned all of us," he said aloud. "I had to be the man of the family and I think that you're a coward."

During a crucial and emotional moment, Danny, the horse, seemed to sense that his new friend needed him, and he put his head into Justin's hands. Then, in a rare sign of trust, some of the other horses lay down behind Justin, while others joined him by his side.

"That was the big 'ah-ha' moment for Lyz," Hamilton said. "She said, 'Justin, I realize that I am abandoning you over and over again just like your dad did.'"

At that point, Hamilton told the couple to re-commit to each other exclusively. Suddenly, the horses started kicking and running. Hamilton said she believes they were reacting to Lyz's fear of commitment and Justin's fear of abandonment.

For now, the future of Justin and Lyz's relationship is still uncertain. Lyz said she needed more time to decide whether to continue the relationship. They haven't solved all of their problems, but at least for now, they have found some guidance for the long road ahead.

"If you truly want help you're going to do whatever it takes to get that, even if it's talking to a horse," Justin said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep102012

Rabbis Urge Single, Orthodox Women to Freeze Eggs at 38

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Rebecca, an Orthodox Jew from California, was two weeks away from her marriage to the son of a respected rabbi when medication she was taking for migraines triggered a debilitating stroke.

She fell to the floor of the emergency room where she was working as a manager and broke her neck, suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries. When her fiance saw the extent of her disability, he called off the wedding.

"We did everything the Orthodox way," she said of their three-month engagement after being matched by family members. "I was in the hospital on my wedding day and they got out the wheelchair, and he was so frightened he backed off."

Now 38 and walking again, Rebecca is single, but her Orthodox faith implores her to find a husband and build a family. So she sought spiritual guidance from three or four rabbis and has decided -- with their blessing -- to have her eggs frozen for the future, when she hopes she will marry and start a family.

Doctors in the United States who are familiar with "halacha" -- or Jewish religious law -- say they are seeing more Orthodox patients who have been sent by their rabbis to freeze their eggs before their fertility wanes.

Orthodox Jews include a number of different sects worldwide, including the large Hasidic communities in New York City, which all place an importance on raising families.

"I couldn't think of a life without children because of our religion," said Rebecca, who did not want to share her name for privacy reasons. "That's the biggest mitzvah [commandment]. To bear kids and to bring them up the right way and to teach them the Torah is a woman's obligation."

Reproductive technology has perfected freezing techniques so that pregnancy rates are about the same as using fresh eggs when in vitro fertilization methods are used.

Rebecca is prepared to spend $7,000 to $10,000 per cycle to freeze her eggs with fertility specialists who can provide religious supervision.

"Most rabbis are strongly recommending this, and most should," said Dr. Sherman Silber, director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis, whose practice caters to Orthodox Jews. "'Be fruitful and multiply' is considered the first commandment."

The procedure helps make these single women more marriageable in the eyes of their communities, according to Silber.

"In truth, however, most orthodox women marry much earlier than this, often at age 20," he said. "So it is an uncommon event, but an important one for them."

About five percent of Silber's patients are Orthodox and his practice is supervised by top halachic authorities in Judaism from Jerusalem.

He recommends egg freezing "for all women who do not anticipate having a baby soon," he said. "Aging of the eggs is the critical and most important reason for the current infertility epidemic worldwide. And I would suggest well before age 38 to do that."

"We do everything we can to follow Orthodox halacha in all of our IVF practice," said Silber. "The patient can get her shots on Friday night before shabbos, and she can get her shots on Saturday night after shabbos. This is never a scheduling or dosage problem."

Rabbis also give special approval in rare cases when egg pick-up must be over the Sabbath, according to Silber, "as life trumps all other mitzvahs," including getting approval for a non-Jewish doctor.

In Israel the procedure is covered by the government. Some rabbis recommend every single woman over age 32 freeze her eggs as an insurance policy against infertility.

More women delay pregnancy for careers, but by their mid-30s their fertility dramatically drops and miscarriage rates rise. Harvesting a woman's eggs literally freezes them in time.

The first "frozen egg" baby was born in 1986, but success rates were so low that it was considered experimental. Unlike sperm, which had been successfully frozen for years, unfertilized eggs contain a lot of water and slow freezing causes ice crystals to form, destroying cell structure. But a specialized fast-freezing technique called vitrification changed all that.

Dr. Jamie Grifo, program director of the NYU Fertility Center in New York City, has done 1,100 frozen egg cycles since 2005, and recommends the earlier the eggs are harvested the better.

"Ideally, the best results are under 35, optimally in their early 30s," he said.

In his studies of live birth rates from 2003 to 2009, the pregnancy rate among 30-year-olds is 61 percent, but at age 44 it drops to five percent.

Grifo is also able to cater to Orthodox patients and has a rabbinical observer in his labs to oversee labeling and storing of eggs.

In accordance with halacha, eggs must be placed in new Petri dishes, even if they have been sterilized.

Rebecca is now in counseling with Rabbi Gideon Weitzman of Jerusalem, who is director of the Puah Institute, which for 20 years has been a "central authority" on infertility procedures performed in accordance with Jewish law.

"There is a very, very huge interface through the millennia between Judaism and medicine and technology," he said. "We've learned to go hand in hand with science."

Weitzman said freezing the eggs of single women is a real "boon" for Orthodox women who are taught at a young age that marriage and children are important.

"We get calls on this question every single week, if not every single day," he said.

Most of the time, women who freeze their eggs do not end up using them after they have found a husband and conceive the usual way.

Jewish law is "permissive" on destruction of unused eggs or embryos.

"Everybody agrees life in a Petri dish isn't life," said Weitzman.

Rebecca, who is of Moroccan Jewish descent, did not grow up in a religious family, but became modern orthodox when she was 27. She observes Shabbat (the Sabbath), prays each morning and dresses modestly in skirts below the knee -- except at the hospital, where she wore scrubs to work.

After his initial hesitation, her fiance later asked her to marry once again, but she refused.

"That wasn't an option for me after the way he behaved in my recovery," she said. "I wanted someone to be there for me the Orthodox way -- to be there for you regardless, someone who is more nurturing."

She wears a neck collar and has multiple therapies for her brain injury, which makes her processing slower.

"As an OR manager and director, I was, all the time, very active," she said. "But now, it's sometimes hard to read a book. I get fatigued easily."

She has been told she can never do nursing again. But with a helping husband, she said being a mother one day is possible.

"I know that I have a long road to recovery and my self-esteem went down," she said of her broken engagement.

Still, she eventually wants to go back to dating and find a husband.

"I feel hopeful," she said. "I am a very positive person. Thank God, I never got depressed and my religion has helped me a lot."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug202012

Marriage Means More Drinking for Women, Less for Men

Cultura/Getty Images(CINCINNATI) -- A study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association on Saturday found that married women drink more than previously married women, but married men drink less than previously married men.

Additionally, several women in the study said they did not drink alcohol at all until they met or married their husbands.

Sociological and psychological experts not involved with the research said the findings illustrate how individual behaviors tend to adjust in order to match those of people with whom they spend a great deal of time.

“People tend to do what others in the same flock do, if you spend more time with individuals that have a higher incidence of using drugs or alcohol you will develop similar habits,” said Richard Ager, associate professor at the Tulane School of Social Work in New Orleans. “People tend to engage in the behaviors of people they surround themselves with.”

Since single men tend to drink more than their single female counterparts, the idea that both sides converge toward an average level of drinking seems understandable.

“It appears that amongst couples, males and females gravitate toward a mutual midpoint with respect to alcohol use,” said Scott M. Bea, clinical psychologist and assistant professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, who also was not involved with the study. “That is, husbands drink a bit less and wives drink a bit more than their unmarried counterparts.”

But others said the findings could hint at something more deeply entwined with the marital relationship.

“The study findings appear to suggest that everyone’s alcohol use is, to some degree, related to the extent of stress in their lives,” Don R. Catherall, professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University.  “Long-term married women may have some additional stressors that [previously married] women do not and apparently derive less stress relief from their marital relationships than do men.”

For men, however, having a wife may serve as a stress-relieving substitute for that extra beer or scotch.

“Married males may experience their wives as sources of tension reduction,” Bea said. “There are studies that suggest that married males are happier than their unmarried counterparts.”

Despite the couples approaching a common drinking ground, on average men still drank more than women in every relationship category.

The study also looked into how drinking habits are affected when marriages end. The researchers found that while divorce causes men to drink more, women actually tend to go back to drinking less. Possible explanations for this, according to the researchers, could be that a husband’s heavy drinking may put couples at a higher risk of divorce. Another possibility is that, for men at least, the stress of the divorce may have prompted increased drinking.

Meanwhile, in the study participant interviews, an overwhelming majority of women said that either divorce depressed and turned them away from alcohol, or they drank less because they were no longer around their husbands drinking.

Despite this, women that were long-term divorced and recently divorced reported significantly more drinking-related problems than long-term married women. And while the research thus far is not sufficient to draw a direct cause-and-effect relationship between drinking-related problems and rates of divorce, it may help physicians better recognize risk factors for problem drinking that lurk within our social lives.

“As a culture, we might work toward educating individuals that are feeling isolated about their relative proneness to alcohol-related problems or overuse,” Bea said. “Helping these individuals develop support networks and other methods of coping might be useful interventions that may reduce the overuse of alcohol and, ultimately, alcohol-related difficulties.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug152012

Older People Like Living Together, But Fewer Want to Marry

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Not that long ago, a man and a woman living under the same roof without the benefit of marriage were regarded as “living in sin.”

If that’s really the case, then the country is turning into a real den of iniquity.

The number of men and women over the age of 50 who are cohabitating has exploded from 1.2 million in 2000 to 2.75 million a decade later, based on records from the Health and Retirement Study and the Current Population Survey covering that time span.

Bowling Green State University researcher Susan Brown says what’s most interesting about the study is that while older Americans are mimicking the lifestyle of younger people, they are more committed to staying together even though they're not legally bound to do so.

For instance, among the couples over 50 who were cohabitating in 2000, 70 percent were still in that same arrangement by 2010, with 18 percent breaking up and 12 percent deciding to tie the knot.

As for the past experience of couples 50 and older who “shack up,” most have been divorced, followed by widows and widowers and lastly, people who have never been married.

Brown says many older Americans enjoy cohabitation because there’s no mixing of financial assets and women, in particular, are less inclined to want to be tied down, especially if a partner’s health takes a turn for the worse.  In this way, there’s arguably less of an obligation to be a caregiver.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul102012

Can Sex Without Orgasm Bolster Marriages?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Matt Cook hasn't had an orgasm in seven months, and he hopes never to intentionally have one again. The 51-year-old publisher from Virginia isn't celibate. Happily married for 25 years, Cook said his sex life is more exciting than ever and giving up the goal-oriented climax has improved every aspect of his life.

Cook, the father of two adult sons, is a newcomer to karezza, a form of intercourse that emphasizes affection while staying far from the edge of orgasm. Climax is not the goal and ideally does not occur while making love.

"It creates a deep feeling in a relationship that is very difficult to describe -- much deeper than conventional sex," he said.

Cook is one of a growing number of men who have embraced karezza and have found it has helped heal their marriages, inject more spark into their sex lives and even shed porn addiction.

A recovering porn addict, Cook suffered from performance anxiety with girlfriends. Sex got better with his wife, but he didn't know how much until he discovered karezza.

Now, he has sex almost every day.

"It kind of never ends," said Cook. "Why would I want to give that up for a 15-second orgasm?"

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Deb Feintech, a counselor from Portland, Maine, uses karezza to help couples repair their broken relationships.

"The people most interested are men," she said. "It's very radical for them, but they are finding the emotional intimacy far outweighs any of the thrill of the chase and the mating mind."

And Feintech said the practice is not just helpful for middle-aged couples struggling with the ennui of a long marriage, but for young couples headed to the altar.

"I offer this to them as something to try for a month or so," she said. "They wake up every single morning and they are not even thinking about genital stimulation. They are snuggling, holding and breathing with eye contact and flow. It's very conscious -- from the genitals to the heart."

It puts the emphasis on attachment, not climax.

The word karezza was coined by Dr. Alice Bunker Stockham, a Chicago obstetrician and early feminist who promoted birth control, a ban on corsets and sexual fulfillment for both genders. In 1896, she wrote a book by that name -- from the Italian word carezza, which means caress.

For strengthening marriages, she encouraged what was then called "male continence," although in the interest of equality, she asked that women abstain from orgasm, as well.

Marnia L. Robinson has carried the contemporary torch in her 2009 book, Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, and on her website, Reuniting: Healing With Sexual Relationships.

"Even for those with the highest libidos, performance can become a grind and drive a craving for novelty," said Robinson. "Such feelings, although perfectly natural, can create projections and resentment that cause disharmony, especially after our temporary honeymoon neurochemistry wears off."

Technique is "virtually immaterial," she says. "It's a practice about not doing, about getting your goal-driven mammalian mating system out of the way long enough to fall into a state of relaxed union."

A former corporate lawyer and now a devotee, Robinson argues that karezza's power is rooted in neuroscience.

"Orgasm really isn't in our genitals, but actually between our ears," she said.

In the "passion cycle of orgasm," the hormone dopamine rises in anticipation of sex, and then crashes after orgasm, creating a biochemical "hangover," according to Robinson.

In men, that happens almost immediately after ejaculation; for women, it can be two weeks before the brain returns to homeostasis, according to Robinson.

"Karezza turned out to be an enjoyable way to tiptoe around biology's agenda," she said.

Overstimulation of the pleasure receptors can also desensitize the brain to pleasure or create a craving for more. When men are addicted to pornography or have frequent orgasms, "no amount of pleasure can satisfy," she said. "We are always looking for something novel."

But in karezza, lovemaking never finishes, so sexual energy continues to flow, helping to prevent boredom with a partner, say advocates. Karezza also elicits the relaxation response and encourages the brain to release the "love" hormone ocytocin, which helps in bonding behavior.

Robinson, unable to sustain intimacy, had been married twice before meeting her husband Gary Wilson, a former science teacher who helped her in her research. He had experienced depression and alcohol addiction, but after the couple explored karezza together, he was able to give up Prozac and drinking.

She found she was able to sustain a lasting and harmonious marriage.

"We sit tight, next to each other 24/7 and are never apart," said Wilson. "I don't feel the need to have my space, which is unusual."

Though many other men look at Wilson "like I am crazy," he said karezza can surprisingly help "rekindle things" in a long-term relationship.

For each couple, the experience is different.

"The natural 'karezzanauts' would be committed couples who want to sweeten the harmony of their relationships," said Robinson.

But young people, too, can try their hand at karezza, she said. In the very least, the practice is an effective form of birth control.

"I doubt any of us forget how to have conventional sex if pregnancy is desired," she said. "You can still ride a bike, even if you drive a car."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun292012

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes Split Spotlights Scientology Divorce Rituals

George Pimentel/Getty Images for Creative Artists Agency(NEW YORK) -- The divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, both bold-faced names and members of the Church of Scientology, shines a light on one aspect of their religion.

For many of the world's religions, the rituals surrounding divorce are as structured as those governing marriage. Jews seeking a divorce must sign a ritual contract. Mormons married in the temple must undergo a "sealing cancellation." In some Muslim sects, witnesses must be present for a divorce, and in others a husband recites a formula of denunciation three times to end a marriage.

The Church of Scientology, however, is much clearer on the rituals and practices of marriage than it is on divorce, according to experts and the church's own official website.

Rather than focus on divorce, the church concentrates on improving couples' relationships through therapy.

"Church members believe that tension in a marriage comes from 'overts' and 'withholds,' unstated, undiscussed issues or problems," said Stephen Kent, a religion professor at the University of Alberta.

"Communication is therefore a good way to rebuild a marriage that's crumbling. Couples can take a course called How to 'Improve Your Marriage' and in dire situations auditors, or counselors, can lead couples through exercises," he said.

"There's no real annulment in the church. Many members have been divorced, even founder L. Ron Hubbard was married three times," Kent said.

The church does not allow members to have contact with disconnected, or excommunicated members of the faith, making divorce inevitable sometimes when one spouse wants to continue in the faith and another wants to leave the church, according to Kent.

"If one person wants to stay in church, he can't have contact with someone who holds doubts or criticism of the group. The doubter is called a PTS, potential trouble source."

Cruise has been divorced twice already. He was previously married to Nicole Kidman and to Mimi Rogers, an actress who became a professional poker player. Cruise and Holmes, who have been married for five years, have one daughter together, 5-year-old Suri.

Representatives for Cruise and Holmes would not comment specifically for this story.

"This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," Holmes' publicist said in a statement. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."

"Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children," Cruise's publicist said in a statement. "Please allow them their privacy to work this out."

Cruise and Holmes were married in a Scientology ceremony in 2006 in France.

According to the church website "wedding ceremonies are performed by a Scientology minister with similar protocol to weddings in other churches: the bridal procession, the traditional role of the parents of the bride, best man, matron or maid of honor and the traditional seating of respective families and friends."

Couples can chose between "one of several different wedding ceremonies with varying degrees of formality. Each of these ceremonies includes traditional vows of loyalty and devotion," according to the website.

In one version of the ceremony, called the "Double Ring," a minister tells the couple "that through your love together, with your agreement upon its reality, and by your communication of these two beautiful truths, you have completed the ARC Triangle, and thereby consummated the only true marriage."

ARC refers to "affinity, reality and communication," according to the Church.

Before Cruise and Holmes were married, Holmes delivered the couple's daughter in a "silent birth" in which no one around the mother talks during the delivery.

"It's basically just respecting the mother, you know, and helping to be quiet -- not the mother. The mother makes as much noise ... you know, she's going through it," Cruise told ABC News in 2006. "But why have other people make noise? You know, you want that area very calm and to make it very special."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun272012

Relationships: Ten Things Men Should Know About Women

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're a man who hasn't figured out what makes a woman tick, you may want to heed the advice of Astroglide.

The lubricant brand has released a list of "10 Things to Know About Women" -- advice for single men, fiancés or new husbands. Some of the tips were provided by Astroglide's Twitter followers:

Here are the "10 Things to Know About Women," according to Astroglide:

  1. They want you to have your own place. If you want to be engaged but are still living at home, then you need to make some changes!
  2. Women like a man to be assertive without being a jerk. They need someone to stand up for them as an equal partner.
  3. They pay attention to what you wear and how you wear it. Backwards baseball caps, tight muscle shirts and saggy pants are out. Don't even try the black socks and sandals routine.
  4. Women don't typically want to talk with their current man about the number or certainly not the "size" of any of their past partners. Some topics are simply off limits.
  5. They like genuine questions that show their man truly cares about their well-being. Ask them about their job, friendships, and other issues and then just listen.
  6. Many women enjoy concert or dancing dates so they can see how their date's dance moves might transfer to the bedroom.
  7. Married women often need some quiet time after the kids go to bed. You don't have to talk, just let her enjoy 15 minutes of peace.
  8. Some women prefer text messages to phone calls early in a relationship.
  9. A little playful roughness is good in bed, so don't be afraid to hold on tight or move a little harder.
  10. Married women still want to feel desired, so be sure to give sincere compliments and remind her how spicy she is every day!

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun222012

Man with Kidney Disease Finds Perfect Match in New Bride

Jonathan Woodlief(DALLAS) -- Caitlin knew she was in love, but giving her heart to Jonathan was not an easy choice. Because Jonathan needed more than a heart; he needed a kidney, and his prospects of finding one were close to zero.

He faced a bleak future. But in the end, Caitlin turned out to be the perfect match not only for his heart but also for his health. And today they are heading into a future far brighter than the one they imagined on their wedding day last October.

Jonathan and Caitlin Woodlief met three years ago at seminary school in Dallas. Soon after they began dating, his health began to deteriorate.

"Dating was really difficult," Caitlin says. "You're trying to figure out how much to put your heart on the line, like any dating situation. But now I have to decide whether or not to go with him to chemo treatments. It's scary and intimidating dealing with a big disease."

The disease was lupus, and it was the second time around for Jonathan, which made the stakes much higher.

When he was 18, Jonathan had his first kidney transplant. The donor was his mother. It is very rare for lupus to return in the donated kidney, but just as Jonathan and Caitlin were falling in love, that's what happened.

It is far more difficult to find a matching donor for a patient who has already had one transplant because the body has built up new antibodies.

Fewer than one in 100 people could provide Jonathan a kidney his body would accept. Doctors told him he would probably spend the next 15 years or more on dialysis, waiting for a match, his health deteriorating all the time.

"It was a rough year for us," Jonathan says, "and a tough decision."

Jonathan went from "super healthy" to increasingly being in the hospital, sometimes for long stretches. He was in the hospital when he first met Caitlin's parents.

"That was humbling," he says, "me wanting to be a man who could provide and love her, and being insecure about my health."

"There were days that really take your breath away," Caitlin says, "when you think about the weight of the situation ... just how sick he was."

"One thing helped," Caitlin says, as she wrestled with whether or not to tie her life to a very sick man. "He would have done the same for me."

A month after the wedding, Jonathan went on the transplant list, which meant the search for a donor could begin.

Caitlin went with some of their friends to be tested. One by one they called to report they were not a match.

Then, at the end of January, the news no one expected: Caitlin herself was a match.

"It's like hitting the lottery," said transplant surgeon Dr. David Cronin. "Practically speaking," he said, patients like Jonathan have almost no chance of finding a matching donor.

After more testing, and still more testing to be sure, the newlyweds went into surgery on Tuesday at the transplant center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

In the prep room together, Jonathan, the old hand in hospitals, reassured his wife, who had never been under anesthetic.

"I was pretty nervous," she admits.

Caitlin went into the operating room first, and an hour later they called for Jonathan.

Caitlin is back at home already. Jonathan joins her there today and they can begin planning for the healthy future they didn't think they would get.

"Swimming and jumping and running and playing basketball," is first on the list, Caitlin says. Jonathan is a big basketball player.

"Further down the road, we'd love to start a family," Caitlin says. "That was on the back burner until all this came together."

But Jonathan and Caitlin, now graduates of that Christian seminary school, are not just thinking of themselves.

"A lot of our story has been shaped by suffering," Jonathan says, "so we want to work with other people who are suffering."

Jonathan is thinking of ministry, maybe overseas. He spent a year studying in China and his good health makes a return there possible. Caitlin trained as a music therapist and wants to incorporate that into her career.

"We've had a big detour here," Jonathan says. Now, thanks to his perfect match, they are back on track.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May302012

People More Open-Minded About Open Relationships  

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans' attitudes about sex and what makes up cheating and betrayal have certainly changed from the days when television programs were forbidden to show married people sleeping in the same bed.
 
Bad Online Dates, which encourages people to commiserate about their lousy dates, conducted a survey of hundreds of users to get an idea of what they consider the modern definition of infidelity.
 
For instance, 97 percent of respondents felt that watching pornography online does not constitute cheating.
 
For that matter, just under five percent think someone using a blow-up doll for sex when they’re involved with another person is being unfaithful.
 
Meanwhile, about one in seven say it’s okay if their best friend was sleeping with a married man or woman although six in ten would not tell their partner about having sex with a hotel bartender.
 
Still, 31 percent believe that cheating on a significant other is okay sometimes.
 
As for the subject of monogamy, two-thirds of the respondents believe people were not born to be with one just person and as proof of that, close to eight in ten would be open to idea of a threesome.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio