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Tying the Knot With Kids-The New Kind of Wedding

Since 9/11 it’s pretty clear that the trend toward the bonding, memory-building kinds of family travel experience  is still strong.

And the Caribbean, with its mix of the sensual and the accessible, is still a perfect place for those tying the knot, again, but who are committed to sharing the event with their children and extended family.

The Caribbean Wedding Association has been seeing a new kind of love and marriage lately. Apparently people who are finding love later in life, who’ve done the big formal wedding, now  want something different.

When they remarry, they want their children included so they can all begin their new lives together, as a family. It’s not just about  the man and woman anymore.

Given the statistics, it makes sense. 

According to the Stepfamily Association of America  there are now as many stepfamilies as “intact” families.

The Association says a whopping 65+ percent of remarriages  now bring children into the new relationship.

“Really, Familymoons, as we call them, are quite adorable,” says a Wedding Coordinator at Brac Reef Beach Resort on Cayman Brac.

“It’s fun to see the kids taking part in the ceremony. With one of our couples, there were thirty family members, and his daughter and her daughter, both teens, were bridesmaids. The ages ranged from one year to mid-seventies, and everyone loved being together.”

Experts say these kinds of family marriages ease the transition into the new life, because parents  don’t want to leave their kids behind when they tie the knot.

And the children certainly don’t want to be left behind while their new parents take off on a honeymoon without them.

But Familymoons are not for everyone. Be prepared for a loss of intimacy between bride and groom, and repressed family issues seem somehow to come up on these pressure-cooker days.

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Kaleel Sakakeeny is the CEO of New Media Travel (NMT) providing timely travel news and information for consumers and the travel industry as Travel Video PostCards, Audio PostCards, and posts. Twitter follow: @newmediatravel …

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Pearls of Wisdom for Staying Married



As an assistant cruise director on the Love Boat, I hosted a party that included more than 2500 years of marriage. I asked the couples to tell me their secrets. How did they stay married for over half a century, when most of us can’t even get a second date? They were happy to share their wisdom and they hope it helps everyone have more second dates and full centuries of marriage.


Panama Cruise Pearls of Wisdom

Kiss good night every night before you go to sleep.

Share everything especially your feelings.

Never go to bed angry.

Plenty of loving is what the doctor ordered.

When you are angry go out for a walk.

Be patient with each other.

Be willing to say you are sorry.

Don’t try to get in the last word.

Remember that you have made a commitment.

Compromise is one of the main keys to success.

Laughing is very healthy for the soul of your relationship.

Don’t Lose Respect for each other.

Be nice—remember what your mother said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Grin and bear it—who’s perfect?

Be best friends.

Learn to say YES DEAR.

Keep your mouth shut.

Teamwork is the most important thing. Remember you are on the same team.

Really Listen. Don’t plan what you are going to say next. Listen to what your partner is saying.

Dance your life away and enjoy it.

Thank god each day for what you’ve been given.

Don’t find fault.

Keep a sense of humor.

Communication is key, Listen to each other and talk to each other.

Carefully chose your mate.

Respect each other.

Remember what you said the first day—your vows.

Have a lousy memory.

Always stay in love.

At our wedding, December 19, 2009, Rabbi Zeldin read the Apache wedding blessing:

"Now we will feel no rain, for each of us will be shelter for the other.

Now we will feel no cold, for each of us will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness, for each of us will be companion to the other.

Now we are two persons, but there is only one life before us."

We wish you many years of happiness, sunsets and celebration!!! We are enjoying our anniversary!


Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Education. is a passionate writer, educator, social media ninja, speaker and global citizen who has traveled to over one hundred countries and six continents. She is the co-author of Traveling in Sin. …

Lisa Niver Rajna’s author pageAuthor’s Blog


I saw this caption in a recent New Yorker cartoon and thought that it captured the way that so many of today’s parents feel about their grown children. Have children become lazier? I don’t think so. When I was growing up, you didn’t have to go to college to get a decent job, buy a house, and raise a family. Now even with a college degree, you’re lucky to find a decent job in your field after college and, even then, it still may not pay enough to save up to buy a house and raise a family.

University of Pennsylvania sociologist Frank F. Furstenberg and colleagues observe that the definition of adulthood, “traditionally defined as finishing school, landing a job with benefits, marrying and parenting,” has been extended by a decade. Using this standard, 65 percent of men reached adulthood by the age of 30 in 1960, while only 31 percent had by 2000. For women, 77 percent met the standard of adulthood by age 30 in 1960, but only 46 percent by the year 2000.

This shift has had a huge effect on parent/teen relations. For example, if children are remaining younger longer, then they may need to extend the kind of rebellious, shaming and devaluing behavior—long associated with the 13-year-old to 17-year-old set–into their mid-to-late twenties (if not later). Why? Because your adult child is still working on separating from you. It’s love, not hate, that causes her to mistreat you. Now, don’t you feel better?

The consolidation of identity, long the hallmark of successful adolescence also appears to be taking longer to achieve than in prior generations. In addition to economics, the current culture of parenting may prevent children from experiencing just enough hard knocks to train them in weathering the stormy transition from living at home to living independently. Contemporary perspectives of children as fragile may cause parents to be unable to do the type of “tough love” limit setting sometimes required to force a child out of the warm, though stifling comfort of the nest into the cold, but fresh air of an independent life. Teens who can’t leave home, or adult children, who return can create shaming dynamics for both themselves and for their parents.

 Our current view of children as precious and fragile may cause us to advocate for them so aggressively and diligently that they view themselves as being, and therefore becoming, overly vulnerable to the inevitable slings and arrows of life. This is part of what psychoanalyst Carl Jung meant when he wrote ,“Neuroses are the avoidance of legitimate suffering.” Parents must learn how to empathize with the more difficult circumstances that face their young adult today, while at the same time avoid protecting them too much from those circumstances.


Dr. Coleman’s most recent book is titled, WHEN PARENTS HURT: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along (HarperCollins). A frequent guest on the Today Show and NPR, he has also appeared on ABC 20/20, Good Morning America, the BBC, and numerous news programs for FOX, ABC, and NBC television. Dr. Coleman’s advice has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, The London Times, and many other publications. He is a Senior Fellow with the Council on Contemporary Families and has a private practice in San Francisco and Oakland, California. Sign up today for his FREE monthly ezine at or

Have Your Cake and Eat it too

Cake, invites, food, music, and clothing are required and this is not a wedding or a birthday celebration. You get to shop for all of this just the same. This is a divorce party. One of the newest trends may now very well be appearing at your local bakery. A Florida bakery owner says her divorce cake orders are slowly increasing. One cake features the bride dragging the groom out with the trash. On a different divorce cake, your ring goes in a coffin in a cemetery on top of the cake. The ideas are endless. Orders for her bakery treats are being purchased by both men and women.

They say it’s not about celebrating the end of a marriage. But it is rather a celebration of a new beginning. Divorce parties aren’t new. I went to one in 1995 and it was a blast. Of course, that was a divorce/engagement party. Don’t ask! I do not remember cake involved. I do remember alcohol and lots of laughter. But this trend is increasing. Whatever your thoughts are on this trend, whether you are for it or against it, I say let them eat cake. If the party isn’t for you then it’s not about you. It’s about the person who is divorcing. Maybe this is what they need to kick off the new phase of their life in a happier way. It’s a sweet treat that we use to celebrate all kinds of events in our lives. I am all for a party that involves cake! So invite me, my friends. Party away, but, don’t forget the cake.

Check out the video here:


I am a sahm of 3 great children and a wanna be writer. I make my home in Nashville, TN and love life with my hubby of 19 years.

Dina Demarest’s author pageAuthor’s Blog

How To Save Your Marriage By Creating Intimacy

When your marriage is on unsteady ground and all seems lost, you must continue to believe that you can save the marriage if you truly love your wife or husband. You have gone through many wonderful times together and it is important to take stock of that. Even though your marriage is struggling at the moment, you must have hope and believe that it is possible for you to save your marriage.

After years of marriage, it is commonly known that marriages in trouble often have lost intimacy. In order for any marriage to be happy, there must be a certain level of intimacy that goes beyond just the physical elements. This is what is known as emotional intimacy. Think about your answer to this question, “is my marriage affected from a lack of intimate moments?”

Are you open and honest with your wife or husband? Do you share your emotional needs with your wife or husband? Or do you keep your partner in the dark, hiding your emotions and emotional requirements inside? Do you try to deal with issues by yourself? By excluding your wife or husband emotionally, the chances are that your marriage lacks intimacy. Now is the time to spice up your marriage so that it can be saved.

You should ensure that you are making plenty of effort to share your problems and concerns with your spouse. Far too often many people find themselves concerned and thinking constantly about all kinds of different situations. Rather than talking about their issues with their spouse, they choose to try to deal with it by themselves. This can be the wrong thing to do. Instead of distancing yourself from your spouse, you should be keeping them close and including them so you can work through the situation together.

Importantly, you should know that spouses can very easily feel when something is not right. By excluding them, they quickly begin to feel left out and that they are no longer needed. This is when hurt and even lack of respect can quickly work its way into a marriage.

You must make time to work together on your marriage. By making your marriage a priority, intimacy will follow naturally. Life is extremely busy these days and every minute seems to be filled with too many things to do. But you must make an effort to concentrate on making your marriage intimate. By not making time for your marriage, it can be almost certain that it will come into hard times. It would not be good to discover that when you were busy working yourself ragged to build your career, that your marriage has been pushed to the side and is no longer healthy.

Ensuring that you are actively making time for your spouse and your marriage, will be a big step in saving your marriage. Why not take an afternoon off together spontaneously and spend that time having fun with your wife or husband. You can even make it a surprise. Once your spouse realizes that you value them so much that they have rearranged their schedule to spend precious time with you, you will start to see an improvement in your marriage.

Creating and developing the intimacy back in your marriage will take time and is a continuous process. Do not ever leave your marriage to become stagnant or stale. You love your spouse and they need to know this. Achieving a healthy and an intimate marriage regularly needs attention in order for it to develop and thrive.

TheFurFiles – Daunted By Divorce, Hollywood Hookup, Brother Could Do Better

Now just because something great happened to you in the past doesn’t mean you need to go back and relive it. Besides, Tim could look like someone from the Beverly Hillbillies by now. It HAS been twenty years.

BTW, it is a little known fact that what’s “meant to be” is what actually happens.


Dear Fern,

My brother’s new girlfriend really bothers me. I mean, I don’t know her very well – like I’ve only seen pictures of her on Facebook – but she reminds me of an anteater with short, stumpy legs and a big butt. I think Jason can do much, much better. How can I get him to dump her when he “says” he’s in love? I don’t mean to sound superficial but…


Concerned Sister

Dear Who Are You, Hitler’s Minion?

I’ll tell you what really bothers me…

1. Commercials that advertise for newly patented, female oral contraceptives that have a million and one life-threatening side effects.

2. Parents with nineteen or more children who wonder if they should get pregnant again.

3. Olympic athletes from twenty years ago who do commercials for products no one gives a crap about.

4. Anime animal porn.

5. Colin Firth’s enduring sex appeal and the fact that I’ll probably never get to sleep with him.

6. Waking up in the morning and the alarm clock reads 6:57 a.m. when you usually get up at seven, which then gives you absolutely NO time to just lay there and think about how much you wish you could go back to sleep.

7. Movies like Titanic that make you cry more than five times.

8. Emails that start with “Hello Honey” in bright pink letters.

9. People who wear Lululemon clothing and smoke simultaneously.

10. And you, H. M. – YOU really bother me.

Don’t you know that you can’t judge a book by its cover, just like you can’t judge a country by the quality of some of its pop stars – Shawn Desman.


Hi! My name is Amanda Fox. I write literary erotica as well as dark humour. Sometimes I even put the two together. And I know this may sound strange, but I get inspiration in some of the most unexpected places – Viggo Mortensen (OK, so maybe that’s …

Amanda Fox’s author pageAuthor’s Blog

Is Cohabitation Really Worse than Marriage?

The National Marriage Project, which conducts research on marriage and family in the United States, has a new report out on divorce, cohabitation and marriage in the U.S. Over the last four decades, there has been a twelvefold increase in the number of cohabiting households. The report says that 42 % of children have lived with cohabiting parents by age 12, and only 24% have lived with a parent who had divorced.

The researchers don’t think this is a good thing. They say that, “family instability is on the rise for American children as a whole” because “more couples are having children in cohabiting unions, which are very unstable.” The research also indicates that “children in cohabiting households are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems…compared to children in intact, married families.” It also showed that “rates of child abuse are lowest in families with two married biological parents, and highest when there is an unmarried unrelated partner in the home.”


Cohabitating couples with children may have their problems, at least according to this research, but it is worth looking at why people don’t want to marry. Take the Millennial generation, or Echo Boomers. An average of 22% of people ages 18-31 are not married. Why might they not want to marry? Here are just three reasons:


1. They have witnessed a lot of divorce from generations before them. If it was with their own parents, they experienced the divorce as the child of the parents, and all the pain and ugliness that that can include, from custody battles to trying to force alliances with one parent or the other.

2. Financial concerns. This generation is suffering from the state of the economy. A Pew Research Center report indicates that 10% say the poor economy has forced them to move back in with their parents. Twelve percent say they have had to get a roommate. Fifteen percent younger than 35 say they have postponed getting married because of the bad economic times we are in.

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I am the author of Families of Two, and blog about being childless by choice and more at La Vie Childfree. Along with being a “go to” on the topic of childless by choice and writing nonfiction books, I talk books at LiveTrue Books blog, and help people …

Laura Carroll’s author pageAuthor’s Blog

First Rule of Divorce: Be Financially Aware.

Because of the fragile economy, divorce in the US is also undergoing a different dynamic. Aside from fighting on who gets the kids, another issue is ‘who pays the debt?’. And it has affected women more than men.

A study by University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project show that for the past four years, divorce rates have followed the ups and downs of the US economy. In 2008, the divorce rate went down 24% and in 2009, 57%. Now that the economy is on a mild upswing, the divorce rate is also going up. But this increase also brings up the financial issue to the forefront.

According to Chris Bixby of Key Private Bank, the three of the top five causes of divorce are financial. These are job loss, housing problems, and credit card debt.

Divorce coach, Lee Block says that many of her clients are now trying to work their marriage out. And it is not because of love. They can’t afford to get divorced.

Block also has noticed that there are women who do not know how to manage money. “I see women who don’t know how to pay a bill, and it shocks me. They’re in their 50s and 60s and don’t know how to write a check, or get their own credit cards, or start a bank account. They’ve been taken care of their whole lives by their husbands.”

According to experts, a large number of women are having difficulty managing their finances after coming out of a divorce. Most lack basic money management skills to effectively acclimate to the single life.

There are exceptions though, Carol Meerschaert of Paoli, Pennsylvania divorced 10 years ago. Her kids were aged 7,10, and 14. She moved to a smaller home, paid her own mortgage and managed to fund the college tuition of her eldest daughter.

She never lost her house and even got to get an MBA herself.

It is suggested that during divorce proceedings, it is best to involve a financial planner/adviser to objectively lay out the scenario that the divorcing couple is facing.

Given the observations, women nowadays, married or divorced, must teach themselves to at least have the basic financial skills. Whether it is a divorce or the death of the spouse, they will eventually face the task of managing family financially.


Filipino. Aside from being a Brand Manager, Jonathan also writes for AdEdge,the trade magazine of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA). He was also a headwriter for a political TV show as well as TV segment producer.

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