Busted Halo
 
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July 6th, 2009
Memories of my Marriage Encounter childhood

Growing up, I was mortified by my parents’ public displays of religion. I’m still convinced that from the years of 1982 to 1986 my parents were part of a cult; others called it “Marriage Encounter.”
One fateful Friday afternoon in 1980, they packed one suitcase and prepared to leave for the first of many retreat weekends; weekends that would become the bane of my existence; weekends that would become the main reason I fled to therapy at the ripe age of ten.
“We’re not getting divorced,” they asserted repeatedly, often in unison, when I questioned their decision to join such a mysterious organization. Of course, deep down I suspected that was the reason they were going.…

June 28th, 2009
Reality show rubbernecking

Recently, I’ve been tuning in to Jon & Kate Plus Eight at the gym. I watch on the sly like I’d rubberneck on the highway: The crash is too gory to view directly, but I can’t take my eyes off the drama. Some research suggests viewers watch reality TV because deep down they believe, someday, they too might be a star. I’d argue it’s even more basic than that: Reality television plays on our ugly, but very human, need to take someone else — especially the rich, attractive or famous — down a peg.
Call it the “Can you imagine?” factor: When Playboy… Playmate Kendra hands her soon-to-be parents-in-law a signed copy of her nude centerfold, the at-home viewers can screech

June 14th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 9

Episode #9 — The Velveteen Rabbit

Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding”.
Send us your questions!
Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP, effective September 1, 2009, is the newly appointed President of Paulist Productions, the film and television ministry of the Paulist Fathers, located in Los Angeles, California. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.…

June 7th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest--The Rabbi--and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 8

Episode #8 — Interfaith Marriage… What about the kids?

NEXT WEEK: The Princess, The Priest and… The Velveteen Rabbit?!
Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.
Special thanks to Rabbi Jill Hausman of The Actors Temple, NYC. Contact her at cantorweddings.com
Send us your questions!
Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP, effective September 1, 2009, is the newly appointed President of Paulist Productions, the …

June 1st, 2009
Nurturing our relationships when we're 'too busy'

For the last six months, I’ve been busier than usual with work. In January and February, I was promoting my new book Marry Smart… and some new findings in mate-preferences research just in time for Valentine’s Day. All the while, I was teaching more than 200 students in two classes at the University of Iowa, grading papers, writing lectures and trying to get started on the book manuscript that’s due on July 1.
So I’ll admit it: I’ve been tired and grumpy and not a whole lot of fun for my husband, Peter, to be around. All of the best of me goes into my workday, and Peter gets the exhausted scraps. As we discussed our second wedding anniversary, which is coming up in a few weeks, Peter said he

May 31st, 2009
The Princess, The Priest--The Rabbi--and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 7

Episode #7 — Can we have an interfaith wedding?

NEXT WEEK: Interfaith marriage — What about the kids?
Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.
Special thanks to Rabbi Jill Hausman of The Actors Temple, NYC. Contact her at www.cantorweddings.com/

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior…

May 25th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 6

Episode #6 — Why Can’t We Get Married To The Beatles?
NEXT WEEK: Can we have an interfaith wedding?

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.…

May 19th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 5

Episode #5 — How can we keep our wedding simple?

NEXT WEEK: Why can’t we get married to The Beatles?
Want to see more? Watch other episodes of “The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding” here.

Some links to discount wedding gowns
From Christine… “Here’s a link to a great place called VOWS in Newton, MA that has lots of discounted wedding gowns — I looked there myself, actually, and I can tell you there are wonderful dresses: www.bridepower.com… as of my writing this, there are 69 dresses under $500. There are also some wedding dresses on sale at jcrew.com for under $200 as well. Target did a great line of wedding dresses last year, but discontinued

May 3rd, 2009
Reconsidering a woman's "wifely duty"

A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a column titled “Women need to say yes to sex.” I had my back up immediately — but kept reading. Bettina Arndt, author of The Sex Diaries…, begins the piece with this opening salvo: “What ever happened to wifely duty?”
Got your attention now? Yep, in any marriage, negotiations about sex cut to the heart of power dynamics, trust issues and emotional intimacy. And these are very sensitive subjects. (And no, I won’t be offended if you just click through to read her piece first and then come back to mine. It’s provocative.)
Arndt argues that “the assumption that women need to want sex to enjoy it has proved a really damaging sexual idea, one

April 27th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 4

Episode #4 — What Does a Celibate Priest Know About Sex?

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.

April 19th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 3

Episode #3 Why Can’t We Get Married On The Beach?”
(Please note: due to some technical issues encountered while recording,
portions of Fr. Eric’s video and audio are slightly distorted.) 

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.

April 13th, 2009
Our Pure Sex, Pure Love columnist offers some background on her new web video series The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding

Thinking about getting married? Engaged? Welcome aboard the emotional rollercoaster: Planning a wedding and anticipating a marriage is a joyful time of preparations — but also a highly charged period of decisions, debates and family pressures.
And, as usual, BustedHalo® is here to help. Recently, I joined forces via the wonders of iChat technology with Father Eric Andrews, a Paulist priest who has over 15 years of wedding experience. Fr. Eric and I answer questions from brides and grooms preparing to be married in the Catholic Church. Why can’t you get married on the beach? Why is the priest being such a jerk? Why do we have to talk about sex during pre-Cana?
In our video series, The Princess, The Priest…

April 13th, 2009
The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding Episode 2

Episode #2 “The Jerky Priest!”

Dr. Christine B. Whelan, is an Iowa-based social historian, professor, journalist and author. She is the author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to True Love, and Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women.
Fr. Eric Andrews CSP is the pastor of Blessed John XXIII parish, which serves as the Catholic campus ministry for the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Prior to entering the priesthood, he worked for Jim Henson and the Muppets on a variety of television productions.

April 6th, 2009
Some highlights from our columnist's visit to CBS TV's Early Show

This morning, I appeared live on “The Early Show” on CBS to discuss dating and relationship strategies during an economic downturn. Watch the show here and read below for more advice.
When is the appropriate time to bring up finances in a relationship — and is it something you should really be asking about early on? …
Money is one of those subjects that’s off limits on the first date — but if you’ve just been laid off from your job there’s no avoiding the discussion. Get to know someone for who they are, not what they can buy for you: Is she proactive about finding a new job? Is he brainstorming about other career paths? Ambition and perseverance are what’s going to pay

April 2nd, 2009
Debut Episode!

From over-the-top registries to destination weddings, the American wedding industrial complex is a $161 billion consumer bonanza. But a wedding is more than just a party: It’s the beginning of a life-long marriage, an important sacrament in the Catholic Church. Brides want everything to be to their specifications — and priests bristle at being treated like hired help. Friends and family ask about color themes for the reception, and the priest plies pre-Cana compatibility quizzes. It’s a cultural war, and engaged couples are on the front lines.
What happens when the princess planning her “one perfect day” clashes with the priest who would rather preside over a dozen funerals than one wedding?…

March 25th, 2009
Coming Soon! Busted Halo's "The Princess, The Priest and the War for the Perfect Wedding"

From over-the-top registries to destination weddings, the American wedding industrial complex is a $161 billion consumer bonanza. But a wedding is more than just a party: It’s the beginning of a life-long marriage, an important sacrament in the Catholic Church. Brides want everything to be to their specifications — and priests bristle at being treated like hired help. Friends and family ask about color themes for the reception, and the priest plies pre-Cana compatibility quizzes. It’s a cultural war, and engaged couples are on the front lines.

What happens when the princess planning her “one perfect day” clashes with the priest who would rather preside over a dozen funerals…

March 22nd, 2009
Can ambition be a Catholic virtue?

Margot, 31, wants to be the first female partner at the boutique law firm where she’s worked for four years. She’s getting great reviews from her bosses because she works long hours, always delivers for clients and, “when a partner tells me to jump, I ask how high on the way up,” she says. “It’s been my ambition to be a partner at a law firm for years. So many women start out as associates at firms, but so few end up as partners. I really want that success.”
She admits that to me with a sigh, and an apologetic look. She continues: “Women aren’t supposed to have that burning ambition — or at least that’s the message I get from society. I’m 31, I’m…

March 8th, 2009
Recent comments in the Vatican newspaper raise questions

There’s a new study out from the Vatican: Seems men and women confess to different sins. The most commonly confessed sin for women is pride, while for men, lust and gluttony rule the confessional. Men’s desire for food is surpassed only by the urge for sex.
This analysis is based on a study of confessions carried out by Father Roberto Busa, a 95-year-old Jesuit scholar, and backed up by Vatican theologian, Dominican Father Wojciech Giertych. Recently, Monsignor Giertych told reporters for the Vatican newspaper (and, subsequently, the world) that men were more inclined than women to pursue pleasure.
“Often the most difficult [sin] men face is lust, and then comes gluttony, sloth, wrath,…

February 22nd, 2009
New statistics show that what men and women want in a mate has changed drastically in the past 70 years

It’s the perennial question: What do men and women want in a spouse?
Men are increasingly interested in an educated woman who is a good financial prospect, and less interested in chastity. Women are increasingly interested in a man who wants a family, and less picky about whether he’s always Mr. Nice Guy.
That’s according to a study by that I conducted with Christie Boxer, a graduate student here at the University of Iowa. We analyzed results from a 2008 survey of more than 1,100 undergraduates of all religious backgrounds at the UI, the University of Washington, the University of Virginia and Penn State University, comparing the results to past mate-preference studies.
Since the 1930s, researchers…

February 10th, 2009
Recession friendly ideas for love without money

Just because Valentine’s Day is traditionally one of the more tawdry holidays, that doesn’t meant that we can’t redefine it and genuinely celebrate the relationships and love we share, whether or not we have a significant other. So, I asked some of my friends for suggestions of ways to celebrate the relationships in our lives — without spending too much money, or turning to the trashy — and they came up with five great ideas that will make any Valentine’s Day wonderful.

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