Busted Halo

Most dating and relationships books, columns and shows won’t go near issues of faith. Author, professor and speaker Dr. Christine B. Whelan assumes faith has some role, and tackles even the toughest questions.

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September 8th, 2008
BustedHalo readers weigh in

In my last column I shared a letter from Susan, a longtime reader of Pure Sex, Pure Love, who has been dating a man struggling with depression. “How do you deal with a partner who’s dealing with depression? Can you help—and if so, how?” I asked BustedHalo readers to weigh in on this email, and dozens of you responded.
Nearly 60% of respondents said that, like Susan, they have been in a relationship with someone suffering from depression, and 75% of respondents said Susan should continue her relationship. Many offered first-hand advice.
Lynn, 25, has been dating a man with depression for four years, and has dealt with the illness first hand herself. “It makes a relationship 10 times harder. There were nights…

August 25th, 2008
The God of Thin?

“Does God really care if we gained ten pounds over the holidays? Yes!” announces The Dieter’s Prayer Book.
“If you’ve struggled with obesity all of your life, you may not even be able to imagine yourself free of the bondage of unwanted fat. But God can,” promises The Bible Cure for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain….
As part of the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowship to study the intersection of science and religion, I explored the world of religious diet books. Surprised that such books exist? So are many Catholics, but religious weight-loss and health initiatives that began among evangelical Christians are spreading to other denominations—and other faiths—as Americans continue to put on the pounds.

August 4th, 2008
Depression Hurts

Recently I received a request from Susan, a longtime reader of my Pure Sex, Pure Love column:
How do you deal with a partner whose dealing with depression? Can you help—and if so, how? And where the lines are drawn between being supportive and looking after your own emotional needs, since depression doesn’t just affect the person going through it. Do you deal with a loved one’s depression differently if you are married versus dating? …
I pondered this email as I left for my final week of the Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowship, where one of our lectures happened to be about the recent studied of Buddhist meditation used in the treatment of chronic depression.
“Estimates are that 1 in 6 people

July 22nd, 2008
Navigating your relationship during a recession

My husband, Peter, is a lawyer, and recently accepted a job with Legal Aid, a non-profit organization that provides legal services for the working poor. In states nationwide, community legal services groups are expanding their personal bankruptcy practices as this economy continues to soften, and he’ll be working with many families in financial crisis.
As we spent hours talking about the clients he’s going to work with and their difficulties making ends meet, we began thinking about our own finances. Are we saving enough? Peter drives 30 minutes to work and back each day; if gas prices continue to go up, do we need to cut back in other areas to pay for that increased expense? Our savings are dwindling as the…

July 7th, 2008
Declare your financial independence

This weekend, we celebrated our nation’s independence with fireworks and cook-outs. But according to a recent Busted Halo…® survey, young adults are struggling for an even more personal kind of independence this summer—financial independence.
More than 40% of respondents said they hold credit card debt, and nearly 50% are floating school loans. We’re the first generation in American history to be less well off at age 30 than our parents were at that age. And with the economy’s frequent hiccups, rising gas prices and falling home values, nearly half of respondents said financial discussions with loved ones have gotten more tense.
How can we declare independence from financial

June 27th, 2008
Our readers respond

My last column, "Wives, obey your husbands?" was intentionally provocative… and it worked!
Over the years, as I attended different parishes during college and beyond, I noticed something odd: Depending on the priest, we’d hear different versions of readings from Colossians and Ephesians about how a man and a woman should love and honor each other.
The full text of this New Testament letter from Paul includes this advice: "Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter towards them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they…

June 24th, 2008
After the flood

“I pray that the community spirit stays strong in all these communities, and that the floods can’t drown the love we feel for our neighbors in times of need.”

June 12th, 2008
“Wives, obey your husbands?”

As someone who studies the family and relationships, I usually look forward to the discussion of these big, important issues in the liturgy. At one church I attended during childhood summers, fathers would be recognized on Father’s Day by standing up and receiving applause. At another church, I remember mothers receiving a special blessing on Mother’s Day. And on the feast of the Holy Family, usually the Sunday after Christmas, the readings always caught my attention.
But over the years, as I attended different parishes during college and beyond, I noticed something odd: Depending on the priest, we’d hear different versions of readings from Colossians and Ephesians about how a man and…

May 8th, 2008
Men DO want to marry their mothers

If the old saying is true that men want to marry a woman like their mother, then this Mother’s Day, let’s thank moms for leading the way toward gender equality for a younger generation.
New York Times’… columnist Maureen Dowd has long complained that today’s men are a bunch of insecure wimps who are intimidated by smart—high achieving women and, she argues only want to marry their mother or some intellectually inferior woman to avoid their masculinity being threatened.
The Dowd pronouncements have caused millions of today’s high achieving women to fret over their probabilities of ever getting married. It turns out that Ms. Dowd is correct: Today’s men do want to

May 5th, 2008
Stop Looking for Your Soul Mate!

The honeymoon is over, and being somebody’s “everything” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Catholics need to break up with the quest for “the one” in favor of a more realistic perspective on relationships.
Recently, my friend Angela called me in tears. Angela, 31, and her husband have been married for three years and they are very well-suited: They can spend hours at a time together talking and laughing, are attracted to each other, get along with each other’s friends and families, and are on the same page when it comes to faith, politics, and financial matters. But recently, she told me, the “glow” had worn off. The two were involved in their own…

April 28th, 2008
The Catholic Guide to Blind Dates

It only has to work once.
That’s what I told myself after every bad date in my 20s.
If we fell head over heels in love with everyone we met for coffee or dinner, we’d get ourselves into heaps of trouble. Being picky (up to a point) is a good thing. And this means that there are going to be some terrible dates.
Which is why I’ve always thought it’s interesting that blind dates—when your friend, coworker, family member or random neighbor down the block sets you up with someone you’ve never met before—strike such fear in our hearts. (And BustedHalo… readers had a lot to say on this topic!)
But let’s be brutally honest: Your success rate hasn’t been all that stellar,

April 28th, 2008
A new approach to New Year's resolutions

Did you make some New Year’s resolutions this year?
If so, you’re in the minority: A 2005 study found that only 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions last year—and did you keep them?
If so, you are really in the minority. Only 8 percent of Americans achieve their resolution goals, according to “Living on the Up Beat,” a publisher of self-help books. What’s more discouraging is that 22% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.…
With that in mind, here’s a new twist on
the New Year’s resolution racket:
1. Start small This year, a friend

April 22nd, 2008
Spirituality for the Sleep-Deprived

Lately I feel like my brain is on holiday. I find myself wandering the supermarket unable to remember exactly what I’m supposed to be shopping for, reaching the end of a newspaper article and having no idea what I’ve just read.
It has to be the sleep deprivation. A few happy, isolated incidents aside, I haven’t had more than five hours of uninterrupted shut-eye since my daughter was born six months ago. Maybe once she gets the hang of not waking me up at three in the morning I’ll get back to some good, serious thinking. For now my brain’s stuck on diaper rash remedies, dirty laundry, the absolute adorableness of little baby toes.
My previous multisyllabic lifeI used to be a lot deeper.…

April 15th, 2008
Blind Date!

Those two words strike fear in the hearts of singles everywhere. And if you’re single past your early 20s, odds are, you’ve been on one.

Blind Dates…
TAKE THIS SURVEY!!
To Answer the Questionnaire, click here
Name (fake name is fine)
Age
Gender
I would be willing to go on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
How many blind dates have you been on?
a) 0
b) 1-3
c) 4-6
d) 6-10
e) more than 10
My mother or father has set me up on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
I would insist upon seeing a photo before I agree to go out on a blind date with someone.
a) true
b) false
I would ask about the person’s religious background before I agree to go out on a blind date.
a) true
b) false
Women are more likely to agree to going on a blind date than men.

March 24th, 2008
Is lying a way of life for women?

For three months I lied to my husband. I snuck around behind his back and I emailed and talked on the phone with first one—then up to a dozen—different men. I had more than 200 emails secreted away in a folder. When my husband would come into the room, I’d snap my computer shut, or click on a different screen quickly, so he wouldn’t see what I was doing. By the end, nearly every other sentence I uttered was a lie. And even though I was so nervous and jittery, my husband didn’t suspect a thing.
Are you horrified? You should be. Except…
All this was part of the planning for my husband’s surprise 30th birthday party in Las Vegas last month: When we walked into a Vegas nightclub, 10…

March 10th, 2008
Box, Wine and Love Letter

In the living room of my next-door neighbors’ house is a wooden crate. It’s nothing fancy, just pieces of plywood nailed together, but Kim and Matt keep the box in a place of honor by the fireplace as a constant reminder of their commitment to each other.
When Kim and Matt took their vows of marriage four years ago, they incorporated a new twist into their celebration: It’s called the box, wine and love-letter ceremony, and I wanted to share this beautiful idea with Busted Halo…® readers.
Kim and Matt found a strong wooden box to hold two bottles of wine and two wine glasses. Each of them wrote a love-letter to the other, expressing their feelings, why and how they fell in love and their hopes for

February 27th, 2008
BYU students are proud of their faith but it doesn't mean they're all the same

Bushy haired, scruffy and wild-eyed, a punk-rock singer bellows out the words to an irksome tune. Blaring throughout the campus, the singer’s lyrics laud the virtues of environmentalism. Students stop to enjoy the music and many even dance, punk-style, in front of the singer’s stage. The event could easily have taken place at UCLA or the University of Florida, but believe it or not, it took place at Brigham Young University (BYU). “Yeah, we can get a little wild here,” a passing student admits. “But who ever said you can’t be loud and still be a Mormon?”
With over 30,000 students, BYU in Provo, Utah is the largest privately owned university in the United States. Acknowledged…

February 26th, 2008
Young Catholics might be more serious about marriage than they are about the Church

Catholic young adults place great importance on marriage but have turned away from church-based ideas of how to make it work, according to a study released last week by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

For Catholic members of the “millennial generation,” men and women born between 1982 and 1989, marriage is not to be undertaken lightly. Some 82% of these teens and 20-somethings report that they believe marriage is a lifelong commitment, compared with only 56% of Catholics age 47 to 64—approximately their parents’ generation. Moreover, 84% of these young Catholic adults report concern that “couples don’t take marriage seriously…

February 19th, 2008
A new survey reveals significant generational differences in Catholic attitudes toward marriage

Do you believe that your spouse should be your soul mate first and foremost? Do you agree that marriage should be whatever two people want it to be? Do you believe that living together decreases the chances of divorce? Depending on your age, you’ll probably have very different answers to these questions.
A new study released last week by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University found significant generational differences in attitudes about marriage, daily married life and the role of the Catholic Church in the sacrament of marriage.
Relationship Goldmine
All you regular readers of Pure Sex, Pure Love …know how I adore studies, surveys and statistics about what young-adults

February 12th, 2008
Security concerns for Barack Obama are evidence that race is still very much an issue for some Americans

Recently, several media outlets, including the New York Times, have printed stories on the increased security surrounding the Senator and his family. “Obama must be wary of the assassin’s gun” was a headline in The Australian…, a major newspaper in the land down under. Members of white hate groups increase their rabid, racist rhetoric on the internet, cowardly hiding their identities behind anonymous website login names, just as they used to hide under white hoods.
Whites should be infuriated and ashamed when we learn that a Google search “assassinate Obama” gets almost 200,000 hits. I am disgusted when I realize the admirable and brave Michelle Obama and her beautiful little

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