Heart Marriage the Second Time Around

So you’ve been married and now you are divorced or perhaps even widowed — can heart marriage happen to you?  Absolutely!  In fact, contrary to the conventional wisdom that your experience and maturity will prevent heart marriage, the truth is that it may even be more likely!  Why?  Well, as a “previously married,” your relationship pattern has included all of the binding behaviors of marriage — monogamy, sexual intimacy, cohabitation and endurance over years — it has been long term by definition.  Now you are inching back into the dating scene and how in the world do you date without including all of those binding behaviors?

As we have talked with audiences about our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It,  we often encounter the divorced or widowed individual who tells us that indeed she/he has fallen into the “heart marriage” trap. Several times after speaking to college aged groups, individuals have come up and we have expected them to talk about their own relationship, but instead they have said ” I want to buy your book and give it to my mother!”   So for all of you “mature daters” who are in or entering the dating scene AGAIN — check out our website, myheartgotmarried.com.  It could save you some heartache!

Barbara & Lora


What is heart divorce?

In our book, My Heart Got Married And I didn’t Know It,  we use the term heart divorce to describe the break up of a long term relationship that was characterized by its’ length (long!), cohabitation (either full time or part time) and sexual intimacy that started early for the couple. Heart divorce is the intentional dissolution of a heart marriage. Why is heart divorce different from a regular breakup?  Couples who break up after many years together often experience the devastation, loneliness and heartache that legal divorce creates.  We propose that when long term relationships, or heart marriages, end- there needs to be a term to describe the situation that gives validity to the difficulty of the breakup.  This term allows the couple and their friends, family members or work associates- to provide better support and understand more clearly what has happened.  Read more about it in My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, available on www.amazon.com or www.myheartgotmarried.com

Lora & Barbara

Unmarried and Single Americans Week! Who Knew?

Since the 1980’s the third full week in September has been recognized as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week“- that is this week for 2010.  It is set aside to celebrate the single life, recognize singles and their contributions to society.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 96.6 million unmarried Americans 18 and older in the U.S. in 2009.  It is interesting that everywhere one looks though, the subjects of relationship, marriage, love, celebrity and non-famous couples are also in the news.  In our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, we talk about authenticity and how to intentionally and honestly find lasting love.  For many people, that includes a desire for a happy fulfilling marriage.  How do you get there?  First, you have to know what you want, not just in a partner but in life.  We find it is helpful to actually write down what is important to you and what you want in a partner.  It sounds simple, but it can be very clarifying! It is our wish that you, whether single or not, are happy and content with your life.  If you are not, take some time to figure out what your dreams are and make a plan to achieve those dreams.  Our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, can help!

Lora & Barbara

Top Ten People Who Should Read My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It

If you are wondering if you should read My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, now is your chance to know.  We decided to do a Top Ten List. Here it is, starting with #10 and going to the #1:

#10.  Parents of teenagers before they start dating.

#9.    Rising college freshman before they hit the campus.

#8.   College students who are beginning to think seriously about marriage and the future.

#7.  If you have  been dating the same person for 6 months and already you are sexually involved, spend lots and lots of time together and thinking           maybe this is “the one.”

#6.  If you  have been dating for a year or more, thinks he/she might want     to marry your partner, but you aren’t talking about it — or it seems to be a     sore subject.

#5.  If you are considering moving in with your girl/boyfriend!

#4.  If you are  in a long term relationship (one year or more) and you are having doubts or feeling stuck.

#3. If you just got our of a long term relationship, BEFORE you start dating again.

#2. If you have been waiting for an engagement ring and one more Valentine’s Day, Christmas or birthday has passed by and you are disappointed once again!

#1.  If you are feeling uneasy about the wedding you are planning — but keep telling yourself things like ” we’ve been dating so long . . . . we have too much invested in the relationship to get out ….. it will be ok once we’re are married . . . . we just might as well go through with it.”

And oh, yes — if you are divorced or widowed and you are considering getting back into the dating scene — this book is for you too!

One more….. if you know anyone who fits the Top Ten List — a friend, a family member — consider our book as a gift!

Check out our website at http://www.myheartgotmarried.com and you can purchase the book there.

Barbara & Lora

It’s Your Turn — Tell Us Your “Heart Marriage” Stories

In our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, we listed and answered a number of questions that we were frequently asked when sharing our ideas on heart marriage, heart divorce and serial heart marriage. We cleverly called them Frequently Asked Questions.  Last week we printed one in this blog.  We thought we would try one more

Question:  Has the concept of heart marriage been scientifically researched?

Answer:  The concept of heart marriage has not been scientifically researched.  These are our observations as a professional counselor, a nurse and mothers.  When we shared these concepts with friends, family, clients and then strangers,  we found the ideas resonated very strongly with them and most could immediately recall someone they would describe as having been heart married. We hope that introducing this new concept will result in more research that can be help couples navigate the emotions of the heart.

Now — here is your challenge. We know heart marriage exists because we have heard so many stories from real people who have experienced it and felt the pain and disappointment of relationship decisions based on this  intense bond that defied reason and all of the evidence about their relationship.  YOU can be part of our continuing research.  Take the Heart Marriage Quiz on our website, http://www.myheartgotmarried.com, and then tell us your story.

We’ll be waiting!

Barbara & Lora

Cosmo agrees with us!

In this months issue of Cosmopolitan magazine (September 2010), Korin Miller has an article titled When an LTR Goes on Too Long. (LTR is a long term relationship…yea, it took me a minute, too!)  Anyway- she says the same things we are saying in our book My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It.  Stuff like- never take a big step as a couple like moving in together without telling your partner how you feel about marriage.  She says that if your partner doesn’t bring it up, you absolutely have to.  She also quotes from Barton Goldsmith’s book Emotional Fitness for Intimacy,  that “A lot of people in these long term relationships aren’t communicating their needs, and that’s where they develop problems.”  Korin goes on to say “Breaking up after several years of dating can feel as traumatic as divorce, especially if you were living together.”

We LOVE it when people agree with us!!

Lora & Barbara

FAQ’s about Heart Marriage

In our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, we introduce the term heart marriage to describe a relationship in which a couple is intimately bound together and practice the the behaviors of marriage without the intentional and articulated agreement between both parties to marry.  We have a section at the end of the book that has Frequently Asked Questions (and the answers!) about the concept of heart marriage. We wanted to share one of these with you today so here goes:

Are famous unmarried couples like Oprah and Stedman or Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell heart married?  If so, how have their relationships lasted so long and are you saying their relationships are unhappy?

No outsider looking in can say whether or not a couple is heart married. The phenomenon of heart marriage is one that needs to be determined by the couple in question. In the case of famous couples, only their friends and family truly know the details of the relationship.  Remember, too, that couples can be deeply bound together; even heart married , and not feel the need to get legally married.  These couples may be happy and content with the relationship as it stands.  Couples may be heart married and not have any of the signs they need a heart divorce.  More often, one of the individuals in the heart marriage will eventually desire to be legally married and the couple will have to navigate that shift in the relationship.

Hope you are having a fantastic Labor Day, thanks for checking in with us!

Lora & Barbara