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What Joss Whedon & Army wives can teach you about being a future military spouse

My fellow Army Wives, Echo and Kilo (who helped write this post) and I, are political progressives, feminists, and romantically involved with soldiers in the US Army. It's a crazy effing life. One might even say round pegs for the square hole of the US Armed Forces. We are absolutely committed to telling it like it is as professional women with complicated sexualities, careers, aspirations, non-traditional religious affiliations, and cultural clashes with the military… as well as the love, support, and strength we draw from our significant others, ourselves, and our close and ever evolving friendships. And yeah, we had a couple o' gaps in our zeitgeist that we hope we can help you with.

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Do you hide your wedding media before you're actually engaged?

I was wondering if anyone has tackled the question of having wedding paraphernalia (e.g. magazines, etc.) in the home of a pre-engaged couple, if said couple has talked about marriage. Just curious if there are thoughts on etiquette. I have two camps of friends Those that think I shouldn't hide anything and if I feel the need to, there's something wrong. And those that say "Don't show him! You'll scare him!" I'm curious to know everyone's thoughts on this topic.

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Love and compromise: how an Offbeat Bride and a traditional groom make it work

While wedding planning is lots of fun, it can also be stressful, especially when the each partner has different ideas of what the wedding should look like. While I try very hard not to subscribe to the Wedding Industrial Complex's idea of "everything is about me, me, me." Aometimes it's hard to compromise. Sometimes I get pouty and selfish, maybe even demanding, and in those moments, I am not loving my fiancé.

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Tough conversations about marriage: why a ring isn't enough

Recently, an old friend of mine decided to have a non-legal commitment ceremony… a commitzvah, they called it. For various reasons, she and her dude decided they didn't want to legally get married, but you know what they did instead? They sat down with a lawyer, and had some really, really difficult conversations and worked out a legally-binding commitment agreement. Conversations about money. Conversations about children and aging parents. Conversations about fidelity and divorce. Realistically, because they opted to build their legally-binding commitment from scratch, they had conversations that many of us planning state-recognized marriages don't have.

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So I canceled my offbeat wedding…

I was nearly there, you know. I'd bought a second hand dress and Irregular Choice shoes. I had booked my venue and I was organising my independent honeymoon to India. I had invited just eight people to my little ceremony. I had made 500 paper cranes for my Senbazuru decoration. I had chosen music and a menu and started to stockpile little bits and pieces for my small but no less special day. And then my relationship ceased to make sense. It was a very hard, very sad time. And I really remember feeling very alone when it all happens — plenty of people talk about divorce, about second marriages, about boyfriend breakups… I couldn't find other people who had cancelled their wedding. So, without further ado, here is my guide to canceling your offbeat wedding. These are just some of the things I wish I'd heard last year.

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Learning to say goodbye to a happy singlehood

When the girl of my dreams accepted my proposal, I thought that was the happy ending to my single-hood. Bam! You're engaged, it's what you wanted and worked for, proceed to have a bridal glow till you walk down the aisle! Right? Wrong. I felt like there must be something wrong with me. I wasn't as happy as I should be.

Lying in bed one night, sleepless and guilty, I started googling "Cold Feet." Among the fairly unhelpful articles, there was one titled, "Mourning my single self." Upon reading it, I had such a moment of epiphany that I was surprised the choir of angels didn't wake my fiance up.