the hardest, greatest lesson i’ve learned in marriage.


the hardest, greatest thing i have learned since getting married is that my husband is first a person, second a man. 

i grew up hearing that men and women are so different. opposites. things about venus, mars, and spaghetti. 

* * *

men need sex. women need emotional intimacy. 

men need respect. women need love. 

men watch sports. women go shopping. 

* * *

over the weekend i read yet another christian list of “ten ways to show love by respecting your husband!”

be kind. don’t interrupt him when he’s speaking. show interest in sex. join him in activities. etc.

and as i read this list, i thought, i want every single one of these things from my husband.

even in our own childish answers, we give away what we will not admit:

love is a universal language, and humanity is one species, not two.

love is an individual language, and humanity is billions of hearts, not two.

* * *

nearly every difference, struggle, or misunderstanding between my husband and i has hinged not upon the fact that ‘he is a man’ and ‘i am a woman,’ but that we are not the same person. 

nearly every failed expectation i have found in my marriage was created by the idea that my husband, a person, would be a very specific type of person because he was a man.

and that me, the wife, would be able to solve the problem in a very specific manner, as a woman.

* * *

when we read books about marriage and relationships, particularly in the christian circles, we tend to study the opposite gender – as if to discover and prepare everything about a person before we meet them.

the God of the universe has not created more than nine million species of animals, only to create two types of people.

he has not created more than three hundred and fifteen thousand species of plants, only to create “a man” and “a woman.”

he has created, instead, billions of wildly unique individuals.

billions of wildly unique individuals with souls and spirits so deep and complex that he says only he will ever know each of us fully.

how, i ask you, could we ever know them by a book about men, a sermon about our differences, our parents’ advice about women, a conference, a blog.

how, i ask you, could we ever know them by anyone other than they themselves.

* * *

every relationship i entered into has been shallow, broken, and distanced.

i entered them as a woman, and not as lauren.

i held relationships with ‘men,’ and not with the living, breathing souls that God created in his image.

in the past, i have sought to understand ‘men’ instead of the person right in front of me.

and i have expected myself to be ‘woman,’ ignoring my very own heartbeat.

i missed out on living life with another real person, because i thought i simply needed to learn how to live successfully with ‘a man.’

* * *

a man who defines love by sex, respect, or authority shown is an emotionally stunted man.

a woman who defines love by gifts, flowers, or acknowledged beauty is an emotionally stunted woman.

love is so full, so deep, so wide. and we must give it to the person that we have married, not to the gender.

love is so full, so deep, so whole.  and we must give and receive all of it, every piece, every part, every side, as our true selves allow.

* * *

my soul has cried out through the sudden pain of isolation and condemnation on sunday mornings when jokes are made from the pulpit about “men just needing ____ from a woman”  as it clashes badly with our marriage.

i have looked around at the empty faces of the women around me, knowing that their hearts are crying out to hear that they are okay if they don’t fit every gender role, every gender expectation. that their husbands are okay if they don’t fit every gender role, every gender expectation.

i have seen us be so damaged by the church falling for a secular ploy that men and woman are so opposite, so different, so unlike one another.

we have fallen for it so fully that the church is now commonly known as the original source for gender roles, and we march forward, responsibly protecting one of the most life-limiting, God-contradicting lies ever bought by mankind.

we walk through the doors on sunday morning, our spirit craving a place to rest in the individual that we are. yet, so often, we arrive only to be tweaked and trained and pushed and expected back into ‘man’ or ‘woman.’

* * *

the hardest, most painful, greatest, most incredible thing i have learned in a year of marriage may be one of the greatest lessons i ever learn in my lifetime.

that we are people first.

gender second.

and that gender exists in order to create a spectacular, infinite, unconstrained life.

not to destroy it.


one morning, i woke up.


laser hair removal: yes? no? safe? terrifying?

Alright. So, who has done it?!

I see Groupons all the time for it, but I don’t know much about it, and I am moderately terrified of possible scarring, spider veins, or my skin falling off.

I don’t know if these are actually possible side effects, so I thought I’d ask all you girls.

+ Have you done it? Legs, underarms, bikini, elsewhere?

+ Have you thought about doing it/will you do it if I will?

I’d just really love to never shave my glorious legs ever ever again.

And I’m offended that razor cartridges are like $28 for a 4 pack.



so…this past sunday at the larchmont farmer’s market, i convinced max to let us foster three tiny kittens for an adoption agency there! we have these three babies until next sunday, at which point i will probably fall apart trying to give them back.

note: if you are in los angeles and want to adopt one of them, let me know!!! they have their flea/lice meds & are 80% potty trained. haha. .

september in photos

/ / ps. i’m obsessed with kiva right now. if you want to try it, your first $25 loan is free with my referral link. / /