Gisele Bündchen’s Feelings on Tom Brady’s Return to Football Reveal the Challenges That Come with a 13-Year Marriage

By | Celebrities, Food for thought, gisele bundchen, marriage, Tom Brady

When Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL in early February—”I have loved my NFL career, and now it is time to focus my time and energy on other things that require my attention,” he stated—everyone assumed that the 7-time Super Bowl champion would seamlessly slip into a post-QB sideline as a commentator while shining up his dress shoes for his future induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But what a difference six weeks make, as Brady then said on March 12, just 40 days into his “retirement,” that he would return the following season again be the quarterback of the Bucs.

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These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands,” the 45-year-old Brady posted on Twitter. “That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”

That family support was led by Gisele Bündchen, of course, one of the world’s most successful fashion models and Brady’s wife of 13 years. Just how supportive Brazilian-born Mrs. Brady was at the time remains unclear, as inside sources immediately began to come forth with tidbits regarding a growing “tension” between Gisele and Brady.

Gisele and Brady Have Been Married for 13 Years

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen

“Gisele was not happy when Tom un-retired from the NFL after such a short time,” one source said. “Tom is doing everything he can to make it up to her, they’re working through things and trying to come out the other side.”

What is clear is that in the case of Brady and Bündchen’s professional lives, it is Bündchen who downshifted her career as the two began to build a family, which includes a son, Benjamin, born in 2009; a daughter, Vivian, born in 2012; and Brady’s son Jack, 15, from a previous relationship he was in with the actress Bridget Moynahan.

RELATED: Gisele Reveals the Secret to Her 15-Year Marriage to Tom Brady – And It Will Change How You View Him

During the 2010s, Brady, Bündchen and their growing family lived in Boston, Mass., with Brady’s athletic legend growing as he served as thrived as the quarterback for the New England Patriots. During those years, Gisele cut back on her modeling commitments, carefully limiting herself to only a specific number of advertising campaigns, TV commercials and magazines covers each year. In 2015, she also decided to stop doing runway shows, the one exception being the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she represented her country by sashaying across a 400-foot-long stage to the strains of “The Girl from Ipanema.”

Bündchen found those years to be a very satisfactory time in her life, particularly when it came to being at home during her children’s formative years.

“I’m so grateful to have been there in those moments that were really shaping who they are as people,” she stated in a recent interview with Elle.

Gisele Stepped Back from Modeling When Her Kids Were Young

Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen and their family

But now that her kids are older, it’s not unrealistic that the 42-year-old Gisele might want to refocus some of her energy on her modelling career, particularly now that she is at an age where the opportunities in her profession are more restricted, even to a superstar. Perhaps she thought that her husband’s returning to the NFL at his age wasn’t going to play a factor in their immediate future! But then again, who would have imagined that an NFL quarterback, even a legend like Brady, would be so dominant in his mid-Forties? (He led the Bucs to victory in 2021’s Superbowl 55, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9.)

So the word is that Gisele is “frustrated” with Brady’s decision to return and has reportedly “been spending time away from” the superstar quarterback.

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The two and their family had a “happy summer together” prior to the beginning of the NFL season, according to a source, with Gisele throwing her husband a big birthday party in Italy. But things got a little uncomfortable as the season approached. And at one point in August, Brady was excused from practicing with the Buccaneers for an 11-day stretch “to deal with some personal things,” according to head coach Todd Bowles.

“Everyone has different situations they’re dealing with, and we all have unique challenges to our lives,” Brady told reporters following his hiatus from practice. “I’m 45 years old, man.”

Gisele Did Not Attend Brady’s First Game of the Season

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen

Brady officially made his return to the league last Sunday, September 11, for the Buccaneers’ first game of the 2022-2023 season against the Dallas Cowboys. Gisele was notably absent from the game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, amidst what the New York Post reported as “an epic fight.”

That said, Gisele did log on to Twitter to post a message in support of her husband.

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“Let’s go @TomBrady ! Let’s go Bucs !, she tweeted right before the start of the game, which saw the Bucs beat the Cowboys with a score of 19-3.

The same source that spoke of the “epic fight” between the two also noted that Gisele “never” goes to the first game of the season.

Insiders and sources can still only provide limited insight to the dynamics of a marriage, particularly one that appears to be as happy and prosperous as that of Brady and Gisele.

Only Brady and Gisele Know The True Story

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen

One imagines that a marriage that has lasted as long theirs is built upon on the support that they give to each other. When a couple approaches a time where one or both members want to explore alternative careers or lifestyles, a communicative support system is vital for the simple reason that the very idea of said exploration can be daunting. This might even be truer in the case of a couple like Gisele and Brady, where their every move affects the lives of so many other and it’s all constantly being put under the microscope by the media.

RELATED: Which Hollywood Celeb Convinced Keanu Reeves to Marry Girlfriend Alexandra Grant – And Why?

Putting the time into trying to fix or at least calibrate what might not be working and possibly taking some risks together in an effort to move forward is what a couple must do to address the situation. Communicating with each other, supporting each other and knowing when to take that chance for the future is the first, best way to embark on a healthy and loving path forward.


Gisele Bündchen Wrote Tom Brady A Heartfelt Letter to Save Their Marriage

How to Write a Best Man Speech That Everyone Will Remember

By | Food for thought, marriage, relationships

On November 19th 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered an address that would come to be known as one of the finest speeches in history. The Gettysburg Address is a mere 272 words in length and took Lincoln less than three minutes to deliver.

The speech contains powerful, moving language heavy with sorrow and deep with resolve and some of its phrases would likely have achieved renown regardless of its length, but to be clear, one of the reasons the Gettysburg Address was and remains such a powerful piece of oration is its brevity.

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Any best man (or maid of honor, of course) looking to deliver a great wedding speech is well advised to take a note from Lincoln and keep it short. He’s also well advised to make it a bit lighter than the remarks the 16th President delivered on that early November day.

And remember, being asked to be a best man is a great honor – with luck (and a lot of work and devotion), this man will only get married once in his life, and he is asking you to be the pillar of his wedding party. So you owe him, the new bride, and everyone assembled a good speech. It need not be a perfect best man speech, but it better be good.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

wedding speech
(Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash)

To start your speech strong, go with a tried-and-true opening formula: introduce yourself. Briefly explain who you are in relation to the groom, and then quickly move on to talking about the man himself and his new spouse. Quickly because the speech is not about you, and because giving a great best man speech means being short and, for the most part, sweet.

The shorter the better, frankly. Look to Abraham Lincoln for inspiration and try to keep your remarks to under three minutes, which means trying to keep your whole speech to around 300 words or a bit more. 

Even if your best man speech is going to be partly off the cuff, make sure to practice the wedding speech, or a “draft” of it, anyway, a few times beforehand and time yourself. If you tick past the five-minute mark, you are going on for way too long.

Best Man Speech Tips

Max and Jillian wedding

A truly awesome best man speech will have everyone happy, many people laughing, and have the whole room feeling better about the bride and groom. Note that a best man speech is not about making you look good – a funny best man speech should center on the groom and something amusing he did or said; an inspirational best man’s speech should center on an impressive act by or quality of the new husband.

You are giving a speech, but you are not its subject, so be a great friend and make your friend look and feel great. And the same goes for his new spouse, too: focus on your friend, then focus on the couple, then wrap it up.

RELATED: What Is Groupthink? How To Avoid This Common Bias

Your speech should have a theme that you can touch on several times. It may be as simple as love and kindness, but identifying a theme for yourself will help anchor the speech, preventing you from straying off topic and rambling too long.

When making a best man speech outline, remember always to plan a speech you can deliver while being genuine. If you’re not a slapstick humor kind of guy, don’t try for that kind of humor. If you’re a known jokester who always has the room roaring, don’t try to lay on the life advice and words of wisdom too heavily. Your best man’s speech will be at its best when it’s heartfelt.

As for what to talk about, that’s really up to you: you were chosen to be the best man because you know the groom so well, either as best friends or family, presumably, so you know whether a funny story, a touching anecdote, or a bit of both is best called for. Just remember that not everyone in the audience at the wedding reception will know you well – in fact, half of them may not even know the groom well – so don’t get too obscure.

Remember that it’s always a good idea to mention how wonderful the wedding day has been and to acknowledge the ceremony itself and the wedding vows, to thanks all the wedding guests, to note the venue, the food, the music, and even the cake. The people whom planned the wedding reception will appreciate you noting all these details – as will the bride’s father and mother or whoever paid for the wedding. Might want to thank them, too, eh?

And don’t forget to end with a short wedding toast and wishes for a good night and a good life for the couple, and to then turn it over for a maid of honor speech. (And if this has already happened, make sure to acknowledge it.)

Best Man Speech Tips: When in Doubt, Quote Someone Else

wedding speech
(Photo by Kashawn Hernandez on Unsplash)

There’s a reason so many speeches incorporate quotes from other people: a well-known quote has already been effectively vetted by many audiences, so you can count on it working for yours. A quote can serve as the start of your speech, as the anchor

So, what are the best types of quotes to use? Love quotes are always a good choice at a wedding, as are quotes about commitment, about the future, about trust, about kindness, and about friendship. Look for quotes that are either already well-known or are from a well-known source, be it a famous person, a popular song or book, or another source people will recognize.

One of the reasons quotes are powerful is because they are comfortable; they tend to work best when they re-confirm a notion someone already held rather than imparting new information.

Things to Avoid During a Best Man Speech

wedding party
(Photo by Andrii Olishevskyi on Unsplash)

Alright, so we talked about tips for things you should consider doing; now here are the things to avoid during a best man speech.

First and foremost, be very cautious with the embarrassing stories. The line between a great best man speech and an abominable failure is a fine one indeed if you start in on the embarrassing story approach. If you have even a shred of doubt that an anecdote or joke you’re considering is crossing the line, leave it out. You can always share the more cringe-worthy stories with the gang out on the dance floor or as the cigars come out later, leaving that “he’s a great guy!” reputation intact in front of the larger crowd. 

And do not, repeat, do not drink too much before your best man speech, and don’t have more than one drink while giving your remarks, either. You can hit the bar hard later, but you can’t ever unsay things that slipped out due to a few too many cocktails or glasses of champagne.


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39 Years Ago, Her Father Forbade Her From Being With a Black Man – Today, They Finally Tied The Knot

By | Food for thought, love stories, marriage, racism, stories, uplifting news

In the late 1970s, Penny Umbers and Mark Bethel met at a private school in Nottingham, England — and the two teenagers fell in love.

They continued to keep in touch after Bethel returned home to the Bahamas by exchanging love letters, poems, and paintings.

When it was time to attend university, Bethel went to study in London and Umbers got into a polytechnic college nearby so they could be close to each other.

But their relationship ended, seemingly out of the blue.

Umbers was devastated. She dropped out of college and even attempted suicide, according to Birmingham Mail.

He was everything to me, he made me feel so loved, and so to not see or hear from him was unbelievable.

Penny Umbers

Parents broke up their relationship

After their break-up, Umbers and Bethel went on with their lives. Umbers got married and divorced twice, while Bethel also had a serious relationship that didn’t work out.

But in 2019, Bethel managed to track Umbers down on Facebook and revealed the truth of why he broke up with her.

“When we spoke in 2019, Mark told me, for the first time, what had happened at school,” said Umbers.

He had been talking to my father in the garden and I remember thinking they had so much in common because they both liked sports. But in actual fact, my father had said to him ‘you’ve had your fun, now move on boy.’ It absolutely shattered him, he was such a sweet lovely boy and he was really in love with me.

Penny Umbers

Umbers’ father’s threats escalated to the point where he called Bethel out of class to the vice principal’s office for a stern warning.

“My father told him he knew people in high places and would have his scholarship revoked if he didn’t stop seeing me and that I must know nothing about this,” Umbers added.

Bethel’s parents were against their relationship too, due to the fact that he is Black and Umbers is white.

Making up for lost time

Bethel admitted that the decision to break up with Umbers was extremely difficult for him.

“When we first met, I fell for her and it was magic. When her father spoke to me, I couldn’t believe I was in that situation,” he explained, according to Birmingham Mail. “I had to make the hardest decision of my life and I had to make it in isolation. I had no support mechanism, no friends or family, I couldn’t explain to her why I just wanted it to end. It was heartbreaking.”

Over the years, Bethel searched for Umbers, but couldn’t track her down.

“Then one day I found a photo of her in a black outfit outside Windsor Castle,” he said. “Thirty-nine years on, I wasn’t sure if it was her. I sent her repeated messages but she wasn’t really a Facebook user so it was a couple of months before she saw it. I just said ‘Is this Penny?’ and then it was! I felt nervous, apprehensive, happy, and giddy.”

The couple — now aged 60 and 61 — finally reunited in June 2021 when Umbers flew to see Bethel in the Bahamas.

She returned home after a few months, but when she flew back in October, Bethel proposed to her then and there.

“I’ve never loved anyone the way I love Mark,” said Umbers.

I feel like a whole new person.

Penny Umbers

My confidence has come back,” she added. “I had a defeatist attitude whereas I stand up tall now knowing he did love me after all. It was so difficult to think the man I loved didn’t love me. I thought if he had discussed it with me, maybe we could have done something about it but he was far more accepting of authority and less rebellious than me. He wanted to fit in and do well, and he has done it in life. But he had to make sacrifices to do that.”

Love triumphs

Even though you’ve probably read it here on this website many times, it’s worth mentioning again: love has no color, gender, sex, etc. It’s awful that these two lovebirds’ parents broke them up. But in the end, their connection triumphed, proving its never too late to find your person.

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True love always find its way

Regardless of the circumstances, true love is always worth fighting for.

Pre-K Sweethearts Get a Second Chance at Love When They Unknowingly Find Each Other on Dating App

By | dating, Food for thought, love stories, marriage, stories, uplifting news

When Amy Giberson and Justin Pounders were in pre-kindergarten in St. Petersburg, Florida, they’d play tag and build blocks together. They say that a “shy” romance developed when they were 3 years old, but they attended different schools growing up and drifted apart.

Then 30 years later, the two matched on an online dating site.

Fate had other plans

Justin said he felt an instant connection to Amy when he first saw her profile on the dating site.

“I saw her photo and for whatever reason, was instantly drawn to her,” he told People in a 2015 story. “She just had this great energy, you could tell. I can’t explain it, but I knew I had to get to know this girl.”

The couple went on their first date to a restaurant and sparks flew.

“Of course, at that point, we still didn’t know we had been pre-K sweethearts, but when we met up and we hugged, it was like I had known him my whole life,” Giberson said.

“When I first saw him, I felt that I was staring at the man I was going to marry.”

Amy Giberson

They didn’t realize they knew each other

A year into dating, Justin joked that he had a crush on a girl in preschool named Amy.

Then, Amy joked back, “Well, it’s not me, so I don’t want to hear about her!”

But it wasn’t a joke. The two had actually been in the same pre-kindergarten class and their parents dug up the photos to prove it.

“Justin’s mom found a photo of the two of us together and I just started crying, I was ecstatic,” Amy told People. “I was the Amy he had liked all those years ago! It was definitely meant to be.”

A dream love story

Shortly after the improbable modern love story came out online, the couple appeared on The View and Justin recruited kids at their former pre-school to pop the question for him.

In unison, the toddlers said, “Amy, will you marry me?”

She said yes, of course.

“I truly feel it was fate!” Amy told People in a 2016 story. “Our hearts met at the age of 3 and we had our own journeys to go through for 30 years, but ultimately our hearts were meant to love each other.

“Everyone wants a dream love story, and somehow it happened to us!”

Amy Giberson

Grateful for her love story, Giberson had a message for others looking for their match.

“Always keep your heart open to love, because you never know when you’ll find it,” she said.

Love will find a way

Sometimes even the best romances don’t work out because their lives are on different trajectories. And that’s what nearly happened in this story. But incredibly, they found each other again, proving that love will always find a way if it’s meant to be.

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True love always finds a way

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë

Antonio Banderas Didn’t Give Up On Love Despite Being In A Disastrous First Marriage

By | antonio banderas, dating, Food for thought, heartbreak, marriage, Motivation

Antonio Banderas is universally endeared as a charming, romantic Latin Lover, but in reality, he has been unlucky in love more often than not. 

In his forty years as an actor, he’s been married and divorced twice, with both of his marriages ending on drastically different outcomes. Everyone’s well-acquainted with his love for Melanie Griffith — their marital union lasted for nearly twenty years and produced a daughter, actress Stella del Carmen Banderas — but not many are aware of Antonio’s personal life prior to his move to the United States, namely, his ill-advised wedding with Ana Leza. 

The way their marriage panned out isn’t just a cautionary tale for anyone acting on their impulses and pinning their hopes on a whirlwind romance; it’s a lesson in not giving up on your heart, come hell or high water. Against all odds, Antonio’s failures don’t dissuade him from searching for The One; he continues to persevere in his quest to find love, even if it culminates in a great deal of pain, distrust, and heartbreak. 

Here’s what we can take away from Antonio Banderas’ journey with love:

Antonio had to pay a hefty fine for his first marriage with Ana Leza

In a Vanity Fair interview, Antonio opened up about his brash decision to marry Ana and why their relationship couldn’t go the distance. She was a fellow actress and his English tutor, who essentially instructed him on how he could develop his craft in mainstream cinema. “She helped me translate the script for ‘Los Reyes del Mambo,’ … it gave me a lot of confidence,” said Antonio, giving her her due credit for helping him establish a sustainable career in Hollywood. 

The Zorro lead said he wouldn’t have the acclaim he does today without Ana’s continuous support and direction. “Without her I would not have gotten the role,” he said. Ana backed up his statement by saying it was “imperative” to accompany him to the United States. He didn’t speak a word of English, so it felt natural to have Ana be this perpetual plus-one. They tied the knot in 1986 after just six months of dating. 

Antonio Banderas with Ana Leza

What the judge wants to know is how much are you going to pay your partner. They grab you by one foot, they shake you and, when [they get every last dollar], they leave you. That’s what they did with me

Antonio Banderas to Vanity Fair España

It wasn’t until Antonio came across Melanie Griffith on the set of Too Much that he realized he needed to break it off with Ana. He maintains he didn’t carry out an illicit affair with Melanie; instead, he waited to separate from Ana to pursue a serious partnership with Melanie. “It was very, very fast and very compulsive, but at the same time, we were tied at the time,” said Antonio, of how his infatuation for Melanie transformed into genuine love over the years. 

Unfortunately, the divorce with Ana wasn’t as seamless as he had been hoping. To put it simply, it was a nasty, expensive divorce battle in which the court ordered Antonio to pay alimony payments of 12,000 euros per month, awarded his €3.4 million home to Ana, and granted her lifetime rights of  50% of all the films he acted in over the duration of their marriage. Antonio bemoaned the process, calling it a “business” through and through. He doesn’t think he should’ve been mandated to fork over so many assets; in his view, the whole system is a scheme to bleed an actor dry. 

Yet he never stopped believing in the power of love

Though his marriage to Ana was, in many ways, doomed to collapse at some point or the other, it didn’t put a damper on his beautiful love story with Melanie Griffith. The two fell madly in love when they first met, and with their respective marriages declining, they couldn’t help but give in to the passion brewing between them. At the time, their getting together precipitated quite the controversy — Antonio was described as “abandoning” his wife of ten years for a sexy, on-set fling. 

However, in an interview published in 1995, the Spanish actor has no qualms about following his heart and exploring the love he felt powerfully for his co-star. “You just know there is something inside you that is stronger than yourself,” he told The Morning Call. Love is an abstract concept that will consume your focus without your permission and embolden you to make strange, the most unexpected, choices in life. Likewise, when he encountered Melanie, he couldn’t think straight. He had to make up his mind. 

Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas

Love is a very abstract feeling. I cannot even describe love. Who can describe love? It’s like describing life. You just know there is something inside you that is stronger than yourself. And you can’t stop it.

Antonio Banderas on The Morning Call

In an Entertainment Weekly interview published the same year, Antonio changed his stance a tiny bit and claimed his separation with Ana had “no connection” with his budding romance with Melanie. It’s futile to speculate whether or not Melanie’s arrival directly resulted in the breakdown of Antonio’s marriage since the situation transpired over twenty-five years ago. Additionally, as lovely as their partnership had been, Antonio and Melanie didn’t last, either. They announced their divorce in June 2014, noting they wanted to go their separate ways “in a loving and friendly manner.” Their parting of ways has been more than amicable: Antonio called Melanie his “best friend” and asserted he “will love her until the day I die.” Just because a marriage ended doesn’t mean it has to be ugly or heartless. People can still maintain their friendship, acknowledge their love, and preserve some level of togetherness. 

On the other hand, the act of divorce itself doesn’t have to signify failure or inadequacy. Sometimes, like Antonio, you act on a whim and do what you think is best for your future, unaware of any ramifications. He and Ana weren’t meant to be, but he never lost his ability to love and be loved in return. He welcomed his desire for Melanie with arms wide open and embraced the changes in his life. 

Keep your heart and your mind open

Today, Antonio may be a twice-divorced actor in his sixties in Hollywood, yet he doesn’t let an arbitrary label determine his success with love. He’s happily partnered up with Dutch investment banker Nicole Kimpel, who’s helping him recover from a heart attack he suffered four years ago. He’s a walking testament to the resilience of love and how it can strengthen a person from the inside out. 

Divorce can be a life-shattering phenomenon that can send individuals down a dark path full of insecurities, doubts, and disillusionment. But if you maintain a semblance of positivity and optimism, you will be able to crawl your way out. It’s about keeping your heart and mind open to possibilities, even if they don’t turn out as you hope or end up breaking your heart. If you don’t let love in, you’ll never know what it feels like. 

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Mom Takes Sudden 4-Day Vacation, Teaches Unhelpful Husband Hard Lesson

By | equality, feminism, Food for thought, marriage, parenting, relationships, stories, uplifting news

When a mother and a wife says, “I need help,” you better listen.

Not helping around the house

Try as she might, a mother of a four-year-old couldn’t convince her husband to take on more household chores. So, she did something that might be seen as drastic.

In a post in the Reddit forum AITA, the mom explained that she’d been with her partner for eight years, including 15 months married — but he’s helping out less and less while she takes on the heavy lifting in addition to her full-time job.

“Before this he would make dinner on his days off, take care of ALL of sons needs and do basic cleaning so that I could have a breather,” she wrote. “Now he doesn’t make dinner at all, falls asleep on the couch by 7 so I have son duty 24/7 and hasn’t lifted a finger to clean in weeks. So on my 3 days off a week, I end up having to deep clean my entire house because I dont have time to do anything on my work days aside from the bare minimum.”

“It’s a struggle.”

She tried to ask for help

The mom said she recently asked for some help and he said ‘yes,’ but not for long.

“He happily obliged for all of 30 minutes before taking off to go help a buddy with his car and didn’t do jack squat after returning home because he ‘was tired.’”

The mom said she told him she needed a break, but he didn’t understand her true needs.

“His way of comforting me was by hugging me and saying ‘You’re doing such a good job.’ Didn’t offer to help or anything.”

A solo vacation to teach him a lesson

So, the woman devised a plan.

She asked her mom to take her son for four days while she took a solo trip to the cottage 58 miles away.

Her husband wasn’t impressed.

“My husband started texting me last night asking where I was. I told him the cabin. He asked where our son was so I told him. He then started going off about how this is selfish of me and that if he had realized I wasnt merely stressed out that he would have helped out more.”

The husband said that he is stressed and tired as well and could have used the vacation too. He also claimed that she communicated her needs poorly.

“But the thing is, I straight out told him I needed a break. I asked him for help. He disregarded it all. But now I’m curious if I’m an AH.”

No, she’s not the AH

In the comments, Redditors overwhelmingly supported the mom.

“Does husband not have eyes? Can he not see what needs to be cleaned, tidied or cooked? Does he not know his child’s needs? If he didn’t before maybe his “four day vacation” without a child to care for or a wife to clean up after him opened his eyes,” wrote ToTwoTooToo.

BroadElderberry supported the mom and shared their own experience: “My SO can be the same way. I’ll say ‘my back hurts from shoveling snow’ and he’ll want to go walk around the mall for hours. I’ll say ‘I’m overwhelmed from doing so much around the house’ and he’ll give me the same ‘you’re doing great.’ And then when I finally have a break down, it’s ‘I didn’t know it was so bad, you didn’t tell me!’ No. We tell you. We just don’t make a broadway production out of it, so you use that to pretend that it’s ‘not so bad.’”

Support is great. Actually helping is better.

Despite American women working just as much as men in their careers, studies show that they still take on more of the household chores. And that isn’t fair.

Child rearing, living together and being in a relationship is takes more than one persondoing the work. And while verbal support is nice, actual physical help is even better.

Hopefully, this woman’s husband has since adjusted his behavior.

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What Happened to Meg Ryan? The Vanishing Rom-Com Star

By | dennis quaid, Food for thought, heartbreak, Inspiring Celebrities, marriage, meg ryan, russell crowe, stories

Meg Ryan might be the quintessential star of the rom-com. 

She burst onto the scene as effervescent, charming Sally in the rom-com classic When Harry Mets Sally. She proceeded to follow up her breakout role with a string of other hits in the genre, including iconic 90s films like Sleepless in Seattle, French Kiss, You’ve Got Mail. Meg led the revival of the romantic comedy genre in a striking fashion, having drawn throngs of people to the movie theatres time and time again. 

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However, like many celebrities from the 90s, Meg’s fame didn’t last. At some point, she fell off the radar, and the mainstream media didn’t bat an eye. The question remains: what happened in Meg Ryan’s career or personal life that drove her to step back from the spotlight?

As usual, the answer isn’t black or white. Meg’s exit from the industry was both a choice and an outcome of social pressure and judgment. Here is the truth behind Meg Ryan’s bittersweet exit from the industry:

Did Meg Ryan cheat on Dennis Quaid?

Meg and actor Dennis Quaid were married through the nineties. They tied the knot on Valentine’s Day, 1991, and welcomed their only son Jack on April 24, 1992. By the late nineties, their marriage was on the rocks, and they were both seeing other people. 

Meg Ryan Dennis Quaid
(Warner Brothers/Getty Images)

In 1999, Meg began a relationship with actor Russell Crowe, who co-starred with her in the film Proof of Life. They were an item until 2001, but because Meg and Dennis hadn’t announced their split until June 2000, the press accused Meg of cheating on her longtime husband. 

At the time, Meg gave an interview to W Magazine, saying that she knew what it felt like to be the ‘Scarlet Woman’ — a reference to the book The Scarlet Letter where a woman was ostracized and shamed by society for having committed adultery. As it turns out, the customs hadn’t shifted all that much since the book’s original publication in 1850. The tabloids hounded Meg for impairing the “squeaky-clean persona” she’d built over the last ten years. They accused her of humiliating her family and for breaking her husband’s heart into a thousand little pieces. 

Only, none of the publications thought to ask themselves whether they had access to the complete picture. Simply put, Meg and Dennis weren’t content in their marriage anymore and were openly pursuing romances with other parties.  Dennis himself had several extramarital affairs but didn’t face the vitriol his wife did — a demonstration of double standards. He got off scot-free, leaving Meg to cope with the widespread scrutiny herself.

It’s a real gift when you know you can’t ever really manage an image or a story and you stop caring […] Divorce is hard. Love is hard. All those things were so personal. They weren’t for mass consumption.

Meg Ryan on The New York Times

Meg also explained that the “complexity of a life or marriage” could never be condensed in a news headline or tabloid feature. Most people seem to accept these stories at face value without considering their impact on the individuals concerned. Meg lived through pain and shame in the spotlight, knowing all too well that she wasn’t in the wrong for cozying up to Crowe. 

Meg Ryan Russell Crowe
(Arnaldo Magnani / Getty Images)

Meg felt “burned out” as an actress and felt “pressure” to look a certain way

Meg’s fall from grace over an ultimately false cheating allegation exhibits that misogyny and discrimination are well and alive in the entertainment industry. They extend beyond cheating scandals and public perception — they also affect how women are supposed to present themselves as they get older. 

The press’s treatment of Meg amidst the Russell Crowe romance made her feel disillusioned with movie stardom, but it was only the tip of the iceberg. Meg now found herself on the ‘wrong side of forty.’ As is wont to happen, the offers landing on her doorstep were becoming less and less appealing, and she didn’t feel like these roles were worth her time or interest. She said that the “same opportunities did not present themselves in [her] 40s that did in [her] 30s and 20s,” adding that she didn’t feel like she could bring anything to the table for these purported roles. 

The mother-of-two holds a lot of respect for women who choose to undertake roles at her age, but she herself felt like she had done as much as could — and as much as she wanted to — in the realm of acting.

I was burned out … didn’t feel like I knew enough anymore about myself or the world to reflect it as an actor. I felt isolated.

Meg Ryan on The New York Times

In the New York Times interview, Meg detailed how being an actor is akin to “burning through life experiences.” One moment, you’re a helicopter pilot; the next a journalist, after which you go on to play an alcoholic. Meg felt like she was living these “express-lane lives,” and sooner or later, realized that she needed to take time off to reevaluate her own aspirations. 

Meg Ryan
(Manuel Romano/NurPhoto/Getty)

There are very few dynamic roles for older women, and there’s an unimaginable pressure to look a certain way. This isn’t necessarily communicated to the actresses outright, but it’s evident nonetheless. That’s why a considerable number of women possibly turn to plastic surgery or unhealthy diet plans. They’re coerced into fitting into a mold that don’t want them in the first place. 

The pressure [to look a certain way] was implicit. How you look — there’s so much judgment. You can’t win or lose. That’s an annoying thing, and you deal with it.

Meg Ryan on The New York Times

Ultimately, Meg Ryan’s gotten “truer as a person” and is cherishing being in “first gear”

Though the blown-out-of-proportion adultery accusations and the ageism did have implications on Meg’s career, the talented entertainer used these difficult obstacles to find her true passion. Meg left behind her acting career to achieve peace, fulfillment, and growth. 

The horrifying media frenzy Meg experienced led her to reexamine her situation and carve out a new path. She wanted to slip out from under the overwhelming gaze of the paparazzi, so she turned down film roles of her own volition and began to consider a career as a writer or a producer. 

I didn’t have to care what people thought. I have gotten to do what I guess I secretly wanted to do. Be totally under the radar and live my life.

Meg Ryan via People

Meg’s directorial debut Ithaca was released in 2015, and she has a romantic comedy in the works. She’s busy raising her adopted daughter Daisy True and spending time with her adult son, Jack Quaid, an established actor. She’s adding more skills to her repertoire and is relishing being in the driver’s seat as a director and producer; she said in one interview, “When you’re an actor, you’re a cog. When you produce, you understand the other gears. I’m in first gear now.”

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She also said that she “got tired of waiting to be chosen,” so if the ideal roles weren’t going to come knocking, she would develop them herself. Meg was not taking orders any longer from an industry set on objectifying and discarding her. The scandals and the frustrations pushed her to take charge of her own life.

I felt like I got truer as a person. I’m more myself

Meg Ryan via Closer Weekly

Let life guide you where you want to go

Despite the hardships, Meg Ryan realized her true ambitions and acquired the tools she needed to make them a reality. Despite the media’s cruelty, no one forced Meg to leave acting — she made the conscious choice of following her heart. 

We all must examine what makes us happy. Are we doing everything we can to achieve our dreams? Sometimes, the unpleasant experiences will do their part in forcing us to wake up and face the music. Let life teach you where you’re meant to be. Don’t be afraid to make those tough decisions when the time comes.

Heroic Husband Hurls Himself At Rabid Bobcat That Attacked His Wife

By | brave, bravery, Food for thought, husband, marriage, stories, uplifting news

A North Caroline woman escaped with her life thanks to her husband after a bobcat with rabies attacked to her.

An unprovoked attack

It was just a regular day in the North Carolina suburb where Happy and Kristi Wade live. Happy was taking a coffee and brownies into the car while his wife got in the passenger side with their cat, Caroline Faith.

But then Kristi heard a loud growl and felt a bite on her hand. It was a bobcat — a very angry one — and it wouldn’t let go.

“As I came out of our garage, I heard a growl behind or beside one of our cars and I knew it was a cat because I know what a cat sounds like,” Kristi said in a video interview with local TV station WECT. “But it sounded like a very angry cat, so in the video I back up to see if I can see what it is and when I do the face of this bobcat came around the corner of the car.”

Husband to the rescue

As can be seen in security camera footage, Kristi tried to run, but the bobcat held on tight.

Instead of running the other way, Happy sprung into action. He grabbed the bobcat, and as it bit his knuckles he took across the lawn and hurled it as far as he could.

“I just remember seeing this face and it was trying to bite her right there in the side of the neck,” Happy told WECT. “And so I shoved my arm in and that’s how I ended up with it like this [above his head].”

“I thought: ‘I’ll throw it this way,’” Happy added. “Two options: one, it’ll see an escape route and it’ll take off or it’ll stop just a moment where I can get a good shot at it.”

Happy, who has an open carry permit, reached for his gun, but the bobcat ran under the car. Moments later, it charged and Happy shot the bobcat.

“I’m not happy that this happened, we don’t take any pleasure that I shot the cat” Happy told WECT. “In my head, I knew it had already attacked two people. If it had attacked somebody else and I didn’t do something, morally it would have bothered me for a long time.”

“It was hurting my wife and I didn’t want it to,” he added.

Healthy bobcats wouldn’t do this

As the Wades went to the emergency room to receive medical attention and get a rabies shot, the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health confirmed that the animal was in fact rabid.

Ted Stankowich, a behavioral ecologist who specializes in mammals at California State University, Long Beach, told The New York Times that this type of behavior would be extremely rare for bobcats without rabies.

“Any rabid animal is going to be far more aggressive around humans,” he said. “But a normal bobcat would typically not come into a neighborhood like that, into suburbia, let alone attack a person like that.”

Happy days

Kristi says she’s extremely thankful her husband was there to save the day. “He saved my life,” she told The Times. “If he had not been there, I do not know where I’d be, or in what shape I’d have been in. I do not know how I would have fended it off myself.”

But she’s not surprised her husband would do something this heroic.

“That’s just the kind of person he is,” she said. “We’ve been married for 30 years. I met him when I was 15, and there was never a doubt in my life how much he loves me and how much he would do for me.”

Bravery is rare

There are plenty of partners out there who would have simply run the other way when they saw a bobcat attacking their wife — but not this guy. Good for him for doing the right thing. It’s probably not something that’ll soon be forgotten in that household.

More uplifting news:

She Can’t Form New Memories, So He Shows Her Pics Of Their Wedding Every Day

By | Food for thought, heartwarming, love stories, marriage, relationships, stories, uplifting news

Some Hollywood stories were made for real life.

Filmed in Hawaii, Peter Segal’s 2004 rom-com hit 50 First Dates tells the story of Henry (played by Adam Sandler), who falls for amnesia-stricken Lucy (played by Drew Barrymore). Henry vows to win over her love anew every day.

Thousands of miles away in Spalding, Lincolnshire, lives the real-life couple — a wife who won’t give up and a husband whose patience and love have no limits.

Lost memories

I don’t know who you are, Henry… but I dream about you almost every night. Why?

Lucy to Harry in ’50 First Dates’

In the movie, we discover that Barrymore’s character, Lucy Whitmore, lost her memory from a recent car accident.

She wakes up every morning having forgotten anything about the day before. That includes her affection for Henry, a vacationing veterinarian who’s smitten with her.

Like Lucy, Michelle Philpots’ memory was also affected due to a vehicle accident. Doctors ultimately diagnosed her with anterograde amnesia.

It’s defined as “a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.”

For Michelle, that means waking up every day thinking it’s 1994, when Ace of Base sat atop the music charts and ‘Forest Gump’ was the year’s blockbuster film.

I wanted to be back to the normal me and not this shell of a person. I want my career back. I want to be able to say, ‘I remember when’ again — but knowing [that’s] the life you’ve lost, you can’t do it.

– Michelle Philpots on TODAY

Michelle uses hundreds of Post-It notes and keeps reminders on her phone’s calendar to avoid forgetting the small tasks most of us take for granted. She also has to log every interaction for future reference.

Even more troubling is that although Michelle met her husband Ian in 1985, they only got married in 1997. Meaning every day she wakes up with no recollection of their wedding day.

Her leading man

In the movie, Henry courts Lucy every day as if it was their first time together. His surprise “Good morning Lucy” tape reminds her of their wedding day.

And just like Sandler’s character, Ian is determined to make his wife fall in love with him every day. Each morning, he shows her pictures of their wedding day, sharing those moments to jog her memory and bring a smile to her face.

Can I have one last first kiss?

– Lucy, ’50 First Dates’

Although it can be trying at times, Ian never gets daunted, determined to rekindle their memories as a couple.

It can be very frustrating for me but I have to be patient and understand. I have to keep calm because I love her

– Ian Philpots to Daily Mail

Love is worth fighting for

Michelle works constantly to try to improve her condition. She can now recall up to six numbers by punching them into a telephone keypad.

Although it has been a struggle, her husband Ian has been by her side, recreating the moments that her accident has erased.

When Ian looks at Michelle, he sees the woman he loves. Just like Adam Sandler’s character, he’ll do anything to make sure that Michelle reconnects with the man she married.

More uplifting news:

Why Dolly Parton Had To Fight For Her 54-Year Marriage With Carl Thomas Dean

By | Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, marriage, parenting, purpose, stories

When we think of Dolly Parton, we think of big blonde hair, a buxom figure, and for the initiated, her 1973 hit, “Jolene,” in which she pleads timelessly with another woman, “please don’t steal my man.”

In reality, however, Dolly is a whole lot more than hair and an ample bosom, and her husband happens to be among the devoted few. Not to mention, she’s a living legend with a voice like none other. Born in 1946 to a poor, working class family in a one-room shack in Tennessee, Dolly was the fourth of 12 children. Today, she’s pushing 75 and her life’s been anything but a straight, smooth line. But that’s why we love her.

For instance, Parton never had kids, but few people know it was because of health issues. And then you have her elusive husband, Carl Dean. They got married in 1966, and have been together 54 years now—that’s over half a century.

Dean, retired from running an asphalt business, has chosen to remain totally out of the public eye, leading some to question whether Dolly has ever been unfaithful, or if Dean is even a real person! Yet Dolly has has often shared how she feels his avoidance of the limelight is actually key to their long lasting relationship. They’ve had their own little private paradise all these years. Of course, nothing is perfect.

In sickness and in health: trouble in paradise

Although Dolly and Carl have been happily married for far longer than most, the pair have seen really tough times–as is the case in most longterm relationships. Dolly opened up to Closer Weekly about a truly harrowing time in her life that put significant strain on her marriage.

It began with Dolly going through several years of severe and painful gynecological problems in the early 80s. She suffered from endometriosis, a condition which eventually required her to undergo a partial hysterectomy, which meant the couple could never have their own children.

Upon learning this news, Parton was plunged into deep depression. She even went through a period when she contemplated suicide.

It was an awful time for me. Every day I thought, ‘I wish I had the nerve to kill myself.’

“Sometimes God just has to smack you down,” Dolly has said of that time in her life. “He was almost saying, ‘Sit your pretty little ass down because we have to deal with some stuff!’”

It’s exactly this unique mix of faith, resilience, good humour and self-love that makes Dolly Parton who she is as an artist, but as also as a human being. But alas, being human, she did make a few mistakes along the way–just like the rest of us.

Dolly’s emotional affair led to guilt

Dolly went through hell trying to cope with her infertility and all the feelings it brought up in her marriage. It was already hard enough to maintain a healthy connection with Dean during this period, but to make matters even worse, Dolly admits she had an ‘emotional affair.’ While the affair never got physical, she still experienced overwhelming guilt. In fact, she regretted it so deeply that the whole thing only contributed to her struggle with suicidal thinking.

“I looked at [the gun] a long time,” she said. Then, just as I
picked it up, just to hold it, and look at it for a moment, our little dog,
Popeye, came running up the stairs. The tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to
reality, I suddenly froze and I put the gun down…Now that I’ve gone through
that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities, even for
someone solid like me, if the pain gets bad enough.”

How Dolly turned her life around (hint: children)

Above all else, Dolly believes it was faith that ultimately saved her marriage. The country legend has relied on her faith to get her through every hardship she’s ever faced. Speaking of her family and her upbringing, she later shared, “Our faith is the most important thing to all of us. It was the key to our survival.”

Of course, Dolly has hardly surrendered passively to the faith that’s helped her survive and thrive. For starters, in spite of never having had any children of her own, there has been no shortage of children in her life.

She and Carl started by helping raise several of Parton’s younger siblings, which led her nieces and nephews to dub her “Aunt Granny.” Later, her great-nieces and great-nephews added “GeeGee” to the mix. “I’ve loved their kids just like they’re my grandkids, and now I’ve got great-grand-kids!” Parton has said. “I often think, it just wasn’t meant for me to have kids, so everybody’s kids can be mine.”

Fun fact: she’s also Miley Cyrus’s godmother!

Dolly has also gone one further, and dedicated her life to helping children outside of her family—a fact only diehard fans know much about. She acts as a ‘BenevolAunt‘ to many children through her non-profit, the Imagination Library, an organization that promotes the joys of literacy to young children.

Each month, the Library mails a free book to children who are registered. Enrolment can start at birth and last until a child turns five. In this context, she is pleased to say that children know her as “The Book Lady,” and think of her as a Mother Goose or Fairy Godmother figure. “I’m like a cartoon character – my voice is little and I’m an excitable little person like them! I’m very childlike in that way, in my nature.”

The Imagination Library encourages a love of reading, an awareness of human diversity, and a promotion of self-esteem. Dolly has recalled how her father never had a chance to learn to read and write, so the importance of literacy is near and dear to her heart. All proceeds from her first children’s album, I Believe in You (2017), went to her passion project, and she even wrote a children’s book, I Am a Rainbow, which has also been included in the program. One might say that Dolly Parton, AKA “The Book Lady,” is mother to many. Hers is truly a labour of love.

And there you have it. Dolly Parton’s life may not be cookie cutter perfect, yet she is surrounded with love: love of family, love of children, and love of her long time husband and best friend. “We’re really proud of our marriage. It’s the first for both of us. And the last,” Parton said, in 2011.

In 2016, she announced that she and her husband would renew their vows in honour of their 50th wedding anniversary. In a later statement she affirmed, “If I had it to do all over, I’d do it all over again, and we did. I’m dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years.”

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