Jennifer Pahlka, CC BY-SA 2.0,

James Sexton knows plenty about how relationships end. 

As a divorce lawyer--tabbed by one client as "the sociopath you want on your side"--Sexton assists in getting people un-married. 

So he turns the process completely around and offers advice in how to address the issues in a marriage, in If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together

After all those divorces, he still believes in love and romance. 

Anastasiaka, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Even people who would describe themselves as consistently happy can run into issues with a marriage partner. 

We are different people, and some friction and disagreements are inevitable between people who spent a lot of years together. 

It may be even truer now that we're living longer, and many of us are determined not to add to the divorce statistics compiled by our parents' generation. 

Psychologist Daphne de Marneffe used the obvious phrase for her book title: The Rough Patch.  The author tracks the stages of most marriages, and the challenges each presents. 

Allan Ajifo, CC BY 2.0,

Have you ever wanted to say "by the power vested in me..."? 

You can be the officiant at a wedding, but there are a few hoops to jump through. 

Religious organizations have the inside track, but a new law in Oregon will allow secular organizations to train people to perform weddings. 

The Center for Inquiry in Portland supports the change. 

The Gaining Of Gay Rights

Feb 10, 2016
Basic Books

It's not every day the president of the United States refers to his vice president as getting "a little bit over his skis."  But those are the words President Obama used when Vice President Joe Biden said the administration supported the legalization of same-sex marriage. 

Soon Obama himself switched to that position, and before long, the Supreme Court invalidated gay marriage bans. 

The tale of the evolution of the White House and court positions is told in Kerry Eleveld's book Don't Tell Me To Wait.

World-Class Romantic Disasters

Nov 16, 2015
Henry Holt

So maybe you had a relationship or three that went awry: she threw your clothes in the yard, or he trashed you on Facebook. 

Those actions pale by comparison with some historically bad separations. 

Author Jennifer Wright documents 13 of the worst breakups in history in her book It Ended Badly.

A Conversation On Marriage Then And Now

Apr 27, 2015

"Marriage" has almost become a fighting word in modern America. 

We've certainly had a number of political and court battles over the institution and who is entitled to it. 

Oregon Humanities takes on the topic as part of its "Conversation Project" series, with stops in Medford and Grants Pass on Tuesday. 

Marriage Campaign Ramps Up In Oregon

Feb 19, 2014
Giovanni Dall'Orto/Wikimedia

Oregon voted to enshrine marriage in the state constitution as a one man/one woman transaction nearly ten years ago. 

With the tide of public opinion changing, a campaign is mounting to reverse that earlier vote.  The Oregon United for Marriage Campaign wants to broaden the definition to include either two men or two women.

The Longest Date (Forever, Maybe?)

Jan 10, 2014
Penguin Books

Cindy Chupack mined a rich writing vein by NOT settling down.

The Between Boyfriends Book made the bestseller lists, and she wrote five seasons of scripts for HBO's famed "Sex and the City."