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This Week in Family


One in five couples will say goodbye to the cookie-cutter weekend wedding—with all its elaborate bells and whistles—and opt for a weeknight ceremony instead. One major reason for this shift might be cost, since many venues and vendors offer lower prices for a Tuesday wedding than for one on a Saturday. But the trend also reflects the fact that more couples want small, personalized weddings—and that includes being able to choose the specific date on which they marry their special someone.
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Highlights

(Wenjia Tang)

In this week’s installment of The Friendship Files, a group of friends from high school uses Gchat to keep in touch all day, every day. They tell one another about what they’re eating for lunch, which co-worker is annoying them, and other minor life updates. Being able to keep in touch in the most mundane way possible has helped them navigate their long-distance, post-college friendship.
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The modern-day godparent does a lot less religious mentoring than those of the past. But even as fewer Americans attend church and other religious services, the rite of baptism seems to remain a popular, celebratory event. Parents might choose a close family member or friend to serve as an informal mentor to their child. “[Being] a godparent is a huge responsibility, even though the name doesn’t mean as much as it did before. For me, I don’t take that lightly,” says one godparent.
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This week on Sesame Street, a Muppet found her “for-now parents” in a new segment on foster care. It’s the latest in the show’s series of episodes that aim to help its young audience understand and process traumatic experiences. The characters never cry, and they don’t always talk about the source of their trauma, so as not to overwhelm viewers. “Just like [in order] to read, you’ve got to know letters, if you’re going to talk about things that have happened to you, you’ve got to have feeling words,” one consultant on the show told Julie Beck when she visited the set.
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Why are more people eating on their couches and in their bedrooms? Many families are eating alone since parents’ and children’s schedules might not line up for a traditional meal around the dining-room table. And eating out is on the rise, since working moms cook less than they did in the past, but working dads haven’t increased the time they spend cooking meals.
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Dear Therapist

(Bianca Bagnarelli)

Every Monday, the psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb answers readers’ questions about life’s trials and tribulations, big or small, in The Atlantic’s “Dear Therapist” column. This week, Allie from Denver writes that she can’t bring herself to talk to her new therapist about her relationship with her spouse, even though it’s a major source of anxiety for her. Is she wasting her therapist’s time if she can’t talk about this particular problem?

Lori’s advice: Hiding things from your therapist, intentionally or not, is actually fairly common. First, Allie needs to figure out why she doesn’t want to talk about her spouse: fear, denial, or a reluctance to face hard truths. Whatever the cause, it’s not the therapist’s time you should be worried about, but your own.

You [don’t] have to just come right out and say, “I’m having problems in my marriage.” You can start by telling your therapist about your current dilemma. Let her know that you haven’t been talking about something that you feel you should be, and that you’re having trouble doing so. You can share that your instinct is to leave and come back when you’re more able to open up, but that she’s been so helpful with the work issues and you have a feeling she’d be helpful with this issue, too.

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Send Lori your questions at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

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