Smokin’ Hot

2328 2328_ () 2328 2328 So I have a confession to make. A few weeks ago, I referred to my husband on twitter as my RHL — red hot lover.

For those of you who didn’t need smelling salts after that (and I am SO SORRY to offend your sensibilities, all the rest of you), I’d like to have a discussion.

But first, let me explain: that tweet, it started as a dare.

I was in my kitchen, sipping a glass of wine as I prepared dinner. I was also probably feeding Isabel her dinner while checking twitter and out of the blue, I had this thought that I was tired of all the wifey references to husband as DH — dear husband. It was so cutesy and old school, but not in a good way. Not to me.

Now if YOU refer to your husband as DH, please know that I’m not upset with you. Honestly, I don’t have anyone in mind other than just the term itself kinda falls flat with me. It sounds like a person is referring to a sweet little roommate, or a fun little fellow who fetches the paper for you. I just don’t think DH conveys the message we want it to convey.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Here’s another confession: of all the blogs in the mommy blogosphere, the Mormons do the best job of keeping the love alive. There. I said it. I know we shouldn’t have categories and Them vs. Us (and who are they? And who is us?). But the truth is if I went through and did a sociological study on blogs and religion and marriage, the Mormons would win in the category of Women Who Still Seem to Be Attracted to Their Mate.

Everyone else kind of falls in two other categories: women who are annoyed with their man, and women who are married and now focus on the kids.

If you vehemently disagree, I’d love to hear why. And I understand this can’t be true across the board, right? There is always an exception, somewhere. Maybe even lots of them.

But in general, I don’t know that I’m too far from the truth.

And here is where the tweet comes in. I believe In Real Life, that observation isn’t true at all. It’s just how things come across in blogs and on the Internet. In Real Life I’d like to believe that the world is filled with women who are madly, passionately in love with their husband. That even in this day and age of marriages falling apart left and right, that there are still bright spots in this world of couples who are in love as deeply as they were the day they married — and hopefully even moreso.

Now the reason I’m discussing any of this right now is because recently it came to light over at the other place I blog, that my silly little tweet caught some people off guard. It cast into an unfavorable light my image (me and the girls who got on board with my tweet). It made a few people think twice about their favorable opinion of me, and that I might just be the kind of gal who is more earthy than they bargained for.

The truth is, I (almost) never refer to Paul as “lover,” either in texts to him or when we’re chatting on the phone. Years ago, I think I was a college student at my brother’s soccer game, I heard one of the mother’s tell her husband that she would “see you later, lover.” And it is an exchange I will never forget. It freaked me out and left me wanting to shout “T.M.I. lady! Teee Emmm Aiiiieee!!!”

And here I am, years later, doing the same thing to ten times the people.

What I was trying to convey in my tweet, and what I’m telling you here, is that bloggers in the Christian/Catholic and just plain pro-marriage realm need to do our very best to keep the love alive. That certainly doesn’t mean talking about private details and it also doesn’t necessarily mean trotting out edgy pet names, especially ones that offend the self-proclaimed prudes (they said it! And that’s not a bad thing to be!).

What it does mean, however, is that you strive to convey that the love is there. It means recognizing that you and your spouse are in thisΒ together, doing the important work of loving each other and building your family. When the kids are educated and grown and gone, it will Lord willing, still be you and him — the last for which the first was made.

Keep the love alive. That’s what I’m saying. And don’t be afraid to admit that you do. 2328″>



  1. I’m not aware of the controversy but you know what, why not call your husband that? Isn’t he after all? It’s okay to be in love with your husband and to let the world know it. If more people did that, maybe marriage wouldn’t get such a bad rap. I know you and can verify that you are not worldly nor over the top. More power to you and the love you share with your man!

  2. I have a confession to make, too: I dared you. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know. I still fail to see the problem of celebrating the passion shared between a husband and a wife but I remain open to correction. I look forward to watching your combox.

    Love you, cutie!

  3. Actually, I double dared you, didn’t I? Someone else beat me to the punch, I do believe. πŸ˜‰

  4. Great post. We all need to hear the truth and to announce more that we love our husbands. There is so much negativity expressed that those who are happy need to be louder. Louder in that there are still good men, fathers, and husbands.
    I fall in love with my husband more and more each day (even during his year deployment). So far we’ve been marrie 6 years and God Willing many more. 3 Blessings and another on the way all 5 years and under. I can’t wait to experience life more with my husband and see what God has in store for us.

  5. Wow. I sooooo would have enjoyed seeing that tweet. Mostly because I am amused by uptight people.

    Also, my husband is hot. πŸ™‚ Thought I’d share.

  6. Missed all the drama but will admit that I was clueless about what RHL meant until I googled it…lol. I must be old or something. Anyway, you are exactly correct. Even Blessed John Paul said so. Not TMI.

  7. Quite frankly, I love you all the more for it.

  8. jen ambrose says

    My head is not in this game. When Danielle tweeted RHL one time I admitted I started to decifer it as “Right Handed Wha?”

  9. Audrey Simmons says

    Heh. I feel rather liberal, now. When I was in college (and to this day, as far as I know), my campus pastor and his wife regularly referred to each other as “lover” when talking to each other at home or on the phone. My then-boyfriend, now-husband lived in their basement, so I was around them off-campus a lot. And it never bothered me; it never even occurred to me that it might bother others. Huh.

    On the downside, I do feel weird ever calling my husband “lover” now, because whenever I think of it, my brain is always like, “Oh, that’s O’s nickname for her husband, I feel like I’m stealing some pet name.”

  10. My 4-year-old saw my husband and I kissing (innocently kissing, no hot mama stuff!!) and she looked at us, put her hands on her hips and said, “EWWWWW, they’re falling love!”

    I’m not scared to say that I fall love with my husband every day, even the days I don’t like him and the days he doesn’t like me. So, good for you and “falling love!”

  11. Um, he’s your husband. It’s great that he’s your RHL! It would be wrong if you were like talking about the postman or something, but come on, using a quirky and cute term like RHL just shows off a happy and fun marriage. I love it! And I so love this post. πŸ™‚

  12. A longer, but more poetic version of RHL is found in Song of Songs (5:10): “My lover is radiant and ruddy; he stands out among thousands.” If RHL made you reach for the smelling salts, you probably don’t want to read the rest.

  13. allison gaskins says

    Amen, sista! I knew I loved you for a reason (even though we’ve not met…yet) . Never too earthy for real life. So what foxy acronym can he give you?

  14. You go, girl. And if he isn’t your RHL, did all those “sensible” folks think your kids just came POOF out of thin air?? Sheesh!

  15. Rachel, I’ve been a reader of yours for a few months now, and I just love your writing. I grew up Catholic and one thing I’ve noticed about being in the Protestant world is how much more “ok” people are talking about the way they love their husbands.

    Good for you for breaking down some barriers and the explanation was lovely. I hope this becomes an example for lots of people–me included! Thanks!

  16. In this day and age anyone who is madly in love with their husband shouldn’t be afraid to say it. I know I’m not! Marriage gets a bad rap these days..keeping the fire alive is good for our families to witness and to give hope to those who struggle to see their spouse as that person they were so deeply in love with before they were married.

  17. It’s a sad state of the world when it’s more acceptable to belittle your husband and put him down than to lift him up and say out loud how much you love him and love being with him.

    • Well put, Tania! I was thinking this all along as I read the comments. No one would bat an eye if she had referred to him as her lazy, insipid hubby…there would be nods of approval and commiseration instead. I’d much rather read offering from a woman like Rachel, who celebrates her attraction to her hubby rather than put him down.

  18. I think that sometimes we need to make sure we’re not getting too stiff, too dull, too-close-to-flannel-nightgowns-ish. There has to be heat and passion and love…and all that stuff.

    And as for the rest…well, I think Danielle Bean up above said it all. What else needs to be said? It’s all right there in the Word. Can’t argue with that!

    But…um, what are smelling salts and what do they have to do with RHLs? ::shrugs:: =P

  19. My grandpa called my grandma “lover” until the day she died and I always loved the tender intimacy it conveyed. They had been married for over 60 years at the time of her passing.

  20. I need to find a word that conveys “lover” without actually using the word…..whenever i hear “lover” i think of that SNL skit with will ferrell & rachel dratch where they sit in the hot tub and call each other “lover” and i just can’t take the word seriously anymore πŸ™‚

    • I’m with you. We were at a conference not long ago where a wife introduced her husband as her lover, and well, it was just too much. My husband and I had to leave the room for fear of fits of school-kid giggles. We can’t take the word seriously either. I loved that it struck us both the same way. That said, I hope there are more women out there who have the kind of intimacy and love relationship that Rachel’s talking about. We are joyfully in love and married for close to 22 years. And it all just keeps getting better. Yes! We focus on our kids, but believe that the heart of a holy family is the love between husband and wife. Can I complain about my husband? Sure, occassionaly. But I don’t. I can say, It’s not often folks are out there in Catholic forums seeking opinions or advice over their good lovin’ πŸ˜‰

    • ha! I so totally remember this SNL skit! hilarious!

    • I totally agree, and that’s part of what (to me) made it so funny. Like, I’m not walking around referring to this guy as “My Lovah” but it’s still kinda preferable to ol’ DH.

  21. So well said, Rachel. When faith and love are reduced to merely semantics we all miss out on so much truth and love. I would hope that almost anyone reading this (or your tweet) would smile warmly and go find their hot husband and give him a passionate smooch. I truly cannot find where offense could have been taken. Now excuse me while I send my RHL (and hardworking DH) a quick IM telling him to hurry home πŸ˜‰

  22. I agree with you about the Mormons being so much less reserved in talking about spousal love, and I find it really encouraging and inspiring and holy. So thanks for further encouragement!

  23. I agree 100% with you, Rachel, and all of the folks commenting. The weird need to pooh-pooh marriage, or passion within marriage, is rampant. It has become “cool” to make fun of those married couples who are in love with each other and show it/talk about it. But, why?
    Say it loud! Say it proud!

    On Saturday, my RHL & I will be celebrating 17 years of wedded bliss AND passion, and I’m gonna shout it from the rooftops! Wait, do Facebook & Twitter *have* rooftops? πŸ˜‰

  24. Melissa B says

    I think it’s great. Just maybe if more people showed their love for their spouse in a positive, fun light, marriage wouldn’t get the ball and chain rap people seem to give it. My Aunt and Uncle are the people I look to in a happy marriage. They are both in their 70’s now and one won’t leave the house without a big kiss on the mouth (not a peck). The same when one returns. It wouldn’t matter who was over when my Uncle came home for lunch before he retired, he would say hi to you as he was walking in as he made a B line to my Aunt to really kiss her hello. As a child we kids would think it was gross all while smiling as we saw it. As an adult I want to let my kids see this between my huband and me. A few months ago I was over their house and he had just fixed a drawer on a table and she playfuly patted his but in thank you. I came home and told my husband I really wanted to have my but grabbed by him when we were in our 70’s. We have been married 15 yrs this Sept. The world and our kids NEED positive images of love and marriage. Thank you for your great blog.

  25. Too funny! I agree that it’s certainly more “in” to complain or bemoan our husbands rather than to proclaim what they are: the love of our lives. Afterall, there must have been some passion before all those kids, right? =) And, hopefully in-between as well.

    I truly agree that we wives need to work hard to keep the love alive and not focus so much on the kids. Thanks for the reminder!!

  26. Loved the whole post and agree about promoting a healthy loving marriage.

    One criticism, however regarding “…is that bloggers in the Christian/Catholic and just plain pro-marriage realm…” – Catholics ARE Christians. No need to separate the two.

    • Thanks for your input, Elizabeth.

      I felt inclined to differentiate mostly because what I notice feels like a phenomenon in the Catholic blogosphere, and not as much in the “non-Catholic” circles. I absolutely agree that Catholics fall under that Christian category and I really do work hard to be inclusive and ecumenical in my writing!

  27. Elizabeth M says

    Somehow I missed the brouhaha about this too. But I’m with you Rachel (and the other comments above). I have to really agree with Tania too — it is SO much more culturally acceptable to belittle your spouse or complain publicly. You’ll get lots of agreement for that.

    I’m glad to have several friends who make a point of NOT complaining about our husbands when we’re together. We might joke about the socks on the floor, but have had discussions about how lucky we are to have great husbands. So it’s awkward in a larger group when we know there are women there in difficult marriages — we don’t want to come across as if we’re “rubbing it in.”

    Maybe some people (culturally in general, not commentors on your tweet) feel jealous? Or left out? It’s even sit com fodder to complain about marriage and (usually) lack of love or intimacy.

    In terms of Catholic blogs — my guess is that many of them DO have wonderful loving marriages (and I hope that they do) but choose to keep that part of their life private to the point of not mentioning it at all. I don’t consider myself a prude at all, but I don’t really talk about our intimacy with friends. I just don’t have that kind of friend right now. But I would not at all have been offended by seeing a RHL tweet and think it’s terrific!

    I guess I have to check out some Mormon blogs. I’d love to see some more support of strong, loving marriages!

    Rachel — one last thing. The large blog (where I’m assuming this backlash took place) is a wonderful thing that has blessed, inspired, and helped me MANY times. But there’s been some vocal newer additions who have a perhaps narrower version of what it means to be Catholic and what’s right and wrong, or sinful or not. So there are some comments I try to gloss over and keep going. We don’t all have to agree and we don’t all have to live our lives or our Faith the same way. But some are too quick to point out what they see as failures in others. It’s their perception — try to remember their responses say more about them than you.

    God bless you — and your RHL ; )

  28. Great discussion! Proud to be one of those who still thinks her husband is the cats pajamas and the bees knees!!! Thanks for your candor-you’re a cool chic! God bless you and yours and may your passion never cease!!! Rachel Rimmer, Bay Saint Louis, MS.

  29. Loved this post so much I emailed it to my [red hot] husband at work this morning.

    Maybe it’s just me but I love it when other married couples aren’t afraid to show and talk about their love. It makes me think: “I want to be just like them!” I hope my husband and I can provide an example of how good marriage can be to other people.

    There’s nothing more that turns me off than when a person complains about their spouse to me. It seems so disrespectful and almost a betrayal.

    Rachel- What Mormon blogs do you read? I’d love to see some!

  30. …and if you waited until marriage to have ‘fun’ (you know what I mean)- shouldn’t you be able to enjoy your marriage- and that might mean that others can see you are still in love- not just love for the kids’ sakes

  31. Smoochagator says

    I dunno. I can think of 3 or 4 Catholic mamas in the blogosphere that seem to be absolutely, positively in love with their husbands. Offhand: Abigail of Abigail’s Alcove, Betty Beguiles, Betty Duffy, Simcha Fisher. Then, of course, there’s Elizabeth Esther; though she’s not “officially” Catholic, I think she considers herself Catholic in her heart. (I hate to speak for her – but she’s said things to that effect on her blog.) (Also, I’m not bothering with blog links because these are all folks that I’ve found via Jen @ Conversion Diary, so I figure you’ve probably seen them at the Catholic Mom Blog Sewing Bee, or whatever. LOL.

    Honestly, as someone from the “outside” (raised evangelical/fundamental/non-denominational Christian) one of the truest testaments to the strength of the Catholic faith has been the witness of married Catholic women I’ve “met” online, the condition of their marriages and their families. Obviously you don’t see everything about a person online, and I’m sure there are ups and downs I know nothing about. But there is something to be said for a faith that sustains a marriage through several decades and LOTS of kids.

    P.S. Hi, I’m Emily, by the way. I don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, so I probably ought to introduce myself πŸ™‚

  32. Smoochagator says

    Oh, and I have always thought that the term DH was… um… dumb, LOL. I’m sorry, that sounds mean, but I’m pretty sure I rolled my eyes the first time I saw it.

  33. Hee! Rachel, you rock. Seriously.

    I think you’re right about the Mormons. Huh. Anyway, my favorite post I’ve ever posted on my blog was the one in which I pretty much spelled out that my DH is a RHL ( And I’m not Mormon. πŸ™‚

  34. Rachel, I’m so glad that *someone* is finally talking about this FOR REAL! I actually have had to stop reading that other blog because of the women who comment on there – they are rude and judgmental in the sense of judging non-moral issues and persons. (Sad, because it had so much potential, and as with women, the great ability to talk is the great ability to judge/ gossip.) But I love that you are willing to say RHL of your husband. Isn’t marriage exactly where God designed red hot love to be? The only thing greater is His own White Hot Love that we’ll (hopefully) get a part of heaven. It seems like people are actually having problems with the concept of anyone being a RHL – in fact, spouses should strive for it! (The hottest love is always the one that comes with sacrifice, anyway.) Why should spouses not be lovers? Really, no one should be lovers except for spouses!
    Also, I totally agree about the Mormons. Their blogs also look like they are way more put-together, too. If I was religion-less and looking for hope/meaning/ happiness, I would totally use their blogs to find it. (I think Hallie Lord posted some of their videos a while back to this point.)
    Keep up the real good stuff! πŸ™‚

    • Elizabeth M says

      I understand what you mean about some of the less-than-charitable (and sometimes flat out judgmental comments) that have popped up over there.

      But I’ve decided to put in my own “filter” — when I read, I just skip over those kinds of comments.

      Of course, that might not work for you, but there’s still so much there that I find so helpful, thoughtful, and fun! Maybe it’s especially important to me because I don’t have a community of Catholic women to share day-to-day or family chat with!

  35. Love this!! I don’t follow Twitter, so I missed that whole thing. But I HATE that DH thing with a passion. So silly. Love the RHL!! And I still look at my husband that way after almost 17 years of marriage. Not all the time, mind you!! But a lot of the time. I agree wholeheartedly!

  36. I could not agree more with you! I come from a family that seems to always be unhappy with their spouses. And for a while I thought I should be too, but I do not want to live my life miserably! About a year ago, I stopped and took a real good l look at my husband and feel back into love with him!!! I have been married to my RHL for 8 years and I love him more and more every day! He is a great spouse, a wonderful father to our 3 children, and such a wonderful help to my parents! I cannot tell you how much I love to sing the praises of my husband! He deserves every single one of them!

    Love your blog!

  37. My husband is a student pastor in our church, and we continually say things we are probably “frowned upon” for saying/doing. But come on….everyone knows what happens (or should happen) in a good marriage, and it frustrates me when people act like we’re bad for talking about it. It’s God created and a gift for us to have. So, I know where you’re coming from being “frowned upon” a lot, but I really could care less. Ha! We like pushing the envelope a little and getting some people out of their comfort zones. The motto of our church is “Real Life, Real Faith.” And that’s about as real as you can get! Don’t hold back, keep saying what’s on your mind! I loved reading your book and now am a stalker of your blog!!!

  38. I caught the original flap over at the other blog, and at first I was surprised and irritated that something so silly could cause controversy. I know people in non-internet life, though, who tend to be more serious, and they literally just don’t understand playfulness. It’s like it’s a foreign language. For me, it’s the opposite – it makes me happy to see Rachel refer to her husband as her RHL, but when I recently heard a talk by Scott Hahn (who I otherwise admire greatly) and he referred to his wife as his “bride,” a shudder of distaste went down my back. That’s his way of showing love for his wife, I guess, but I’d rather my husband called me his “RHL” or even “the ol’ ball and chain” any day! Some people like treacly, and I guess I can see where the messier signs of affection might be shocking to them. I’m glad too see people sticking up for the other side, though!

  39. Cosmo online (don’t judge me, I was over there looking at something else) just had an article up yesterday about how use of the word “hot” is what made John Edwards cave to Rielle Hunter and apparently what the college girls posted to Rep Weiner that made him respond with lewd photos…HA! Point of the article was that guys respond to the word “hot”. Glad to see the usage within a marriage rather than outside.

  40. I never saw the tweet, but honestly, I am so not texty/tweety that I never would have picked up on “RHL” if it hadn’t been explained to me. But, if I had seen the tweet and picked up the reference, I would have chuckled and moved on because I understand what you’re trying to say: “I love my husband and he is more than just my roommate and a father to my children. He is my man and I’m attracted to him.”

    I guess you could debate over how public such a declaration should be to preserve prudence and modesty but, in the end, I say that if don’t like the tweets, don’t follow.

    Here’s to unashamed, married RHLs!

  41. Ha, RHL is nothing to having your husband write in a birthday post about you that you “put the Shulamite in Song of Solomon look plain and tame.” ( Talk about smelling salts.

    But so many “Godly marriages” might as well be celibate for all we hear about the physical attraction between spouses. I for one am delighted to know that you think your husband is an RHL. So is mine. πŸ™‚

    — SJ

  42. Adrian G says

    You just continue cheering me up as I read your book and now your blog (as of the last few days). God Bless, don’t worry, the Spirit moves very clearly in you. I can see it, even from Scotland.

  43. Great post, Rachel! When you mentioned the Mormon websites I immediately thought of The Dating Divas ( ), who are a group of 12 women who post fun date ideas for married couples, as well as gift ideas and little ways to make your husband feel loved. Their style is not for everyone, but they have some great ideas and they are definitely unabashed about calling their husbands “hot” or “sexy,” and have lots of ideas for making yourself attractive for your husband and making him feel attractive, as well as (non-offensive) ideas for the bedroom, which are hard to find!

  44. I agree with everyone above. My husband is my RHL as well (even though I didn’t know of the acronym!) and he should be. God bless you and yours and thanks for this post

  45. I would just like to start by saying thank you for clarifying what “DH” even means! It’s been a myth to me for many months now. I always knew people were referring to their husbands, but never knew the exact translation of the acronym. For some reason I kept thinking it must mean “designated husband” but I KNEW that couldn’t be right, so thanks for clearing that up for me πŸ™‚
    And I agree with everyone above – it’s a great thing that you’re still so madly in love with your husband. You shouldn’t be afraid to proclaim it from the mountain tops! It’s always nice to see couples still so obviously in love after many years of marriage and gives me something to look forward to (I’ve only been married a little over a year and a half).

  46. I think what’s mostly lacking in our society is the virtue of modesty. There’s way too much talk, not enough privacy. The internet has opened the floodgates to so much blah, blah, blah and given “permission” to anyone and everyone to talk about anything and everything, most of which should never be said. I have no interest in anyone’s else’s marriage–good, bad or otherwise.

    • I’m sorry, I just had to jump in here again. Catholic or not (but especially if you are!), you most certainly *should* have interest in EVERYONE’S marriage. Not in the lewd, steamy sense (and maybe this is what you meant), but each marriage is not an island unto itself, just as no person is an island…. We need to take stock of what makes a marriage good/bad, work/not work. We are intimately involved in our own parents’ marriages from the very beginning’ it’s where we learn (for good or bad) what it means to be married. Each one of our marriages is an example to others, and what happens in/to my marriage most definitely effects others’ marriages as well as the Institution of Marriage. Catholic Marriage is sacramental: “a little church within The Church”.

      So, no, we shouldn’t discuss the particulars of the bedroom, per se, but we should very much discuss and be open about the inner workings of our marriages in a positive, respectful way.

      Again, perhaps this is what you meant, so please don’t take this as an attack. I simply had to address the sentence about not having interest in other’s marriages, as I have seen firsthand the negative effects of being disinterested.
      God bless.

      • I’ll qualify my remark to say I’m not interested in reading about anyone’s marriage, or personal information for that matter, on the internet. Why talk about intimate matters with strangers, especially when the internet is so given to distortion?

        The best marriages I’ve seen are among the Amish and you won’t hear them talking about them. In fact, you won’t hear them talking much at all, just working out their vocations, hour by hour, day by day without drawing attention to themselves. Marriage is not about what happens in the bedroom but about living out one’s marital commitment of fidelity in good and bad times, especially the bad.

        • Really? The best marriages you’ve seen are among the Amish — people you say barely speak? Most Amish might have great marriages — I have no idea — but please just admit that neither do you. Of course there’s a place for quiet example and we should all strive to set good ones, but if all these Amish people with fantastic marriages aren’t speaking about them (or showing their affection for one another in observable ways), none of us ha any idea that they have those fantastic marriages, and we certainly won’t know how to emulate the same in our own vocations.

          Marriage is not “all about” what happens in the bedroom, but what happens in the bedroom absolutely IS the bedrock of a happy, healthy, committed marriage. Sex is what makes your relationship with your husband unique — that means it’s an important and identifying aspect of your relationship. I think far too many of us Catholics, in our efforts to be “holy,” turn ourselves into modern-day Puritans. We forget that God made us physical beings, with natural, physical drives that are bonding, holy, and good within marriage.

          As for sharing personal information, we are all going to have different standards for what we are comfortable sharing and/or reading. Personally, I learn a lot from what many Catholic women share online. If ever something feels like “over-sharing” to me, I click away. It’s that easy. Anyone who thinks blogs and twitter are over-sharing shouldn’t be reading and commenting on them.

          • Must a continent marriage be any less than a marriage that isn’t. St. Joseph and our Blessed Mother had just such a marriage. Do older couples beyond child-bearing years, or couples with a one spouse who is sick or disabled have necessarily have lesser marriages than those who are sexually active? And what rate of sexual activity makes one marriage better than another? Are once a day marriages better than once a week, and that better than once a month?

            I’ve also been very impressed with the testimony of Mohandas Ghandi who lived a continent marriage with his wife for decades. He testifies that the marriage was best through that period. (Very interestingly, he also eschewed artificial birth control, but instead held a view very similar to the Catholic teaching human sexuality, which modern commentators on his writings and life find impossible to accept.)

            I disagree with your view of marriage as expressed here–but, really, a little blurb on a blog can’t give me fair notion of what your view is. Nor can you get a fair view of mine. I just shared some personal observations. You really don’t know if you disagree with them or not because you have no idea who I am or the context from which I speak.

            Funny that you think I shouldn’t be commenting because I find problems with this kind of communication. Is this a closed club or society where only those who agree with you are welcome? I didn’t see any restrictions posted. Kind of points to the silliness of the medium, eh?

        • Kathy, I have to comment here. I understand what you’re saying about modesty and I also feel that it’s very important, but unless someone is very clueless, I think with the number of kids Rachel has, we can probably assume that she and her husband have a physical relationship–that’s not being immodest, just honest.

          However, blogs are personal. They are meant to tell our ups and downs, our thoughts, adventures–whatever we like. Social networking is a tool to share who we are. If personal information is something that makes you uncomfortable, it would probably be best not to follow those avenues rather than to chide those who feel comfortable.

          I’m so thankful that women are changing the marriage stigma from generations past who hid feelings–both good and bad–and didn’t necessarily come out better for it (including my own parents in our Catholic home). I love hearing women talk positively about their spouse and hope that those conversations continue to build marriages up as the congregation promises in church in a marriage ceremony that we will ALL work to help marriages stay strong.

          • Need a “like” button, here! Very well said, Becky!

          • Kathy,
            Of course a continent marriage can be just as much of a marriage as any other and sometimes continence brings a couple closer together but its not the usual thing. A chaste marriage is what we should strive for and that means faithfulness to the spouse we have including being intimate. There are reasons a couple may need to practice continence, but being beyond child bearing age is not one of them. I agree about not wanting to hear person details about other peoples marriages but I sure hope you aren’t implying that Rachel was giving any. (unless I missed something?)

          • I couldn’t help but comment about the Ghandi reference in light of this article. I think it may explain why Ghandi was content with a continent marriage.


  47. Whoa, you have a ton of comments! I was just going to say that people should just be honest/real about how they refer to their husbands. My husband and I don’t really use terms of endearment or nicknames for each other, so I usually refer to him by his name (Travis) or by saying my husband. I guess that is kind of boring, but it is real. If I were to use something like DH that would not correctly reflect my personality or the personality of our relationship, so to speak.

    I do totally get your point though, and it is silly that people would be offended by using the term RHL. And if they are regular readers of yours they should realize that is not really your normal way of talking and would catch that it was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

  48. Does anyone else like referring to their husband as Mr. Smith (your own last name)? It makes me giggle every time I do it in a playful, “Mr. Darcy” type of way. RHL works, too, though! And, let’s be honest–I’m sure every husband wouldn’t mind being called that.

  49. Well RHL wouldn’t have bothered me, my husband and I write acronyms like this to each other in emails all the time. Madly, passionately in love here:) Loving him more each day.
    Gee I’ve missed all these Mormon posts, intrigued now.
    PS I would write more about how I love him, but feel it rather too personal for shy me. however I did write this one once

  50. Jennifer says

    Great post! My husband came from a very affectionate family (parents married 47yrs.)… us not so much (parents married 57 yrs). I love that he hugs and kisses me spontaneously even after a day of carpooling, changing diapers , and laundry… the kids love it too. I can see it on their faces. We aren’t Mormon, we are Catholic. We have 4 kids and one recently de-skunked dog… We have made it through some pretty high-stressed times, but are still passionately in love with eachother.
    Last year, I won’t get into details, but lets just say we now know his parents are still very passionately in love… wow, is all I have to say (did you ever see Meet the Falkers?, those are my inlaws, haha). But the point of this is, we are giving our kids a gift by letting them see and know that mom and dad are still in love with eachother. Joh Paul II and Mother Theresa both agree that love starts at home. So keep hugging, kissing, go on dates, and BTW my husband is my RHL!!! haha… Life is short, love passionately, it’s contagious!
    I read somewhere we all need at least 3 hugs a day… start hugging:)

  51. Hi Rachel! I love following you here and at F&F Live, and I don’t have a problem when people refer to their husbands in a playful way. It is a natural thing to do.

    I had made a quick comment over there on Danielle’s post about her aversion to the recent “Ten Hottest Pro Life Women” on another site because I just wanted to point out a possible contradiction in her reasoning.

    She had made a strong point that it is wrong to objectify women (agreed), but at the same time, she also mentioned that she had referred to her husband as RHL in her Tweets. I simply made the point that to me, sexualizing a person–whether a husband or a stranger–is still regarding another as an object.
    Again, in the bounds and intimacy of marriage and your own environment, this may be fine, but Tweets are very public and go to a lot of people. How is what the men did so very different? Of course, men will be men, but they also seemed to genuinely admire these women not just for their looks–but also for their politics. So, is there really that much of a difference with what the men did?

    If anyone has a different take, please let me know. Thanks!

  52. About Mormon marriages -one little book- Fascinating Womanhood. I think nearly every Mormon woman reads it .I’ve been married for 28 years and I only read it a couple of years ago. I wish I had read it long ago. I feel like a lot of marriage advice I see on Catholic blogs is stuff like “keep communication open”,” have a date night” No one tells you how to relate to each other. This book does. But it’s mind blowing and very anti-feminist.

  53. All the while I was reading your post. I was thinking “I am sorry you felt the need to apologize, clarify and defend.” You could have spent that time with your RHL and your AAK (absolutely adorable kids)!

  54. Michelle says

    I realize I am going to probably get kicked outta here for posting this, but since this post is about a discussion I figured I would chime in: I think all you ladies referring to your husbands as our RHL is a good thing in the sense that yes, we want to share that closeness with our husbands that makes us desire them ever more on a daily basis. It is wonderful and beautiful that you all can refer to them in this way because it shows your level of intimacy. On the flip side, precisely because it shows your level of intimacy, I do believe Rachels’ initial reaction back in college as it being a bit of TMI is on target, mainly for using this term in the public realm. Referring to your spouse in this way in private, with family and close friends, would be different because they know who you are and in what context are saying it. I realize some will chastise me as being prude or uptight by saying this. However I don’t see it that way. To be prude is to be embarrassed about anything intimate or even seeing it as something negative. (And thanks to Theology of the Body we know that all intimacy with our husbands is a gift and a blessing). Which is different from understanding that there is a time and place for everything. May God bless all you ladies with many wonderful years of wedded bliss!

  55. I think that sex is a sacred covenant between a married man and woman. It is a symbol of love, and it helps us stay connected and happy. My husband is…….everything, I grow more from learning how to stay happily married than anything else in my life. Marriage is the hardest thing, but the most satisfying…
    We spoil our children, but we should really spoil our husbands…one day it will just be the two of us. I better have a good relationship in place for that day. So many couples are divorcing at 25 and 30 years of marriage..

  56. Rebecca T says

    Great post, Rachel. I don’t want to be too hard on people for having different sensibilities, but prudishness is not Catholic. Michelangelo painted the sistine chapel figures nude and prudes put fig leaves over them afterwards. Great Catholic literature and art has always been more tolerant of incarnational humor and bawdiness than later Protestant works (there are fart jokes in the Divine Comedy, for example). TMI has to do with explicit revelations, but the general acknowledgment that married people enjoy the privilege of sex ought not to embarrass us –we should claim it as our right! A lot of Catholicism in the US it seems to me still bears the taint of Jansenism. Nothing wrong at all with affectionately calling your hubby RHL, as long as there are no more details than that!

  57. As a wife to a really great man and a mother to 4 adorable boys I have to tell you that I find your post very refreshing!

    The comment above from “that really tall girl” blogger is my cousin. She put a link to your blog on her blog (confused?… so am I and I am doing the typing here πŸ™‚ ) Anyhow…. I clicked on the link and here I am… thoroughly enjoying your honesty and point of view.

    I am a self proclaimed prude and I will most definitely be reading your blog regularly!

    Go enjoy some time with your “RHL”!

  58. I’m not on twitter. But I’m cracking up. You called your husband this right? Not the pool boy, or the UPS guy, but your real and actual husband that you obviously know in the biblical sense, given the children you are toting around….I’m just surprised that anyone other than my grandma would think it was anything but kinda funny.

  59. I gotta say I think the RHL term is corny but I sure wasn’t offended. It’s not like you gave a detailed play by play of last night…that’d be way TMI. Dang girls, building up our husbands is what we want to do if we love him and I sure hope it includes enjoying each other in the biblical sense. We each have an individual man so do what builds him up so long as it respects the sacredness of you both as individuals and as a couple. Being a little corny or sappy sometimes is just part of the game..and it’s good for the kids to go “aarrgghh” sometimes.

  60. i’m mormon…i do totally love my husband. there are some of us that don’t but isn’t that the case everywhere?
    i’ve been married to him for 18 yrs and he still makes me weak in the knees sometimes!
    his name on my cell phone is stud man…cuz he is!!
    i think that is awesome that you put that on your tweet and really isn’t he just that??
    HOPEFULLY!! it would do the world some good if more women felt like that and weren’t afraid to say it!

  61. South Paw says

    Rachel- Thank you for your book…my friend and I enjoyed reading it. My friend especially could empathize given her brood of boys! This may be the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve perused your blog and am not privy to the RHL reactions of your readers. I imagine many–or I hope this is the case–that readers were not offended but want the veil to remain hanging. I remember a post a while back–one of the few I’ve had the opportunity to read–in which you corrected your brothers’ bikini advertisement for their band, rightfully so. Admittedly, the comparison is not completely parallel but given our gender differences for men it’s visual, women it’s of the heart. Days of Our Lives, revealing the innerworkings of our love lives and Harlequin romance novels equate to porn for women. Clearly, your RHL tweet is not of the same calibur but the realtime revelation to many people who do not know you or your husband tweet tweets a little too much of the heart that needs to remain a garden wall for our deer, i.e. spouse. Forgive the poor reference to Scripture!

  62. I say DH but I mean it to be Darling Husband, and he has been my darling for 34 years. We have 5 children. It doesn’t much matter whether you say DH or RHL or SP (sweetie pie) as long as you are honoring to the husband you have. It’s just semantics and personal preference, not a comment on the state of your bedroom liveliness.