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Who Me, Pray?… With Her?

Who Me, Pray?… With Her?

How many times have you heard the suggestion to pray together as a couple? But how do you actually going about doing something that can seem strange and awkward, at least at first? Here are some practical tips.


Observing Lent? Try a Team Approach

Observing Lent? Try a Team Approach

Lent has begun! This year, consider approaching this holy season as a “marriage team.” You and your spouse don’t have to give up–or do–the same things, but you can actively support each other. Here are some ideas.


Retreat Day Six: Marriage is a Journey of Human and Spiritual Growth

Retreat Day Six: Marriage is a Journey of Human and Spiritual Growth

Breaking Open the Theme Each stage of marriage has its own joys and sorrows, opportunities and challenges. When understood in the light of Christ’s own journey, they can contribute to human growth and spiritual maturity. That is, a couple grows in holiness by journeying with Christ through the mystery of His life, death and Resurrection. […]


Retreat Day Three: Marriage is a Communion of Love and Life

Retreat Day Three: Marriage is a Communion of Love and Life

Breaking Open the Theme In creating man and woman for each other, God made marriage to be love-giving and life-giving. We call these two purposes or “ends” of marriage the unitive and the procreative. They are inseparably connected and are ordered to each other. The two purposes cannot be separated “without altering the couple’s spiritual […]


Retreat Day Two: Marriage is the Unique Union of a Man and a Woman

Retreat Day Two: Marriage is the Unique Union of a Man and a Woman

Breaking Open the Theme In the beginning, says Sacred Scripture, God created man and woman in his image, “male and female He created them” (Gn 1:27). In His wisdom, God planned that man and woman would be made “for each other”: “they are equal as persons…and complementary as masculine and feminine” (Catechism of the Catholic […]


Retreat Day Seven: Marriage is a School of Love and Gratitude

Retreat Day Seven: Marriage is a School of Love and Gratitude

Breaking Open the Theme As Adam recognized Eve as God’s gift to him, likewise spouses should recognize each other as God’s gift in their lives.  Through life’s journey, sometime a husband or wife may need to reflect on the gift of the other, especially when misunderstandings or difficulties arise. To remember how this person came […]


Retreat Day One: Marriage is a Blessing and a Gift

Retreat Day One: Marriage is a Blessing and a Gift

Breaking Open the Theme “Among the many blessings that God has showered upon us in Christ is the blessing of marriage, a gift bestowed by the Creator from the creation of the human race” (USCCB, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, p. 1). The vocation to marriage is inscribed in the very nature […]


Retreat Day Four: Marriage is a Sacrament of Christ’s Love

Retreat Day Four: Marriage is a Sacrament of Christ’s Love

Breaking Open the Theme Jesus heals marriage and restores it to its original purity of permanent self-giving in one flesh. But the Lord does not stop there. Christ generously invites husband and wife to participate in His spousal love for his Church. Christian spouses are invited to model their love on God’s inner life and […]


Retreat Day Five: Marriage is the Foundation of the Family and Society

Retreat Day Five: Marriage is the Foundation of the Family and Society

Breaking Open the Theme The early Church understood the Christian family as an ecclesia domestica, or domestic Church. This idea recognizes that the smallest expression of the Church is not the parish, but the Christian family. The family, our first community, is the basic way God gathers us and forms us. Christian families not only […]


Gratitude: Foundational for Marriage

Gratitude: Foundational for Marriage

As Thanksgiving approaches, we take time to think of the many people in our lives for whom we are grateful. How about starting with our spouse?


Common Values: Making (or Breaking) a Marriage

Common Values: Making (or Breaking) a Marriage

A lack of common values can be a deal-breaker in a marriage. How close are you and your spouse, or fiance(e), on basic marriage values? Try this short exercise.


How to Make Moral Decisions

How to Make Moral Decisions

How can a couple discern God’s will when making moral decisions? That’s a critical question in any marriage. Moral decision-making is a process that includes prayerful reflection, conversation, and evaluation before reaching a conclusion. Here are some specific steps.


Play: A Virtue to Take Seriously

Play: A Virtue to Take Seriously

As summer begins, it’s good to remember that rest, relaxation, and even play can be helpful in a marriage. Play as a virtue? Of course! Whether we call it playfulness, a sense of humor, or a joyous spirit, this virtue can help a marriage over the rough spots and deepen intimacy. Here are some ideas for cultivating playfulness in your marriage.


Living Simply: A Lasting and Fulfilling Way of Life

Living Simply: A Lasting and Fulfilling Way of Life

Did you try to simplify your life this Lent? Do you wonder what it would be like to live simply throughout the year? Here are some ideas for making simplicity a lasting and fulfilling way to live.


How to Stop an Argument Before It Starts

How to Stop an Argument Before It Starts

Do you and your spouse seem to have the same arguments? A best-selling author identifies the top five arguments that occur in every family and shows how to stop them.


Moving Beyond “Healthy” Anger

Moving Beyond “Healthy” Anger

Anger management experts often advise couples to try to move from “unhealthy” to “healthy” anger. Dr. David Sanderlin points out that “healthy anger” is not all it’s cracked up to be. He shows how couples can grow towards a Christ-like, anger-free marital love.


Finding Help When Your Marriage Is in Trouble

Finding Help When Your Marriage Is in Trouble

Problems are part of every marriage. The U.S. Catholic Bishops have identified a variety of resources to help couples with marital difficulties–everything from skills-building programs and support groups to professional counseling.


What Makes for a Happy and Lasting Marriage?

What Makes for a Happy and Lasting Marriage?

The recent royal wedding has prompted many people to wonder: What makes for a happy,enduring marriage? It’s not just luck! Read what social science research has discovered.


Jesus is Risen! Alleluia!

Easter is an exciting time as the Catholic Church welcomes tens of thousands of new members. Each has a story of conversion. Read about some of these new Catholics and their journeys of faith.


It Wasn’t an Option

Have you ever thought about how uniquely we approach a difficult situation when we know there is no other option?  We put our heads together and keep working until we figure out a game plan.  We get help.  We pray.  Sometimes, we hold our breath, muddle through until time passes and things change but we […]


When Unemployment Hits Home: Seven Ways to Help Your Marriage

When Unemployment Hits Home: Seven Ways to Help Your Marriage

As the effects of the Great Recession continue, many couples are struggling with unemployment and its consequent stress. But couples are not powerless in the face of job loss. Here are seven positive actions a couple can take.


How to Deepen Empathy in Your Marriage: Three Key Skills

(From “Thriving Marriages” by John Yzaguirre, Ph.D., and Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre, M.Div., M.F.T, New City Press, 2004.  http://www.thrivingfamilies.com/) It’s easy to fall into the trap of taking each other for granted or just putting up with each other.  One husband described this bluntly: “When I get home my dog is the only one who seems excited to […]


Help for Empty Nesters

Help for Empty Nesters

The children have left home. You’re physically and emotionally tired, and perhaps feeling disconnected from your spouse. Can you really reinvent your marriage for the second half? Two well-known marriage educators offer some concrete tips and encouragement.


Five Tips to Fight Less and Love More

Five Tips to Fight Less and Love More

The holiday season is back. With family gatherings, high expectations and the pressure to make everyone happy, December can be the most stressful month of the year. How can couples keep their cool and make sure their marriage stays strong and that children see them at their best?


Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness

Humility: Foundation for Marital Happiness

Pride is a mortal enemy to love, and also to lasting marital happiness. The antidote is humility–an acceptance of who and what we are.


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