Archive for ‘For Every Marriage’
Julie and Jason recently welcomed a new daughter into their life. Julie is finding it hard to imagine leaving when her three month maternity leave is up. But Jason knows their mortgage is based on both of them working full time.
“But a family just can’t make it on one income anymore!” This is a complaint that I hear more and more from both engaged couples and families with young children as they consider whether both parents will continue to work outside the home after the birth of their child.
David and Amy Olson did a national survey with a sample of over 21,000 couples in 1999. Part of their survey was questioning couples regarding their spirituality and how it affected their relationship with their spouse. According to their survey, one’s spiritual life does have an impact on their marriage.
It certainly is painful when something important, indeed something core to one’s being like faith, is not shared by your spouse. It is difficult enough when a spouse belongs to a different faith tradition, but even more so when he or she not only rejects organized religion, but also does not seem to value a spiritual life.
Pam is an active Catholic attending Mass every Sunday, while Joe comes from a “Christmas, Easter, and funerals” family. They are both Catholics, but theirs is also a mixed religion marriage. Although they were both baptized in the same faith tradition, they are coming to realize that the similarity of their religious practice ends there.
Some couples say that they strongly believe that God intended them to be together; even that God had a hand in their coming together. For our marriage, it seems that God is like the air that surrounds us. God sustains us even though much of the day we take that presence for granted.
While listening takes as much skill as talking and it’s just as big a part of communicating, it’s something most of us have not been well schooled to do. We were taught something about trying to make ourselves understood when communicating, but nothing about opening ourselves to receiving messages from others with as little judgment as possible.
We have only been married a short time, and things are going pretty well between us, but something that concerns me is that we don’t really solve problems. One of us raises an issue, we talk about it a little, and then we let it drop. What worries me is that eventually, when we have a real problem we can’t avoid, we won’t know how to deal with it. Are there any strategies for a couple like us to use?
When you’ve had a falling out or feel distance between you, how do you come back together and reconcile? The following might help.
They say that when a man marries a woman, he thinks, “She’s the one I’ve been waiting for. She’ll never change.” – and she always does. And a woman looks at her man, and thinks, “He just needs a little work; after we’re married, I’ll help him change” – and he never does.
Having a successful marriage means learning some skills that differ from the skills you need for most other pieces of life. You are in the business of building, maintaining, and protecting a relationship.
Wally and I realize that probably the most important learning we’ve had in our marriage of 48 years is that WE are the sacrament… and that a sacrament is a public commitment, to be nurtured by and shared with others.
With seven children and 27 grandchildren, Ed and I had traveled a long road in our marriage–the wonderful times, the struggling times and the difficult times. We even had the good fortune to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. In recent years, however, several diseases had left Ed in much pain and confined to a wheelchair.
My wife and I were expecting our third child. It was a very exciting time and to make it more special, I thought it would be best to keep the sex of the baby a surprise until delivery. I enjoyed going to the appointments when I could and made it a point to go to the ultrasound screening when that time came.
Michael’s alcoholism didn’t exhibit the usual signs. He didn’t lose his job or get arrested for driving under the influence. When Michael entered treatment in 1995, however, he knew that his marriage and family hung in the balance.
There have been many ups and downs throughout my marriage of 19 years. Some folks said my husband and I wouldn’t last six months; we were so different! I like things in order and I take commitments seriously. Spouse, on the other hand, is laid back, even catch-as-catch-can on occasion.
Andrew and Anna, married for nearly 10 years, face one of the biggest challenges that any marriage can confront. In June 2006 their daughter Rose was born with DiGeorge’s syndrome, a serious genetic disorder caused by the deletion of a small part of a chromosome. Because the condition is rare – 1 in 4,000 – Rose’s prognosis is uncertain.
After almost 10 years of marriage, my husband decided to quit his secure government job and start his own business. I was scared. We had two children, ages 2 and 6, and could not maintain our simple lifestyle solely on my salary. Tom had no clear idea of what kind of business he wanted to start. He just wanted to be his own boss.
Before children, I remember feeling starved from never being ‘touched’ throughout a deployment. I longed for a simple hug or physical connection that reminded me I was more than a job-commuting and gym-frequenting being.
His plane was just taking off for a week long meeting in San Francisco when my husband’s secretary called me. She wanted to know who our family photographer was so that she could get a professional photo of my husband. A legal journal would be covering the news about his appointment as president of a national organization. I was stunned. What presidency, I asked?
My son and his wife experienced a real challenge at a time that should have been their greatest joy. My daughter-in-law fell victim to post-partum psychosis after the birth of their first child. Through the year that followed both families supported the young couple as best they could. I came to help take care of the baby for a time.
I’ll never forget the look on my Dad’s face the first time he saw my husband, Joe, raise his fist at me.
We had been engaged for 13 months, with 22 days until the big day, when Matt, at age 23, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. We could never have predicted this, with no history in the family and no smoking, but it wasn’t necessary. God was in control, our souls were flooded with peace, and the last 10 months have been nothing less than miraculous.