Archive for ‘tips and advice’
Fighting Fair Tip: Hold hands. It may sound corny but try holding hands when discussing something sensitive. It physically reminds you that you may disagree about something, but that you’re still connected and committed to each other.
“You recall, brothers, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you.” (1 Th 2:9) Presumably both of you work and toil for the good of the family – whether within or outside the home. What is your most disliked chore? Consider trading for a day.
“You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” (Mk 10:21) When you have family members to care for, you cannot sell everything, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live a simple life. Give what you can […]
“Children need time and space, attention, affection, guidance and conversation…They need jokes, play and touching. They need to have stories told to them by adults who know and love them.” (Mary Pipher) Which one are you best at giving? Weakest?
Re-connecting after a business trip? There are typically two conflicting needs. The traveling spouse might be looking forward to relaxing while the at-home spouse may be looking for reinforcements (with kids, chores, etc.). Connect first by talking, then reinforce, and finally relax together.
Don’t feel especially loving today (or some days)? Try doing a loving action. It might be physical like a hug, or intellectual like writing a love note. Emotions often follow an action. Remember that love is a verb, not just a feeling.
If you’re about to accuse your spouse of losing an important paper, forgetting to write that thank-you note, or a thousand other irksome offenses, try giving your beloved the benefit of the doubt first. Maybe you misunderstood.
Do you know the names of the people on your street? Who is home when? The more you know your neighbors, the better they can be extra eyes, ears, and a helpful hand to your children. Be those eyes for your neighbors’ children too.
One secret of a memorable date night: novelty. Sometimes the tried and true is fine, but other times the effort to think of something new and fun is refreshing – and creates happy memories.
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” (Mk 10:11-12) Jesus’ teaching is clear: marriage lasts for life. Remove divorce from your vocabulary and trust that Christ will help you to work through your difficulties. For those spouses who have […]
If you suddenly had a million dollars given to you, how would you use it? Is your answer different from that of your beloved? Could any of the money be spent to strengthen other marriages?
What’s your decision-making style? Slow or fast? Do you weigh the pros and cons? Go with your gut feeling? How does your style mesh with that of your spouse? Being similar can make life easier, but being different can often help see different angles of the situation.
It’s usually easy to pray for your own children; their needs are so apparent. October is Respect Life Month. Pray today, not only for your own children, but for all children in our world, especially the unborn.
Research says it takes five positive comments to counteract one negative. Try keeping track for one day, and seek to affirm more than criticize.
Today, on the feast of the Archangels, ask for their protection over your marriage and family. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Who usually has the final word in an argument or family decision? If it doesn’t balance out, check if one of you is taking unfair advantage of the other. Somebody may be talking too much.
“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna.” (Mark 9:43) If your spouse is struggling with a sin, pray for them and encourage them to seek help.
Have you ever sought professional help for troubles between you? Perhaps you don’t need it, but don’t let pride or procrastination rob you of the chance to learn new skills and heal.
What prompts your beloved to cry? Nothing? Anything? A sad movie? How do you usually respond? Sharing one’s deepest feelings builds intimacy.
Do you know a childhood disappointment of your beloved? A goal or dream that was never achieved? If not, ask. Console. Maybe it’s not too late.
What is your role in marital disputes – the problem solver, peacemaker, challenger? Are you satisfied with how you solve disagreements? If not, it’s easy to get helpful ideas from For Your Marriage.
Gifts on birthdays and Christmas are fine, but a surprise trinket/flowers may be even more delightful.
How do you use the “waiting” times of your life? Waiting for your spouse to get ready? Waiting at the doctor’s office, red lights, or check-out lanes? Use these times to pray rather than getting impatient.
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me.” (Mk 9:37) Your children are God’s gift to you, and loving them is a way to serve the Lord. Receive them into your marriage and show them Christ’s love.
Fighting Fair Tip: Pick a good time. That probably means not when one spouse is about to leave the house or just getting home from work. Sleep deprived or frantically busy spouses don’t make receptive listeners either. When is a good time for you?