Together for Life Online Articles

Mobile Games for Couples

Mobile Games for Couples: An Easy Way to Add Fun to Your Relationship

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Romance | No Comments

Smartphones are everywhere and, sure, they can be distracting. Many couples experience troubles as a result of smartphone usage. For example, by checking Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and scores on ESPN, you might miss an opportunity to spending meaningful time with one another. How, then, can we work to maintain a balance between these digital distractions and our lives in the real world, especially in our relationships? You can either outlaw the phone or turn it into a way to create fun experiences together. How? Try out some mobile gaming apps that couples can play together. Many of these gaming apps can be used for fun date day experiences. Or, at the very least, they will give you something fun to do in your free time together. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Mobile Games for Couples 1. Words With Friends, Chess, and other Classics. These apps…

Read More

Cabin Fever! Four Creative Winter Date Ideas

By | Marriage Enrichment, Romance | No Comments

  As we reach the middle of February, those of us in the northern climates may be feeling a bit of cabin fever. The warm breezes and fresh air of spring are so tantalizingly close, yet we still have to push through a few more weeks of winter. As we grow tired of being trapped inside by the snow, wind, and freezing temperatures, it is easy to become restless and irritable. Worse yet, these feelings may lead to foul tempers and bickering with our spouses or significant others. To help break through the monotony of the final few weeks of cold and maintain a loving relationship with your spouse, here are some creative winter-friendly date ideas. Creative Winter Date Ideas 1. Beach Movie Night  If an escape to a tropical paradise isn’t quite within your budget, why not create one in your own home? Set the mood by dining on…

Read More
Alternative Budgeting Methods

3 Alternatives to the Budget You Never Keep

By | Finances, Marriage Enrichment | No Comments

Can’t keep your budget? It’s OK, we can’t either. If you asked me, I’d say we’ve always created a budget, but we haven’t always kept the budget. Don’t get me wrong, I love budgeting. I have spreadsheets, reminders, and an in-depth system for categorizing transactions in Mint. I set aside time each month to go through all of our personal finances and see how we did the month before. I’m what Dave Ramsey would call the nerd, not a free spirit. Here’s the thing, though: I’m married. I didn’t really keep a budget before marriage, but after I started reading personal finance books and blogs, I realized it was important for us to try out a few different budgeting methods. That’s where the confrontations about money began. I was the nerd, and when it came to money, she was the free spirit. Why You Need a Budget Rule #1 of…

Read More
Francis Address to Engaged Couples

Afraid Your Marriage Won’t Last? Here’s a Simple Way to Make Sure It Does (HINT: It’s Endorsed by the Pope)

By | Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation, Spirituality | One Comment

The name of the Together for Life book is no coincidence. When couples join together in holy matrimony they vow to be true to each other in sickness and health as long as they both shall live. They vow to be together for life. Today, however, many people are afraid of making such a long-term commitment. In a recent address by Pope Francis to engaged couples (actually it was more like a Q and A with the pope), he expressed this unfortunate tenancy in our culture that leads us to fear forever. Pope Francis spoke about this fear, saying, “[This is] a general fear that comes from our culture. To make life decisions seems impossible. Today everything changes so quickly, nothing lasts long.” The Holy Father went on to point out a common practice of many couples who decide that when the sentiment is gone, the marriage should end as…

Read More
How to Talk about Money with Your Spouse

How to Talk about Money with Your Spouse

By | Finances, Marriage Enrichment | No Comments

This is an edited excerpt from the book Just Married by Greg and Lisa Popcak. In their chapter on “Money Madness,” Greg and Lisa provide the following exercise to provide a model for how to talk about money with your spouse. They offer a unique approach for talking about money that focuses on the emotions behind money matters rather than the numbers. Print out these steps and talk through them with your spouse or fiance.  The most challenging thing about money isn’t the practical skills but the emotional meaning behind it. Take some time to look at what money means to you and how that squares with what God tells us is a healthy attitude toward money. Money and Motivation Exercise Discuss your answers with each other. a. Money can mean different things to different people: security, freedom, fun, independence, power, and so on. When it comes to money, are you happier when spending or saving? If spending, what…

Read More
101 Tips for a Happier Marriage

Spiritual Marriage Advice: Tips to Grow Closer to God and Each Other

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Spirituality | One Comment

The following tips about God and marriage are taken from 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other, now available from Ave Maria Press. Each of them offers some brief spiritual marriage advice for couples to consider on their journey’s through life together. Read each tip and share it with your fiance or spouse. Talk about how you can live out each tip in your everyday married life or how you may want to try something different to develop a happier marriage. Marriage Tip #2. Help your spouse grow by being the first to step outside the comfort zone. It is easy to be tempted to hold ourselves back from emotional and spiritual growth because we are afraid that our new selves will not be accepted by our spouse. Fear is never a good excuse to refrain from growing closer to God or each…

Read More
What makes Catholic marriage unique?

What Makes Catholic Marriage Unique?

By | Meaning of Marriage | No Comments

With the launch of their new book, Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage, Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak presented a webinar titled, “‘Marketing’ Catholic Marriage in a Post-marriage World.” In the webinar, the presenters share the unique characteristics of Catholic marriage particularly related to the vows couples make during their Catholic weddings. What makes Catholic marriage unique? Find out in this webinar! “Marketing” Catholic Marriage in a Post-marriage World You can watch a recording of the webinar here: Everyone uses the word “marriage” but it seems to mean a million different things to a million different people. Today it seems that many couples don’t believe marriage means anything anymore. In this marriage-hostile environment, how can the Church effectively promote what makes Catholic marriage both different and more desirable than any other kind of relationship out there? In this provocative and…

Read More
Why Marriages Fail

The #1 Reason Why Marriages Fail

By | Communication | No Comments

This is an excerpt from the book, Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage, by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak. In it they answer the popular question: Why do marriages fail? “What is the biggest reason marriages fall apart?” Most people expect us to give answers such as “infidelity” or “addictions” or even “in-law problems,” but the real answer is none of these. In fact, the most common reason for marital break-ups actually cause all of these problems and more. The biggest contributor to marital problems and, eventually, marital breakdown is that husbands and wives tend to love their own comfort zones more than they love each other. This leads to no end of opportunities to feel rejected, resentful, and angry. “Comfort Zone” Defined Some people ask us what we mean when we talk about “comfort zones.” Your comfort zone represents the range of experiences, relationships, and ways of being that are familiar, common, and…

Read More
Just Married--A New Book for Newlyweds

New Book for Newlyweds: Just Married

By | Marriage Enrichment | No Comments

In Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage, nationally syndicated radio hosts and international family life speakers Greg and Lisa Popcak combine decades of counseling, the latest findings in marriage research, more than twenty years of marriage, and the wisdom of Catholic teaching to offer couples the most up-to-date look at what it takes to create and sustain an incredible Catholic marriage that will last a lifetime. Recent research indicates that now more than ever couples report feeling insecure about their ability to create a marriage that will withstand the test of time. In Just Married, Catholic therapist Greg Popcak and family life coach Lisa Popcak offer newlyweds a master plan for growing a strong bond in the first five years of marriage. Through the Popcak’s experience of a rocky start to their own marriage and their expertise in marriage counseling, readers will…

Read More