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…

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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…

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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…

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Tips for Effective Listening

Amaze Your Spouse with These 10 Tips for Effective Listening

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment | No Comments

Not long ago we shared five obstacles to becoming an effective listener because good listening is an essential skill for a happy and long-lasting marriage. Authors Paul Donaghue and Mary Siegel give us ten rules of thumb for becoming a good listener in their book, Are You Really Listening?: Keys to Successful Communication. Read through the following ten tips for effective listening and choose just one to implement today and develop as a good communication habit. 10 Tips for Effective Listening Make a commitment to listen to this person at this moment. Do not act as though you are listening if your heart is not in it or if the time is not right for you to listen. If you want to listen but are not free to pay attention at the moment, say so, but add that you would like to listen later. For example: “I can’t give you my attention now,…

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Communication and the Theology of the Body

Effective Communication and the Theology of the Body

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation | No Comments

The topic of “communication” is popular in marriage preparation programs and pre-Cana retreats. There is nearly always a witness talk on communication in marriage, because it is so important to the success of any relationship. These are often very practical and personal talks. But what about the spiritual side of communication? What does communication have to do with theology? John Paul II’s Theology of the Body provides an important spiritual perspective on the topic of “communication” that can help frame these witness talks and other marriage preparation discussions about communication between couples. To put it simply, we communicate the truth about ourselves as married couples through our bodies. This act of communication should reveal what is at our deepest core: we are made in the image and likeness of God as a communion of persons. Communication in Conventional Language John Paul II specifically addresses “communication” in his catecheses on Genesis…

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Getting Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred

Social Media and Marriage: An Interview with Meredith Gould

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation | 2 Comments

Today we are excited to welcome Meredith Gould, author and social media evangelist, to Together for Life Online. Meredith is the author of the book, Getting #Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred. In a world increasingly plugged-in and connected via social media, this topic comes at a critical time for couples preparing for marriage as well as those who are already married. She has some interesting ideas about integrating social media into all facets of weddings and marriage. Enjoy. How can couples effectively use social media to prepare for their marriage? While it may seem like an exaggeration, I believe every social media platform has the potential for effective use by couples preparing for marriage—and I do mean marriage in addition to wedding prep. In Getting #Married: Using Social Media to Celebrate the Sacred, I explain how my husband and I used Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to allow…

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Are You Really Listening?

5 Obstacles to Effective Listening

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment | 2 Comments

The following five obstacles to effective listening and communication are taken from the book Are You Really Listening? by Paul J. Donahue, PhD and Mary E. Siegel, PhD. Each obstacle is summarized below, but can be read in full within chapter 2 of Are You Really Listening? (available at Ave Maria Press or Why is listening so important for effective communication? “In our central relationship, our need to be listened to with respect and understanding is fundamental. When this need is met, it is most satisfying. The world can be indifferent, cruel, and judgmental, but we can hope to retreat to the safety of our home and the comforting understanding of our spouse” (Are You Really Listening?, p. 27). Obstacles to Effective Listening and Communication Obstacle 1. Intense Emotion “Powerful emotion is linked to profound need” (p. 30). Our relationship with our spouse is the place where we find comfort…

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The Modern Long Distance Relationship

Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship in Marriage

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment, Romance, Spirituality | One Comment

Nearly every night these days, I get ready for bed, crawl under the covers, and then wait patiently for my wife to put on her pajamas, brush her teeth, and get into bed as well so that I can read to her. We don’t always read the same book at the same time, but when we do, we take turns reading aloud to one another. It’s my turn to read, and we’re currently reading The Lord of the Rings (first time for her, at least the seventh time for me). In the past we have together read Watership Down, Franny and Zooey, The Velveteen Rabbit (I guess we have a thing for rabbits!) and The Brothers Karamazov, to name a few. Annie will usually stay awake until the end of a given chapter, but sometimes she nods off. When she does this, I quietly close the book we are reading….

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The Myth of Multitasking

The Myth of Multitasking and the Power of Listening

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment | One Comment

Today’s world seems to demand that we be master multitaskers. In a fast-paced culture of iPhones and instant gratification, our attention is often split in many directions. Let’s face it: multitasking is a myth. What does this mean when it comes to communicating within a relationship? No doubt, being a good listener is a crucial aspect of being a good husband or wife. But in today’s environment of constant sensory overload, the practice of being a good listener can really take some discipline and practice! Multitasking and Marriage I used to think I was made to multitask, because I really like combining activities like running on the elliptical with reading a book. But I’ve since realized that if I’m involved in a conversation, I can be seriously terrible at doing other tasks, even menial ones. Take, for example, the time when a friend called me to make sure I’d taken…

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How to Get Your Spouse to Do the Chores

How to Get Your Spouse to Do the Chores

By | Communication, Marriage Enrichment | No Comments

Let’s be honest. Everyone has a favorite chore. Maybe you love to call on your creativity by concocting lavish meals. Perhaps you enjoy categorizing things, so folding and organizing laundry is your shtick. If you’re a do-it-yourself type, you might find yourself in love with yard work. Or maybe you like to do the dishes. . .but does your spouse? But no matter what your favorite chore is, odds are that you have a least favorite one as well. And so does your spouse. So, what is a newly married couple to do with the list of chores that can’t go undone? How to Get Your Spouse to Do the Chores Some folks find that it works well to have “his and and hers tasks lists.” In this case chores are divvied up between spouses, and each spouse is responsible for doing the chores on his or her list. Other couples…

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