Marriage Enrichment

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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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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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…

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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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Year of Faith Married Couples

10 Ways Married Couples Can Celebrate the Year of Faith

By | Marriage Enrichment, Spirituality | 2 Comments

As many of you know, we are now celebrating a Year of Faith in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There have been a lot of suggestions for what to do to celebrate the Year of Faith as a parish, but what can married couples do? Here are ten ways you can celebrate the Year of Faith with your spouse in 2012-2013: 1. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains a synthesis of the Catholic faith. The Catechism is broken up into four parts: the profession of faith, the sacraments, morality, and prayer. People tend to be a little intimidated when first picking it up, but the Catechism contains excellent descriptions of our faith. All too often we let the media and hearsay influence what…

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Couple to Couple League

8 Websites and Blogs to Help You Learn More About Natural Family Planning (NFP)

By | Family Life, Marriage Enrichment, Sexual Intimacy and NFP | 6 Comments

Having prepared for a marriage in the Catholic Church, you are likely to be familiar with the Church’s teachings about contraception and Natural Family Planning (NFP). For many couples, their marriage preparation sessions are their first introduction to these teachings causing them to look for more information. The websites listed below should help couples gain a deeper understanding of why the Church supports NFP and how couples can integrate it into their lives. Couple to Couple League For years the Couple to Couple League (CCL) has been the leading organization for promoting the proper use of Natural Family Planning. Their website includes a host of resources to explore including the opportunity to sign up for CCL classes. The Creighton Model is a popular NFP method used by many Natural Family Planning practitioners. Their website gives a nice overview of the details of the Creighton Model and how to use it. The key, however, is…

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