The Family is Holy Ground

October 7 marks the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. How might this feast be relevant to marriage and family life?  In 1571, a vast Ottoman navy was poised to invade Europe. The Christian forces had already suffered numerous defeats as the Ottomans expanded across the Mediterranean.   Putting his support behind a coalition of…

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Marriage Lessons from a Dog Trainer 

A few months ago, our young Australian Shepherd went to doggie boot camp. Over five weeks she was trained by professional dog-handlers to walk calmly, socialise nicely and keep her focus under the pressure of distractions.   Video footage taken by the trainers proved she was capable. What really remained was the question: can her owners be similarly trained?  When the time came to…

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Couple Decision Making

Behind every behaviour or decision that you make, is a value; something that you hold in high esteem and is advanced in some way by the action. For example, making the choice to work back late, may reflect any one of a number of values, such as: having pride in doing a job well, reducing…

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The Power of Ritual

Routines can be very useful in keeping our lives purposeful and organized. Rituals are like routines with one important difference – they have positive emotional meaning. Rituals connect us with others by providing a focus or activity that enables us to interact together in an enjoyable and meaningful way. Almost anything can become a ritual…

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Too Hasty to Judge

In the age of instant news, judgment falls hastily. In marriage also, we are often quick to judge each other. Like most couples, over thirty plus years of marriage, we’ve had quite a few misunderstandings. Sadly, many of these escalated to painful arguments where hurtful things were said, and our unity was damaged. The reason?…

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The Auto-Pilot Marriage

Crammed schedules, kids to care for, a demanding boss, the ever-present television. No wonder our attentiveness to our couple relationship erodes over time, leaving us with less connection, less spark, and less intimacy. Without an active, intentional mindset, most contemporary marriages end up on ‘auto-pilot’. During courtship, our relationship is central in our awareness and…

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Going From Good To Better

Marital health is about more than minimizing conflict. If we want to go from ‘good’ to ‘better’ we need to capitalise on the positives. Most marriage counselling and education focuses on conflict and incompatibility. It seeks to help couples find constructive ways of dealing with challenges in the relationship. It’s a ‘damage control’ approach that…

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Intentional Relationship

No matter how easy it is to fall in love, staying in love requires attention and effort. Most people drift into love, marriage and family without a whole lot of conscious planning about the kind of relationship they want to have five, 10 or 20 years down the track. Whether you are married, engaged or…

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Making a change for the better

Change is difficult. It can also be complicated. Despite our best intentions, sustained change often eludes us. We’ve had many spouses tell us that their husband or wife promised to change, and things were good for a while, but then there was a relapse. Their good intentions were not enough to sustain their energy for…

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The Art of Apology

Have you ever experienced the situation when someone has apologised but, while the words were said it lacked something, making it difficult for you to accept it? Sadly, most of us are not as good at apologising as we need to be. We think that it’s obvious, should just be instinctual, or that our love…

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