Kiss to Connect

Many couples find the excitement of sex somewhat diminished within a few years of marriage. Their physical intimacy seems somehow perfunctory, unimaginative, even boring. Soon they are moving through life with regular sexual encounters but little connection. Some years on, even the regular sex may become less frequent and sometimes entirely absent. One way that…

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What’s in a vow?

A few years ago we had a ‘date night’ at West Side Story. We thoroughly enjoyed the evening even though we had seen it before in a youth group version. This time, all the performers completed the show intact, unlike the youth group which had to transport one of its members to the hospital with…

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The Forever Conversation

At some point, every couple will have the Forever Conversation – the discussion that explores their long-term commitment. It’s no secret to anyone that the incidence of cohabitation has increased. In fact, a couple who hasn’t cohabited is increasingly rare, even in the Catholic formation circles where we work. For couples in these semi-permanent living…

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Ain’t Marriage Grand!

What makes for an epic marriage? A marriage that faces and transcends challenges and obstacles, that has an interior resilience and grace that comes from the God who is always ready to encourage us. We recently attended two weddings of close family friends. This time, a different part of the ceremony really stood out for…

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Resurrecting Our Marriages

Easter Sunday –  the highpoint of the Christian calendar celebrating Christ’s resurrection from the dead. But what does this day, this event, have to teach us as married couples? Several years ago, we were invited onto a TV breakfast show to talk about marriage. We are all familiar with the format; people interviewed on couches…

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Three Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married

The benefit of hindsight! There’s not a couple on earth who doesn’t have some words of wisdom about marriage to share with the young. I came across this on Facebook and was immediately impressed with insights articulated by this newlywed husband. We hope the SmartLoving community will find it helpful, and we’d love to hear what…

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Commitment

In his book, ‘The Power of Commitment‘, Scott Stanley (USA) provides some very useful insights into the nature of commitment. He identifies two types of relationship commitment: constraints and dedication. Constraint Commitment Constraint commitment refers to the ‘forces’ that resist the separation of a couple even when one or both partners would prefer to leave…

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How Senior Couples Make Marriage Better

Senior couple

In a culture that glorifies youth and sanctions the euthanising of the sick and elderly, it’s easy to lose sight of the gift of seniors. Here are three ways that senior couples make marriage better for all of us. Earlier this year, Pope Francis released a series of homilies on the elderly. Each one explores…

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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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Experience is not always the best teacher

Lots of people think that dating (and being sexually intimate) with a number of different people before marriage is an essential part of  forming a successful union. But is this kind of  ‘experience’ the best way to prepare for marriage? Many people think that having a few failed relationships is helpful in preparing them (or…

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