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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Are we outliving marriage?

We’ve heard it said many times – you probably have as well – it goes like this. “People live so much longer these days, it’s unreasonable to expect a marriage to last all their life.” It’s certainly true that life expectancy has increased in recent generations in many countries. For our grandparents (born at the…

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Called to Greatness

The word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin ‘vocare’ which means ‘to call’. Our primary vocation, the one we all share, is the vocation to holiness. We are called to follow Christ and be in relationship with him. From the Pope to a newborn – it is the same call and equally compelling. A secondary vocation…

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Private Vows: Good Idea or Not?

With a son and two nieces presently engaged, there’s a lot of conversation about weddings in our household. One of the things that has come up is the idea of ‘private vows’ which, according to popular blogs, is trending.   The phenomenon of eloping to avoid the drama and cost of a big event is not…

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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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