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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How can I make your day better?

I read a blog post recently from a husband who brought his marriage back from the brink with this one simple, daily habit. Each morning he asked his wife: how can I make your day better? The wife was suspicious at first and deliberately gave him tedious and demanding tasks, like cleaning out the garage,…

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Love in the Waiting

Advent is the season of waiting; we wait in anticipation of the coming of Christ. But are we the only ones doing the waiting? I (Francine) was hurrying to get out the door for 7am Mass. I looked at the time on the car clock and sighed in defeat: 6:58. There was no way I’d…

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Retired, Extremely Dangerous

A few weeks ago, we watched the action comedy R.E.D. featuring Bruce Willis as retired black ops agent whose peaceful retirement is disrupted by a CIA order to eliminate him. The comedy rests in the ridiculously casual way the characters approach their killing careers. RED, it turns out stands for his classification: ‘retired, extremely dangerous’.…

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It Takes One to Tango

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We’ve all heard the saying: it takes two to tango. But is it true that the only way to improve a marriage is if both husband and wife co-operate? Marriage is like a dance. If one spouse changes his or her steps, that changes the dance. The truth is, it only takes one spouse to…

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St Valentine and Revolutionary Marriage

St Valentine

It’s St Valentine’s day next week. This year, it coincides with Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent and a traditional day for penance and fasting. Oh dear! What to do?! Some think this is a pity; normally we focus on romance and joy for the lover’s feast and it’s hard to do that on…

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Knot Yet! #5: Responsibility Phobia

What comes first, maturity or the responsibility? In the world of adultescence, the absence of the necessity to be responsible, delays maturity. Most of us look back at adolesence and shiver – it’s a tough time developmentally when the young person is reaching for independence but doesn’t quite have the mental resources to cope with adulthood. Many…

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