The Epic Battle in Every Marriage

If there is one thing that the seasons of Lent and Easter bring into focus, it’s the struggle between good and evil. At its heart, the Easter story is an epic tale of Perfect Love (Jesus Christ) facing down and conquering Evil. It’s not just an historic struggle – it goes on every day in…

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Five Ways to Build Trust

Today we had a meeting. Sigh… The dreaded meeting! Being a couple and working together is complex. We’re both strong-willed and passionate about what we do so it’s easy for us to slip into a mode where we single-mindedly pursue what we believe is the best course of action. It triggers us both for different…

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Five Strategies to Improve your Marriage

A lot of people feel trapped in a dissatisfying or troubled marriage. They feel powerless to ‘fix’ it because their spouse refuses to join them in counselling or a marriage enrichment course. Yet in truth, there are lots of things a husband or wife can do on their own that can have a dramatic impact.…

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Our family is a mess!

The Christmas Vigil Mass features the Gospel of Matthew (1:1-25). Depending on whether you get the long or short version, you might hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ – a rather long list of the forebears of Jesus, going all the way back to Abraham. It includes some of the most dysfunctional characters from the…

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When history repeats, choose freedom

We remember sitting with a young couple who were locked in combat. She was prone to reactive outbursts and he was mystified as to what he was doing to trigger it. As we probed her on her family of origin the penny dropped; she was repeating a relationship pattern that she had established with her…

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Perfectly imperfect marriages

Despite the promises of Hollywood and fairytales, the perfect marriage is the one that helps us grow the most. And that’s not likely to be a marriage without hardship or trouble. Yesterday, as we were preparing to run a training session later on, we had ‘one’. An argument of sorts. It was more like a ‘splat’…

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How to Forgive More Easily

We remember those long nights in the first year of our marriage. In the infancy of his career, Byron was often late home from work as he juggled the demands on his time. Initially, Francine was so grateful when he finally arrived that she didn’t register the hurt that his lateness caused. Over time and…

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A Little Restraint Goes a Long Way

It happens all the time – one of us does or says something and it triggers a harsh reaction. To break the habit of reactivity, try this mindfulness tool to develop the virtue of restraint. While often associated with Buddhist meditation, Mindfulness has in fact been a feature of many religions under different names, including…

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Marriage on Fire

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At the time of writing, fires are still blazing across the Australian landscape with many tragedies of life and property lost. Even if not directly impacted, many of us have friends, family and colleagues who are. And it is not over yet. In our case, Christmas Day saw Byron and two of our sons depart…

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Like Parent, Like Child

The most powerful influence on a couple is their family of origin. Good or bad, our experiences in our childhood prepared us for marriage. The young couple sitting opposite us had been married only a few years. They were experiencing some health challenges, but this is not what brought them to us; they were locked…

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