Information about Sex Before Marriage

We found the following report on, titled Men have upper hand in sexual economy.  It reports on research on the sexual behaviors of both men and women before marriage and some of the consequences of that behavior. Here is an excerpt.

It’s not a new theory:  As women progress in educational and professional opportunities, their odds of finding a committed man appear to go down. Women in their 40s and 50s have long heard this, but new research finds it’s true for women just entering adulthood as well.

That’s one of the findings in the new book “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying,” by researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker at the University of Texas at Austin.

Read the full article here.

We just have a question for you to consider:  How should the Church respond to this information, if it wishes to welcome young adults in the Community?

We are very interested in your responses.  Please leave a message.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Couple Relationships, Marriage | Tagged , , ,

Does our view of marriage need to change?

Recently I (Rita) read an article titled Marriage Needs To Change If It’s Going to Survive, published on September 30, 2014 by Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W. in Contemplating Divorce.  While we don’t necessarily support some of the things she recommends she did make us once again revisit “Traditional Marriage.”  Statistics show that somewhere between 40 and 50% of marriages end in divorce and increasing numbers of people are never marrying.  So will our “view” of traditional marriage be the thing that saves it as some proclaim or do we need to take a look at marriage and where it might need to change if we want marriage to remain viable in our culture and in our world.

I began by looking at the Bible.  In Genesis 2:18, a woman is created from man’s rib. Depending on translation, she is to be a helper, helpmate or companion to man.  They are told two things; to “become two in one flesh”, and “be fruitful and multiply”.  Various men in the Bible had multiple wives, along with concubines.  We really know little about their marriages and the traditions that they lived as man and wife.

Divorce is only mentioned 4 times in Scripture.  It is first mentioned in the book of Leviticus. At the time of Jesus the concept of divorce was clearly under discussion. It would appear that while marriage being forever was an ideal, the reality said that it didn’t happen for everyone who entered into it.

It is believed that Mohammad the Prophet had 12 wives and Siddhatta, the Buddha, is recorded to have one and Confucius had one.  Some Native Americans practiced polygamy to help ensure male offspring.  A man and a woman joining together, usually to have children, seems to have been around since humans as we know them have existed.  Who doesn’t have the picture in mind of a cave man dragging a woman by the hair to his cave.  Even the popes in the middle 14th and 15th centuries had relationships with women.  While they didn’t marry because by that time celibacy had become a requirement, they still had intimate relationships with women who often lived in the Vatican with them.

Much is in the news today about gay and lesbian marriage.  It is currently presented by some as the greatest evil against traditional marriage between a man and a woman.  Perhaps this is just another example of sticking our heads in the sand rather than having a real discussion, examination or reality check about what marriage can and does do for us in the 21st century.  While statistics show that traditional marriage is on the decline the media focuses on it quite a lot.  Just tune in to TLC on Friday nights with multiple shows about getting married.  Nearly every day my web browser has an article about marriage relationships, how to have a better one, not always about sex.  While many young woman never marry, most appear to dream about living happily ever after with the man of their dreams who will love them and care for them.  It would appear that most are delaying marriage and many young married couples choose not to have children but instead build their lives around pets, especially dogs.

(Bob) Pope Francis has opened the door to consideration and discussion about many aspects of Church teaching and considerations of alternatives in some areas.  We have been listening to contentious discussions about how same-sex marriage is destroying conventional marriage while some people tell us that it is heterosexual behavior that has changed marriage and they don’t see that same-sex marriage is relevant to that discussion.

A high percentage of heterosexual couples have been involved in multiple sexual relationships and are living together as they approach the Church to be married.  We don’t hear much about that recently.  How are we going to deal with their relationship to the Church?  Are we just going to ignore it, as a battle that has been lost, or are we going to explore other possibilities?

There appears to be growing (some would say convincing) evidence that sexual orientations other than heterosexual are discovered by individuals and not chosen.  Even the American bishops accept this in their pastoral letter, Always Our Children. How, if at all, should that change our view of what is moral behavior for them?  Should they be allowed to marry?

The Church’s sexual teachings have stifled discussion about related issues addressed in Catholic social teaching, e.g. world population, immigration, the rights to work and have a minimum level of material comfort.  Perhaps we can now open some of these discussions as well.

(Bob and Rita) Where does all of this leave us in 2015?  We don’t have answers to the debate but we think perhaps it is time to look at “traditional” marriage and recognize that there is little traditional left if there ever was a single “tradition”  The role of both persons in a relationship have changed.  We only have to look at our children to see that.  They have all chosen what most would say is traditional marriage.  One of our sons currently stays home with their children, Some of the women make more money than the men.  They share chores and responsibilities in different ways than we did. They can be different, allow the other to grow as an individual while still grow together as a couple.

Perhaps it is time to stop talking about who should be allowed to marry, what form limiting children should take and even whether marriage should be forever.  Let us have a frank and honest discussion about what marriage can provide two people.  Some will find living in a publicly proclaimed commitment to relationship as desirable others will not.

We’re not sure there ever was a traditional marriage.  Perhaps it only existed on fifties and sixties TV in the United States.  Marriage in most parts of the world is quite different than what we think we should experience.  It you want to support marriage perhaps it is time for openness and real discussion of its benefits.  We think that discussion needs to cross all elements of society.  Persons engaging in that discussion need to have open ears and hearts.  Will we preserve marriage?  Perhaps.  It is evident that marriage will likely take on a different form for many that fills the spiritual, psychological, financial needs of the two individuals who are involved.

We haven’t tried to answer any of these questions, but would very much like to see them addressed and to be part of the discussion.

Please share your thoughts and ideas with us.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Catholic Marriage, Marriage, Marriage in the Church, Newlyweds | Tagged , , ,

Those Trying Times in Marriage

Around New Year’s resolution time it occurred to me that we, and I suspect all, married couples have some low spots in their marriage and still do, occasionally.  I’m not talking about major crises that threaten a marriage, but the little things where one or both of the spouses are annoyed with the other and the annoyance is taking some of the fun out of your relationship.  In the early years of our marriage, we tended to let things simmer for quite a while and we would live with some strain.  Sometimes the dissatisfaction was one-sided, one of us unhappy and the other unaware or sensing something, but not knowing what it was about.  At times this would result in an animated conversation and speaking each of our points of view and we could come to a new understanding and the issue would be resolved.  Sometimes we could go to bed and make love and the situation would fade away. It was the tenderness and shared intimacy that made little differences unimportant.

In later years, we gained more confidence in the strength of our relationship and discovered that, instead of letting an issue simmer for a long time, we could confront it and have our fight and move on.  Our “fights” have never been physical or involved yelling and screaming, but we have some very intense discussions.  I think we have become better listeners and have learned that we can say “I love you.” in the middle of a fight and sometimes through our tears.  One of the advantages of many years together is that we have developed a confidence that this particular disagreement will be over and we will still be together and will still enjoy being with each other.

We learned that many of our disagreements aren’t even real, but result from different perceptions of a situation or that we are actually talking about different things.  We have learned a couple of techniques that make a large difference in our daily interactions.  We now make a point of alerting the other when we are changing the topic.  We will say something like, “This is changing the subject.” or “I want to go back to (the topic) we were discussing a few minutes ago.”  This actually makes our conversations more productive and avoids a lot of tension.  Another technique is useful when the one of us hears the other say something that doesn’t seem to make sense. After a couple of attempts to make the other see our point of view and the discussion starts to become animated, one of us will suggest that we stop and review what we are discussing – each of us has a chance to talk while the other listens.  It helps us to know what the subject is and allows each of us to understand the other’s opinion, whether or not we agree with it.  We also respect each other and differences are usually not contentious and don’t necessarily have to be resolved.

As I reflected on this subject, I found myself very grateful for the relationship tools we have learned, especially the verbal communication techniques that help to keep our interactions interesting and often intense, but also filled with humor and opportunities to learn from each other.

Please share with us some of the techniques you have learned that help to keep your relationship alive and vibrant.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in Retirement, Married Couples | Tagged , , , , , ,

Holiday Greetings

Our preparations for Christmas this year have been rather smooth.  Rita started shopping early and avoided the last-minute rush.  By yesterday afternoon the gifts were all wrapped and ready for the kids and grandkids.  We will have dinner and go to Mass this evening with our youngest and his wife, who will stay the night, then go off to her family in the morning.  The rest won’t be here until Saturday, so we will, for the first time in many years, be just the two of us together on Christmas day.  That will be different, but OK.  We are looking forward to a quiet day together. We are content that our children will be with their spouses’ families or having a family day for themselves.

By Saturday evening everyone will be here and we will celebrate our annual soup-and-pie night, a favorite meal.  Rita is famous for her pies, but other members are starting to make some, too.  Sunday will be our gift exchange and traditional holiday meal.  The next couple of days will be spent in various ways as we enjoy being together.  By Saturday everyone will be gone and the house will be eerily quiet as we look toward a busy beginning for 2015.

2014 has been a very blessed year for us, with a wedding to get it started and our gathering at the holidays to end it.  We are very grateful for our family and all God’s many blessings.

We hope and pray that your year has also been good and that the New Year will bring you many blessings.

Bob & Rita

Posted in Catholic Marriage, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage in the Church, Parenting | Tagged , , , ,

Advent Calendar

These days before Christmas can be hectic and sometimes our relationship doesn’t get much attention.  We are late getting started, but taking a cue from the Advent Calendar, we give you a list of an activity that you can do together with or for your spouse on each of the remaining days of Advent.

December 9.  As you are passing each other sometime today, stop and give each other a big hug.
December 10.  Take a few minutes together to talk about how you are preparing or need to prepare spiritually for this season.
December 11.  Share with each other the favorite Christmas gift you received from your spouse.
December 12.  Hold hands while walking somewhere together, in your home or in public.
December 13.  Watch your favorite TV show together.
December 14.  Do a chore that the other usually does.
December 15.  Tell your spouse why he/she is a gift to you
December 16.  Say a prayer together.
December 17.  Tell your spouse what you like about her/him today.
December 18.  Send your lover a “love” text.
December 19.  Rub your spouse’s back or shoulders.
December 20.  Give him/her a pat on the bottom.
December 21.  Say “Thank You” for something he/she did for you today.
December 22.  Relax and share a favorite beverage together.
December 23.  Make love
December 24.  Share with each other your favorite Christmas memory.



Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Aging Together, Catholic Marriage, Couple Prayer, Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Marriage in the Church | Tagged , , , ,

As Long as We’re Together

Many times we have said: It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we’re together.  There is truth in that statement.  It is always better to be together than to be apart.  In the past few months we have been both together and apart.  In August I was getting ready to present a seminar in Haiti and very busy, so Rita went to Texas for a week to visit enjoy time with our grandchildren while Dan and Rhonda took some time away together. I missed her when she wasn’t here, just to chat and sometimes help me work out something for the seminar.  On the other hand, I was working toward a deadline and didn’t have to make excuses for putting in long days.

The last two weeks of August we spent in Haiti presenting the seminar.  Rita was with me and a great help assisting me with a variety of tasks, including leading some of the activities.  We have worked together in teaching and presenting retreats for many years and that is always a good time for us.  We each enjoy listening to the other and being able to jump in to support the other.  I like to watch and marvel at how well she works with people.  The down side of those two weeks was that living conditions weren’t great and I had to spend each evening preparing for the next day.  Her presence there made it easier for me, event though we didn’t have much time or place to just relax together.

In mid September we left the Chicago area on a 20-day, 5000 mile drive through the western U.S.  Those days we spent ALL of our time together.  In the first two days we were in the car together for 1100 mi.  We spent some time talking about many topics, from the scenery to praying together to talking about our lives and our future to comfortable periods of silence.  Some days we were in and out of the car as we shared views of magnificent scenery.  They were special days as we had little distraction from just being together and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.

In early November we went back to Texas – together this time.  Next we will go to Connecticut for Thanksgiving with our daughter’s family and two of our sons will be there with their families.  Family times are always good.  We get along well and have a great time together.  At the same time there is some stress staying in someone else’s home.  The kids acknowledge this is true for them when they visit us.  One of the issues for us is that sometimes it takes effort to get a little time alone and connect with each other.

Sometimes it is good to be home – just the two of us – where there is a level of comfort and routine that, for us, is fairly relaxed most of the time. We can each do separate things in different parts of the house, but periodically wander where the other is and talk for a few minutes or pass by and connect with a silent touch – Rita likes to kiss me on the top of my head as she goes by. Home is an anchor, a place to always go back to.

So it is true that it is enough to be together, no matter where we are, but it is also true that we experience our relationship differently in different places and that is also very good for us.

We thank God this Thanksgiving for all the good things we have, for the opportunity to live for a time in different places, and especially for family, friends and all the good people who bless our lives.

We wish you a blessed and thankful holiday.

Please leave your comments below.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

On our calendar:  Great Expectations – at Queen of the Rosary Parish, Elk Grove Village, IL  February 14, 2015.  Married couples and engaged couples are invited.

Posted in Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage in Retirement | Tagged , , , , ,

Folding Fitted Sheets (Continued)

Last week we wrote about wasting time in our relationship.  It occurred to us this week that it might be good to think about what we do that could look like wasting time, but isn’t,  and directly addressing issues so that we don’t waste time.

Sometimes it might appear that we are wasting time in our relationship when we really aren’t.  We sometimes think that if we aren’t together 24/7 or joined at the hip we are wasting time.  We have found that that isn’t always the case.  We have found that having a discussion about what needs to be done for the day, week or in preparing for visitors allows us to divide tasks gives us time in the end to spend with each other.  I don’t need to go to the big box home repair store with Bob every time he goes.  Some times I do go, just to be with him, or if he wants my opinion on something.  Preparing for the holidays falls a lot on me.  We have discussions and Bob supports me in the shopping but it seems to go faster if I work on them.  He helps with the wrapping and the last couple of years he has helped me with a few baking projects.  Separating to work on things that need to be done doesn’t necessarily mean we are wasting time in our relationship.

At times we do car trips to Ohio to visit our extended family.  Our children used to refer to to Indiana as East Nowhere.  (we’re not disparaging Indiana, it just got in the way of getting to see their grandparents or aunts and uncles and cousins.)  We now make that trip alone but at times we find that we can use the East Nowhere time as time to do things that we enjoy.  We sing along to music, I have read to Bob and we’ve had some great discussions, we’ve worked on blogs etc.  We’ve also found that silence on those trips isn’t wasting time.  It gives us each time to think and then use time to talk about our relationship and where we want it to go.

Bob isn’t a big TV watcher.  He would rather read or surf the net than watch TV.  We do on occasion watch it together.  Bob has made more of an effort recently to watch even a program he isn’t interested in just to spend time with me.  Having the ability to record things we watch little live TV.  We can stop it if one of us has something to say speed through commercials so watching the program takes less time, or enjoy a program together as we’ve been doing recently with the PBS series on the Roosevelts.  Bob has laughed when this history major has discovered things I hadn’t studied or the scientist has been drawn into history in ways he never thought he would be.

Even though we are retired, many of our days are quite busy with projects we individually and together are working on.  We still think that maintaining physical contact is good.  Bob is very good at stopping to give me a hug or kiss when he is in the room with me, gets the mail or makes his lunch.  I often stop by his den or when he is outside to give him a pat on the shoulder or kiss the top of his head as he sits at the computer.  We still hold hands when we shop or in the car.  The physical contact is good for us and encourages us to not waste time.

One of the biggest ways couples waste time is the avoidance technique.  Something bothers one person but they go over and over in their minds what the other has done or failed to do, said or didn’t say.  We try to avoid this and just face what doesn’t seem to be right.  The same is true in a sexual relationship.  One can wait for a cue from the other that indicates that the time is right rather than making suggestions or taking actions.

Take a look this week at where you do good things in your marriage.  Life is indeed too short to waste time.  Knowing what you do to enjoy each other and then doing that more often is a great way to make good use of time.

Enjoy some “wasted” time together this week.

Leave your comments below.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Intimacy in Marriage, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help | Tagged , , ,

Folding Fitted Sheets

During the last week both of us have encountered a comment about folding fitted sheets.  I saw posts by several people on FaceBook about how to fold a fitted sheet.  Bob saw a book titled “Life is too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets.”  The method proposed is the one my mother taught me and I’ve used as long as we’ve been married.  I have never followed the thought of rolling up fitted sheets and shoving them in the closet.  It doesn’t fit with my need for organization.  I don’t spend a lot of time in the task.  The title of the book made me think about how many things in our life we actually waste time on.  Several years ago we first gave a presentation on Aging Joyfully Together.  One of the things we talked about is amount of time wasted with petty quarrels and not reconciling differences, not only in a marriage, but with all our relationships.

In a marriage it is of utmost importance.  Irreconciled differences is one of the major reasons couples divorce.  Even among couples who stay together but not really happy differences that are not reconciled are observable in the lack of physical contact, in words exchanged and snide comments made about the other when s/he is not present.  Too much time is wasted keeping score, holding the other accountable for petty actions, taken or not taken, that have little significance.   Focusing on pettiness instead of encouraging, supporting, or praising the other is a bigger waste of time than folding fitted sheets.  I often wonder how much time we have wasted not listening to each other, not being fully attentive to each other or holding on to words that the other said and we interpreted as unkind.  How much time have we wasted on the edges of our bed rather than cuddling together in the middle.  The list could go on, but we invite you to think about the time you have wasted in your relationship.

Beyond our relationship but affecting it are the times we waste not reconciling with others or holding on to petty disagreements.  We were at a family funeral recently and I was aware of the petty differences that some hold on to.  It is in all the comments that are made behind some one’s back or the avoidance of conversation.  It is not just in our family.  In some ways it is less in our family than in many I have seen.  I’ve seen it when parents and children no longer speak or see one another.  There is great heartache when persons speak of the fact that they have grandchildren they have never seen.  Brothers and sisters sometimes don’t speak or don’t come to family gatherings.  While not directly in a couple’s relationship even these things detract from the marriage relationship because hearts are affected.

As the holiday season once again approaches, family squabbles often rear their ugly heads in all relationships.  We encourage you to take some time to look at where you are wasting time in your marriage and all your relationships. You might be more thankful this holiday season and reconnect in ways you haven’t in a while.  You might even fold fitted sheets while you do it.

Please leave your comments below.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Aging Together, Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage in Retirement | Tagged , , , ,

Is there anything new about marriage?

This morning Rita made the remark that we really know the basics of living together that produce good, happy long-term marriages.  The information is readily available.  Nevertheless, the news media constantly carry reports on new research about marriage and the supposedly important consequences of his behavior, her behavior, the benefits of marriage over being single and many other marriage-related topics.  This prompted me to do a Google search on “new research about marriage.” I have listed the first page of the search results below.

The National Marriage  Research and Analysis on the Health of Marriage and Family in America .

Huffington Post
As if the tax breaks and the cuddling weren’t enough, new research shows that married folks have yet another advantage over their divorced counterpart.

Marriage Study – Huffington Post
They say a diamond is forever — but new research suggests the bigger the diamond engagement ring, the shorter the marriage might be. Economics pr.

A Wife’s Happiness Is More Crucial than Her Husband’s in ……marriage…study…/2…
Rutgers University
Sep 12, 2014 – When it comes to a happy marriage, a new Rutgers study finds that the more content the wife is with the long-term union, the happier the …

Want a happy marriage? Have a big, cheap wedding
CNN‎ – 2 days ago
A new study found that couples who spend less on their wedding tend to have longer-lasting marriages…

Researchers name new snail species for same-sex marriage rights

What Makes a Successful Marriage
Aug 20, 2014 – Unmarried individuals hoping to have a successful marriage can turn their attention to a new study that sheds some light on the potential steps …

In Brief | Knot Yet ReportKnot Yet Report
The age at which men and women marry is now at historic heights—27 for …. Delaying Marriage Has Serious Consequences For Some, New Research Reveals

Ten Important Research Findings On Marriage. For Your…
Marrying as a teenager is the highest known risk factor for divorce. People  who marry in their teens are two to three times more likely to divorce than people who …

Happy wife, happy life? New study says ‘yes’ | Fox News
Sep 9, 2014 – For married couples, when the wife is happy with the marriage, the husband has higher life satisfaction, according to new research published in …

Without reading the associated articles, I can draw some conclusions about the effects of these studies and the way they are reported that indicate some of the silliness and misinformation they convey.  I find many of them silly and amusing but do have some concern that they seem to be offering simple, quick fixes to complicated relational behavior.

Some of the studies have information that is solid, but not new.  Example:  It has been known for many years that teen marriages are the riskiest. (To be fair, this one comes from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and is intended to provide important information to people who are considering marriage and people who work with married couples.)

Often headlines are sensationalized and the articles don’t report the real results of the study.  Examples:

Want a happy marriage? Have a big, cheap wedding.

new research suggests the bigger the diamond engagement ring,  the shorter           the marriage might be.

The problem is that this kind of reporting suggests cause and effect that does not exist.  We humans tend to associate causal relationships to things that coincide in our lives.  There may be some common personality characteristics that have a slight effect on marriages, but certainly the size of the diamond or the wedding reception themselves have no direct effect on the outcome of a marriage.  Letting such things significantly affect behavior borders on superstition.

Often a look at the details of the research reveal only that there aren’t any real differences, e.g. The differences in the happiness levels or number of divorces in a group with the studied difference in characteristics is very small and has meaning only as a reported statistic, but tells you nothing about an individual couple.  Other things are vastly more important.

Many of these are so silly that I wonder that anyone would even waste time on the research.

All that said, many of the reports can be fun to read and make jokes about, especially when you take them as the silly and meaningless research results that they report.

One final comment:  “Delaying Marriage Has Serious Consequences For Some.”  It would have for us – if we had waited four years, we would have lost 4 great years of living together.

What do you think?  Leave a message below.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

Posted in Couple Relationships, Marriage, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Help, Newlyweds | Tagged , , , , ,

A Dreary Fall Day

It is a dreary fall day.  Not any different than if the sun were shining and yet it is different.  Sunshine somehow gives us energy whereas dreary days, at least for most of us, make us want to pull up the blankets or hit the snooze alarm one more time and sleep for a while longer.  Is that what marriage is also?  It is easy to be enthusiastic and want to do things to enliven and enrich our marriages when we perceive that we are in a sunshine time in our marriage.  When there are rainy dreary days most of us just like to coast along for a little while.  I think both have their place.  Seasons and rain and sunshine occur naturally.  The amount of time spent in each place changes depending on where we live.  Marriage can be the same way.  We know many couples who seem to have many rainy days, even when the sun is shining outside.  We also know couples who have sunshiny days when it is rainy outside.  We have to make accommodations for the weather and we must do the same in our marriage relationships or we will be hit with a deluge or extreme cold spell and not know who to handle it.

One just has to open a news website to find suggestions on marriage and relationships.  We’ve been looking at these for years and nothing new pops up any more.  They are the same topics we have written about here or in our book, Forever and a Day, or things we have spoken of at marriage enrichment programs.  However, I do think it is good from time to time to read these sites, read topics in our book or other books or attend a program that is designed to enrich the marriage you have.

There aren’t really new topics but perhaps a little different twist on how we might approach things.  In the seventies and eighties couples went away for a long weekend together to a marriage retreat.  Some of those couples lives were changed forever, some for a while and some went home the way they went to the experience.  As times change couples tended to just want to go away together to a getaway island or Vegas thinking they could work on their marriage together.  Perhaps they had nice dinner conversations or took time to make love more leisurely than at home and they came away renewed at least until they got out of the car at home. The experience might be better if an agenda was set up before to engage in a discussion of some of the things each promised they would talk about or get to, sometime.  Today, I’m not sure where or what couples do.  Some still go away to marriage retreats although the number is small.  Many still go away together, some are so absorbed with children that there is little room for couple time.

This week our suggestion is to think about what is it that is keeping you in the rainy days of relationship.  Where is there dull routine with little excitement for each other?  Most couples can readily identify where they need to work in their relationship.  If you don’t know what to do to bring the sunshine to your life perhaps consider going to one of the websites, read a book together or attend an enrichment program.  New seasons or weather changes just might occur.

We would enjoy hearing your thoughts about what you do with the seasons or weather days of your marriage.

Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word

Bob & Rita’s book:  Forever and Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on or by contacting us.  Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time.  Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.

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