Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.
Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael
Relationships & Love
Beautiful advice from a divorced man after 16 years ofmarriage.
My advice after adivorce following 16 years of marriage, by Gerald Rogers.
Obviously, Im not arelationship expert. But theres something about my divorce being finalizedthis week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have donedifferent After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16years, heres the advice I wish I would have had.
1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER takethat woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to bethat man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the mostimportant and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU.Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to beingthe protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance.Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place inyour heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space alwaysready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anythingelse enter there.
3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantlychange. Youre not the same people you were when you got married, and in fiveyears you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and inthat you have to re-choose each other every day. SHE DOESNT HAVE TO STAY WITHYOU, and if you dont take care of her heart, she may give that heart tosomeone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get itback. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love.What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will seeis reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you cant help but beconsumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything butlove, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to behave this woman as your wife.
5. Its not your job to change or fix her your job is tolove her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if shechanges, love what she becomes, whether its what you wanted or not.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: Its notyour wifes job to make you happy, and she CANT make you sad. You areresponsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy willspill over into your relationship and your love.
7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry ather, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOURemotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time toget present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that isasking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was theperson best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painfulway so that you could heal them when you heal yourself, you will no longer betriggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
8. Allow your woman to just be. When shes sad or upset,its not your job to fix it, its your job to HOLD HER and let her know itsok. Let her know that you hear her, and that shes important and that you arethat pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about changeand emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as youremain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you DONTRUN-AWAY WHEN SHES UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you arentgoing anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words andemotion.
9. Be silly dont take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh.And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
10. Fill her soul everyday learn her love languages and thespecific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her tocreate a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those thingsand make it a priority every day to make her feel like a queen.
11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus,your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so thatwhen you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your mostvaluable client. She is.
12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away inthe power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with yourstrength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her meltinto her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13. Dont be an idiot. And dont be afraid of being oneeither. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big ofmistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. Youre not supposed to beperfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14. Give her space The woman is so good at giving andgiving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurtureherself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find whatfeeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with newsongs to sing. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point.Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needsthat space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she getslost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
15. Be vulnerable you dont have to have it all together.Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge yourmistakes.
16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you mustbe willing to share EVERYTHING Especially those things you dont want toshare. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her inwhen you dont know i she will like what she finds Part of that courage isallowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROPTHE MASK If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show upperfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what lovecan be.
17. Never stop growing together The stagnant pond breedsmalaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the naturalprocess when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working onyour relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18. Dont worry about money. Money is a game, find ways towork together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figureout ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather thancarrying weight from the past. Dont let your history hold you hostage. Holdingonto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to yourmarriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor looseand always choose love.
20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, thisis the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which allyour choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness ofyour marriage. Love will always endure.
In the end marriage isnt about happily ever after. Itsabout work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continuallyinvest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, thehappiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs.Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experiencewill bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.
These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessonsI learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed incarrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will getmarried again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that willendure any storm and any amount of time.
If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share itthose young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with thosecouples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men maybe like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awakenin him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.
MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER.There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves thatfrom. Be the type of husband your wife cant help but brag about.
I will comment.
This article is dead on. I thought it was beautifully written and it has classic instructions for the all too sports consuming adult male. Far too much asttention is given to the TV and not to the wife and family.
Remember She is "The Holy Grail" that men have been looking for since recorded time
The absolute #1 is to love Jesus Christ with all your heart and soul, and to bring your family to Heaven with you. Everything else will fall into place, as Our Lord promised.
I hate to sound flippant and rude and elitist, but perhaps if he recognized that he wouldn't be divorced and making lists about how to stay married. I mean it's all good stuff but it's meaningless without reference to God, the sacraments and prayer. Love your wife for love of God; strive to be a saint; cultivate the virtues together; pray together. With all that, you'll be ticking every box in the list. And if you don't, at least you'll be virtuous enough to know that on this earth all states of life have their burdens and crosses - and with a good prayer life you'll be able to offer it up. Without it, you'll be in misery wishing your wife/husband ticked all the boxes and divorce will be near. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God" as Our Lord said. Marry someone because you love them enough to want to help them get to Heaven - that's what makes a marriage last. Cute and romantic things are awesome and should be done, but if that's all your marriage is built on you'll run out of steam.
Oh and that last part is a bit crude. Of course, it's true... but no woman should ever speak about that stuff with anybody else, never mind boast about it. It also gives the impression that sex within marriage hinges on how much pleasure you can give each other. You won't believe how many good Catholics fall into the secular trap and start panicking because they aren't immediately finding that sex is like a life-solving wonder-drug. Best leave all this stuff between husband and wife.
God, others, and then thy self. Everything else falls into place. I keep instiling this to my teenage daughter that keeps choosing herself. She's young and still learning.