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Dating & Relationships

Lots of people are constantly talking about the disadvantages of getting married these days and how the current divorce rate proves it’s nearly impossible to stay together. Don’t you get tired of being hit over the head with negativity?

 

Being involved in a dating, engaged, or marriage relationship should be exciting and fun, as well as romantic and serious. Although I am an advocate for helping people heal from their divorce, I am just as much an advocate for preserving the permanency of traditional marriage and the health and well being of the modern romantic relationships. It’s quite obvious society has drastically changed since my own parents married in 1958, but staying together hasn’t changed much at all, if at all. Here are a few tips that couples, whether dating, engaged, or married, practice to help keep love alive and strong:

 

1.     Happy Couples Pray Together.

 

Praying together brings significant meaning to a love relationship. It creates a harmony between the man and woman that cannot be found otherwise. By praying with each other, both parties confirm their common goal of getting each other to heaven and strengthen the core of their relationship; love that is built upon the three theological virtues, faith, hope, and charity.

 

One reason why couples might shy away from praying together is the uncomfortable idea of having some kind of hand-holding, “kumbaya,” emotional session (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but it doesn’t have to be that way. It can be going to mass together, saying the rosary together, or reading scripture together. In fact, all of the above suggestions are superior ways to advance your relationship and come to love each other in deeper ways than might have originally been apparent.

 

2.     Happy Couples Are A United Front.

 

If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard a wife or girlfriend ‘dis her man infront of her friends, I’d be a millionaire. Whether it’s a guy complaining to his friends about what he dislikes about his girl, or the woman looking for sympathy or opinions from her friends, it’s just not how men and women in a happy relationship behave.

The goal here is to be a “united front.” It means you play on the same team. You’re not adversaries, your team mates and in order to win, you’ve got to work together. By working out your problems and disagreements exclusively within your relationship, or if necessary, with the help of a spiritual director (not talking about serious problems that involve a marriage and family therapist), a foundation of trust is put firmly in place. Both parties know they can trust the other to come to them if something is wrong and that they won’t look like a fool infront of other people who’ve heard all about what’s going on and might turn it into gossip.

 

3.     Happy Couples Keep No Secrets From Each Other.

 

Seriously, no secrets! The first thing that comes to mind here is Facebook. If you want to build a solid relationship, don’t hide behind a Facebook page and blast your true feelings to everyone except your significant other, let him or her be a part of your Facebook world! Secrecy breeds distrust, but blending your friends and family breeds fun and familiarity.

 

Also, when someone approaches you and asks you to keep a secret, tell them you’re happy to as long as they’re fine knowing your significant other will know, too. This is my standard reply to anyone who prefaces their comments to me with “don’t tell anyone, but…” I promise I will keep the secret from everyone, except my husband, for we have no secrets from each other. But I also promise whoever is asking that he will not tell anyone and I can make that guarantee because he’s proven to me I can trust him.

 

4.     Happy couples treat each other’s parents with respect.

 

This statement might conjure up chuckles from some, but showing parents respect does not mean you believe they are infallible, it means you appreciate them for what they’ve done. It’s a respect that comes from recognizing the parents have raised their child into an adult who has integrity, sincerity, the gift of faith, and a whole host of other virtues that you adore. This is a real accomplishment, and despite any downfalls the parents might have or characteristics you don’t like, raising good children is worthy of praise and respect. And let’s not forget, respecting our parents is the fourth commandment :)

 

These are not the only tips for creating a solid, happy and lasting relationship, but they are a few of the most important. I encourage you to share any tips you know of in the comments section of this article and spread the relationship wealth around.

 

As always, you can reach me at asklisa@catholicmatch.com

(This post has been read 3,177 times)

13 Comments

  1. Matthew-928862 April 1, 2013

    This is definitely not an april fools list! :)

  2. Andre-713286 April 1, 2013

    Great post! thanks for sharing!

  3. Kathy-635104 April 1, 2013

    Excellent on all counts, Lisa!

    Thank you for stating it so succinctly.

  4. Jacqueline-198 April 1, 2013

    Great post and list! The main problem I’m having, is getting to that point during the dating/courtship phase…but…I remain hopeful!!

  5. Sherrill-anne-13557 April 1, 2013

    Excellent recipe.Very important to be in sync , pray together and for each other.

  6. Joe-890299 April 2, 2013

    Hi, young lady; i was tryin’ to come up with a humorous comment to your post, but I can’t cause it’s right on. And I know couples like this.
    P.S. Does my photo here make my butt look big?!

  7. Veronica-674700 April 2, 2013

    thought today we were going to see an April’s fool Blog! :) laughter is missing in this article :)

  8. Anne-445674 April 2, 2013

    Very “on-point” article Lisa. One other thing I’d like to add from good teachings over the years & witnessing it in some good marriages is when you have a disagreement or correction to bring up to the other partner is to take them privately and speak about it. This includes away from the kids, in-laws, friends, & others in hearing range. This kind of goes w/ being on the same ‘team”, too.

  9. Gary-936836 April 2, 2013

    Respect and openness. Definitely good points all around.

  10. Pauline-931463 April 2, 2013

    Great article. I fully agree with this list. Have lived this with my late husband and fully believe that this list works.

  11. Adrienne-113113 April 4, 2013

    Great list, great principles. I’m just not sure I agree with #3 in all circumstances: I wouldn’t necessarily share everything a friend tells me with my husband; the things that she shares with me are her secrets that she trusts with me, not with him.

  12. Phillip H. May 30, 2013

    Notice that money wasn’t one of the most important things! This is a very good article!

  13. Robert-1043428 December 29, 2013

    Wonderful advice, commentary…keep it coming.
    All is greatly appreciated!
    Robert

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