How Prayer Saved My Marriage by Richard Paul Evan

9 06 2018

My oldest daughter, Jenna, recently said to me, “My greatest fear as a child was that you and mom would get divorced. Then, when I was 12, I decided that you fought so much that maybe it would be better if you did.” Then she added with a smile. “I’m glad you guys figured things out.”

For years, my wife, Keri, and I struggled. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure what initially drew us together, but our personalities didn’t quite match up. And the longer we were married the more extreme the differences seemed. Encountering “fame and fortune” didn’t make our marriage any easier. In fact, it exacerbated our problems. The tension between us got so bad that going out on book tour became a relief, though it seems we always paid for it on re-entry. Our fighting became so constant that it was difficult to even imagine a peaceful relationship. We became perpetually defensive, building emotional fortresses around our hearts. We were on the edge of divorce and more than once we discussed it.

I was on book tour when things came to a head. We had just had another big fight on the phone and Keri had hung up on me. I was alone and lonely, frustrated and angry. I had reached my limit.

That’s when I turned to God. Or turned on God. I don’t know if you could call it prayer—maybe shouting at God isn’t prayer, maybe it is—but whatever I was engaged in I’ll never forget it. I was standing in the shower of the Buckhead, Atlanta, Ritz-Carlton yelling at God that marriage was wrong and I couldn’t do it anymore. As much as I hated the idea of divorce, the pain of being together was just too much. I was also confused. I couldn’t figure out why marriage with Keri was so hard. Deep down I knew that Keri was a good person. And I was a good person. So why couldn’t we get along? Why had I married someone so different than me? Why wouldn’t she change?

Finally, hoarse and broken, I sat down in the shower and began to cry. In the depths of my despair powerful inspiration came to me. You can’t change her, Rick. You can only change yourself. At that moment I began to pray. If I can’t change her, God, then change me. I prayed late into the night. I prayed the next day on the flight home. I prayed as I walked in the door to a cold wife who barely even acknowledged me. That night, as we lay in our bed, inches from each other yet miles apart, the inspiration came. I knew what I had to do.

The next morning I rolled over in bed next to Keri and asked, “How can I make your day better?”
Keri looked at me angrily. “What?”

“How can I make your day better?”

“You can’t,” she said. “Why are you asking that?”

“Because I mean it,” I said. “I just want to know what I can do to make your day better.”

She looked at me cynically.

“You want to do something? Go clean the kitchen.”

She likely expected me to get mad. Instead I just nodded. “Okay.”

I got up and cleaned the kitchen.

The next day I asked the same thing. “What can I do to make your day better?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Clean the garage.”

I took a deep breath. I already had a busy day and I knew she had made the request in spite. I was tempted to blow up at her.

Instead I said, “Okay.” I got up and for the next two hours cleaned the garage. Keri wasn’t sure what to think. The next morning came.

“What can I do to make your day better?”

“Nothing!” she said. “You can’t do anything. Please stop saying that.” “I’m sorry,” I said. “But I can’t.”

I made a commitment to myself. “What can I do to make your day better?” “Why are you doing this?” “Because I care about you,” I said.

“And our marriage.” The next morning I asked again. And the next. And the next. Then, during the second week, a miracle occurred. As I asked the question Keri’s eyes welled up with tears. Then she broke down crying. When she could speak she said, “Please stop asking me that. You’re not the problem. I am. I’m hard to live with. I don’t know why you stay with me.”

I gently lifted her chin until she was looking in my eyes. “It’s because I love you,” I said. “What can I do to make your day better?” “I should be asking you that.” “You should,” I said. “But not now. Right now, I need to be the change. You need to know how much you mean to me.” She put her head against my chest. “I’m sorry I’ve been so mean.” “I love you,” I said. “I love you,” she replied. “What can I do to make your day better?” She looked at me sweetly. “Can we maybe just spend some time together?” I smiled. “I’d like that.” I continued asking for more than a month. And things did change. The fighting stopped. Then Keri began asking, “What do you need from me? How can I be a better wife?”

The walls between us fell. We began having meaningful discussions on what we wanted from life and how we could make each other happier. No, we didn’t solve all our problems. I can’t even say that we never fought again. But the nature of our fights changed. Not only were they becoming more and more rare, they lacked the energy they’d once had. We’d deprived them of oxygen. We just didn’t have it in us to hurt each other anymore.

Keri and I have now been married for more than 30 years. I not only love my wife, I like her. I like being with her. I crave her. I need her. Many of our differences have become strengths and the others don’t really matter. We’ve learned how to take care of each other, and, more importantly, we’ve gained the desire to do so. Marriage is hard. But so is parenthood and keeping fit and writing books and everything else important and worthwhile in my life. To have a partner in life is a remarkable gift. I’ve also learned that the institution of marriage can help heal us of our most unlovable parts. And we all have unlovable parts.

Through time I’ve learned that our experience was an illustration of a much larger lesson about marriage. The question everyone in a committed relationship should ask their significant other is, “What can I do to make your life better?” That is love. Romance novels (and I’ve written a few) are all about desire and happily-ever-after, but happily-ever-after doesn’t come from desire—at least not the kind portrayed in most pulp romances. Real love is not to desire a person, but to truly desire their happiness—sometimes, even, at the expense of our own happiness. Real love is not to make another person a carbon copy of one’s self. It is to expand our own capabilities of tolerance and caring, to actively seek another’s well being. All else is simply a charade of self-interest.

I’m not saying that what happened to Keri and me will work for everyone. I’m not even claiming that all marriages should be saved. But for me, I am incredibly grateful for the inspiration that came to me that day so long ago. I’m grateful that my family is still intact and that I still have my wife, my best friend, in bed next to me when I wake in the morning. And I’m grateful that even now, decades later, every now and then, one of us will still roll over and say, “What can I do to make your day better.” Being on either side of that question is something every married person should have as a goal.
Shalom





​The world is lying to us and to our children,  says Dr. Hahn

3 09 2017

“Just recently I was listening to this expert therapist on radio,  Dr. Ruth telling a 15yrs old boy who had called in to tell her that he was having sex with his 14 yrs old girlfriend and all she could ask him was, ‘is it safe sex? ‘” 
” I felt like shouting,’ Woman,  tell him to save sex for marriage!!'”

“When he told her that he was using some kind of contraception and she crackled , ” Oh that is so good ‘” 

 “I was like, ‘Woman,  he is a 15yrs old fornicating with a 14 yrs old.” 

“When I was 15,” continued Dr Hahn, “Canbery soup was  good,  not fornication!”   

“When he told her, he was using contraception,  she said that was great!”

” No it’s not, “said Dr. Hahn,  “When I was 14, flakes were great,  not contracepted fornication.” 

“Our kids are being lied to.  Sex isn’t good,  it’s not even great.  IT IS SACRED.” 

With these and many more stories,  Dr. Scott Hahn inspires  us  on how to  build  successful families. 


 “World Congress of Families, 2015”





 About to End  My Marriage,  I discovered How to Make my Husband Love me by  Kathy Murray 

6 07 2017


Californian Kathy Murray says she saved her marriage by giving up trying to control her husband. Despite considering herself a feminist, she follows – and now teaches others – the approach of a controversial book called The Surrendered Wife, which tells women to stop nagging their partners and start treating them with more respect.

The first time I married I was divorced by 26. I married for the second time at 32 but soon found myself sleeping in the guest room. My husband and I fought all the time.

Much of our fighting stemmed from the fact I thought my husband was clueless when it came to raising the children (we had four children between us aged from four to nine years old). We also quarrelled about how to manage our finances, and how often we made love.

I was working full-time as chief finance officer for a private school and also volunteered at my kids’ school and in my community. My husband was a sales rep for a construction company but I was the breadwinner and acted like I was in charge.

I didn’t tell anyone I was in constant conflict with my husband. I was embarrassed, angry and resentful.

The six principles of being a ‘Surrendered Wife’

Relinquishes inappropriate control of her husband. Respects her husband’s thinking. Receives his gifts graciously and expresses gratitude for him. Expresses what she wants without trying to control him. Relies on him to handle household finances. Focuses on her own self-care and fulfilment

My husband often resorted to watching TV and snuggling with our pets as I’d rage at him over ignoring my needs. I mean all men want sex right? Not my husband. He wanted nothing to do with me. It was awful.

The more I told my husband how he should be, the less he’d try. I couldn’t figure it out so I dragged him to marriage counselling. But that only made things worse, so we sent our children to counselling since they too bore the brunt of so much of our conflict. That didn’t work either.

So I went to counselling by myself and complained about my husband for more than a year. Spending thousands of dollars, only to find myself nearer divorce than when I started.

I’d cry, fight, yell and pout, thinking he would eventually come around, but he didn’t. I lost weight, went to the gym and started getting attention from men which was tempting to act on, but I knew I couldn’t do that, so I’d play the victim card and sulk. That didn’t work either.

I was about to end my marriage when I picked up a book called The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle. I mean, they don’t teach us how to be successful in marriage in school and the women in my life didn’t share the secrets either.

It was incredibly humbling to recognise that I had something to do with why my marriage was failing and perhaps even why my first marriage failed. But it was also empowering.

I didn’t know I’d been disrespectful to my husband or even that I’d been controlling and critical.

I thought I was being helpful and logical. I just didn’t know that respect for men is like oxygen, so no wonder my husband was no longer interested in me sexually.

I’ll never forget the day I first apologised to my husband for being rude for correcting him in front of the children, or the day I said “whatever you think” when I’d previously been extremely opinionated about what he should do.

I had trained my husband to ask my permission for everything. And then complained about it for a year in counselling that he couldn’t make simple decisions!

I relinquished control of my husband’s life, choices and decisions and instead I focused on my own happiness. I was no longer acting like his mother and started acting like his lover.

We were fighting less and less and my husband started reaching out to hold my hand or pull me in for a kiss.

I had no idea that I was responsible for my own happiness. I thought my husband should make me happy.

I’ve now found subtle ways of getting my husband in the mood for sex, which is far more effective than the days of begging, crying or yelling about wanting it. Even if I’m not in the mood and he is, I often find myself getting in the mood just by being open to receiving pleasure.

My kids began to notice the change in our relationship too, and as a result, their behaviour improved and our home became peaceful and fun again.

Women often ask me if my approach is about dumbing myself down or becoming a submissive wife. I tell them I am a feminist. Surrendering is acknowledging you can’t change or control anyone but yourself. That’s empowering!

​http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37861459





My Advice to Every Married Woman to avoid Divorcing her Husband by Joyce Meyer

17 03 2017

A GOOD WOMAN, MAKES A GOOD WIFE AND A GOOD WIFE BECOMES A GOOD MOTHER.

A GOOD MOTHER GIVES BIRTH TO A GOOD CHILD. IF YOU WANT TO BE ONE EMULATE THESE STEPS BELLOW:
1). Never raise your voice for any reason to your husband. Its a sign of disrespect.
2). Don’t expose your husband’s weaknesses to your family and friends. It will bounce back at you. You are each other’s keeper.
3). Never use attitudes and moods to communicate to your husband, you never know how your husband will interpret

them. Defensive women don’t have a happy home.
4). Never compare your husband to other men, you’ve no idea what their life is all about. If you attack his Ego, his Love for you will diminish.
5). Never ill treat your husband’s friends because you don’t like them, the person who’s supposed to get rid of them is your husband.
6). Never forget that your husband married you, not your maid or anyone else. Do your duties.
7). Never assign anyone to give attention to your husband, people may do everything else but your husband is your own responsibility.
8). Never blame your husband if he comes back home empty handed. Rather encourage him.
9). Never be a wasteful wife, your husband’s sweat is too precious to be wasted.
10). Never pretend to be sick for the purpose of denying your husband’s right. You must give it to him how he wants it. It’s very important to Men, if you keep denying him, it is a matter of time before another woman takes over that duty. No man can withstand on starvation for too long (even the anointed

ones)
11). Never compare your husband to your one time Ex-lover. Your home may Never recover from it if you do.
12). Never answer for your husband in public opinion polls, let him handle what is directed to him although he may answer for you in public opinion polls.
13). Never shout or challenge your husband in front of children. Wise Women don’t do that.
14). Don’t forget to check the smartness of your husband before he checks out.
15). Never allow your friends to be too close to your husband.
16). Never be in a hurry in the bathroom and on the dressing table. Out there your husband is always surrounded by women who took their time on their looks.
17). Your parents or family or friends do not have the final say in your marriage. Don’t waste your time looking up to them for a final word. You must Leave if you want to Cleave.
18). Never base your love on monetary things. Will you still submit to him even if you earn more money than him?
19). Don’t forget that husbands want attention and good listeners, never be too busy for him. Good communication is the bed rock of every happy home.
20). If your idea worked better than his, never compare yourself to him. Its always team work.
21). Don’t be too judgmental to your husband. No man wants a Nagging wife.
22). A lazy wife is a careless wife. She doesn’t even know that her body needs a bath.
23). Does your husband like a kind of cooked food? Try to change your cooking. No man jokes with food.
24). Never be too demanding to your husband, enjoy every moment, resource as it comes.
25). Make a glass of water the very first welcome to your husband and everyone entering your home. Sweetness of attitude is true beauty.
26). Don’t associate with women who have a wrong mental attitude about marriage.
27). Your marriage is as valuable to you as the value that you give it. Recklessness is unacceptable.
28) A confrontational wife, can never keep a good husband and her home, she will be grooming irresponsible daughters without manners.
29) A woman who cannot manage her children, home and  husband is a complete failure in life no matter her achievements.
30) A wise woman honors her husband, and respect him, in turn the husband will cherish her and love her dearly – it will be natural. Husband is a beautiful gift from God, no woman can stay without a husband. No good man on earth can tolerate a confrontational and argumentative wife except they have lost their value and become less of a real man.
31). Fruit of the womb is a blessing from the Lord, love your children and teach them well.
32). You are never too old to influence your home. Never reduce your care for your family for any reason.
33). A prayerful wife is very wise and intelligent and she  is a  better equipped wife, pray always for your husband and family. Conquer all your challenges and problems with prayers, only God can solve our problems – not parent, not pastors, not imams or alfas, not anybody but, only you and God.
Send it to every woman you know. You never know whose marriage you are about to save. And to every man so that the women in their lives can be better guided.





13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married By ELEANOR STANFORD

4 07 2016

Man Consoling Girlfriend

When it comes to marriage, what you don’t know really can hurt you.

Whether because of shyness, lack of interest or a desire to preserve romantic mystery, many couples do not ask each other the difficult questions that can help build the foundation for a stable marriage, according to relationship experts.

In addition to wanting someone with whom they can raise children and build a secure life, those considering marriage now expect their spouses to be both best friend and confidant. These romantic-comedy expectations, in part thanks to Hollywood, can be difficult to live up to.

Sure, there are plenty of questions couples can ask of each other early in the relationship to help ensure a good fit, but let’s face it: most don’t.

“If you don’t deal with an issue before marriage, you deal with it while you’re married,” said Robert Scuka, the executive director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement. It can be hard to keep secrets decade after decade, and reticence before the wedding can lead to disappointments down the line.

The following questions, intimate and sometimes awkward, are designed to spark honest discussions and possibly give couples a chance to spill secrets before it’s too late.

1. Did your family throw plates, calmly discuss issues or silently shut down when disagreements arose?
A relationship’s success is based on how differences are dealt with, said Peter Pearson, a founder of the Couples Institute. As we are all shaped by our family’s dynamic, he said, this question will give you insight into whether your partner will come to mimic the conflict resolution patterns of his or her parents or avoid them.

2. Will we have children, and if we do, will you change diapers?
With the question of children, it is important to not just say what you think your partner wants to hear, according to Debbie Martinez, a divorce and relationship coach. Before marrying, couples should honestly discuss if they want children. How many do they want? At what point do they want to have them? And how do they imagine their roles as parents?

3. Will our experiences with our exes help or hinder us?
Bradford Wilcox, the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, pointed to research his organization has sponsored that indicated that having had many serious relationships can pose a risk for divorce and lower marital quality. (This can be because of a person having more experience with serious breakups and potentially comparing a current partner unfavorably with past ones.) Raising these issues early on can help, Dr. Wilcox said. Dr. Klein said people are “hesitant to explicitly talk about their past” and can feel retroactively jealous or judgmental. “The only real way to have those conversations in an intimate and productive way and loving way is to agree to accept that the other person had a life before the couple,” he said.

4. How important is religion? How will we celebrate religious holidays, if at all?
If two people come from different religious backgrounds, is each going to pursue his or her own religious affiliation? Dr. Scuka has worked with couples on encouraging honest discussion around this issue as the executive director of the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement. What is more, spouses are especially likely to experience conflict over religious traditions when children are added to the mix, according to Dr. Wilcox. If the couple decide to have children, they must ask how the children’s religious education will be handled. It is better to have a plan, he said.

5. Is my debt your debt? Would you be willing to bail me out?
It’s important to know how your partner feels about financial self-sufficiency and whether he or she expects you to keep your resources separate, said Frederick Hertz, a divorce lawyer. Disclosing debts is very important. Equally, if there is a serious discrepancy between your income and your partner’s, Dr. Scuka recommended creating a basic budget according to proportional incomes. Many couples fail to discuss sharing finances, though it is crucial, he said.

6. What’s the most you would be willing to spend on a car, a couch, shoes?
Couples should make sure they are on the same page in terms of financial caution or recklessness. Buying a car is a great indicator, according to Mr. Hertz. Couples can also frame this question around what they spend reckless amounts of money on, he said.
7. Can you deal with my doing things without you?

Going into marriage, many people hope to keep their autonomy in certain areas of their life at the same time they are building a partnership with their spouse, according to Seth Eisenberg, the president of Pairs (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills). This means they may be unwilling to share hobbies or friends, and this can lead to tension and feelings of rejection if it isn’t discussed. Couples may also have different expectations as to what “privacy” means, added Dr. Klein, and that should be discussed, too. Dr. Wilcox suggested asking your partner when he or she most needs to be alone.

8. Do we like each other’s parents?
As long as you and your partner present a united front, having a bad relationship with your in-laws can be manageable, Dr. Scuka said. But if a spouse is not willing to address the issue with his or her parents, it can bode very poorly for the long-term health of the relationship, he said. At the same time, Dr. Pearson said, considering the strengths and weaknesses of your parents can illuminate future patterns of attachment or distancing in your own relationship.

9. How important is sex to you?
Couples today expect to remain sexually excited by their spouse, an expectation that did not exist in the past, according to Mr. Eisenberg. A healthy relationship will include discussion of what partners enjoy about sex as well as how often they expect to have it, Dr. Klein said. If people are looking to experience different things through sex — pleasure versus feeling young, for example — some negotiation may be required to ensure both partners remain satisfied.

10. How far should we take flirting with other people? Is watching pornography O.K.?
Dr. Klein said couples should discuss their attitudes about pornography, flirting and expectations for sexual exclusivity. A couple’s agreement on behavior in this area can, and most likely will, change down the line, he said, but it is good to set the tone early on so both partners are comfortable discussing it. Ideally, sexual exclusivity should be talked about in the same way as other day-to-day concerns, so that problems can be dealt with before a partner becomes angry, he said. Dr. Pearson suggested asking your partner outright for his or her views on pornography. Couples are often too scared to ask about this early in the relationship, but he has frequently seen it become a point of tension down the line, he said.

11. Do you know all the ways I say “I love you”?
Gary Chapman’s 1992 book, “The 5 Love Languages,” introduced this means of categorizing expressions of love to strengthen a marriage. Ms. Martinez hands her premarriage clients a list of the five love languages: affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. She asks them to mark their primary and secondary languages and what they think is their partner’s, and discuss them. Mr. Eisenberg said that a couple needs to work out how to nurture the relationship, in a way specific to them.

12. What do you admire about me, and what are your pet peeves?
Can you imagine the challenges ever outweighing the admiration? If so, what would you do? Anne Klaeysen, a leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, said that couples rarely consider that second question. Ideally, marriage is a life commitment, she said, and it’s not enough to just “click together,” as many couples describe their relationship. A marriage must go deeper than that original “click.”

13. How do you see us 10 years from now?
Keeping the answer to this question in mind can help a couple deal with current conflict as they work toward their ultimate relationship goals, according to Mr. Eisenberg.

Dr. Wilcox said this discussion could also be an opportunity to raise the question of whether each partner will consider divorce if the relationship deteriorates, or whether they expect marriage to be for life, come what may.

Credit The NewYorkTimes





Saving Your Marriage by Healing Selfishness

23 06 2016

Saving marriage by healing selfishness

Recently the New York Times ran an opinion piece by popular philosopher Alain de Botton, Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person. It was widely shared and sat at the top of  The Times’ “most viewed” list for nearly two weeks. De Botton argued that the solution to marital unhappiness and divorce is to expect less happiness from marriage. In other words, swapping romanticism for pessimism can save marriages.

In a follow-up debate this week six pundits opine on Knowing When a Marriage Is Over – a pessimistic premise to be sure, and all of them accept that there will be circumstances (other than abuse) where it will be reasonable to say, “It’s over.” It comes down to “what you want”. Significantly, children are barely mentioned.

But as psychiatrist Dr Richard Fitzgibbons notes below, the welfare of children is a key reason for trying to save marriages. And this is possible because the underlying causes of conflict between spouses can be brought to light and healed – again, if “you want”. Not all optimism is merely romantic, just as pessimism is not necessarily realistic.

* * * * *

Today marriage and family life are being severely traumatized by the divorce epidemic, the explosion of selfishness which is the major enemy of marital love, and failure to understand and address serious emotional conflicts. Around one million children a year in the United States are victimised by divorce. (See my chapter, “Children of Divorce: Conflicts and Healing” in M. McCarthy (ed) Torn Asunder: Children, the Myth of Good Divorce, and the Recovery of Origins – due out in August).

The toll from marital conflicts can be severe and debilitating.  Selfishness, excessive anger and behaviours that are controlling, emotionally distant and mistrustful cause grave harm to spouses and children. The loyal spouses who are victimized are often incorrectly blamed as being the primary cause of the marital conflict. These conflicts and their resolution through growth in virtues are rarely addressed in the mental health literature on marriage.

Origins of serious emotional conflicts

In my experience the spouse that initiates divorce often has the most serious psychological difficulties.  These are often unconscious wounds they have brought into the marriage.  They arise primarily from hurts in the father relationship and secondarily from hurts in the mother relationship, or from giving into selfishness.

These unresolved are on the periphery of the deep goodness in each spouse, the goodness that led to strong love, commitment and marital vows.  When they are resolved, trust grows and love is regularly rediscovered.

Confusion about the nature of marriage

An understanding of the nature of marriage is also essential to safeguarding marital love. At the present time, there are two markedly different views on the marriage. Sociologist Dr Brad Wilcox refers to them as the traditional Judeo-Christian view of marriage and the more prevalent psychological view. (Wilcox, B. (2009). The Evolution of Divorce)

In the latter, the primary obligation is not to one’s spouse and family but to one’s self and one’s own happiness and sense of fulfillment.  Hence, marital success is defined not by successfully fulfilling one’s responsibilities to a spouse and children.  It is characterized by a strong sense of subjective happiness in marriage, usually to be found in material comfort and through an intense, emotional relationship with one’s spouse and others.

Virtues, anger and forgiveness

The role of virtues has been viewed in Western Civilization as being essential in the development of a healthy personality.  The mental health field has grown recently to appreciate this approach and a new field, positive psychology, has developed – notably by Dr Martin Seligman and colleagues. (Seligman, M. & Peterson, C. 2004.Character Strengths and Virtues) Positive psychology promotes the development of virtues to address and resolve cognitive, emotional, behavioural and personality conflicts, including those in marriage.

My own particular contribution to this new field is in the use of forgiveness in treating the excessive anger that is present in most psychiatric disorders and in marital conflicts. This subject is treated in detail in a book I co-authored with Dr Robert Enright, Helping Clients Forgive: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope, published by the American Psychological Association in 2000. (A second edition was published in 2014 with the title, Forgiveness Therapy: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope.)

Uncovering conflicts

The first challenge in the healing process is to acquire self-knowledge about one’s weaknesses, most often unconscious and hidden, so that they can be addressed. My own clinical experience is supported by research that demonstrates that 70 percent of adult psychological conflicts are the result of unresolved issues from childhood.

Most spouses do not deliberately set out to hurt the person they have vowed to honor and love all the days of their lives. Instead, they inflict painful wounds and even divorce because of their “baggage”/family of origin conflicts, giving in to selfishness or loss of faith.

The good news is that selfishness, excessive anger; mistrustful, controlling and emotionally distant behaviors, loneliness and insecurity, and the poor communication patterns that harm many marriages can be correctly identified and in many marriages resolved, especially if there is a faith component in the healing process.

Starting with singles

But we also have to prevent marital conflict and divorce by educating young adults about how the most common relationship stresses can be uncovered and resolved. Singles can then be more hopeful about having a successful marriage, and the retreat from marriage – itself partly attributable to the experience of divorce in families – can be reversed.

In particular young adults need to become more aware of selfishness, because it is of epidemic proportions in today’s culture and is a major reason for the retreat from marriage. This is a task awaiting parents, pastors and others involved in the education and formation of young people.

Dr Richard Fitzgibbons is the director of Comprehensive Counselling Services in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. He has practiced psychiatry for 40 years with a specialty in the treatment of excessive anger. Further information at: Institute for Marital Healing





Sexual Chemistry by Janet Smith

1 06 2016

sexual chemistry

This blurb from Elle, a woman’s fashion magazine, advises that “For years Prozac and the pill have given women emotional stability and sexual freedom, but new research suggests that these drugs can negatively affect everything from our sex drive to our choice of a mate.” This article reports that contraceptives and antidepressants both reduce a woman’s sex drive and also change their perception of males.
Why are women taking these antidepressants? One of the side effects of the pill is depression. So doctors try to combat the effects of the pill by prescribing antidepressant. But antidepressants also reduce a woman’s sex drive. So a woman is taking the contraceptive pill to help her have sex and supposedly be happier and then taking an antidepressant because she’s taking a pill that causes depression. And she’s not any happier and she doesn’t even want to have sex.
What they’re also discovering is that when women go off of the pill, they’re no longer interested in the man that they’re with. They picked him when they were in the state of pseudo-pregnancy. There was another video featured on NBC10.com called “The Divorce Pill”. It reported that women who go off the pill have a higher sex drive than they had when they were on the pill, but they’re no longer interested in the man they are with; they chose him under the influence of the pseudo pregnancy hormones in their bodies. I suspect there is more to the story than that. I suspect that many of these women are going off the pill because they want to have a baby. When a woman decides to have a baby she starts looking at guys with a whole different set of eyes. Is this man going to be a good father to my children?
As a matter of fact, don’t be too impressed if someone comes up to you and says I want to have sex with you. That’s a saying that’s not particularly flattering. But if someone comes up to you and says I want you to be the parent of my children, fall over. That’s a marriage proposal. And a marriage proposal is one of the most incredible things that anybody’s ever said to another person. A marriage proposal means, I want someone with your eyes, your laugh, the way you walk and most importantly your values. I’m going to trust my children to you. A lot of people have sex with people, but they won’t entrust their children to them.
How many people in our culture court and get married with the view towards having a child? How many choose a spouse because that spouse will be a good parent? I tell my students when dating to consider whether the person they are interested in would be a good parent; that person will also make a good spouse, for good parents are generous and responsible and hardworking, and such are the qualities that make for a good spouse.
One of my former students who had been a good Catholic went off to graduate school, became completely infatuated with a young man and started having sex with him. She realized that she was very confused and it wasn’t right. She stopped have sex with him but was still crazy about him. It was an incredibly passionate relationship, though not sexual. He was a very lapsed Catholic and in fact, hated the church. She remained in the relationship for about five or six years. At one point I said either you have to marry him or you have to break up. She said she was still crazy about him and didn’t think she could imagine finding another man that fascinates her as much as he did. But, she said, “I don’t want him to be the father of my children. I want to raise my kids catholic. He hates the church. I can’t have children with him.” I recommended that she write those words down and look at them and see what conclusions she ought to draw. She soon broke up with him and a few years later met and married a wonderful, fascinating man and started a family.








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