Elizabeth Scalia has her Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas post up. By all means check it out. My favorite recommendation of hers was this little gem…
Also, keeping with the books for a minute, Dr. Gregory Popčak’s classic, Holy Sex!: A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving. It is indeed something special. It is everything the world doesn’t get about Catholic teaching on sex, but it’s funny, warm and — as everyone I have ever talked to about it has said, “just the best”. That’s because it is a most human, and honest and helpful sort of guidebook.
She had some other great ideas there too, including Simcha Fischer’s new book and a new release from Fr. Dwight Longnecker. Check it, thou out.
But while we’re on the subject of resources to make your relationship everything it can be this Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to look up these resources as well!
For Better…FOREVER! A Catholic Guide to Lifelong Marriage. –Every married couple is on a journey…but not every couple is heading in the right direction. Marriage and family therapist Gregory Popcak shows couples where they are on The Relationship Pathway and, more importantly, how to turn things around if they aren’t experiencing the marital bliss they anticipated on their wedding days. He reveals the secrets employed by couples who are in truly exceptional marriages and offers practical suggestions that can help husbands and wives achieve that same level of passionate, sacramental love. Dr. Popcak draws from his extensive experience with real-life couples, studies conducted by numerous authorities on the marital relationship, Catholic philosophy and his own experiences as a husband to teach couples how to get on the road to “happily ever after.”
The Exceptional Seven Percent: Nine Secrets of the World’s Happiest Couples.–If roughly 50 percent of marriages fail, what about the other 50 percent? Are those couples who stay together necessarily happy? No. In fact, many marriages that remain intact are miserable, some are just mediocre, and some are only pretty good. A mere 7 percent are really great–in fact, exceptional.
If less-than-exceptional marriages are formed by men from Mars and women from Venus, what planet do exceptional couples come from? What do exceptional couples know or do that others don’t? And can what they know be taught? Most marriage research and writing has focused on analyzing bad marriages and finding ways to help couples in trouble. This book, on the other hand, looks at the happiest, most successful couples and exposes their secrets so that others can learn and benefit.
The Exceptional Seven Percent is about the rules, attitudes, and behaviors practiced in exceptional marriages, based on solid research, validated by the author’s own professional observations, and ultimately tested in his own marriage with fabulous results. It helps couples take an okay or pretty good marriage and make it extraordinary. Each chapter examines in detail one of the nine basic characteristics of exceptional couples and explains how to make that trait flourish in one’s own marriage. Quizzes and worksheets in each chapter help direct couples to areas in their marriage that need the most work.
The secrets are out–all nine of them. Let the good lovin’ begin!
From Publishers Weekly –With a mature style that is intellectually appealing, Popcak shares his inspiring conviction that marriage can be a powerfully actualizing enterprise. Like Stephen Covey and Abraham Harold Maslow, Popcak focuses on the refinement of peak performance. Offering engaging exercises and checklists to help readers clarify their aims and progress along his theoretical pathway to self-actualization, he challenges conventional couples to recognize how much better their marriage could be with a few attitude adjustments and priority clarifications. Self-improvement aficionados will find his approach a welcome and refreshing addition to the genre.
Just Married: A Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First 5 Years of Marriage.–Recent research shows that now, more than ever, couples doubt their ability to create a marriage that will withstand the test of time. In their newest book, Catholic therapist Greg Popcak and family life coach Lisa Popcak offer their own story and a master plan for creating and sustaining a Catholic marriage that will last a lifetime. Readers will be heartened to see that despite the odds, every couple has the capacity to live happily ever after. They need only commit to learning the critical skills of the first five years of marriage, including: praying together, conflict resolution, stress management, and holy sex.
“I share a deep affinity with the Popcaks and the way they present the faith. Their latest book, Just Married, is loaded with their typical winsome wisdom and advice. They help newly married couples unpack the great mystery of marriage and discover the divine love story that is behind their own. Every married couple–newly married or otherwise–will benefit from this book.”