What’s Up With All Those Catholic “Rules” About Marriage?

My latest for OSV Newsweekly...I recently received the following question about the Church’s requirements for weddings and marriages:“My girlfriend is a Protestant, and her mother recently asked her a question that I haven’t been able to find much information on. She asked, ‘Why can’t a Protestant and a Catholic have a Protestant marriage recognized by the Catholic Church?’ My understanding is with the proper dispensation, it is possible. I couldn’t really explain, though, why a dispe … [Read more...]

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Twice As Much Sex Makes Relationships About Half As Good.

Sorry, guys.CARNEGIE MELLON RESEARCHERS FIND MORE SEX DOESN'T LEAD TO INCREASED HAPPINESSBy Shilo ReaCountless research and self-help books claim that having more sex will lead to increased happiness, based on the common finding that those having more sex are also happier. However, there are many reasons why one might observe this positive relationship between sex and happiness. Being happy in the first place, for example, might lead someone to have more sex (what researchers call … [Read more...]

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Antidepressants for a Bad Marriage Yield Depressing Results.

New research shows that doctors regularly diagnose patients as "depressed" when they complain about marital and relationship problems.  The problem is, being sad about a bad marriage isn't depression, and anti-depressants can't treat marital woes.From PsychCentralNew research finds that psychiatrists nearly always respond with prescriptions for antidepressants when clients complain of bad marriages.The medical definition of depression does not support the assumption that people stru … [Read more...]

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Q&A: WHY DO CATHOLICS HAVE SO MANY STUPID RULES ABOUT MARRIAGE & WEDDINGS?

It's wedding season and the following  question popped up on a Facebook thread I participated in. There were a lot of solid responses offered, but the questioner mentioned that he felt my response made the most sense to him, so I thought I would share the interaction.QUESTION:  My girlfriend is a Protestant and her mother recently asked her a question that I haven't been able to find much information on. She asked, "Why can't a Protestant and a Catholic have a Protestant marriage recognized b … [Read more...]

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Why Isn’t Married Sex “Hot”? And Should It Be?

At PsychCentral, Dr. Linda Hatch has a thought provoking article that gets at the heart of the difference I draw in my book,  Holy Sex! , between eroticism, which is sex that is hyper-focused on pleasure to the exclusion of intimacy, and what I call "Holy Sex", which sees pleasure as the fruit of the emotionally and spiritually intimacy that a couple cultivates in a marriage.  She says,Hot sex is the sugar high of sexuality. It is sex that is amped up to a heightened level by some form of fe … [Read more...]

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Think Fast!–What Marriage Can Teach Us About Lent (and it’s not what you think!)

Check out this great post by Jacob Popcak of JHP MinistryWhat pictures come to mind when you hear the word, “fasting”? What about, “penance”? Perhaps you envision the grumpy monk, self-flagellating in some medieval chamber. Or perhaps you see the pious holier-than-thou, starving herself out of some sense of personal loathing. As citizens of the 21st Century, it’s very likely that you envision something at least similar to what I’m describing. Because of these associations, I always had a rea … [Read more...]

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Do YOU Have What It Takes? 4 Promises That Lead to a Happier Marriage

Celebrate National Marriage Week with FaithontheCouch as we explore what it takes to live a more loving, joyful, grace-filled marriage!Do You Have What it Takes to Get to "Happily Ever After?"Almost every newly married couple has two things in common.  First, they are deeply in love with each other and rightly excited about the lives they are building together.  They are passionate about each other, and hopeful about a bright future filled with blessings.  But second, underneath that mu … [Read more...]

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“Quit Being A Nag!” –Are You Harping? Or Just Seeking Respect.

How do you know when it's OK to keep bringing something up?As a marriage and family therapist, hardly a day goes by when I don't hear a wife ask if she is  "being a nag" or hear a husband accuse a wife of the same.  (Curiously, I rarely hear husbands worry about this or hear wives accuse husbands of this "crime.")Nagging Defined.To be fair, there are times when a person can be a nag.  For instance, if you have articulated a concern or need to your spouse and they are actively working … [Read more...]

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