Are Your Committing These 2 Relationship-Killing Habits?

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When you have a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you withdraw like a turtle into its shell? Or perhaps you expect your partner to be a mind reader about what ticks you off?  Those aretwo of the most common types of disengagement in relationships, and both can be harmful, but in different ways and for different reasons, says researcher Keith Sanford, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience in Baylor University's College of Arts & … [Read more...]

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Surprise! 2 Things Happy Relationships and Christmas Have in Common

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If you had to pick two qualities that characterize the spirit of Christmas, you could hardly do better than kindness and generosity.It turns out that kindness and generosity are the two qualities that, more than any other, distinguish happy couples from the also-rans.   New research by the Gottman Relationship Institute says that happy couples exhibit significantly higher degrees of kindness and generosity than less happy couples.  Of course, you might be tempted to say "Well, that's o … [Read more...]

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For Better or Worse: You’ll Be Surprised at These 4 Ways Marriage Changes You!

We all know that marriage changes us, but new research in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships looks at exactly how that process happens and the specific changes we can expect to see based on the way we respond to the ups and downs of married life.  According to the study, there are 4 ways couples change as a result of their marriage, two of which are positive and two are negative.Positive Marital ChangesSelf-Expansion:  Is the tendency to develop new, positive qualities (e. … [Read more...]

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Pope Francis & Pope Emeritus Benedict Agree on Annulments

From a recent interview with Pope Francis.The family is so beaten up, young people don´t get married. What´s the problem? When they finally come to get married, having already moved in together, we think it´s enough to offer them three talks to get them ready for marriage. But it´s not enough because the great majority are unaware of the meaning of a lifetime commitment. Benedict said it twice in his last year, that we should take this into account in order to grant nullity, each person´s fai … [Read more...]

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Holy Sex in the Huffington Post

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 My book, Holy Sex! A Catholic Guide to Toe-Curling, Mind-Blowing, Infallible Loving got a mention in an article over at the Huffington Post.   "Sexier Religious Holidays:  11 Sugarplums of Wisdom."Apparently, I am the 10th sugarplum (just as I always suspected ;-). … [Read more...]

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“My Sister, My Bride”–6 Reasons Why Catholics MUST Marry Their Best Friend

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Taking a cue from the classic rom-com, When Harry Met Sally,  an article at RealClearReligion.com argues that husbands and wives should not expect to be each other's best friend.   The author, Mark Judge, writes,"I married my best friend."  You often hear this said, from new brides to celebrities. Even the President of the United States says he married his best friend.  As nice at it may seem, a man should not marry his best friend. He should marry his wife, who should understand that she is … [Read more...]

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What Douthat & Martin Miss: Reflections on the Ongoing Synod Discussion

NYT columnist, Ross Douthat,  and America Editor-at-Large, Fr. Jim Martin, are having a very interesting conversation about the fallout from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.  I applaud them on their civility, but I do think they are missing some important points.So Who Asked You, Anyway?Although they haven't asked my opinion, I did want to offer a few thoughts because as a full-time marriage and family minister who has written more than 20 books promoting the Catholic vision of m … [Read more...]

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Turn Your Marriage Around with this 1 Important Habit

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In my new book, When Divorce is Not an Option:  How to Heal Your Marriage and Nurture Lasting Love,  I reveal the research that describes the 8 basic habits that separate happy couples from unhappy ones.  Happy couples aren't so much lucky or born to be happy, they cultivate certain habits that any couple can learn.One of those habits I call "emotional rapport and benevolence."  In other words, happy couples make a point of stepping outside of their comfort zone to demonstrate real interest i … [Read more...]

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