Just Married by Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak

Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of MarriageJust Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage by Gregory K. Popcak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is now the book I’m going to give newlyweds. I wish we’d had it when we got married. I wasn’t religious at all then and my husband was not a practicing Catholic. Nevertheless, I stand by that. It would have helped us tremendously.

I don’t like self-help books generally but this one is spot-on for issues that we’ve encountered in our 30 years of marriage and after helping with our parish’s marriage retreat for seven years.

Greg and Lisa Popcak are at very good putting issues in a way that both opens our eyes and makes us want to do better. These three tidbits were in the same section, although not connected by the authors in the way I’m going to do below. They are a sample of what stayed with me from the book. And, to be honest, they stayed with me months after I read the book.

The biggest contributor to marital problems and, eventually, marital breakdown is that husbands and wives tend to love their own comfort zones more than they love each other.

Ow. Recognize anyone? I did. In the mirror.

With that in mind, consider this.

The fact that marriage is a sacrament means, at least in part, that marriage is all about getting you and your spouse out of your comfort zones in order to create a unified couple.

Woah. That elevates our marriage and my feelings about my place in it. It’s more important than just me and my husband.

And now, to the practicalities.

Learning to love your spouse more than you love your comfort zone means being willing to be loving to your spouse in ways that make absolutely no sense to you but mean everything to your mate.

Ok. It doesn’t have to make sense. And that in itself, in a funny way, does make sense.

Make no mistake. This is a self-help style book. It has lists, it has exercises, it has “Lisa says” and “Greg says,” and so forth and so on.

However, also make no mistake about this: it’s a treasure for every newly married couple and for those who have been married much longer. Definitely recommended.

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