Love & Marriage

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The resources section of the Dads4Kids website is a forum for Dads to be able to express themselves and encourage other dads. Mothers contribute resources as well. The opinions of the various writers in this section are not necessarily the opinion of Dads4Kids. Read More

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  • marriage junkie

Confessions of a Marriage Junkie

I have a confession to make. I’m a ‘marriage junkie’. Before I go any further let me warn you: this is a blast from the past in more ways than one. You see, I have written about this before, and I wish I could say I am getting better, but it is not the case. So why am I a ...

  • mystery

Romance and Mystery

One of the things that makes a new romance so exciting and attractive is the element of uncertainty: Is this person really interested in me? Will this person really be the one I’ve longed for? We can all relate to the thrill of the start-up relationship where the other is essentially still a stranger and quite mysterious to us. Where ...

  • fight fair

How to Fight Fair

‘Shhhh… not in front of the kids!’ We’ve all been there: In the car with a captive audience… or at the dinner table. An argument erupts and the question is: do you save it for later? Or just let it all out in front of the kids? Studies conducted at the University of Rochester, NY, found that it’s okay for ...

  • intentional

Making Marriage Last is All in the Intention

No matter how easy it may seem to fall in love, staying in love requires attention and effort. We all start out in marriage bright in hope and full of brimming love. Yet rarely do those wonderful, euphoric experiences of early love persist unabated; for many of us, disillusionment creeps its way into our consciousness as our natural selfishness and ...

  • life-long

Restoring Hope in Life-Long Marriage

There’s a curious thing that happens when a divorce touches a community. Where once parents, friends and siblings believed in the power of love and the permanency of marriage, confidence gives way to cynicism and uncertainty. Instead of believing that children do best when living in the same home with both their parents, we find ourselves saying: “The most important ...

  • freedom from the past

When History Repeats, Choose Freedom

We remember sitting with a young couple who were locked in combat. She was prone to reactive outbursts and he was mystified as to what he was doing to trigger it. As we probed her about her family of origin, the penny dropped: she was repeating a relationship pattern that she had established with her mother. With this new insight, ...

  • don't judge

Too Hasty to Judge

In the age of instant news, judgment falls hastily. In marriage also, we are often quick to judge each other. Like most couples, over thirty-plus years of marriage, we’ve had quite a few misunderstandings. Sadly, many of these escalated to painful arguments where hurtful things were said, and our unity was damaged. The reason? We were too quick to judge. ...

  • mothers - quality time

TIME – The Currency of Relationships

There’s an old adage in the world of parenting advice: Kids spell LOVE as T.I.M.E. Kids don’t need things nearly much as they need a parent’s attention and availability. It’s a classic mistake that we make all too often; we give them stuff we’ve bought instead of the thing they most need from us -- our interest and investment in ...

  • experience

Experience is Not Always the Best Teacher

Lots of people think that dating (and being sexually intimate) with a number of different people before marriage is an essential part of forming a successful union. But is this kind of  ‘experience’ the best way to prepare for marriage? A lot of people think that having a few failed relationships is helpful in preparing them for marriage. Some even ...

  • better day

How Can I Make Your Day Better?

I read a blog post recently from a husband who brought his marriage back from the brink with this one simple, daily habit. Each morning he asked his wife: how can I make your day better? The wife was suspicious at first and deliberately gave him tedious and demanding tasks, like cleaning out the garage, a task that took many ...

  • autopilot

The Autopilot Marriage

Crammed schedules, kids to care for, a demanding boss, the ever-present television. No wonder our attentiveness to our couple relationship erodes over time, leaving us with less connection, less spark, and less intimacy. Without an active, intentional mindset, most contemporary marriages end up on ‘autopilot’. During courtship, our relationship is central in our awareness and the rest of our lives ...

  • ritual

The Power of Ritual

Routines can be very useful in keeping our lives purposeful and organised. Rituals are like routines with one important difference -- they have positive emotional meaning. Rituals connect us with others by providing a focus or activity that enables us to interact together in an enjoyable and meaningful way. Almost anything can become a ritual when we make the relationship ...

  • couples

How Senior Couples Make Marriage Better

In a culture that glorifies youth and sanctions the euthanising of the sick and elderly, it’s easy to lose sight of the gift of seniors. Here are three ways that senior couples make marriage better for all of us. Earlier this year, Pope Francis released a series of homilies on the elderly. Each one explores a theme based on a ...

  • rock

Being the Rock

While much in the way of traditional gender roles has shifted in modern times, most women I know still want a man who can be the rock in the relationship. But just what does being the rock entail? I asked this question in the Community, and this is what a few of the men had to say: Jamie said: “To me, ...

  • better

Going From Good To Better

Marital health is about more than minimising conflict. If we want to go from ‘good’ to ‘better’, we need to capitalise on the positives. Most marriage counselling and education focuses on conflict and incompatibility. It seeks to help couples find constructive ways of dealing with challenges in the relationship. It’s a ‘damage control’ approach that seeks to minimise the impact ...

  • knowledge

Knowing What to Love

You can’t love what you don’t know. This saying has profoundly influenced our marriage and our faith. About once a decade, we book tickets to the opera in the expectation of a romantic date night brimming with artistic delight. We have to confess though, we usually come home vaguely disappointed. Not being particularly musical, we don’t understand the technical expertise. ...

  • change

Making a Change for the Better

Change is difficult. It can also be complicated. Despite our best intentions, sustained change often eludes us. We’ve had many spouses tell us that their husband or wife promised to change, and things were good for a while, but then there was a relapse. Their good intentions were not enough to sustain their energy for change. So what can we ...

  • marriage

Let’s Stick Together

“For an increasing number of long-term marriages, it’s no longer a case of ‘until death do us part,’ it’s a matter of until the children depart from the family nest,” writes Rachel Browne in a Sydney Morning Herald article, “Parents wait until children go, then do the same thing.” Suddenly finding your busy life full of activities attached to children, ...

  • apology

The Art of Apology

Have you ever experienced the situation when someone has apologised but, while the words were said it lacked something, making it difficult for you to accept it? Sadly, most of us are not as good at apologising as we need to be. We think that it’s obvious, should just be instinctual, or that our love should somehow make it magically ...

  • love is a battlefield

Love is a Battlefield

Editorial Note: Songs capture moments and sometimes the moments live on. ‘Love is a Battlefield’ is such a song from the eighties that people still sing today and for good reason. The truth hurts and the truth heals. Listen if you dare. ~~~ We are young, heartache to heartache we stand No promises, no demands Love is a battlefield We ...

  • passion

Passion and Domesticity

One of the greatest challenges couples face in our contemporary age is the presumption of sexual excitement. When the romance wanes, marriages are at risk -- but what’s a couple to do when passion is in decline? We’re all in favour of a vibrant and passionate sex life for couples -- however, it’s not always easy to sustain the passion ...

Victory for Mothers and Fathers

Believe it or not, any victory for mothers is also a victory for fathers, and ultimately for children. Sall Dover, a new young mother, after protesting on Twitter about the forced use of the Orwellian phrase "birthing parent", has scored a victory for motherhood. It takes a man and a woman to create a child, and a mother and a ...

  • love

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World – the Art of Eternal Love

Keeping the flame of love alive in your marriage through the years, is the best gift you can give your children -- a daily example of how to cherish their mother, no matter what life brings. “It will never happen to me”; “No way -- too much fun to have”; “Hey boys, did you hear about Johnno getting hitched? (cue ...

  • heaven

Finding Our Way to Heaven

We’ve been listening to Mike and Alicia Hernon’s podcast called Messy Families. One of their recurring messages for parents is: stop worrying about getting your kids to heaven -- parenting is about helping you get there! When we first heard them say this it stopped us in our tracks. Mike and Lisa go on to explain: the reason motherhood or ...

  • emotions

Deep Impact Conversations

“How was your day?” It’s one of the most common questions couples ask each other and either leads to a dead-end response like, “fine” or “busy” (which usually means “I don’t want to talk about it”), or a long-winded description of meetings, frustrations, errands and other ‘busy’ stuff. It’s what we call a ‘data transfer’ conversation. Such exchanges are important ...

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