Love & Marriage


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

Related Articles from the Daily Dad
  • recoupling

Conscious Recoupling

Any couple who stays together more than a decade by necessity is doing what we could call ‘conscious REcoupling’. As we well know, people change.

  • relationships matter - sleep deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is marriage enemy number one in our book. When sleep-deprived, everything can appear miserable and beyond redemption.

  • affirmations

50 Positive Affirmations for Dads

Whether new to the dad guild or a veteran dad-lifer, blunt affirmations offer sharp relief. Telling ourselves objective truths keeps us fit for the fight.

  • quality time

Why Intentional, Quality Time Matters

Without spending intentional, quality time with each other, we quickly get out of sync. When we do, our patience wears thin, our tones get harsh, and bickering over small things increases. The speed at which disconnect can occur always shocks me. 

  • dishwasher

Why Can’t He Use the Dishwasher Properly?

I find myself huffing in annoyance when sorting out his attempt to pack the dishwasher. He has seemingly not calculated the maximised available space-to-ickiness-of-surface ratio.

  • marriage

Leaving and Cleaving for the Sake of Our Marriage

A few years ago, Francine was a guest on Vision Radio for marriage week. One of the callers shared how his and his wife’s early ‘family of origin’ formation had caused them a lot of conflict. Their differences in expectations and values had caused them a great deal of grief. All married couples will experience both positive and negative effects ...

  • rendezvous

The Divine Rendezvous

Recently, we came across this quote from Simone Weil, a 20th-century French philosopher, Christian mystic and political activist. “God and humanity are like two lovers who have missed their rendezvous. Each is there before the time, but each at a different place, and they wait, and wait, and wait. He stands motionless, nailed to the spot for the whole of ...

  • walking

Walking the Talk is More Than You Think

This morning, a friend from Canberra forwarded us a reflection on walking called: Keep Moving. It noted that walking was not only good for physical health, but that it is also good for spiritual health. It recalled the many stories of the New Testament where Jesus and/or the disciples were walking, not just physically from one place to another but ...

  • TV

Why Reality TV Makes Us Stupider

These days, we rightly talk a lot about exploitation and abuse. It comes in many forms, and we worry we might walk past it without noticing. Recently 665,000 Australians not only walked past, but sat and watched something that we should recognise for what it really is – workplace exploitation abuse. The airing of ‘reality’ TV show Beauty and the ...

  • arguments

Arguments: It’s All About Connection

No one likes being in an argument. Arguments stir up intense emotions and can leave us feeling misunderstood and wounded. Yet, not all arguments are equal. Arguments mean different things in different circumstances. An argument is defined as a work of persuasion. We use arguments to convince others of our point of view. Well-thought arguments are crucial to social discourse ...

  • happy

Happy Couple or Happy Parents

A recent study has found that couples without kids are much happier in their marriage than those with kids. Should I be worried? Thankfully, the same study showed that mums were happiest of all, but dads were amongst the unhappiest -- perhaps because of the strain parenting has put on their marriage. Nothing can really prepare you for how much ...

  • communication

The Science, Art and Spirit of Communication

Communication is fundamental to our relationships and the flourishing of families. If we want to do it well, there is a science, art and spirit to communication. We all like to think of ourselves as good communicators. Unfortunately, what that usually means is: I have lots to say and I’m not afraid to say it! That’s because a lot of ...

  • differences

Managing Differences

Different personalities. Different upbringing. Different education. Different sexes. Sometimes different ethnic or religious backgrounds. With so many differences between us, is it any wonder that making decisions as a couple is complicated and sometimes conflictual? We unpack the SmartLoving framework for managing differences and making couple decisions. Byron and Francine Pirola have been married for 34 years, and between them, ...

  • expectations

How Expectations Set Us Up for Trouble

When we look back on our early romance, we note how quick we were to trust each other, even recklessly so. We dived into the relationship with ready abandon and little thought for the risks of rejection or disappointment. Since then, our trust levels have strengthened in many areas, and declined in others, as we’ve experienced ups and downs in ...

  • staying power

Staying Power

Walk through any quality '80s film, and the reoccurring theme is staying power. Daniel LaRusso, Rocky Balboa, Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo? Staying power. Axel Foley, Ripley (Aliens), John McClane, Mr Miyagi, and Maverick? Again, staying power. Add to this, characters played by some of the 80's best female actors: Meryl Streep, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathleen Turner, and Goldie ...

  • love smart

The Smarter Way to Love

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love requires a conscious decision and focused investment. Loving the Smart way is easy when you know how. Our romance was a whirlwind of delight and passion. Over an intense two years, we courted with a dedicated focus: from the very beginning, it was clear that we were discerning marriage. But even before ...

  • expectations

Incompatible Expectations

I wasn’t expecting that! We’ve explored how our formation in our family of origin continues to play out throughout our marriages. There are typically three ways in which our formation can pose challenges for us and today we explore the first of these: incompatible expectations. Growing up, Francine’s father was a retail pharmacist, with her mother working full-time raising the ...

  • movies

How Ryan Gosling is Going to Save Your Marriage

It’s true! And now there’s a study that proves it. Finally, I have the ammunition I need to convince hubby that our next date night movie should be a rom-com, rather than an action flick. Researchers who conducted a study involving 174 couples found that those who discussed five movies about relationships over a month cut the three-year divorce rate ...

  • boundaries


The proverb, “Good fences make good neighbours,” has a great deal of wisdom. The concept of having clearly defined boundaries helps us to develop healthy relationships. When people know the limits of what they can demand from a relationship, it allows all parties to enjoy it. Hidden agendas evaporate, and positive feeling in the relationship flourishes. Marriages also benefit from ...

  • forever

The Forever Conversation

At some point, every couple will have the Forever Conversation -- the discussion that explores their long-term commitment. It’s no secret to anyone that the incidence of cohabitation has increased. In fact, a couple who hasn’t cohabited is increasingly rare, even in the Catholic formation circles where we work. For couples in these semi-permanent living arrangements, the natural progression of ...

  • attention deficiency

Attention-Deficit Marriages

In a fast-paced world, our attention is a rare and valuable commodity. Is your marriage suffering from attention deficiency? True confession: some evenings you’ll find us sitting on the couch with the TV playing, and us both on our laptops or other individual devices. We know -- it’s not particularly noble and we have a sense of unease with it. ...

  • marriage

Ain’t Marriage Grand!

What makes for an epic marriage? A marriage that faces and transcends challenges and obstacles, that has an interior resilience and grace that comes from the God who is always ready to encourage us. We recently attended two weddings of close family friends. This time, a different part of the ceremony really stood out for us. It was the preamble ...

  • Resolutions

Divorce Proof Relationship Resolutions

January 3 is known as ‘divorce day’ – the most popular day for women to file for divorce. Perhaps because they’ve held it together for the festive season but can’t keep up the charade any longer. Sadly, most men don’t see it coming. Going through life blissfully unaware that their partner is desperately unhappy. I recently read an article in Psychology Today called ...

  • marital resilience

Marital Resilience

Let’s face it – marriage is a tough gig these days. With divorce rates higher than we’d like, too many families are being torn apart by marriage breakdown. What can couples do to immunise their marriages against this tragedy? Marital resilience starts with a well-grounded understanding of what marriage is and what it isn’t. A lot of couples get themselves ...

  • boats

Burn the Boats

A recent analysis of modern-day wedding vows reveals around a third of couples shunning the traditional commitment for life. According to the results, 34% dumped the phrase ‘until death do us part’. This really shouldn’t surprise us as the prevailing message young couples hear is that divorce is not only commonplace, it’s also to be expected. Understandably, many couples simply ...

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