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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Related Articles from the Daily Dad
  • 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 / criticism

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

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 ...

  • respect

Sexual Differences – Respect and Cherishment

When we understand our sexual differences, we are empowered to use them constructively to build great relationships.  We’ve always maintained that our differences are something to celebrate; that they allow us to more deeply appreciate the unique contribution we each make to our shared life. We can be different, with differing abilities in various areas, without that detracting from our dignity ...

  • choosing

Choosing to Love

If there is one thing that makes motherhood so worth celebrating, it’s a mother’s capacity for love for her children. Whether it’s her willingness to give over her body to nourish a newborn, her patience with the endless ‘but why’ questions of a toddler, or the testing rebellion of a teenager, mothers seem to have a special empathy for the ...

  • landmine

Trigger Warning: There’s a Landmine Below

Over the previous columns, we have been exploring how our formation from our family of origin can continue to impact us and our marriage negatively. In this article, we want to unpack the third and final way our formation experiences play out – through emotional injuries. Some years ago, Francine purchased a new espresso machine. It came with two espresso ...

  • programmed

Programmed for Love or for Trouble?

We were recently hosted overnight in the country home of friends. It was a beautiful experience in every way. Our hosts greeted us with warmth, housed us in a tastefully appointed bedroom and nourished us with a delightful meal. Their home was a beauty to behold; magnificent views overlooking the valley, landscaped gardens and an immaculately clean interior. Dust is ...

  • prayer

Prayer for Couples in Times of Trouble

We had a request recently from someone looking for a prayer for a couple going through tough times in their marriage. While we were very happy to oblige, it struck us that for many couples in this situation, prayer is often far from their thoughts, and yet, it is one of the most effective interventions for a troubled marriage. Dr ...

  • mid

Mid-Life Madness and other Stressors

As mid-lifers in the midst of working through some of our ‘issues’, we are acutely aware of how easy it would be to let our individual stuff derail our marriage. It’s normal for a person in midlife to be irritable and volatile. Some react with depressive symptoms, others get angry and aggressive, and others withdraw or self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, ...

  • forgiveness

Forgiveness is the Life Blood of Marriage

“Forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:24). These words of Jesus as he was being crucified were meant not just for his executioners, but for all of us. His love transcends all our limitations and failures and calls us into life. We all have someone to forgive; someone who has disappointed, betrayed, abandoned or hurt us ...

  • Discipline

Dads Asking Questions

Some time ago I was busy working in my own office when I heard my wife talking in the next office to a stranger. Being the inquisitive type, I opened my door to shake hands with Bill, who was inspecting the services in our office on behalf of the landlord. Bill, realising he was in the offices of Dads4Kids, started ...

  • Argument

Myths about Arguments

When it comes to marriage, relationships and arguments, there are a lot of myths out there. Here are five of the most common. Myth 1: Good Couples Don’t Argue The presence or absence of arguments is not a good indicator of the health of a marriage. Some couples who don’t argue are living detached, parallel lives. They’ve essentially checked out ...

  • Unbusy

On Trend with Unbusy

We recently enjoyed a week in New Zealand – about five days with some of our children and then two blessed days on our own. It was like a tonic for our soul and our marriage. Long walks with relaxed afternoons soaking up beautiful vistas and abundant wildlife. One such cheeky local was a Fantail – a small native bird that sashayed ...

  • romantic couple

That Romantic Atmosphere

On Friday afternoon, we went on a bushwalk with Byron’s work colleagues. Although we were with other people, we so enjoyed the time together. Walking is remarkably therapeutic for us… perhaps it’s the natural environment, or maybe it’s simply the absence of the constant phone, email and text distraction. Whatever it is, is not the point. It just feels strangely ...

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