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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
  • 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 ...

  • marriage

The Day After the Big Day

Yesterday we celebrated our daughter’s wedding to a wonderful man and family. Our daughter Kiara looked absolutely radiant with an interior joy; her now-husband Doug, was magnificent -- strong, steady and adoring. Their evident love for each other lit up the church and the celebration that followed. As parents of the bride, we were afforded the opportunity to address the ...

  • investment

Investment in Marriage

Anything worth having is never free. As Francine and I raced around on a typical Saturday afternoon, we found ourselves at the local shopping village together. Never one to waste the opportunity to gain a ‘good husband’ brownie point, I declared we should have a ‘coffee date’. Naturally, Francine obliged -- she practically never says no to a ‘date’, no ...

  • parent

Like Parent, Like Child

The most powerful influence on a couple is their family of origin. Good or bad, our experiences in our childhood prepared us for marriage. The young couple sitting opposite us had been married only a few years. They were experiencing some health challenges, but this is not what brought them to us; they were locked in a perpetual low-grade argument ...

  • sex

The Commitment Challenge #3: Sex and Committed Relationships

In a recent discussion at a youth conference, it was put to us by some of the participants that premarital sex was acceptable as long as it was a ‘committed’ relationship. Casual sex was seen to be inappropriate and perhaps dangerous, but if the couple were in a committed dating situation, then sex was okay. It sounds very reasonable and ...

  • Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day — Learn from Shrek and Seize the Moment

“A lot of men feel pressured by Valentine’s Day. They don’t like being expected to do something romantic for their wife or girlfriend on an arbitrary date on the calendar. They flinch when their mate drops hints in early February about what flowers or candy she prefers.” These are the words of Professor William Doherty, one of the world's most ...

  • commitment challenge

The Commitment Challenge #2

What Are the Signs and What Do They Mean? In today’s dating scene, there is a great deal of confusion about commitment and what it means. Scott Stanley*, one of the foremost thinkers on commitment, suggests that the old ‘commitment phobia’ explanation doesn’t fully explain the dilemma in which dating couples find themselves. One reason for this is the confusion ...

  • commitment

The Commitment Challenge #1

Commitment Phobia We’ve heard the phrase bandied around for years, but is it really as simple as someone being afraid of, or threatened by, making a commitment to his or her dating partner? Usually the ‘Commitment Phobia’ accusation is levelled towards the man in the relationship, with the related belief that it comes down to something genetically programmed on the ...

  • communication

Delusions of Superior Communication

Here’s a question for you: How would you rate yourself as a driver -- below average, average, or above average? How about your IQ (intelligence)? And finally, how about as a tennis player? Research by psychologists tells us that most people overestimate their driving ability and intelligence compared to others, while they will be much more accurate about their tennis ...

  • fun

Making Fun is Serious Business

Counsellors and educators often talk about the importance of fun in a marriage. For those of us raising families, couple fun is one of the first casualties in the busy family schedule. Enter the Couple Project! –  a great way to put fun back on the agenda with these multiple benefits: Time together. This is so important, many marriage counsellors ...

  • partnership

Marriage is Not a Partnership

Housework: It’s often a topic of debate among couples, and truth be told, we’ve had our own dramas in this area over the years. We have very different values and expressions when it comes to housework. Byron is particular about floors and will often be found with a broom, mop or vacuum cleaner in hand. Francine is more motivated around ...

  • forgiveness

Forgiveness – A New Year Resolution You Can Keep

Too many New Year resolutions falter because they fail to address what really needs changing: the internal disposition that compels us into unwanted habits. A few years ago, we received a letter from an irate reader. We were tempted to point out his clear misinterpretation that led him to conclude almost the direct opposite of our intent. But we recognised ...

  • gratitude

Gratitude: The Heartbeat of Love

New research validates age-old wisdom: the simple habit of gratitude can transform a jaded marriage into a joyous encounter. By Marilyn Rodrigues A University of North Carolina study highlighted the association of gratitude with a happy marriage. Cameron Gordon, the study’s lead author, said that the goodwill generated by grateful spouses creates a “reciprocal feedback loop” of marital harmony, helping ...

  • hope

Defiant Hope

Advent is a season of anticipation. The birth of any child, not least the Messiah, gives us cause for hope. Earlier this week, we heard the testimony of Chris and Natalie Stefanick, a couple who had journeyed through dark seasons in their marriage. Having survived sexual abuse as a child, Natalie found she needed many years of therapy and healing. ...

  • growth

The Growth Mindset

At our daughter’s recent award assembly, the school principal addressed the topic of ‘Growth Mindset’. She noted how education was more than merely preparing students for exams and aiming for maximum marks on their university entrance ranking. In a country where we have national examinations of all school children every two years from the age of seven, this is a ...

  • 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. ...

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