Marriage Matters

Five keys to a happier marriage

  1. Make your marriage your #1 priority. Your marriage should be more important to you than advancing your career, increasing your wealth, beautifying your home, enjoying your pastimes, having fun with your friends or even volunteering at your church. The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships, and your most important relationship is the one with your spouse.


He says: We are struggling financially and I think I should get a second job

I want the best for my family, so I want to take on a second job. Stacy will be home in the evenings with the kids.

She says: It's more important to spend time with the kids

We're getting by, and the family time is more important. We don't need an extra car or fancy vacations, and it’s more important that Mark spends quality time with the kids.

What do they do?

Work is an important part of our lives. But being away from your family because you’re working long hours can be as much a problem as not working enough.

He says: The kids’ summer is too structured

It's almost time for the kids to be home all summer, and Kate has them registered for so many summer programs they're not getting a chance to enjoy childhood. I think we should just hire a baby-sitter.

She Says: I don't want them sitting in front of a screen

With both Daniel and me working, the kids need to be somewhere safe and structured. Camp is fun and also keeps them corralled. I'm afraid a baby-sitter will just sit around drinking our soda and eating us out of house and home while the kids are sitting in front of a screen all summer.

She says: I don't want to homeschool our kids

Michael wants us to homeschool our kids. Not only do I think that means raising them in a bubble, I would be primarily responsible to be the teacher.

He says: We need to know what they're being taught

I think it’s important that we, as parents, know exactly what our children are being taught. The only way to ensure that is to do it ourselves. It makes the most sense for Sarah to do it; we can’t afford to lose my income.

She says: He makes snide comments about our friends

When we go to parties or out to dinner, Jeff always makes some snide comments about our friends afterward. I’ve asked him to stop, because it makes me uncomfortable. 

He says: If she doesn't want me to talk, I'll just keep my mouth shut

Listen, it’s called conversation. If Linda doesn’t want me to talk, I’ll just keep my mouth shut. It’s going to make for a pretty quiet marriage if I can’t talk.

She says: Joe is always telling our friends what to do

Joe is always telling our friends what to do, and he doesn’t realize they’re rolling their eyes as soon as he starts imparting his “words of wisdom.” I just want one party where he listens and doesn’t talk – is that too much to ask?

He says: Why shouldn't I share the fruits of my research?

What can I say – I read a lot. Why shouldn’t I share the fruits of my research? I’m sure Marybeth is exaggerating – our friends love me!

She says: I think we should sacrifice to have no debt

Daniel thinks a growing balance on our credit card is fine, but I don’t think we should keep spending and paying these high interest charges. We need to live within our means.

He says: I think we can 
carry a balance on the credit card and live well

I don’t see the problem with paying a monthly fee on our credit card bill so we can buy the things we want and live comfortably. Christine is too frugal.

He says: Separate Christmases for our quarreling daughters?

Our two daughters are not speaking to each other and refuse to be in the same house. I want to have separate Christmases so we can see both of our daughters.

She says: I am hosting one Christmas – 
they need to figure this out

I am hosting Christmas as usual – they are both invited. I appreciate that Michael wants to accommodate, but I say they are adults who either need to make up or figure this out themselves.

She says: We should donate only to Catholic Charities

I think we should donate only to Catholic Church charities. They do so much good work, and that way Jim and I will know our money is going to be used to help those in need.

He says: Other charities are important too

He says: I have strong feelings about donating to the Cancer Society and other organizations so they can keep up with the costs of cutting-edge research. Can’t Beth see that these organizations help people too?


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