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The key to a happy marriage? Take the d-word out of your vocabulary

March 2nd, 2015 Comments off

by Francis Phillips

This article was first published at CatholicHerald.co.uk on February 26, 2015.

“101 Tips for a Happier Marriage” by Jennifer Roback Morse and Betsy Kerekes contains some sage advice

In his homily for St Valentine’s Day Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury spoke up in defence of marriage. Among other things he urged his listeners to “speak uninhibitedly of the good of marriage”, emphasising that “we need to rebuild a culture of the family founded on marriage…We need to take marriage seriously as a great social good, and recognise that children flourish best when they have the gift of a father and mother in their lives.” Read more…

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Ten Simple Steps to Keeping Romance Alive

February 18th, 2015 Comments off

101 coverby Betsy Kerekes

This article was first published at aleteia.org on February 15, 2015.

Anyone who tells you that kids won’t take a toll on romance in your marriage is a fool or someone desperate for grandkids. You do have to try harder to keep that courtship feeling alive when it seems that a needy little voice interrupts every kiss and cuddle.  So on this day after Valentine’s Day, I offer ten tips for a happier and more romantic marriage for all our current and future “married with children” readers. Read more…

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How to Have a Happy Marriage (Even when You’re Busy with Kids)

February 13th, 2015 Comments off

by Betsy Kerekes, Ruth Institute editor, co-author with Dr. Morse of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage (Ave Maria Press 2013, Pauline Publications India 2014) and the blog Parentingisfunny.wordpress.com.

This article was first published at Mercatornet.com.

Marital satisfaction tends to take a dip once that first baby comes home from the hospital (or out of the bathtub, birthing center, etc.). This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. Let’s face it, kids, particularly newborns, are difficult. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying, or a grandparent. But you can maintain a happy marriage despite the strains and difficulties on your new life as parents. Here are ten tips for a happier marriage—with children.

1. Remember that love is a decision, not a feeling.

It’s impossible to keep warm fuzzy feelings for your spouse constantly, especially when you have children taking up so much of your time and energy. Just remember that your relationship with your spouse comes first. Period. If you want the best for your children, and who doesn’t, the success of your marriage is paramount. A google search will render you a dozen different studies all saying the same things about the negative effects of a broken marriage on children. If you want your kids to be happy, keep your spouse happy. Be happy together.

2. Don’t let Robin rule the roost. Read more…

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Why conservatives must embrace “Children’s Equality”

December 18th, 2014 Comments off
The new inequality: childrens' needs vs. adults' desires

The new inequality: childrens’ needs vs. adults’ desires

I was talking to Dr. Morse yesterday, and asked her to think back to when she was a young girl in school. “How many kids were from divorced families?” I asked her. She said she could think of one. The rest lived with their married biological parents. Before the Sexual Revolution, there used to be an important and unrecognized equality among children: nearly every child lived with his/her married parents.

Let’s think for a moment about what the Sexual Revolution has done to equality from the child’s point of view. In the name of adult sexual liberation, we now have a tremendous amount of family/structural inequality among children. Some kids live with their married parents, and many do not:

  • Nearly 40% of births are out of wedlock
  • A majority of teens don’t live in intact families
  • One in three children live in single parent homes

Read more…

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Rethinking the Blended Family

December 11th, 2014 Comments off

As somebody who was raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations, the phrase “blended family” has always reminded me of a blender.  Yes, a literal blender, like this:

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101 Tips for a Happier Marriage: Simple Ways for Couples to Grow Closer to God and to Each Other

December 3rd, 2014 Comments off
Your guide to a happier marriage. Start now with Tip #39 and Dr J's challenge.

Your guide to a happier marriage.

Reviewed by Mary Ann Paulukonis

This review was originally posted at For Your Marriage here.

Where some books have a dedication, this book has a page with three centered lines.

“God is God.

You are not.

Your spouse is not.”

Those ten words sum up the philosophy of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage. It is a slender, easy-to-read volume of 101 pages (plus an introduction and a few chapter heading pages), each with only two paragraphs: one spelling out the marriage tip and one saying a little more about it. How long could it take to read 202 paragraphs? But this book is not for speed-reading. Each tip needs to be thought about and practiced for at least a day, more likely for weeks and months. Therefore I would suggest reading no more than one page—two paragraphs—per day. Add another day, really just a few minutes, to read the Introduction. Read more…

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Tip #38 from 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage

November 19th, 2014 Comments off



Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt, even in your mind. If you find yourself mentally rehearsing your grudges, change the subject. Harboring negative thoughts will make you sour.

Have you ever taken a picture of someone right as they sneezed? Those pictures never turn out well. And sometimes when we talk, we say something we didn’t actually mean; it didn’t come out right. Sometimes we’re just having an off day and speak or act more harshly than we normally would. If your spouse does something out of the ordinary, in a hurtful way, he or she may just be having an off day. Give him or her some space and time, and think of that incident as the moment when he or she sneezed as the picture snapped. Throw the photo, and the incident, out of your mind.

Get a copy of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage for yourself and those you love. Click here to have it personalized and autographed by both authors.
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Tip #51 from 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage

November 17th, 2014 Comments off


Remove your self-esteem from the argument. You have a choice about how to handle not getting what you want. If your self-esteem depends on always being right, your self-esteem will always be fragile.

Base your self-worth on the knowledge that you are beloved by God. Don’t let a momentary exchange define who you are and how much you like yourself.

Get a copy of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage for yourself and those you love. Click here to have it personalized and autographed by both authors.

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What 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage can do for you

November 10th, 2014 Comments off


“At last! A good and reliable guide to what it takes to make a marriage work and make it last a lifetime. The authors show us that a successful marriage is more about being good than feeling good. Being a good spouse is about being a good person.

Virtue is the key to a happy marriage as it is the key to a happy life. If love is about laying down our life for our friends, marriage is about laying down our life for our best friend. This little gem of a book should be read by every married couple and by those planning to get married.”

~Joseph Pearce, author of The Quest for Shakespeare

Find 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage here. Get a personalized, autographed copy for yourself or a friend here.

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The Inhumanity of Marrying Up

October 24th, 2014 Comments off

by Samantha Schroeder, a Ruth Institute “It Takes a Family” 2012 conference attendee

This article was first published at ethikapolitika.org on October 9, 2014.

Why is it that we continue to refer to “marrying up” in predominantly socioeconomic terms, as if we’ve just signed a contract for a kitchen renovation instead of a nuptial covenant between two loving persons?

The oft-discussed idea of “marrying up” pervades online journalism, from a New York Times piece by Stephanie Coontz, “The M.R.S. and the Ph.D.” to Kate Bolic’s piece in The Atlantic about the “radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be ‘marriageable’ men—those who are better educated and earn more than [women] do.” The ideas expressed Coontz’s article—that the material concerns of intellectual and fiscal prosperity trump all others—reminded me of a comment that my mom and my grandmother made of my last college boyfriend: “You can do better, you know that, right?” Read more…

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