Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer E. Reed

5/14/2007 (7 years ago)

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

WASHINGTON (CNS) - Well, he popped the question and you said “yes”! It’s been a week since he proposed, and you’re still just getting used to the feel of the beautiful, new engagement ring around your finger. Yet, underneath it all, things don’t seem quite right.

GETTING READY FOR MARRIAGE - Books like 'Should We Marry' and 'Before We Say I Do' can help couples to prepare for their wedding by sharing ideas and expectations about marriage. (Photo Illustration/ CNS)

GETTING READY FOR MARRIAGE - Books like "Should We Marry" and "Before We Say I Do" can help couples to prepare for their wedding by sharing ideas and expectations about marriage. (Photo Illustration/ CNS)

Highlights

By Jennifer E. Reed

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

5/14/2007 (7 years ago)

Published in Marriage & Family


Did you make a big mistake? Can you both truly love each other “for better or for worse”? How compatible are your views on having children, sharing money or the kind of lifestyle you each hope to have in marriage?

Are you dealing with red flags or is it just a case of cold feet?

In his book "Should We Marry?" (Ave Maria Press, 2001), Father Joseph M. Champlin of the Diocese of Syracuse, N.Y., notes that people who love each other respect each other: “Love takes people as they are, not as they should be or as we may want them to be.”

But to take partners as they are, engaged couples need to be clear about each other's expectations of married life, especially regarding the great responsibility of having and raising children. What size family do they hope for? What are their views on parenting?

Engagement is also a time for couples to examine their views about sharing money. They should ask each other, and themselves, if they trust one another with money and understand how the other person handles money. "Before We Say I Do" (Judson Press, 2003), Martin A. McMickle says that a couple “needs a clear understanding of each other’s past financial handicaps," their "present financial habits" and "future financial hopes.”

They also need to communicate about sex, to be aware of each other’s needs, desires and differences in these areas, write the authors of "Preparing for Marriage" (Gospel Light, 1997) edited by Dennis Rainey. The book outlines commonly observed differences in sexuality between men and women and provides questions to help couples communicate about male and female sexual attitudes, what each looks forward to or fears in a sexual relationship and how each understands God’s gift of sexual intimacy. Chores around the house and child care can be marital hotspots. Several experts note that both spouses greatly benefit when they succeed at dividing chores fairly. McMickle cautions, “Just be aware that housekeeping habits die very hard, so you had better know what you are getting into when you say I do.”

The sharing of time with friends or extended family is also a point for discussion. “Marriage can and should alter all of your other relationships,” writes McMickle in "Before We Say I Do." Engaged people may have good friends of the opposite gender, but each partner “should be able to expect that those friendships will not consume as much time after the marriage as they did before the marriage,” McMickle writes. A couple also need to examine how they will balance spending time together as a new family and time spent with extended family, particularly during the holidays.

Father Champlain noted in an interview that when he meets with couples preparing for marriage and asks why they want to marry each other, the answers are usually responses like, “He is my best friend,” or “I can be myself with him,” or “I know he’s going to always care about me.”

“Friendship is a good solid basis for marriage,” he said. “Are you best friends? If yes, that is very good.”

Another important gauge for a couple is how people close to them react to their relationship and the news of their engagement. “If people close to you ... have some serious negatives, it doesn’t mean they’re right, but it means you have to seriously look at things,” added Father Champlain.

Among warning signs to watch for when a couple is considering marriage are problems with alcohol or drug abuse, selfish attitudes about money, unhealthy relationships with work, any kind of physical or emotional abuse and tendencies or acts of infidelity. Taking an honest look together at each of these areas is critical before entering into the commitment of marriage.

“If there’s something in the relationship that’s difficult, they have to honestly say to themselves, ‘Is this cold feet or a red flag?’” said Father Champlain.

- - -

Reed is a freelance writer in Arlington, Va.

---

Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops



Comments


More Marriage & Family

Couple married 73 years die 28 hours apart Watch

Image of Inseparable for seven decades, death proved no match for their remarkable bond.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Helen and Joe Auer had been married in 1941. Joe was a proud World War II veteran. Helen bore her husband 10 children. After it was all said and done, they had seen the births of 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Helen ... continue reading


Marriage rates at an all-time low in the U.S. Watch

Image of Marriage rates among young people in the U.S. are at an all-time low.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While homosexual marriage remains very much in the news, with homosexuals and lesbians protesting their right to enter marriage, another related trend isn't garnering much attention. Marriage rates among young people in the U.S. are at an all-time low. Many ... continue reading


Holy, Healthy Marriages Thrive on Communication

Image of Communication is key to the success of any marriage.

By Teresa Allen, M.S. Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Institute for the Psychological Sciences

Presently, October 5-19, Pope Francis is leading a Synod of Bishops in an Extraordinary General Assembly in Vatican City to discuss pastoral approaches to matters of family, marriage and evangelization. The theme of the event, "The pastoral challenges of the family in ... continue reading


Lesbians win discrimination case by discriminating against Christian family Watch

Image of Jenifer McCarthy and Melissa Erwin successfully sued Liberty Ridge Farms for discrimination after the Giffords refused to host their same-sex wedding ceremony on their property.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Owners of a family farm in New York who were sued because they refused to host a gay wedding on their private property, are asking the courts to reconsider a punitive decision against them. They are asking that their First Amendment rights and their right to religious ... continue reading


Victory for life in Texas as abortion advocates lose their minds over latest defeat Watch

Image of Texas women celebrate a victory for life.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A major pro-life victory for the unborn will see the number of abortion mills in Texas reduced from 40 to just 10. And while that number is still 10 too many, the latest appeals court ruling in Texas represents a small victory for life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Catholic teacher sues diocese after she was fired for... Watch

Image of In vitro fertilization requires the conception of several children in a test-tube to maximize the outcome of success, but then the unwanted children are destroyed before being implanted into their mother's womb.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Roman Catholic schoolteacher who says she was fired for trying to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) will have her case heard in court following a favorable ruling by a U.S. District Court judge. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Former Roman ... continue reading


REPORT: One in 10 girls worldwide sexually abused Watch

Image of The study revealed that about six out of 10 children aged between two and 14 were subjected to physical punishment from their parents or guardians on a regular basis.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world has a long way to go in regards to respecting its female inhabitants, according to a new United Nations reports. The grim statistics compiled by officials have found that 120 million girls, or slightly more than one in 10 are raped or sexually abused ... continue reading


STUDY: For children, there is NO 'amicable divorce' Watch

Image of Parents who remain amicable during a divorce do their children no favors, according to a new study.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Amicable divorce," which usually refers to the dissolution of a marriage without bad feelings or upheavals on the part of the parents still do the children no favors. That's the findings of a major study conducted across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


LARGELY FATHERLESS: 36 percent of those turning 21 this year grew up without dads Watch

Image of It must be noted that there are a lot of individuals, through courage, perseverance and hard work, overcome the disadvantage of being born into a single-parent household.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately 36 percent of the American generation, more than a third, born from 1993 through 2012, due to turn 21 this year, were born to unmarried mothers. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least 40 percent of the babies born in each of the ... continue reading


Remember the Alamo - Texas' abortion law now challenged in court Watch

Image of Abortion rights activists protest on August 4, 2014, outside a U.S. federal court in Austin, Texas, where a hearing started for a case by the Center for Reproductive Rights against a new set of restrictions on abortion clinics in the state that go into effect in September

By Lisa Anderson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Abortion rights groups challenged Texas' sweeping anti-abortion law in federal court on Monday, as a federal judge in Alabama ruled that the state's similar restrictions on abortion were unconstitutional. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In its second challenge ... continue reading


All Marriage & Family News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter