Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jennifer E. Reed

5/14/2007 (8 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 (8 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

Unusual book of prophetic warnings mysteriously appears at Philidelphia residents' doors Watch

Image of 'The Great Controversy' sent to 700,000 residents free-of-charge and unsolicited.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Costing them nothing, Philadelphia residents have received their own copies of "The Great Controversy," a Christian book analyzing the prophetic warnings of the Biblical end of times. The Christian book company was reportedly in ties with another company to print and ... continue reading


Viral video shows 5-year-old boy's heartwarming reaction to mother's pregnancy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A five-year-old boy living in Scunthorpe, UK expressed an adorable reaction when his mother, Sarah Bromby, told him he would be a big brother soon.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -The Blaze reports that the enthusiastic little boy asked his mother, "Is ... continue reading


Adorable twin baby girls caught hilariously pretending to sleep when mother speaks over baby monitor Watch

Image of Both girls lie prone in attempt to fool their mother.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Video footage of adorable twin girls pretending to be asleep after hearing their mother made its rounds via social media, gaining nearly 14 million views since its initial Facebook upload. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The video shows twin baby girls Miya ... continue reading


5 ways to find happiness in life through the darkness Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Life has taught us that living is not easy. Even our great Bible heroes experienced struggles and suffered. With God's love, darkness is not endless; it is a part of life that makes us stronger and encourages us to live brighter lives.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


Family of deceased teen claim she was 'screaming for help' from inside her tomb Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

16-year-old Neysi Perez was buried earlier this month after suffering the effects of what her family believed was a demonic possession. After her burial, muffled cries for help could be heard from her grave site in the Honduras. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


Body of a 25-year-old woman stolen from funeral home in San Antonio Watch

Image of Julie died peacefully on August 8 after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Julie Mott's body was reported stolen from her casket after her funeral service on Saturday and was discovered missing the following day. There were no signs of forced entry and it wasn't until the funeral home staff was preparing for her transfer to the crematorium ... continue reading


'WE MUST DO BETTER BY OUR DAUGHTERS': Georgian mother responds to how Anna Duggar handled husband, Josh Duggar's latest scandals Watch

Image of Mother with the viral Facebook post, Jessica Kirkland and her two daughters. [PHOTO BY: Jessica Kirkland/ Bethany Deschamps]

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Leaked information from the extramarital affairs website Ashley Madison put a spotlight on thousands of men who sought partners outside their marriages, celebrities included. Alarmed at the outdated view of a woman's roles in society, Jessica Krammes Kirkland posted a ... continue reading


6 wonderful inspiring tips for couples who want to pray together Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Award-winning author and founder of the Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries, Janet Thompson, now understands what to tell couples when seeing them pray. By experience with her husband Dave, Thompson finds it enlightening, rewarding and binding to ... continue reading


Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai scores high in school - three years after being shot in head for standing up for education Watch

Image of Malala has overcome great obstacles.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Malala Yousafzai was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy for girls' rights in Pakistan where she was shot in the head during a failed assassination by the Taliban. Yousafzai has shown her remarkable intelligence, aside from her courageousness, by achieving a ... continue reading


'This is a dangerous sign for America': Israeli author calls out Americans and urges repentance Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Cahn, author of the book "The Harbinger," issued a video attempting to answer some questions and concerns about the end of the Shemitah year this Sept. 13. According to the WND report, the messianic Jewish rabbi explained that since he cannot answer all the ... 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, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2015 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... 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