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

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


Indian toddler with severe water on the brain survives surgery Watch

Image of Surgeons carried out a series of operations to reduce the size of Roona's head. Sent home after surgery, her parents were warned she had little chance of survival.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With a freakish head 37 inches in circumference, a three-year-old Indian girl has underwent surgery to reduce her deformity. Arduous hours of surgery later, she's smiling for the first time with a more normal-sized head. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


European Court of Human Rights: Europe CAN NOT be forced to recognize same-sex 'marriages'

Image of Marriage IS between a Man and a Woman ONLY.

By Adelaide Mena

Is the disordered homosexual lifestyle destroying our great American culture? Strasbourg, France, (CNA/EWTN News) - The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the refusal to recognize same-sex "marriages" does not violate the European Convention on Human ... continue reading


Are You a Ready or an Unready Catholic?

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

There are many Catholics who are "unready" Catholics, that is, operating under ill advice or bad counsel.  They have adopted the counsel of sophists, satanists, or doubt-sowers, and have departed as a result from the teachings of the Church.  Their ... continue reading


Andrew M. Greenwell on Same-Sex 'Marriage': Framing the Issue Right Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

The first step for a Catholic to recognize his obligation to oppose same-sex "marriage," if he does not see it or comprehend it, is to rid himself of the flawed moral heuristic (a moral rule of thumb or short cut) some ideologue has chosen and which may be blinding him ... continue reading


Pacing a New Online Relationship

Image of Pacing an online relationship is different for each couple.

By Catholic Match

Every couple that meets on CatholicMatch moves at their own pace. For some, it's important to move from online connection to a face-to-face date as soon as realistically possible. For others, it's important to let things grow gradually. Matt and Katie fell into the ... continue reading


The example of the Holy Family: Do you follow it?

Image of The Holy Family is the ultimate example for us to follow in our daily lives. We need a daily reminder of this.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is no community as sacred as the family. When we reflect on the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph, we see modeled for us how to be as a member of our own family. Whether we're a father, a mother, or a child, the Holy Family shows us how to be. It is ... continue reading


Michael Proposed With A Video

Image of Michael and Laura.

By Catholic Match

Laura was tired of the dating scene or at the very least the relationship scene. By the time the 24-year-old from Maryland got to CatholicMatch, all she wanted was to go on some dates with nice guys, but to keep it casual, just have dinner, and maybe hear that she was ... continue reading


Children: The Crowning Glory of Marriage Watch

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

The American cultural lens of late has warped the way in which children are viewed to the point that they are seen not as gifts but as burdens. Many people no longer recognize children for who they are: precious jewels of indescribable beauty and worth whose growth, ... continue reading


How One Couple Met, Fell in Love, and Met the Pope

Image of Deanna and Michael with Pope Francis.

By Catholic Match

Deanna, 24, and Michael, 28, had never dated before they meet each other on CatholicMatch. Michael had been discerning the priesthood for four years, and it seems God had placed a bubble around lovely Deann a saving her just for Michael. They were married on October 5, ... 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

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2014 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