The Joy of Love: Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis

8 04 2016

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The much awaited apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis on the Family  called Amoris Laetitia is out!

The same mercy and patience that are essential for building a strong family must be shown to those whose families are in trouble or have broken up, Pope Francis said in his highly anticipated postsynodal apostolic exhortation.

The document, “‘Amoris Laetitia’ (The Joy of Love), on Love in the Family,” released April 8, contains no new rules or norms. However, it encourages careful review of everything related to family ministry and, particularly, much greater attention to the language and attitude used when explaining church teaching and ministering to those who do not fully live that teaching.

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“No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love,” Pope Francis wrote. People grow in holiness, and the church must be there to give them a helping hand rather than turn them away because they have not attained some degree of perfection.

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The exhortation was Pope Francis’ reflection on the discussion, debate and suggestions raised during the 2014 and 2015 meetings of the Synod of Bishops on the family. Like synod members did, the pope insisted that God’s plan for the family is that it be built on the lifelong union of one man and one woman open to having children. ..continue reading

 





My Husband is A Porn Addict: A Recovery Guide for Wives

2 04 2016

 

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My Husband is a Porn Addict by Cindy beall

My Husband’s a Porn addict: How Can I compete With Her?

I’ll never forget the first time I walked in on my husband looking at Internet
pornography. Immediately my heart sank, and I remember this sick feeling wash
over me. The thought that began to plague my mind instantly was, “How will I ever
be able to compete with her?”
If I think about that day I can remember exactly what the woman looked like. How
she was posing and what her facial expression was. I would tell you what she was
wearing but that’s just it…she wasn’t wearing anything. She was very well endowed
and made me look like I was just about to get my first training bra. Her long,
gorgeous, blonde hair cascaded over her shoulders but not enough to cover up
anything.
I knew my husband, Chris, struggled with lust because we’d been married for five
years. His admissions seemed to be vulnerable and honest but I’d later find it was
just a smokescreen. I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me to walk in on him in the
middle of him fulfilling his lustful moment. I guess I was okay with his sin being “out
of sight, out of mind.”
Chris’ introduction to pornography came when he was merely eight years old. He
didn’t ask for his sin to begin at that age, but it did. And for a growing, curious
boy the desire to see more only grew throughout the rest of his childhood and
adolescence. The hunger could be satiated by an occasional look at a National
Geographic if you weren’t picky about the kind of naked women you’d see. His
newfound addiction didn’t totally bombard his life as a youngster simply because
to obtain such racy material meant that you had to know someone who could buy a
Playboyor a Penthousefrom the local convenience store.

The date is indelibly written in my mind. I will never forget what I was doing when
Chris walked in the door that Tuesday morning. We’d been in our new home in our
new town for less than a week when he dropped the biggest bomb on me. After
asking me to join him on the sofa, he proceeded to tell me that he’d been unfaithful
to me many times with many different women over a period of about two-and-a-half
years. In the midst of my immediate reeling, devastation, and line of questioning, he
admitted that he was a full-blown porn addict.
In the early days, looking at pictures of naked women was enough to satisfy his
craving. But, over time, looking at pictures turned into watching videos, which
eventually turned into chatting with women who were just as messed up as he was.
And before long, the unthinkable occurred: His online fantasy became a reality with
a woman.
As he shared with me how this once small addiction spiraled out of control, I
learned that these horrendous actions weren’t because he didn’t love me but
because he was unable—or unwilling—to get free from his addiction. It sure didn’t
feel like he loved me but eventually I realized that the bondage that took over his life
was more than he could handle. So he acted out. .continue reading





13 How I Met My Love Stories

12 02 2016

13 true love stories
1. The damsel in zero distress.

“On the Metro ride home one night, I made eye contact with a gorgeous young woman on the platform. I went back to my phone and didn’t think much of it, but she came and sat next to me. Nervous, I didn’t say anything. After several stops, she asked if the train was going to a certain stop. I gave her a quick, ‘Yeah, the sign is over there,’ trying to avoid being the creepy passenger that’s more interested in the person than providing directions. She was persistent and kept asking questions. I gave her my business card before I got off the train and she pointed out that my cell phone number wasn’t on it. We went out the next night and had a great conversation. We’ve been dating ever since.

P.S. A few days later, she admitted she knew *exactly* where she was going that day.”

— Jordan Uhl, Facebook
2. The one time, at band camp…

“I had just finished training as an Army musician and been posted to my first band. When I’m nervous I lose my appetite, so I hadn’t eaten much before my first engagement, which involved standing on a parade square for about an hour and a half. Needless to say, I blacked out and one of the other musicians saw me swaying and caught me and my saxophone before I fell. It took three men to carry me off the square, and the first person I saw when I came around was the musician who caught me. We’ve been together 10 years now and married for eight!”
— claire

3. The lost luggage-turned-found romance.

“A few years ago, I flew to Rome for an archaeological dig and used my field kit as my second carry-on. Well, just my luck: after a 10-hour plane ride, I discovered the airline lost my luggage. After filing my report, I went to my hostel to have a shower and take a long nap. After check in, I asked the girl at the counter where to go to buy supplies and clothes etc, explaining to her my experience with my luggage. When I got back from my shopping trip I found out that my ‘roommates’ had used my allotted towels. Anyway, I went back to the front desk to ask about getting some more towels, and just as the clerk was telling me they didn’t have any more clean towels, the cutest guy I have ever seen tapped my shoulder, telling me that he had some I could borrow. He was visiting from Ireland, and he always brought his own towels while traveling. Apparently, he heard my story earlier and felt really bad for me, and wished there was something he could do. So we went to his room together to get them, and along the way he invited me out for a drink to help improve my day. The best decision in my life was saying yes, because that, boys and girls, is how I met my husband.”


Alice Mongkongllite

4. The laundry money that turned into cupid’s arrow.

“My husband and I lived in the same college dorm when we met. Three months into the semester, while doing his laundry, he realized he was 75 cents short and unable to finish drying his last bit of clothes. He walked around the nearby lobby, checking to see if anyone may have any change. I was sitting at a table with friends and happened to have my wallet with me. I looked inside and there were three single quarters. Nothing more. Nothing less. I let him have my quarters and we exchanged names.

Four years later, we were exchanging vows. Not a bad deal for me. 75 cents for the love of my life… wait, did he ever pay me back?”

— Savannah Pyron, Facebook

5. The radio interview that became a date.

“It was the early 00’s and I was a blogger, like all twenty-something women. I had a fairly popular/humorous blog about dating in my hometown. The local paper did a full article on me with a big photo. Later that day, I got an email from some radio DJ inviting me on his show for an interview. I didn’t listen to that station and I had no idea who he was, but my mom said, ‘Go for it! It could be fun!’ I met him the following week for the on-air interview. We were engaged eight months later and will be married 10 years in October, and have three children. I would have missed out on my whole life if I skipped that interview!”

— kristy

6. The love story for the digital age.

“When I was a freshman in high school, I was texting my friend. For no reason at all, instead of sending my text to my friend, my phone sent it to a random Florida number. He texted me back asking who I was and when we figured out the strange phenomenon, he asked if I wanted to be friends. We hit it off from there and almost seven years later we’re still together.”

— bridgets
7. The classic coffee shop run-in.

“I was at a coffee shop and there was a gorgeous man a few people ahead of me in line. We made eye contact a couple times and he was so good looking, my heart was beating out of my chest! He ordered, I waited my turn and got my own cup of coffee. I walked over to the table where cream and sugars are kept and he came over to fix up his coffee, too. He picked up the sugar bowl and said to me, ‘Do you take sugar?’ and promptly dropped the bowl right at my feet, covering both our shoes! We both cracked up and decided to get a table together. We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary last month!”

— heatherannm

8. The dead car that gave a relationship life.

“I was about to turn 30, so I decided to do something ‘fun’ every day for the last month of my twenties. I ended up doing a lot of stupid meet-up things, including a Cards Against Humanity tournament at a pub. Everyone there was told to make sure their cars weren’t parked in a certain lot. Of course mine was in that lot, but when I went out to move it, my car was dead. I had to call for a tow truck, and the minute I met the tow truck driver, I took one look at him and something clicked in me. I ended up spending the next two hours with him in the truck, talking, laughing, and flirting HARD. When he dropped me off at home, I gave him my number. I had just enough time to text my sister and tell her about how thankful I was that my car broke down, when he sent me a text. We have been together two years now, and he is the love of my life!”

— kearag

9. The dog-meets-dog moment.

“My husband and I met walking dogs. It was a sunny summer day before my summer college class, and I was walking my roommate’s dog. I had no makeup on, it was my third day of not washing my hair, and I was just thinking to myself how I really needed to look human like for my class while sitting on the grass waiting for the dog to potty. Suddenly, I heard someone say hello… and when I looked up, it was a tall, good-looking guy with a Golden Retriever (my favorite breed)! We talked for a couple of minutes while our dogs smelled each other’s butts and we each went back to our apartments. Soon, we began to secretly anticipate each other’s schedules so that we could take our dogs out at the same time and be able to talk. After running into each other several times, he finally asked me out on a date. Now, a couple of years down the road, we have been blissfully married for five months!”

— jihaek
10. The concert of love.

“I went out last-minute to a concert with a friend during finals week, which I thought I would immediately end up regretting. But I met a super-cute guy there and we really hit it off. Unfortunately, I was moving to another city, so I told him that nothing was going to come of it… until he told me he actually lived in the city I was moving to. He ended up picking me up from the airport when I arrived, and the rest is history.”

— wildern

11. The fateful hockey match.

“My now-fiancé and I literally ran into one another while on the same co-ed hockey team. This was my first match on this new team after just moving to this new state. I got lost on the way to the rink, so I showed up late and didn’t have the chance to meet all my new teammates. We were both skating fast for the puck so we hit at incredible speed. He jumped up and helped me up. The moment we locked eyes was it and we have been together for the last four years. Needless to say, we were love struck after that crash.”

— Gohill89

12. The non-pet friendly hotel.

“I had just moved to town and my apartment wasn’t ready yet, so I had to stay in a hotel. The hotel had a strange rooming system. I was in 4B — the clerk said the door would be cracked open because the cleaning crew had just finished. I reached a cracked door and assumed it was mine, so I opened it. There was a man standing there with a dog in a non pet-friendly hotel. He just looked at me and said, ‘Please do not tell on me! My house is being fumigated and this was the best hotel I could afford!’ I just laughed and said, ‘Dude, chill. I just moved here, my dogs in the car, I intend on sneaking her in too. Your dog is cute as hell.’

We ended up really hitting it off, as did our dogs. He went home the next day, but we exchanged numbers. On my second-to-last day at the hotel, somebody called in about my dog. They let me stay, but said my dog had to go. He offered us both a place to crash, which I said was too weird, but I let my dog stay. We ended up dating and are still together.”

–HMC

13. The low blood sugar sweethearts.

“Before he was my husband, I worked in the same department with him at work. I was also part of a medical first response team made up of trained volunteers for on-the-job medical emergencies that might arise. My husband is diabetic and he had low blood sugar at work one day. His normal response to a low is falling asleep, but this day, he was very animated and laughing and jumping around. I and a couple other medical team members were trying to calm him down and get him to eat something to bring his blood sugar up. To stop him from running through the facility, I was holding his hand. Once we got him to calm down and sit, I sat next to him and talked. I maaaaay have been flirting a little bit. He was cute, after all. He kept saying he loved my smile and asked why was my face turning red. Anyway, after that we started to talk at work and a few weeks later he asked me over for dinner. We were engaged three months later and have now been together six years and married for four. And the really crazy thing was that day I was actually supposed to be on vacation, but plans feel through.”

— Susan Wellhoefer Roeske, Facebook

Stories courtesy of BuzzFeed Community





What it feels like to be pregnant: Humor

8 11 2015

What it feel like to be pregnant

A couple had just started their Lamaze class, and they were given an activity requiring the husband to wear a bag of sand in order to give him some idea of what it feels like to be pregnant.  The husband stood up and shrugged, saying, “This doesn’t feel so bad.”

The instructor then dropped a pen and asked the husband to pick it up.

“You want me to pick up the pen as if I were pregnant, the way my wife would do it?” the husband asked.

“Exactly,” replied the instructor.

To the delight of the other husbands, he turned to his wife and said, “Honey, would you pick up that pen for me?”





We argue that Marriage Exists to Unite one Man and one Woman

27 06 2015

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“We argue that marriage really exists to unite a man and a woman as husband and wife to then be mother and father to any children that that union creates. This is based on anthropological truths that men and women are distinct and complementary. It’s based on a biological fact that reproduction requires both a man and a woman. It’s based on a social reality that children deserve a mom and a dad. Our argument is that this is what gets the government in the marriage business. It’s not because the state cares about consenting adult romance.”





Advice for Fathers by James Stenson

25 06 2015

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Sometimes negative guidelines are at least as helpful as positive ones, often more so. It’s often useful for a father to know what not to do — that is, what to avoid — in a complicated family situation.

I used to ask veteran fathers (men whose children had grown and gone) what warnings or other “negative know-how” they’d pass on to younger Dads. In paraphrase, here are some bits of hard-earned fatherly wisdom they shared with me….

  • Don’t neglect your wife. She needs what we all need: understanding, affection, gratitude, support, and appreciation. For sure, she doesn’t get these from the kids when they’re small. So if she doesn’t get them from her husband either, then she doesn’t get them at all. You can tell you’re neglecting your wife if she starts complaining about small things around the house, one after another, circling around and around the central problem: your apparent unconcern for her. Wake up. Pay attention. Listen to her opinion, help her out, tell her she’s great, hug and kiss her from time to time – all this goes a long way.
  • Don’t underestimate your children. Have high ambitions for their swift, step-by-step growth into maturity. We all tend to become what we think about, and kids tend to become what their parents expect of them. Even when they sometimes let you down and you have to correct them, make them understand that you see this as just a blip along the way. You have no doubt, none whatever, that they’ll someday grow into excellent men and women. You’re proud of them, confident in them. Always will be.
  • Don’t treat teenagers like large children. Think of them, and treat them, as near-adults. Pull them up, fine-tune their consciences, welcome them to adult reality. Show them how to balance a checkbook, pursue a job, work professionally, please their bosses, deal respectfully with the opposite sex. Show them how to buy good clothes, take care of their wardrobe, and dress well. When they complain, “Why don’t you trust me?” teach them that you distinguish between integrity and judgment. You trust their integrity and sense of family honor, their honesty and good intentions – always have, always will. But what you must have reservations about for now, in good conscience, is their inexperienced judgment; that is, you cannot let them hurt themselves through their naive blunders. When they start thinking like responsible adults, then you’ll trust them right across the board – in judgment as well as integrity.
  • Don’t ever tell your teens that the high-school years are the best part of their lives. This isn’t true. Adolescence is, in fact, one of life’s toughest times: teens have to cope with blunders and glandular upheavals, surfing up and down learning curves. Tell your adolescent children, and above all show them, that every stage of life is interesting, challenging, and enjoyable for anyone with a sporting, adventurous spirit. Teens who’ve been well brought up have a great life ahead of them, like the life they see in you. (Think about it: How many older teens and young adults are tempted to suicide because they believe what they’ve been told: the best part of life is behind them?)
  • Don’t let your children weasel out of commitments. Don’t let them take back their word on a whim. Before they make promises or otherwise commit themselves to a course of action, press them to think consequences through and understand their terms, because you will hold them to their word. If they want to buy a pet, make them first commit themselves to feeding and caring for it – then hold them to that. If they accept an invitation to a party (after first checking with you and your wife), they’re obligated to be there even if something more alluring turns up. If they want to take guitar lessons, make them promise to persevere, no matter what, for six months or a year or whatever seems reasonable.
  • When you’re correcting your children and they petulantly ask “Why?” – don’t argue with them. If they’re looking for an explanation, give it once only. If they persist with “Why?” then they’re looking for an argument, not an explanation. Close off the matter. In other words, they must take your “no” as an answer, but you don’t take theirs. You can dialogue with your kids about many issues, but there’s no “dialogue” about your rights as a father.
  • Don’t let your kids dress in such a way as to bring shame to the family. Nobody has a right to do this.
  • Don’t miss small opportunities to talk with your kids. Listen politely and respectfully. You can talk with them while driving, doing dishes and other chores together, walking and biking, working on hobbies you share, tucking them into bed. If you cut down on tube-watching, you’ll find slivers and chunks of time here and there in family life. Make the time, and never forget you haven’t much of it left – for your kids will grow up with incredible swiftness.
  • Don’t shout at your kids so often. It’s a waste of breath. If one of your children needs a talking to, take him or her out for a walk or a soda – and say what you have to say in a calm, serious way. Don’t forget to listen, either – for your kids’ view of things, though mostly wrong, may still have a point. A couple of heart-to-heart talks are better than a dozen explosions.
  • Don’t get trapped into blazing arguments, especially with your teens, and most especially if you have a temper. Words can wound and take a long time to heal. If tempers are flaring, put off the discussion till later – that evening or the next day – when you’ve both cooled down. If you go too far, be the first to apologize.
  • Don’t forget to praise your children, and be specific about it. Kids need a pat on the back from time to time. We all do. Give praise for effort, not just success. Teach the kids this adult-life lesson: because success depends on effort, then effort is more important than success. You always appreciate when your children try.
  • Come down to your children’s level, but don’t stay there. Kids are kids, and you have to come down to their level to take them by the hand. But your long-term goal is to bring them up to your own level – to lead them, patiently over time, to think and act like mature grown-ups. So live like a grown-up. Enjoy being an adult on top of life, and let them see what this means. If they see you enjoy living as a confident, productive adult, they’ll have a life to look forward to.




My Advice To Married Couples After Divorcing My Wife Of 16 Years By Gerald Rogers.

21 06 2015
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Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had

1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.

2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.

3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.

4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.

5. It’s not your job to change or fix her… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.

7. Never blame your wife if you get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.

8. Allow your woman to just be. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.

9. Be silly… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.

10. Fill her soul everyday… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.

11. Be present. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.

12. Be willing to take her sexually, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.

13. Don’t be an idiot…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.

14. Give her space… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)

15. Be vulnerable… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16. Be fully transparent. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.

17. Never stop growing together… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

18. Don’t worry about money. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.

19. Forgive immediately and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.

20. Always choose love. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.

In the end marriage isn’t about happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come. Marriage is life, and it will bring ups and downs. Embracing all of the cycles and learning to learn from and love each experience will bring the strength and perspective to keep building, one brick at a time.

These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late. But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I loved being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.

If you are reading this and find wisdom in my pain, share it those those young husbands whose hearts are still full of hope, and with those couples you may know who may have forgotten how to love. One of those men may be like I was, and in these hard earned lessons perhaps something will awaken in him and he will learn to be the man his lady has been waiting for.

MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE: Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from. Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

(From the Editor: We wish  to thank Joachim Cabanyes for sending it  to us for publication,   Joachim Cabanyes is an honorary member of Authors-choice blog.)





A Stranger Was Daddy To My Child By Shanell Mouland

22 01 2014

A Stranger Was Daddy To My Child By Shanell Mouland

Dear “Daddy,”
I don’t know your name, but Kate called you “daddy” for the entire flight last week and you kindly never corrected her. In fact, you didn’t even flinch as you could probably tell that she was not confusing you with her own “daddy,” but instead making a judgment regarding your level of “safety” for her. If she calls you “daddy” then you better believe she thinks you are alright.

I sat Kate, my 3-year-old who has autism, in the middle seat knowing full well that there would be a stranger sitting next to her for the duration of this flight. I had to make a quick decision and based on her obsession with opening and closing the window shade, I figured she might be less of a distraction if she sat in the middle. I watched the entire Temple basketball team board the plane, and wondered if one of these giants might sit by Kate. They all moved toward the back. She would have liked that, she would have made some observations that I would have had to deal with, but she would have liked those players. I watched many Grandmotherly women board and hoped for one to take the seat but they walked on by. For a fleeting moment I thought we might have a free seat beside us, and then you walked up and sat down with your briefcase and your important documents and I had a vision of Kate pouring her water all over your multi-million dollar contracts, or house deeds, or whatever it was you held. The moment you sat down, Kate started to rub your arm. Your jacket was soft and she liked the feel of it. You smiled at her and she said: “Hi, Daddy, that’s my mom.” Then she had you.

You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that “smile” that I despise because it means; “manage your child please.” You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles. She could never really answer your questions but she was so enamored with you that she kept eye contact and joint attention on the items you were asking her about. I watched and smiled. I made a few polite offers to distract her, but you would have none of it.
Kate: (Upon noticing you had an iPad) Is dis Daddy’s puduter?
You: This is my iPad. Would you like to see it?
Kate: To me?????? (I know she thought you were offering it to her to keep)
Me: Look with your eyes, Kate. That is not yours.
Kate: Dat’s nice!
You: (Upon noticing that Kate had an iPad) I like your computer, too. It has a nice purple case.
Kate: Daddy wanna be a bad guy? (She offered shredder to you and that, my friend, is high praise)
You: Cool.
The interaction went on and on and you never once seemed annoyed. She gave you some moments of peace while she played with her Anna and Elsa dolls. Kind of her to save you from playing Barbies, but I bet you wouldn’t have minded a bit. I bet you have little girls, too.
Not long before we landed Kate had reached her limit. She screamed to have her seatbelt off, she screamed for me to open the plane door and she cried repeating, “Plane is cwosed (closed)” over and over. You tried to redirect her attention to her toys. She was already too far gone at this point, but the fact that you tried to help your new little friend made me emotional.
In case you are wondering, she was fine the moment we stepped off the plane. Thank you for letting us go ahead of you. She was feeling overwhelmed and escaping the plane and a big, long hug was all she needed.
So, thank you. Thank you for not making me repeat those awful apologetic sentences that I so often say in public. Thank you for entertaining Kate so much that she had her most successful plane ride, yet. And, thank you for putting your papers away and playing turtles with our girl.





Monogamy is unnatural

14 01 2014

Here is a nice readmonogamy

The Matt Walsh Blog

Monogamous marriages are unnatural. On this, I agree with the emailer below.

Now, behold these enlightening thoughts that I found in my inbox this morning:

Greetings Mr. Walsh,

I am a college professor, author, and researcher. It was obvious to me before you ever stated it that you are a man of little education and limited intelligence. Still, I commend your newfound fame and congratulate you on the enormous amounts of money you must be making.

[Five more sentences of insults and pretentious self-aggrandizement]

…You have become a hot topic in some of my classes and this very much worries me. It wasn’t until your name came up for a fifth time that I decided to investigate you. Your prose are rife with fallacies and Neanderthalic musings, so I could easily disembowel and discredit any part of it. But I’d like to concentrate on what seems to be your most common themes:…

View original post 1,201 more words





I LOVE YOU! FOR FIVE YEARS?

6 01 2014

  I LOVE YOU!  FOR FIVE YEARS?

1. Marriage is for life
If someone says: “I love you for five years” or “I marry you for five years but later…I have to reconsider it again, I may ask for a divorce…” Who likes to hear these words? We feel that there is something wrong in this approach to marriage and we are right; this would not be a real marriage according to our human nature and dignity. We deserve much more than five years. Our human nature and dignity asks for a decision for life, without putting conditions to love. Unfortunately we realize that a falling out after some years of married life is quite common.

2. Courtship is a very important preparation for marriage.

Marriage is a very serious step. We bind ourselves for a whole lifetime. Therefore, a period of courtship is necessary; a period of time during which a person can get to know sufficiently well his or her lifetime partner, before making the decision to get married.
During the period of courtship, the man and the woman have to help each other. Human love should not be selfish; marriage is a life of dedication and service to the other and one has to be well prepared. During this period, the most important task is to know the dispositions of the other’s soul, the spirit with which he or she will face married life.

Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. We are persons, a marvelous unity of body and soul; to surrender our own body to one’s spouse signifies surrendering our own self to him or her; honest sexual language demands a commitment to lifelong fidelity.

When a person is not yet married, there is as yet no true commitment; there is no marital bond and a free decision to be with the other for life has not yet been made. (Let us be honest!). If he or she has not committed his or her freedom totally, as the other deserves because of his or her dignity as a human person, one have to admit that the possibility of changing his or her mind in the future still exists; therefore the totality of the gift of oneself would be lacking. Pre-marital relations are a lie.

(Perhaps with an example we can understand this better). If before marriage, one of them suffers an accident in which he or she is disfigured, the other one could decide not to marry that person anymore and it would not be an injustice. There was no true commitment of married life yet. But for a married couple, it would be a terrible lack of justice to leave the other. In marriage, the commitments radically changed their status in life. They promised each other to be faithful in any circumstance.

Those commitments of a married person, so radically change his or her life that a period of courtship is really important and necessary to prepare them.

Courtship should be seen as a time of testing, a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity and the hope of receiving one another as a true gift from God. They should reserve for marriage, expressions of affection that belong to married love and help each other grow in chastity and love (cfr. Pope John Paul II address on the 6 of Feb. 1993).

3. Consequence of the truth about love and courtship.

Man and woman complete each other but expressions of love cannot be governed by feelings alone. We are humans. If the couple does not act prudently, progressively concupiscence can end up governing the relationship and reducing it simply to sexual attraction, each one becoming an object for satisfying personal desires, lowering the relation to the animal level, contrary to the reality of the human person. We should be governed by our mind, which is above our feelings, ready to give ourselves to the other out of love, not out of selfish feelings. For this reason, prudence has always advised that the length of the engagement before marriage be relatively brief (one or two years seem enough to acquire a deep mutual knowledge). External guarantees of stability, such as provided by age, professional situation, house, cannot be forgotten.

Authentic human love is an instrument of sanctification and those in courtship have the obligation to preserve it from selfishness; they are laying the solid foundations for their future stability and fruitfulness.

4. Men and women are different.

Men and women are different; in body and emotions.
Men can easily get aroused. Women are not aroused easily to sexual pleasure. Even if a woman loves someone very much, she may stop some kind of advance which is not proper. For men, this is more difficult. She has slower rising of sexual desires. This is a kind of protection for her, part of the plan of the Creator. This difference in behavior corresponds to the way God made man and woman; it is obvious that the consequences of a sexual act in a man are different from that in a woman. Men do not get pregnant. Women can get pregnant. Women get more trapped, so to speak.

Their hearts are also different. A man can separate sex from love. The average young lady does not generally separate love from sex; for her, feelings of romantic love and sexual desires are closely related.
For the man, sexual desires come suddenly; can be intense and not necessarily related with the heart. He does not feel deep emotions of love and tenderness; he wants immediate satisfaction and pleasure. The woman should understand that the biological and psychological conditions of the man are different. ( Cfr. Jimmy Achacoso, Documentation Service, Philippines, July, 1998).

True friendship is impossible if one allows lust in it. Lust disturbs the capacity of clear discernment and calm thinking. The physical attraction should be subordinated to the spiritual level, to mind and reason.

5. Conclusion

Courtship is a time for holiness, a time to pray, a time to cultivate a love in which the spiritual, emotional, affective aspects are well harmonized and open to the consequences of a married life. A time to fall in love not only in a sentimental way, just because of feelings. But to fall in love, using the mind, the heart and the freedom to chose, for life, a person who has the qualities to be one’s husband or one’s wife until death, and who will be the father or the mother of one’s children.

6. A practical approach.
Some suggestions for the period of courtship:

a) Sincerity. To discuss seriously important topics: children, finance, home, in-laws, work, etc.
b) To avoid travelling alone with him or with her.
c) To avoid certain places, late-night meetings.
d) To get to know his or her friends.
e) To get to know his or her workplace.
f) To seek advice from parents and mature persons.
g) To avoid less decent way of wearing clothes.
h) It is good to have serious disagreements that are quickly solved. In married life these will occur as well.
i) Prayer for happy marriage.

Based on a publication about the topic: DOCUMENTATION SERVICE on Courtship, Dating and going steady, Philippines (1998). Special thanks to John Paul II and Jimmy Achacoso. Written and arranged by Jose Pedro Libano M.





Marry Late, Divorce Early By Mary Eberstadt

3 01 2014

Late marriageAlas and alack, the end of summer turned out to abound in the sort of personal news one really dreads hearing – especially the more one hears it. Several friends and acquaintances now have the same problem in common: they are all getting divorced. And though every divorce is apparently unhappy in its own way, the similarities among these cases are striking enough to suggest some common denominators. All have occurred among older, married, financially (and apparently otherwise) stable people. All have involved small families – most often, an only child. And each was a shock.
All of these divorcing partners, in other words, had ostensibly followed today’s secular wisdom about marital happiness to a T: don’t rush into marriage, take time to find yourself first, establish your own career before settling down, don’t have more children than you can afford. So what went wrong?
I suggest that at least part of the answer – and by extension, perhaps part of the explanation for the staggering Western divorce rate more generally – might be summarized in two words: late marriage. Of course, we can all conjure examples of blissful marriages made in mid-life or even later, just as we can all think of early ones that have been flaming disasters. But if we step back from individual cases and look instead to the general good, the pluses of early marriage do loom large.
Many a sociologist would quarrel with that point, of course. Teen marriages, they remind us, are in fact the most likely to break up. As the contrary-minded sociologist Mark Regnerus has recently observed, that cautionary note is true – and truly misleading; for who said we were talking about teens here? What about marriage in the slightly higher demographic – say, people in their twenties? Why aren’t our churches and other organizations dedicated to family life encouraging more of that?
Regnerus has written a compelling essay in the August 2009 Christianity Today called “The Case for Early Marriage.” He zeroes in first on one particular (and rarely discussed) problem with discouraging early marriage: it means that men and women generally are expected to stay chaste during the same years that are best for childbearing, and in fact far longer than many of them will. “Over 90 percent of Americans,” he observes, “experience sexual intercourse before marrying,” and “the percentage of evangelicals who do so is not much lower.” (The percentage of Catholics probably isn’t, either.) Yes, abstinence education is all to the good, and yes, religious teaching itself is not at issue here; to the contrary, it is a given. “I’m certainly not suggesting,” the author concludes, “that they cannot abstain. I’m suggesting that in the domain of sex, most of them don’t and won’t.”
Regnerus goes on to detail other drawbacks to waiting till today’s fashionably older ages to tie the knot. It encourages men to have a ridiculously prolonged adolescence, as the popular “culture” of many twenty-something males readily demonstrates; it encourages churches to lean too heavily on sexual ecstasy as the foundation of marriage itself; it forces many women, especially believing Christian women, to look long and hard for a suitable partner in a world where many men their age have become anything but; and very seriously indeed, such waiting risks compromising the fertility of any woman who wants to have a family of size – sometimes even the fertility of any woman who wants a child, period.
To these minuses admirably addressed by Regnerus, I would add one other potential plus for earlier marriage that sociologists have yet to grapple with: treating marriage like the home version of Waiting for Godot also risks perpetuating a kind of human consumerism, a habit that cannot possibly be good for anyone.
After all, once a sufficiently large number of relationships have all failed to lead to marriage for one reason or another, it becomes terribly tempting to view the whole enterprise as more like comparison shopping than spiritual discernment. For example, I once knew a man who had dated a great many women by his late twenties – so many that his friends privately rejoiced when one finally appeared who seemed perfect for him. They shared the same religion, political views, and other interests; she was smart, successful, and what today would be called a real babe, to boot. Yet the consumer’s diffident response upon meeting her rang far more of the Consumer Checkbook than of the swain. “I’m not sure,” he temporized. “Her complexion seems really sallow.” Needless to say, no walk down the aisle.
This is what comes of people shopping, perhaps – the destructive habit of making comparative checklists about human beings. No one does it consciously, of course; but still the pernicious voice of experience assesses the goods. He gained thirty pounds, and my other boyfriends never would have, it tells some people, or she looks great for her age, but not as great as my secretary who’s ten years younger, and if only I had married X, Y, or Z instead, we wouldn’t be having all these financial/medical/romantic problems.
Of course there are good reasons to wait for marriage, chiefly that it is the single most important earthly decision that many of us will make, and that the world we live in does indeed make it easier than ever for things to fall apart. That said, from the point of view of trying to bring more, rather than fewer, thriving families into that same world, Regnerus is right: there’s much to be said for bucking the prevailing cultural aversion and marrying young.

Mary Eberstadt is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution





15 Ways to Encourage Your Husband by Betty Beguiles

29 11 2013

15 Ways to Encourage Your Husband by Betty Beguiles

Lately things have been a little tense at home. Nothing serious but we’ve had our fair share of worries and stressors. I’d like to be able say that I’ve walked through this trying period with grace, humility and faith but the truth is that when I get stressed, I get controlling. I want to fix, fix, fix; instruct, instruct, instruct; and boss, boss, boss. My motives are pure–I only want to stop the suffering–but the way I go about it leaves (more than) a little something to be desired.

The problem with my approach is that it presumes that I am smarter than everyone else; it presumes that I have all the answers; and it presumes that everyone else is stupid. That’s right, I said it: it presumes that everyone else is stupid–including my husband who I’m afraid bears the brunt of this domineering (born-of-fear) attitude.

While I know that my actions don’t reflect my true feelings or opinions (which, if they could speak, would tell you that I think I have the most awesome husband on the face of the earth), the message they send is harmful nonetheless. My actions imply that I don’t think my husband has a handle on the situation; that he’s not up to the task; and that I’d better step in and assume control of the ship before it sinks and we all drown.

(Did I mention that I also get a bit melodramatic when under pressure?)

The truth is that it is I who would be lost without him and his wisdom. He is my rock, my safe haven, and my solace. This is what I actually want to communicate. It just comes out all wrong when I start to panic. What’s up with that?

Sometimes I worry that he can’t say the same about me for so often when he approaches me to share his burdens my response is to correct and advise, rather than to comfort and console. I want to offer him a secure place to lay down his armor, rest, and be vulnerable but how can he when he knows that I will most likely respond by showering him with unsolicited advice?

Maybe I’m exaggerating. Perhaps my husband will read all this and object but my heart tells me I could do better and more and so I thought I might create a little list of 15 ways that I can support and encourage my husband…

• Compliment him on his strengths and achievements and acknowledge his victories.
• Create a peaceful atmosphere within our home. Make it a place that he can lay down his burdens and rest easy.
• Pray for him. Reread The Power of a Praying Wife.
• Write him love letters. Make sure he knows how absolutely swoon-worthy I find him to be.
• Speak well of him to friends and family. It wouldn’t hurt if he accidentally overheard from time to time, either.
• When he stumbles, respond with mercy, compassion and encouragement.
• Encourage him to dream big and find ways to support those dreams.
• Try not to give feedback on every single decision he makes.
• Ask him for his opinion and guidance. Make sure he knows how much I value his opinion.
• Be affectionate. Don’t be shy about communicating how much I desire him.
• Make sure he has the time to do the things he loves and to pursue his passions.
• Apologize for things I’ve done in the past that have hurt him.
• Thank him for all his hard work and many sacrifices.
• Don’t bring up past failures or hurts or rehash old fights. Truly forgive and forget.
• Have faith in him and let him lead.

 





Marriage Isn’t For You By Seth Smith

15 11 2013

marriage is not for you

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

SKwedding394
Marriage is about family.

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

This post originally appeared on ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.








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