Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

Why Boredom Happens

Woman looks into the distance at dusk

I was at our Credit Union last week conducting some business when one of the employees remarked that it was her parents’ wedding anniversary. A coworker commented on the happiness of the day, to which she responded, “Not really, they’re divorced.” The scope of divorce in our society is disheartening, and I wonder how many of them could have been prevented.Read Article

Living in A Fantasy

Rain on a tenament

I love reading the paper. I’ve written about that fact several times on this blog. Perhaps my favorite part of reading the paper is reading the in-depth reporting. Each day there are long-form articles that have been worked on extensively over a prolonged period of time. These exposes are journalism at its finest. Since October, we’ve collectively been discussing sexual harassment and assault due to this type of reporting.Read Article

Make 2017 A Change Year

Snow on a rugged moutain side

I love this last week of the year. There’s a feeling of hope and anticipation for the New Year. We’re eager for this grand reset, and we even start believing that we can change our lives for the better. I'm ready for 2017 to be a change year.Read Article

Stop Using In-Law

Newlywed couple on the Church steps

Marriage is full of misunderstanding. In our circle of friends and in media we bemoan the lack of freedom and small annoyances of our spouses. The truth is something entirely different. The reality of two people coming together to form something new is beautiful. Marriage is ultimately freeing and completely beautiful, even if it doesn’t feel like that sometimes.Read Article

The First Step to Being A Better Spouse

Couple kneels together at wedding Mass

Everyone wants a happy marriage, but not everyone is willing to work for it. We’ve become too self-centered to recognize that we can build the marriage of our dreams. We must have the courage to mend our flaws and then the determination to cultivate a vibrant prayer life. If you want to be a more loving and patient spouse, you’ve got to pray at least 30 minutes each day.Read Article

The Three Stges of Every New Marriage

The author at his wedding

Today the ultimate Throwback Thursday. Alison and I are celebrating our four year wedding anniversary. We’re a different family than we were on that day, and different people, too. I can see now how each year has progressed and the different stages that we have moved through. The early stages of any new marriage can be tumultuous. I fear that we give newlyweds and engaged couples the wrong perspective. They’re sold on the idea of a honeymoon phase that I don’t believe is real. I see three distinct phases that every marriage goes through.Read Article

The Rightful Place for Sex

Woman holds the arm of her man

We love sex. We love it so much that sex has found itself in just about every quarter of our lives. It’s a weapon, a tool, a marketing strategy, a sales tool, clickbate, and even a conversation piece. The only problem is, sex really doesn’t belong in any of those places. Sex most rightly belongs in a marriage, and the pragmatic reason has nothing to do with religion or pregnancy.
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Gift Giving

Person hands a wrapped present

There are many ways to express your love to your wife. Using the words, doing some chores, caring for her after a long week, and even cooking dinner are a few goods ways. One of the more infrequent expression of love is the giving of physical gifts.Read Article

Etiquette in Marriage

Man wearing a tuxedo

I recently wrote about my thoughts on reading “Emily Post’s Essential Manners for Men: Second Edition.” In that post, I highlighted the three components of etiquette: 1) consideration (how others will feel), 2) respect (how your actions affect others), and 3) honesty (courteous truth telling). I want to look at these three principles and evaluate in a specific way how their implementation can improve the marital relationship.Read Article

The Insidious Nature of Stress

A wave breaks

One of my greatest relational weaknesses is a knee-jerk reaction to place blame. It’s a quick reaction and thankfully one that’s rapidly subdued by logic and reason. Still, it's pretty nasty and completely unfair. Few situations rise to the level where blame is even remotely appropriate, but even in those circumstances acceptance of responsibility and devising a path forward are far more productive. The downside to this weakness of mine is the opportunity that it steals from my marriage. It leaves me feeling out of sync with Alison and, in turn, less happy than I would be otherwise.Read Article

Stay the Course

County road cuts through farms

If there's one thing that we can count on, it's change. Perfectly laid plans are disrupted by unforeseen events and suddenly, they aren't so perfect anymore. The decision that we must make in times of change is if we're going to stick to our guiding principles or if we're going to throw out the playbook and do something completely different.Read Article

Random Acts of Service

Volunteer cuts wood on a mission trip

Last Fall, Alison was on call one night at the hospital here in town. The proximity to our house to the hospital makes things both very convenient and painfully inconvenient. Benedict and I had the car and we planned on taking dinner to Alison shortly after her shift started. As I began to put the dinner together, I felt the urge to do something really nice. Instead of just a main course, I wanted to make her a full dinner. So I grilled up some burgers, packed up condiments, chips, dessert, and a mint. It was a small, random gesture, but one that brought her comfort on her long overnight shift.Read Article

Why I'm Optimistic

A low bridge in a forest

Inviting God into every aspect of your life is clearly an excellent idea. Having His help and guidance is like having a cheat code in life. There are many areas, however, that I don't even think to invite Him in. Guidance on a major purchase, request for help while working towards goals, or even just increasing the prayers of thanksgiving and showering Him with gratitude are places where I have room for improvement.Read Article

Long Term Thinking

Person holds up a compass

Life in the Collins household has been in full motion as of late. Just after Thanksgiving we bought a van and expanded to a two car family. Then, late in December, my trusty Prius essentially died. We were able to sell it for a fair price, but we’re back to just one car. Of course, I was mildly devastated to lose my signature car.Read Article

Why Marriages Fail


Child's train tracks on a play table
One of the main roles in the household for husbands is to take care of all of the little details when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Oil changes, washing the car, lawn care, shoveling snow, and other associated tasks all fall within our purview. These are the tasks that we do for our wives. They aren't fun and they aren't glamorous, but we do them anyway.Read Article

Inconvenient Times of Need

Old man sits on a bench by tram

If there's one thing about marriage that's true, it's that your spouse often needs you when it's most inconvenient. While not altogether a bad thing, it can be a bit frustrating when she wants to talk while you want to sleep, or when you need a favor while she's working on a craft. While the inconvenience can be chafing, it can also be beautiful.Read Article

A Family of Saints

White church in a village

During this year's Synod on the Family, Pope Francis canonized Louis and Marie-Azelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese. What's particularly interesting about the Martin family is the vocations that came out of it. The Martin's had 9 children, four of whom died in childhood. Of the five who survived, all girls, each entered the religious life. This true model of holiness in a family has me thinking, what will it take for me to raise a family of saints?Read Article

Your Sacred Ring

Couple shows their shoes on their wedding day

In the Catholic Church, we have aids that help to remind ourselves of God’s loving presence in our lives. We call these aids sacramentals. They are things that have been blessed and that point us back to God. Without being blessed, they are something ordinary like some beads strung together on a rope or water in a bowl. After having been blessed, they become something holy, something that’s a means to achieve peace and holiness in this life, and joy in the next.Read Article

Never Rush Decisions

Man holds reading glasses in hand

It's only when I rush into something that I get burned. Alison and I have recently been car shopping, which in and of itself is a time-pressured experience. Vehicles go up for sale and are sold, sometimes in a matter of days. Like a whack-a-mole game, opportunities come and go in an instant. Especially when it's a major, life altering decision, don't rush.Read Article

Dating in the Married Life

A couple on a date

The ordinary needs to be challenged. In the days of dating your wife, there was much newness in the air. You were getting to know each other, it was exciting, and the future was unknown. After your wedding day, things settled down. Many marriages fail with the couple citing that the flame died out, but that's a fallacy. Dating your spouse doesn't end on your wedding day. It doesn't end, period.Read Article

Take Advantage of Financial Booms

Stack of $100 bills

There's nothing better than a family financial boom. Flush with cash, you and your spouse breathe a little easier, you dream a little more, and the door of possibilities opens just a little wider. The great temptation is obviously to do something fun with the money... something a little reckless. The responsible thing is to use it to get ahead. How do you decide?Read Article

Rethinking Together Time

A couple laughs together

Is residency over yet? With just under 18 months to go, I'm so done with all of this. Alison's schedule, the shifting sands, and lack of predictability in future planning. It's a part of the process, but that doesn't mean that I have to like it. As a part of this whole experience, Alison and I have really had to spend time rethinking what we need when it comes to time together.Read Article

Diligent Budgeting

A woman counts a stack of bills

Diligent budgeting requires three distinct toolsets: allocating, tracking, and accounting. Although each toolset has its own challenges and difficulties, using all three in unison can prove a very powerful asset as you strive to reach your financial goals. By not employing all three, you’re likely to lose money somewhere in your budget.Read Article

Things Will Never Make You Happy

iOS home screen

When there's something that I want to buy, I tend to develop a laser-like focus on achieving that goal. I'll work to find any way I can to be able to get that thing. This most often happens with technology. All of this focus builds suspense and excitement, which quickly dissipates just a few days after I make the purchase. The suspense and excitement are gone, and I just move on.Read Article

Enough About Sex Already

A bed neatly made

I have zero interest in your sexual preferences. Frankly, it's none of my business. Yet, we’ve become so fixated on everyone's sexual preferences that it's spilled beyond relationships into jobs, culture, and every other facet of our shared community life. Sex is an intensely interpersonal act that has two aims: to emotionally bind spouses more closely and to create children. The only time I'm interested in hearing about your sexual preferences is in the context of a baby announcement.Read Article

The Two Most Important Times of Day

Clouds against a backdrop of red and yellow sky

There are two critical times of interaction with your wife each day. They are the times are when you say goodbye in the morning and hello in the evening. While both take only moments, I consider them to be real tone-setters for the day.Read Article

Vacations without Your Kids

A packed suitcase ready for travel

Our children's dependance on us is both proper and something that needs to be managed. It’s a wonderful thing that our children rely on us for their basic needs, for guidance, and for instruction. At the same time, this 24 hour job we call parenting is incredibly exhausting. What parent doesn't enjoy the peace and quiet that only the post-bedtime hours can bring? If we're not careful, the exhaustion of raising children can adversely impact the most important relationship in our lives: our marriage.Read Article

Fighting Financial Fatigue

Perhaps the most difficult struggle that any of us face in reaching our financial goals is the inevitable long journey it takes to reach them. Most of us have goals that are far in the future, like buying our own home, getting out of debt, or retiring in comfort. When we strive to reach a goal that we've never before experienced, it can be easy to fatigue on the goal, and to start losing ground. It's in those moments that your resolve is truly tested.Read Article

How to Move Past the Worst Mistakes

Perhaps the most painful mistakes you or I will ever make will involve money. Bad buying decisions, late payments, or even bouncing a check are all extremely embarrassing life events. We all struggle to let go of dumb money mistakes that we’ve made in the past. Yet, your mistake might not even be an external money mistake. Sometimes money mistakes involve only your family, like going over budget on something. Even though it only involves your family, it’s still embarrassing. It's incredibly important that you be able to forgive yourself and to forgive your wife for money errors.Read Article

How to Help Your Wife Live Her Dreams

Alison has been accepted into a medical Natural Family Planning course later this year. I'm not sure how long this has been a dream of hers, but a year into her medical career, I know that she's eager to live this dream. It's important that while you're chasing your dreams, you ensure that you're doing all that you can to support your wife's. After all, she supports you in everything that you do.Read Article

Are You Taking A Pay Cut?

If you work for an employer that offers a benefits package as a part of your compensation, I strongly encourage you to make sure that you fully understand all that is being furnished to you. Alison's upcoming NFP certification course, for example, qualifies under her employer's tuition reimbursement program, meaning, essentially, that she's gaining several thousand extra dollars in compensation this year. Your employer furnishes benefits in exchange for a lower overall salary, so when you let your benefits sit unused, you're essentially taking a pay cut!Read Article

How to Spend More Time with Your Wife

Earlier this year, during one of Alison's many rotations, she was assigned to a hospital about 45 minutes away. Her shift was from 7am - 7pm daily with the exception of Wednesday, meaning that her schedule and Benedict's schedule aligned very poorly. In fact, during the week, with the exception of Wednesday and the weekend, she often wouldn't see him at all. To help alleviate the loss that all three of us felt, twice during the month Benedict and I drove her to work and then went on an adventure.Read Article

Is Your Wife Your Only Friend?

Admittedly, this is going to be a bit of an awkward post for me. While I wish I was living out the principles that I'm going to cover, I'm really not. You see, as men, we need really great guy friends. Certainly your wife is your best friend and yet, she can't be your only friend. We need people around us to help us be better men, and who better to challenge us than friends who struggle with the exact same things that we struggle with? By cultivating great relationships with a few great guys, you can build a support network and grow as a man.Read Article

Pride and Money Mistakes

Money just might be the most personal thing in the world. Almost no other topic causes people to become defensive so quickly. After graduating from college, I went overboard and maxed out several credit cards. It was a big mistake and one that set me back two years in my financial plan. When I realized my mistake, with the help of those around me, I found a plan and worked my way back out. Money and pride are closely linked together and they're a deadly duo. We make mistakes, but pride compounds the problem. We need to take a few steps to help keep our money in check.Read Article

The Joy of Giving

Earlier this year, while at the March for Life, Alison and I were approached by a man selling official event hats. Ordinarily, I don't bother buying branded merchandise from events, but this time, I did. He told me that the proceeds went to help a particular charity that provided housing and job training to the homeless. Since the hats were clearly high quality and bore the official logo of the March, I immediately reached for my wallet and bought two. The thing is, giving your money to help others is the most fun that you'll ever have.Read Article

The Best Thing About Permanence

Marriage is designed to last. While that's a simple statement, the implausibility of the construct makes it an enigma. How can two completely different adults, with completely different customs, traditions, and rearing, come together in their 20s or 30s and build an entirely new family that not only survives a 50 or 60 year marriage, but thrives and endures after the couple's death? There is but one lynchpin in the whole system that keeps this complex arrangement together: permanence.Read Article

Quality Time Takes Time

The difference between men and women becomes abundantly clear when it comes to quality time. For men, quality time is like any other allocated time during the day, a set period of time with specific objectives that, once complete, can be moved on from. Women tend to have a more fluid concept of quality time. It's an undetermined length of time and is fulfilled after a certain level of connectedness is reached. In order to help reconcile these differences, I've concluded that we men just need to concede this point. You can't rush quality time and expect meaningful results.Read Article

Staying on Budget

Going over budget is never a good thing. Not only does it mean that you have to find the money somewhere else, it also means that you’ll experience a setback on your progress towards your current goals. There are two main reasons why people over spend: they didn't budget enough money to start with or they didn't anticipate certain expenses. If you've been diligently budgeting for a while, going over budget probably isn't a result of irresponsibility, it may just be poor planning.Read Article

Get Your Wife to Heaven

If you want to be a really good husband, direct all of your actions towards getting your wife into Heaven. Essentially, that's our mission in the married life. Certainly our love is meant to be shared completely and we're to accept and raise any children that come into existence as a result. Yet, at the end of the day, everything points back to getting your wife into Heaven. What are you doing to accomplish that mission?Read Article

Marriage and Patience

A few weeks ago, Alison and I went to a live radio show. That sentence felt weird to type, but it's true. We traveled into Washington, DC to be a part of the studio audience for "The Catholic Guy Show" with Lino Rulli which can be heard on SiriusXM's The Catholic Channel. During the show, I got up on the guest mic and for reasons unknown to me, admitted to an international listening audience that my biggest struggle in the married life is with patience. The fact is, it's true, although I didn't plan on sharing that part of my life when I got on air. There are plenty of times when I get really impatient at even the smallest inconveniences. Yet, I know that I'll never be happy in my marriage or in my life if I'm impatient.Read Article

Relational Fresh Air

If on your Wedding Day you expected your marriage to be full of positive emotions and the warm fuzzies, you may by now have found yourself disappointed. Emotions are ephemeral, but love is not. When things get a bit chilly in your marriage, sometimes all you need is a bit of relational fresh air. My favorite part about spring is being able to open the windows. After a season of a closed up house, there's something really refreshing about a gentle breeze whipping through the halls of our home. Everything feels better and I feel more motivated to get things done. At times, you need the breath of fresh air in your marriage.Read Article

How to Allocate Charitable Dollars

I love the hum of the mail truck. Although we live on a busy street, there's a particular sound that the mail truck makes as it rumbles down the road. It's a low hum combined with short bursts of acceleration as it moves from box to box. Even if I'm in the back of the house, I can usually hear when the mail has arrived in the early afternoon. Several days a week, our mailbox is filled with charitable solicitations. In the Christmas season, it gets even more intense. I don't mind receiving these mailings and we give each request due consideration.Read Article

3 Ways to Pamper Your Wife this Weekend

Weekends are a great time for some TLC. After a long week, often spent apart, the weekends afford us down time to spend as we please with our family. Hopefully you spend most of the weekend with your wife by working together on chores and projects, having a date night, or even something as simple as being in the same room together. The weekend is also a great opportunity to pamper your wife.Read Article

Valentine's Day isn't Over

I made a huge mistake last year. In honor of Alison's birthday, I coordinated among our family to give her an awesome present: her own coffee bar. She was getting ready to begin practicing medicine and I knew two things: Alison loves coffee and physicians need coffee. We got her an espresso machine, a wall-mounted coffee bar, coffee, and everything else that she'd need to have her very own, very fun coffee bar. Then I made a bonehead move. The excitement and anticipation overwhelmed me and I had her open all of her presents before her birthday. Her big day came, and there was nothing left. Whomp.Read Article

Humility in Marriage

Marriage is unlike anything else in our world. It's a relationship that cannot be fully comprehended without entering into one, and it's many layers make it a lifetime effort of discovery. As is normal for human behavior, we try to compare marriage to a relationship that we do understand, bending it to fit into a reality that we can comprehend. The result is error, confusion, and misunderstanding. We often treat marriage like a business transaction, but marriage isn't a joint venture or partnership.Read Article

Complex Sexual Histories

Recently, I've been considering the role of men in the family life. It's a complex issue, and one that no longer has consensus among the masses. In a sense, we've forgotten how men should behave and interact with their families. There are many men who want to be good husbands and fathers, but these men find few clues as to how to do it properly. There are also many men who wish to pursue their own desires before being the husband and father that they ought to be, and there are few societal pressures to push them back in the right direction.Read Article

Stop Joking About Marriage

A few weeks ago, I was getting my hair cut. The barber asked what I did, and I told him that I’m a writer and that I write about Christian marriage. The resulting conversation was about his experience of the married life and the times when he really screwed up. I enjoyed our conversation, but I was a bit uncomfortable with the jokes that he was sharing. I love humor and use it in almost every situation, but, in my opinion, jokes about marriage tend to be more damaging than funny.Read Article

Nip Problems in the Bud

We all have a bit of a flair for the dramatic. While we may despise personal conflict, we’re a bit partial to the excitement and the unknown that the drama incites. There are endless reality TV shows based solely on the generation of drama. Drama is entertaining.Read Article

Intent Matters in Sex

One of the best books on the argument for marriage the way that we understand it is "What is Marriage?: A Man and Woman: A Defense" by Ryan Anderson, Robert George, and Sherif Girgis. I'll review the book in a later post, but in the work, the authors systematically lay out the foundation for the conjugal view of marriage. Namely, that marriage isn't based on emotions, but rather on a mutual desire to express love in such a way that it flows out from the couple and into children. Along the course of the argument, the material touched on some auxiliary issues, including the intent required during sex. Wrongful intent in a sexual relationship, even wrongful intent held by a married person, can reduce sex to a lie or a tool.Read Article

Drop Everything for Her

When Benedict is in the family room playing, anytime he hears the locks on the front door turning, he'll stop and say, "Mama." This cute response to an all too familiar sound is based on his experience of daily life. In the evening, when Alison comes home from work, soon after hearing that sound, his mother appears in view and he gets very excited. No matter what he's doing or how engaged he is with his current activity, he'll stop, say "Mama" and then crawl to the baby gate, waiting to catch a glimpse of her.Read Article

Missing Alison

Alison's work schedule is, at times, a real challenge for me. On her month of nights, she'd be at home and awake from about noon to 5pm and then gone or asleep for the rest of the day. Some mornings I'd even crawl back into bed for a nap while she was sleeping just so we could be together.Read Article

Be Full of Surprises

A few days before Valentine's Day, my sister texted me asking what my plans were. "Are you going to write Alison a love letter and draw her a bath?" Of course, I responded yes. I also noted how hard it is to surprise Alison because I give away my best ideas on the blog and she edits every single one of them!Read Article

An Undivided Heart

When I was in college, I loved dating. I went on dates with many women, was in a relationship with a few, and married one of them. It's a difficult transition to shift your mindset from one of dating to one of a committed relationship. A marriage, being the lifelong commitment that it is, requires your full, undivided heart.Read Article

Forget About Being Right

There are many commonly held beliefs about marriage that I refuse to subscribe to. Over the past two years, they've been weaved into many of the posts that have appeared on this blog. I don't believe that marriage is about someone being in control. I don't believe marriage is about someone being nothing more than a rubber stamp. I believe that marriage is more than a partnership or a co-venture. Marriage is about a husband and a wife, both pouring themselves completely into relationship and reaping the rewards together.Read Article

3 Ways to Improve Date Night

Now that Alison's internship is starting to wind down and she's finished with her examinations and their associated preparations, we're finding more and more time to spend as a family. Don't get me wrong, she's still crazy busy and working long hours, usually far from home, but now that she has less on her plate, her home time really is our own.Read Article

Your Role As Husband

The role of husband is perhaps the most challenging role that any man faces. As a single man, the world was your domain. You chose your coming and your going. You chose what you ate, when you ate. You did all of your own social planning, shopping, and travel. As we stepped into the role of husband, and subsequently the role of father, all of that changed.Read Article

Do Valentine's Day Right

—PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT—

WARNING! Valentine's Day is in 4 days. WARNING!Read Article

There Will Be Stress

In marriage you share everything, including stress. You won't find that little jewel printed on any brochure and you most likely didn't hear it in your pre-marriage counseling, but it's the truth.Read Article

Love Letters from the Past

Recently, I went through all of my Facebook messages and deleted old conversations. I've never been big into using Facebook messages for communicating, but for some odd reason, Facebook preserved just about every message I've sent using the service for the past 8 years. It took me about 2 hours to get rid of all of them, but I did it.Read Article

Small Changes Yield Big Results

So many things in our lives are fully within our control. We control our emotions, reactions, and how we treat people. Over time, it can become embarrassingly easy to stop recognizing the gift of your wife. You see her day after day and it becomes easier and easier to act with less kindness. If you don’t watch out, you may end up treating her more like a coworker than your life's partner.Read Article

Better Understand Your Budget

We love to hate budgets. It can be annoying to do them, we always forget to add things, and they’re nearly unrecognizable at the end of the month. The problem with avoiding doing a budget, or doing it poorly, is that all budgets really do is acknowledge reality. We’re going to spend money, it’s just a question of how we’re going to do it. Regardless of how successful you are at staying on budget, the fact remains that ultimately you have to balance your budget, or suffer the consequences.Read Article

2015: The Year of the Gazelle

I absolutely love this time of year. The anticipation of Advent, the joy of sharing Christmas morning with my own little family, and a chance for all of us to breathe a little easier and take stock of our year. It's been a big one in the Collins household and I hope that you've had a fun year as well.Read Article

Sex Isn't Just for the Bedroom

It’s quite easy to see that we’ve really got a complete misunderstanding of the meaning of sex. On one side of the spectrum, there’s the pervasive hedonistic view that galavants around with the classic “anything goes” mentality. On the other side is the rigid, closed view that sees sex as an inconvenient necessity. The Catholic Church’s teaching is clear, but what both of these views ignore is the fact that sex isn’t just for the bedroom.Read Article

Surround Your Marriage with Friends

The life of a young single person is filled with friendships of all degrees. Think back to your college days and the boundless number of friends that you had. Each relationship achieved a particular purpose. They weren't formed out of some utilitarian purpose, rather, as each friendship was cultivated, it ended up meeting some need that you each had.Read Article

Planning for A Better Marriage in 2015

A lifetime together is a journey of 1,000 miles. Each day, you take small steps forward and, some days, you simply make no progress. We all want to be better people, to live up to the idea of a person we have in our heads, but breaking free from our self-limitations can be extremely challenging, if not almost impossible to do.Read Article

How Our Budget Committee Works

Alison and I have been married for 26 months. That means that our Budget Committee has assembled 26 times to write 26 different budgets. There have been some fun meetings when we were flush with cash and there have been meetings where things were really tight. We’ve had Budget Committee meetings that planned for the arrival of Benedict, and planned for gift giving to those we love most. Our Budget Committee has planned for everything from trips to toothbrushes. Over time, we’ve refined how we operate our Budget Committee and I’d like to share our process with you.Read Article

Make Her Bedtime Better

The way in which we prepare for bed directly affects how much time we spend tossing and turning. With the right moves, you can significantly increase your sleep time each night. Among the changes you can make include decreasing your caffeine consumption, taking melatonin, and limiting “screen time” in the hour leading up to your designated sleep time. Why not do things to make your wife's bedtime better?Read Article

3 Steps to Help Your Reach Your Financial Goals

Setting goals is hard. Reaching financial ones is even more difficult. Money flows in and you instantly want to spend it. How do you balance the pursuit of your goals with the wants of today?Read Article

IKEA Builds More than Furniture

IKEA just might be the greatest store in the world. The entire showroom is a playground for adults (and kids, too!). When you walk through the aisles, your imagination goes wild and begins putting everything into its place in your home. IKEA is the worst store in the world when you get home.Read Article

The Best Way to Make it Up to Her

There are many times in our relationships that we make mistakes. There are times when we don’t love her as we should or when we hurt her.Read Article

Quiet Time Together

There’s a belief that whenever spouses have “together time,” they should be actively chatting or interacting. As humans, we need our quiet time to rest, recharge, and restore our creative energies. Together time shouldn’t always be active or talkative, spending quiet time together is just as important.Read Article

Bedroom As Sacred Space

We have many rooms in our homes, but perhaps the most curious is the bedroom. We have an entire room, sometimes per person, dedicated solely to sleeping. In fact, depending on how much you’re home during the day, it might be the room that you spend the most time in. Your bedroom is a truly sacred space.Read Article

Going the Extra Mile for Her

You can’t be a minimalist husband. Marriage demands something more. Marriage demands all that you have. Marriage demands your best because your wife deserves it. What does it mean to go the extra mile for your wife?Read Article

How to Fight with Your Wife

Fights in your marriage will happen. They will range in severity, but, from time to time, you will have a serious disagreement with your wife. There’s the right way to handle it and a wrong way to handle it. Usually, I choose the wrong way.Read Article

2 Years In

Two weeks ago, Alison and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. I’d like to share with you a few thoughts about what I’ve learned so far.Read Article

101 Ways to Love

We all want to be someone great. But do we have the courage to be more than average?Read Article

In Marriage, Time Doesn't Equal Success

In your lifetime, you’ll try many new things. You’ll be an amateur at a lot of hobbies. More important than experience, however, is confidence.Read Article

How to Start Your End of Day Conversations

Questions are powerful. Through the power of questioning, you can open up a whole new world. You learn about people, who they are, their unique story and how they view the world.Read Article

Candlelit Dinners

There’s something really special about candlelit dinners. I’m not sure which committee in history voted that candlelight is a requirement for romance, but they were right. The low flickering light puts everything in a better light.Read Article

Loving On A Budget

Romance doesn’t have to be expensive.Read Article

Plan Your Dreams

When you dream, dream big.Read Article

Waking Up Together

As I write this, it’s 5:18am on a Wednesday morning. I’ve been up for 38 minutes. So far, I’ve weighed in, made coffee, spent time in meditation, and began my writing for the day. All of this is possible because, when the alarm rang at 4:40am, both Alison and I got up at the same time.Read Article

Marriage Rules, Secularism Drools

Many people, perhaps a good segment of your friends and peers, have a negative view of marriage. Some believe it’s modern slavery, others see it as a roadblock to fulfilling their dreams, and a few even find the idea of having a single sexual partner for life impossible, or at the very least undesirable. Your experience of marriage is shaped by your attitude towards the Sacrament, not the petty opinion of someone else.Read Article

Stealing Little Moments

Your day is a series of blocks of time. Every 15 or 30 minutes, you have your time parsed out to one meeting or another project. At home you have time for reading, relaxing, or maybe even gaming. So with your schedule full and your wife’s full, how do you find time for your wife?Read Article

Attend to Her Needs

A major theme of this blog is personal service. I believe that the most fun you’ll have is in serving your wife selflessly. If you lose yourself in your wife’s needs, you’ll reap a harvest so abundant that your marriage cannot help but grow.Read Article

Golden Hour

Playing with kids all day is fun. As adults, however, we need time for ourselves. We need time to connect to other humans who can form complex sentences and share ideas. I like to call the hour after Benedict goes to sleep the “Golden Hour.”Read Article

Open to Life

In our society, especially recently, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about ways to avoid pregnancy. When did kids become the enemy?Read Article

Sync Status

Relationships have seasons. Sometimes they’re going really well and other times, well, they’re not.Read Article

Cash is King, but not God

Money makes the world go around. Currency allows us to buy things, both needs and wants.Read Article

The Blame Game

Perhaps the most crippling and meaningless activity in American workplaces is the blame game. Every single worker can easily recall a recent time when an error occurred, and the workforce spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out who to blame, instead of fixing the problem.Read Article

What A Nice Compliment

As a society that strives for absolute equality, we’ve really missed the boat on something key. In our rush to make sure that we don’t offend anyone or hurt their feelings, we’ve given up on the idea that being unequal in some things might actually be a good and beneficial thing.Read Article

How to Handle Decisions

One of the biggest jumps to make between the single life and the married life is the transition to shared decision making.Read Article

10 Date Night Ideas

There’s a growing body of research that’s demonstrating that regular date nights with your spouse can significantly increase the happiness in your marriage. Sadly, few married couples make time to have exclusive spousal relationship time.Read Article

Sleeping with A Friend

A few months ago, I wrote about how I’ve been trying to watch what types of media I consume (LINK). The premise is that you become the media that you consume. One of the popular songs today that I’ve been trying to avoid is “Sleeping with a Friend” by Neon Trees.Read Article

How to Be An Awesome Husband

Step 1: Do something that will make your wife’s life easier.Read Article

Inside Jokes

We all love to be a part of inside jokes. These jokes come about when we have a shared experience with someone else. The joy of an event lives on when similar circumstances reappear in your life. After all, life is more fun when you’re enjoying it.Read Article

Be Adventurous

Marriage isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.Read Article

What This Ring Means

Your wedding ring is a constant reminder of your wife’s love and fidelity. It’s a circle, without beginning or end. It’s perpetual.Read Article

Having Serious Talks

Daily married life is often light and playful. There are jokes, stories, and general bonding. There will be also times in your marriage when you’ll need to have a serious conversation with your wife. It’s important that the weight of these conversations are well known while you’re having them.Read Article

Your Marriage

Your marriage was meant for good.Read Article

Finding Time to Pray Together

Prayer in common is a tradition in Catholicism that goes back to our beginnings. Catholics, though we weren’t called that yet, would gather in each other’s home to pray and break bread. Today we have a more formalized liturgy that is the Mass. We gather together in God’s house to pray as a community. We know that wherever two or more are gathered, God is in our presence. Praying with your wife is an essential practice in your marriage.Read Article

How She Communicates

Communication. We all want lots of high quality communication, but it can be difficult to find. In a marriage, communication is essential.Read Article

Budget Committee

Finances are central to our lives. Money is how we buy the things we need, and do the things we love. Having money can be a great thing, but it can also be a tremendous burden. If you don’t take the time to decide what you’re going to do, you’ll soon find you don’t have any. In your marriage, working with your wife to determine how you’ll spend your money is one of the most important things you can do together.Read Article

Live Like You're Dating

Think for a moment about the early days of dating. A new relationship is fresh, vibrant, and exciting. Your heart races as you receive a new text message.Read Article

Why You Always Lose

Conflict in your marriage is a certainty. You and your wife are working towards the same goals, but you may each have a different way to get there. There will be a lot of times when you’re in the wrong, but there will also be times when you’re right, but end up losing the fight anyway.Read Article

Fight with Your Wife

We live in a culture that despises conflict, but loves drama. We think that conflict means that someone is right and someone is wrong. That’s wrong.Read Article

Little Surprises

Love can be a difficult thing to show. Since it’s an abstract concept, bringing it into the physical world can present a challenge. It’s because of this challenge that some lesser men can manipulate it to achieve an agenda. They can use it to manipulate people. For us, it’s about showing our wife in many different ways how much we love her.Read Article

Recognize Her Value

The other day I was looking at my iPhone. As I looked at the many apps that have earned a spot on my home screen, I realized how much they have changed the way I live my life daily. It’s not that I’d be lost without my phone, but my life would be different. I wouldn’t be as efficient or as motivated.Read Article

Chastity in Marriage

The most common misconception of Catholic teaching on sexuality is that once you’re married, you’re allowed to do anything sexual you want. The idea is that before you’re married sex is bad and, as soon as you slip the ring on her finger, anything goes.Read Article

Keeping Things Spicy

The institution of marriage is mind-blowing. Two people with two completely different personalities, with different family traditions, come together and promise, usually at a young age, to be faithful and loving to each other all the days of their lives. As an institution comprised of flawed human beings, it’s clear there is something supernatural within the sacrament of marriage.Read Article

Pushing for A Joint Goal

Working in unison with your wife can be a powerful tool. In fact, when you both set your minds to a goal, you can achieve great things together!Read Article

Lightening Her Load

All vocations are a calling to serve others. The single person is called the Church and community. The Priest is called to serve the Parish. The Religious are called to serve their community. The married person is called to serve their spouse and family.Read Article

Dealing with Life's Major Decisions

We’ve all come to a crossroads. Two paths that certainly have their benefits, but we can only choose one. In our single days the choice might have been hard, but we only had to look to ourselves to make it happen. In the married life, there’s more at stake.Read Article

Laying Down Your Life for Her

Marriage was designed to be a reflection of Christ’s love for the Church. Being part of such a union is a big set of shoes to fill. What makes it even harder is that we’re called to lay down our life for our wife.Read Article

Your Vows Aren't Stagnant

Your wedding is a day, marriage is a lifetime. Those words are so true, but we can easily forget the words that are exchanged. It can be easy to leave the events of the day in that day. To live an authentically Catholic marriage, we must bring the words and prayers of the Nuptial Mass to life.Read Article

Couple Friends

The relationship between a husband and wife is both exclusive and complete. By its design, it can meet almost all of the emotional needs of the spouses, but that can be difficult.Read Article

Saying Sorry

Masculine pride will tell you that apologies are weakness. It will tell you that the person who apologizes first, loses. Masculine pride has also gotten you into a few tight spots before, hasn’t it?Read Article

The Genius of Marriage

The place of marriage in society is something that is being fiercely questioned in our world today. What is marriage? What is it’s purpose? Why do we give married couples certain benefits? As Catholics, it is quite clear. Marriage is both unitive and procreative and benefits are granted by the State because the State has a vested interest in the regeneration of its population in stable homes.Read Article

Safe in Her Arms

Many of us have some major trust issues. We've all been hurt deeply by someone we love. Those experiences can be traumatizing to us at the time. They can also have lasting effects on our future relationships.Read Article

Praying for Her

As husbands, we are called to support our wives. That support comes in many different forms. It may be materially, emotionally or mentally. It must include spiritually.Read Article

How Nature Can Enhance Your Marriage

One of the biggest struggles that married couples face is the monotony of the normal. Married life, on a day to day basis, is quite normal and mundane. What marriages need are excitement and adventure!Read Article

Invite Her to Your Element

A great thing about being married is that your spouse is not you.Read Article

The Most Commonly Missed Opportunity

Regret is a terrible thing. It only happens when we look back and realized we had a missed opportunity. As guys, there is one scenario that should cause us nothing but regret. Not taking our wife's offer to go shopping with her.Read Article

Shared Goals

The power of unity in your marriage can’t be underestimated.Read Article

When Your Love Languages Don't Translate

There may come a point in your marriage when you realize something. You and your wife may communicate differently.Read Article

Keeping Romance Alive

Having just celebrated our one year anniversary, I admit that I’m not an expert on the topic of romance.Read Article

Bonding

Bonding. We all have our favorite “bonding” activities to do with our spouse. Maybe it is curling up with a good book, staying in and watching a movie, or going for a walk in the neighborhood.Read Article

The Art of Negotiation

One of the most critical skills you can develop in your marriage is the art of negotiation.Read Article

Marriage Without Love

The first few months of your marriage are wonderful.Read Article

There Will be Problems

There is one thing that you can count on in marriage: there will be problems. If both of you are the same, then one of you is unnecessary.Read Article

The Joy of Weddings

Now that I have been married for almost a year, I have had the pleasure of experiencing several weddings of family and friends.Read Article

Uncrossing Your Signals

It has been my experience in former relationships that when communication breaks down, the end is near.Read Article

Communication is Critical

Communication is key. But what if you don’t have the keys to your communication?Read Article

In Sickness

On your Wedding Day, you promise to take care of your wife, in sickness and in health.Read Article

The Beauty in the Ordinary

I have been spending quite a bit of time recently thinking about what it is actually like being married on a daily basis.Read Article

Husband as Protector

As a husband (and father, too!) we have a very important role to fill. It is one that we simply can’t abdicate. It is the role of the protector.Read Article

Speak Well of Her

How you speak about your wife when she is not around says a lot about the kind of man that you are.Read Article

She'll Drive You Nuts

It is getting pretty hard to find a guarantee anymore. But I’m all about adding value, so I’ll give you one right here.Read Article

Nothing Sexier than an AIDS Test

Let’s get real. There is nothing sexier than getting an AIDS test with your fiancee. (Not even a long walk on the beach at sunset!)Read Article

It's A Race to the Top!

"Marriage is an adventure, like going to war." When my wife first showed me that quote, I hated it.Read Article

Happiness: Width vs. Depth

So, you’re considering getting married? You are all excited about your potential future with this woman. You are reveling in the feeling when one of your bum friends comes up to you and ruins your day. “How can you be with just one person for your whole life?”Read Article

Marriage: The Ultimate Team Sport

Being married is like being on a game show.Read Article

Family Merging

When you get married, you become something totally new.Read Article

She's Perfect

Your wife is perfect for you. She is exactly what you need. From the beginning of time and space, you were both meant to be together, to form a domestic Church.Read Article

If She's Not With You, Don't Do It

Having a good wife is a great blessing.Read Article

Choosing Your Pain

In your marriage, there will be pain. This is inevitable. There are three types of pain. Some of the pain you will have no control over. Other pain you will cause. The worst pain of all is that which is totally avoidable, but through your choices, you introduce it into your life.Read Article

Pray Together

The old saying goes, "The family that prays together, stays together."Read Article

Loyality vs. Fidelity

In this past Christmas Season, I had been reading some of the writings of Archbishop Chaput. In one of his works, he discussed meeting a young woman who was seeking a husband who wasn’t loyal, but was faithful.Read Article

Here's An Idea

When you get home early this week, before your wife, get ready for her.Read Article

If You're Keeping Score, You Lose

If you’re keeping score, you lose.Read Article

If You Wait

If you wait until you think you’re ready to get married, you’ll never get married.Read Article

Ring Control Device

Why is it so hard to pray with your wife?Read Article

Why is it so Hard to Pray Together?

Why is it so hard to pray with your wife?Read Article

I Slept with a Woman Last Night

This morning, I woke up and there was a woman in bed with me. It was my wife.Read Article

If You Both Give 50%, You'll Fail

Just over a month after my wedding, my wife and I attended my brother’s wedding. It was a beautiful occasion. He got married in the same Church as my grandparents. All of the family was there. The priest was a man we had known for 12 years, from his days in the Seminary.Read Article

Financial Dreams

Money is something that people don’t like to talk about. The only thing we like to do with money is pretend that we have lots of it. It’s a shame because it is really a tool that can be our greatest ally.Read Article

I Had A Win

My desk, at the end of the day, is always completely clear. I am a generally clean person. I try to be diligent in maintaining cleanliness in my life.Read Article

Stop Sabotaging Your Marriage

The summer before my wife and I got married, I received a transfer for work to the city where she was going to be studying. It was great, after two years of a long distance relationship, we were finally in the same city.Read Article

Division of Labor

In my 9thGrade World History Class, one of the key areas of investigation for any particular culture was the division of labor. Whom in the family was expected to do what? In more recent times, one can be shouted down for even suggesting that one’s wife should have the option to stay home and raise the children. We almost have a division of labor identity crisis. Regardless of where the division lies, it needs to be made.Read Article

The Apartment Phase

Our lives have phases. There are good phases and there are not so good phases.Read Article

Mr. Fix-It

As men, we like to fix things. See a problem, fix a problem. We enjoy the challenge. We believe that we are good at it. The problem is, we apply this fix-it attitude to every situation. We don’t realize that what we want doesn’t always line up with what our wives want.Read Article

Love Languages

When I was studying at Franciscan University in Ohio, one of the big relational topics that people discussed were the "love languages." There are five love languages as defined by Dr. Gary Chapman.Read Article

Cherish the Good Times

Marriage is hard. Like anything in life, it has it’s own seasons. Some days are more amazing than the days when you first started dating. Some days are so bad that you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.Read Article

A New Identity

In our life, we experience many transformations. We change from a child into an adolescent. We change from an adolescent into an adult. We are no longer the person that we used to be. We do the same thing when we get married.Read Article

Lessons from Downton Abbey

My wife and I don’t have cable. We are currently on the Dave Ramsey plan and, well, we don’t really need it. Instead, like many households today, we simply have subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu+. A few months ago, The Office had a line mentioning Downton Abbey.Read Article

Try Serving

Growing up, every day, my parents used to require that each of the kids read a book for 30 minutes per day. We called this, “Reading Time.” I hated it. There were so many different things that I wanted to do; I wanted to play, to run outside, anything except do something so boring as reading. It took me until just a few months ago to realize the utter importance of reading. I finally understood that reading opens up entire new worlds to me. In fact, it has almost gotten to the point where I would rather read than play. Point: Mom and Dad.Read Article

Trust Your Wife

What is the secret to a successful marriage?Read Article

Organic Child Planning is Sexy

Contraception is a lie. The pitch is simple. You're a young, hip, independent woman. You have the right to have sex with anyone that you want, at any time. However, pregnancy is a mistake and will put a damper on your fun. So, take these pills, and you won't have to worry.Read Article

Can She Really Always Be Right

I am not a prideful man. Whenever I must observe myself or a behavior, if the answer is that I am in the right, I instantly question that judgement. I want to make sure that my judgement calls do not cause me appear foolish.Read Article

Two Areas of Your Life You Cannot Afford to Neglect

Time is our most precious commodity. For so many things in life, we can change the circumstances and regain what we have lost. Yet, with time, once it is spent, it is gone forever. When transitioning into the married life, you will now have new unique demands on your time.Read Article

Welcome to the Beginning

Welcome, friend! Well, there I am on my wedding day. A spry young man. As a friend would say, “Just a pup.” Ready to set off on the journey of a lifetime.Read Article