Catholic Husband logo Catholic Husband

Communication

Quitting Social Media

Person working on their MacBook

I remember a time, a decade ago, when the Internet was fun. It was an open, collaborative place where you could find interesting articles and links, follow your friends, find a few laughs, and get a real sense of connection. It’s amazing what the passage of time can do, even a relatively short passage of time. Today, the Internet has become four or five main websites. Those sites are essentially ads, spyware, spam, and garbage.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

Mending Post-Election Fences

We live in an ailing culture. How far we have fallen from the America that De Tocqueville documented in his journeys. In many ways, I believe that the way that we live our daily lives has contributed to the toxic nature of our society. This article is about more than just an election or any one candidate. This article is about who we have become, and the dire implications that it entails.
Read Article

Thoughts on Friendship in the Digitial Age

One of my favorite activities is to pick an area of life where I need improvement and to work hard to make a change. I can only focus on one thing at a time, and that focus is what drives results. I’ve made big changes and little changes using this approach. One of my great regrets of the past six years is my lack of new meaningful friendships. I have friends from college that I connect with, but I haven't built many new friendships. It’s an area of my life that I’m working to improve. Before I can make great friends, I need to be a great friend.Read Article

The First Step to Being A Better Spouse

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

Seeking Simplicity

Life has a way of coming full circle. Just five years ago, when I was young, free, and single, I obsessed over technology. My phone had over 100 apps in the early days of the App Store, and I was always looking for life hacks. I had this impetus to be more productive by using only the best tools. Like my conversion to Jazz (and now Classical) music, I made a major change over the weekend and deleted almost every app from my phone. Why did I feel this need to be free? It all started with a song.Read Article

The Duplicity of Moral Superiority

There's a tendency in human thought to desire superiority over others. We must show those we resent that we’ve made something of our lives and that it's more than they've done. Thus, we are better than they are. This tendency is destructive and it diverts precious resources away from bettering ourselves.Read Article

Failure to Communicate

I often feel that our ability to communicate is falling into the trap of diminishing returns. New forms of communication, at their start, are very pure. They focus on connecting people in a very personal and intimate way. Over time, external pressures on communications providers cause a dilution of the purity. Communication becomes less about sharing a story, experience, or memory, and more about a transaction.Read Article

The Insidious Nature of Stress

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

The E Word

One of our greatest shortcomings as men is our inability to express, process, or deal with emotions. We know two emotions: passion and anger. The depth of the human experience is lived through the vast spectrum of emotion, each eliciting a different set of responses and lessons. Our female counterparts are often blamed for being too emotional, but I believe that it’s precisely their ability to intuit and live through their emotions that they’re able to live more fully alive.Read Article

The Entitled, Envious Millennials

I read an interesting opinion article in the Wall Street Journal that took on the issue of a generation of disrespectful children. In the article, the physician writes about his experience of children being overtly disrespectful to their parents during his office visits. While the author acknowledges that not all children misbehave, it's much more prevalent than it was 20-30 years ago. Interestingly, he cites research that demonstrates that disrespectful children, "are more likely to grow up to be anxious and depressed, three times more likely to be overweight, more likely to be fragile, less healthy and less creative, compared with respectful children."Read Article

Life in Sync

I once read that we ought to make a major decision once and then manage it daily. That's decent advice. I want to live a life in sync where I have clear routines that ensure that I do everything that I want to do, and, most importantly, that my home stays clean. A clean, tidy home is necessary for me to work and make forward progress. Nothing slows me down more creatively than a house in disarray.Read Article

Disengage This Holiday Season

I have a challenge for you this Thanksgiving and Christmas: disengage.Read Article

Never Rush Decisions

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

Rethinking Together Time

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

The Two Most Important Times of Day

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

Coping with Loss

It's said that we tend to experience God in times of tribulation more than in our daily life. People who have no trials, sorrows, or sufferings struggle to know God because human instinct says that there's no need of God when all is well. The mark of a saint is one who relies on God in all seasons of life, both good and bad. At one time or another, we'll all experience loss and in those times, we should both pray and celebrate lifeRead 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

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

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

Peace Starts At Home

When we were younger, my brother and I fought. A lot. This was to the benefit of my sister, since our punishment was typically to work together cleaning the kitchen, meaning she had months of practically no kitchen cleaning chores. I remember, after one disagreement, my dad telling us, "If we can't have peace at home, how can we expect to have peace in the world?" Following the news of the conflict in the Ukraine makes me grateful to be an American. I'm grateful that we have safety and security in our own homes and neighborhoods and don't go to sleep at night afraid that our house will accidentally be shelled by artillery.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

Respect Women

Sex sells, even when it's irrelevant. Watching commercials during the Super Bowl underscores this interesting point. Advertisers and companies use sex to sell things that really have nothing to do with human sexuality, like web hosting or restaurants. We're a sex-crazed people and it needs to stop.Read Article

The Rise of Divorce

I've recently started working on a family genealogy project. In the past, I hadn't much cared about my family's history beyond my grandparents, but lately I've become fascinated with our family's story. I'm basing all of my research around Benedict as the starting person and am excited about the journey that this is taking me on. While many of the discoveries have been very exciting, I've noticed something else that's rather tragic. In keeping with what I suspect is par for the course today, in the last 115 years, it's nearly impossible to find any branch of my family within two generations that hasn't been touched by divorce.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

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

Have Clear Motivations

There are a lot of things that I'd like to do. Almost every day, I get a new idea for some project or goal that I'd like to work on. It might be an area of my life or schedule that I want to improve, such as incorporating more reading time for Benedict. It might be a new book idea or some new app. All of these ideas are inspiring in the moment and really quite appealing. I'm often tempted to change direction or course and to charge at this new idea. After a few hours or a few days, most of the ideas subside and I'm left with the ones that really mean something to me.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

Showing Tenderness

I love Benedict. I love the way he laughs uncontrollably as I hold his arms above his head and tickle his tummy with my nose. I love the way he gets excited when I snuggle up close to him and kiss all over his face. I love how much he enjoys being close to me and sitting in my lap. I love how he'll sit still anywhere if I'm rubbing his back or scratching his head. I love how when he's about to cry or is actively crying, he holds his arms up, hoping that I'll pick him up.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

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

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

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

Plan Your Dreams

When you dream, dream big.Read Article

Scheduling Together

The most powerful tool in your marriage is your calendar. Your calendar will always show you what you think is actually important.Read Article

Technology Bowl

Technology in our lives has really advanced at an amazing rate over the past 20 years. We’ve gone from a world where electronics made some things in our lives easier to a world where technology is completely immersed in our daily lives.Read Article

Sync Status

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

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

A Fresh Start, Daily

If you’re like me, you’re really good at making mistakes. Oftentimes, you’ll reach expert level in your mistakes. When you get stuck in a rut, what does it take to get you out and back on the right path?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

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

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

Dinner At the Table

Managing family life is a challenge. With family members running in all different directions, getting everyone together can require some real effort. A great time to get everyone together is around the dinner table.Read Article

When Your Wife Supports Your Dream

Dreaming is a wonderful thing. In dreams, you can release the physical limitations of the current world and imagine what it would be like to overcome them. Dreams are a not just an escape, they’re a path to the future. As a married person, your dreams have to apply to two people. If you’re wife isn’t with you in your dream, then you face an uphill battle.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

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

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

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

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

Invite Her to Your Element

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use Your Work to Evangelize

The other day I was in a one-on-one meeting with a local business owner. I met him through my wife. We had a great meeting, one of the most diverse of my career.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

Bringing Roadtrips Home

I love taking road trips with my wife.Read Article

If You're Keeping Score, You Lose

If you’re keeping score, you lose.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

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

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

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

About

CATHOLIC HUSBAND is a personal blog about marriage and family life, regularly updated since 2013. You may also enjoy the Catholic Husband Podcast. This short-form podcast features new episodes weekly and is available on Apple Podcasts, the Google Play Music Store, or wherever you listen. Let Catholic Husband inspire you to love, lead, & serve your family.

Subscribe

Get new articles from the Catholic Husband blog sent straight to your inbox. You can expect no more than 3 emails per week.

Catholic Husband logo black letters
© 2018 ChetComm, LLC // Applied Philosophy Lab
Stacks Image p15_n1267033

About the Author

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. Chet also dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.

Subscribe

Get new articles from the Catholic Husband blog sent straight to your inbox. You can expect no more than 3 emails per week.

About the Host

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. He dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.