St. Augustine Catholic
The Long Goodbye
Hope After Abortion
Katie's Gift of Life
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saint of the month
editor's notes
bishop's message
from the archives
in the know with Fr. Joe
work life
theology 101
your marriage matters
the parenting journey
spiritual fitness
parish profile
around the diocese
catholic news from around the world
calendar of events
2005 diocesan financial report
your marriage matters
he says...she says...  
what should they do?

Larah and John have been married for three years. They share many common interests, including movies, camping and being outdoors. They love spending time alone together, but there is one bone of contention between them: housework.

she says...

he's lazy

John would rather watch TV than help me or pick up the house. Sure, he mows the lawn, but the flowers don’t get watered or the weeds pulled. I work full time and feel I should not have to do all the housework. He gets his night out with his buddies and I spend the time doing laundry. How fair is that? I am not the maid around here! My mother waited on my dad hand and foot. I refuse to fall into that trap. When we first got married, John loved to be with me and would gladly help out. Now he seems not to want to be bothered.
he says...

she's anal

Sarah loves to over-dramatize the situation. She feels the house is in such bad shape. I don’t agree. We don’t have to have the nicest house on the block. How long can laundry take? I work full time and regular overtime. I deserve to be able to relax in the evening. I only go out with the guys once a month. Sure I love her, but do I have to spend every minute with her? She is just too demanding and I am tired of hearing it.

expert says >> I think we can all relate to John and Sarah. Our parents don’t warn us about how much work a marriage can take. Society just lets us go into this long-term commitment without really understanding what we are in for.

The best part of a marriage is the knowledge that you are truly cared for and loved by another individual. Trust and commitment lay the foundation for us to weather the storms of a relationship. John and Sarah need to start there.

First, John and Sarah need to really talk about what is bothering them at a time when they are not frustrated and angry. Direct conversation is always helpful. Letting one person speak and really listening takes patience and thinking time. Sarah and John should give each other that time. One speaks and one listens. Then the other person has his or her chance. This gives each partner time to understand the other’s thoughts and feelings.

Once they understand each other’s point of view, they can work out a compromise – understanding that John may have to help out a little more and Sarah may need to relax her standards a little bit.

– Deborah McCormack is the director of Catholic Charities for Genesee/Shiawassee Counties in Flint, Mich.

Use the element of surprise carefully with no expectations or strings attached.

Don’t go overboard. It is always better to discuss any larger, more expensive surprise, like a big trip or cruise, before finalizing all the arrangements.

Plan time together. Create a formal plan by making an entry on your calendars. Schedule at least one time slot a month; or better yet, one slot a week. Label it “Our date.” Schedule a minimum of three hours for each slot.
For two weeks, keep track of every purchase you make with cash. Find out where you’re wasting money and where you can cut back.

Look your spouse in the eyes. Hold both of his hands and lovingly say, “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.” Seal the promise with a tender kiss and a one-minute full-body hug.