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Marriage is a big issue in our culture today. There are widespread and varying reports of divorce statistics. The Barna Group, which studies religious groups, says that about three fourths of married Catholics stay married, and that about a fourth have been divorced. Indeed, how couples learn to dialogue and relate is what marriage is all about—from its romantic beginnings to its difficult ending, when a spouse passes away. We all know that, as a wedding couple prepares to approach the altar, they bring with them all the hopes, dreams, common sense, intelligence, courage, confidence and goodwill that brought them together in the first place. But, in almost all cases, they also bring some baggage that will be a factor, throughout their lives. In this Update we’ll take a look at some of the big issues that any couple considering marriage should be thinking about. Good marriage preparation challenges couples to begin looking at and exploring together the feelings, values and ideas they cherish. These will shape the way they make lifetime decisions. A lifetime of love will continue to uncover the good and raw stuff of a man and woman’s characters. Yet, we know a lot in advance about what makes marriages work. Couples can better prepare themselves for the changes in marriage by looking hard and honestly at a number of key issues. In what follows, I’d like to offer 10 areas about which the happiest couples communicate often. The first one, of course, is the most obvious. SPONSORED LINKS

1. Work on good communication.
Ask any married couple. They’ll tell you how making a real effort to talk about and work through everyday concerns is crucial to their stability and sanity. It also builds the trust, courage and skills that ground the spirit of love. It’s challenging some days to convince ourselves that we have these skills. Being able to talk over everything with your spouse (or future spouse) makes for a vital relationship. It doesn’t matter whether the subject...

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