Don’t you want a joyful marriage?

Family matters
Deacon Tony Zimmerman is the lead archdiocesan consultant for the office of marriage and family life.

by Deacon Tony Zimmerman

Remember your wedding day when you looked into one another’s eyes as you spoke the words of your vows?

Surely, you couldn’t imagine anything more joyful than a life together. That was your journey’s first step as husband and wife.

How much joy do you experience today? If your answer is, “Well, it’s OK . . . we get along,” you deserve much more than “OK” and getting along. God wants you to have a joy-filled marriage.

Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak, national speakers, writers and radio hosts on marriage, wrote in their book “Just Married”: “The biggest contributor to marital problems and, eventually, marital breakdown is that husbands and wives tend to love their own comfort zones more than they love each other. This leads to no end of opportunities to feel rejected, resentful and angry.”

That “comfort zone” is what we fall into in daily life: meeting job demands, busy schedules, money and caring for the great gift of our children. So, we just “get by” day after day, often wondering: “Is this all there is?”

Our vocation as married couples is to convince our spouse that he or she is loved and lovable every day.

When is the last time you left a love note in your spouse’s briefcase or lunch? How often do you stop and look in the other’s eyes and tell her how beautiful she is or what a handsome guy you married!

Speak these words and hearts melt. You will find that you can’t wait to be together (like courtship days).

When was the last time you put music on and danced? Your kids will be shocked. (And if they are little, they will want to join in.) Do you pray for one another each day?

Recently, a group of engaged couples was asked to share their future spouse’s most endearing quality. One man replied: “I love her and I know that she will help me get to heaven!” What a great compliment!

You see, when we live in and grow in love, God’s love for each of us is so real. It helps us become the joyful people God calls us to be for each other, our families and the world.

How do we shake off the “getting by” and “OK” attitudes? We begin by regularly (at least yearly) engaging in some form of marriage enrichment. It is here that we will find fuel to launch our love heavenward. It is here we will discover new tools (and rediscover ones we forgot) to help us along the way.

Go online to: for resources and the dates of various enrichments. Check it out on Facebook. Doesn’t he or she deserve more joy — the joy you dreamed of and long for each day?

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