5 ways to balance time as a couple
3 best reasons to go into debt
Can you avoid debt completely? For a lifetime, in today’s world, I doubt it – unless you become so cash rich you have no need for it. In the meantime, and for us mere mortals, we need to deal with debt.
Mortgages and car loans can be limited by the size of the loans, to a degree; but cars need replacing and mortgages require multiple years to pay off. Credit cards can be limited by agreeing – as a couple – to attempt to use them as short-term loans, to be paid off monthly.
Not all debt is bad. Used properly, loans yield great benefits. What are some loan opportunities you may consider?
1. Student loans provide access to an education. Advanced degrees can result in higher job satisfaction as well as higher income.
2. Home improvement/equity loans increase the value of your primary long-term investment, your house.
3. Business loans enable entrepreneurs to begin ventures that can provide income for years to come.
Next month, we will explore what’s necessary to obtain debt – your personal credit report.
The benefit of walking away – together
Take a walk together. Sometimes, the most difficult place to find peace and quiet is around the house – especially when children are still at home. One way to spend quality time together is to go for a walk. Walk around the block, walk to the store, or walk to church. Walking has a dual benefit when you are together. First, holding hands will make it easier to talk, which is good for your mental health; also, walking is good for your physical health when done on a regular basis. Walking hand-in-hand keeps you both on the same journey.
Time Tip: Remember, a deadline is a tool to help you get things done. Don’t let it cause anxiety, but don’t let it be a dead letter either. If you miss deadlines often, start setting ones that are more realistic. Time Management for Catholics by Dave Durand
5 ways to balance time as a couple
If marriage can be compared to making a loaf of bread, then communication would be likened to yeast. It’s a key ingredient that allows your marriage to “rise” and your love to be perfected. In our world today, there are many time-robbers of marriage. Whether it’s your boss, your parish, or the countless organizations to which you and your kids belong, you can unconsciously allow your time and energy to be zapped! Then you have no strength left over for the most important relationship in your life. You can be doing lots of good things while the best thing in your life – your marriage – suffers. Remember the comparison to the loaf of bread. Only certain amounts of specific ingredients make great bread. Too much flour makes the bread dry; too little yeast doesn’t allow the bread to rise. So what’s a couple to do?
• Evaluate your schedules together to see where you’re too busy or over-committed.
• Talk about your marital goals and reprioritize.
• See if there are time-wasters in your lives, like too much TV, and turn that time into “couple time.”
• Add a little fun into your marriage; it’s contagious and you’ll want to add more of it to your schedule.
• God gives us all 24 hours each day. Pray for wisdom and strength to use them well!
Romancing the years: part 2
Empty nest and older couples
In marriage, as with all things, change is a constant. Last month, we looked at the marital stages of newlywed and family-building couples. In part two, we observe the role of romance in the lives of empty-nest and older couples.
“Empty-nest” couples find new excitement as they reconnect or enliven their romantic relationship now that they have more time alone. Their positive attitude enables them to shift their roles from parents to partners. Some discover that raising the children took much of their focus, and they are faced with the consequences of having neglected their relationship along the way. Many have turned to enrichments like Marriage Encounter to re-establish a deeper intimacy and rekindle passion.
Older couples have what we usually want in the previous three stages – more time together. This can be a wonderful opportunity to relive a lifetime of experiences and memories, which can sustain them in the face of retirements, aging and a diminished interest in the physical aspects of intimacy. Some discover it’s a challenge being together all the time, so they adjust their roles and routines. Many older couples remain romantically active by taking on a youthful attitude, keeping a sense of humor and a sense of true perspective when it comes to facing problems at any stage. They know how to “pray for passion.”
We Don’t Have Two Nickels
He: The linings of our pockets are turned out and empty. We’ve used the last few coins in the piggy bank to buy milk.
She: I’ve racked my brain to come up with something to make for tonight’s meal.
He: And so we cast ourselves upon your providence, Lord.
We don’t know where to go but to you.
She: You fed the multitudes on a few loaves of bread and five fish. Feed us, I ask you.
He: You worked as a carpenter before you became an itinerant preacher.
She: Find work for us, Lord, work that uses the talents you gave us and provides a just wage to feed, clothe and shelter our family.
Together: We are without reserves.
We trust in you, Jesus –
we will do our best to find work.
The rest is in your hands. Amen.