Marriages are not self-sustaining and do not survive on autopilot. They require constant attention and intentional effort. But it can be a rewarding effort. It can be an adventure! —from the Introduction How does a newly married couple make "happily ever after" really happen? Is marital bliss a myth or something truly attainable in the first years of marriage? Roy Petitfils has spent many hours listening to married couples try to work out their problems. He knows firsthand as a spouse and father of two that to have a lasting, fulfilling and happy married life, a couple needs to plan, work hard, and dedicate themselves to making their marriage work. If couples can make it through the pivotal and life-changing first five years of marriage without a lot of collateral damage, hurt feelings, and miscommunication, then the likelihood of making it through a lifetime together is significantly greater. With stories from friends, clients and his own marriage, Roy Petitfils provides practical—and often humorous—tips for anyone preparing for marriage or already married.The audio edition of this book can be downloaded via Audible.
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About the Author
ROY PETITFILS is a professional school counselor and administrator at St. Cecilia Catholic School in Broussard, Louisiana. He is a counselor at Pax Renewal Center for Individual, Marriage, and Family Therapy. Author of A Practical Guide to High School Campus Ministry, he writes an internationally syndicated column, "Our Young Church." Roy, his wife, Mindi, and their sons, Maximillian and Benjamin, live in Youngsville, Louisiana, and are active members of Sacred Heart Church in Broussard. Roy served on the Diocesan Pastoral Council for his home diocese of Lafayette.
Table of Contents
Introduction From the Wedding to Married Life xiii
Chapter 1 Crossing the Threshold and Unpacking Our Personal Baggage 1
Chapter 2 Can You Hear Me Now? Communicating as Husband and Wife 13
Chapter 3 Time: The Real Amazing Race 24
Chapter 4 You Complete Me: Sex and the Christian Marriage 35
Chapter 5 Money: The Real American Idol 43
Chapter 6 Married With Children: Openness to New Life 50
Chapter 7 CSI: Marriage: Who's Right? Who's Wrong? 61
Chapter 8 Serenity Now! Nothing Can Make You Lose it Like Your in-laws 73
Chapter 9 From Sole Survivor to Soul Survivors: Balancing an Individual and Couple Spirituality 80
Chapter 10 In Sickness and in Health, in Good Times and in Bad 91
Conclusion Together Forever 102
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Through his own marriage and his work as a couples therapist, author Roy Petitfils has learned that relationships succeed not because things work out, but because couples work things out. "Marriages are not self-sustaining and do not survive on autopilot," he writes. He explains the "big deal" about the first five years is that during this period couples make major decisions on such issues as lifestyle, career, and finances. His book is not designed to take the place of marriage therapy or marriage prep courses and programs. Instead, its goal is to bring hope and inspiration to readers as they look at ways real couples work on their marriages. The content is upbeat and up to date, with frequent references to current culture. A chapter entitled "The Real Amazing Race" contains the quotation: "Show me your checkbook and your calendar and I'll tell you what your priorities are." Petitfils offers several time management exercises. Identifying priorities is a two-step process of listing what is important in your life then ranking the items numerically. Petitfils provides his personal random and numbered lists, reminding readers that the important thing is honesty. "It is no good to arrange our priorities the way we think our spouse wants to hear them or the way we think they should be." The tracking time exercise consists of a daily log of what you do and how long it takes. "Becoming aware of the incongruence between what we value and how we spend our time" can motivate us to refocus and realign, Petitfils writes. Once these individual exercises are complete, it's time for the spouses to "get in sync" by discussing results and, possibly, making a joint list. Staying in sync is the next step. One couple sets aside 30 minutes each Sunday evening for prayer and planning. They review three categories: material goods, family to-do list, and personal goals. In this section Petitfils examines pros and cons of group organizing devices, from a calendar on the fridge to a digital scheduler. The chapter's scripture selection is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 "For everything there is a season."