7 Ways A Single Catholic Man Can Safeguard Against Divorce


An addiction to "Call of Duty" will hurt your marriage, writes Tim Drake, a Minnesota husband and EWTN radio host

One only has to take a look at the dire statistics to see that sacramental marriage is facing massive problems. Fewer couples are taking advantage of the sacrament. More are undermining their marriage’s chances of survival by living together. And the divorce rate continues to rise.

What, then, can a single Catholic man do now to ensure a successful and long-lasting marriage?

Believe it or not, plenty.

Here are a few tips on things you can and should begin working on right now to divorce-proof your future marriage.

 

 

1.  Eliminate the d-word

Agree as an individual that the word divorce is not a part of your vocabulary. Banish it. If you agree to eliminate it as an option, you’re unlikely to turn to it in the troubled times of your marriage.

Before you enter marriage, realize that every marriage goes through challenging times once the initial romance wears off.

 

2.  Pray

Whether you’re totally unattached, dating or engaged, you can pray. Begin praying for your significant other at this very moment. Stop reading this for a moment and silently utter a prayer for whomever God has created for you.

Once you find her, at the very least, pray with her. Pray for direction in your life together. Attend Mass with her.

It’s said that couples who pray and worship together reduce their chances for divorce by more than 50 percent.

 

3.  Practice purity

Over the past couple of years I’ve personally known at least half a dozen couples who were married and, largely through a lack of fidelity on the husband’s part, ended up divorcing within just a couple of years.

One left his young bride for another woman. Another was a serial adulterer. Another was addicted to pornography and brought a prostitute into his home. Clearly, there’s an epidemic problem.

Men can have difficulty controlling their appetites. If you have a problem with sexual impurity or promiscuity, get a handle on it now. For the sake of your future wife and your marriage, do not bring this problem into your marriage. Rather, bring it to confession. Pray about it. Fast. Get professional help. By all means, work on it.

 

4.  Discover Theology of the Body

Do something to learn more about Pope John Paul II’s teachings on the Theology of Body. Take a class, attend a lecture, read a book.

Not only will you learn about God’s plan for human sexuality, but you’ll also learn about your own body and you’ll learn that you can’t look at and treat your future spouse as an object for your own gratification. She is a beautiful, unrepeatable child of God, meant to be loved and to love. The Theology of the Body will teach you how to do that.

 

5.  Ditch the video games

I’ve heard countless stories of adult males who have a greater love for Call of Duty and Halo than for the women in their lives. Others jeopardize their jobs endlessly playing video games. If this sounds like you, admit your addiction and ditch the video games. Develop a plan for responsible use of such media.

 

6.  Don’t cohabitate

The research is out there. One of the greatest gifts you can bring to a future marriage is to not cohabitate. Study after scholarly study points to divorce rates of between 50 and 100 percent for couples who choose to live together before marriage – no matter social, economic or demographic factors.

Cohabitation leads to marital instability.

 

7. Learn natural family planning

Finally, do yourself and your future wife a favor by learning about modern, scientific natural family planning. Don’t bring a contraceptive mentality into your marriage. Contraception not only puts a barrier between you and your wife in the most intimate area of your lives, but it also prevents you from bonding emotionally.

Statistics show that couples who learn and practice natural family planning are the most successful. Less than 2 percent of couples who learn and practice NFP end up getting divorced.

 

 

 

Further reading for men

CatholicMatch is proud to feature many strong Catholic men on “Faith, Hope & Love.” Check out these role models:

  • The former GQ model who speaks about chastity
  • The sports fanatic who quit his job because of his ethics
  • The Xbox 360 gamer who left everything to become a friar
  • The bishop who chairs the USCCB’s Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life & Youth
  • The ER doctor who prays on his way to work
  • The priest who comforted a town in the grip of grief
  • The convert whose writings edify thousands online
  • The single dad who raised two beautiful daughters





5 Comments

  1. Stephen-725391 January 15, 2012 Reply

    I hope that you do not take this comment and discard it because it cynical, skeptical, sarcastic and/or jaded.

    50% of the married (leaving out the same gender married couples – ain’t PC great?) people are women. 40 years ago when I was looking at marriage, #s 4, 5, and 7 didn’t exist. And finally, after 35 years of marriage, I, the man, was thrown out of his bought and paid for home, my belongings stolen, because she wasn’t going to support me through an economic crisis (of course, the previous 35 years of supporting her and many of those years, without love or affection (a property right of Catholic marriage), didn’t count).

    I would hope that you or some one else address 7 (or more) Ways Woman can keep their men, Catholic or not!

  2. Stephen-725391 January 15, 2012 Reply

    P.S. Some one has – Dr. Laura Schlessinger has in her books: The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage and The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands.

  3. Jeanne S. January 16, 2012 Reply

    Sorry but vid games allow for recreation. We have a few on on computers and it is not a big deal.
    Too many of these mamby bamby men do not stand up to the nagging women … I gotta have this and that. Too many of them allow themselves to be walked over.
    Date only women who have real careers and jobs and not gold digging women.

    • Stephen-725391 January 16, 2012 Reply

      I would modify your comment about women to date only “real women” that understand and know what a ‘real man’ is!

  4. Jo-813573 January 17, 2012 Reply

    VideoGames, pornography, drugs, esoteric or fortune garbage, doubt, or whatever the obstacle is, definitely can be managed with the right formula of LOVE, faith and hope.
    Thanks Tim! A must-to-read article for women too actually! ;)

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