Has your marriage fallen into a rut? Even good marriages go through the doldrums. The arrival of Fall, however, can bring new energy and purpose. Why not use this energy to reinvigorate your marriage? Here are five suggestions.
1. Read a book. Would you like to learn more about strengthening a new marriage, or dealing with the challenges of a long-established marriage? How about maximizing your time together, or raising faith-filled children? All these topics, and many more, have been the subject of our Book of the Month feature. Check out our reviews and find the perfect book to read and discuss together.
2. Go on a marriage retreat. This requires a little planning but is well worth the effort. A retreat gives couples the opportunity for prayer, reflection and relaxation. Some enrichment weekends, such as Marriage Encounter, enable couples to learn a new skill. Contact your local retreat center to ask about evening or weekend retreats specifically for married couples. Your diocese’s family life office or your parish may be able to help you find a retreat or enrichment opportunity.
3. Volunteer in the parish. Pope John Paul II reminded married couples that their witness to love and life should extend beyond the immediate family. In focus groups with married couples, many participants said that volunteering in their parish helped to strengthen their marriage. Opportunities abound: teaching in the religious education program; serving as lectors or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion; sponsoring a candidate in RCIA; or helping to organize the parish’s fall festival.
4. How about a Date Night? Don’t wait for the New Year; make a Fall Resolution to have a regular Date Night. Take turns planning your date, or compile a list of things you’d like to do on your date and work through it. We’ve put together some ideas for no cost, low cost, outdoors and at-home dates.
5. Get ready for the Year of Faith. Pope Benedict XVI has called for a Year of Faith, beginning in October and concluding in November, 2013. The Year is an opportunity for Catholics to turn back to Jesus and to deepen their relationship with Him and the Church. Perhaps this Year will encourage you to learn more about the sacrament of marriage. Check out the Year of Faith website for resources and information.