Lesson 32: How to have a Happy Marriage
"Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her:  'Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day:  because for these three nights we are joined to God:  and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock.  For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God.'  So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them, and Tobias said:  'Lord God of our fathers, may the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all Thy creatures that are in them, bless Thee.  Thou madest Adam of the slime of the earth, and gavest him Eve for a helper.  And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which Thy name may be blessed for ever and ever.'  Sara also said: ; 'Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health.'"  (Tobias 8:4-10)

  1. Have the correct attitude.

  2.    Look upon marriage as a very holy union, founded by God and raised to the dignity of a Sacrament by Jesus Christ as a means of saving your soul.

  3. Have the correct purpose.

  4.    Look forward to having children and founding a Christian home.  People who marry for selfish reasons (money, pleasure, beauty, fame, influence) very seldom, if ever, find happiness in marriage.

  5. Do not marry for selfish reasons.

  6.    Genuine happiness is attained only by those who are completely generous and ready to sacrifice themselves in all things.

  7. Study what marriage is.

  8.    Marriage, like a career, requires specialized knowledge, and this is obtained through study and prayer.  Receive marriage instructions from a priest and/or read about the duties and graces of Catholic marriage.

  9. Pray for a happy marriage.

  10.    You should pray every day for a happy marriage, because most probably, you will save your soul or lose your soul as a married person.
    "House and riches are given by parents:  but a prudent wife is properly from the Lord."    (Proverbs 19:14)

  11. Prepare for marriage by living a Christian life.

  12.    Receive Holy Communion worthily and often; go to Confession regularly; observe the Ten Commandments, especially the 6th.

  13. Follow the advice of your parents and your parish priest.

  14.    It is wise to seek advice when making any important decision, but especially when deciding about your partner in this lifelong union.

  15. Choose a suitable partner.

  16.    Look for a person who is a good Catholic, really serious about having children and founding a Christian home, one who is sincere, truthful, dependable, and chaste.

  17. Do not marry too young.

  18.    Today, young people under 21 (especially young men), although capable of marrying and having children, are often still attached to youthful pastimes and thus may find it extra difficult to adjust to the responsibilities of marriage.

  19. Have the correct attitude toward sex.

  20.    God created sex to attract the husband and wife to have children and to cultivate love for one another.
    Remember - to refuse intercourse to your married partner is a mortal sin, unless you have a serious reason.

  21. Accept all the children that God wants to send you.

  22.    Look upon having children as one of the great blessings of marriage.
    Court records show that there are fewer breakups among couples with large families.

  23. Have respect for your partner.

  24.    The person you marry shares in a union that was established by God Himself and raised to the dignity of a Sacrament by Christ.
    "Ye husbands, likewise dwelling with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the female as to the weaker vessel, and as to the co-heirs of the grace of life:  that your prayers be not hindered."    (1 Peter 3:7)

  25. Do not fight or argue!

  26.    Married people should learn to control their tempers and to discuss their problems as grown-ups and not as children.
    "Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another:  even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.  but above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:  And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body:  and be ye thankful...Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter towards them."    (Colossians 3:13-15, 18-19)

  27. Do not criticize!

  28.    Criticizing your partner's faults or constantly harping on trifles soon destroys a happy marriage.
    "And why seest thou the mote [speck] that is in thy brother's eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?  Or how sayest thou to thy brother:  Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye?"    (Matthew 7:3-4)

  29. Trust one another completely.

  30.    It is a sin to be jealous or judge without evidence.
    "Judge not, that you may not be judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged:  and with what measure you mete [measure], it shall be measured to you again."    (Matthew 7:1-2)

  31. Do not live with in-laws!

  32.    Your first duty is to your married partner; parents and other come second.
    "Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:  and they shall be two in one flesh."    (Genesis 2:24)

  33. Do things together.

  34.    Husband and wife should find happiness in their own home with their children, and also should associate with other happily married couples.

  35. Make your home a pleasant place.

  36.    The wife should make the home a place to which her husband longs to go after his day's work; it should be clean and orderly, and the meals well prepared and on time.
    "Happy is the husband of a good wife:  for the number of his years is double.  A virtuous woman rejoiceth her husband and shall fulfill the years of his life in peace.  A good wife is a good portion; she shall be given in the portion of them that fear God, to a man for his good deeds.  Rich or poor, if his heart is good, his countenance shall be cheerful at all times."    (Ecclesiasticus 26:1-4)

  37. Use family money properly.

  38.    A husband is bound to the complete support of his wife and children; a wife is obliged to use the family money wisely.
    "But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."    (1 Timothy 5:8)

  39. Pray together!

  40.    As the saying goes, "A family that prays together stays together," and this includes the family Rosary, attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion together.
    "Where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."    (Matthew 18:20)