The 25-year itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage

By Wendy Donahue| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Divorce has doubled for couples over 50. Empty nesters share tales from the brink.

Even before Dick and Irene Reimbold’s younger daughter left for college, they were living what they call “the married single lifestyle” in Macomb, Michigan.

They owned a tax preparation business together. They attended Mass together. They slept separately and scarcely spoke, even at work.

“We went for over seven years without physical, sexual relations,” Dick says.

“There was nothing dramatic or traumatic,” Irene says about the deep disconnect. “It was a slow bleed.”


Empty nest? Now what? Tips for maintaining a marriage after the kids have gone

By Wendy Donahue| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family

This story accompanies The 25-year-itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage.)

David and Claudia Arp, founders of Marriage Alive and authors of The Second Half of Marriage (Zondervan), don’t fault couples for feeling drained when the last child leaves home.

“You’ve just survived the adolescent years,” Claudia says. Plus, says David, “The tendency is to get busy and avoid facing the challenges of this new stage of marriage.”


First aid for the second half of marriage

By Wendy Donahue| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family

(This story accompanies The 25-year-itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage.)

One way to sustain a marriage through the second half is to keep generating life as a couple, says Mary Jo Pedersen. Have a mission, whether it’s neighborhood cleanup, political campaigning, or mentoring other couples. “Nurture life; protect life in some way together.”


She said yes! Now what?: Answers to questions about interfaith weddings

By John Switzer| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ecumenical & Interfaith Dialogue Marriage and Family Young Adults

“I’m marrying a Presbyterian whose dad is a minister, so we want to get married in her church. Will I still be considered married by the Catholic Church?”

Absolutely, if the requirements of canon law are met. A couple who agrees to marry are the actual ministers of the sacrament. It is they who make the sacrament “happen,” not the minister.


Goy meets girl: How interfaith couples make it work

By Anna Weaver| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ecumenical & Interfaith Dialogue Marriage and Family Young Adults
Interfaith and interchurch couples face unique challenges to building strong marriages.

Before Juliann Richards met Neal Levy, she didn’t doubt that she’d marry a fellow Catholic someday. After all, Richards was raised Catholic, attended Catholic school, grew up mostly around fellow Catholics, and knew she wanted her children raised with the same faith.

“For many years, I told myself (and others) that I was going to the nearby Catholic college so I could meet a nice Catholic boy and get married,” Richards recalls.


Preparing for an interfaith marriage

By Anna Weaver| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ecumenical & Interfaith Dialogue Marriage and Family Young Adults

As a Presbyterian working for the Catholic Church, Bonnie Mack approaches her ministry from a unique perspective. She has been married to a Catholic for 42 years, and for the last 20 she’s volunteered and worked with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Marriage and Family Life Office.


Why can't Catholics wed outdoors?

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Prayer and Sacraments Scripture and Theology
Of the four wedding invitations currently posted on my refrigerator, only one is for a ceremony to be held in a church.

The others? All will be outdoors: in a hotel garden, under a restaurant gazebo, or in a park. The beauty of God's creation seems a perfect setting for making a lifetime commitment. So why doesn't the Catholic Church allow couples to get married outside?


Parishes: Let's stop ignoring domestic violence

By Father Charles W. Dahm, O.P.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Women

Editors' note: Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


Don't wait for marriage: Young adults should be tying the knot earlier, not later

By | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Young Adults

Editors' note: Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.


How parishes can help infertile couples

By Patrick T. Reardon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Marriage and Family Parish Life
These are just some of the ways that the parish can be a resource to couples experiencing infertility.

• Raise the issue of infertility at the pre-Cana marriage preparation meetings. It would alert couples to the reality that conceiving a baby isn’t always easy, while providing an opportunity to walk through the do’s and don’ts of church teaching.

• Establish a diocesan network of support for infertile couples, regardless of what treatment choices they have made or are considering.


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