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.”


Little women: How consumer culture is forcing girls to grow up too fast

By Meg McSherry Breslin| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Sex and Sexuality Women Young Adults
Mattel and Abercrombie sell sexiness even to 6-year-olds. Enter those who are fighting back to let girls be girls.

At a recent wedding Becky Groth was amazed to see the revealing dress on the beautiful 17-year-old daughter of a close friend. The dress was so skimpy and inappropriate, Groth says, that the girl drew a lot of unwanted attention from young men. Groth asked the teenager to talk about it privately after the wedding.


No stereotypes need apply: The depth and vibrancy of Irish culture

By Catherine O'Connell-Cahill| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality

The kids in the Catholic seventh grade classroom—Hispanics, Filipinos, African Americans, and my own Irish American offspring—took on a project to highlight three aspects of their cultural heritage. As the teacher listened to the kids brainstorming, he turned to my child and said, “Three cultural traits of the Irish? That’s easy: drinking, drinking, and more drinking.”

The next day we met with the principal, who turned pale as she listened. The teacher apologized to my husband and me. There were no fisticuffs.


Go ahead, be a burden to your adult children

By Patrick Lynch| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Seniors
Parents put a great deal of effort into caring for their kids. When the time comes, it’s OK to let them return the favor.

My father came home from his service in the Marines in the South Pacific to marry the redheaded girl of his dreams, whom he’d met at St. Francis De Sales in the fifth grade. She’d written to him daily and he’d written her back, making plans for the future they hoped for together. They moved into an apartment over a funeral home in Detroit and he went to mortuary school, working evenings while she began to raise the inevitable family.


Don't be scared of Halloween: Readers share frightful memories

By Angelo Stagnaro| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Saints, Feasts, and Seasons
There's no reason to be afraid of the ghouls and goblins roaming the neighborhood on All Hallows' Eve. They're just participating in an ancient-and Catholic-holiday.

Halloween: What a great holiday! It beats the heck out of Arbor Day six ways to Sunday. Around this time every year, I'm asked by Christian parents about the appropriateness of their children dressing up as Spiderman or cowboys or fairy princesses.


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.


Hard to conceive: Sometimes getting pregnant isn't easy--or possible

By Patrick T. Reardon| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ethic of Life Marriage and Family
Alternatives such as those offered by Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction in Omaha don’t work for every couple.

And in vitro fertilization (IVF) is not an easy step to take for those struggling with infertility, both because of moral and monetary concerns. Still, the desire for children, which many attribute to God, outweighs everything for couples such as the Mahons.


Does the consumer culture affect marriage?

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Family therapist William Doherty talks about the impact of consumer culture on marriage and personal relationships as well as the increasing rates of divorce. He urges church leaders to encourage married couples to strengthen their commitment to God and remind them that marriage is not a private lifestyle decision.

Does the consumer culture affect marriage? Yes and it's devastating. Marriage is becoming a lifestyle with a person I choose because they can meet my needs and we can be happy together.


The parent trap: How to keep your kids from ruling the roost

By A U.S. Catholic interview| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family
Family therapist William Doherty discusses the challenges facing parents trying to fight the consumer culture and provides pieces of advice for them to effectively deal with disrespectful kids.

And lead us not into temper tantrums

By Heidi Schlumpf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Marriage and Family Parish Life

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.


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