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"A new baby shifts the dynamic of the family," says Dr. "While you once focused solely on each other, now it's all about the baby." To avoid losing sight of your one-on-one relationship, don't wait until you feel like you have time to focus on each other, she says, because that time will never come on its own. You don't need to schedule weekend jaunts or even weekly dates if you're too tired or cash-strapped.

"Even spending 10 minutes together after dinner or when the [baby] is asleep can help you connect," Dr. Even if you barely speak and just cuddle on the couch for that 10 minutes, you'll get in the habit of connecting and will avoid losing sight of your relationship.

I discuss this principle more fully in "Principles for Drawing Boundaries" and "What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?

" As a quick refresher, we can "defraud" our brother or sister in a dating context by showing or encouraging a level of intimacy — either emotionally or physically — that the Bible seems to reserve for marriage and marriage only.

Anyone with kids can tell you that having a baby changes everything.

But couples continue to be blindsided by the transition.

reads like getting advice from a good friend who passes on insights and suggestions gleaned from his own recent experience of being engaged and married.

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Although the 29-year-old Boston bride was delighted to have accepted her boyfriend's proposal, she says, "I did not want to face anyone.PART 6: Growing in Intimacy » In matters of dating or courtship, I generally recommend that people either get married or break up within a year or so of beginning a dating relationship.I also believe that this recommendation applies with equal force to single men and women in college.Photo: Thinkstock The shock of losing a job can be immediate and disrupting."Your equilibrium is punctured," says James Cordova, Ph D, of the Center for Couples and Family Research at Clark University, and author of The Marriage Checkup.We've laid out four growing pains associated with the transition to marriage, each of which can be soothed, given time and the balm of love that empowered us to say "I will" in the first place.When couples are on the verge of a major life transition such as marriage, they begin to think about life, love, values…and the future. That’s the way some people discover their spiritual sides, but you don’t have to wait for a crisis.For example, Collins encourages men to take leadership in their relationships, such as asking the father’s blessing before proposing, and initiating important, yet difficult conversations during engagement.In his balanced manner, he encourages men to defer to and support their fiancées’ wishes when it comes to things like how to announce their engagement or the wedding theme and decorations.offers something for any Catholic man; it can encourage the devout Catholic, as well as challenge the lukewarm Catholic who is open to advice and looking for direction.Although not a book on discerning marriage, there are a few elements that could strengthen or bring into question a man’s decision to marry a particular woman.


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