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4 Surprising red flags to watch out for in marriage

Couple fighting while sitting on the pier

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 02/16/23

Marriage is messy, but good and beautiful. Here is some practical encouragement from people who have walked the walk.

Marriage can be one of the most wonderful and joyful things in the world, but it can also be really hard.

A new book,The Good, the Messy, and the Beautiful: The Joys and Struggles of Real Married Life, is an essential read for married couples looking to navigate the challenges and embrace the blessings of their vocation.

The Good the messy and the beautiful

The authors, Dr. Edward and Beth Sri, have walked the walk. They are nationally known marriage speakers and have written extensively about Catholic teachings on marriage.

But as they write in their book, knowing the theology of sacramental marriage and putting it into practice are two different things. The real work came in their 20+ years of marriage raising eight children together. 

The Sri Family, Edward Sri, Beth Sri
The Sri Family

Through their decades of marriage and parenting, they’ve learned so much, and now they’re sharing this wisdom with the rest of us.

So what inspired the Sris to write this book? Here’s what Dr. Sri told Aleteia:

Beth and I wrote The Good, the Messy, and the Beautiful to offer encouragement to couples and to look at marriage from a deeper spiritual perspective. There are many books on self-help, communication and theology of marriage, but there weren’t many about getting at the heart of the spirituality of God meeting us in the lows – and the highs – of married life. 

This book is about the realities of marriage — the real joys and the real struggles. Those struggles are not just problems to be solved … they are places where Jesus wants us to encounter Him and learn to love like He loves.

How can you encounter Jesus in the challenges of your marriage? You can find so many practical and helpful ideas in this book.

Dr. Edward Sri

Red flags to watch out for in marriage

I learned so much from this book, and one of the most interesting parts was a chapter in which the Sris described some red flags. 

Some of them really surprised me, because they sounded like ways someone might try to “keep the peace.” But it turns out they are walls built up in relationships and can do a lot of damage.

  1. Avoiding topics
  2. Not sharing what is on your heart
  3. Finding your purpose somewhere else
  4. Losing hope for your marriage

So what can you do if these walls are built up in your marriage? You’ll have to check out their book for the full details. 

But one thing you can count on is that there is always reason to hope, and things really can get better. Yes, even if those red flags are present. 

The Holy Spirit changes hearts every day. Amazing changes can happen, and God can transform lives and marriages. 

Marriage is messy, yes, but really good and really beautiful. Find some encouragement and practical wisdom in your own vocation in this gem of a book.

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