Most men are called to be married, and want a healthy marital relationship. So, what constitutes a healthy relationship. To answer this question, many pop psychology books talk about good communication and respect for one another. Others may talk about a healthy sex life. I want to take a different approach and talk about love. In fact, I want to talk about three kinds of love that are needed for a healthy relationship. These were proposed by St. John Paul the Great in his series of teachings entitled Love and Responsibility. The three kinds of love are:
- Romantic Love: this is the kind of love one usually experiences in the beginning of a relationship. It’s when a man becomes emotionally and physically attracted to a woman.
- Friendship Love: As the relationship progresses the man and women move onto become best friends. They may share common interests and genuinely enjoy spending time together.
- Spousal Love: This develops as a couple moves toward marriage. They feel a strong emotional bond and want to solidify it through the sacramental covenant of marriage. Here is where the two truly become one.
All three types of love need to be continually fostered for a healthy marriage. Over the next three weeks I will discuss each of these types of love and how men can grow in them with their wives over the life of their marriages. Not only will you learn the skills to have a healthy marriage, your wife will love you more for caring about her and your relationship to be continually working on it. You will also be setting a great example for you children for what a good husband is and does for his wife and marriage.