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Marriage for Love and Life Words of Wisdom

The U.S. Catholic Bishops have made clear that “violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form- physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal is sinful; often it is a crime as well.” (When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women)

angry Couple


Love Shouldn't Hurt

Without an attitude of mutual respect, couples can hurt one another deeply. Respect can break down when couples get into the habit of speaking disrespectfully to each other, holding grudges, insisting on having one’s way, or being overly critical and complaining. People drift apart. A marriage can die the death of a thousand cuts.

For example, on the website,, the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Marriage asks the question, "What have you done for your marriage today?" The Bishops make the point that "successful marriages don’t work on automatic pilot – at least not for long. Like a garden, they require constant attention: fertilizing, watering, and weeding. Healthy marriages, like gardens, don’t die suddenly. More often they fade away from a gradual lack of attentiveness, letting things slide, taking each other for granted." This lack of attention causes pain for the spouses that could seriously damage their relationship if not corrected.

What's the difference between normal conflict and domestic violence?

Conflict is part of every intimate relationship–that's why conflict resolution skills are important. Domestic violence, however, has no place in a healthy relationship, whether the couple is dating, engaged, married or cohabiting.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is any kind of behavior that a person uses, or threatens to use, to control an intimate partner. The two key elements are threat and control. Domestic violence can take various forms:

Physical – Violent actions such as hitting, beating, pushing, and kicking. In many cases physical abuse becomes more frequent and severe over time.

Sexual – Includes any sexual acts that are forced on one partner by the other

Psychological – Includes a wide range of behaviors such as intimidation, isolating the victim from friends and family, controlling where the victim goes, making the victim feel guilty or crazy, and making unreasonable demands

Emotional – Undermining an individual's self-esteem, constant criticism, insults, put-downs, and name-calling

Economic – Examples include limiting the victim's access to family income, preventing the victim from working or forcing the victim to work, destroying the victim's property, and making all the financial decisions

Domestic Violence Awareness Training and Resources

- Contact Edward Herrera, Family Life Office  410-547-5420
Brochures in English and Spanish