- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On November 10, 2019
“Justice prevents divorce,” says Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, founder of The Institute for Marital Healing and author of the new book, “Habits for a Healthy Marriage, a Handbook for Catholic Couples.” Fitzgibbons poses that most marriages can be healed and in twelve chapters he discusses common pitfalls harming marriage. Readers explore whether each brought weaknesses into marriage from their upbringing, or if the weaknesses developed during the marriage. Priests, single people, engaged couples, and mental health professionals would all be helped by the book, says Fitzgibbons, because we all struggle from the same issues that stem from our family of origin.
Each chapter discusses a virtue that can be practiced and developed to overcome a weakness (See table of contents). Fitzgibbons says, “The virtue of justice imposes on spouses the obligation to work hard to heal their marriage, to be loyal to their children’s need for a stable union, and to persevere in the vows they made to each other and to God.” Young children and teenagers “should be allowed the freedom to tell a parent, ‘If you loved me [or us], you would work to save the marriage and the family’.”
Outsiders, such as clergy, parents, siblings, in-laws, and friend, Fitzgibbons says, should also request that those wanting divorce should, instead, work on their marriage. He says a spouse in a marriage crisis should not confide in, or seek advice from, those who have embraced the divorce mentality. Many marriage counselors have erroneously adopted a modern psychological approach to marriage, in which “one’s primary obligations is not to one’s family but to oneself.” Fitzgibbons’ goal is to help couples improve their marital friendship and love. “By growing in the humility of self-knowledge and by practicing virtues with the help of grace, the flame of marital love can be relit and burn stronger than before.”
Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons discussed “Habits for a Healthy Marriage” with Barbara McGuigan on EWTN The Good Fight (Oct. 26); Dan Cheely on Relevant Radio, (Oct. 12); Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio (Sept. 11); Kyle Heimann on Redeemer Radio (Oct. 9); and others.