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'”Father Brunetta said that for many couples, “an overly intellectual approach diminishes the mystery that marriage is supposed to be.

Before I got ordained I had a certain sense of what it was to be a priest. If we’ve got it all figured out ahead of time, we might end up fighting against what our married life is teaching us.”But then it became something else.

“I have learned a lot since then through individual counseling.

Too many times, I will read something in a book only to look up to God and ask, ‘Why didn’t I read this five years ago?

The Barna Research Group estimates that 25 percent of Catholics who have been married have been divorced — that’s lower than the general population, but high nonetheless.

Still, the black cloud can be dispelled even at this stage, and often is, if the couple looks into the horrible consequences of divorce and decides they just won’t go there. Until someone calls a lawyer.“All it takes is one confused spouse who thinks that divorce will solve their unhappiness,” said Michelle Gauthier, founder of Defending Holy Matrimony.

In fact, no one knows exactly what the assenting-Catholic divorce rate is.

Catholics sometimes cite the statistic that only 2 percent of married couples who use natural family planning (NFP) end in divorce, but investigate that and you’ll soon find that no one knows where the 2 percent figure came from.

But while he and his wife overloaded on “Catholic stuff,” they neglected to develop an authentic spirituality.

In retrospect, Doug says that marriage preparation gave him all the doctrinal answers but left him unprepared for the life that he would face.

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