When a marriage
ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
November 8, 2014
IT’S truly depressing when
we hear about a marriage going sour. What began as a happy event,
complete with fervent affirmations of love, commitment and
self-giving, now looks dry and lifeless, and even showing traces of
But we should never allow
sadness, let alone discouragement to dominate us. Failures in life are
at best temporary, unless we persist in making them permanent. There
is always hope. Solutions to problems are always available. Cures and
remedies to whatever is wrong are all there for the asking.
We need to face marital
problems with hope and optimism. And so, we need to review a few
points to put this issue in its proper perspective with the view of
helping everyone involved in these cases – the spouses themselves and
those who are in a position to help, like relatives, friends, priests,
counselors – resolve the issue effectively.
First of all, we have to
look into how couples are prepared for marriage. The couples
themselves have to be sure it’s true love that leads them to make a
lifelong and all- embracing commitment of marriage.
This love cannot be other
than a vital sharing of the love of God, who is the very source,
pattern, end and power of love. When this fundamental principle is not
clear, we would already have a big problem in the making.
All the pre-marriage classes
and seminars given by the parishes and other groups should clarify the
true nature and character of marriage as well as its purpose and
essential properties of unity and indissolubility.
They should explain why
marriage based on true love is very important for the health of the
family and of society. Moreover, it should be made clear that marriage
is actually a divine vocation, a true, heroic path to sanctity for the
couple, where their relation with God is very much at play.
Since it is also a sacrament
for the Catholics, marriage is where Christ himself acts as guarantor
for its vitality and fruitfulness. Especially when problems and
difficulties come, the couples have to be assured of Christ’s grace
The couples have to
understand then that marriage has to be approached with a theological
mind using spiritual and supernatural means, and not just with some
purely human motives using merely material and human means.
They have to understand that
to keep their marriage going, the couples need to have first of all as
an indispensable requirement a healthy spiritual life, based on
prayer, sacrifice, recourse to the sacraments, study of the doctrine,
and that attitude of welcoming a continuing process of conversion
They have to realize that
they need to bank on some effective program of spiritual growth
through an on-going system of formation, nourished by specific acts of
They need to continue
developing their love for each other, each one “conquering” each other
every day by looking for things that would make the other feel loved.
The courtship should never end, but should rather evolve into more
It is in this way that they
will keep their love young and strong, ever renewed and able to cope
with changing circumstances and situations. Even if physically they
will unavoidably suffer decline, their love will continue to be
vibrant and creative.
Love, if it’s true and is
taken seriously, is always inventive. It knows how to find ways to
enter into the heart of the other spouse. No event, whether of the
successful type or the opposite, would be a hindrance for love to
express itself and grow.
All concerns, trials,
challenges and difficulties are faced and tackled with love as the
be-all and end-all. They should never be pursued purely on the
technical level or for some practical purposes alone.
The search for work and
financial stability, for example, should be inspired and subordinated
to the love of the spouse and the family. If that search would
undermine the love due to the spouse and the family, then it would not
Obviously, sacrifices will
be involved in marriage and family life. Everyone should try his or
her best to be generous in this area. But to be realistic, everyone
should also be prudent enough to assess up to what point the other
spouse can take in terms of sacrifices.
That’s why constant,
intimate dialogue between spouses is a must. Everything has to be done
to facilitate that dialogue, making it as pleasant and positive as
possible. The art of tactful discussion should be learned carefully,
considering the varying temperaments, moods, physical and emotional
states the couple can find themselves in.