Do you understand the meaning of marriage..?


#1

I’ve never been married but sometimes get the feeling God wants me to be married (some day)… I could be wrong about that (Hope i am :smiley: ) but anyway…

If you have been married a long time… (or if it just SEEMS like a long time :smiley: ), could you please let me know what you think are the most important things you have learned about it?? (also please tell me if you are Catholic of not…). Thanks… :slight_smile:


#2

40 years is long and seems longer
the meaning of marriage is a reflection and sign of the complete self-giving and receptivity of love between the Father and the Son, the glory and fullness of which is the Spirit. Marriage is the earthly relationship that most closely enables humans to contemplate that depth of love.


#3

hi distracted, I’ve been married for 18 years and we are Catholic. Here’s what I’ve seen as being the most important part of marriage.
Marriage is a wonderful thing. It is about commitment to another person to share the world with and to raise children. I read in a book by Fr. Benedict Groschel that marriage is about helping to carry each others’ crosses. I think there lies the true meaning of a marriage, a union between man and woman with God at the center, where each carries the other during the toughest times in thier lives.


#4

DH and I are both converts, I converted years before he did.

Marriage is, like all Sacraments, a vehicle of grace that assists us in our ultimate goal - to be in heaven with God forever. We also have the blessing and responsibility to have children and get our children to heaven as well.


#5

wow… that is beautiful… and makes me realize all over again… how wrong i have been in my choices of … well, who i thought i wnated to marry… I have a lot of learning to do about marriage… because i just don’t know how to pick them… Why do i even get the feeling God wnats me to marry??

Gotta go, but thanks… :slight_smile:


#6

How do you know God wants you to be married?


#7

**distracted…the person with the most thought provoking posts…another great one!:thumbsup:

Probably the most important lesson I learned through being married, was that sacrificing for another is more rewarding than being self centered. I was not the greatest wife after a few years of being married. I thought…what, the world doesn’t revolve around moi**?:blush: Hmmm…through a separation, many prayers, and incredible patience on my husband’s part…(and some counseling) I became a new creation in Christ. I think that I grew closest to Christ, through being married.

I still have my moments, but above all, my dh and kids come before me. I try to put their needs before my own, the way Christ did for me on the cross. There is nothing that will ever compare to Christ’s sacrifice, but His model is what I try to follow as a wife, now.


#8

i don’t… but one day years ago i asked God what my vocation was… What HE wanted me to do. I had tried to enter a convent… that didn’t work out for various reasons… so i did what i should have done all along. I asked God waht vocation HE wanted for me and i heard, in my head, very clearly, the word “marriage”. I couldn’t figure out who i was supposed to marry… had a crush on this one guy but he didn’t like Cahtolics… looked elsewhere… Then asked God who my husband was… heard a name (someone i had been attracted to but was not pursuing in any way…)… That didn’t work out (the guy was kinda worlldy, etc.)… Anyway… i don’t think i would be a good wife so i don’t know why God would want me to be married. I have ptsd and am a lousy housekeeper… i think i would have to find someone who could say the same hting… But anyway… so far, haven’t met anyone like that… (that i know of). Anyway, i know Satan can put words in a person’s head, so maybe it was him… or maybe… God wanted to show me things… I have leanred an awful lot in htis quest for the "right one… The main thing i have learned is that one must be very VERY careful who one marries… Marriage is a very serious thing…

Anyway… any helpful advice you could give would be appreciated… I feel kinda clue-less these days (long story waht i mean… i’ve been attracted to a few different men in the past few yrs… don’t know what to make of “things”…)…

God bless… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Today's Mass readings (God's people cry out to Him / Re-marriage = adultery / Celibacy is God's preference?)
#9

hmm… i have sometimes wondered why God might be telling me to marry… when nothing i ever have going with a man works out… I know it is not easy having a relationship with someone like me who is messed up (ptsd… avoidant personality disorder [meaning i don’t like to socialize… avoid people a lot]). It could have been the devil who put the word “marriage” in my head… because it seems if it was God, it would have happened by now?? :confused: But who knows… I do know that i have to be ready for marriage & i am (i feel) closer to being ready than i was in the past… but in a way, i feel i wil nver be totally ready…
Anyway… i just want to marry someone who puts Jesus 1st… but you know… that is not so easy to find… i feel i am asking for the moon…

I guess i COULD start looking in … other places than i have been…

anyway, any advice you could give would be appreciated… :slight_smile:


#10

My wife and I had been working on the answer on this for 43 years when a very good priest friend of ours answered this for us with a clarity and forcefulness that made us laugh. His simple response was that you get married to help each other get to heaven. He said that to understand this, think of the alternative. You do not marry to help each other go to hell. The only other alternative is heaven.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B


#11

Hi distracted,
The above postings are all really great on what the meaning of marriage is. But the process is never without its valleys (but neither is religious or single life). It is in the valleys that we find the true grace of God. I have never in my life heard of a ‘perfect’ marriage. So many I’ve known that appear to have a ‘happy and contented’ marriage, one only has to scratch the surface and you will unearth all imperfections, from things that are minor to full blown deceit (catholic and non-catholic marriages alike). This is because we all are not perfect. But all vocations are God’s calling us to live a life that will bring us home to him, it is a journey of faith, not a destination that we arrive at now. So whatever you end up choosing, it will be your particular way in which you decide to live your life of faith.

On a personal note, I gave away the idea of marriage when I was 26, deciding to pursue a single life and the riches I felt it could bring. In pursuing that life, I met someone in exactly the same space and we just ‘hit’ it off!, and got married within 12 months. We’ve been married for 20 years now and have come to realise that God certainly had a plan for us in store, that neither of us could have seen at the time. The main thing we shared and continue to hold above everything else is our devotion to God. And, to answer your question, we are both Catholics.

Blessings on your path!
Lilly:heart:


#12

:smiley:

i’ve heard that before, that you get married to help ea other get to Heaven… but… Could you elaborate on how you and your wife have helped each other?

Maybe this is the reason i’m not married yet… i may not be in much of a posiiton to help anyone get to Heaven…

especially seeing as how i can barely seem to get myself There… :smiley:

(and i am only half-kidding… :whacky:


#13

i think God figures i can get There better by myself… and would probably drive someone else in the opposite direction… :eek: :smiley:

On a personal note, I gave away the idea of marriage when I was 26, deciding to pursue a single life and the riches I felt it could bring. In pursuing that life, I met someone in exactly the same space and we just ‘hit’ it off!, and got married within 12 months. We’ve been married for 20 years now

Lilly:heart:

thank you so much for sharing… I always like to hear of successful marriages, even though there are plenty of “failures” (mistakes) along the way also.

I have mixed feelings about marriage… (mine, the possiblity of…) because, well… i have to get over some of my worst insecurities (etc) before i get married, unless i marry someone who has the same kidn (?)… or whatever… I don’t know… I am confused!! :confused: Now that i think about it, i feel the biggest problem or one ofthem is that i can never feel i can be totally myself with someone… but then on the other hand… I am more myself with this one person than… than i should be (??). I don’t know… :shrug: I have met men who had at least as many psych problems as i have… but they never seem to want to work on those problems… I don’t expect them to work on them & be 100% perfectly successful in dealing w/ them… i just want someone who is working on them… is willing to share the situation with me… I don’t see the point of getting married unless 2 people are willing to work on truly communicating… To me, t hat is what marriage is all about… communicating… on an intimate level… in a way you cannot communicte w/ anyone else…

Why is that so hard to find? Or so it seems…


#14

We help each other by learning what marriage is and what a spouse means to his/her partner. In marriage encounter, we learned that we are each God’s gift of physical love to one another. That 2 + 3 = 1. (Translated - My wife and I, plus God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one). This helps to understand the meaning of the two become one flesh.

We, if God so chooses, partner with him in the creation of new life. This brings an awesome responsibility on how to properly raise our children. We are to pass on the true faith to our children and help form their consciences. We are to worship together. We are to pray together,** daily.** Not just a few prayers, but honestly pray together for ourselves, our family (children and grandchildren) and our extended families.

We are to pray for the Church (militant and suffering) , the Mystical Body and all who need prayer. The list can go on and on. This obligation of prayer is not a burden, but a privilege. One may feel awkward at first, but you actually grow to look forward to it and feel that something is lacking if you miss doing it.

This does not mean that we, like other couples never have our differences. We all do. The important thing is to never end a day without letting your spouse know that you love him/her.

Onetime my wife and I had a real doozie of an argument and both drove off in opposite directions. I went to a nearby church that has perpetual adoration and when I went in, my wife was coming in from the opposite door. Our impulse, to go before the Eucharist and pray, had us meet before HIM who is part of us. To this day, we do not remember what we argued about, but know HE is our answer.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B


#15

hmm… that’s interesting… & just goes to show you… what i’ve known all along… that math (which i could never do) is not needed in real life after all :smiley:

. We are to pass on the true faith to our children and help form their consciences. We are to worship together. We are to pray together,** daily.**

i wish i had been raised like that. But i (& siblings) weren’t catechized & even my parents weren’t until recently. We all had to catechize ourselves & some siblings (parent(s)? have yet to do so… Anyway… asthey say: Live & learn. I have lived & i have learned (the hard way :ouch: :banghead: ) It is, of course, better to learn first - and then live - (in line with the faith we’ve learned)… This is one reason i am big on sharing Catholic doctrine w/ others, even when they get :mad: @ me for doing so… I got into an argument with this person the ohter day… (I’ll call the person A). A is hateful toward those of a different race. I told A that hating others will land you in Hell… A & i used to get along but now… we don’t. I felt funny saying such a thing… but what choice did i have? If A chooses own way over God’s, will end up in Hell or temporary Hell (Purg). anyway… if people were taught the truth as children, they would already know this stuff. A is over 70. I kinda tend to figure that if a person does’t accept Christ before that age, good chance may never do so… But there is always hope…

This does not mean that we, like other couples never have our differences. We all do. The important thing is to never end a day without letting your spouse know that you love him/her.

that reminds me: Have you ever had a moment when you felt that you weren’t just arguing but that you actually despised your spouse? The reason I ask is because i have been “in love” (many times… or infatuated…) but then when things go sour (as they always do)… i find myself practically loathing the person i once thought i “loved” so much…
I tend to think i have never really loved a person of the opposite sex. I mean… I DO… but i never love one who loves me in return… Maybe both parties expect “too much” (??) :confused: It just seems that the person i tend to get involved with just loves something i have (sense of humor… intelligence or what have you). They don’t really ever love ME… but then, i probably don’t let anyone “love” me, really… I have a wall around me… (another long story). Anyway, just wondering if those with life-long (faithful) marriages ever feel that way… like they hate each other… and what makes them feel that way and what is best thing to do about it. I think you already said waht the best thing to do about it is… Blessed Sacrament - my favorite “thing”… :slight_smile:


#16

Distracted,
We all come from different life experiences. That’s OK. The important thing is the direction we end up going. Believe me, no one is perfect. The most perfect one was crucified. All we are, are his followers and strive to do our best with what life has given us.

What we do in our relationships is learn to trust. What goes on between my wife and I stays between my wife & I. That’s part of trust, knowing you are vulnerable but that trust will not be betrayed. Stated another way, we love in spite of, not because of.

Another thing we learned in marriage encounter is that love is a decision, not just a feeling. This is what keeps couples together, i.e., living that decision and being faithful to that decision. Not always easy, but lived non the less. Living that trust is necessary for both husband and wife.

Relationships with no trust are most difficult to live and to maintain. That is not to say that trust cannot be re-established between spouses. It can. Forgiveness is part of that. What people do not realize is that to forgive is to forget. Easily said, hard to live. If one forgives, one does not keep throwing the past up to their spouse. What is forgiven should remain a closed book.

All this is learned as your relationships deepen. Prayer is an important part of maintaining that relationship and helps strengthen it. The old adage, “The family that prays together, stays together”, is very true. Hope this helps.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B


#17

How beautiful. :love:


#18

i guess this articulates what i was trying to say… that i have never found that kind of love. It seems i always fall for someone who can only love, shall we say… bits & pieces of myself… not ALL of me… I always seem to love w/ all my heart… (& end up losing my head a lot of the time…) but no one ever seems to love me that way… of course, as stated, i do have a wall around me… (long story what all that means… i am learning about it myself… ). anyway… i guess when you have never been loved that way, it is hard to believe such a love exists… frankly, just being honest, i find it difficult to believe when someone like you tells me his marriage is like that… but i will try to take your word for it.

Another thing we learned in marriage encounter is that love is a decision, not just a feeling.

i’ve learned this the hard way… As i said, i feel that i am capable of making this kind of decision… to love in spite of and allthat… It seems i am capable of loving unconditionally… but again, one should find someone who is also capable of that… don’t you think? I mean do you think it would be good to marry someone who… you love unconditionally but s/he doesn’t? It seems (almost) like that is the only kind of marriage i will ever have… unles i wait on the Lord, which is what i have been doing for a long time…

Relationships with no trust are most difficult to live and to maintain.

Yeah, i could write a book on that one… :rolleyes:

That is not to say that trust cannot be re-established between spouses. It can. Forgiveness is part of that. What people do not realize is that to forgive is to forget.

It is not always possible to forget… The only way i could forget is if the person who wronged me really acted sorry… talked to me about the “problem” (whatever it may be)… &… well… showed he really was sorry… i already have trust issues… so … well, maybe that’s why i shouldn’t be married. I tend to think that the words i heard in my head in answer to prayer, telling me to marry… were from the devil… I don’t feel i am “marriage material”… and certainly the ones i fall for wouldn’t fit into that category… (at least they are not marriage material for ME)…

Easily said, hard to live. If one forgives, one does not keep throwing the past up to their spouse. What is forgiven should remain a closed book.

In a perfect world, i would agree, but don’t you think that some things are impossible to forget… things like infidelity??

thanks… :slight_smile:


#19

Hi distracted again!

Talk about walls! DH had one so high, I often wondered how on earth I could get through! I even went to a Carmelite priest we both knew, to ask him how could I penetrate this wall of his. His reply was that us religious (DH was once a novitiate before I knew him) often have walls up around us and that you simply had to take it down brick by brick. I held onto that piece of advice my WHOLE married life! And the way that is done is through love and commitment.

One day, that wall came tumbling down. Talk about the when you hate them the most? This was it. He came home after seeing a priest interstate who had encouraged him to be open about his SSA. Because someone religious had told him this, it seemed to give him the AOK to do so. He told me that he wasn’t sure whether or not to stay, in between a lot of other things, and that I probably wasn’t his ‘soul mate’ after all! Needless to say, as he slept the night away soundly, I was up all night trying to figure out just what to do. One part was saying, leave now, the other part was screaming stay here, for this is the real crunch time when one is tested to the extreme. My head was going to split into two! I couldn’t decide what to do, for the first time, I really was stumped. So I decided to stay and just take it one day at a time. That was three years ago and a LOT of PAIN in the process! Thank God we both had had the same conviction in our faith from the start, along with many other values and morals we shared. These are the times when everything comes into play! After a long haul and an attempted suicide from him, he has by the grace of God, come through on understanding himself through therapy (and thats another story! He’s seen countless ones which all encouraged him to be ‘true’ to himself.) He somehow always believed that it wasn’t right and wanted to remain married -it’s been a BIG ask but well worth it. He now has been able to understand why this has occured - and the figures are out there - he has been diagnosed with complex PTSD - this happening because of a lifetime of sexual abuse by males which distorts one’s sexuality during the formation process. I knew of his SSA before we got married - we revealed EVERYTHING to each other. I knew in my heart and he in his that this was somehow still meant to be. He is still building himself back together but with a much better and clearer understanding of who he is, who he is in relationship to God and now finally, who he is in relationship to me. Thank God that we started on the right base, in spite of our imperfections, but with faith in God we are coming out the other side. I am truly a happily married person (most of the time!) but if he or I have differences, we see them as behaviors that are not indicative of the real person we love underneath. Love the person, hate the sin!
I think you are wise in asking these questions before you get married, it’s always great to be very clear about what you are entering into. So many have ‘happily ever after’ ideas about marriage. Leave that for the movies and books. The sense of self you talk about is the transition from being a child and having your needs met (or needing them to be met) into one of adulthood, whereupon you realise that everyone seems to have the same idea: are you going to step up and be that person that God called you to be - that is a servant to others?(not in an abusive sense).
Worth considering.

Blessings,
Lilly:heart:


#20

Thanks for the in-depth response… It is weird you say what you say, it reminds me of that saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” because i had this kind of “epiphany” a day or so ago… Basically you put it into the right words… about how to not necessarily leave someone just becaus you feel like it… (feel that is best…)…

this is interesting also because i have PTSD myself… Thank God it wasn’t the kind of abuse you are talking about… but some wise person once told me that actually child neglect is the worst kind of child abuse… even worse than sexual abuse. At first i didn’t accept that, but then she explained to me that when a child is sexually abused, at least the child is sent some kind (albeit sick) message that s/he is needed or “important” someohow… A child who is totally ignored (as i was) doesn’t even get that message… basically gets the message s/he is “nothing”. I actually even used to think i was invisible (when i was a young child)… Anyway… i don’t mean to feel sorry for myself… just tyring to let you get some kind of picture of where i am at…

us religious (DH was once a novitiate before I knew him) often have walls up around us

i am an unofficial “religious”… live like a nun but not in a convent… & one good thing that came from my being neglected (etc) was that i learned how true it is that Jesus is the only one we can fully trust… People love you one day and abandon you the next… but Jesus… promised to never leaves us… :hug1: So (most of the time) i am thankful for my ptsd… :slight_smile:

encouraged him to be open about his SSA.

what is SSA? i thought i knew… but can’t access that information from my overloaded brain cells… :smiley:

So many have ‘happily ever after’ ideas about marriage. Leave that for the movies and books.

yeah… it’s a shame how the media (& books, etc.) portray romance… like it’s all… well, romance… They never seems to show the hard work involved in relationships… the work you speak of… sticking with someone even whne he is driving you crazy… That’s what always happens with me… the guy i get involved with and i drive ea other crazy… and then the hate sets in… :eek: :frowning: But the epiphany i had the other day seemed to be about… understanding or trying to… the reasons why someone would run from someone… distance himself from someone… I know that i do that kind of thing to protect myself from hurt so i am sure that’s the reason others do it… There are other reasons as well… and when a person doesn’t communicate… well, you are left, as you say, not knowing what to do… so exasperating… :banghead:

thanks… I still am not sure how to proceed, but am open to new ways of thinking and doing… :slight_smile:


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