I can’t wait for the howls, but hear me out.
Most married people know about precisely one marriage, their own. And some people in these marriages really haven’t put their shoulder into their own marriages, and so they know surprisingly little about even their own marriage.
But most priests know a lot about marriage. They were raised as part of a family, and so they understand the effects of family life on marriage, and marriage on a family.
Good priests sit in confessions - and outside of formal confession times - hear confessions most days, in their offices, in airports, etc…anywhere they wear their collar they are open to be being asked to hear someone’s confession.
And what do they hear in confessions - and in spiritual direction and in marriage counseling sessions they may hold - they hear about married life in all of its marvelous good and ugly details.
They hear about our excuses, our self-justifications, our struggles, our lies, our rationalizations, our failures in being generous husbands or wives, our selfishness, our hopes, our desire to begin again, and again.
They often hear details about one’s marital relationship that some spouses don’t even discuss with their own spouses.
They may not know about a few aspects of married life…but they hear and learn about thousands of marriages in great detail.
They know in ways married people will never know.