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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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Sacrifice in Marriage

Apr 12th 2013 new

I was just reading some posts that made me wonder: what is the appropriate balance in regard to compromise in marriage? Meaning, in order to live with another person there has to be some willingness to compromise or even let go of behaviors and personal preferences in order to live with and love another person. Is it logical to believe that a person can find a mate who will not require any sacrifice or compromise in order to live with them in a healthy and functional way? Can someone give me an example of legitimate areas that one must compromise and others that are not acceptable? The "no dogs" discussion actually got me thinking about this. Or what about personal preferences in regard to "alone time" and "people time?" It seems like marriage is all about compromise; so if we aren't willing to consider compromise in order to be with the other now, isn't it just going to get worse later? And can't "being picky" before marriage carry over into the marriage and yield to a spirit of criticalness? I am trying to sort these things out for myself as I consider possibilities and want to hear thoughts from others!

Apr 12th 2013 new

(Quote) Kristen-878108 said: I was just reading some posts that made me wonder: what is the appropriate balance in regard to...
(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:

I was just reading some posts that made me wonder: what is the appropriate balance in regard to compromise in marriage? Meaning, in order to live with another person there has to be some willingness to compromise or even let go of behaviors and personal preferences in order to live with and love another person. Is it logical to believe that a person can find a mate who will not require any sacrifice or compromise in order to live with them in a healthy and functional way? Can someone give me an example of legitimate areas that one must compromise and others that are not acceptable? The "no dogs" discussion actually got me thinking about this. Or what about personal preferences in regard to "alone time" and "people time?" It seems like marriage is all about compromise; so if we aren't willing to consider compromise in order to be with the other now, isn't it just going to get worse later? And can't "being picky" before marriage carry over into the marriage and yield to a spirit of criticalness? I am trying to sort these things out for myself as I consider possibilities and want to hear thoughts from others!

--hide--

Hi Kristen,

Marriage is such a dynamic thing. It is never always the same. And, it is a constant negotiation between the spouses. One day leaving the toilet seat up could start world war three and on another it might get little more than a shrug or a sigh. It's difficult to give concrete examples, but I would suggest one enter marriage with the idea of surrender to the other and ideally both spouses will enter it in such a way. I surrender my wants, hopes, fears, needs, desires, dreams to my husband and he surrenders those same things to me. And, do your best to love without condition -- on all levels mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Remember that averaged out over thirty years it might work out to be a fifty fifty give and take but in the real world application there may be long stretches where one or the other either gives or takes more than their fifty percent or less than their fifty percent. But, if you view your spouse and your marriage as a gift from God, cherish their life and well being above your own, rely on God to sustain you, partake in the spiritual charisms granted married spouses and just love, many of these things will settle themselves. This does not mean be a weak mamby pamby and let someone walk all over you, on the contrary it means speaking up when something concerns you, being a voice of conscience when need be, but never stop loving. Marriage is constantly moving, changing and in doing so changes us. The only time I would say something should not be considered for negotiation is if it is directly contrary to God's law --- like asking you to violate your marriage vows or commit a crime etc. Otherwise negotiate away and compromise when doing so brings pleasure or joy or peace even to the other and does not force you into a position that is demeaning or hurtful to you. Love does not require that of anyone.

Apr 12th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Hi Kristen, Marriage is such a dynamic thing. It is never always the same. And, ...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Hi Kristen,

Marriage is such a dynamic thing. It is never always the same. And, it is a constant negotiation between the spouses. One day leaving the toilet seat up could start world war three and on another it might get little more than a shrug or a sigh. It's difficult to give concrete examples, but I would suggest one enter marriage with the idea of surrender to the other and ideally both spouses will enter it in such a way. I surrender my wants, hopes, fears, needs, desires, dreams to my husband and he surrenders those same things to me. And, do your best to love without condition -- on all levels mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Remember that averaged out over thirty years it might work out to be a fifty fifty give and take but in the real world application there may be long stretches where one or the other either gives or takes more than their fifty percent or less than their fifty percent. But, if you view your spouse and your marriage as a gift from God, cherish their life and well being above your own, rely on God to sustain you, partake in the spiritual charisms granted married spouses and just love, many of these things will settle themselves. This does not mean be a weak mamby pamby and let someone walk all over you, on the contrary it means speaking up when something concerns you, being a voice of conscience when need be, but never stop loving. Marriage is constantly moving, changing and in doing so changes us. The only time I would say something should not be considered for negotiation is if it is directly contrary to God's law --- like asking you to violate your marriage vows or commit a crime etc. Otherwise negotiate away and compromise when doing so brings pleasure or joy or peace even to the other and does not force you into a position that is demeaning or hurtful to you. Love does not require that of anyone.

--hide--


Lauren, thank you so much for your thoughtful (as always!) response! This is really what I thought too - that compromise is an integral part. I think it would be difficult to be married and NOT expect to be challenged to grow and change over time. I guess my secondary question then is to wonder if compromise would not be necessary before the marriage too; meaning that if you've found a person who meets most of your desires in regard to a match, then might one decide to let go of certain personal preferences or desires for the higher good and happiness of spending one's life with another? I guess I wonder if it might be expecting a little too much for another person to match up with every preference and desire you have?

Apr 12th 2013 new
There is a joke (err more like a true story) that says there are 4 rings to marriage. 1 engagement ring, 2 wedding rings, and finally the suffering. No there are those that say that's sad, or a negative view of marriage, it's not!! The best come back I heard to that joke was anyone who thinks that's funny, or disagrees needs to get down on their knees and spend some time in front of a Crucifix. That is the ultimate sigh that true love REQUIRES sacrifice and suffering. One suggestion would be to prioritize the arguments. I remember one time there was something I wanted and my wife disagreed. I agreed with her that time because it really wasn't that important to me, and I knew it was something that was important to her. There were other times where the reverse was true, and other times where we simply agreed to disagree. You can't win them all, it's not being fair to your spouse if you expect to - so don't even try!!
Apr 12th 2013 new
My ex did the jekyl and hyde -- before marriage you couldn't have asked for a more kind, compassionate, bending, understanding kind of guy -- after marriage everything was his way or no way -- the give part was all mine, the take part was all his. Being the 'good Catholic submissive wife' I didn't know how to deal with it and just took it as a cross of marriage -- until his evil ways were involving our daughters. A real marriage is full of communication as well as give and take on both sides.
Apr 13th 2013 new

(Quote) Rachel-731570 said: My ex did the jekyl and hyde -- before marriage you couldn't have asked for a more kind, compassion...
(Quote) Rachel-731570 said: My ex did the jekyl and hyde -- before marriage you couldn't have asked for a more kind, compassionate, bending, understanding kind of guy -- after marriage everything was his way or no way -- the give part was all mine, the take part was all his. Being the 'good Catholic submissive wife' I didn't know how to deal with it and just took it as a cross of marriage -- until his evil ways were involving our daughters. A real marriage is full of communication as well as give and take on both sides.
--hide--


This resonates of familiarity to me. My former spouse did the same, definitely a jekyl/hyde situation as well. Of course I too was that good Catholic submissive wife, HOWEVER there were some "rules" that I refused to bend and it was my refusal to bend that got him removed from our home more than once.


There has to be a balance in everything, even in sacrifice. I was the ever present martyr and it was when my kids were teenagers that I realized I was NOT a good example to them by allowing myself to be controlled by their father. When I started to stand up to him the kids started respecting me.


Sacrifice is a very real part of marriage AND it needs to be in moderation.

Apr 13th 2013 new

(Quote) Kristen-878108 said: what is the appropriate balance in regard to compromise in marriage?
(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:

what is the appropriate balance in regard to compromise in marriage?

--hide--

That's a great question. My thought is that if we go into a Marriage or are in a Marriage with a preconceived idea what the "appropriate balance" of compromise should be, that in itself is a somewhat of a destructive behavior. It may be an easier to approach Marriage knowing that it may not always be the 50/50 ideal what we want, sometimes it may be 60/40 or even 75/25 on occasion. The key is Communicating when one feels they are making more sacrifices than they feel they should, and not bottling it up in resentment. smile Praying

Apr 14th 2013 new

Very good posts - I agree that if one person is doing all the sacrificing this is a problem. It seems like a successful marriage really comes down to discerning whether the other person has a real respect for you so that you know you can trust that they will your good as well as their own. I agree also that you can't define how much sacrificing each person will do - perhaps the better focus is that of seeing marriage as a total self gift. Of course that again requires finding a partner who also has that vision of marriage. I guess my question still resides in the area of discernment of a potential partner before marriage - I guess I am wondering what criteria one should have in looking for a spouse. I don't think it's logical to look for a person who will be compatible with you in every area of your life. There will likely be some things you will not share in common - common love of animals or of watching tv or love of parties... Therefore sacrifice will be required for having a successful marriage. I guess this is my real question: on what criteria should a potential partner be considered?

Apr 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:... It seems like marriage is all about compromise;
(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:... It seems like marriage is all about compromise;
--hide--
ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.

Areas where you can't compromise:
- when the spouse wants you to violate your moral values (cheating on income taxes, birth control, etc.)
- when the spouse is violent or abuses drugs/alcohol to the point that you or the children are in danger.

On everything else, you win some and you lose some. If you talk about the differences in a calm and courteous and mature manner, compromise is easy to achieve. Reasonable people like to compromise if the other party is being reasonable (not demanding or critical or hysterical).

You don't keep score, or at least, not in a "hard and fast" way.

And you learn to bite your tongue, and say, "Thanks for putting up with me" a LOT. biggrin

Apr 14th 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: (Quote) Kristen-878108 said: I was just reading some posts that made me w...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Quote:
Kristen-878108 said:

I was just reading some posts that made me wonder: what is the appropriate balance in regard to compromise in marriage? Meaning, in order to live with another person there has to be some willingness to compromise or even let go of behaviors and personal preferences in order to live with and love another person. Is it logical to believe that a person can find a mate who will not require any sacrifice or compromise in order to live with them in a healthy and functional way? Can someone give me an example of legitimate areas that one must compromise and others that are not acceptable? The "no dogs" discussion actually got me thinking about this. Or what about personal preferences in regard to "alone time" and "people time?" It seems like marriage is all about compromise; so if we aren't willing to consider compromise in order to be with the other now, isn't it just going to get worse later? And can't "being picky" before marriage carry over into the marriage and yield to a spirit of criticalness? I am trying to sort these things out for myself as I consider possibilities and want to hear thoughts from others!


Hi Kristen,

Marriage is such a dynamic thing. It is never always the same. And, it is a constant negotiation between the spouses. One day leaving the toilet seat up could start world war three and on another it might get little more than a shrug or a sigh. It's difficult to give concrete examples, but I would suggest one enter marriage with the idea of surrender to the other and ideally both spouses will enter it in such a way. I surrender my wants, hopes, fears, needs, desires, dreams to my husband and he surrenders those same things to me. And, do your best to love without condition -- on all levels mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Remember that averaged out over thirty years it might work out to be a fifty fifty give and take but in the real world application there may be long stretches where one or the other either gives or takes more than their fifty percent or less than their fifty percent. But, if you view your spouse and your marriage as a gift from God, cherish their life and well being above your own, rely on God to sustain you, partake in the spiritual charisms granted married spouses and just love, many of these things will settle themselves. This does not mean be a weak mamby pamby and let someone walk all over you, on the contrary it means speaking up when something concerns you, being a voice of conscience when need be, but never stop loving. Marriage is constantly moving, changing and in doing so changes us. The only time I would say something should not be considered for negotiation is if it is directly contrary to God's law --- like asking you to violate your marriage vows or commit a crime etc. Otherwise negotiate away and compromise when doing so brings pleasure or joy or peace even to the other and does not force you into a position that is demeaning or hurtful to you. Love does not require that of anyone.

--hide--


Lauren,

Great post.


Blessings, Praying hug rose

Leon

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