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“The relation between any two decently married people changes profoundly every few years… every change causes pain, even if it brings a certain joy. Marriage is a long event of perpetual change in which a man and a woman mutually build up their souls and make themselves whole.” -D.H. Lawrence

 

This quote aptly describes the beauty and challenge of a marriage relationship. Only a Hollywood movie would have you believe that a perfect marriage exists with constant pleasures and few problems, but the truth is marriage is really hard. A healthy, surviving marriage takes intense, daily work. The powerful emotion of love does not make a relationship unsusceptible to difficulties, even in their most severe form. So as a single person who has high hopes, great dreams and a heart full of love looking for a lasting relationship, you must ask yourself the important question, “Why do I want to be married?” Make sure you have a concrete answer that is more than just “I want to share my life with someone special” before you embark on a serious relationship.

 

Many people have different reasons for getting married. Some love the idea of being in a committed relationship, having children, and growing old together. Some people see it as the next logical step in a relationship that’s gotten serious. Some people see it as a safe haven; an escape from other difficulties. And the possibilities of what marriage means seem to be endless these days. However, your reason for getting married is an integral part of making your future marriage last.

 

There are some definite check points you can use to analyze your readiness for getting into a relationship that will last a lifetime. Here are two of the key points:

 

1. You must be willing to grant complete access. With the right person, you should be open and honest about anything and everything. This means more than just fessing up to obvious faults like admitting you are a back-seat driver or acknowledging the fact that you enjoy sports more than you do praying the rosary. When you’re married you must be comfortable with your spouse knowing every last detail about you. Every tick, every embarrassing moment, every bad thing you’ve done and every weakness you have. There can’t be any excuses, only acceptance. You must be ready to share your life on this level if you want your marriage to last.

 

That may sound uncomfortable, but I guarantee you that allowing your spouse to see you in those completely vulnerable moments becomes a foundational cement in your relationship; a level of security that no one else in your life could have. You shouldn’t have anything to hide from your spouse. This exclusive knowledge of each other builds an intimacy that becomes this relational super glue. If you are willing to allow that type of intimacy, you are on your way to a solid, lasting relationship.

 

2. You must be willing to raise the bar. Couples fall in love and when the relationship begins to evolve and faults begin to reveal themselves, it is tempting to ignore the faults and focus only on what makes the relationship “feel” good. This is a recipe for disaster.

 

We are called to marriage for good reasons, and of course it is for happiness, love, and procreation. But we are also called to marriage because we are supposed to get each other to heaven. As you get to know each other and live life together, inevitably your faults will be known. You must be willing to raise the bar on your relationship. You must be willing to help each other overcome your faults – not with mockery and a lack of charity, but with love. It’s like running a three-legged race where you both have your own legs but are tied together. Only by working together can you reach the finish line. You fall down, get a few bruises, laugh hysterically, and get back up to compete in the race and become a winning couple.

 

So as a CatholicMatch member looking for love, think about it… Why do you want to be married?

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29 Comments

  1. Sarah-902645 October 8, 2012

    Very true! Good article!

  2. Barbara-592749 October 8, 2012

    My feeling about love and marriage is you have to have total love and trust in your self and your partner.
    No secrets about the past or what you see for the future if you decide to become serious with another person.
    Marriage is unto death do us part and to me that is a life time commitment.

  3. Andy-516957 October 8, 2012

    Is this supposed to make singles more likely to marry? I realize this article is trying to convey the commitment that is marriage, but it comes across as another hurdle towards marriage.
    Articles like this have the net effect of scaring people off.
    Yes the commitment to marriage must be huge but it’s not the end of the world.
    There is more than enough naysaying in all other media.

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy October 9, 2012

      Hi, Andy,

      I understand what you are saying, and while I’m certainly not trying to scare anyone off necessarily, I do want to make them think hard if they are considering marriage. The two points I make should have a positive effect for someone who is ready to commit to marriage. Living with someone on these levels of intimacy is exciting to imagine for someone who is ready to commit. If a person is scared by this proposal, then I hope they would consider that being married has a much deeper meaning than what they might think.

      I have been through a divorce and I would do anything to help prevent another one. Hence, my thoughts on this subject. Thank you for bringing your points of conversation to the table.

      Sincerely – Lisa

      • Brenda-74660 October 9, 2012

        Hi Lisa,
        I agree if marriage is to be considered both parties should be equally committed & equally excited to be beginning a new life together. As the Priest put it Sunday when he gave his talk on Right To Life & Marriage & Commitment, it is all intertwined & our world needs lot’s of prayers in order to sustain Healthy, Happy Married Life. He explained what type of commitment is necessary & it sounded like a talk that was needed in this day & time.

        God Bless Brenda

      • Andy-516957 October 9, 2012

        Divorce isn’t the end of the world. It’s better to have tried and failed than to not have tried. You are to be congratulated for having had the courage to love and commit.

        Marriage shouldn’t be entered into lightly, that is why we have the Pre-Cana program.

        Stay hopeful ladies, I’m still single!

      • Dan-746116 October 19, 2012

        I answered from deep within my heart an unequivocal YES to both questions. Thanks for this article. It is another affirmation that what I am feeling is true concerning my discernment of my readiness for marriage. I truly believe I am ready because I want those two things in my life.

        • Lisa-727959 October 19, 2012

          That’s great, Dan! Best wishes on your search!

  4. Lynn-189934 October 8, 2012

    I’m not sure the D.H. Lawrence quote is appropriate. Some of his books made the Legion of Decency list for pornography back in the day. . . he explores adultery, extramarital sex, sexual abandon, bisexuality, and lesbianism in his work. To the English major, this is the modern equivalent of using a Jackie Collins quote—even if profound, her explicit reputation comes to mind.

    • Lisa Duffy
      Lisa Duffy October 9, 2012

      Hi, Lynn,

      Thanks for your comment and concern over the quote. I can see how you may feel it doesn’t fit. Fair enough and thank you for pointing that out.

      For me, it was the words, themselves – not the author – that mattered because I felt it aptly described what happens in a healthy marriage.

      Oscar Wilde was a person of scandal and yet, I find hope and encouragement in of one of his sayings: “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.”

      Sincerely,

      Lisa

      • Richard-736779 October 18, 2012

        Yes, it is a great quote Lisa! Another great saying is: We fall down, we get up. Saints are just sinners who fell down but got back up!

        Richard

  5. Jen-3409 October 9, 2012

    Well that has been said in the Bible….in marriage a man and a woman should completely give themselves to one another.

  6. Dave-146273 October 9, 2012

    WHAT,, You mean there are no Princes and Princesses left to sweep anyone off their feet? and we’ve been duped by Hollywood again ;-( You know this is going to come as a Shock to all CM members who write that they’re waiting for their Prince to sweep them off their feet. All kidding aside, great article and thank you for breaking it down. It brought to mind a recent match that i had a conversation with where trying to find out their past and background was like pulling Teeth! Unfortunately if you cant find out who that person is, how can you accept them for who they are. Thanks again for a good article.

  7. Stephen-725391 October 9, 2012

    Lisa,

    Excellent points.

    However, before commenting about those 2 items, the answer to the Title of this Blog – Genesis 2:18 answers it, to-wit: “And the Lord God said: It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto himself.” (emphasis added) Also, studies have shown that from a physiological and psychological point of view, those in marriage, EVEN a bad marriage, are better off than the non-married.

    Now to the matter at hand. It seems to me that the divorced (as statistics show) have a more difficult row to hoe in re-marriage whether to another divorced person or never married person or widow/widower person than a combination of those who were never married and/or widow/widowers, in particular to the 1st – being totally and completely opened.

    It seems to me that damage done and suffered, especial in long term marriages that end in divorce, to both parties is near impossible to completely heal (especially considering that the Church does little or nothing to address saving troubled marriages let alone repairing the damage done going through divorce and annulment proceedings, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding), thus thwarting the totally open access which seems to be put forth as the key to a successful 2nd marriage. Further, the length of time of life-time marriage for those who would be lucky enough to find a partner in their later years (50s and later) is SHORT – 20 years would be LONG more likely in the range of 5-15 years. It seems that in regard to the 2nd item, those available for re-marriage forget to live in the here and now and enjoy the time given them and go off the edge to save the soul of the other.

    I have, in particular, recently been questioning – Do I really want to re-marry (even though studies show it would be healthier for me to do so)? Especially, if those who would be looking to marry live beyond the local (couple hour driving distance – 100 miles +-) area.

    These two items – extreme trust and the avenging angel syndrome – give me further pause in this determination.

    I feel that I have a lot to give to a relationship, but as Andy said – it seems to be practically impossible to meet such extraordinarily high standards.

    Just saying!

    • Andrea-850967 October 9, 2012

      Two points Stephen. You wrote:

      a. “Also, studies have shown that from a physiological and psychological point of view, those in marriage, EVEN a bad marriage, are better off than the non-married.” Why is one supposed to be better off in a bad marriage than to be non-married??? Or have I something misunderstood?

      b. “I feel that I have a lot to give to a relationship, but … it seems to be practically impossible to meet such extraordinarily high standards.” I do firmly believe that it IS possible to meet those high standards, maybe not alone, but with all one can give and with God’s grace.

      Peace, Andrea

  8. Maria-846262 October 10, 2012

    Chemistry compatibility, trust, love and same values are foremost. My husband and I couldn’t have been more different, culturally and temperamentally; however, we had 37 wonderful years together and raised two great, responsible, caring children who are now adults and very good people. It is not easy to live everyday with someone and you must make every day a new challenge in terms of coming together and agreeing, even if it means agreeing to disagree. You must have faith in God and in each other, trust and the love that binds you together and make life more enjoyable for both. Marriage and togetherness is a lot about compromising. You can’t expect to be like each other exactly, or always like the same things, but if you each give a little each day, harmony and getting along well will keep you together. I believe that marriages end mostly about a lot of little disagreements and not usually about the big things. You must be prepared to go though all the ups and downs and decide that your union is worth compromising and loving each other, especially during the hard times.

  9. Maria-846262 October 10, 2012

    I wanted to stay married because I loved my husband and he was a great guy. We respected each other and loved each other. We were different, but had the same values and agreed on most things, how to raise kids, etc.

  10. Maria-846262 October 10, 2012

    It is nice to be married to have the love and companionship of the person you want to share your life with. Statistics show that married people live longer – I just believe you’re happier and more fulfilled.

  11. Ulrike-857098 October 11, 2012

    I´ve also been divorced after a 7years-lasting marriage,but I look at my experiences like on a treasure, that shows me, whats really important in a functionating relationship- so I know, it won´t work f.ex. without common daily prayer. Although I went through a time of deep pain and a kind of desert-feeling, I know, I´m stronger now and clearer, because He worked on me- and still does, and most of all: I know exactly, that I want to be married with a faithful man!
    “Only the wounded warriors are capable to love!” (Jalics)

  12. Ronique-499294 October 12, 2012

    Really, really “on point” this morning…I know he’s out there!

  13. Ronique-499294 October 12, 2012

    Great article! I know he’s out there!

  14. Shefali-910009 October 18, 2012

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  15. Christianne-642154 October 18, 2012

    Reading the article and all your inputs, all that comes to my mind now is a phrase my daughter posted on her facebook recently : “Wow… there’s so many lessons in life that we have to learn!”.

  16. Jebony-895578 October 18, 2012

    Marriage is an institution, where people have to learn how to respect each other without pointing finger at each other. and They must also understand the reason why they are living together as partner or in a relationship. I hear or read about people talking about, Love, Caring and Honesfty, What about TRUST. Is only you that can creat trust. My opinion is that marriage is good when you know the value of your partner

  17. Louis-900679 October 18, 2012

    It would be nice to be in a Relationship where GOD comes First.. I am a Divorced Single Father, who is searching for a Woman who Loves Jesus Christ as much as I do. Truly a MUST in any relationship. Interesting Article.

  18. Joe-890299 October 19, 2012

    I like short comments; I’m not here to read a book. The art. says:”We are called to marriage for good reasons, and of course it is for happiness, love, and procreation.”

    What if you’re past the procreation stage?

  19. Joanne-880713 October 20, 2012

    hi im joanne mcdaniels so whats going on in this catholicmatch? im looking 4 a great guy 2 be with ilive in carolstream i L L i have blue eyes dark hair im a great per 2 b with ph# 630 868 3258 i also hope 2 here from fr. frank provone thanx joanne

  20. Daniel-45066 October 21, 2012

    “Complete access” — Get real! You sound like you’d expect your husband to go to Confession with you. And I don’t mean to Church while confessions are being heard, but to actually to lay out your sins together in the confessional. This sort of thing is typical of the excesses too many people with divorces and annulments fall victim to–nothing is to severe a criterion for a new spouce to meet. Baloney! My HAPPY marriage of 22 yrs. succeeded in part because my late beloved wife and I understood and appreciated not only where and when to share our hearts and minds but also where and when to respect the other’s privacy.

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