If This Is What Marriage Implies, Is It Really Worth It? The Strange Things That All Couples Fight Over

by Faith & Life, Family, Love and Relationships, Marriage

Today’s video could be useful for illustrating the daily quarrels that we can all relate to. Although I myself am not married and am on my way towards the priesthood, more than once I have witnessed –with a bit of awe to be honest–the surprising capacity of loving couples to argue over the most ridiculous issues.

Something about routine seems to coat the seemingly indifferent trails of life with a bitter flavor that is difficult to explain. Day in and day out, one loses sight of the horizon that once cast a warmer light on things. In the first moments of love, even faults seemed to be something to be treasured.

I fear that many might look at this and say, “That is exactly why marriage just doesn’t work!” An exclamation heard often in our times. “If this is what marriage life implies, I want nothing to do with it!”

Still, are difficulties necessarily a sign of defect or necessary occasion for greater love? More than questioning marriage, perhaps we should be questioning our vision of things in general.

Weird Things All Couples Fight About

While such quarrels are inevitable, how we approach them depends largely on us. A certain vision of things would suggest that the quarrels are to be endured. A Christian vision, however, invites us to go deeper: in one sense, they are to be embraced. I say in one sense because, in themselves, arguing over stupid issues has no value. That said, following the Gospel logic, such moments constitute fertile ground from which love can blossom.

What if what we consider routine arguments are nothing of the sort. What if each one offers the chance of living a heroic love. God simply continues to shout out, “Encore! Do it again!”. For the logic of love is never an efficient one. Things don’t get fixed or resolved. The logic of love is repetition. Like a rosary, the symphony of love sounds on the strings of repetition.

The logic of love looks upon the other, and therefore their opinion, their way of viewing things, even when opposed to our own, as a gift. Yes, a blessing. The freedom of the other, is a gift. Not an obstacle. Only in opening myself to the other, in embracing he or she that limits my ego, am I able to truly realize myself, to be me.

The bitterness that often tinges these moments is something to be purified. Still, the purification is a positive one. It is not so much about repressing my own opinion and passively accepting that of the other. Rather, it is in seeing each moment as an opportunity to love the other, not through passive reception, rather through dialogue –a basic human art unfortunately lost on many people.

Put simply, realism leads us to recognize that these moments take place and will continue to do so, even in the best of relationships. However, more than moments to endure, they are fundamentalnecessary, and healthy in so far as we live them according to the logic of love: I am only in as far as I give of myself.

The Fathers of the Church, when speaking of the Trinitarian dynamic used a theological term that could seem to be ridiculously academic, yet, nonetheless, is remarkable beautiful and concrete: pechoresis.

Perichoresis means the exchange of being by which each Person exists only in virtue of his relationship with the others. That is, I am in so far as I give. I am me only in so far as I give myself for the other. This is the lesson that we learn as we gaze upon the life of the Son. This is the life we are all called to live.

Finally, I would like to leave these words spoken by Pope John Paul II to married couples:

Here is love at its source. Love is the gift of self. It means emptying oneself to reach out to others. In a certain sense, it means forgetting oneself for the good of others. Authentic human love reflects within itself the logic of the divine. In this perspective, the duty of conjugal fidelity can be fully grasped. “You are everything to me, I give myself totally to you, for ever”: this is the commitment that springs from the heart of every person who is sincerely in love.

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