On Marriage and Fidelity

live free bigTHE Legal Wife, My Husband’s Lover, No Other Woman, The Mistress… They all deal with infidelity. It’s often a hot topic among men and women struggling in their married life. It’s trending on social media and garnering high ratings on TV and in the box office. Generally, it’s an over-used plot in novels, movies, and TV programs.

Some people would probably think that the reality of infidelity is practically normal these days — married couples splitting up, children raised in single-parent households. That’s why others would probably think that what you see in media only reflects what is actually happening in society.

I am not intending to condemn nor judge anyone. However, I wish to share a piece of my mind and my heart in proclaiming the beauty of marriage as a lifetime commitment. Marriage, for me, is a great responsibility that we have to take seriously. I am saying this because I have personally witnessed inspiring stories of love between two imperfect individuals, commitment in the midst of struggles, acceptance, in spite of the weaknesses, and forgiveness prevailing over pain.

Pope John Paul’s teachings on the Theology of the Body have these to say about marriage:

First, marriage should be able to remind us that we are made to be in a relationship with others. In a practical manner, this fact teaches us to see ourselves – both body and soul – as a gift to be given in love to another person. Often marriages tend to fail when we look at this concept the other way around. This happens when we focus on what we can get out of our relationship with the other person.

Second, realizing that we are called to be a “gift” to others, married couples should be able to make decisions with the other person mind. Day by day, we are called to sacrifice our own needs and desires in order to serve our spouse.

Finally, it also tells us the marriage is meant to be exclusive. From that very moment we vowed to love one another until death, we share a certain kind of bond that would be impossible to duplicate with someone else. Married couples are called to give love to one another without holding anything back. It is not about giving a part of us to one person and one part to another. It is, in fact, a full giving of one’s self solely to our spouse.

Whenever I think of my own married life, I think of it as a journey towards becoming the person I am meant to be. I’m not perfect, sinless, spared from trials and temptation. My life is not always happy, nor problem-free. Life with my spouse can be challenging, but that’s what makes the journey worthwhile.

The reality is marriage will always be a work in progress. A person cannot do this on his own; it takes two to make it work and three to make it last. Yes, there is always a third party to any marriage and that is God.

 

Reference: Theology of the Body: Making a Gift of Self, Our Sunday Visitor

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