Thursday, June 10, 2010

BUT . . .

In season 2 episode 1 of Arrested Development a husband who is a clinical psychologist is trying to work on his failing marriage with his wife. He tells her that sometimes he counseled people to have an open marriage, remaining emotionally attached by exploring other avenues for fulfillment in order to heal their marriage

“Does it work?” asks his wife.

He responds, “Oh no it never does. I mean these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but . . . but it might work for us.”

It’s funny because it’s true.

The same scenario plays itself out in parishes and religious orders. Put two parishes or two religious orders side by side, one flourishing and one languishing and way too often the one languishing will keep the course as steady as a helmsman with his eye on home port after three month at sea (even though it is on fire, under naval attack, burning with the black plague, and under interdict by the local ordinary.) The mantra is, “But we are right – and all we have to do is keep going the course and our mission will catch on!” though the end is in sight like a knitter who nears the end of a ball of yarn.

It is reflected in marriage. Our society is determined what it wants to believe about marriage (and here I am speaking of traditional marriage between a man and woman) though the same formula used over and over again has lead to skyrocketing divorce, broken families, abortion becoming the number one cause of death in the United States, and any number of other social ills too numerous to list and our answer to it (as politically correct animals) is to go even further down the same path because we are sure we are right and at any moment will find ourselves in verdant pastures. This in spite of what our own statistics tell us.

What comes closest to assuring a long lasting marriage in the United States today? As reported (in the comics section!) of the Plain Dealer, in the book, “Social Psychology” by David Myers it is this:
1. Both from stable two parent homes.
2. Dated for a “good while” before marriage.
3. Did not live together.
4. Did not have a baby.
5. Are religious.

Funny, I heard this somewhere before. Maybe it was the child’s rhyme, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.”

Or maybe it was catechism class.

To be fair there are several other factors they sited:
1. Married over the age of 20
2. Well educated
3. Stable income
4. Living in a small town or farm
5. Are of similar demographics on such areas as age, education, and faith.

To not have these reflected in your relationship in toto or a good portion of them, “breakdown is almost a sure bet.” So even if you do not want to take your cue from Scripture, if you do not want to be “obedient” to the Church, if you truly love your spouse, take these points under advisement. To not seems to be risky. Might your relationship work anyway? “Oh no it never does. I mean these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but . . . but it might work for us.”


Anonymous said...

How sad it is me for to think I thought I had all of the elements listed only to find after 17 years of marriage and four children that my spouse was secretly gay and living a dual life. When his dual existence was discovered (by me), he wanted to continue living as the "nice catholic family at church" BUT continue his outside homosexual relationships. I could not. We are now currently divorced. Our society would currently feel alot of sympathy for this person who felt that he could not live openly as a gay man and maybe they should..but what about the destroyed family and children. It has been five years and my adult children (and me) still feel the pain of betrayal and the loss of the family unit which should include a strong guiding father.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

How sad for you and your children. How sad, too, for your former husband who has been deluded by media and current culture to believe his choice is "ok."

I do not know how you feel, but would like briefly to share with you an experience I had years ago. I was quite despondent - to the point of considering suicide. What stopped me was a vision in my imagination. I had been successful in my suicide and saw the face of Jesus looking at me with so much saddness it broke my heart. Then He spoke to me, saying, "Why didn't you trust Me? Look at what I had planned for you." With that He gestured, but when I followed the direction He pointed, what He'd planned faded before I could see it. Years later, I am in a state of complete satisfaction and happiness, and often recall that moment. I thank God for allowing me a good imagination.

I'm not suggesting that you are suicidal or even despondent, but I am certain that His plans for you are "peace and not disaster."

God bless you,

Also Anonymous

Robert M Kraus Sr said...

I am naive, I guess . . . . never thought of the dreadful situations that others have been in . . . . was smugly sure that nothing disastrous would happen to me . . . . and it never did . . . . wasn't I lucky?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your kind words and I am glad you are happy and here to share them. And YES you are right..TRUST IN GOD is the ONLY way to make it through!!!

God bless you too...and Fr V's blog which give hope and encouragement along the way!!