Category Archives: Sacramental Marriage
Well, I’m sitting here trying to write with my two year old in the next room keening over his lost mommie. Well guys, it looks like I was saved today by the snow. Big Drake called out of work and was home all day! That was a gift in itself. I made oat waffles with Splenda and I must say they were pretty good. Of course, I did not use syrup, but I put some sour cream on them. Then I cleaned up and BD took LD (Little Drake) out of the area to give me some peace.
After a nice leisurely shower, I never came out of our bedroom for the rest of the morning. Beforehand, I stocked it up with my yarn stuff and laptop. Give me those two things, and I can be holed up until the yarn runs out or we have a blackout, whichever comes first. After a while, I presented BD with a card and candy; and of course, he acted surprised (or he was). Strike #1- He made no move to give me anything…. ugh, Mr. Anti-commercialism is in the house! Oh well, I would like to say that “maybe” he was foiled by the snow, but my real suspicion is that he planned on calling out of work all along. I can safely assume that most of the time he is rushing home straight from work so that I can do my stuff… but that doesn’t really wash, either, because there are some days that he doesn’t come right home (when I’m not doing anything) and just last night, he brought home some water from the store. He said something like he would have gotten me candy but I’m diabetic now…. ahem… Strike #2- I put my order in for a little bamboo plant, shaped like a heart, that Walgreens was selling for Valentine’s Day. Uh oh… busted! I can get over that. I’ll just go out and get my own bamboo plant, on clearance at that, with his money… well, because now that I’m not working, it’s all his money anyway.
I am so impressed by myself! I did not say anything about not getting a gift. As the day progressed, he took over watching LD; so I guess my gift was a day off. He even gave the baby a bath… whoo hoo! Hey, this is only the second bath BD has to the baby in his whole life! Ah, as I write, I hear daddy getting son off to bed.
Let me tell you about our dinner. I decided to play devil’s advocate and asked BD what he wanted to do for dinner. He said that he didn’t want to chance going out with all the ice on the ground, so we stayed in. I whipped up some nice shrimp parmigiana with sauce and shrimp from the freezer and pasta. Voila! Great dinner that we both could eat. Wow, what a wife!
While we all ate, I casually said (I am so bad), “Now, wasn’t this better than White Castle?”
Strike #3- His answer was, “Yeah, in a way.” At this point, I’m not really surprised by this answer, and he went on. “They do it up real nice there with flowers and table cloths on the tables.”
I’m like, “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah, they’ve been doing it for the past few years.”
“Is this all the time, or just for Valentine’s Day?”
“Just for today. They decorate it really nice. Next time.” (Strike #4?)
I am thinking, “Next time?” Okay, so now, at least, I get the reasoning behind the insanity. He wants me to see how White Castle celebrates V-Day and how they “draw in” the customers from the Spanish restaurant next door. Yep, thank YOU for the snow. I am still impressed by myself at not making any snotty remarks.
Little Drake is now safely tucked into bed; and to be honest, I would not be writing and posting tonight if Big Drake did not give me a day off… so he’s still the light in my eyes. I’ve been looking at him all day… he’s got no idea what is going through my head. I saw that a couple of times today, he was sort of feeling me out on this no gift thing… and I might be confounding him right now by not mentioning it at all. Now ladies, isn’t that what we live for?
Seriously, I have been through so much in my life. I’ve spent most of my life feeling unbearably lonely. I was married for eight of those years to a man who was overbearing, very self centered, and petty. When God gave me The Drake, he was the greatest gift I could ever ask for. Given my past experience with men, he goes beyond my wildest hopes for a man, love, companion. Never did I believe that I could meet someone like him. Gratitude has been a big part of our relationship. We are both very grateful to God for bringing us together. We both believe that we were groomed, by God, for this very moment, and we are grateful.
Since I discovered my self worth, I’ve been looking for a man who was “worthy” of me. I know that might sound so self centered and egotistical; but that is honestly how I felt. The Drake is someone who inspires me daily to be more than I am by just who he is…. he really does nothing to consciously make me feel that way- it’s just him. That is all that he really needs to do; but he is also a very gentle, loving man. A great father and I am very proud to have him as the father of my child. What you see is what you get, nothing more, nothing less. No games… ever. Sometimes I say something that is supposed to be a joke and he, ever the straight man, he will seriously answer me. Well, I just find it totally endearing.
All strikes are cancelled!
Let’s get serious about people and weddings. This conversation is going on over at The Naked Soul & Buddha Warrior. I was going to comment on those blogs; but , sorry guys, my comments got very long and personal so I decided to express them here being I haven’t written anything thoughtful here in a while.
I think that people seriously do not know what they are getting into when they get married; and for some, even after failed marriages, still do not fully grasp what marriage is all about. I think that most people assume it’s the “next step”, “the thing to do.” Certainly this is proliferated by all those aunties out there asking, “When are you going to get married? You have such a pretty face!”
First and foremost, marriage should be taken seriously, not just a means to an end, such as financial security or the means to get out of the parental home. Society tends to regard the institutions of Marriage and Family as disposable and not important enough to support. It’s no secret that our (American) society is not family friendly, not really. Oh, yes, they target and exploit families to make money, but many actual businesses are not family friendly at all when dealing with their employees... which is a subject for another time.
Society accepts divorce just as readily as it accepts McDonald’s as being a healthy choice of food, oblivious as to exactly how that food is procured, prepared and marketed. Well, I speak for the time before “Super Size Me” and “Fast Food Nation”. Sadly, even now, after the facts were revealed, millions of people flock to fast food establishments. Similarly, people are flocking to the divorce courts, without even attempting to heal their marriages. Then a lot of them rush right back into the marriage bed with someone different only to begin the nasty cycle again.
I believe having old fashioned values is the best way to go. There is something to be said for abstaining from sex before marriage, extending courtesies to our partners, and plain old respect. I do not agree with the idea that people should test each other out to see if they are sexually compatible. If the love is there, you should have no problem. Though undeniably important in a marriage, sex should not be the priority. If approached from this viewpoint, it can prove to be immensely helpful later on if something happens that should prevent the couple from having sex either on the long term or permanently. People get sick, impotency, etc. Stuff happens. Imagine how a man would feel if/when he becomes impotent, thinking that it’s important to his partner? But if going into the marriage the emphasis is on more important things like honesty, trust and respect, he will be a little more at ease knowing that his wife loves him no matter what. I know it’s not all there is to that because I am sure that he will need reassurance from his wife… but it will be easier for him to believe her. Aside from all that, marital s-e-x is not all fantasy and even if it is, how long could that be sustained? Sure, we need to always be attentive to our partner’s needs, but every couple does settle into their own cradle of bliss and it’s different for everyone.
Too many times I see couples breaking up over petty issues, really non-issues. Women expect too much from their men and visa versa, taking our partners for granted, etc. The woman fully expects the man to provide the means for everything they do together. The man expects the woman to be available for him whenever the mood strikes him that he wants to see her. At the other extreme, the man will expect the woman to pay her way, even if he was the one to request and plan the date. The woman makes a scene if the man holds the door open for her. I’ll admit that these were my own stereotypes, so my examples were kind of over the top… but were they?
Maybe it’s sour grapes, but I have no patience for high maintenance women and the men who perpetuate that mentality. Let’s face it, they are raised to expect and accept only the best that a man can offer and more. Possibly, it’s the mothers who ingrain this into their darling little girls thinking they are teaching self worth. Somehow the experiment goes terribly wrong. Then there is the man whose identity is wrapped up in how well he can please his woman with material things, side stepping his involvement in an honest relationship. Maybe he gravitates to material things because he was either taught that; or he doesn’t believe that he is enough, alone, to make a woman happy. The clue here is that nobody can make anyone else happy, nor should they be made to shoulder that burden. These people never seem to be truly happy beyond the glitter off the surface. As a woman, I can tell you that even I, growing up in a not-quite-poor, not-quite-rich household, was impressed with this mentality. I was brought up believing the man must give give give and pay pay pay to prove himself worthy of my attention. This was preached by both parents. I could never quite rectify this in my mind because I always believed that any relationship should be an equal enterprise.
The big picture seems to escape so many people. They do not look beyond the sex they get before marriage, the easy social life, the absence of everyday responsibilities that can put an inconvenient damper on selfishness in later married days, especially when there are little ones running around. The me me me days are forever over. Now, it’s us. I find that a hard thing for some couples to manage is the concept of “what is yours is mine and what is mine is yours”. That goes for money, chores, space, time, anything and everything that they must now SHARE with one another. For some, this is a hard thing to get comfortable with doing. Maybe it’s harder for people who have been single for a long time and place priority on their personal freedom. What is also a big issue sometimes is that now you must account to the other person. It’s not really a rule, but a consideration for our loved one’s feelings. I have personal experience with these issues. DH was single for all of his 50 years before me and did not have to account to anyone in those years. He still struggles with the “ours” concept; he’s more comfortable with the “yours, mine” thing… but we work with it. I tell him that I am not saying he “can’t” go anywhere; but that I need to know what he is doing if he is not coming home. This might seem restrictive to you, but it’s because he does not carry a cell phone and I do have a “need” to know when he is coming home so that I don’t worry about him. In the beginning, he just didn’t get it. Probably partially due to the fact that he, himself, did not place any restrictions on me.
Notice that I’ve not said a lot about “love”. Well, that is because it is assumed that you love the person, silly. But more than that, there is so much more that comes into play equally. A lot of people get divorced because “they do not love the person anymore, or just like they did when they met.” Oh how I hate to hear this. People, love is not stagnant. Love evolves, love changes with every day, every minute you love. People just don’t see this and assume that love is gone when it’s still right there, just showing you more of it’s many facets. Think about the loss. Possibilities for love thrown out the window; so sad it’s heart wrenching. I believe the soul suffers, too. Something happens to the soul that is hard to heal, if ever for some people. When damage like this can be done, you would think that one would really think before assuming this kind of commitment. Commitment. That is something people really do not realize the depth of.
I would be remiss if I did not include that God is present in our marriage. I believe we have a “Sacramental Marriage”. I wrote on this a while ago. If you are interested, it’s here. We believe that our marriage, and the fruit it bears, in it’s own way, is a part of God’s plan for the world.
Wow, when you look at it like that, it goes beyond being special just for us.
If you want to read more on successful marriage, go on over to Dying Arts and read this article, “Giving Him a Break”, by houkhouse. She contributes a lot to the subject.
“When a couple seeks to be married in the Catholic Church, they are availing themselves of a precious gift. The community of the Church recognizes that they are responding in faith to an invitation and a call from God. As Christians, the gift of this love of God is a sacrament.
“The Catholic Church believes that the marriage of Christians is a sacrament and is based on the very serious relationship of covenant. The decision to make a life-long commitment requires sufficient reflection, discussion and responsible preparation. Therefore, the celebration of this sacrament is preceded by a period of preparation. You are entering a period of discernment to marry. The Church and the priests are also discerning along with you. This discernment period has a threefold nature: Personal and Relational, Communal, and Liturgical.
“Personal and Relational: As the bride and groom you are the ministers and celebrants of the Sacrament of Marriage. On the part of the Church and the State the priest is the legal and proper witness. Therefore, it is important to meet with the priest prior to your wedding in order for all parties to become familiar with each other. This relationship also reflects the Church’s concern for you as husband and wife and as important members of the Body of Christ.
“Communal: Marriage by its very nature is a public celebration. Though the term “my wedding” is natural to the common vocabulary, from the Church’s point of view the sacrament of marriage is much fuller. Marriage reflects a relationship that extends beyond the couple and includes Christ and his Church, both in heaven and earth.
“Liturgical: Liturgy gathers the Church at prayer and expresses who we are in relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit through ritual. The Sacrament of Marriage is part of the Church’s liturgy that celebrates an authentic human love that “is caught up into a divine love and is directed and enriched by the redemptive power of Christ” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 48). This sacrament also consecrates the couple to the duties and dignity of the married state that lead to a personal holiness and mutual sanctification. Therefore, the Rite of Marriage is a rich prayer which captures the beliefs and long standing customs of the Catholic Church.”
The above was taken from here. Yeah, most of this post is taken from another source, but that is because I want all my thoughts to be perfect and that is just not going to be. I wanted you guys to get as accurate a picture as I can give you on this sacrament from an official source. My brain is fried, refuses to work, whatever; so that I can’t seem to write my own thoughts down… but, of course I’ll try.
If you care to delve further, this is a link to the Vatican website, talking about marriage, as it is in God’s Plan.
In my own words…
For me, having God as the third person in this marriage has been a strict necessity for the success of it. Remember we can be more than ourselves and with God, anything is possible. God brings our faith into the home. That sounds funny. Maybe I should say that existing in a sacramental marriage has allowed us to experience God and our faith outside of church, every single day. With God as a partner, our marriage exists on a higher plane than if we were to just live together, or be married without God as a part of it.
This marriage is a covenant we have made with each other and with God, too. It is not just about “raising children Catholic”. Definitely not true for us because, although we have a child, I did not think that I could have them and so, definitely my projected child’s religion was nowhere in the picture. This was/is surely about how we feel about each other, but more than that. Sex is not high up there on the priority list…. Though, it DOES get plenty of press!
God brings the spiritual into our life together. We are definitely NOT soul mates, but my husband and I are on the same page spiritually. We can be as different as night and day on earthly concerns, but spiritually, we are “one flesh”. The sacrament of marriage allows us as a couple to join together, to get as close as we can to The Creator, gaining access to the power of creation. We can create life, through our love for each other and God. I totally believe that our little Gabriel was conceived not only through our love for each other, but also though our desire to pass on our spiritual legacy… in other words, we believe that we have something of value, spiritually, to pass on to our little boy; and it manifested our son.
A little bit of background information here: I was previously married for 8 years, never used birth control, never conceived, lots of sex. Why? Because God was not present in that marriage; and I believe He wanted better for me/us. At the beginning of my relationship with my husband, I prepared him well for the fact (I thought) that I was barren. He said, “We’ll see.” He accepted me and we took on an attitude of “if it happens, it happens”. God found us worthy and gave us a perfect baby. If you want to read Gabriel’s Story, you can find it here. I had intended it to be private, but messed up on how I should do the settings to keep it private, as you and everyone else can see, it’s public. By the time I realized it, it was really public, so I kept it there.
We definitely have our ups and downs; but we respect each other. We have to, we know each other’s secrets!… Ah…couldn’t resist. Seriously, we have a trust for each other that will carry us through, but we know that we have to work at it every day…. Especially holidays! For more on that, please see Post Thanksgiving. Just knowing that we will put forth the effort required to resolve our issues is enough in itself sometimes. It’s not always perfect because we have been known to definitely drive each other crazy. For that I recommend “Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus”. Great read for a couple…. that is, of course, if you like to share reading projects. I found it very helpful after my first marriage to understand more about our behavior in the failed attempt… too late for that one, but very interesting.