Threats to Marriage

Distraught Couple

Marriage today faces a number of threats. Divorce, redefinition, and infidelity undermine the status and special importance of marriage in a society.

Divorce

Divorce threatens marriage by destroying the permanency of marriage. Marriage, as defined by the Catholic Church, is a life-long union of a man and women through the sacrament of matrimony. Divorce undermines that marriage is a commitment before God until the end of one’s life to love and support one’s spouse.

Catholics are not permitted to divorce so long as the marriage is sacramental. A sacramental marriage cannot be undone by human beings. What God has brought together no man shall break. Conditions for a sacramental marriage.

Homosexual Unions

Same-sex marriage is a threat because it seeks to equivocate something that is inherently opposite of marriage.

What is even scarier is that the general public’s understanding of marriage as being based purely on feelings and one’s attraction means that genuine opinion about the traditional definition of marriage is considered hate speech or civil discrimination.

The Catholic Church believes in clearly defined purpose for marriage that is simply more than a relationship status. Marriage is a commitment to God, one’s spouse, and one’s children (if the couple is capable of bearing children). Its purpose is to unite a male and female together to bring each other closer to God and to participate in God’s creative act through sexual union. God designed male and female to be joined together for this special purpose.

Two people, regardless of gender, are capable of having close, loving relationships with one another, but inherently a relationship between two people of the same sex cannot ever be a marriage because such a relationship inherently lacks the ability to join together in union to participate as co-creators with God.

This is why the Catholic Church must be against so called same-sex marriage because of the special purpose of marriage. To equivocate same-sex legal unions to marriage undermines marriage because it diminishes the special purpose of God’s co-creativity which is never possible in a same-sex union. Homosexual sex acts distort the true purpose and gift of sex given to us by God.

Infidelity

Infidelity destroys marriage because it breaks what is fundamental to the relationship: exclusivity. Infidelity can come in a number of ways. There is physical infidelity and emotional infidelity. Watching pornography is infidelity. Masturbation is infidelity; it is having sex with oneself. Becoming emotionally attached to someone else in a spousal way is infidelity. Sex is a gift to be shared with one’s spouse within the bonds of marriage; this is the proper order of sexual relations.

What is even more at the root of each of these three threats is the lack of understanding of marriage and a lack of commitment to marriage. Marriage is not about convenience. Marriage isn’t something you do because you love someone. Marriage is something to which people are called. God calls people to marriage in order to help the spouses help each other get to heaven through each other. Marriage is a particular vocation, a state of life, to which God calls people.

These things all threaten the institution of marriage and its importance to creating a safe and stable society.

Comments

  1. Maria says

    Hi John. Hope all is well. My husband and I are both catholic and got married in Catholic Church. We have been deprecated for almost three years now. I believe I was mentally abused by him. I didn’t agree on his way to discipline my children from previous relationship. We got into a lot of arguments because if that. He would make me do things I didn’t want to do. He would put me down he would say I was fat and that I didn’t make enough money even though I would bring in $5000 a month. He would make me feel so guilty of everything that went wrong. We had planned a trip to his hometown and one day all of a sudden he said to me, you know what I am thinking of canceling out trip and I said why? His response was I think you gained a lot of weight and I don’t want my family and friends to see you that way because they know how I am. I couldn’t believe what he was saying to me. He made me feel so bad. Years went by but nothing ever changed he promise me so many things but never follow through. His mom was diagnose with cancer so he went to see her while he was away I had a few friends come over and I had too much to drink and u thought I was unfaithful to him. He found out and things just went even more downhill after that. He forgave me we went to church together and confession things got a little better but still he would make me feel so guilty and so little not worthy of his love and attention. Also during all of this he had mention to me that he wanted to join a swingers club I didn’t even know what that was but then he explained and he said that would probably bring the spark back into our life. Out of fear of disappointing him I agreed to go with him. It was awful then he was unfaithful to me with 2 of my friends. That’s when I couldn’t take it any more and decided to leave him. I would like to get an annulment because I believe he mentally abuse me since the beginning and he used my kids to get to my heart pretending he was a good father when in reality he wasn’t. Do you think the church will grant me the annulment? Please help me. God bless you

    • Jon says

      Hi Maria. Yes, I would certainly hope that the Church would grant you an annulment. It sounds like your husband is mentally abusive and tries many ways to have power over you. This is not a healthy marriage. God bless you in your journey.

  2. Karen says

    We chose for our third child to send him to a catholic school because he was a year younger than most at public school.
    Wanting to learn about Catholics we decided to visit the church attended rcia
    And became Catholics. Due to things happening in the school and to other children we pulled our son out and placed him in public. He is much happier and things are going well. Here is where we are in limbo due to the horrific circumstances our child suffered we left the Catholic Church and returned to a baptist one in our town because we felt the interaction with kids from his new school was important but we my husband and I were so unhappy at the baptist church not liking any of it. We enjoyed being catholic and learning & understanding the catholic faith now our child is 11 and hates and is so against returning to the Catholic Church there is a new priest who is fantastic!! We are the parents but making a child do something he is so afraid of terrifies us as well.

  3. Austyn says

    Dear Jon my fiancé has a problem with me being catholic and is questioning if 2 people who believe differently can be together is there something I can say to this to comfort her?

    • says

      Hi Austyn. I think your fiancé raises good questions. I went through this myself while I was still dating and ultimately decided that I could not marry someone who does not believe as I do; there would be an unhealthy tension in my life. However, I do know some Catholics who married non-Catholics, who faithfully attend Mass and the sacraments, raise their children Catholic and everything turns out just fine. However, in particular you mention that your fiancé “has a problem with [you] being catholic.” If she is unable to accept you and your faith as you are, then your future marriage might not bode well.

  4. Zachary says

    I find I am willing to compromise and let heterosexuals keep the word marriage if I can get a civil union federally recognized with the same benefits and ability to see my same sex spouse if they get sick and so on. I am not opposed to compromise since I know marriage has a meaning that includes procreation to Catholics. The big issue is when people seek to block even Civil Unions from being recognized and other general rights as well (against being fired, bullied, and so on). When this occurs I take it as an attack on my life since that is what it is; an attempt to force me to stay alone and isolated in hopes that I will get depressed enough to take my own life or die young.

    I do understand that drive, tactically. I know that by being “out” even if chaste there is a danger kids and adults may question important precepts of the Church and I could serve as a vaccine against the faith, so to speak. In a day when many are leaving the Church, the Church can’t afford not to dislike and isolate us, lest we drag more friends and family away from the faith in their empathy for us. That said, while I understand I will not simply roll over and die for the Church, either. Thus, we find ourselves at an impasse.

  5. Spastino 1 says

    if I get married in a Lutheran Church and I am Roman Catholic and my wife is Lutheran and was married before and don’t want to lose her annulment from her first marriage would my kids be able to be baptised catholic?if I get married in a Lutheran Church and I am Roman Catholic and my wife is Lutheran and was married before and don’t want to lose her annulment from her first marriage would my kids be able to be baptised catholic?

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