Marriage is different from any other relationship because it’s two people coming together to form something completely new - a brand new family where one didn’t exist before. For Catholic couples, marriage is called “a partnership for the whole of life.” That means two people with equal dignity give their entire lives as a gift to the other. They give everything about themselves – all their hopes and dreams, all their memories and life experiences, all their genetics, all their good qualities and not so good qualities, their past, present and future – everything!
In reality, “becoming married” is a process that takes months, or more often, years. Oneness or unity is the goal, but the reality is that healthy togetherness requires healthy separateness. Only two selves, two whole people, can find true intimacy. Couples are, in effect, promising to grow up and grow old together, to agree and disagree with this person for the rest of their lives.
Learn more about the first years of Catholic marriage.
“…in joining their lives, the spouses assume an active role in a lifelong project. Their gaze now has to be directed to the future that, with the help of God’s grace, they are daily called to build…Each must set aside all illusions and accept the other as he or she actually is: an unfinished product, needing to grow, a work in progress. (Amoris Laetitia, #218)
Young love needs to keep dancing toward the future with immense hope. Hope is the leaven that, in those first years of engagement and marriage, makes it possible to look beyond arguments, conflicts and problems and to see things in a broader perspective. It harnesses our uncertainties and concerns so that growth can take place.” (Amoris Laetitia, # 219)