A Life Insurance for Marriage
A supreme and almost infallible key that ensures the triumph of any marriage

Author: Tomás Melendo | Source:

After thinking calmly, I consider that in daily practice there is a supreme and almost infallible key that ensures the triumph of any marriage: the ability to forgive and ask for forgiveness. And that attitude depends to a large extent on what we adopt to the defects of one's spouse: accept them, as we discover them, and, if they are not God's offense, endeavor to understand and even love them.


Presumption of innocence

And it is that, although we struggle to correct these faults, that throughout life will be more than once present, with the annoyances that usually entail and require the other consort a decided and unconditional resolution to pass them by as many Sometimes it is necessary ... as we ignore them - moreover, we "understand" them and produce tenderness - when it comes to our young children ... who are not very different from our spouse, especially the husband!

Returning to forgiveness, I consider it so relevant that it could be argued that the "yes" of the wedding day will be vain if it is not reinforced and protected, since then and throughout the life in common, by the decision to forgive whenever The beloved person either does not notice the grievance inflicted on the spouse or, upon perceiving it, is genuinely repentant and struggles to correct himself / herself.

To achieve this, it is very convenient that in each of the members of the marriage the "presumption of innocence" respects the other. That is, the firm conviction that, although the appearances could give to understand the opposite, our husband or wife never does anything with the intention of "annoying us".

If the dispositions towards the other are those of making life as pleasant as possible, what authorizes us to presume that he or she would act with less righteous purposes? One thing is error or carelessness, easily tolerated if they are perceived as such (I repeat the comparison with our young children), and another very different, and very rare in a marriage normally constituted, the desire to hurt or hurt in a way conscious and premeditated, even in the moments of tiredness or boredom or nervousness or in the explosions of bad temper derived from those circumstances.

Reflecting often when the sea is calm on this almost obvious truth will greatly facilitate the excuse or even ignore - not warn them! - the frictions and tensions caused by the bustle of everyday existence.


Forgive, Forget ...., To Heal

Perhaps for this reason, the usual disposition to forgive and ask for forgiveness constituted for Saint Josemaría Escrivá one of the most significant proofs of the love between the spouses ... and of the same love of God, of the one who admired him, even more than his creative power and the wonder of the Incarnation, just His reiterated and always current desire to forgive those who offend him and, regretful, we return to combat.

Well, that God who comes to our step, approaches us, heals us, pardons and forgets, we must try to resemble husbands. Bearing in mind that the result will always be an increase in our reciprocal love, because only in that love is there a foundation for the ability to forgive ... and forget and heal, making the affront and the traces that we could leave on ourselves and our spouse disappear .

In this regard, I like to recall a few words of Etienne Gilson: "The God of our Church is not only a judge who forgives, he is a judge who can forgive because he is, first, a doctor who cures" ... and he enjoys - that He excuse the apparent irreverence of a colossal "bad memory".

In reality, for us humans, to forgive and truly forget includes the maximum achievable effectiveness: it is, in a certain way, our most real way of healing, which comes closest to permanently cauterizing the wound. Hence the somewhat affectionate and teasing allusion to the divine "bad memory" which, however, is a resource of tremendous efficiency, and nothing metaphorical, in conjugal life.

In this line, Paul Jonhson recalls: "the secrets of a well-worked marriage are patience and perseverance, tolerance and self-control, stoicism and tenacity, resistance, willingness to forgive and, in the absence of all that, a bad memory: nothing less ! » And Amadeo Aparicio comments: «It is not easy to acquire a good bad memory. The weight of memories, the difficulty of forgetting certain things, the spiteful attitude that, in a discussion, brings out all the rags to shine, and the passion of the controversy that leads to say more than one would like, make understanding difficult Between both. And it is essential to exercise in oblivion, replacing the "bad memories" with a decided will of forgiveness ».

In short: the firm decision to forgive and, even before, to ask for forgiveness, with everything that comes with understanding and forgetting, makes up one of the most "profitable" basic attitudes of any home that aspires to fulfill its mission in this world, generating and radiating happiness and happiness to those around him.

This is confirmed by the reflection of a saint of the twentieth century around the small squabbles that arise in coexistence. In such circumstances, he advises, "we must get used to thinking that we are never quite right. It can even be said that, in matters of ordinary such opinion, the more certain one is to be absolutely right, the more certain is that we do not have it. In this way, it is easier to rectify and, if necessary, to ask for forgiveness, which is the best way to end annoyance: this is how peace and affection are achieved ».


In the Style of God

But why forgive and ask for forgiveness are so effective in married life and improve in almost insurmountable way the personal quality of the spouses, purifying and increasing their reciprocal love? For a relatively simple and already insinuated reason: because all this assimilates the mutual affection of the spouses to the infinite Love of God.

As we have just suggested, granting a pardon without conditions can be considered as one of the most characterizing and exclusive and portentous operations of the omnipotent and most loving God. "To err is human, to forgive divine," Pope assured. For that reason, to forgive from the heart, without false reserves or retractions, forgetting the insult and, from this point of view, making it disappear, infinitely approaching God who forgives and provokes a gratitude that is also almost divine in those who feel that they are loved.

Many times it has been commented that love allows to see the loved one with divine eyes. ("Thank you, I want to give to the divine / labyrinth of the effects and causes," wrote Borges- / [...] for love, which allows us to see others / as the divinity sees them, / ... "Now, it seems It is evident that God observes people with an extremely affable look, which puts first of all what is good, what is great, He is producing and conserving in each one, not that He ignores our defects, because He knows us with the greatest perfection; it calibrates in its just dimensions, more as shortcomings than as positive entities, and, within the person, any deficit represents only a detail that is almost irrelevant in the face of the sublime grandeur of its eminent dignity.

The love of God is directed, direct and effective, as a well-oriented arrow, towards the most intimate core of the human being: and that core, the marrow of the person, is worthy, by free divine gift, of unconditional love ... when transiently the creature turns against its Creator.

That is why St. Josemaría Escrivá, who lived intensely with love for God and for men, could maintain that he did not need to forgive ... precisely because God had taught him to love without reservation or distinction. And so, from God, we must learn from the spouses.


Reasons to Love .... And ignore the offenses

And is that, when you really want, the alleged outrage, discourtesy or disinterest are as flooded by the abundance of positive realities that the one who is estimated has shown us throughout his life and continues to show us even in those moments less achieved. And from there, as suggested, that before a sincere and passionate love, the grievance often goes unnoticed and does not require to be exculpated: imitating and radically inverting the sense of the not very happy popular saying, it could be argued that "it does not offend whoever wants ... nor the one who is loved ».

The key, as usual, is love. This quote holds, which at the same time summarizes and confirms much of the above: "Each of us has his character, his personal tastes, his genius - his bad temper, sometimes - and its shortcomings. Each one also has nice things in his personality, and for that reason and for many more reasons, he can be loved. Coexistence is possible when everyone tries to correct their own deficiencies and tries to pass over the faults of others: that is, when there is love, that annuls and overcomes everything that could falsely be a reason for separation or divergence. On the other hand, if the small contrasts are dramatized and mutually start to face faults and mistakes, then peace ends and there is a risk of killing the affection ».

I do not intend to sustain with what I have been saying that it is always easy to forgive, precisely because pride nests very deep in the center of our hearts. But when the effort of continued love transforms forgiveness into a habitual attitude, the growth effects of life in common can never be overweighed: the one who forgives experiences joy and peace, joy ... I do not hesitate to re-qualify quasi divine

And the one who is absolved discovers in the husband or the wife the trustworthy image of a compassionate God ... and it is very difficult not to love him or to love him with all his soul, because he or she feels infinitely loved. Both, by apologizing and granting them, empty themselves of their supposed "rights", giving as a result a giant step towards true reciprocal welcome and reciprocation.

And so, softened and remodeled both spirits by the amorous outpouring of forgiveness, immensely close to the divine Home, it becomes simple to be prepared to change that effectively will introduce more into the other spouse, raising the quality and color of their mutual delivery and putting them in conditions of overflow for the benefit of those who grow and improve under its protection.


The Positive ... of the other

I conclude, in the words of Ugo Borghello: "It tells a fable that the devil was prowling the neighborhoods in order to divide and ruin families. He entered the homes in the guise of a tired pilgrim and, while he was being cared for, he managed to make the woman realize that the husband treated her like a slave, while he sat quietly, chatting with him. guest, or things like that. And so he went on insidiously, until he managed to set off a raging argument.

But one day he entered a house where all his attempts failed. It was then he who got angry and, desperate, exclaimed: "But you never argue?" "No, because from the first day we made a pact: everyone should look only at the defects themselves and the merits or qualities of the spouse." Just think a little about the anecdote to warn that who behaves in this way has all the win.

The truth illustrated by this apologist is expressed, in more technical terms, by Gottman, an American specialist: "What makes a marriage work is very simple. The happily married couples are not smarter, richer or more psychologically clever than others. But in their daily lives they have acquired a dynamic that prevents their negative thoughts and feelings (which exist in all couples) from drowning the positive ones. It's what I call an emotionally intelligent marriage. "

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