Continuation of the previous theme “Dreaming and awaking”
Fortunately, this is not the case of the majority who, consciously or subconsciously, find themselves involved in the unavoidable process of adaptation.
What is difficult and necessary is to be able to open one’s eyes, and without fright, recognize the spouse’s dark side, pondering the fact that if he/she has shadows, his/her positive qualities show and brightly shine over the entire personality.
Secondly, accept the spouse in his/her wholeness and recommit oneself; in other words, beyond those first surprising frights, be able to affirm and reaffirm the decision to move forward together, being able to declare reciprocally: “Although before our wedding, I could have been acquainted with your weak points, still I chose you to share my life with: let us rejoice together through the seasons, your fragrance shall be my support for in you is my delight; let us keep the new wine of love in eternal containers.”
While the solitary moon sails the seas of the southern hemispheres, a wisdom, that of common sense, must direct the steps of young couples over the cold and naked reality: no one is perfect; all of us have dark areas and beautiful qualities; it is madness to bang our heads against the wall of the impossible.
To accept in peace the truth that man desires much but is able to do very little; that he strives to please but does not succeed; that we are born to die; that our companion is solitude and that our freedom is severely curtailed; that even with great effort we attain very little results; that we are destined for death just as the day is destined for nightfall; that existence was not given but imposed on me.
To accept my spouse not as I would like him/her to be, but as he/she really is; that it is not his fault or merit for being what he is; that he did not choose his temperament or the structure of his personality; that if this reaction, or the outburst or that attitude make me suffer, they make himself suffer more; that if there is someone in this world who strives and struggles for being like that, that someone is not me but he himself; and that if, doing everything possible to change, he is not succeeding, does he have as much fault as I ascribe to him?
The reactions of his complex temperament, of his strange character that irritate me so much, irritate himself more and annoys him. How he wishes to be gentle as the breeze but was born agitated like a storm!
How would have he wanted to be crowned with a garland made of all kinds of charms but he was born a scatterbrain!
He would have wanted to be happy like the morning sun, but melancholy covers his face like a dark cloud at any moment.
We will treat of the mystery of human limitation more extensively when we deal with the topic of understanding.
Before the painful mystery of the spouse, the burning questions raise their heads arrogantly: whose fault is it? What sense is there to get irritated by a mode of being which he did not choose? Does he deserve to be rejected or rather be understood?
It is true that has dark sides in his personality but, in contrast, how is he loaded with pearls and diamonds, what a stupendous character of generosity, idealism and goodness. Instead of spending the day remembering and ruminating on that bitter word he directed at me the other day, why not instead spend the days and hours by recalling his beautiful qualities, the thousand little details of very touching acts towards me all along the long history of love?
If I, despite eagerly desiring it, cannot add a centimeter to my height, much less can I add a centimeter to my spouse’s height.
The conclusion is unavoidable: Accept the spouses as he/she is.
Extracted from the book ´Happy Marriage´ by Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga