MARRIAGE IN OUR WORLD OF FAMILIES. WEEK 1 DAY 3. August 24.  Romance, disillusionment, joy, a cycle of stages in marriage.  At the beginning of their marriage enrichment programme the couples were asked to consider in which of these three stages they saw their marriage to be. It is generally considered that romance is for the early days, is followed by levels of disillusionment for most of the rest of their lives together, and ends with a kind of peaceful co-existence. That is a sadly limiting negative picture and Joan and John were encouraged to hear that this need not be so.  Romance can be made to come around often, at times like Valentine’s Day, but can also more often. Disillusionment and even down-right misery are realities but, through communication, building and strengthening the relationship and a willingness to forgive, a much deeper stage of joy can be achieved. Human beings have the ability to love, where they learn to understand that “Love isn’t just a feeling, but a real decision, one I am willing to make over and over, for our sake and God’s.”  They both agreed it has a unique advantage over other areas of nature.

I have come that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 17:13. 

Pope Francis:  Desires, feelings and emotions all have an important place in married life. Reaching out to another involves pleasure or pain, joy or sadness, tenderness or fear. AL 143