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"Beta Marriage" or testing marriage out

"Beta Marriage" or testing marriage out

Recently TIME magazine published an article titled The Beta Marriage: How Millennials Approach ‘I Do’. We were asked by Fathers For Good to discuss the downfalls of the “beta marriage” model, specifically by answering three specific questions. Let's answer the first one today:

1- Millennials want to get married but also want the extra time that comes from a “beta marriage” arrangement to test marriage out. What’s wrong with that?

There is nothing wrong with wanting some time to make a decision such as marriage. What is wrong is to want to “test” marriage out!
"Human love does not tolerate trial marriages. It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.” CCC 2391
If we need to test marriage we can have doubts on the depth and truthfulness of our love. When you truly love someone, you do not need any testing.
What kind of message does testing a marriage send?
It says, “I think I love you but I’m not sure. I’m not sure I can stand you each day of our lives, I’m not sure you are the right person for me, I’m not sure we can make it together, I’m not sure I want to start a family with you, I’m not sure I want to fight for our relation.”
Can this be called true love?
When I love, I want to give all, to make the jump, to invest all I am into this relationship, 100%, no matter what comes.

Maybe millenials have a distorted definition of love?
What is love?
The following definition is our favorite: 
“Love is to want the good of another”, St. Thomas Aquinas.
Love always implies a part of self-sacrifice because true love is self-giving.
“To love is to give all and give oneself", St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
Another one, from Robert H. Schuller: “To love is to reveal your soul”.

Love is to want the good of another before your own good, whatever sacrifice it may require. It takes a whole lifetime to learn it. It cannot be “tested” over a few months or years. Marriage is a school of love. And we must work at love each day of our life. Graduation is in heaven.
Love is a lot more than just a feeling. Feelings are not reliable: they come and go. Love remains because love is mainly a decision. “Being in love is something you DO” (C.S. Lewis). I choose this one and I will do everything possible to make him/her happy, whatever happens, whatever the sacrifice, whatever the challenge.... We get married because we love each other, sure, but mainly we get married TO love each other.
“Love is not only a feeling; to it also belong the will and the intelligence.”
- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Choosing to test a marriage out is contrary to love.

The beta marriage is based on the idea that marriage can last only as long as the other person brings ‘me’ something or makes ‘me’ happy.  Sexual relations play a big part.
Premarital or extramarital sex of any kind always makes that language of the body false.  Couples who are deeply in love and engage in sex without first having made that marital commitment are simply lying to one another. They may think that they are engaging in an act of love, but the total self-giving that the union of their bodies signifies is belied by their refusal first to make the public commitment that that union demands. That refusal, in turn, is based on many things that are incompatible with the language of their bodies. Is this person the right person for me? Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with her or him? Am I mature enough to accept the responsibilities of this commitment, the responsibilities of a community of life and goods, the responsibilities of parenthood? I’m just doing this to have a good time; I don’t really care about him or her. He or she shouldn’t be so serious about something that is so much fun.”
Pastoral Letter, October 17, 2014, Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Colorado Springs.


Is Beta Marriage a Strategy for Future Relationshi...
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Wow!!!  Yes, that is the correct word to begin this blog post!  I think I am still in shock!  On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our country just experienced the overturning of an almost 50-year-old law regarding abortion.  Roe vs. Wade was overturned!  

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A very blessed, holy and peace-filled celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany to you this weekend. In the last few days, I have been contemplating on how best to honour this holy feast by my attitude and actions. And amidst all the routine annual "temptations" to make a 'to do' list of so-called New Year's resolutions [not that there's anything wrong with genuinely attempting to alter one's lifestyle for the better], I felt that perhaps first and foremost what is needed is an interior re-direction, or rather re-orientation to what one originally tries to focus on. Deep down as I continue to ponder on the mystery of the Incarnation through the ongoing season of Christmastide, I know that it can only be the virtues of obedience, humility and above all gratitude as lived by the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph during those first troubled and challenging days and weeks of the life of Christ, that I must fully resolve to emulate. And to do this, not just every day but every hour, every waking moment. In short to try ever harder to live in the moment, the eternal now, with a Christ-like mind and attitude. The other day I came across the following quote from St. Catherine of Siena which encapsulates what I have been sensing and what by God's grace I pray and hope to aspire to more and more: “We ought to be convinced that every burden that is laid on us, from whatever source it might come, is given us out of love, not hatred. It is given for our good so that we may achieve the good for which we were created. We must understand that our burdens are no greater or smaller than time and that our time on earth is as small as the point of a needle." So as we begin 2017, we are reminded again that we all have a limited amount of time and space to make a difference in the world for the better. To love and respect ourselves and others to such a degree of intensity that we know that God can truly make use and purpose of it according to His Holy Will. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, it is a simple truth but of course not easy to fulfill except in the case of a daily sanctification through prayer, meditation and sacrifice that it then grows outwardly from within us and it becomes easier or less burdensome for us to do. As no doubt countless people now embrace a resolution to diet and exercise more [all good in itself] with the interior motto rattling around their heads; "no pain, no gain" - we can apply that simple truth to our interior, spiritual life too, indeed we must. And the pain of course is to knowingly, consciously unite every daily struggle, especially the really tough ones to the cross of Jesus, confident in hope that He can bring it to fruition and purpose not just for our sake but for the good of others somehow, somewhere even if our efforts are not seen directly connected to the circles of our immediate influence. January is also the month dedicated to the Holy Name of "Jesus" - the Name which saves, the Name which, when we use it properly in prayer, devotion and thought, can truly dispel evil and any thoughts of anxiety and despair that we might feel overwhelmed. So, to conclude, as we mark the event at which Three Wise and Holy Kings had to physically bow their heads and no doubt their upper bodies in order to enter a cave/stable where the Holy Family was residing in Bethlehem to adore [and I like to think, on their knees] the Infant Christ, let us also renew our belief in and efforts to honour Him by bowing at the Holy Name of Jesus whenever it is said in worship and prayer [and if we ever hear it uttered in blasphemy, to make an internal supplication in reparation] so as to stir continuous thoughts of obedience, humility and above all gratitude in our souls. Edmund Adamus


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