In this age of frenzied shopping, we tend to think that everything can be bought at the mall, including fidelity and loyalty. Marriage is a commitment that the couple is bound to keep as time passes by. It cannot be bought nor compared to a commodity as in the case of loyalty associated with a certain eagerness to buy products made in the same business or company.

Marriage needs commitment for life and the love that grows between the two of you will safeguard your faithfulness to one another and will lead both of you to a deeper understanding of your relationship as a couple, thus becoming more sensitive to the needs of the other. Spending enough quality time together is necessary to keep communication lines open so that bitterness and resentment will not build up in our hearts and lead to failure. There’s no other way to improve the many aspects of your relationship.

Communication is particularly important in creating a happy marriage, and time spent together will create more space needed to address any problem that comes your way. Every marital relationship goes through stages. Relationships stress effort and are likely to encounter trials. For example, everyday anxieties can strain a relationship, and unresolved issues can intimidate the stability of any marriage.

Nonetheless, as long as spouses are willing to talk “heart-to-heart” about their concerns, predisposed to adopt a solution, and adhere to meaningful relationship advice, problems of this kind can be resolved. When a person is always with the same person constantly, as in a marriage, there may come a time when passion and enthusiasm diminish and everything becomes monotonous and banal. There is a constant need for refueling, something to stimulate and spark that fire in the spouses.

However, the experiences of many couples that have stayed together show us that, indeed, it is possible to remain faithful to one another for life. Marriage is not a death sentence or life imprisonment. Fidelity (or loyalty) does make the adventure more challenging and exciting for a couple, as it is part and parcel of the marriage package.

It may seem daunting to both partners to take that next step, doubting if one can remain faithful and in love with the same person for life. Getting married is a total leap of faith in the love of God for you, as a couple, and in your love for your future spouse. But the fulfillment of staying faithful to one’s spouse is immeasureable.

We have been married for 45 years and are enjoying the fruits of this fidelity. But it has not always been easy. We have failed so many times but always made that step to start anew, without losing hope, until we finally reached that goal of becoming “one flesh.” This is what we promised each other on our wedding day. Fidelity is possible. But we must build it with our own bare hands, even among the “thorns.”

Throughout history, fidelity has often been portrayed as a straitjacket, something that was impossible to be freed from, sometimes leading to physical and psychological violence between spouses. Let us keep in mind that fidelity must be lived by both spouses. It demands mutual respect and recognition of the value of each one. In fact, with the strength of heroic love, we have seen couples recompose their family and rebuild a more mature faithfulness in one another, having been purified by pain.

People today laud individual freedom. Everything is about the “self” or the ego. Fidelity is not opposed to freedom but is actually the full realization of it. It can expand the boundaries of our personal freedom, allowing us to do things that we could not have done by ourselves alone. But it takes time, patience and the ability to always see the spouse next to you with new eyes so that monotony and banality do not end the relationship.

Massimo Recalcati, a famous Italian psychoanalyst, writes: “While our time opposes that which is the same to what’s New, the miracle of love is to make that Same always new, transforming the repetition of the same into an event that is, each time, unique and unrepeatable.”

By Maria and Raimondo Scotto with contributions from Jenni Bulan and Ernesto Chio
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