This write up is my personal view on a particular topic of an important concern.

As a priest, I have witnessed a few marriages in the Sacrament of Matrimony in which the couples themselves are the main celebrants.

The words used in the exchange of vows are words of love. Below is an idea of what is said:

I …. take you … to be my …. wife/husband. I will love you, cherish you … for better for worse, in sickness and in health, richer for poorer… all the days of our lives until death do us apart.

The key word in the above covenant, is love. However, I think many couples do not understand the meaning of the term “WORSE” and I need to explain what I understand it to mean.

Currently, there is a trending news online of a man who beat his pregnant wife into a state of coma and further went to the hospital where she was receiving oxygen to kill her by removing the oxygen mask fixed on her . Sounds strange, isn’t it?

Loving your spouse in “worse” does not mean being in a marriage of daily beating, dehumanization, slavery and oppression that is capable of bringing about one’s untimely death and remaining silent.

“Worse” is not a situation that should be celebrated nor deliberately created. In the consenting words of marriage given above, sickness and in poverty are paradigms of what could be meant by “worse.” These two are unforeseen circumstances that might occur or even circumstances that are known before the marriage but accepted by the couples for love’s sake.

Marriage is not a prison of brutality, psychological tortures, emotional and physical abuses, insensitive and inhumanity. If marriage is ever going to be called a prison, then it must be a prison of love. This does not mean there may be no rough moments a few times; but it wouldn’t be constant moments deliberately created to humiliate and frustrate one’s partner.

My conclusion:

  1. It is not the best to remain silent in an abusive relationship.
  2. The Sacrament of Matrimony is not celebrated by the church for the destruction of lives but in fulfilment of God’s mandate of love among couples and their families.
  3. The essence of marriage is not divorce because it is a covenant of love.
  4. When marriage is no longer a covenant of love but a relationship of dehumanization of the highest order, there is certainly need to give it a second look.
  5. The first step to this second look, and the main point this write up drives at, is the need for the victim of the abuse, to be separated from the relationship at least physically, until things get fixed, if possible; rather than die in silence and physically out of this world.
  6. The church has marriage tribunals in different dioceses for instance, with marriage experts in Canon Law, who know how best to interpret the law to addressing the respective issues regarding marriage and the necessary steps to be followed for the possibility of fresh air.
  7. Please, report your case early enough to the right institutions if it really deserves to be reported. Do not wait until it is completely bad, then you come on Facebook for help.
  8. Beautiful marriages still exist. I pray that yours may be one…. Written By Fr. A. N. Abiagom, CM.
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