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Marriage: A refuge from the inevitable crosses of life

Libby DuPont is a consultant for the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life.

by Libby DuPont

Some things were just meant to go together. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Marriage and the cross. 

The cross is right there at the beginning. We vow to be true in good times and bad, sickness and health, richer and poorer. This makes sense, as we are signing up to love one another as Christ loves the church. And in a fallen world, there is always sacrifice involved in true love.

But marriage itself is not meant to be the cross.

There is a narrative out there that suggests that falling in love is a trap to get us to commit to one another. Then, real life sets in, and marriage becomes a cross that we drag behind us until we die.

Any wonder many people are choosing not to marry?

It’s true that in some marriages, there are heavy crosses of addiction, abuse or infidelity. These are serious illnesses within a marriage that require serious treatment. But there are also less serious, “common- cold-type” sicknesses we all encounter as well: misunderstandings, disagreements and taking one another for granted. These things don’t need to linger and make us miserable. Small, everyday frustrations do not need to equate to our marriage itself being a cross to endure!

When Brad and I attended our first marriage retreat and relationship skills course through EverMore in Love, we had a good marriage. But after eight years, there were certain crosses we were beginning to accept as a permanent part of our marriage. That retreat awakened us to an incredible reality: It didn’t need to be that way! Even more wonderful was the skills course that followed, where we learned concrete strategies to grow in emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy.

Since then, we’ve been privileged to share marriage retreats and skills with many other couples. The experience has convinced us that our marriage truly is meant to be our refuge from the inevitable crosses of life. When a loved one dies, when the kids struggle, when the world shuts down for a deadly virus . . . our sacrament can become the well from which we draw the strength to meet life’s challenges.

Our archdiocese is in the early stages of establishing marriage ministry in every parish. In whatever age or stage of marriage you find yourself, we encourage you to take advantage of local opportunities to deepen your own marriage so it can be a joyful sanctuary that helps you and your spouse face the trials of life.

Join us for an upcoming retreat on Oct. 7 at Prince of Peace; Nov. 18 at Ascension; and Dec. 2 at Holy Spirit. Or contact Brad DuPont to find or schedule one near you:, or call (913) 647-0301.

About the author

Libby DuPont

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