I have resistance to preaching about or writing about marriage. It is such a complex affair. Marriage is often a hot button issue in the Church. Reflect back to the Synods on the Family in 2014 and 2015. There was plenty of diversity of experience and opinion. The very word family can be loaded and dangerous. Every statement seems open to arguments.
Marriage may have plenty of beauty when it works well, but it also has plenty of ugliness when it doesn’t work. We’ve all experienced both, in our families and among our friends. Some of the ugliness is toxic, and, even, dangerous. I’ve come to believe that some people were never meant to be married or to have children.
I count among my family, friends and acquaintances, many women and men who are in loving partnerships. Some are married. Some of those were married in a church and with the Sacrament of Matrimony. Others were married in a civil ceremony, sometimes taking place in a backyard or on a beach. I have gay friends who are married and some who live together without any formal exchange of vows or promises.