Who on earth does not know what is marriage? In effect, it can be said that every man and woman believe that they are experts in marriage, viz., they know only too well the What? the When? as well as the How? of marriage. Hence it is but proper and on time – as the month of June is practically identified with marriage celebrations – that this institution be addressed in the realm of objective truth, in the sphere of ground reality. So it is that:
The law- among other things – provides that matrimonial consent is considered defective in the order of nature and wherefore held ineffective in the realm of law, when the said consent has been elicited by either or both contracting Parties who, because of causes of psychological nature, are unable to assume the essential obligations of marriage (cf. 1988 Family Code of the Philippines, Chap. 3, Art. 36) – one of which is primarily the conscientious and continuous pursuit of the well- being of the spouses – as a matter of course. In more explicit language, the said spousal well-being basically consists in the mutual love and care, the mutual attention and concern, the mutual respect and service between husband and wife within the realm of marital unity, in the sphere of spousal harmony and under the norm of conjugal permanency. The aforesaid civil marriage provision is focused on “psychological” incompetence for marriage intents and purposes – a psychical liability, a socio-affective impairment or a disordered personality constitution on the part of one or both of the de facto spouses, thus rendering their likewise de facto marriage null and void from the very start – not really because of ill will but rather on account of an ingrained personal liability that militates against the fundamental requirement for a valid option such as consent in entering into the Marriage Covenant. Marriage is a demanding ground reality in the order of nature as well as a challenging state of life in the realm of ethics. So it is that its basic causative factor which is integral matrimonial consent, is categorically imperative for a truly valid, indivisible and insoluble union – spousal-conjugal-parental communion – as a distinct actuality brought to reality through a capable, free and deliberate bilateral matrimonial option – as provided by law anchored on objective truth which is premised on sound reason. No wonder then that among the essential and mandatory personal qualifications of every man and woman making the marriage option is the capacity to assume and thus comply with the obligations inherent to marriage – qualifying factors that are logical and understandable in the light of the well-known Latin maxim “Ad impossibile nemo tenetur.” In other words, no one may be bound to do something which for him/her is basically undoable for whatever cause abrogative of his/her personal capacity to realistically assume and effectively comply with – such as concretely in conjunction with the grave and lasting obligations essential to the Marriage Covenant, viz., obligations particularly in terms of spousal fidelity and conjugal union none of which necessarily becomes an objective reality becomes an objective reality with the mere words “I do.” said by the man and the woman concerned or pronounced on the occasion of their exchange of Matrimonial Consent. The said but two words have significance and consequences that are definitely much more than the mere here and now. Truth to say, the hardest way of life is neither single-hood nor celibacy. It is marriage as a status and a permanent way of life.