Advice please!!

First, I’m new to this website so I’m not sure if I’m posting right, so sorry! :slight_smile:

I need some relationship advice please :slight_smile:

I met this guy at work two years ago when I was 18. I’m a devout Catholic and he’s a Christian, but he doesn’t go to church or anything at all. I go to Mass every week and confession, but I fell into sexual sin with this guy. 6 months later I met an amazing, Catholic guy and we started dating. We never did anything sinful, but we ended up breaking up a few months later because he wanted to have a serious relationship and I selfishly just wanted to hang out with college friends. I wasn’t ready for a committed relationship then- now I am. I got back with the first guy and we’ve been hanging out ever since- about a year now- although my family and friends has never met him, nor know that we hang out. I have kept in touch with me ex via text and we attend the same Church.

Recently, I’ve become completely disgusted with myself and my constant sinning and I told the new guy that I don’t want to have sex anymore- that I want to abstain until marriage. I want to be a good Catholic. I know I’ve messed up, and I want to fix that. He is not happy with it- understandably as he’s 26 and he’s been doing that in every relationship he’s had- but willing to try to do it because he doesn’t want to lose me (this started a month ago. We didn’t have sex for a few weeks, then messed up. We’ve tried again and it’s been a week now). He says he loves me and I love him too, but I do also love the other guy. I still see the other guy every Sunday at Mass. I still have feelings for him and my whole family loves him.

My ex is the perfect guy. He’s super sweet and romantic, he’d make an amazing father, and he’s a great, practicing Catholic. He’s 25, has several siblings, a great family, and he has a good job. His family and mine get along great. He’s kind of like a country guy. I’m not very emotional or sentimental at all and he is. We really complimented each other. I didn’t feel as motivated with him though as he liked me enough to do anything to make me happy. We weren’t in a relationship long enough to exchange ‘I love yous’ but he was crazy about me then and I know that a year later, he’s still into me. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about him- about marrying him and having a family with him. I can see that working out easily. The guy I’m with now is also a good guy. He challenges me and keeps me motivated. He’s very materialistic and into money though. He has a good job. His parents are divorced and he is an only child. He’s very loyal and big about respect. He’s okay with me being Catholic, but has no desire for it. He likes sex and is willing to stop if need be, but doesn’t want to. (we did try stopping a month ago and screwed up a week ago. We’re back on track now, but it’s hard for not just me, but him especially). He wants to marry me and thinks I’m perfect for him. I feel like he’d be a good dad, but he only wants one or two kids. I’m also worried he’ll follow his parents footsteps and think divorce is okay instead of working through and having a lasting marriage. He’s had a past of cheating on gfs although in the time we’ve been together it hasn’t been a problem. He loves me and I love him a lot, I can see us working out, but it will be a lot harder. Like me, he’s also not very emotional. Us exchanging ‘I love yous’ was a big deal. He’s convinced that we will get married and plans on getting engaged in a year or two and live happily ever after.

Sorry this is so long and a big rant, but it’s bothering me. I honestly feel torn between these two guys. I know one- or both- will end up being hurt, and I know it’s inevitable but I really hate hurting people. Like I said, I really keep things to myself and this is a big deal for me to talk about it. Priests didn’t really give me an answer nor my momma. Everyone said to just pray about it, which I have a lot, but I need peace of mind, you know? Sooo any advice?? Thanks y’all!!! :slight_smile:

God bless you and thank you for coming here and sharing your story about your situation.

First, take a small step back. It seems as if you are trying to decide between these two men in your life and are having trouble. It’s no wonder you are having a hard time. Things are very muddled right now. When you are sexually intimate with someone the body has a reaction that bonds you to that person, God created us this way for a reason. Part of the reason you are so attached to your current boyfriend could be because of that.

However, this is not really about these men at all it is about YOU. Pretend for a moment that neither of them are in the picture. What is God calling you to do? You are focusing much of your energy on dissecting the differences between these two men, as if you have to make a decision right here and now about who you are going to spend your future with. No wonder you seem panicked and pressured!

Stop and relax. You have to take time away from your current boyfriend, it is too much temptation to sin. You cannot make a rational and good decision about your life while in a state of mortal sin. Go to confession, stop and listen. Don’t ask God about these men, ask him about you. You are his little girl! He loves you so much! Maybe his plans for your life have nothing to do with either of these men. Think about your talents, your gifts and how you can be a beacon of light to this weary world. You are a precious treasure and God has wonderful things planned for you. Stay away from sin and focus on your life and your relationship with God instead of boyfriends and see if that helps make things more clear to you.

God bless you.

I’ve heard that marriages tend to work out better if both spouses have the same religion.

The man you marry needs to be someone who is on the same page as you or it will not work out. And most importantly, God needs to come first. You need to find a man who loves God more than he loves you. Someone who is virtuous, unselfish, and will lead his family on a good path to holiness.

Marriage is a holy vocation intended for a man and a woman to work together to get each other into heaven. Which man do you think will be a better spiritual leader for the family? Which man will let you help lead him into heaven?

You need to step back (away from temptation), and pray about this. Marriage is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your life; it is not something to be rushed into.

Apart from all other considerations, the only person you should consider marrying is your absolute best friend. and you must be his best friend. He must be an even closer friend than your best girlfriend. and you must be closer to him than his best male friend or even his brother.
The reason I say this is that you can live with your best friend over the long haul. It has long been said that the worst thing a woman can do is marry someone she wants to change. Well, if he is your best friend, you won’t want to change him. You will take him just as he is.
The best way I can phrase it is, after you are married and you use his razor to shave your legs, and you leave the blade in and forget to tell your husband about it. Then, the next morning he lathers up to shave, takes his razor in hand and takes half of his face off on the first pass. At that point, you better be his best friend! If you are not, there is a good possibility of mayhem.
The point I am trying to make is that you can easily live with your best friend. Sexual excitement very soon lessens and the actual act soon gets boreing. However, if your lover(husband) is also your best friend he will look towards your pleasure and not his own. Likewise on your part. If you are merely romantic lovers, very soon the external problems of daily life will intrude into the bedroom, and you will have serious problems. Not with mutual best friends.
So, during the courting period, even if the young man isn’t Catholic, as your best friend, he will respect your values and abstain from having pre-marital sex with you. In addition, if he is your very good buddy, he will also try to find out something about Catholicism if for no other reason to understand your feelings.
If you are super sexually attracted to someone who you know in your heart of hearts is not your best friend, or even doesn’t have the potential for being one, say a quick prayer to Mother Mary and take a cold shower as soon as possible.

The first thing to do is to evaluate your relationship with the man you are dating. Let’s not consider the Catholic ex. There is no guarantee that a relationship with him will last, so let’s not evaluate your current relationship against him.

I’ve pulled the statements from your post that I’d like to respond to:

Let’s start here. You might know that the Church doesn’t ordinarily allow for marriages of mixed faith. By ordinarily, I don’t mean that it is very rare, but that it is not within the normal rules of the church concerning marriage. A Catholic actually has to get a dispensation to marry a non-Catholic. Also, you mention that he is a Christian, but has he been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? If not, your marriage wouldn’t even be a sacrament, which means that you wouldn’t receive the graces to help you that other married couples receive.

But setting aside the rules and the graces, I recommend you consider very carefully, the ramifications of marrying a person who doesn’t share your faith. Right now, he is willing to abstain from sex, but it is quite difficult. Will he be willing to practice Natural Family Planning for the rest of your fertile years, which will require periods of abstinence? Or will he insist on using contraception, which is against our faith? Or will he do as you wish, but resent it and will that drive a wedge between the two of you.

Also, he says he only wants 1-2 kids. Is he willing to be “open to life,” which means will he accept more children than 2, even though he is not aiming for more than 2? The church teaches us that while we do have the right to use NFP to avoid pregnancy, our reasons for doing so must be serious. Serious reasons to keep from having more children might be medical, psychological, or financial. But simply having a preference for 1-2 is not a serious reason. In the wedding rite, the couple is asked 3 questions - one of them is**, ****"Will **you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?" Personally, I would question the honesty of his vows of a person who answers yes to that question, but who has no intention of accepting more children from God than the 1-2 that he has planned.

Continuing with the children. As you see in the question asked at the wedding, the second part is about raising the children as Catholics. A non-Catholic spouse is not required to play a part in raising his children Catholic, but the Catholic spouse, IS required to do everything possible to raise the children Catholic. I imagine that if you go to Mass and go to confession, that you have a reasonable understanding of the importance of being Catholic. I imagine that it is very important to you to raise your children in the faith of the one true Church, and that it is not a matter of simple preference, but of salvation. Your boyfriend is ok with you being Catholic, but is he ok with you teaching your children to be devout Catholics as well? Has he thought this through - that beliefs that he must think are quite wrong will be the core beliefs of his children? Many folks here can tell you that often the non-Catholic spouse does not realize that they don’t like their children being raised as Catholics until the children are old enough to start asking questions. From your perspective, consider what it must be like to be a child who is Catholic, but whose daddy thinks all of your beliefs are wrong. Studies show that the faith of the father is a better indicator of the faith of the children than that of the mother. Think about what they will wonder or ask when Daddy doesn’t go to Church, or when they ask him about theological questions. Will Daddy always just defer to Mommy, or will he tell them what he believes? Will it matter if he doesn’t answer, if his life shows that his beliefs are different? Many here can attest to the fact that it can be a heartbreak to watch your children drift from the faith, or never really take to the faith because of the influence of the non-Catholic parent.

For these reasons above, the differences in faith would be a deal-breaker for me. There are some people here who will tell you that their mixed-faith marriage has been successful, but there is a reason that the Church requires a dispensation from their regular rules to do it. In general, I don’t think marriage to a non-Catholic is a good idea, if you want your children to be Catholics once they’ve reached adulthood.

I will continue with some other points in another post.

How will that stop if you decide to stay with your boyfriend. Unless you move away and your family stops having contact with him, it sounds like your feelings for him are getting in the way of being able to give yourself faithfully to your current boyfriend. Is this because you are not truly in love with your boyfriend?

The values that you have regarding materialism are important in a marriage. They can affect whether or not you can stay home with your children when they are little, or if you are a working mom (not everyone has the choice, but there are many who could stay home, but don’t because of materialism). They can affect your judgment on whether or not you can afford to have another child. Materialistic people tend to see children as very expensive, because of all of the things that children need (expensive toys, fully paid college tuition, cars at the age of 16, etc.), and it is not uncommon for materialistic people to see additional children as things that get in the way of being able to pursue their own material desires. It can affect how late he comes home from work every night, and how much time you spend together as a family. It is very easy for families to get caught up in the desire for the extra money, or the next raise, and to devote themselves so heartily to their jobs to achieve those goals that spousal relationships suffer, and children never see their parents. I can’t say that any of these things would necessarily describe your life with this boyfriend, but materialism can be far reaching.

I don’t really have any special comments about this, but they are important “red flags.”

You seem to have a pretty wise perspective. It will be a lot harder. It IS possible for two people like yourselves to work out. Remember though, that marriage is a vocation, and while you definitely want to stay together and have a happy marriage, those are not really your ultimate goals. The goal of the vocation to marriage is for the spouses to help each other get to heaven. The secondary goal is for you to bring children into the world according to God’s will, and to provide them with the kind of formation that will help them get to heaven as well. Being happy with each other comes after those other things. So when you look at this situation, ask yourself if a marriage to your current boyfriend will set you up to be able to fulfill the real goals of a vocation to marriage. Will he help you get to heaven? Will you be able to bring the children into the world that God wants you do? And will you be able to help those children get to heaven? Or will marrying a person with such different values as he has make it more difficult to live a holy life, and make it harder and less likely that your children will love your faith as much as you do?

If you don’t already, take your uncertainty to God in prayer. If you haven’t done this before, consider finding a Eucharistic Adoration chapel, or consider saying a novena to help you make the right decision. I will say a prayer for you discernment as well. God bless.

You got the cart before the horse when you had sex with your current boyfriend. You cannot see him clearly because your body and mind have already formed a bond with him through sexual intimacy. You say you love him but chances are good that you are minimizing some of his true character defects (cheating on previous girlfriends? :eek:), and especially that he is not Catholic.

The previous posters have reminded you of the very serious issues that exist - sexual sin being number one. The Catholic v. Christian (and a ho-hum Christian, perhaps) problems can be monumental.

You also seem to be taking for granted that the Catholic man would accept you and is just waiting for a word from you. You’re keeping him on hold, like he’s in reserve for you. But you don’t know that for a fact, and it’s pretty egotistical of you to believe that. Would you tell him about your previous sexual relationship? He would have every right to tell you, “Sorry, I don’t want to be with someone who isn’t a virgin.” And if you lied? Not a good way to start off a marriage. What would he say if he knew that you were currently having sex with another man, yet eying him as a back-up, a 2nd string? :mad: Pretty darn insulting. I don’t know many men who would accept such a thing.

My advice? Dump your current boyfriend. Confess your sin. Spend time praying, and discerning what your future truly is, apart from any man. Get right with GOD and get away from sex, period. Only then are you going to be able to really have a heart for God, which has to come first above any man in your life.

Oh and Bella, by the way…WELCOME! :slight_smile:

Having feelings for two people at the same time is not love, it’s just feelings that with time will wear out (it will take time). Take a step back as they have advice you and be prudent, it’s hard to do but not impossible.

This was sound advice. Very caring and loving I must say. Although I wasn’t the poster I needed to hear for my own personal reason this: “You are his little girl! He loves you so much!”

Thanks!
LP

Hey Bella,

Offhand I would say that your ex sounds more likely. The guy you’re with now doesn’t actually value chastity and has cheated on past girlfriends. Those would be two big red flags for me. Plus, it sounds like you have a lot fewer doubts about your ex, and like you have an easier time refraining from sexual sin with him. Those are certainly points in his favor.

I recommended this book on another thread, and I think it might really help you. We can’t really discern who you should marry for you, but I think this book would really help you. I’m learning a lot, anyway. :thumbsup:

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