Advice Wanted


#1

i have a few things that have been bothering me lately and was hoping to get some advice on the situation.

I am 18 years old and attending college. i have been getting really strong feelings about marriage ever since i turned 18. I want to be married and have children more then anything else in my life. i want to have a beautiful wife and children. I want to share in each others love, to care for my wife, to give up everything for my family.

but i feel like this will never happen that i will end up alone or that i wont get married till i am much much older.

im sick of hearing people say your only 18 you have so much other things to worry about. you should be having fun or worry about college. however i dont care for either of those things. to me my future wife is the only thing worth pursuing, worth having. I dont care for doing all those things all my college classmates are into. i dont care for college much either right now it just feels like a way to buy me time before i have to get job and a way to keep my mind off more stressful matters.

alot of people nowadays are also waiting longer before getting married. I dont want to have to wait to be 30+ years old before marrying. I want to encounter all of life with my wife by myside and having children and raising them at an older age is also probably gonna be alot harder.

then i also hear things of how high divorce rates are and how so little people wait now till marriage before losing their virginity and how we seem to be losing all respect for women they arent cherished, nourished, or loved how they should be people dont seem to see thier purity and innocents, their hearts. And as a result it feels like women themselves have lowered themselves down. It seems like nobody has any honor anymore. i feel like will never find a women who is innocent, pure, loving someone i would spend the rest of my life someone i would sacrifice myself for.

i just dont know what to do anymore everything has just confused me and stressed me out it feels like i will never have the family that i want. that i will just go on day to day hurting over it.

anyhelp or advice would be much appreciated.


#2

It is noble that you want a wife and family. How will you care for them? Without a degree, you are extremely limited unless you find a skilled trade or start a business. A house, kids, wife, cars, healthcare, food, and everything else costs money. Marriage and kids make college more difficult. Many do not finish at all. Many regret it. At 18, you are still a kid really. Enjoy your teen years before getting married! Date women and have fun. But marriage is very serious. Make sure you can support a family. Young marriages fail mainly due to finances in my opinion. They often have no degrees and are stuck and minimum wage jobs that dont pay all the bills. If you get your deree now, you will have a better chance at making good money to get a job.

Even in the Middle Ages, the Catholic men that married young were mainly the poor. Catholics that had the status to go to college waited until they finished and were established before marriage. Back then, that meant an arranged marriage but they still had to wait. Some kings got married very late in life and some didnt marry at all. It is nothing new for Catholic men to wait. St. Thomas More didnt marry very young. He was 27. It is hardly a new thing for men to fight temptation at a young age or desire a woman.


#3

I think you should probably be focusing less on what you want and more on becoming the kind of husband that a woman would want to marry. Good for you for being in college- do well and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way so that you will be in a position to support a family when that time comes.

It is a little concerning to me that you say that the only thing worth pursuing and having is a wife. Marriage is a good thing to want if that is what you are called to, but you also need to make sure you are not obsessing about this to the exclusion of other things in your life- family, friends, interests, schoolwork, jobs, etc. If you are looking to marriage to fulfill your every need and desire, then you have the wrong view of what marriage is.

Most women your age are probably not looking to settle down yet, especially if they are in college. If you convey this desperation to them, they will not be receptive to it. It is not true that “nobody has honor anymore”. There are plenty of good Catholic women out there, but you are not going to attract them if your only goal in life is to marry one of them. I know you are tired of hearing it, but you really do need to focus on college and where you are in your life right now, in order to become the kind of man a woman will want to marry someday.


#4

I agree with Marie,

It sounds like you’re seriously searching for meaning in this life. Congrats! May I suggest you first make efforts to master your interior life before marriage? I serve my family as the spiritual leader and am responsible for getting them to heaven. I would be unable to do this without Christ as the center of my life.

Consider making efforts to deepening your prayer life and using your time in college as an opportunity to grow. Deepening your prayer life and coming to know Christ could be the solution to your challenges. A fun reflection for you could be Matthew 25 which is the story of the ten virgins. We don’t know the day nor the hour when the Son of Man is coming (Mt 25:13). We also don’t know the day nor the time when our future spouse is coming. Be like the five wise virgins and be ready (Mt 25:10).

Finally, our purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve the Lord with all our heart, mind, and strength. Our goal in life is to get to heaven. All decisions we make should take into consideration our purpose and goal. Marriage is a means to an end (heaven). I pray that your relationship with Christ will guide your feet in the way of peace.

T


#5

Worthless Degree Seminar

Maybe this will help you decide your path.


#6

You’ve barely reached the legal age to marry, and already you’re worrying that it will never happen? Come on, you’re borrowing trouble. :slight_smile:

And yes, you do need to find some interests and pursuits other than finding a wife. Women are attracted to a man (and vice versa) who already has a life and has his own interests. If you come across as someone whose sole goal in life is to find a woman, women will perceive you as needy and desperate–not particularly endearing characteristics. On the other hand, if you are a person who loves life and all it has to offer, that kind of enthusiasm is contagious and will make some woman want to join you someday. Finish college (or trade school) so that you will have a means to support a wife and family someday.

There are many good Catholic women out there who believe in marriage and family. You’re only 18 and are only just beginning to meet people and to experience life as an adult. It is way, way too early to despair of finding the right person. God will bring the right person in His own time.

I will only add, though, that sometimes He does want us to wait, for whatever reason. (I speak from personal experience here.) I used to think I would get married young, but it didn’t happen. And looking back, I think it was for the best. I have had time to develop as a person; and at 29, I have more to offer the right person than I did at 18. So wait on God’s timing, and enjoy life along the way.


#7

A lot of “I wants”…what does God want?


#8

[quote="C_S_P_B, post:5, topic:225510"]
Worthless Degree Seminar

Maybe this will help you decide your path.

[/quote]

Lest anyone who does not actually listen to the video get the wrong idea, the point is that an overly narrow degree, particularly one in a "popular" major of recent vintage (like environmental science or African American studies) can severely limit a college graduate's job prospects. If you want to work for a non-profit some day, they won't hold it against you that you used to have a better-paying job in the private sector! It is far easier to go into foresic science with a double major in chemistry and biology than to find a job in a traditional laboratory with the more narrow degree, particularly if the traditional program is more rigorous.

I'm going to answer from this perspective: My FIL was a city photographer and and worked as deputy sheriff, back when you could get that job without a college degree. He was always well-employed, yet he always regretted that he did not finish his college degree. Another friend went to work out of high school, went into management, and had no need for college for personal advancement. He went back to school in the evenings and got his bachelor's degree, anyway. I think he's working on his MBA now. He feels it is very important for young people starting out to have a college degree, and wanted to put his money where his mouth is. Consider that his employer was willing to pay for this, and perhaps you see that employers don't consider college degrees in general to be worthless. The answer is not to avoid college when you're qualified for it.

The answer is to avoid majoring in a new and narrow field when you're willing to work in a much broader field, particularly if the more traditional field has a more rigorous program. For instance, if you want to work in environmental science, you can major in biology and English or you can major in geology or engineering, and you can have a greater variety of jobs to choose from, including the field you dream about. Dream specifically, but you need to be willing to work wide. Shoot high, but be willing to start at the bottom.

Absolutely, though, if college feels like a waste of time because you don't know what direction you want to go, then by all means move back in with your parents, get a job with someone reputable, strive to be an excellent employee, and save money with both hands. The one thing that college graduates often lack is a work history! For instance, people say they have an internship....but what kind of interns were they? Did they show up on time and put in a full days' work? Did they take "sick" days when the weather was nice? Did they work to make a real contribution, or did they look at their workplace as a classroom, meant to benefit them? The money will keep the college option open, but the work history and a letter of reference attesting to your excellent character as an employee is something that money cannot buy. Try to find yourself a job in a meritocracy, because those are the employers that can write you a letter of recommendation that counts.

According to a Census Bureau report from 2003, the average high school graduate will have lifetime earnings of $1.2 million, while the average college graduate’s lifetime earnings will be $2.1 million. When you have a family to support, that is a big difference. If you have the ability to go to college, however, keep the option of college open by saving money and perhaps going to a less-expensive community college to knock down required classes. The counselor at a community college can help you with this. Also, check with the registrar of major universities in your area to make certain that all credits from the community college are* transferrable*. Ask them what community colleges near you have the best academic reputations. You don't want to work (and pay) for credits that won't transfer. More to the point, you don't want to waste your time on a watered-down curriculum that will put you behind people who went to university.

Also, consider whether you want to establish residency in the a that has public universities with programs and reputations that are more to your liking. Public universities are some of the best in the world, and in-state students have to like the price tags much better. As the saying goes when building a house, "save a thousand here, save a thousand there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."


#9

[quote="iwillendure, post:1, topic:225510"]
A lot of people nowadays are also waiting longer before getting married. I dont want to have to wait to be 30+ years old before marrying. I want to encounter all of life with my wife by myside and having children and raising them at an older age is also probably gonna be alot harder.

then i also hear things of how high divorce rates are and how so little people wait now till marriage before losing their virginity and how we seem to be losing all respect for women they arent cherished, nourished, or loved how they should be people dont seem to see thier purity and innocents, their hearts. And as a result it feels like women themselves have lowered themselves down. It seems like nobody has any honor anymore. i feel like will never find a women who is innocent, pure, loving someone i would spend the rest of my life someone i would sacrifice myself for.

i just dont know what to do anymore everything has just confused me and stressed me out it feels like i will never have the family that i want. that i will just go on day to day hurting over it.

anyhelp or advice would be much appreciated.

[/quote]

I have a friend who is fond of the quip, "Don't marry for money. Hang around with rich people, and marry for love."

This is something to consider as you decide what to do with your free time. Find out where the traditional Catholic girls hang out, and if you have to drive and hour to go to Mass on Sundays, hang out there! There aren't as many women out there waiting for marriage as there used to be, but trust me, they are all on the look-out for a young man who isn't out to break their resolve. Don't go looking for them, though. Go looking for what they love: a traditional parish, the sacraments, a life of service, and church social events that are chaperoned. You are very intent on getting married. Don't rush to the first woman who meets your "standards". Meet several, be willing to treat them all like sisters until you know them better, and then see what happens. You don't want to wait until you're 30 to marry, but you want your first attempt at marriage to be valid, lasting, and fruitful. Be prudent in your search, then. Don't get in a hurry. You need to wait until you can support a family, and that will be awhile. We are not biologically set up to find the person of our dreams, the person who excites us as a spouse should, and then avoid marriage and consummation for 4-5 years. It may be a very great grace that God has given you the desire to marry now, but doesn't show you the woman he intends for you until much later. As St. Paul said, it isn't good to be on fire!

Keep this in mind, too, as you decide where you want to go to college. Some college campuses are, let's be frank, ofen derisive and sometimes hostile to fellow students who do not approve of pre-marital sex. When you visit universities, visit the Newman Centers, and ask the students there if pre-marital purity is something that is at least approved on paper. For instance, consider this report from the Newman Center at South Dakota State University: piusxiinewman.com/news/laboring-for-purity/. Again, I wouldn't say that there aren't good Catholics on a campus that doesn't understand them, but why not look for a bigger community, the better to support and be supported in your values?

My point is that you can often find a community of Catholic believers who believe strongly in premarital purity, even at public universities. You do have to take the trouble to look. You also can't automatically assume that Catholic universities have student bodies bursting full of support for this value. It varies tremendously from one campus to another. You have to do your homework.


#10

I felt very much the same way at your age. I never felt like I wanted anything other than a husband and family. And like you, I got tired of people telling me that I had plenty of time, I should get a career going first, etc. They meant well, but I just didn't want to wait until my 30s to start a family. This is a thought that often comforted me, and it might help you as well: God would not have put that desire in your heart without having someone special planned for you as well.

For now, my advice is to get to know God well. As a husband and father, you will be in charge of leading your family closer to God, and the best way to do this is to know Him yourself. If your college has a Newman center, get involved over there. My husband got to know the Newman center at his college quite well. I went to a Catholic college that had a very good University Ministry program, and I enjoyed spending time with the people I met there. If you don't find anything at your university, call the local Catholic parishes and see if any have young adult programs that you could get involved with. It can be very difficult to find a group of people who value chastity on college campuses, but these people DO exist. Sometimes it just takes a lot of work to find them. Ask God for guidance as you search for your future spouse.

Also, don't fall into the trap of "falling in love" with the first girl who shows interest and seems nice enough. Meet a few nice women, spend time getting to know them as friends, and see if anything develops from there. Falling in love is wonderful, but eventually those fuzzy feelings die down, and you want to have something solid to build a marriage upon. Find someone who is as committed to having one lasting marriage as you are. (I'm not saying that everyone "falls out of love" after getting married, just that those wonderful "walking in the clouds, life is good" feelings will eventually lessen. Love is more what you do than how you feel.)


#11

I was going to say exactly the same thing.


#12

You should read Jason Evert's books on chastity and finding and caring for your future spouse. He is an amazing speaker and author as well as his wife Crystalina Evert. You can go to chastity.com if you haven't already and listen to his talks via mp3 and shows. His list of books are on there too. They actually just released their new book "How to Find Your Soul Mate Without Losing Your Soul." I'm still waiting for mine to come!...but it's also for women...

But mainly, just have faith in God that He will lead you to your future wife. And don't forget to keep praying for her! :)


#13

[quote="iwillendure, post:1, topic:225510"]
i have a few things that have been bothering me lately and was hoping to get some advice on the situation.

I am 18 years old and attending college. i have been getting really strong feelings about marriage ever since i turned 18. I want to be married and have children more then anything else in my life. i want to have a beautiful wife and children. I want to share in each others love, to care for my wife, to give up everything for my family.

but i feel like this will never happen that i will end up alone or that i wont get married till i am much much older.

im sick of hearing people say your only 18 you have so much other things to worry about. you should be having fun or worry about college. however i dont care for either of those things. to me my future wife is the only thing worth pursuing, worth having. I dont care for doing all those things all my college classmates are into. i dont care for college much either right now it just feels like a way to buy me time before i have to get job and a way to keep my mind off more stressful matters.

alot of people nowadays are also waiting longer before getting married. I dont want to have to wait to be 30+ years old before marrying. I want to encounter all of life with my wife by myside and having children and raising them at an older age is also probably gonna be alot harder.

then i also hear things of how high divorce rates are and how so little people wait now till marriage before losing their virginity and how we seem to be losing all respect for women they arent cherished, nourished, or loved how they should be people dont seem to see thier purity and innocents, their hearts. And as a result it feels like women themselves have lowered themselves down. It seems like nobody has any honor anymore. i feel like will never find a women who is innocent, pure, loving someone i would spend the rest of my life someone i would sacrifice myself for.

i just dont know what to do anymore everything has just confused me and stressed me out it feels like i will never have the family that i want. that i will just go on day to day hurting over it.

anyhelp or advice would be much appreciated.

[/quote]

Caring for your wife starts right where you are now. Earn your degree, and get a good paying job. It is a wonderful gift to give to your future wife if and when you can say to her, "Don't worry. You can stay home with the baby because I make enough money." Or "Don't worry....my insurance will pay for our child's operation."

Having a good time in college....why not? It doesn't have to be doing things that are sinful or slothful. Learning to laugh is a wonderful gift to give to yourself, friends,and to your future wife and family.

God has placed a buffet of earthly delights in front of you: good education, independence, travel, friends, doing your job as a good son, taking responsibility. Take each day as it comes doing your absolute best and eventually, usually when you are not expecting it, you will be given what you want. And 30 isn't old.


#14

I think you are a good young man, to be thinking of a family so young! I like that focus. But if you expect to provide for your family, and not have to depend on your wife to work, then you should give college your best effort. Sure, people like Bill Gates never got a college education, but there aren't many of us who have been gifted with that particular set of gifts.

Not to say you absolutely cannot succeed without a degree, but over the last 20 years or so, the focus in this country has been toward higher education. There are plenty of people making a lot of money who do not have a degree, but usually they are entrepreneurs, very independent types, who either have an idea for a product, or have a service business that demands every bit of their attention. And that is hard on a family.

What should be your focus then, at age 18? Well, to develop into the kind of man who will be a great Catholic husband and father! That means going to Mass, going to confession and adoration as much as possible, and developing a strong spiritual life, because YOU are going to be charged with being the spiritual head of your family! What an awesome responsibility and honor from God!!! In order to be ready for that when it happens, you need to be as grounded in the Word as you can be. Join a young adults' Bible study. It would be great if you had a young men's group at your church - if you are already in college, many campuses have thriving Catholic churches since the students run the youth groups! You might even find your future wife there - I know that at Texas A&M, where my son is, a lot of the Catholic students do get married from meeting each other at church or in one of the youth groups.

But try not to focus totally on finding that SPIRITUALLY beautiful girl whom God has chosen for you. Do the next right thing, which means more school, I'm afraid! You can have a balance in your life though, and do fun activities and hobbies as well as serving others through ministries...

Pray a lot! Pray to St. Joseph to guide you into becoming the man you want to be. There are other serious students at college, you just need to hang with them and not with the drinkers, stoners or partyers.

God bless you. I would give my 19 year old son the same advice, but he has not expressed any such vocation toward marriage yet!!


#15

I wasn't exactly hoping to be single at 34, but here I am. That said, I'm a very happy individual and I have every reason to believe that I may marry an amazing woman yet.

Don't try to plan life out, amigo, you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. Life is infinitely better if you just do your best and trust in God.


#16

I've felt the same as I see my friends settle down and get married (and I'm 26), but I also realize:

  1. Are they really happy?
    I know several of these younger couples already having serious issues, and it's not about money. Several are separated or about to be.

  2. they're doing it because "everyone else is"
    It's good to see people marrying, but many couples I know who have been married from 0-3 years seem to be happy telling everyone else they're married, but don't really put forth much effort to be anything else. I also know some of my buddies have girlfriends who complain they they aren't married yet when all their friends are engaged or married.

  3. Children
    A Christian couple is supposed to accept children. Many of my married friends do not have children. I cannot judge and say they are refusing them, but I know many don't want them "at this time."

I'm just going to say don't rush it with marriage. You may feel the desire, but the person you think as "the one" might change her mind along the way, especially with children. Don't obsess over it, enjoy your college years. They're going to be a blast.


#17

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