Am I being selfish about marriage?


My girlfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half. I graduated college and have a full time job that I look into turning into a career. She has one more year of undergrad left. I have a burning desire inside me that says to get married once she graduates from her undergraduate. She is looking into going to graduate school, and proposes we wait until her graduate school is over with (3-4 years from now). I work at a parish near a state university, but she wants a Catholic college education. Something inside me burns to get married one year from now, and she’s wanting 3 or 4 years from now. Besides wanting to go to a Catholic school, she thinks that she will be too stressed out within a master’s program to start a healthy marriage. She wants to homeschool our children, but wants the master’s degree to be able to work after that. Both of us suspect that we are being selfish, but we also both suspect God is placing these desires in us. I’m kind of hoping that someone will just tell me to shut up and let her do what she wants so I can just push these desires out of my heart once and for all and let her pursue what she wants without the stress of me. I’ve prayed non-stop over this in front of the Blessed Sacrament, but this feeling of wanting to get married sooner rather than later just won’t go away. Is there anyone that has been through this same situation or just anyone who wants to tell me what I want to hear? God Bless.


You both should “shut up” as you put it and seek a spiritual director individually and as a couple. Also, you would both be wise to seek counsel from those who have BTDT with each possibility (those who didn’t wait until after grad school and those did wait). Also, what truly is your desire for marriage? If she wants to go to grad school, then work before starting a family, and then stay home with the kids and homeschool, grad school, imho, seems like a waste of money with that plan (what, two years after grad school, your family will start and you’ll still have 28 years of loans to pay off, which you will be bearing because she’ll be home with the kids)? Just seems crazy and as if it defeats the purpose of your future family’s goals.


I agree, specially about the financial bit. Whats her degree going to be in? Maybe she is thinking that she needs Grad School to be able to properly educate their children? If its to work after the kids are grown I really don’t see the point. Depending on what her degree is in 20-30 years from now its going to be so out dated it may not be worth the piece of paper its written on specially if she hasn’t been working in her industry. For that matter in the time it takes to raise a family her ideas of what she wants to do later could change drastically.


Selfish? Nah. Very eager? Yup.

Something like marriage can only work if both people are equally enthusiastic about it. Sure, eventually she may wear down - but it won’t be the best thing for both of you.

Live a little bit more before being tied-down. Once the kids come, much of the fun slips away.


Ironically, she is looking into Christian counseling… her undergrad is in nutrition/dietetics, and I think she is thinking that she doesn’t want to work in that field, and a master’s will be another chance to do what she wants. I very much support her if she feels she wants to get a master’s degree, but i would want to get married in the meantime and not wait 3-4 years until she’s done. I feel that no matter how stressful her master’s program is, I would much rather be with her at the end of everyday and accept her for how she is, than not see her for weeks when she is hours away.


If the only reason your gf wants to put off marriage so long is so she’ll have her masters so after she raises and homeschools your kids she’ll work, then I agree with the PPs–that is unrealistic. A master’s degree in pretty much anything is going to be outdated by the time all your kids are through high school and even if it is a fine art like history, art, music, etc., she’s gonna have to seriously brush up before being able to use that degree after over 20 years away from it. It’s seems like a much better plan to wait until your kids are grown, get your master’s degree and* then *go back to work.

The exception to this is if you gf has already gotten a scholarship for grad school or something like that…:shrug:


its a difficult situation to give advice on…

If you get married when she’s done, you’re likely to have a child by the next summer, or she’ll be pregnant at least.

However, if you wait then you’re putting much on hold. And you’re going to be looking at serious financial issues like the above posters mentioned. Sure she may get a career, but even that might not be good for a family.

BUT, if you do convince her to put her career on hold (perhaps even permanently) then she may begin to resent you at some point for “making” her do that.

Of course, I don’t know her, so perhaps I’m way off base here.

All I know is that I believe family comes first. And if you can provide for a family and perhaps she just wants something to do with her life after she’s done schooling the kids…then you have every reason to want to get married sooner.
And if I were to say one of you is right…I’d say it was you.

I’m no expert though


I kinda feel as if i’m in a lose lose situation… Like dave said, even if I get her to agree, is it what she really wants, and will she resent me for pushing her into marriage? I know that she is the woman I want to marry, so even if she decides to push off marriage until after grad school, I’ll wait for her, so sometimes I feel like if i just would have kept my mouth shut, it wouldn’t be an issue.


A question you should ask yourself, if, after grad school, she does start a career, will she push off marriage (or children) until she’s “established” in her career? If so, is this a compromise you’re willing to make? It may seem simple now, but in three years (if she attends grad school full time) will her career drive change and make her continue to postpone marriage. Are you willing to wait until she is ready? Will she ever be ready? I have known many who have waited, and waited and waited and it never was the “right” time to get married, or have children.


Sounds like you’re in a really tough situation. It may very well be a lose-lose situation… but it may not. Have you spent much time in prayer really trying to discern what it is that God wants you to do? You know that YOU want to get married. You know that YOU want to marry this particular girl… but maybe that is not His plan? That is between you and God…none of us can tell you what is right in this situation.

But I can tell you that neither of you is wrong. It is ok for you to want to marry right now. It is ok for her to want to finish school first. That doesn’t offer a solution though, sorry.

Prayers for you and your girlfriend:gopray2:


I guess my question is, am I wrong for wanting to get married so badly that I’m willing to push for it instead of just waiting for the “right time.” is there a “right time” or is it an idea that people came up with to push off marriage until they’ve accomplished all their desires without having a family to “tie them down”… all i know is that family seems to be at the bottom of priority lists these days and there are statistics to show, and I feel like the world tells me to wait, but God wants this to be top on our priorities like all the other sacraments


To answer your question , Is there a right time? The answer would be yes. When my wife and I married we both were in agreement. We knew in our hearts that it was time. We have been married going on 13 years. With that said I would also suggest that you enjoy the courting period of your relationship; its a special time. I must say I admire your strength and determination, but temper it with more patience. You and your girl will be in my prayers praying for clarity and direction.

May the Blessed Mother pray for us all


Wow… tough situation…

One question though… do you know, without a doubt, that she WANTS to marry you? Or is there a chance that she’s delaying due to an uncertainty with the relationship?

I personally cannot see the prudence in getting her Master’s Degree if she isn’t planning on working right away… especially if she plans on staying home to homeschool children and have education loans stacked up. To me, that sounds like she’s the selfish one… wanting to get her extended education and have you pay off the loans while she stays home. What use was her first degree in nutrition if she’s not going to use it at all? I don’t understand that mentality in the least… :confused:


**Without knowing you or your girlfriend I just want to make a general statement. You are not wrong for wanting to marry now and start a family. But your girlfriend does not want the same as you. Maybe you are not with the right girl? Maybe she needs to be with someone who has the same ideas about waiting and you need to be with someone who has the same ideas about the importance of marriage/family? Again, not saying you should break up, it was just a thought about the situation in general.


To the OP.
I think its a healthy sign in a woman that she wants to be educated and has a thirst for knowlege… its true that there is great deal of life to be lived also when the kids are out of the nest.
Would you be willing to give up your education for marrying right away?
Yes 3-4 years is a while… but you know she is your lady and its been done before (maybe God is testing you like he did with eeh… ehhh… come on, help me… that Biblical person who worked for seven years and then some to have Rachel;) )

I would not want to marry a guy ever who said “whatever” to my education. Education is not only about what you will do in 20 years (which is an exaggeration already) but about developing as a person in knowlege and wisdom… I am happy I never had some family or guy tell me at twenty to forget about education… thats to me both archaic and unwise.

However… my guess would be that your gf is looking very much forward to marrying you and becoming one with you which is in all ways exiting and wonderful… but dont give her a hard time… You seem to be a man of courage… are you ready to sacrifice ? (believe me I have seen young couples where, when one showed willingness to sacrifice, suddenly the whole situation changed).

Pray… and the situation will somehow take care of it self… Thank Jesus that you have met such a wonderful lady and thank him for ALL the gifts and abilities she has as a human person.


I think she probly should finish her master’s. I had the same thing going on. And I will tell you I think that it will add some stress to your marrage if you are married during her master’s. Waiting is tough I know.


What is her master’s?

The universities around me offer 9 month to 18 month programs to master’s in what I consider “heavier” degrees, such as chem, bio, business, engineering, etc. Some degrees, such as teaching, can take as little as 2 quarters. Why will she need 3-4 years? How is she going from a nutrition degree to something else as a master’s? :confused:

Also, what do you mean by “she wants to homeschool our kids, but after that go to work” ?? After they are all grown up? If she is getting a science degree, that will be the same as starting at square one, unless she continues working/schooling during raising kids. Is she mentally preparing for only one or two kids early on, and then a return to the workforce?

Being about to graduate, dating a graduate, and having dated for that long, 3-4yrs says she has unresolved worries, IMO. Maybe she is not ready for marriage, or not sure she wants to marry you.


And I suspect it is hard for the OP to hear “whatever” to his desire for marriage and family right now. Maybe he is being impatient or maybe it is where God is calling him. We don’t know.

But I think that just as you would want a man who respected your desire for a higher education that he deserves a future spouse who regards marriage and family as highly (and as high of a priority) as he does.**


I assume you are absolutely positive she does want to marry you? I would hate to see you put this off for 4 years and then find out she still doesnt want to get married.


valid point

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