I am an only child, father is a non-practicing protestant, mother died when I was young. I am currently going through RCIA at the age of 25. My initial push to go Catholic was being engaged to a girl who became Catholic, though I had been a high Anglican for some time before that and was probably going that way anyhow. Anyway, the girl I was engaged to called things off 4 months ago. Religious differences were part of this, as I was really embracing full obedience to the teachings of the Church whereas she had a much more open spirituality. I think in part this comes down to her being a naturally good person who doesn’t struggle with sin nearly as much as I do, and me being naturally quite harsh and down on myself.
Anyway, I still feel called to marriage, but am finding it increasingly difficult to find like-minded people. As a liberal Anglican as I used to be, I didn’t have too much difficulty fitting in with the beliefs of others, and when my fiancee and I met she wasn’t even Christian, so we have both been saved through that relationship, for which I am thankful. Anyway, now, as a conservative Catholic, I find that, at the age of 25, most like-minded women are already married or discerning for religious life. I feel like I’ve missed the boat.
Also, the church I attend is mostly made up of Catholics of African descent (I’m in the UK, so I’m talking recent i.e. within 50 years, African descent) who have very close extended families. It seems most of them meet their future spouses through friends of the family. As I have no family at church, and don’t share their culture, I am not sure how I’m supposed to become part of this. I have also tried getting involved in the Legion of Mary, who do a lot of good work in the parish, but I am more-or-less the only person under 40 there. Nonetheless, I like my church because of the sound Catholic teaching we receive there.
Should I give up on the idea of finding a wife? I feel like I missed my chance by not trusting and not respecting my fiancee, who really was the only woman I ever felt comfortable with. I still hope that in a few years fate may bring us back together, but I don’t see how as we are on different continents now.
I also feel called to go study for my PhD now, which will be a great opportunity to gain a skill to serve God in the world, but I know that this condemns me to 3-4 years on very little money, and lower-than-average salaries for my age-group for some time after that (in the UK at least). I would like people’s honest opinions here, especially married women, would you marry a man who wouldn’t be able to support you without you working a paid job? Would you rather marry a man who follows his dreams and his talents, or a man who is willing to sacrifice his dreams to make more money to allow you to live comfortably and have all the things that make you and your children happy?