Boyfriend might want to re-enter seminary

Hello Catholic forum,

I just joined, mainly with the intention of creating this particular thread. I hope that is not a problem, but you might see me around more often in the future, who knows! As you can read in the topic of the thread… my boyfriend might want to re-enter seminary. Perhaps I am selfish, but it upsets me so deeply. I have a fair idea of what you are thinking, yes, “God has a plan”, and “If it is meant to be, it will work out”, but I can find no comfort in this.

I cry a lot about it, I feel very mad and confused. Not at him, but at myself, because I don’t know what to do. What on earth am I supposed to do? We spoke about it, and he says we have enough time, that he wants me to be part of this decision. I feel so lost and confused. Part of me wants to stay by his side and support him regardless of what his choice will be, but I also feel stupid and unhappy in doing this, which I do believe is the right thing to do? Is it not? I don’t know. He won’t let me go, yet something inside me tells me I should let him go, so he can he figure out what his calling is. What do you guys think?

Please share your opinion, I am so lost about what to do.

With love,

First, I am sorry you are so very upset. Such things are so heartbreaking.

One thing that came to mind is Mother Delores Hart. Mother Delores was a Hollywood movie star who had just begun to become very famous when she decided to become a nun. Becoming a nun is actually not the part that reminded me of your situation, but what does is that Delores Hart was engaged to be married to a man who loved her deeply. He loved her so much he remained a close friend to Sister Delores after she entered her religious order. And in fact he loved her so deeply, he never married but simply remained devoted to Mother Delores. He visited her regularly and they remained in contact until he died. The fact that he was a fairly committed Catholic may have helped him deal with the situation. But in any event, he found a way to respect Delores Hart’s calling and to love her in such a profound way he remained committed to her alone for the rest of his life.

Im not sure that story helps in any real manner but when I compare that with people who have lost a loved one to death or lose a spouse to divorce, I find this man’s love inspiring and consoling when comparing it to the other examples of complete loss-death and divorce He was able to at least maintain a deep friendship with someone who he could love for the rest of his life. They were never able to have a married life with physical intimacy, but at least she was alive and was able to return his love nonetheless.

Sometimes we just have to learn to love in the way that is most giving and sacrificial to the person we love. That is true love. In my case , the most loving thing I ever did to for someone I loved with all my heart was to let them go in peace, not in death, but giving them my peaceful absence.

God bless you in your struggle and you boyfriends discernment. While I would suggest you do not try to dissuade his religious vocation, I would encourage you to remain friends and remember that at least you still have a friend.

I think you should go with your gut instinct and let him go to make up his own mind about this. You deserve a boyfriend who knows what he wants and can focus on you.

He wants you to be part of the decision? That sounds unfair to you. He should be looking to God for guidance, not you. I think that it might be a very good idea to take a 3 or 6 month break with no contact at all to allow him to make a decision.

IMHO this is excellent advice.


:thumbsup:He needs time out to discover what the Lord wants, if he married you and he had a hankering for the priesthood he would make a bad husband as he would feel you had denied him this calling- a 6 month break would be great, I know hard for you, but in the end it might just be the best thing for him to make his mind up, and after six months you will feel less vulnerable to him, in the meantime look around for another man and see where it leaves you, the Lord has something he wants you to do with your Life also. Pray to the Lord what HE wants of you and your boyfriend.

Guidance from God takes many forms! the best thing the OP can do is be supportive - regardless of the decision, and especially if he does decide to re-enter the seminary. Granted, that’s a tough sell but nonetheless it is what’s best for both of them. If he does decide to re-enter the seminary, life is going to be a whole lot easier if you’re parting is amicable and he knows that you’re there to support him. Alternatively, if he decides the seminary is for him, then you’ll (hopefully) be able to continue as before.

Thank you for all the sweet reactions so far. I still feel very much at loss as regards to what to do. I am going to have to wait till Tuesday when he is back from a retreat in a seminary. I feel so sad, there has not been a day this weekend tears have not flooded, but I guess the only thing I can do is wait. I think, when he returns, I should ask him or tell him I think it would be better if he discerned without being in a relationship. I wonder how he will feels when he comes back, I miss him so much.

I agree with your advice, but I just want to amend this bolded part. I would never recommend anybody to look for a partner while they are already in a relationship, regardless of how rocky it may seem. Searching for another partner while you are already attached will only complicate matters when the six months are over and she realises that she has developed a closeness to this other man. What will happen if her boyfriend has decided to choose her over the seminary, but now she is the one who has to choose between her boyfriend and this other man? I don’t mean to be harsh - and I’m sure you mean well - but I just fear that it may create trouble for her and her boyfriend, and is an unnecessary threat to their already-challenged relationship. :slight_smile:

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