Dating Problem


#1

I am currently dating a non-Catholic girl. We have had our discussions, and she has showed interest in the faith. There is something about her that I cannot describe that I am attracted to. It isn’t a physical attraction, but she wants kids, and has a desire to be a better person. The real problem I think is she comes from a broken home, extremely broken. She hasn’t had a chance to live a proper life. She has made mistakes in the past, but stressed she deeply regrets those things. I am currently very strong in my faith, so I don’t have problems with pre-marrital relations, but she has no faith by which to recieve help.

The real problem is that the other night she cheated on me, but not all the way. I was very angry with the whole ordeal. I have forgiven her, and she feels terrible about the whole thing. I want to give her another chance, but I am afraid of being hurt, but suffering is good so, it would potentially be worth it if it ended up working out for us. I need a little advice, to see what people have to say about the situation.


#2

You sound pretty young. Older people feel compelled to pass on wisdom to young people. Young people generally repel wisdom.

There are a lot of girls out there. Some will make good wives and some will not. The same is true of boys. Half of the world’s population is the opposite sex. There are a lot of girls your age.
So there are lots to choose from.

In the same way everyone is different when it comes to buying a car, or shirt, or choosing a college, everyone is a bit different when it comes to how they go about finding a mate, the process of courtship. It is portrayed as fun, but it can be agony.

Some people see a shirt or car they like and buy it. Some have to try on a few and check out different stores and do a lot of research. They compare and ponder and think a lot about this one or that one. Sometimes people buy a shirt and it does not fit, or buy a car and suffer buyer’s remorse. Some cars are lemons.

Your relationship with this particular girl is not off to a good start. It sounds like from what you said that she has been sexually active. Once that part of life is turned on it can be pretty difficult to turn off the hormones. She had some incident recently that indicates she is having a problem there.

This could be a sign of things to come. She could be truly sorry for her indiscretions, and really like you, but not able to control herself with other guys.

You would probably be best off if you looked around for another girl. There are many out there and probably one that you will like a lot more will come along. Take your time about committing yourself. There is lots to do and learn about, before you become attached to a woman.

You could also pray about God leading you to the right person.


#3

Grandfather,
I appreciate your wisdom, and the fact you are sharing that wisdom with me. I will try not to repel it so much, lol, but would it be too wrong for me to take her back and see if it will work. She is honest about this stuff. If another problem were come up, then it is obvious that it won’t change and I would most certanly call it off. We are going to have a very long and serious talk in person tonight, I am not sure what will happen. I am hoping we can clear some stuff up.

One of my points is, as many times as we slip and fall, whether it is becuase we did not ask Christ to help us, or we just set our selves up. Christ not only forgives us, but he lets us come back and recieve him bodily, in the Most Holy Eucharist, body, blood, soul and divinity. If he can let us, the sinners who sin against him everyday, come back and recieve him, he is not only forgiving us, he is taking us back. So, I know this a little different senario, but would be to wrong, or dumb to give her another shot? I would greatly appreciate more wisdom from Grandfather, or anyone who has any advice.

I have prayed about, probably not enough, but I will keep trying.


#4

Oh boy- this situation is so classic! And yet, there’s still no easy answer, is there? (as much as people would like you to believe there is :wink: )

She cheated on you- the fact that she was honest about it doesn’t negate the fact that it happened (as I’m sure you can feel in your heart, anyway). I completely understand your compulsion (and willingness) to forgive her- and you really should, not only for her peace, but for your own. However, it is perhaps a good course of action to have a heart-to-heart with her- a serious one. About your intentions, your beliefs, and what you would like to see from her in the future in terms of growth and behavior. We all have certain things we stand by in a relationship- some call them “expectations”, I call them ground rules. And honestly- not cheating on you should be one of them.

And from a girl who has (as grandfather so succinctly put it) “turned on” that part of her life, and completely turned away from it as I embraced a life of Faith… it is possible, as are all things, with God. You really just have to discern whether or not she is willing to do the same for you.


#5

Of my Catholic friends who have had checkered pasts in regards to sexuality, the one thing that is true across the board is that they had to overcome those sins before meeting their future spouse. That means, the sinful activity had stopped, time had passed, they had come to allow themselves to be forgiven by God, and they had come to forgive themselves. All this before they even met the person they would marry. If someone is still working through these things (as it seems this girl is), it is virtually impossible for them to establish a solid relationship that will lead to a healthy marriage.

I have seen far too many people treat dating relationships as virtually identical to married relationships. For those “worldly” people, that means living together, sleeping together, and basically acting as husband and wife. But even for some well-intentioned devout Catholics, I’ve seen them approach a dating relationship as worthy of the same degree of forgiveness and effort as a married relationship. That simply isn’t the case. I’m not saying that this is what you are doing, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Sure, you should absolutely forgive her. And it is commendable that she was honest with you about it. But you’re not married. You have taken no vows to be with her always. If it were me, I would have a hard time imagining that such a woman could be a good mother to my children. And I would have a hard time believing that she would not do the same thing again in the future.

I wouldn’t say it is wrong to give the girl another shot. Not knowing either you or her or your histories, none of us here can answer that question. But from what you have shared, it doesn’t seem like the wisest thing to do. I speak from personal experience when I say that relationships that start off on the wrong foot tend to end just as badly (if not worse).

For me, I could not imagine having a spouse that did not share my Catholic faith. Take it from me, marriage can be hard enough without differing on so central an issue! For me, my faith shapes everything from my purpose, to the way I view morality, to the way I want to raise my children, and much, much more. If my wife and I did not have this common starting point, things would be a lot more difficult.

You say this girl is open to the faith. That’s great. But I would very much hesitate to get in a serious relationship with a woman who is not, at the very least, on her way towards becoming Catholic.

We all have sinned. We all have issues to work through (though some have more serious issues than others). But this does not in any way morally obligate you to stick it out with this girl. It seems that, if she has already “fallen” and cheated on you while you are dating, there is not yet enough distance between her and her past for her to move beyond it yet. If her checkered past is so recent that it has already reared its head, I would guess it won’t be the last time. What she needs is grace and time to separate herself from her past. And you have to admit the possibility that you might not be the man to help her on that leg of her journey.

You both are in my prayers!


#6

#7

Separate from this girl. Give her time on her own to get her life together or not with you out of the picture. You or any other male she is involved will hinder this. She may be unable to stay away from the opposite sex and remain unentangled, but that is what she needs to do, until she is spiritually healed. When the powerful emotions that always come along with romance are working it is impossible to turn off the hormones that caused the problems in the first place. You are not her savior. Jesus is.

Grandfather, as always, is spot-on.

These broken home issues need to be addressed, and unless you’re in the emotional and spiritual position to protect yourself from a highly destructive co-dependent relationship, I would step away. Those skills take years to develop, and often come very late.

As far as I understand it, if you do break up with her, you’re going to hurt her, and that’s the last thing you want to do. She may not understand any reason you give her, and she may act out on her pain. Many folks think that "because I am in pain, I am entitled to poor behavior that hurts others and/or myself. That may be her version – unknowingly – of emotional vampirism.

Don’t be blackmailed, because you are not responsible for her reaction. A good way to back out slowly is to say, “look, here are these issues that we have between us, and I’d like to bring the relationship down a notch or two.”

Your intentions may be noble but your reservations are warranted. Down the road, if she converts, that’s not a magic pill that her life will get better because she has faith. Her behavior patterns, coping skills, and defensive reactions won’t change because she’s found Faith. It’s going to be an arduous process for her, and you have to watch and support without being sucked in.

Again, if you’re in the position of strength, not just in faith or morals, but have a grounding in psychology to get her the help that she needs and keep yourself from being hurt or hurting her progress, go for it. But that’s a tall order that many people aren’t equipped to deal with.

As far as gettng her to counseling or therapy, it’s expensive and there are many avenues to try out before there’s one that works. The mental health profession (from different therapies to medications) isn’t one-size-fits-all. It takes a lot of time. And she has to be willing to do it for herself, not for you or your relationship. (You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.)

If you continue to develop this relationship where you get to the point where you consider breaking up the relationship unless she gets help, then you’re at a point of putting all the responsibility on she who already isn’t strong enough to manage her life skills, and until this time she’s been depending on you.

That’s a tall order.


#8

This is excellent advice. It would be nearly impossible for her to work through these issues when she has a boyfriend. It’s something that really needs to be worked through when one is not in a romantic relationship.

Edit: I just noticed, LHV, that your profile says you are a high school student. If that’s the case, I think grandfather’s advice is even more pertinent. Marriage is probably a ways off for either of you and any romantic entaglement will probably only complicate both your lives.

I do not think any good can come from dating in high school. Every “couple” in my high school graduating class without exception had broken up within a year after high school. Even those “super couples” that were together for years and seemed certain to get married, not one of them stayed together. The teen years are years of great tumult and transition. Throughout high school and college, you are learning so much about yourself, and exclusive dating relationships usually only hinder that process. It’s very difficult to make good decisions about a future spouse in those conditions.

I know that I wouldn’t have wanted to hear this when I was in high school, but it’s still true. :wink:


#9

I really agree with this. Romantic partners are not the most effective advice-givers. There’s too much emotion, an excess of frustration (because let’s face it, anything that effects our personal lives also effects our relationships) that hinders the positive growth she COULD be making in this time.

I understand however, if the OP does not wish to end the relationship.
“The heart has reasons that reason cannot know” -Blaise Pascal
^ that sort of issue may play into the situation^

I pray that this girl can bring herself to a good priest.


#10

What’s the old saying… wrong me once shame on you wrong me twice shame on me?

I don’t consider myself “that” old yet, I’m only 38, but I have spent a lot of time with Youth, while I was there and as an adult. I’ve also listened to a lot of people in similar situation.

I know one person in a very similar situation. While he hadn’t been that wild, she had. They were together but tried to also focus on their Faith and both turned things around. They have been together for almost 20 years now, happily married with multiple kids.

Yet I know of many more in similar situation in which it didn’t work out. She IS young enough to change, but will have to really want it. It’s also very true about what someone said, once people get use to something, especially something they really enjoy, it’s very difficult to break that.

I would probably give her another, but very cautious chance. If something happens like this again, end and don’t look back.

Joe


#11

Of course it does. That is the point. People can not think clearly when they are entangled romantically. He can’t and she can’t. It is like being drunk. Good judgment is suspended. That can be a good thing in the right circumstances. God does want us to be crazy, blindly in love, but with our spouses. We see all the time people who are supposed to be really smart do bizarre out of control things over romance and they destroy their lives. Isn’t that witness enough for us to be cautious? Yet we think we are immune from bad judgments and come up with a million reasons why everything will work out when the dizziness strikes.


#12

I get the impression from this that you took my comment as seeking to negate your point. It wasn’t. I apologize if it was seen this way.


#13

Thank you everyone. I greatly appreciate everyone giving some wisdom and advice. I know it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it is the correct information, and I intend to follow the advice and break it off. As sad as it is, what is right is much better. Once again I thank everyone for their help, this has been very good for me. I shall pray for all of you…Thanks,

Carter


#14

Good to hear you have made the decision, however difficult it may be. We’ll pray for you in our conversation with her.

One other thing to remember in the future. Do NOT fall to the assumption that she got into someone else’s pants (excuse the expression) because you wouldn’t let her in yours, and it is therefore your fault. It is NOT! You are making the right decision, and a difficult one at that, in my experience, to retain your purity. Her inability to control her urges, while understandable, is not something you are responsible for. Do not change your behavior because of the pain others cause you for the inability to control their urges.

God bless!


#15

There will be someone who God sends your way who will make you very happy. I am married to a great woman. I could have married several others I met before her. Now I know that it would have been a terrible mistake and shudder at the thought of who I might have married. Hindsight is so crystal clear. My bet is that you will have the same experience. Keep the faith, Catholic.


#16

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#17

I just read what you have posted and can understand what you are going through… Sorry for that…
But sometimes it is very very important to know about the persons past totally… I believe in that… Just imagine we will thin 1000s of times to give lift to a person… But why not in life, why you need to take a chance…
But still, you said that the other night she cheated on me… If it is forgivable and you think she won’t it again its well and good… But think twice, thrice and many times…


#18

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