Discernment after engagement?


#1

When you get engaged you are actively moving toward the goal of getting married, but I believe you still need to be open to any new red flags that may arise or new direction God may call you too. However, to accept a proposal is to make a commitment to that person, intending to become husband and wife...
And so, what does the life of discernment look like in a courtship? Should there be a concrete finish point to discernment before the "I dos"? And if a level of discernment continues after engagement, how would you characterize the appropriate level of commitment at that point?:shrug:

Thanks!


#2

You have to be free to back out until the day you say "I do", and this is as true of ordination as it is of marriage. There must be a free commitment, made without reservation. That does not mean without doubt, but rather that you have decided you will be faithful in spite of what the "or worse" part might bring.

My fiance got a girlfriend after we were engaged. I characterized that as being below the level of commitment necessary during engagement, but maybe that is just me. :rolleyes:
(We didn't marry.)

The level of commitment needs to be in terms of exclusivity. You can still be deciding "am I really going to go through with this?" You ought to ask yourself that and you might easily find yourself doing that as the finality of "being engaged" hits you. If your resolve doesn't solidfy, you have to ask for an extension on discernment or else call it off.

You ought not go off as a seminarian or a fiance and have a few more dates with some likely alternatives, just to be sure. If you want to do that, break off the engagement and try a period of engagement again later, if the other party still has an interest.


#3

[quote="cheryl10, post:1, topic:219372"]
When you get engaged you are actively moving toward the goal of getting married, but I believe you still need to be open to any new red flags that may arise or new direction God may call you too. However, to accept a proposal is to make a commitment to that person, intending to become husband and wife...
And so, what does the life of discernment look like in a courtship? Should there be a concrete finish point to discernment before the "I dos"? And if a level of discernment continues after engagement, how would you characterize the appropriate level of commitment at that point?:shrug:

Thanks!

[/quote]

I think I'm a little confused about the part where you say open to a new direction God may call you too. That sounds a little like one didn't discern enough that marriage is the vocation God is calling one to. I think one should be fairly certain that they are being called to marriage, before the engagement, before even thinking about being serious with someone. I think I would be concerned if the other person in the relationship is saying, yep let's get married barring something doesn't come up in the meantime.

There are relationships or people that don't reveal a flaw in their character until after the engagement or even up til the time of the ceremony, but that's worse case scenerio. If one is having doubts that the person isn't ready to get married or might change their mind during the engagement, I don't like I'd accept the proposal. One can certainly call of the engagment at any time, but I wouldn't want to be in any kind of relationship where I thought the other person might have doubts about marrying me or back out before the ceremony. To me, getting engaged means you're getting married, unless something very, very serious that you can't foresee takes place before the ceremony.


#4

Here are some red flags:

  1. After engagement your partner's behavior changes in various ways which seem out of character, but reversions back to previous behavior does not occur.
  2. Your partner begins to express views which are contrary to what you had both agreed to. For instance, if before you had agreed on children and then after engagement that has changed.
  3. If you notice your partner's behavior has changed negatively toward your family.
  4. Your partner expresses refusal or extreme resistance to premarital preparation activities, such as the premarriage preparation required by the Church.
  5. Your partner tries to pressure you into activities or views which you have expressed were inappropriate or immoral before engagement.

#5

[quote="spunjalebi, post:4, topic:219372"]
Here are some red flags:

  1. After engagement your partner's behavior changes in various ways which seem out of character, but reversions back to previous behavior does not occur.
  2. Your partner begins to express views which are contrary to what you had both agreed to. For instance, if before you had agreed on children and then after engagement that has changed.
  3. If you notice your partner's behavior has changed negatively toward your family.
  4. Your partner expresses refusal or extreme resistance to premarital preparation activities, such as the premarriage preparation required by the Church.
  5. Your partner tries to pressure you into activities or views which you have expressed were inappropriate or immoral before engagement.

[/quote]

Well said!


#6

I can only speak in our case. We are sure that we want to be married, for us further discernment is in terms of preparation, spiritually and mentally for our marriage and for us to deal with any outstanding past issues that may hamper the growth of our future marriage. (As much as possible)


#7

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