Doubts about marriage


Hello everyone, it doesn’t feel good at all to write this all down but I would really appreciate your experience and opinions. I am engaged to a nice girl, soon getting married. I have always thought that I will be full of joy when preparing to marriage one day, but now I am rather overwhelmed by doubt and worry. Before proposal, I felt quite a strong pressure from my girlfriend to the point I was sure I would either propose or we would break up. I was ridiculously confused, even cowardly “bothering” our Lord with desperate prayers for a sign. Then, I came to conclusion that it would be idiotic to lose the relationship because of doubts and I proposed. I also wanted to gain some extra time for discernment, actually.

My fiancé is really a very kind young woman and we share values and most important opinions. She is quite reasonable, open to discussion and when I say that something bothers me, she really tries to improve. However, I am starting to be lost in worries once again as the wedding is approaching.

We have been dating for almost three years and in the last year, our relationship somewhat deteriorated, even though it got better after the proposal. I think of our marriage rather in terms of work than a place to recharge batteries, as to say. I believe we can make it, but yet I am not sure whether is it really ok to be stressed about these things before wedding. Other times, I am concerned about particular aspects of our relationship. There are some unresolved tensions, e.g. where we would like to live later in life. I am a bit scared of the negative approach my fiancé sometimes takes towards life and stuff, but I guess many women like to alleviate the pressures of the day by extensive complaining. My fiancé can get way more choleric than I ever do and that is also a bit puzzling. More importantly, her dreams seem to concentrate on a nice place to live in, a beautiful home, which is of course also important to me, but at this point of life, I am rather eager to serve God and grow in my job and I do not care so much about the surroundings of such life. To make it short, I am afraid that I will not be able to provide her with a comfort she wants and that she will not be able to provide me with a support I want.

As a convert, I am now much more ardent in my faith than my craddle-catholic fiancé. When we started to date, I was a fresh convert and she used to take me to the mass and buy me books about faith, but during the time she has been losing her interest in faith and now I am sincerely afraid that without me, she could stop practicing altogether. I hope and pray this will get better.

I am sorry for a long post! Thank you so much for your opinion! If anyone prayed, I would be most grateful.


I’d also like to add that sometimes I doubt whether I should marry in general, whether I have neccessary qualities to be a good husband, whether it is meant for me. The idea of fatherhood is exciting and scaring for me at the same time. But I guess this could be just my tendency to overthink stuff.


If you’re having serious doubts, call it off. It’s not that you aren’t marriage material–it’s that you are probably going to marry the wrong person if you marry this gal. Until you say “I will” you are free to walk away. In your place, that’s what I’d do because marriage is a life-long commitment. If you aren’t ready/don’t want to get married at this time/can’t see being married to this gal, then call if off now rather than go through an annulment later, after children may be involved. There are plenty of decent Catholic women out there. If this gal isn’t for you, then don’t marry her.


Yes, JOY is what both the bride and groom are to feel on their wedding day! (Albeit with a lot of other emotions!) It’s sounds like you’re trying to talk yourself into getting married to this girl- not a good idea!

There are many red flags here, I don’t think it would be a valid marriage because you’ve been pressured into it… not to sound mean but it sounds like you’ve done a lot of reflecting in preparation for a future annulment. Have you talked to a priest? If not, it would be wise to.

There is a healthy sense of being scared of the unknown but this situation sounds very unbalanced. You’ve spent three years getting to know her- believe what you see.

“Out relationship somewhat deteriorated”- Engagement is to be a very positive time where you’re looking forward to the future and growing together.

“I am a bit scared of the negative approach my fiancé sometimes takes towards life and stuff, but I guess many women like to alleviate the pressures of the day by extensive complaining.” Most women are NOT like this and you should not expect a relationship or a woman to be this way. It’s not healthy for either person to act or expect this. You can find a woman who is not like this.

You know what to do, as hard as it is… marriage is meant to be for life and your marriage will not only affect you but your future children, family and friends and set an example for others. A bright future is out there for you- just not with her.


Marriage already has a lot of hardships and challenges on its own. Personally I think you should call things off or at least postpone indefinitely. A red flag to me is that it sounds like you proposed to her under pressure. You really have to willfully consent to the marriage and not be under pressure for the marriage to be valid.

And while I’m not in favor of mere “feelings” over a correct conscience, and life isn’t dictated just by emotion – you speak highly of your fiancee, but there isn’t much being expressed about having any strong love for her.

I think you seriously need be honest with yourself and to discuss this with her and your priest, presumably you’ve been in discussions with him in preparing for marriage anyway.


I had two friends (men) who had similar relationships - they both regretted going through with the wedding because they felt pressured that they “had” to do it as it was the next step in the relationship and that was what everyone expected. Both are now annulled.


You are having serious doubts about marrying this girl and the right thing to do is to call off the wedding until you have resolved these issues or decide that she is not The One for you and move on. As hard as that sounds, a lifetime of misery and resentment wait both of you, if you go through with the wedding right now. Remember, marriage is for keeps and once you say “I do”, you will not be able to change your mind.


While it is normal to feel different emotions throughout the process of upcoming marriage; DOUBT should not be one of them.
I was engaged to a man I had dated for a total of 6.5 yrs. In that much time, if your eyes are open, both parties pretty much know what they are getting into. You know this too; LISTEN.
I did not know this before we got married, but later found out that his parents basically told him, “Sh×t or get off the pot”! :smiley: (pressure)
I was never in any hurry and in hindsight, it was probably because I knew we NEVER should have gotten married. I felt like my life was going to be over. I know that may sound melodramatic, but that’s the way I felt.
Our families were very different except for the fact that both of our mom’s were the only women in their families that had never been divorced.
Two weeks before we got married my mom could see I was miserable and said, “You know, you don’t have to go through with this.” ( not as a question, but as a declaration) My response, “Yeah right, the invitations have been sent. It’s too late now!” So off I went to get married two weeks later! :confused: A couple of the pictures actually show the terror in my face! :eek:
I can tell you from experience it is exhausting when both people try to mold the other into something the other will never ever become.
I cannot fully regret everything because I have my daughter. :slight_smile: It’s like a bad time travel movie where one decision that is changed changes the whole course of your life!
We remained married for 10 yrs and have an annulment. We are both remarried and there are no hard feelings. (Night and day difference entering this marriage; happy, excited, all good things!!! :))
But for you, Dear Sir, the time is NOW to decide if this really the right decision. And I think you know what needs to happen. Easy, no, but you will save yourself and your fiance a ton of misery down the road.
I will pray for you at this difficult time.
Peace and all good!


I like to just get right to it, so please don’t take it as being rude, I’m just trying to get to the thick of it… first, some questions (for you to think about) …

Would you die for her?   Do you love her that much?  There is a passage in Scripture that says :  Husbands love your wife like Christ loves the Church.    Christ died for the church (and for God His Father too!).  Meaning He did so so that she could have life-  it was done all for her sake because of real love for her and not some sort of show like he was saying " see?  I can do it.  I can get by.  Look, I'm a good and decent man! I love you this much"   That would be more of an ego or self serving based love rather than real love.   Nothing that Christ did was self serving.  No one gives up that much to be self serving.  It is actual love. 

Do you feel this woman was made for you? That God sent her to be your help-meet? That she is ‘bone of your bones and flesh of your flesh’? DOES she help you? Does she bring to you her self to uplift you, invigorate you, does “just her as she” is fill you with love for her? Do you want to be close to her, or does long vacations away from her sound like a pleasant time? Does the thought of her make you instantly happy and comfort that you seek? Does she bring you what you need to carry forth what you feel God has deemed for you to do in life (your vocation)? Does she help you on *your *vocation?

Remember vocation means Gods will for you. Marriage is a vocation. Its a calling… FROM GOD, not societal pressures, or sexual desires, or "well I’ve been with this person for X amount of years, I better do the right thing and propose because we are getting older now… ". Do you feel God within this relationship? Is it spiritual as well as physical, emotional, mental? (heart, mind, body, and soul?) When I say spiritual, I do not mean, “do you go to the same church?” I mean is this love you have for her a spiritual connection as well- is God in this love you have for her too? Yes, its true that not everyone who marries shares this belief about it. Some marry for all sorts of reasons and sure some of those marriages work out ok enough. But this is your marriage and your faith… Is just ‘ok’ ok with you- IF its just ‘ok’ in your estimation? Is it ok with God? Be honest to yourself in answering these questions. Whether you agree with me or not, that’s fine too,… these are just questions for you.

I find that if God is silent in helping when asked, it means you need to search a bit more, that there is some learning to be had in that search. Read Scripture, search the Scriptures- especially about marriage. Have you done this? It is most helpful.

The notions you shared here about your engagement and your girlfriend do not seem unusual or awful by any means (which I can see here is why its so troubling considering you are also having doubts).  I think its quite common... right down to your concerns.  Its all good that you are thinking on this, so do not be afraid or ashamed to take time to explore this on your own.**  Its necessary.  ** None of what you said here seems like any reason to break an engagement and end a relationship over.   But if you are having strong doubts, I would assume that you need time to explore the reasons why.    Try and hone in and pinpoint what the actual fears are and move from there.   What exactly are these doubts about?    Examples:   Finding something better later?   Disappointing God?   Running into future trouble?   Life of misery with someone that was 'wrong' for you and you miscalculated the real character of this person?  (these are just a few)      Once you find out exactly what is troubling you, then ask questions from there to see if the doubts are legit (and then work on finding solutions)  or just worries.   I'd say some of what you expressed here do seem more like worries-  Keep in mind, no one goes into something new without the worries of being prepared to handle it.  Annoying as they are, they almost fuel our going forth.  

You said it would be idiotic to loose a relationship because of doubts, however… Some doubts, yes, are just gnats- bothering you: just worries. Some doubts though are actual things you should take notice of, alarming you that something needs your attention. Don’t brush them off either way. Take a deep look. After you did the work and explored and looked into these doubts, when you know its just ‘gnats’- then you can brush it off and carry on with confidence. And don’t go down that isle without that confidence… it is a VOW to God… (putting hand to plow Luke 9:62) and that is serious. The faith is often compared to marriage and love relationships (song of songs, revelations, etc)… in that when God comes He comes to take His bride- He does it with confidence because not only has He loved her with an everlasting love, but she has proven herself and her love to Him. There is a strength and a confidence in that vow, in that consummation. … a passion with sensibility… not just sensibility… not just passion… but both, together. It should glorify God. (And I don’t mean that in a grandiose way- glorifying God can be in small every day things, done for God, in that His goodness is apparent in it.)


continuation from my last post…

Interjection here: I also warn those who have had pre-marital sex that this messes up things considerably when making a choice for a spouse. You won’t see clearly on the matter if you are having sexual relations- actual intercourse- outside of marriage. I know people snivel at this notion and at me when I say it, but I say it anyway because I know this is very true-* no matter how much a couple loves each other*. It is why God is very adamant about it in Scripture. Just saying, just in case… not prying and not asking as its not any of my business to know. But if this is the case, please consult with a trusted priest or religious to guide you.

Anyway, to finish up… It would be extremely concerning to me if my fiance didn’t really have fervent considerations of the faith when we are just about to tie the knot. Her becoming less fervent might signal that she is downplaying the faith for some reason perhaps concerning the marriage- maybe she is having serious doubts and is not voicing them. Do you understand what I’m trying to say? People who lessen their faith often do so because they can’t reconcile what they are doing - anything in life that they are doing at that time- with their faith, so they lessen it, to lessen the pang of guilt. Women by nature often let the man lead… perhaps she is just letting you ‘make the call for her’ …which is not sensible or responsible if she is. You’ll have to forgive some of us ladies, especially when we are young, we are sometimes more concerned with the notion of getting married than the men themselves. (Not saying your fiance is like that, but that some young ladies foolishly do this.) So it could be if her lessening of faith corresponds with the engagement… or not. Just a consideration if you noticed the two events coincided. You two should be having serious talks on the matter, I hope. Have you brought your concerns up with her? I hope you have.

Yes, prayers for the both of you. I see marriage as a wonderful blessing from God. I do hope things turn out well for you and that God will bless you with the clarity and insight you need. May God bless you and keep you.


Just wanted to say also I apologize for being long winded… I just wanted to be thorough as possible.


Remember there are no perfect women out there. I married the last one! And tomorrow will be 42 years!


Great to hear that!


If you’re Heart’s not in it… don’t do it.


Well, Happy Anniversary! My beautiful parents were married for 62 years! : )

Our Lord’s richest blessings to you and Mrs Polycarp1!!!


Thank you very much. We celebrated by going to Mass, Stations of the Cross and received a special anniversary blessing from our priest. ( We’re going out for supper this weekend.)


It’s hard to say what God may be calling you to- married life or another vocation. In a way, God may have already given you a ‘sign’ or a glimpse of what your fiancé is really like, what she values, what you value, and whether or not you can live with some things. Have you considered talking to a priest about this privately??- emailing a priest to schedule a meeting, telling him what’s going on & what’s stirring within you- that seems to bother you, and see what he has to say. Getting a viewpoint outside the family can help put things into perspective better, to determine where to go from there. Hope that helps a bit. I’ll be praying for you and your fiancé.


Don’t marry her if you have serious concerns of this nature. You’ll be doing both of yourselves a disservice. Generally there is a bit of nervousness coming up to a wedding but there shouldn’t be anything like what you’re describing. You should, beneath it all, feel calm and reasonably confident that you are marrying the right person. What you are having is serious doubts about this relationship. I would dare to say you shouldn’t get married to this person if this kind of thing is bothering you.

As one poster said, you are entirely free to walk away until you say the vows.

After that, you’re stuck with each other for life, so to speak.

The only thing that bothers me is that you mention asking God for a sign. There’s no point in doing this or in actually hoping that God will send a magical ray of light to shine on the woman you’re supposed to marry. The sign is to be at peace and happy with your decision to propose to this person and ultimately marry her.



From a vocational standpoint, though, this is exactly why one should be concerned about in marriage. The vocation of marriage involves the begetting of children, raising them in the faith - yes - but it also, and more importantly for the two people who vow themselves to the other before God, involves each spouse striving to help the other towards salvation; in effect, ensuring the other is keeping their eyes (and the eyes of their children) on their shared goal - union with God in heaven.

I can’t comment on the relationship between you and her, but as far as the question of yourself being married or possessing the necessary qualities, I don’t think you have to worry.:thumbsup:


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