[quote="freshy, post:1, topic:254612"]
I'm looking for some advice. I am a 27 year old Catholic male. I had been dating my girlfriend for a couple years before I decided to propose recently. Before I proposed, I took a while for discernment, and I ended up not really have a clear answer. In my discernment, I decided that it just did not feel right to break up with her, so the next step I made was to propose. Maybe that was a leap of faith; it is in the past at this point. However, now I have some doubts about the marriage, and I'm wondering if I should call it off or press onward. My doubts are not founded on anything substantial. We don't have any serious problems. I know she loves me a lot, and we will be a good Catholic couple. It might be my pride getting in the way, but I have felt that many times we do not connect very well. She was raised differently and I feel as though her values are often lacking. I'm not positive that I love her enough. I know there are multiple types of love: eros (romantic), philos (friendship), and agape (unconditional). I understand that agape is a choice, and in marriage we must strive to agape each other. I was romantically attracted to her when we started dating, but while she is still pretty, that seems to have faded away. I understand the "honeymoon" phase may have passed us by since we've been dating for years, but it is just a little depressing to me that I will choose to love her rather than feel it. Or should I assume that romantic feelings will return once we are engaging in marital relations and once we become closer through philos and agape? I'm just not as excited as I'd like to be about marrying this woman, and I find myself stressed out and wondering if there is someone better for me, and someone better for her that will love her more fully. We are now planning a winter wedding. One rule of discernment is to not make a commitment if you have doubts, so I'm trying to figure out if these doubts are serious enough that I should break her heart and call off the wedding.
Thanks for any advice.
There's a lot here and I suspect it's just the tip of the iceberg for you. I was once in a similar position and ended up making the wrong decision, so I can symphathise with you.
I probably don't need to mention the seriousness of marriage, or the depth of the commitment that you're considering, but this is a lifetime thing "under God". It should not be entered into lightly and if you have doubts now, that's not a good sign.
I'd like to talk a bit about your reasoning, though. Not connecting well can be just a thing you go through, something that you have to work on, or it could be systemic. If it's just happened of late, it might be more of the former. Differences in the way you were raised is also more of something you work through... it can even make things better and more interesting if managed well. I'm from Detroit and one of two children, my wife is Australian and one of 12, so we have plenty of differences in the way we were raised... and we're managing it well on the whole (we have our moments :)). What scared me more about what you said is that you believe your fiancee is lacking in values sometimes. I don't know the full situation, but it almost indicates a hint of lack of respect for her, and if that's the case, it's not a good thing to take into a marriage.
You mentioned the forms of love, and that indicates to me that you have a handle on the love aspect of the marriage. I once heard it expressed like this: erotic love is based on what the lover gets from the loved, friendly love has a mutual aspect (both give and get) and agape is loving and expecting nothing in return. In our fleshly state, eros (or romantic love) is most natural and what many equate with being "in love". Friendly love is possible, it takes more work though. Agape is a foriegn concept to us because it is of the spirit, it is the love God has for us. To agape someone requires choice, because we need always to choose the spirit and deny the flesh. So, if you want to truly love your wife as Christ loves the church, you will need to choose to do that every day.
Last thought: if there was one question that you could ask yourself about your fiancee to see if you should marry her, I think it would be this one: does she help you get closer to God, or does she lead you away from Him?
God bless you in your decision, I will pray for you!