Engagement- Questions to ask/advice before engaged?

My boyfriend and I are discerning marriage. Any advice is greatly welcomed!

We are practicing Catholics, been dating almost 2.5 years, and care for each other very much.

Is there anything you wish you knew before you got engaged/married? Any questions in particular I should ask myself? Any books you recommend?


Are you both practicing Catholics who believe in the Church and all Her doctrine? Are you ready for children? Having a common, internalized faith and values (the understanding that you will answer for this life in the next) is about the best formula you can get. Faith should preside over all your lives, and not just have “a place” in them. After that, marriage is about your vocation. If you understand it is your vocation and you have an obligation to fulfill it and you believe that person will help you to Heaven then there is no check list. Heck, there’s no check list for whether you should marry someone anyway, other than a common faith in both of you who have it internalized and let it reign over all your lives. Hope this helps. The culture will tell you there is a physical formula for marriage with worldly, un-Catholic ideas (don’t get married until you’re 30, pick someone who you find extremely attractive, have your own separate friends, make such and such amount of money) but the simple truth is there’s no physical formula! I can’t stress enough that books won’t teach you everything you need to know. Get in touch with your intuition and talk to our Lord. Marriage is a vocation. If you want to fulfill your vocation and you both desire our Lord more than each other and accept the Church and Her doctrine then perhaps talk to a priest or pray if you’re not ready yet. Hope this helps! God Bless in your journey!

I’m not engaged yet, but my gf and I plan on it in the next few months, so I’ve gotten my fair share of advice on the subject.

My advice is to pray and make sure that both of you are on the same page in every way about finances, children, NFP, where you want to live, etc. If you’ve been dating that long, I’m sure you’ve already exhausted these issues, but it doesn’t hurt to rehash them before tying the knot.

Once you both believe that you are being called to marry each other and you have a good outline for how you see your lives together going, I say get a ring. Unless you have financial or scholastic commitments holding you down.

God bless the two of you!

First, congratulations.

Before you make any plans for the wedding date, reception venue, or anything else, contact the the pastor of the parish in which you want to get married. Many couples overlook this and it can get very frustrating.

Good luck!

If you choose to marry, I wish you the best. However, what you both need to know is that if one or the other of you ever decide you want out, do not be surprised if the Church offers no support to the one who wishes to uphold the marriage. The spouse that wishes to abandon his/her vows will very likely just be told that they need to have a civil divorce first, before they can petition for an annulment. Do not expect a great deal of support for reconciliation. And, in the U.S., it is very likely that the petition for nullity will result in a declaration of nullity. What one can expect, especially for the one who wishes to save the marriage, is that you will not receive one finger lifted in support of your marriage, but you will see many in the Church who will bend over backward to help those in second marriages “regularize their irregular situations.”

Hi Besos9,

Congratulations on your discernment to get engaged/married. Very exciting times I’m sure. My fiancé and I read and opening discussed questions from a book called, “101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged” by H. Norman Wright. It is Christian based, meaning there are questions about your spirituality, faith, family, how you were raised, etc. and it’s very easy to follow and very practical. What I did notice was that some of the questions seemed to repeat themselves a bit, but it was refreshing to know the answers still remained the same.

A few years ago I also read a book called, “The Exclamation: The Wise Choice of a Spouse for Catholic Marriage,” by Patrician Wrona. I gave the book to a friend few years back, but what I remember from that book was that it helped me discern my relationship with an ex and how wrong we were for each other. It also helped give me clarity as to what I was really looking for in a husband.

Hope that helps.


Educate yourselves on the Sacrament of Martimony and what the Church truly teaches about marriage. Do not rely solely on what society thinks marriage should be. Discuss ALL the hot topic issues: birth control/family planning, euthanasia, stay at home or working mom, disciplining children, handling holidays with both sets of parents/families, where you see yourself 5/10/20 years from now, spending time as a couple vs. seeing friends…leave no topic unturned or discussed. Don’t let anyone, family or friends, divide you as a couple and undermine your marriage. Always have each other’s backs and best interests in mind in any decision you make as a couple and individually. Marriage is a lot of self sacrificing, putting your interests behind your spouse’s, everything society will tell you is upside down and backwards. If possible, seek out an older married couple perhaps in your parish that can be mentors and surround yourself with other young married Catholic couples that also are well knowledgeable about the Catholic faith and are trying to live out that faith and their marriage vows to the best of their abilities.

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