Help for Catholic Engaged Couple


#1

Friends,

I need some advice! I am engaged to a wonderful woman, who I love dearly, but need some obvjective Catholic perspective. We are both Catholics, trying to be good Catholics and want to grow in holiness, we met each other 3 years ago, while I was at a Monastery discerning priesthood, we kept in touch and both felt a draw to the other, however at the beginning of 2009 we started to talk daily and helped each other through some difficult situations and became best friends. It wasn't until last August of 09 that we felt called to discern a romantic relationship, this started when we started to pray the rosary together on the phone as I was working abroad. I remember the feelings I experienced during that rosary and it was definately a turning point in my heart.

In the end of October, after all our talking and sharing about our ideas for life and realizing our complimentarity and compatability, I felt that this woman was the one for me and she came to where I was working for a visit. During her trip, we had a beautiful private Mass upon her arrival and we had a wonderful time, even though we went a little too far with kissing, etc we refrained from sex and realized we had a great chemistry and she recounted how our first kiss was wow! We wanted to wait until May 31, 2010 before we became exculsive as she was taking a year off without relationship.

After she left our visit, she travelled elsewhere and met a guy that she was quite attracted to in a physical sense. She also felt a feeling with this guy that she had forgotten possible. However he wasn't practising Catholic and it was totally based on a physical attraction, not any substance of relationship. She booked a trip to go visit him, using her limited financial resources and was up front with me and honest, about the whole situation, and I was devastated. While we weren't in an exclusive relationship, I made it clear that her going on that trip would end any potential for us. I also was quite vocal that it wouldn't be good for her spiritually she decided not to go, and cancelled the trip. Later she would say that she chose me. Upon my return, we began travelling the 3 hour journey on weekends and any other time we had and shortly after my return we started having sex. We both wanted to remain pure and tried many times to restart and eventually she started to resent me for convincing her not to go on the trip, yet offering exactly what the world is offering, while promising more. I apologized and we restated our committment for chastity. While we both know we have all the necessary traits and complimentarity to make a marriage work, not to mention our ability to work through problems and love each other during failures, which I fear I'll never replace if we break up --- she is very physically beautiful, and well quite frankly I am not. She was very specific in a list of 60 attributes she desired in a spouse, I met 55 of those except the 5 physical desires, which go so far as to pick eye color of blue or green. I am not taller than her, we are the same height and she doesn't like to wear her beloved heels anymore. I have perfectly straight white teeth with a slight gap between my two front teeth, I am not athletic, or muscular although I have been working out for a year and dramatically different than before. I know she loves me, but also that she feels we are lacking part of the physical and it's obvious as much as we enjoy each others time, she is not proud to walk down the street with me or introduce me to her friends.

We have both tried to make this work and our spiritual guides have encouraged us to move forward, and some where along the way we got each got excited and I proposed in the Chapel we met, she cried and said yes. The pictures of the day of our engagement everyone comments on how happy she was etc. Since then, all the physical issues have come up again and she has expressed her feelings that I have rushed her. We have cancelled our wedding date, to slow down and work through her issues, are working on chastity -- committed to stay in the state of grace and enter in to marriage properly,and want to spend more time together. We are both working on our prayer life and making sure we are putting God first. Every couple of weeks we experience her total coldness to me, she cuts off all signs of affection, becomes very distanced and expresses her doubt that we will work out. Then after a day, we talk and she warms up and gets excited again. and around and around we go.

Most recently, we are both under great stress at work and not getting proper sleep, she stated her need for space and we cancelled our Easter plans, even though she knows that Easter is my favorite time of the year and was looking forward to spending the Triduum with her. I'm starting to feel resentment and wondering if I'm crazy for putting up with this, but I really do love her and attempt to the best of my ability to offer it up as a sacrifice. I'm also wondering if it's supposed to be work, I don't want to force anything and want our love to be freely given. any advice and especially your prayers are appreciated, please pray for the intercession of St. Joseph, for me to become a good husband, St. Lucy, for her to see me and us and feel peace and joy and Pope John Paul for the grace to follow and accept God's will.


#2

I have been happily married for 20 years, and here is my advice.

You are right not to marry at this time. It sounds like you're working very hard to make the relationship work.

But here's the point: you shouldn't have to work at it like that. The fact that you are indicates there are serious problems. These problems will only deepen when you make the relationship permanent and when you bring children into it.

You have asked for prayer, which is the right thing to do. I suggest, however, that you go beyond that by both of you placing the relationship in God's very capable hands. If marriage is what is best for both of you, God will see to it that your problems are resolved. (Note that I said God will see your problems are resolved, not you!) If this marriage is not meant to be, then your problems will not be resolved and may in fact worsen.

I dated a lot of men before I met my husband, and I always tried so hard to make the relationships work, but they never did. My husband and I, however, placed everything in God's hands. After 20 years of marital bliss, I can tell you that I do not work at my marriage at all. It just seems to work by itself (actually it's God doing the work).

I suggest you let go and let God.

You say you love this woman. If you do, you want her to find happiness, even if it isn't with you.


#3

My thoughts are definitely with you.

Any time I hear of someone making a list of expectations for future spouses I get concerned because instead of loving someone for who they are INCLUDING their differences or what others may perceive as negaties these people ‘love’ someone despite their lacking items. That just starts the relationship off on the wrong foot. She shouldn’t be comparing you to a list and then deciding whether you’re worthy of her affections or not.

Frankly, the trip that she planned to see some other guy while dating you sends up red flags. To me that says that she either wasn’t 100% invested in your relationship together or she was looking to date you until something better (in her mind!) came along. Again, not a good start to a relationship.

It sounds like things go okay for a while and then the relationship sours before becoming better again. You need to honestly ask yourself “are you willing to live the rest of your life this way?”. If she’s not 100% committed to the relationship, can’t find joy in your engagement together, expresses resentment for a trip not taken with some other man while dating you, and overall doesn’t give you the love and fulfillment that you DESERVE…perhaps you should rethink your relationship with her.

As for putting down your looks, STOP THAT! Confidence in yourself is what makes you attractive, not someone else’s tainted opinion of a gap in your teeth. I have a friend who is very happily married to the love of her life. He’s two inches shorter than she is, 50 pounds over weight, was starting to bald when they met, and snores to high heaven every night. She loves him more today than she did when they first started dating. Her love isn’t dimished because of his physical attributes.

I hope you pray and think really hard about this relationship because from what you posted it sounds like you could do a lot better. If sticking with this girl and this relationship is what you ultimately choose, then my prayers go out to you for a very happy marriage. Just make sure this is what you want and not what you’re settling for.

Blessings.


#4

A list of 60 things, okey dokey, sounds very immature and superficial.

Go to Confession, stay pure and find a lady who has grown up.


#5

While I do know that I unlike Kage have had to work at my marriage at times it was only at those times when one or both of us was not letting God sit in the driver’s seat. I think it is good that you are not rushing in to something that you aren’t sure of. Also, when you really like spending time with someone and have no phyiscal attraction to someone the defiinition of that is FRIENDSHIP. While it is an important aspect of a marriage it will not make a marriage. Love will. She may not be in love with you and there may be that someone special out there for you both. Or you may need some time apart to realize that you are that someone special.


#6

It really sounds like you should have let the stud take her off of your hands. I agree with kage, runaway as fast as you can.


#7

She sounds shallow, flighty, and immature. You sound insecure and desperate to hang on to her. Bad combination.

You mentioned the compatibility, abiltity to talk, etc, that you “fear I’ll never replace if we break up”. My advice: there are a million fish in the sea, and while it may *feel *like you’ll never find anyone else you “click” with, it isn’t *actually *like that. You will.

It doesn’t sound to me like this is the right girl for you.


#8

I second this! Really, a list?? Who does that?? If she was sincerely , sincerely in this relationship for the right reasons, she would have torn that list up and burned it when you came along!! When I was a teenager I had an idea in my head of my ideal guy, but guess what? When I met my beloved hubby (he didnt “fit” any of my criteria!!!:eek:) it just clicked and we have been madly in love ever since. When I laid my eyes on him, all my requirements for the “ideal” guy went out the window!!! Please reconsider dating her~take time off from the relationship because it doesnt really really sound like she may be the one. Possible also that she is more attracted to the “idea” of getting married (ie: getting attention, having bridal showers, finding a dress…ect) and not in this relationship for the right reasons. Please go about this prayerfully! It may hurt to have to call off the relationship, but it would be worth it to wait for the one who will love you and be attracted to you all the time ~someone without a “list”…God Bless


#9

…I second this also!;)…Yall are taking the words right outa my mouth! Awesome advice!!!:thumbsup:


#10

[quote="joandarc2008, post:5, topic:192882"]
While I do know that I unlike Kage have had to work at my marriage at times it was only at those times when one or both of us was not letting God sit in the driver's seat.

[/quote]

This is a both untrue (where did I state that I or anyone did not have to work at marriage) and an insult.

A retraction and an apology is in order.


#11

[quote="kage_ar, post:4, topic:192882"]
A list of 60 things, okey dokey, sounds very immature and superficial.

Go to Confession, stay pure and find a lady who has grown up.

[/quote]

I have to agree with Kag_ar. From what you said she is not the woman for you at this time in your life.


#12

[quote="kage_ar, post:10, topic:192882"]
This is a both untrue (where did I state that I or anyone did not have to work at marriage) and an insult.

A retraction and an apology is in order.

[/quote]

Kage I apologize it was the poster above you - Kay_cee whose trim is just like yours as well. My most humble apologies.


#13

Spend 40 days praying through this consecration together with her: familyland.be/family_consecration/introduction-to-consecration-to-the-holy-family.html

After that 40 days, you will each have a better understanding of what we are called to in a blessed and holy Catholic marriage, and a better understanding of each others commitment to live this. If nothing else, you will have at least had a way to ‘change up’ your prayer time.
At best, you will experience how God can easily help us overcome our INDIVIDUAL faults and shortcomings and thus form a rock-solid blessed and strengthened marriage.

Remember, this is to be prayed/read together; and as such will help to develop your family Prayer life together - because without family prayer, there can be no family life.

P.S., you will gain plenty of upper-body muscles and strength when you are carrying your toddlers 2 and 3 at a time . . . .:wink: , so you can strike that off you’re list of 5 that don’t match . . .

:thumbsup:


#14

Thank you.


#15

Me and my girlfriends had lists for the right guy, some a mile long. It wasn’t until I gave up that darn list and just turned it all over to God that I finally met my husband. God gave me so much more than I ever thought I wanted. He is my best friend. Looks were an after thought and the time before you get married, no it shouldn’t be that much hard work. Not saying marriage isn’t work sometimes, but if you’re struggling that much to make the relationship work before you get married, it only increases ten fold after the vows.

I say get some space from this girl, she is manipulating you.


#16

I don’t think you should marry a woman who is not sure she is physically attracted to you. Give it time and see what happens. If you’re overweight/out of shape, then that is one obvious thing you can change about yourself to become attractive, and you can’t really fault a woman for not being attracted to you if you’re not taking care of yourself.

However, things like height and eye color are outside of your control. I don’t think you want to be married to a woman who later decides she isn’t interested in you because of these things. There are women who are attracted to shorter men, there are also short women who would consider you tall.

You were discerning a religious vocation prior to meeting this girl? How many relationships have you had before that? Maybe you need to meet more women and you won’t feel like this girl is so wonderful.


#17

I agree with what most of the other posters have said. Serious red flags here! She had a list of 60 things she wanted in a man? She’s not attracted to you? Her feelings toward you vacillate between warm and cold? And she is ashamed to be seen with you or to introduce you to her friends???

Please, please do some serious praying about this and be ready to do whatever you believe God is calling you to do, even if that is to end this relationship. Get some spiritual direction, and honestly tell everything you have told us here. God would not want you to get married because of the fear that you won’t find anyone else. If He is calling you to marriage, He will lead you to the right woman who will love you for YOU. God bless.


#18

(to hear you have been made to feel you have to live up to some list of 60 fantasy attributes)

Praying for you,

  • curl

#19

I am not trying to sound disrespectful - just going off my own sordid experience before conversion - how many frogs did this princess have to kiss to come up with 60 attributes?


#20

This woman sounds very superficial to me, and I am surprised you put up with all that you did.

Unless you want to spend your married life on an unhappy roller coaster, break up with her now.

You have had plenty of warning signs to show that this will not work!


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