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.