How do you know if you are not supposed to be married?


#1

What are some big signs that you might see or come to realize that may make you realize you are not supposed to get married?


#2

A calling of God, discernment of the Holy Spirit, vocation to Religious life or to Holy Orders, an unwillingness (or inability, possibly, although this doesn’t disqualify one from the vocation to marriage) to have children (for reasons other than selfishness, although this goes against Catholic doctrine, I don’t think it’s heresy, as long as one doesn’t get married and act deceptively, but I’m not entirely sure), a distaste for sexual activity, so on, at least in my personal case, those are the reasons I would list for “signs” that marriage was not my vocation.

As far as “pillar of fire” types of signs, those aren’t going to happen any time soon. “Signs” are a lot less obvious and require much more discernment than is common to believe, or is commonly portrayed.


#3

i have also thought about this too. i am single right now and i feel thaft i am called to the vocation of marriage. i was wondering if there are indeed factors that could be considerred if one is to be married or not.


#4

Big signs? there really aren’t any. But when everytime you see a woman you want to go out with or are attracted to either isn’t interested in you or they are already involved or the date goes haywire. Other inward signs would be the thoughts of marriage doesn’t move you or excite you.
If you are leaning towards the religious or preisthood if that makes you heart skip a beat or really excites you. Or if single cellibate life excites you than it may be your calling. What kind of life keeps popping up in your mind is it like a submarine keeps surfacing. No matter what you try to do does one vocation keeps resurfacing? No matter how hard you try to squelch it. That is most likely your call. What keeps resurfacing? Married life single life religious life ? priesthood? If one certain thing keeps coming up it is most likely your vocation. That is what happened to me. Go for it what ever “it” is. Scoob.


#5

The Sacraments of Vocation are “Vocations of Service”. If you wish to serve one woman to the exclusion of all other persons, Marriage is a good bet. If you wish to primarily serve the Church to the exclusion of all other persons, the Priesthood is your best bet.

I like equating this with a “priorities list”.

MARRIAGE:

  1. God.
  2. Spouse.
  3. Kids.
  4. Ministries you may be involved with.

PRIESTHOOD:

  1. God.
  2. The Church.
  3. The Flock (who are like children.

SINGLE LIFE:

  1. God.
  2. The Church Community/Fellowship.

#6

You just know.

It is different for every person.

If you are questioning this then you need to get a spiritual director to help you work through it.


#7

[quote="fish90, post:1, topic:249768"]
What are some big signs that you might see or come to realize that may make you realize you are not supposed to get married?

[/quote]

for a priest I suspect you won't know this till you get ordained, there will always be a desire for marriage, I suspect.


#8

I agree with your post for the most part. BUT, the part about someone you are attracted to either isn’t interested in you or they are already involved or the date goes haywire… that part I have problem with. If people based their calling to a particular vocation based on those kind of experiences, then people are deciding on vocations based on some very information. Who hasn’t had the bad date, or has had a crush on someone that didn’t reciprocate the attraction in their life? I mean I had some pretty bad dates and one or two bad relationships, and if I had based my calling to marriage on those experiences, then I never would have been ready to meet my husband. I would have been closed off and possibly pursuing a vocation I wasn’t truly called to.


#9

I feel torn as well. I want to have children of my own someday but absolutely love the idea of being a Priest and living for others sake. And I feel “torn” to the Priesthood at the moment more than anything else. At first I thought maybe it’s just pride in wanting to serve others for my own benefit or something like that, but nothing is shaking the inner desire I have for being a Priest. The only thing that makes me question it is wanting to have children of my own. To be able to father them and raise them on a personal level. I’ve often thought of working at a Catholic orphanage as a Priest (if it were to work out in my favor that way anyways) but I don’t know. There’s just too much uncertainty clouding my judgement and so far my prayers are yet to be answered (I have full faith and confidence that they will be and understand that God knows I am not ready yet), I just feel restless not knowing where God wants me in this life. I wish only to serve him and to do what I can to save other sinners like myself who wander this earth not knowing that they are NOT beyond hope and still have a chance at life with the Father


#10

[quote="catholictiger, post:7, topic:249768"]
for a priest I suspect you won't know this till you get ordained, there will always be a desire for marriage, I suspect.

[/quote]

I don't believe that's true. For those who are called to the vocation of marriage but have not yet married, I imagine the desire for marriage would always exist, but, personally, I have no desire for marriage. It is, as I see it, an impediment to learning, or "growing in grace and in knowledge", service to the wider community/Church/Body of Christ, and freedom in the Lord; by this, "freedom", I mean:

As St Paul said, "He who is unmarried, will think of how best to serve and please the Lord; he who is married, will think of how best to please his wife".

Or, that marriage is, in a sense, the quintessence of worldliness, and, as it pertains to the partners in the marriage and the instincts that are thus aroused, but that it remains necessary for perpetuating the human race until the end-times, as God has made it clear, contrary to human logic and intuition, that children should be born.

Or, in a sense, to be a good husband, or to please the spouse, one must lose a certain freedom of conscience, service, duty, and knowledge, unless the two consciences and souls are always in perfect accord (which can not be due to the fallen nature of man). The dissonance will be repealed under Christ in the New Creation so that God's original plan - "that two become of one flesh" (and, implicitly, of one everything, mind, soul) - is in reality actualised, as it is now not due to, again, the fallen nature of man (although this is an entire discipline of theology, nothing for a post on an internet forum).

In any case, the vocation's closed to me, as a marriage is not valid if one or more of the spouses is not open to the idea of having children, in the sense of bringing a new soul in to the world (as opposed to adoption, or spiritual fatherhood, or ministry, etc.), as I am not. The vocation of parent is integral to the vocation of spouse, and I have no longing for either, but I'd be a husband far sooner than I'd be a father: but, in Catholicism, one can not be a husband, if one is not willing to be a father.

Even if I was called to marriage, I'd give myself better odds on have a successful vocation to the Papacy itself out of the sins of pride and avarice, having to work my way from illiterate Mahometanism, through conversion, up through the episcopate, than I would lay odds on myself to a successful vocation to marriage.

Of the women, or girls, I have known, I'd have to bet that one in five have children on their own, whether from a previous marriage or an illicit union (most often illicit union), and less than one in ten are virgins - without even getting in to non-sexual morality, or what people would call a "good" or "pious" person - already 90%+ of women are automatically disqualified. And it's not as if I'm looking for something that fits a younger age group, or too high of a standard - I'm in my early 20s, and the people I speak of - not one of them is older than 25 or 27! If I was to jape about it, I would say that the other one in ten were probably Lesbians.

Most of the people I have known, male and female, have been of bankrupt morality, no matter what religion they profess, few follow the moral precepts, no offense to any people I have not met who do, and are good and pious individuals.


#11

Remember also that the Catholic Church is in dire need of priests. That’s why I believe I’m called to the priesthood, even though I’d like consecrated religious life, monastic life, better, for its own sake, a life of learning, prayer, self-sufficient work and theology, although that would be out of pride, and laziness (and probably another one or two mortal sins as well - gluttony of knowledge? avarice of knowledge?) to not serve and selfishness to benefit only myself: thus, I discerned the call to priesthood.


#12

the biggest positive sign is the most obvious, you have met and fallen in love and can see yourself living a life and raising a family with this person.

Negative signs first would be the obvious, there exists a barrier in natural or church law to marriage. Or one feels, with professional guidance, that there is a personality disorder or something similar that means they could not fulfill the demands of marriage and parenthood.
Or one is simply in a life situation at present that makes it hard to meet prospective mates, that is the easiest to change.

The best advice seems to be from a secular and a spiritual POV to work on the virtues of friendship, being a good friend, finding and keeping friends, social skills, kindness, generosity, honesty and the like, because friendship is the basis of any more lasting relationship.

The strongest would be the alternate call to priesthood or religious life.


#13

Another big sign one is not called to marriage is that one is not attracted to being married. The three very basic signs of any vocation are:

Attraction to the life
Ability to live the life
Acceptance into the life


#14

Tigger is right on. An aversion from any basis to living with another person, marriage itself, having children, or even to sex itself are also signs. St Ignatius says you should be able to picture yourself living the life and belonging there.


#15

I have heard nuns say they knew, (Mother Angelica was one) because they were never that interested in marriage, they liked children, but were glad when they went home or the draw wasn’t too strong. It’s normal to admire both, but sometimes you are drawn to one side more. A priest mentioned he liked the companionship of marriage but the day in day out routine wasn’t as attractive to him.

I think that’s why discerning is so long, so you can see what is “real” and what is “what I want more”. There was a nun I read about, a Poor Claire, she was a postulant and said in an newspaper article, that she was drawn equally to both motherhood and the Franciscan nuns…after a year, I noticed her photos were not recent on their website and they said she went home to decern more. There is no disgrace in that, sometimes living the life you thought you wanted, shows you it was wrong.

I wish our paths were more obvious but sometimes they aren’t, trust is one of the hardest things sometimes, but with prayer and a good advisor, you will find your path.


#16

Discernment is most often and normally a journey.

As Catholics, if we have no impediments to religious life or the priesthood, then I think we have something of an obligation to at least consider the possibility of a vocation to the religious life or the priesthood. This, of course, can be cancelled out by a complete aversion for some reason to either and a distinct attraction to marriage; however, some vocations to religious life I know of started out as the latter. Discernment is a journey.

I agree wholeheartedly with debraran, things are not always quite clear cut as it were. The young (for one), certainly I think, should be encouraged to consider their life's vocation with spiritual direction. But not only the young when considering their call in life - all who desire to live their Catholicism and The Gospel should be encouraged to have wise and holy spiritual direction and to actively seek it.

And prayer is always prime at any time.

TS
Edit: I agree with debraran on another point too. A vocation to the religious life or the priesthood can only be said to exist at final vows or ordination - up to those points it is the discernment journey while that discerning journey does become more and more serious at varying points in the journey once accepted into religious life or the seminary.


#17

wow long post to a simple one lol

anyway once someone is ordained maybe the desire of being married disappears but I don’t think so. I have heard from people who have been in seminary or are rectors of seminary that a desire to being married is natural and candidates for the priesthood should have that desire in them before getting ordained. I know it may not make sense, but I believe God puts in us a desire to want to be with someone else, he puts in us attractions to people of the opposite sex. Its natural. As part as my application process I have been asked a couple of times in a direct way or indirect way do you feel attracted to the married life. While I don’t feel attracted enough not to go to seminary I do feel some attraction for it. That is natural and that is what should be in all seminarians. If they do not feel an attraction to married life there could be something seriously wrong with them, and they may not be ready for seminary. You have to understand as a priest what life you are sacrificing, and when you choose the life of a priest you understand while that is a natural calling and while married life is great it isn’t for you.

I suspect again I’m not sure, but I suspect that a priest will always always have a attraction to married life (that may be another way to say it) but when he is ordained he understands that married life isn’t for him, and I’m sure he takes those desires and he works them into his ministry.

If all Men and Women truly do have a desire for married life, and that desire comes from God himself, I suspect it will always be a part of their life, but the men and women who choose single life choose not to act on that desire. There will be desires that all of us won’t act on because its not part of God’s will. Major and Minor.

I don’t want to argue this but I hope you see where I am coming from.

btw sorry I didn’t respond to specific points in your post, I’m talking about desire, many men will have a desire to be married even though they may not be called to it or don’t have the good qualities of a married men. But I also believe that all good priest would have made great fathers, and all great fathers would have made good priest. Priesthood is kinda like spiritual fatherhood.


#18

[quote="catholictiger, post:7, topic:249768"]
for a priest I suspect you won't know this till you get ordained, there will always be a desire for marriage, I suspect.

[/quote]

[quote="catholictiger, post:17, topic:249768"]
wow long post to a simple one lol

anyway once someone is ordained maybe the desire of being married disappears but I don't think so. I have heard from people who have been in seminary or are rectors of seminary that a desire to being married is natural and candidates for the priesthood should have that desire in them before getting ordained. I know it may not make sense, but I believe God puts in us a desire to want to be with someone else, he puts in us attractions to people of the opposite sex. Its natural. As part as my application process I have been asked a couple of times in a direct way or indirect way do you feel attracted to the married life. While I don't feel attracted enough not to go to seminary I do feel some attraction for it. That is natural and that is what should be in all seminarians. If they do not feel an attraction to married life there could be something seriously wrong with them, and they may not be ready for seminary. You have to understand as a priest what life you are sacrificing, and when you choose the life of a priest you understand while that is a natural calling and while married life is great it isn't for you.

I suspect again I'm not sure, but I suspect that a priest will always always have a attraction to married life (that may be another way to say it) but when he is ordained he understands that married life isn't for him, and I'm sure he takes those desires and he works them into his ministry.

If all Men and Women truly do have a desire for married life, and that desire comes from God himself, I suspect it will always be a part of their life, but the men and women who choose single life choose not to act on that desire. There will be desires that all of us won't act on because its not part of God's will. Major and Minor.

I don't want to argue this but I hope you see where I am coming from.

btw sorry I didn't respond to specific points in your post, I'm talking about desire, many men will have a desire to be married even though they may not be called to it or don't have the good qualities of a married men. But I also believe that all good priest would have made great fathers, and all great fathers would have made good priest. Priesthood is kinda like spiritual fatherhood.

[/quote]

I have no attraction to married life.


#19

none?

I don’t really know you so I won’t try to address the way you feel, but I’m sure you at least have attractions to those of the opposite sex.

my attractions to married life are very week and my attractions to priesthood is very strong but my attraction to married life is still there just so week, that I don’t think it is for me.

God creates us in a way that we are naturally attracted to the opposite sex, so its natural for people to have attractions to the opposite sex and It think the same as married life. For many people that attraction may be to small to actually take that path, but I suspect its still there

So lets focus on the question, is it natural for a person to feel attracted to a person of the opposite sex?

I just went through my application process, and I as I said earlier they asked me twice if I was attracted to Married life. Also I have heard from priest that if seminarians don’t have an attraction to married life or are not open to married life, there is a problem with them.


#20

Attraction to the opposite sex does not equal an attraction to marriage.

I would disagree with the priest who told you this.


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