I want to marry, but


#1

I feel a strong calling to be married. I have a gut feeling that the Lord has my bride picked out just for me, that I was meant to be with her. But here’s the thing…

I don’t want to end up like my parents.

My parents (both non-Catholic Christians,) divorced while I was still very young and it put me through so much Hell growing up. My mother’s parents divorced (also non-Catholic Christians) many years ago. I’m just so scared that divorce is inevitable for me, that I will never escape this vicious cycle. But I know that there is hope for me.

I have prayed many novenas to St. Raphael the Archangel for guidance and assistance but I feel that his intercession will come later than sooner (for who am I to question the timing of the Lord?) Is there something that I’m doing wrong? What can I do to learn from my parents mistakes? What can I do to learn from those who have been married for quite some time?


#2

I don’t know how old you are, but I’d suggest you do a few things before you pick out a potential wife:

  1. Finish your education, establish your career, and get your own financial house in order. A lot of marriages fail because of poor financial “policies.”

  2. Cultivate your own relationship with the Lord, develop healthy friendships with a wide variety of people, and develop wholesome recreational interests (preferably, live interests, away from the computer.)

  3. Read intelligent and contemporary Catholic literature concerning marriage. Some of the older stuff is fine, but it is impossible to replicate the 1940’s or 1950’s. If and when you get married, and in fact, during your entire life, you will be living in real time, not in an anachronistic fantasy (I’m going to put it on the line here, and suspect I’m going to take some flack for that last remark.) You will have to live functionally and lovingly with a live, contemporary woman, and, if so blessed by the Lord, will be raising live, contemporary children. That is going to require a specific skill set, including communication, joint problem solving, mutual goal-setting, conflict resolution, knowledge and understanding about child rearing issues such as expected developmental milestones, and an understanding that a husband’s role is not “my way or the highway.” I am mentioning this because it is my observation that there are far too many men of faith who cling to some pretty anachronistic and patriarchal viewpoints where women and children are concerned. I am saying this as a middle aged married woman who has observed plenty of divorces among religious families in part because Dad fancied himself the king of the castle. That attitude might have worked in the early to mid twentieth century because of societal constraints; it doesn’t work nowadays.


#3

Good resource - “Be a Man - Becoming the Man God Created You to Be” by Fr. Larry Richards


#4

It sounds like you may have learned already

God bless you+

"Pray, hope and don't worry!"


#5

[quote="odile53, post:2, topic:329162"]
I don't know how old you are, but I'd suggest you do a few things before you pick out a potential wife:

[/quote]

I have failed to mention that I am 22 years old and that I'm in my junior/senior year of college.

I feel like I have, though. My brother already has a family and he seems to do well as a 'family guy' kind of guy while my sister, like me, doesn't want to follow in the footsteps of our parents.All of us (I'm sure they'll agree) don't want a repeat of our childhood. My sister has a boyfriend and they've been dating for at least a year or so and they're doing well. Sometimes I get jealous that they have relationships and I don't. But God has something planned for me and I just need to be patient :p

And how would I know, after dating a woman for so long, know she's the right one for me? I know this is such a trite question but I've had 2 serious relationships so far and I thought that they would work out. Turns out that both didn't and I'm left years later with a broken heart.


#6

If you love that girl of yours, marry her. You will not end up like your parents because you know what happen and why so you can avoid those mistakes. The most common saying is that "history repeat it self" and it also one that is dead wrong. It is always about what we do, not what somebody else has done before.

You must, however think a bit further, and then ask the question, how does this girl look without make-up, have she any habits you may dislike after a year under the same roof, are you ready to live your whole life with her?

People, even Catholics, tend to make a marriage more difficult then it really is. OK, my marriage did fail, but let us not think about that now. A marriage is a life together, striving to do what God want. But so is life for a not married person as well. There is no "magic" that you have a need to know. (Reckon I will also take some flack soon.) All you need to know is that are you ready to live with this woman all your life, no matter what happen. If you answer is "yes", go ahead, if it is "maybe", keep on dating her for a bit longer, just to check out a few details, if your answer is "no", don't marry her.

Whatever you will do, God bless you. (And that was not a sarcastic remark.)


#7

First, don’t just assume because you come from a divorced family that it means you are doomed to the same fate. My parents both have been divorced. My wife’s dad has been married and divorced 5 times (that we know of). Despite the poor examples we grew up with we have been married almost 19 years and I see our marriage ending with one of our funerals.

I think one of the things that have help me wife and I out is that we both agreed that divorce is not an option from the very beginning. We didn’t talk about it in generalities either, but talked about how we would handle scenarios like adultery, financial hardship, etc. before we ever said “I do”. Because of that we resolved to always work out difficulties before letting them feaster so neither of us are afraid to raise the flag when things start to go sideways. One of the other keys for us is that we talk about our goals and how we will pursue them as a couple/family. We try to make sure we live our lives together in all aspects and not as simply two individuals with some things shared in common. Even where we have no commonality we talk about things to make sure we aren’t working at cross purposes.

More important than finance and education is learning to communicate (especially listening). I’d say the vast majority of issues really boil down to lack of communication. I know people that have several kids and make less than 35K that are more happy than professional couples with no kids and 200K incomes. The difference is the first group talks to each other where as the second group talks at each other.

Final piece of advice is to have a faith filled marriage. Make God the core of your marriage and it gives you extra strength to draw on. I wish my wife and I had done that the first 12 years because it would have made dealing with life’s curve balls a little bit easier.


#8

You are only 22, your past serious relationships could be your learning experiences. Looking back, do you know why those relationships did not work out, other than you and your girl friends were young at age?

In order to know if a person is right for you, you first need to know what kind of person you are looking for. If you have a solid picture in your mind, then when you are making friends, you will gradually figure out if she meets your standard or not. Without a standard, you won’t know.


#9

I, too, came from a family broken by divorce and for a long time after I got married, I hung on to the possibility of getting a divorce if things got tough. Thankfully, we stuck it out and now, 24 years later, are just about to get our marriage blessed by the church. (We weren't Christians when we got married.)

I think the sacramental quality of a Church marriage is very significant and can help you stay the course. Marriage is a great blessing and a huge challenge, but for me, once the door to divorce closed in my heart, our marriage got much better. We had to work on things instead of let them slide. I cultivated much more patience and charity than before. I would imagine if you go into it with that intention right from the beginning, it will be easier.


#10

I was at my Totus Tuus program the other week and, along with the posts here on CAF, I’ve learned so much on the importance on vocation.

It was a real treat and a blessing that one of the members walked with me around the block discussing vocation. One subject that was brought up was chivalry.

From your experiences, life stories, etc. how attractive is chivalry? What can I do to become more chivalric?


#11

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:1, topic:329162"]
I feel a strong calling to be married. I have a gut feeling that the Lord has my bride picked out just for me, that I was meant to be with her. But here's the thing...

I don't want to end up like my parents.

My parents (both non-Catholic Christians,) divorced while I was still very young and it put me through so much Hell growing up. My mother's parents divorced (also non-Catholic Christians) many years ago. I'm just so scared that divorce is inevitable for me, that I will never escape this vicious cycle. But I know that there is hope for me.

I have prayed many novenas to St. Raphael the Archangel for guidance and assistance but I feel that his intercession will come later than sooner (for who am I to question the timing of the Lord?) Is there something that I'm doing wrong? What can I do to learn from my parents mistakes? What can I do to learn from those who have been married for quite some time?

[/quote]

You have the Sacraments- they did not. You have the fullness of truth revealed to you in the Catholic Faith- they did not. You have a wealth of spiritual knowledge available to you by means of the lives of the saints and the writings of the popes- they did not. You have the Catholic Church's stance on contraception and other issues that tear down marriages because of their selfish, dehumanizing nature that others don't.
I'd say you've got a good collection of resources that they did not have that will help you in ways they never had, so don't worry. Just be sure you keep God and His Church first. The person you marry must be on the same page as you spiritually. If your faith is so important to you, why would you or anyone even think of letting someone get so close to them as to want to marry them if they didn't share their faith?


#12

what do think it means?


#13

I think that the perfect example would be what Christ has done for the Church. He sacrificed himself because he loves US, the Church! Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is what a husband should do for his wife, what a father should do for his children, and what a man should do to uphold the Church.


#14

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:13, topic:329162"]
I think that the perfect example would be what Christ has done for the Church. He sacrificed himself because he loves US, the Church! Correct me if I'm wrong but I think this is what a husband should do for his wife, what a father should do for his children, and what a man should do to uphold the Church.

[/quote]

you've just answered your own question then. this is what most husbands/fathers would do, or want to do. there's no special word for it, its a duty.


#15

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:13, topic:329162"]
I think that the perfect example would be what Christ has done for the Church. He sacrificed himself because he loves US, the Church! Correct me if I'm wrong but I think this is what a husband should do for his wife, what a father should do for his children, and what a man should do to uphold the Church.

[/quote]

Exactly. When my wife and I teach marriage prep classes we often point to Christ on the cross as an example of the love a man should have for his wife. It is not just a self giving love, but a sacrificial love. St. Paul tells us this specifically in his letter the the Ephesians.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it


#16

I’m curious…am I being too selfish when I pray for my vocation? I mean, I should be praying for the Church and her priests, I should pray for the souls in Purgatory, I should pray about many other things. I just feel guilty that I’m putting my self first before others :frowning:


#17

[quote="StGeorgesSquire, post:16, topic:329162"]
I'm curious...am I being too selfish when I pray for my vocation? I mean, I should be praying for the Church and her priests, I should pray for the souls in Purgatory, I should pray about many other things. I just feel guilty that I'm putting my self first before others :(

[/quote]

maybe you ought to see your spiritual director, that sounds overly scrupulous.


#18

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