I had vocation issues too, at some point, for some time. I got married, had a couple of children, and then had a strong conversion experience that still lasts. And after 6 years into marriage and then 3 kids, I started wondering “what if”. The more I read and prayed and went to Mass the more I longed for monastic life, but I still loved my family, and I didn’t mean to ever leave them, just wondered - what if’d converted before I met my husband.
And here’s what happened. The evening the conflict in me was the strongest, I lost my wedding ring. First time ever. And it never happened afterwards too, the ring just isn’t loose! But the funniest thing is I realized this exactly at the moment late in the evening, kids asleep, when I was in the middle of the pondering all this. And I think I talked to Jesus about this problem. And that when I got kind of moved to look at my right hand and noticed no wedding band (I usually don’t feel it all, like it’s not there, so there’s also no incentive to look if it’s gone for instance). I looked, and it wasn’t there. The answer however was not at all that the ring was gone. To the contrary! The answer was that I panicked that I lost it!
I immediately started praying to st Anthony to help me find it. I had absolutely no idea when and where, how long ago I lost it. Not even if at home. Yet, I found it very quickly, as if guided, behind an armchair in the living room.
And I was overjoyed! We now have four kids, fifth in Heaven and I just practice being a nun on the inside, in a way, meaning spiritual life.
Then I read about saint John Maria Vianney’s biography and his vocational conflicts (about being a trappist). I understood that sometimes that sort of other calling can be from God, but He doesn’t mean us to follow it - it’s simply about wanting to do what brings us closest to God.
But at the same time, it may be from the devil, who wants us to leave marriage/priesthood for the opposite vocation so that we abandon people we are responsible for, for example.
I guess it’s quite complicated, and requires a lot of prayer and discernment in some cases. Saint Alphonsus argues that we are where we are supposed to be and we should do the duties of the state the best we can. (I hope I remember all correctly here). And quite recently a priest I listened to said, that if the marriage is valid, both entered into it willingly - it’s that vocation end of story. And same with priests being ordained. I am only repeating what he said. Perhaps it’s not always so simple.
There are in history some saints who were married and then all the family entered the monastery (or, by agreement of the spouse - the other spouse decided to do so) - the first case is venerable Mary of Agreda, the other were more frequent once, but I don’t remember anyone specific.
There’s also an Italian priest, very old, who was long married, had a few sons (some are priests I think) and he felt the call, got ordained and he’s a priest now.