Marriage, Disability, and Poverty


#1

I have a very serious question. I am 21, a virgin, and a romantic. I desire a wife, but I have major concerns about my ability to be a proper husband or father. I fear no woman would want me to begin with because I am unable to work but I find the thought unjust that, since I was born with a genetic flaw, I shouldn’t marry. I can’t help but feel like I’d be in a perpetual state of sin if I did marry due to the lack of ability to provide. I also fear that I’d drag her down with me and that her parents would resent me. I’ve never been in a “true” relationship, never experienced the romantic love of another person (although very rarely I become the subject of lust, usually from girls who I wouldn’t consider marrying). I’m very eccentric, and live in a kind of boring area where, let’s just say, there’s a big black hole age gap at Mass. I’m an anomaly here, both in personality and age group of believer. I can’t move or seek women out and I haven’t met anyone I’d fall in love with in many years. I also worry about the character of the girls in my age group, I can’t help but feel that they’ll be materialistic or influenced by the whole feminist mindset, and as a romantic I hate but know that meeting a good Catholic young woman who’s saving herself is nigh unto impossible. And I’m unchurched, so my cultural leanings and tastes may fly in the face of what the average good Catholic girl thinks is proper anyways. And then there’s the fact that I’d feel like a terrible Christian if my wife winds up providing for me, and also there’s a good chance any children I have could grow up to be absolutely out of their minds.

:stretcher:


#2

I’m a little unsure of what your actual question is.

However, it sounds like you have enough going against you already, so why add to that your preconceptions about what catholic girls you meet might be like (materialistic, feminist, impure, etc)? Meet people, enjoy their company, get to know them better. Don’t add the weight of expectations on top of that.

As for providing, I don’t know what your specific situation is, but presumably any girl you meet will be aware of it up front or as they get to know you. There’s nothing specific about a catholic marriage that requires the husband to be the provider. The wife can fulfil that role. The deeper question is perhaps purpose. Anyone can have a purpose (or purposes) in life, which may or may not include providing for a wife/family. Do you have a feeling of purpose? Is that something you need to thing about more before worrying about providing for a wife? Many people with severe disabilities find purpose and ways to help others deal with their own disabilities. You may not be able to provide in a materialistic sense, but perhaps you can find a purpose in providing for others emotionally and spiritually.


#3

Hello WoundedIcon.. I am not in your age group (I am 62 yrs old) but I HAVE been disabled since I was 7 years old by polio. I was initially paralyzed from the waist down, was in a wheelchair, then briefly walked with braces & crutches for some years. Like you, I too felt I would drag someone down if I got into a relationship. I spent many years alone because of my own inferiority feelings, although I briefly had a boyfriend in high school who went to the same Catholic High School. When he broke our relationship (while in Vietnam he was writing to one of my girlfriends & he left me for her) I was devastated. I can completely understand your feelings/longings and I can add that it was through God's blessing on me always (I always fervently prayed & asked His help) I made it through those young years of my life. You ARE young my dear friend, & life (& the Lord above) may yet bring into your life much happiness & love. Please don't despair, I say this from my own experience although I myself lived in despair for so many year..... Yet I strive to give you HOPE. Maintain your focus on the good Catholic wife you seek, and most importantly remain patient for God's answer to your prayers. I have been very happily married for many years now, in spite of my disability, living on disability, and have had 3 beautiful children. Give yourself time dear friend, & each day of your life take a moment each and every morning to give "thanks" to our Lord for any & all blessings in your life. There are ALWAYS blessings, and in giving thanks, we receive. It took me some years to fully realize this, and now my own children tell me that this was the greatest teaching I have taught them... to give thanks!! I will pray for you & my heart goes out to you. God be with & Bless you always :angel1:


#4

Well, I meant that it's hard to find Catholic girls in the first place and that I'm afraid that their standards and their culture will work against me in them having any interest in me. And they really are a rare breed here (not moral women, but women who believe in the Church). I go to mass and there aren't very many women my age their, and I've been to a few parishes around town. You don't find women my age here, Catholic or not, even at the store or mall. This town is one of those towns where everyone my age runs like all hell once they get old enough. There aren't any guys my age that I've noticed at mass either. It's just the nature of the beast so to speak. And I can't imagine going outside of the faith for a lover either, and I've tried numerous times to move without any success. I can't live alone because of rent and the fact that it would kill me emotionally - I can't afford a car or even insurance if someone were to give me a car. I'm used to thinking that women want a strong man who makes plenty of money, I was pretty much brought up to think that the kind of people that I would eventually become as an adult are waste. The question is then, I guess, that how do I get over this issue? Because basically (to lay it out simply) I want to be with a devout Catholic girl who won't fudge on ABC, etc., and there aren't any Catholic girls close enough to my age in this town that I wouldn't go to jail for touching, and besides I worry that churched girls are raised to disdain men like me and that their families would poohpooh me. I just feel kind of stuck and useless because I'm not middle class enough and am weird and sick.

Ya know, I need to be quite frank... my mother drilled it into my head that I couldn't expect to loved the way that I am - that I wouldn't be loved just for being me. That I had to lose weight, change my "trashy" clothes and pretend to be someone else and stop being such a freak (I'm gothic), get off my *** and go to college and make some dough or no one will want me. And when you combine this mindset with the traditional Christian protector-provider complementarian husband role and the Catholic teaching on having children it melds together into a distorted panic attack. I'm losing weight by accident, and I was beating myself up for years refusing to accept myself for who I am because of what's essentially a combination of persecution and Protestant culture (I'm a convert) although the dumb thing is that I'm only a freak because I'm sensitive, artistic, intellectual, and enjoy the supernatural and esoteric and here I am getting sniped for it, I've sincerely thought of going to college and getting a career but without fail every single time I consider it, no matter how healthy and near-normal I feel, I crash like clockwork. I've recently recovered to the point where I can go out and such and attend church and socialize, but before then I lived like a semi-hermit because I would pretty much have panic attacks out in public - happy clappy non-denom services would send me into a breakdown. I have PTSD from breaking from a genetic illness at the age of 13 and then being harassed and neglected and untreated for years. Not to mention being afraid of myself. I'm at the point after prayer and conversion and medication that I can pass myself off as a calm, normal person but for some reason I still can't handle some mild forms of stress and I start having mood swings because I'm bipolar too. I need friends (obviously I couldn't make any the past few years) - I'm on the internet talking about this right now because I don't have anybody that can really care enough in flesh and blood in my life. I was forced to move here because my mom kicked me out so I don't know anyone and live with my grandmother who's ill as well. I guess I got it from her. I really want someone to love so I can have someone by my side but I'm used to being judged in my worth as a man based on how much I conform to normality, and not to mention the paycheck and sexual prowess. And because of my illness I have a horrible past that makes me look like I could kill someone, so that's another thing I have to worry about. I'm a gentle, almost effeminate, guy at heart but after so much a person just wants to explode. So now I've got this smattering of illness that keep me from being a "real man" and I get treated like **** and start hating myself and develop PTSD and now I'm afraid my kids would be total suicidal schizo basket cases, but I can't deny my need for love but I just can't measure up.

Not to mention, before psychiatric help is mentioned, part of the abuse I underwent was from nasty shrinks and nurses (hell, I had a psychotic break because on doctor misdiagnosed me and gave me stimulants) so now I can't rely on them because I have to take everything with a shaker's worth of salt from them.


#5

I should mention that I really do want to help people though. It’s a part of the reason I wish to join the Secular Franciscan Order. I really am a bit of an eager beaver when it comes to getting involved in social justice, or even being a lector. It seems that I can handle that much, I can live in peace at home with my grandmother (although I am somewhat selfish and disrespectful, but nonetheless), but when I think of fatherhood and a job my wiring short circuits.

I also should say that because of my neediness and weakness, the Lord’s grace is made more perfect in my life (LOL). Although in an exterior sense by the world’s standards I’m destitute, my spiritual life is rich and blessed. I’m very close to the Lord and love him much, and he’s showered on me many extraordinary graces. If I mentioned some of them I’d probably get banned on the grounds of discussing private revelations though. It’s nothing all “you are my chosen one” or Mary or anything, but one thing I can probably state without trouble is that I regularly experience infused contemplation. It gives me such a sense of God’s presence and peace… but obviously it’s not “on” right now LOL. I probably sinned mortally last night after wigging out from one of my triggers (did I mention my illness endangers my salvation? lovely, isn’t it?)


#6

WoundedIcon,
I'm having a hard time following, but it sounds like whatever is going on is perhaps a combination of emotional and physical hurdles you need to overcome? Have you tried talking to your pastor? He is most likely the first person who can help you, and he can probably guide you to appropriate groups that can help with your specific illness.

As far as college goes-- have you considered taking courses online? If you are uncomfortable in being around others on campus, this may be a good way for you to take courses in a less stressful environment. There are a lot of for-profit schools, but a lot of public schools are now offering degrees online. A lot of community colleges offer courses online as well, for a very competitive price, and you can use your financial aid money (if you qualify) for the programs.

My prayers are with you, I can only imagine how difficult this is for you. Please do not close the door to counseling, I'm sorry you've had bad experiences in the past, but a good counselor may be able to help guide you to a better place (in conjunction with your spiritual advisor!).


#7

Dear WoundedIcon,

If you have ongoing mental health issues, I really think you need to find a good doctor who can help you get on top of things. You’ve obviously had some negative experiences, but there are good doctors out there who can help you. There’s nothing wrong with being different, excentric, romantic, spiritual, whatever else definies you as a person. But God does not intend for any of us to suffer mental illnesses and there are doctors who can help you get on top of your stress disorder, and whatever other illnesses you suffer, and be able to live a more full life.

My prayers are with you.


#8

I'm currently seeing a doctor and am on meds and normally I'm pretty happy (kind of bouncy really), but yesterday was a wreck. I mean, regardless of current state of mind these concerns are still there, I'm just normally more optimistic about them. But I still wonder how this is all going to work out, it confuses me. I just don't know if I can handle being a husband but I don't want to be alone either, and I don't really think of myself as a good "catch".


#9

I’ve considered, and have almost gone into, online schooling in the past but it was very expensive and for some strange reason I’m still bound to my mother’s income and she has to get involved, and she can’t. The same thing happened to my step sister. For some reason the rules won’t unbind us from our parents’ income until we’re 25. Not to mention I wouldn’t be able to maintain a job even if I did study at home and acquire the skills necessary. It sucks because I’m highly intelligent and could probably have a good paying job if I didn’t have this issue. It’s not so much that I’m perpetually in a state of mind like the one shown in my OP, etc. but that sometimes stress causes me to go into mood swings that turn me from relatively normal and high functioning to burned out, pessimistic, angry and squirrely.


#10

Ya know… if it’s not an option for me to be with someone my age I probably should seek someone younger. So I guess my prayers just got answered in a weird way.


#11

But I still wonder how this is all going to work out, it confuses me. I just don't know if I can handle being a husband but I don't want to be alone either, and I don't really think of myself as a good "catch".

Ya know... if it's not an option for me to be with someone my age I probably should seek someone younger. So I guess my prayers just got answered in a weird way

.

none of my sons were a good catch at age 21. and none of them should ever be dating teens at that age, either.

it reads that you have many challenges to face. some you'll overcome. some will remain. but there ARE some things you can do to promote the outcome you want. like your wardrobe. you are free to keep the style that best expresses you. but others are free to read anything they want into that choice. with your other challenges, why provide another obstacle (read barrier) to relationships.

there is some practical expereince of this suggestion that i REALLY do get. my natural fashion expression is toward a throwback hippie look-- at best it's a grunge style. worse still, if i let my hair grow, it just gets bigger and curlier and wilder. there have been times i've looked like a cast extra for a stage production of Hair.

one time, many years ago, my husband said to me, "looking at you, no one would believe we DON'T grow cannabis in our yard."

**it is an act of humility **(and good social strategy) for me to dress more conventionally. i dont have to "express myself" in fashion (or lack of it.) neither do you. your words are pretty interesting. you should write a book.

and pray a LOT. none of your challenges surprise God, nor do they tax His ability to love you and grace you.

if you are meant to be married, God will provide the woman (not the girl) when you are both ready (or ready to become ready.)


#12

While I understand where you're coming from when it comes to your statements about clothing style, the problem is that I couldn't tone it down much more without looking like something completely different than I am. Right now all I do is wear those baggy black pants (or jeans, cargo shorts, etc.) and band tees.

The way I see it, if that's too much of a hurdle for a woman to overcome then she has some issues she needs to work out and I shouldn't be interested in her anyways because she'll probably despise everything I love - I'm sure your seeing that it's more a "lifestyle and culture" issue than it is just simply making a statement. I don't like to stand out too much anyway.

I feel very... how do I put it... very much like a crab missing its shell when I dress like other people. Not to mention, in combination with my physical appearance, it gives off a very inaccurate impression of who I am as a person. I had one person assume I was basically a pudgy country-listenin' Baptist church kid or something once! I look like a nancy boy basically, I give off an impression of being essentially the opposite of who I am. Don't want a girl thinkin' "Oh he looks like such a sweet boy" - because I do look very boy-next-door and not very manly - when I'm really a trad-cath who loves metal and stuff like this and classical music and chant with a high IQ and an interest in theology, mysticism and fancyshmancy stuff, who loves smells and bells and finds Requiem masses entertaining while shaking his fist at sentimentality, shallowness, and ignorance.

I stick out like a sore thumb - it's obvious I'm not "churched". And that bugs me, because what I see as my strengths may actually alienate me from women who are "churched". -_- Either that, or they'll mistake me for some bad boy. :rolleyes:

Not to mention I'm a winter. Black is my color, and so are gothy jewel tones. :D


#13

My friend, you mention you are gothic and you are into esoteric stuff. Are you aware of the church's teachings on that? You seem to be dabbling in the occult, you mention you do have ' metaphysical experiences", and this, coupled with your mental disorders, lead me to believe that there are spirits around you causing a lot of disturbance.

I would highly recommend deliverance prayers and perhaps exorcism. I had someone very close to me in a similar situation- the spirits you are opening yourself up to by listening to certain types of music and reading certain literature can really invade you-. He was advised togo speak to a bishop, fortunately there was a retired bishop in our city who was an incredible man, who laid his hands on him and prayed a prayer of deliverance and he was literally cured on the spot. Of course, he never went back to his old practices...

God's blessings be upon you!


#14

[quote="1inICXC, post:13, topic:244938"]
My friend, you mention you are gothic and you are into esoteric stuff. Are you aware of the church's teachings on that? You seem to be dabbling in the occult, you mention you do have ' metaphysical experiences", and this, coupled with your mental disorders, lead me to believe that there are spirits around you causing a lot of disturbance.

I would highly recommend deliverance prayers and perhaps exorcism. I had someone very close to me in a similar situation- the spirits you are opening yourself up to by listening to certain types of music and reading certain literature can really invade you-. He was advised togo speak to a bishop, fortunately there was a retired bishop in our city who was an incredible man, who laid his hands on him and prayed a prayer of deliverance and he was literally cured on the spot. Of course, he never went back to his old practices...

God's blessings be upon you!

[/quote]

Whoah. Not the occult! mysticism, charismatic gifts, and the like. Church approved weirdness LOL!


#15

Healing and deliverence never hurt anyone :)

And if you could get a bishop to do it all the better :)
I participated in a deliverance service with an exorcist to be healed of my anger, anxiety and all those things that hinder me from being Christ-like.
Personally, I'd take special prayer services over therapy anytime :)


#16

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