'Meant to be together'


#1

I was thinking about how some people say they are ‘meant to be’ with a partner before getting married, implying that fate or destiny is compelling them to tie the knot. Christians say that God is letting them know when they’ve found the ‘right’ person. Personally, I’ve always operated under the assumption that while God may know our choices before we make them, He doesn’t make a habit of interfering with the process, other than perhaps granting us clarity of thought.

Does anyone know what Church teaching says on the matter of this sort of application of divine revelation?

(There’s also the matter of grace, but I’m not sure how it might apply in this situation.)


#2

I think this question is much bigger and relates to much more than finding the "right" spouse...

It's the age old question of predestination vs free will!... BIG TOPIC!

Here's one link to the Catechism regarding Man's Freedom...
usccb.org/catechism/text/pt3sect1chpt1art3.shtml

HTH as a starter!


#3

Well we do know that God has at times revealed His plan to specific people, so I guess my question is more about whether He does that to everyday people with regard to marriage. Not about free will vs. determinism.


#4

Ah - sorry I was thinking too “big picture”… :smiley:

I think it depends on the person/couple - but from my personal experience - after knowing my husband for a few years socially from church - just one day I woke up and KNEW we would eventually be married (well before we were seriously dating)… :shrug: I tried to fight off the idea several times… but to no avail. :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

[quote="Em_in_FL, post:4, topic:177079"]
Ah - sorry I was thinking too "big picture"... :D

I think it depends on the person/couple - but from my personal experience - after knowing my husband for a few years socially from church - just one day I woke up and KNEW we would eventually be married (well before we were seriously dating)... :shrug: I tried to fight off the idea several times... but to no avail. :p

[/quote]

I appreciate your sharing that experience! Do you think it was some kind of divine revelation, or would you not go that far?


#6

The correct answer is: I don't know. :p

Since you mentioned revelation, I suppose few people would claim that. In most cases, they will claim discernment and clarity. The rest is predestination vs free will OR whether there's a preselected spouse for everybody even if one's able to make a different choice than that.


#7

I think that the Church would strongly encourage us to evaluate our situation with as cool a head as we can muster, and consider a variety of factors, before deciding to be married to this or that person (or even to start dating them, in the first place).

It is perfectly possible to bond with someone at a deep level, to the point where they “feel like family” and yet you never date or marry them - they just remain part of your life as a friend or even as just an acquaintance.


#8

My in-laws always had a strong devotion to the Immaculate Heart and my FIL when he was a young man, prayed a novena in his parish church that someday a girl would move into his neighborhood that would be his wife. Then one day his friends invited him to go with them to meet the “new guy”–Pete–that had just moved in so he went along. To his surprise, “Pete” turned out to be my MIL (she had had that nickname since she was a baby) and he KNEW that she was the answer to his prayers. They were married 53 years and had eight children (one a priest, one a nun) and gave my husband and me the best example of Christian marriage anyone could hope for.

Now me and DH… we were friends for years, met through mutual friends, and neither of us had thought of each other “that way” and then he discovered he had cancer (Hodgkin’s disease) and I started visiting him in the hospital and then all of a sudden we looked at each other with this “Oh, THERE you are!” revelation and… here we are 21 years later, still on our honeymoon!


#9

Havard - A Deacon told me not too long ago there's more than one right person for you - I think that's the church's teaching. Some people may use the phrase 'meant to be together' to express a closeness they feel. Just like people say 'I guess it wasn't meant to be'. I was not a practicing Catholic when I met my bride, now of 19 years and 3 gifts of life, but when I saw her she seemed the right height, look, demeanor, etc. I wondered for years why we were put together and it's been clear recently why God combined us.
I guess some people just seem to know from day one, others don't and a bunch in between. Does God step in? Well, I God is everywhere and omnipotent so maybe He is working in the background at all times - some of us may be more disposed to hearing His voice and seeing Him work. I wasn't when I met my wife - but God is good to all - the rain falls on the just and the unjust.


#10

I was married for twenty years and, particulary for the first several years, I loved to tell the story of how we were “meant to be together”. I loved recounting the “signs” from God that he was the one. I think I romanticized things and looked for the signs. All I know is he was not the one. My hopeful belief that he was the one kept me in the marriage so long, as I waited for God to do the miracle to make it like it was supposed to be. But I will be having it annulled; priests have told me it surely would be. He was verbally and emotionally abusive all those years. It got worse over time. But I concentrated on what was good, and I lived on hope, and I lived for making it work. I put so much into making my “silk purse out of a sow’s ear” that it was a shock when it was over. But also it was a relief to be out from under oppression.

So I know that what I lived was not what God intended for marrriage. And God-willing I won’t be so quick to believe in “meant to be” again. I know if I ever think that again I will be taking much time out in great solitude with God to confirm it. I think I would have to be willing to let it go when I ask God if this is His will.

But I hang onto my “meant to be” by thinking what is meant to be, now that this man was in my life for so many years, is that I pray for his soul the rest of my life.


#11

Well…I really don’t know. I think the danger in thinking you’re destined to be with just one person is you miss out on the chance to maybe bond and possibly enter a relationship with someone else. I personally think if there is such a thing as destiny, we can never know what ours is until it acutually happens. If that makes sense.

It makes me wonder about my boyfriend, we’ve only been together a few months, but he has told me he fell for me the moment he met me even though it took me a little longer to catch on :stuck_out_tongue: . And when we talk about things such as sex and intimacy, I say “unless we get married,” he says “until we get married.”

Boys :rolleyes:


#12

*I believe in ''signs,'' personally. When I met my husband, we dated for a short while, then we stopped. He moved away, out of state. I asked God for a sign, to show me who I should marry. I was pretty young, only 21 when I prayed that. In about a month, my husband moved back to where I lived, and looked me up again. We started dating, and at that time, things felt different...our relationship was more serious, I dunno. We went to a mass at a particular church that neither of us belonged to, but giving the mass, was his uncle! (unbeknownst to him) So, all things considered, my husband moving back into the same town, and his uncle giving mass--were ''signs'' to me. I do believe that God will ''move things around'' if He wants you to see someone He wants for you in marriage...He will clear the path, I believe this. :) It will seem almost effortless, this is my opinion, anyways. *


#13

[quote="apromisemade, post:11, topic:177079"]
Well...I really don't know. I think the danger in thinking you're destined to be with just one person is you miss out on the chance to maybe bond and possibly enter a relationship with someone else. I personally think if there is such a thing as destiny, we can never know what ours is until it acutually happens. If that makes sense.

It makes me wonder about my boyfriend, we've only been together a few months, but he has told me he fell for me the moment he met me even though it took me a little longer to catch on :p . And when we talk about things such as sex and intimacy, I say "unless we get married," he says "until we get married."

Boys :rolleyes:

[/quote]

Aw! :love:


#14

[quote="Havard, post:1, topic:177079"]
I was thinking about how some people say they are 'meant to be' with a partner before getting married, implying that fate or destiny is compelling them to tie the knot. Christians say that God is letting them know when they've found the 'right' person. Personally, I've always operated under the assumption that while God may know our choices before we make them, He doesn't make a habit of interfering with the process, other than perhaps granting us clarity of thought.

Does anyone know what Church teaching says on the matter of this sort of application of divine revelation?

(There's also the matter of grace, but I'm not sure how it might apply in this situation.)

[/quote]

Divine Revelation tells us that it is at least possible:

Do not be afraid, for she was destined for you from eternity.
Tobit 6:17 RSV

But do not be afraid, for she was set apart for you before the world existed.
Tobit 6:18 NAB

This verse has always been a favorite of mine.

James


#15

I like to believe in signs, since I don’t trust myself in matters of the heart. I’m moving out of Salem, Oregon (where I grew up). I asked for a sign, and then my cell phone rang. It was a company asking for an interview (they are in Seattle area), and I’m heading up there tomorrow morning. I would like to think that God has someone planned for me, and I’ve waited ever since I was little for someone to sweep me off my feet. I’m done waiting. If I don’t have a ring on my finger by the time I’m 30, I’m taking that as a sign that I should go to the convent. I was accepted to a local one, and they are leaving that option open for me. 30 has been my cutoff ever since I was 18.


#16

[quote="CountrySinger, post:15, topic:177079"]
I like to believe in signs, since I don't trust myself in matters of the heart. I'm moving out of Salem, Oregon (where I grew up). I asked for a sign, and then my cell phone rang. It was a company asking for an interview (they are in Seattle area), and I'm heading up there tomorrow morning. I would like to think that God has someone planned for me, and I've waited ever since I was little for someone to sweep me off my feet. I'm done waiting. If I don't have a ring on my finger by the time I'm 30, I'm taking that as a sign that I should go to the convent. I was accepted to a local one, and they are leaving that option open for me. 30 has been my cutoff ever since I was 18.

[/quote]

I got married when I was 25, which I thought was the perfect age. Nowadays, with people staying in school a lot longer, 30 seems reasonable. :)


#17

(Country Singer, Sorry to hear you're leaving the soggy Willamette Valley--for an even soggier Seattle. Best of luck up north!)

God's foreknowledge of our eventual choices doesn't interfere with our ultimate decisions, and I don't think there is anything wrong with hoping and praying that we're destined for a particular person. Sure...could we have been happy with another? Perhaps, but what exactly is proven by exploring these hypothetical paths? I think we get too caught up in what if scenarios. Perhaps it's on account of trying to get us to think in more realistic terms, but I think all that it really does is squeeze a little bit more of the sense of mystery and wonder out of our lives. Before we even met, my wife and I were praying for eachother as young people. We knew there was one person for us, and we were right.

When all is said and done for those of us who have been privledged to share our life's journey with a single spouse, that was indeed the person for us. God certainly knew this long before we could have had any inkling. In fact, our marriage vows should remind us that our marriage is tied or blest with God's grace. Since God is outside of our time, this might give us some pause both of the sacred quality and permanence of marriage as well as the fact that it is (in a sense at least) outside of time itself. That was indeed the only person we we were destined for, and that's good enough for me.


#18

Yeah. There’s the question whether it applies only to Tobias or to all of us, but does God love us less than He loves Tobias (present tense, only bodies die :p)? We can’t say God doesn’t care enough and we’re in the mists when we wonder whether or not He gets involved (what we know for sure is He respects free will He gave us). I would be very careful not to see God as a matchmaker like we have down here, but it surely can’t be said He doesn’t care. He cares more than the mortal parents do, although He has different ways. This is why I say the answer is “don’t know” and why I don’t want to accept the theological soulmate theory as valid without questions - as much as I can’t get it completely out of my head, either.


#19

I would say yes to the question in your OP. My husband and I experienced something like that…there’s been this aura of serendipity that’s hung around us from the beginning. We met online when we were both volunteering for a Catholic evangelation apostolate. After a couple weeks of working together we starting IMing (he IMed me about some kind of business question related to our apostolate) and we ended up talking for hours. And repeated that daily for almost two years. :smiley:

After the first 9 months we met in person. He flew across the globe (he’s from the UK) to meet me, and neither of knew really what to expect. He said he wanted to meet me because he’d been thinking from the first few weeks we knew eachother online that maybe we were supposed to be married. We prayed about it all the time. And the thing is neither of us is a flightly, spontaneous or overly-romantic person. Not at all. I’ve never had any kind of long-distance relationship and always frowned upon the imprudence of internet relationships, so…And neither of us were in any way looking for a relationship.

Anyhow when we met, we both knew within a couple hours that we’d be getting married. It wasn’t so much like a feeling as just a knowledge, an acceptance of what was. We felt as though we’d known eachother forever…the awkwardness, shyness and “newness” was pretty much not there after a couple hours.

He decided he was going to move to the US and we got engaged on the last weekend of his first trip to the US. We were married in the first week of November (this month) and I just found out yesterday that I’m a little over 3 weeks pregnant. Everything we’ve prayed for so far as regards our relationship has come to pass. And we both have had a “feeling” from the start that we’re just along for ride basically, like there’s a greater hand guiding our path.

Anyhow, hope that helps. :slight_smile:


#20

Off topic, but congrats ac claire!


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