*Please…please all Catholics who are not yet married, seek and pray to God for advice when finding your spouse, or you may end up like me.
I am only 26 years old and I married a man who is a lapsed Catholic, now, bordering on agnostic. Since our marriage began, he has been a nightmare. I can see that the Holy Spirit is far from him as he continually pushes it away.
He seemed to be a great man when we were dating and I married him, but his lack of faith has caused great problems and now he is leaving me. He says that he is going to pursue a divorce, which will leave me 26, childless, and hopeless.
Please pray to God to help you find your spouse. I wish that I had prayed more about my husband when I met him or that I had sought a better Catholic man. I know that my life would be much happier then, rather than falling into shambles. Please do not make the same mistake that I did. It may seem, when you are dating, that there are no good devout catholic men. At least it did, when I was dating, but I wish I had been more patient and sought a man who truly knew God. *
I am so sorry that you are experiencing this! I am in my 40’s, and was a lapsed Protestant while in my 20’s. It gives me great relief to know that I never married during that time, because I think any man that I would have chosen would have been a wrong choice. I converted to the Catholic faith in my 30’s, after returning to my ‘birth church’ first. My husband and I met in our early 30’s through a parish young adult club, and married thereafter. I am so glad that we were ‘older’ when we married!
My message to you is that you are never without hope! You may still find a good Catholic man, but it may be later than you would like. We have 3 beautiful boys, and I had them all between the ages of 36 - 40! I think being an older mom has given me much more patience and maturity than if I had had them in my 20’s. I don’t know if you were married in the Church, but there may be some grounds for annulment if he is not now what he seemed to be at the time of your wedding (I don’t know, but it’s worth looking into). God will bless your faithfulness, although it may not be in the way you imagine. My twin sister has never been married, and has had few boyfriends, but her life is extremely fulfilling!
Prayers to you!
Pray and know that God is with you now, and always. As a man, I never married becuase I thought I couldn’t provide all the “things” a woman would want or need. However, after my last girlfriend, I realized I needed to find someone who was fully in agreement with my beliefs.
To anyone else reading:
Make sure you get to know the other person. Talk. Discuss. Ask questions.
Get spiritual guidance. I urge you to talk to a priest also. I know what it’s like to be so caught up in the atmosphere that surrounds two people in love that you can’t think straight.
Depending on your age, get to know the other person’s parents and family. Once you marry, you will find yourself affected to some degree by what’s going on in your spouse’s family.
Get good, solid books about Catholic marriage and preparation for marriage.
Today, too many people get caught up in the physical, and take a “shoot first and ask questions afterward” approach. A young lady I met recently told me she was married for only 9 months, because she found out afterward that her husband was a “nut.”
(((((luv2vecatholic))))) I’m so sorry you are experiencing such pain. You’re going through a very difficult time right now and don’t see this-- BUT – you are still very young. 26 is very young, and life can still hold many wonderful things for you. As others have mentioned, perhaps you have grounds for annulment, or other avenues may open for you. Please, try to surround yourself with loving people, pray, embrace the sacraments, and have faith that things will get better for you. I think it’s wonderful that in the depths of your pain you are using your difficulties to try to help others.
I, too, am in an unhappy marriage. This is my third. I have been married 6 months. My first marriage was not valid and my second was declared null by the Church. I lost everything in my second, was left homeless and without a car or no way to work as I am disabled. I had two children at that time, the first was old enough to live on his own and the second was young. After my husband left us and took everything away, he took custody of my youngest claiming I had nothing! I was unmarried for 10 years and then met my current husband. He is much younger than I am, although that is not the problem. We dated for 3 years and I thought we had the same priorities on all things. I guess he was just agreeing with me, but I have no clue as to why he would represent himself to be someone he is not. He is a Catholic, but he stopped taking me to Mass because we were fighting on the way one Sunday and claims that that has ruined Mass for him. He has destroyed the credit I have tried so hard to repair for the last 10 years. He hasn’t paid last year’s taxes, we are behind 6 months on rent now and all other bills and it seems to me he thinks the only requirement to marriage is sexual faithfulness. He can’t even manage to pay his car insurance each month and it’s now been cancelled and he’s going to lose his driver’s license for a year. I have depression and anxiety and his irresponsible ways are wreaking havoc on my physical and mental health. I am ashamed that even on my third try, I am still unhappy. I will pray for you Luv2bCatholic. Don’t give up hope. You are young and perhaps can have your marriage annuled as I did with my previous marriage. For me…I have no ideas other than lots of prayer. I am sorry I placed faith in someone that did not deserve it. I would feel ashamed to ask for another annulment.
My husband and I have and do still have disagreements about our faith. I believe we mainly got married b/c he had dated for 5 years and it was just the next step. We had a difficult engagement b/c we had been living together for a year and I moved out so that we could do things ‘right’ by the Church and I could have a Catholic wedding (he did not belong to any faith at that time). We struggled w/ chastity the entire time and he struggled w/ his self worth having lost his 2nd job in a year and was unemployed until the month before our wedding. I just so happened to be living w/ a devout Catholic woman for the first time in my life and she led me home to the Church where I had fallen away as soon as I got on my own. At one time I even tried to break off the engagement b/c I knew that marrying someone outside the faith would affect my own faithfulness and would be a bigger problem than I was prepared for when children came into the picture. In retrospect, I think he joined basically b/c it was a dealbreaker and he just wanted to get married, but the simple act of being in Church w/ me on Sunday and being able to receive the sacraments has given us the graces we need to sustain us so far - not even 2 yrs now.
I have to say, his sister-in-law is also Catholic, but his brother (her husband) is not and I can see that it has watered down her faith. Don’t get me wrong, they are wonderful people and they are not w/out a number of blessings, but I truly believe there is a definite loss of grace in their marriage b/c she is not faithful. And when you are married to a non-Catholic, why should they ever be convinced to join if they cannot see that you are faithful and convicted and that your faith really has meaning for you? I have a friend at work who is also Catholic, her father was Catholic but her mother was not and this girl did not join until she was a teenager or so. Her mother, after probably 30 years of marriage just recently joined this Easter. But this young lady is married to a non-Catholic and regularly skips mass. I can see a loss of grace in her marriage even more so than the first. And both couples are without children and I believe their marriages will remain childless - just doesn’t seem to be of interest to them. And maybe that is for the best.
Yes, I agree that marrying outside the faith is a huge undertaking, but I have also seen it work out as well. I can think of about 3 couples whose spouse came into the Church after 20+ years of marriage.
After having lived w/ this woman during our engagement, I look back and wonder where she’d been all my life. My family was Catholic growing up, but that just meant that we went to Mass on Sunday and Catholic grammar school. We did not have a Catholic home where we prayed and ate together and really celebrated our faith, much less learned the basics. There are so many things about finding a spouse and how to conduct yourself when dating that I wish I had had someone to advocate to me. But where I am, I am determined to make it work. I often dread that we will end up like both of our parents (his and mine) who after 40 years seem to be married simply b/c it’s the right thing to do to stay married, yet they do not seem to have a great deal of interest or respect for one another, let alone ‘love.’
My prayers to you and everyone starting over as well as all those who are just trying to make the best of it. God can do so much more than we can ever think of with less than you would expect.
Ed, I fully agree. I’m one of those people that from when I was little people always said, “he seems to act to mature for his age” and I’ve felt blessed to make mature decisions with relationships too.
I think one of the biggest things people dating can do to help their relationship is to cut all the physical back a couple notches.
I dated 2 different girls in college, one for 8 months and the other for 10 months and never kissed either. My friends apparently assumed we made out in private because when we were all graduating and reflecting on our college years they flipped when I started telling stories of how those relationships had gone.
Really I think it was an awesome decision b/c when it became apparent that the relationships didn’t have a future we were able to break up relatively painlessly (it’s never totally pain free is it?)and I’m able to be good friends with them and their family now without any awkward memories (except driving over one of their family’s kittens…opps).
I don't think non-married people can't kiss, numerous priest have told me it is okay. But realize the power in kisses. They do have meaning and create attachment. Of course for a culture having difficulty controling sex, advocating control in kissing may seem a waste. But that's just it, kissing is a first step of intimate physical activity.
Now that I'm in a relationship where we do kiss I realize all the more how right I was that kissing need be used with care. My GF talks about "guarding her heart", which seemed incredibly girly to me, but over the last 14 months I've realized that she's right. A couple dating has to talk like they are dateing (avoid most the "when we get married" comments until you're engaged), live like they are dating (as in having seperate houses), etc...
Many bad marriages result from people who we so physical involved they got hooked. But they were hooked to the sex, or hooked to his good looks, or hooked from people seeing them together. But never really understood who the other person really even was.
Then 2 years, 5 years, 10 years later they realize who that other person is and neither spouse is satisfied.
I found out I didn’t fit with those college girls in the months we weren’t kissing. If I’d been trying to make that same decision while lying in bed with one of them, I doubt I’d have seen our differences with much perspective. I’d just think: "she looks to good’, “she feels so soft”, '“I want to just stay in this bed forever”.
Well that pleasure may be in my future, but I’m make sure it’s once I’m commited to a person that I’ve retionally and prayerfully discerned a vocation with first.