So I asked this question a few days ago of Yahoo! Answers, which in retrospect, wasn't the brightest idea, reason one being that no one on that forum probably understands how to answer my question from a faith-based perspective, and two- no one has answered my question anyways. But no matter. I'd rather have the opinion of other practicing Catholics who understand where I'm coming from.
Okay, so here's my situation. I'm 21, and in the second semester of my junior year of college. I've been dating my boyfriend for several years, and he's been the most supportive, patient, and understanding guy I've ever met. Truly beyond rationale.
One of my greatest goals in life is to get married and have a family, and I LOVE kids. Right now, I'm getting ready to enter PT school (3 or so extra years of college), getting everything lined up for it. My boyfriend is studying engineering, and is in his sophomore year (2 of 5 years). I pestered him a bit about wanting to get married (once again, not smart in retrospect, but I really wanted it), and he said no at first, because he wanted to finish school, but has since changed his mind. It's something I really want, but I don't want to leave him feeling useless or incomplete, and I've since told him that he doesn't have to go through with it, but he says he will ask me to marry him sometime later this year. I'm not having second thoughts (of course I'll say yes if he asks me), but I know that if he asks me to marry him, I'm not going to want to wait around 3 or so years just to get married. And neither of us believe in the use of condoms or contraceptives (naturally, since we're Catholic and all).
I know throwing a baby into the mix puts a strain on things, especially during school (grad school no less!), but I also know that no time is ever really a good time to have a baby. This is something I feel very strongly about, and I would be willing to do anything to make this work. I know my boyfriend feels the same way. But in a way, I'm a little scared by all the advice I've turned up from other sources. I'm not sure how much of the advice I've turned up is just plain cynical. If I had to, I would give up PT school altogether for this and find a way to utilize my Exercise Science degree, that's how much I want this.
I must admit patience is one of my weakest virtues. I've prayed and been trying to work at it, but I still find myself extremely frustrated on a regular basis. Other events in my recent life have compounded my frustration (cancer, stroke, and death in my family all in the past 4 months), and staying busy is the only thing that's really helped me through it all. In a way, I wonder if these new and greater demands that have recently come into my life are preparing me for the (possibly near) future.
But I digress. I guess I just want to know- is there any way to make my situation work out without going against my (and my boyfriend's) personal beliefs on things such as condoms and contraceptives? Also, my mom is very adamant about me finishing grad school before getting married, but I feel that that is partially because neither of my older sisters ever finished their four year degrees. But I enjoy learning, and I work harder, and I'm almost done with my degree. And I wouldn't be getting married until after I'd already graduated from my first four years of college, that's longer than a lot of college students. Is it unreasonable for her to expect me to wait 7-8 years to get married? I've tried talking to her about it, but she won't hear any of it. I'm a little scared and confused about what I should do at this point. Words of encouragement would be great guys.
SORRY THIS IS SUCH A LONG POST I'VE HAD THIS ON MY MIND FOR FOREVER.