I’m sorry to join the forum with one request and very little to contribute but the majority of people I know haven’t been able to help because of a lack of Catholic perspective. I’m also sorry that it’s probably going to be a long matter. I don’t really know who to talk to about this, and I found the forum while looking for whether someone had a similar situation and all the married men who posted that they wanted to become monks only made me even more confused Thank you in advance for reading through it.
I know that vocations should be a matter of things between God, the person and the Church, but the person himself admitted than in this case it affects a 4th person, which is me, and he wants me to support him (he knows I wouldn’t have given that up easily because of my caring nature anyway).
My boyfriend had already abandoned noviciate in a monastery and the path to ordination as a priest because he felt he was called to have a family and he was doing that just because that was what his priest pushed him to do before meeting me. He says he liked it, but he had doubts, and he got into trouble for being err too friendly with one of the nuns (as there’s a female house there too.). He wasn’t a virgin when he met me either, and I have the impression he struggled with sexual feelings much more than I did before meeting him.
When we met after some circumstances that seemed to both clear evidence that Someone was bringing us together we were both confident that marriage was our call, and that we had now started the journey towards it together. I had separated from the Church for years after abuses that were going on among the young people in my local parish and meeting him was to me like I was called home, so I started my own journey of reconciliation so that we could be married and raise our children in the Catholic faith. Marriage seemed so secure he also asked me if I would dress him should he be ordained as a deacon, as he still had a call to serve in the church (while I had one of my own too).
Meanwhile, some awful things happened in his life and he felt like God was punishing him for leaving the monastery and he says that he is confused about what his vocation really is. He suffers from anxiety and I managed to convince him to try and seek help with it because he is in a too vulnerable position right now to make a decision, but he gave himself a deadline to decide and it feels to me like it’s too little time to take a decision from a position of emotional peace. He didn’t open much about his feelings (it’s not in his character) but he told me if he didn’t meet me he would have probably gone back to the monastery, and he asked me whether I would take him back should he realise it was a mistake to go back. I asked him what has changed since the last time he was a novice to make him think this time it’s the right thing and he says that he doesn’t know. He speaks of himself as being in a desperate state emotionally that is showing physically and he wants me not to have to see him in such a dreadful state. He says his feelings for me haven’t changed and that I’m an amazing woman he doesn’t deserve, and says that he only hurts people when he’s around them and that’s why he should be away from them. He has considered becoming a Trappist but then changed his mind because too strict for him. If he returned to the monastery he left he wishes me to remain his friend because he wants to be there for me, and this whole thing about finding it hard to let me go is bothering me. The whole situation to me seems like he would use the monastery to run away from his problems, which doesn’t really sound like a real vocation to me, but I don’t want to push this to him as only he and God know.
I don’t really know how to cope with this apart from praying, but every time I open my devotional or attend Mass there’s something that reinforces what my version of our call is and I’m crying in church (and anywhere really) so often you’d think I’m mourning someone passing away if you saw me.
What does one do to support someone discerning a vocation without interfering, and without losing themselves in it like I’m doing right now?
Thank you again for reading through it, any advice or prayers will be appreciated.