Struggling with my relationship


#1

Hi, this is only my second post and I am nervous about it so I hope you can be gentle with me. I am not a Catholic but I am converting. I am in the RCIA program at the moment. I was not brought up as a Christian, I was baptised in another Christian faith but we did not go to church growing up after I was around 5.

I have made many choices in my life that I think if Christ had been a part of my life, I would have made very differently. I am not married. I have two children. I was 19 when I had my first daughter. I am still in a relationship with the father of my children, we are engaged and intend to marry this year.

I adore my children and don't regret them for a second, but now that I have come to the Catholic faith, I see the plan the Lord has for us, and I wish I had done things differently. I wish I had saved myself for marriage. I wish I was married before I had children. We have been together 7 years but we are young so there was still a lot of growing up to do for us, so we have been through a lot of immaturity and it has scarred our relationship.

I feel like our relationship really is falling apart. I love my fiance, he is a wonderful father, he loves me and would do anything for me. But it really isn't working at the moment, it hasn't been for a long time. I know I am not kind to him. I do love him but I think if we hadn't had our children we probably wouldn't have remained together, we seem to bring out the worst in each other, both very stubborn and opinionated. Since I have found the faith I am trying so hard to turn my life around into a life that is fitting with my beliefs, and for that reason I really do believe we must marry even if it is hard and we have difficulties, because that is life, and you work through it.

I just really don't know what to do for us. Although we love each other, I know we don't treat each other like we should. We seem to just co-exist but not work together. He is at a point where he doesn't know what to do and doesn't want to talk about it or work on it, but he also will never leave me. He is also a Catholic so we do have our faith to unite us. I pray that we will find a way but I can't force him to talk to me and sort it out. I am trying to change my attitude to him and change how I treat him.

I am sorry if this doesn't make much sense. I am hoping to hear from someone who has also struggled, or someone with some advice. I just feel very lonely and isolated and I don't want anyone in my life to know what is going on so I have no one to talk to.


#2

[quote="hope07, post:1, topic:224741"]
Hi, this is only my second post and I am nervous about it so I hope you can be gentle with me. I am not a Catholic but I am converting. I am in the RCIA program at the moment. I was not brought up as a Christian, I was baptised in another Christian faith but we did not go to church growing up after I was around 5.
...

I am sorry if this doesn't make much sense. I am hoping to hear from someone who has also struggled, or someone with some advice. I just feel very lonely and isolated and I don't want anyone in my life to know what is going on so I have no one to talk to.

[/quote]

Hi! Since your husband is a Catholic, I would think that marrying would be the way to go. Nonetheless, you should be certain that you really want to embrace the Faith. When I married fifteen years ago, I too had doubts about whether my marriage would be a success in the spiritual and practical sense. I remember feeling a mix of apprehension and hope about me and my wife. We too loved each other but we had our incompatibilities. But things turned out to be wonderful. It took a lot of work (and it still takes a lot of work) to function together and to put up with our mutual insufficiencies; but it definitely works and can be sustained for many years. Hopefully for the rest of our lives. I feel we constructed and nurtured our marriage with enough vigor and love so as to look to the future with confidence. I guess the words for you and your husband should be, by this order: love; perseverance; work.


#3

Hope,

As you learn and grow in the Catholic faith keep in mind that Jesus makes all things new again. Do not allow yourself to be eaten up by regrets. While we are still alive here on earth there is time for us to change, and the Lord wants to work changes in us! With God all things are possible…He can change what was evil in our past to work for the good.

I do not know if your husband is open to learning about Catholicism. You mentioned that he is Catholic, but only the Lord knows where he is in his faith right now. Most Catholics who have been away from the practice of their faith need catechizing if they want to practice again. Right now he appears to be stuck and needs help. And, you admit that you are not where you need to be right now either. Again, the Lord can make all things new.

Keep growing and changing in the Lord, He is ready, able, and eager to do it! Pray for the wisdom to communicate with the father of your children. Be firm (if you are not already so) in committing to chastity, as you are not married. You are aware that you are living in serious sin. Take steps to change that. Many times, this is the “jolt” that the other person needs to do some strict soul-searching. You can get advice from a good priest about all of this.

Remember, Jesus is the Savior…depend on Him,…look to Him. Ask Our Blessed Mother to pray for you also.

I have no idea if your relationship can work out as a marriage…but start taking steps in the right direction and the Lord’s grace will be there!


#4

If your husband would consider maybe short-term counseling, it might help a lot. Or look up Retrouvaille, it’s a Catholic program for marriage renewal. I’m not sure if you have to be married first. You go on one weekend and then you go for short follow-ups for about 3 months. I have heard people here and other places recommend it highly.

I have a lot of the same regrets as you do. I was baptized Catholic but after my mom died when I was 10, my father stopped going to church and so my sister and I did too. My husband is a cradle Catholic but he got mad at God and the Church when his parents divorced so neither of us was practicing when we married civilly. It was having our first child that brought me back. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s with the libertine lack of morals and I’ve done a lot of stuff I regret. When you confess those things and you are absolved, you will feel a big weight drop off of you. And every time those thoughts of regret come back to you, you can let them go because those sins were forgiven. Please don’t torture yourself with what was. Try to look forward to the great times ahead, now that you know Jesus and are growing in your faith. Dwelling on the past will grow a seed of bitterness inside you… You did not know better, or did not have the support in your life to do any differently, but you do now, and your kids will benefit so much from this process.


#5

This is where you are wrong. There is not “must marry” in your situation. Your children are important, and if you can both change your behaviors and come to a true, deep love for each other, the faith, and the sacrament of marriage-- then you should proceed.

Do not feel forced to marry him because you had children with him. That would be a mistake. If you do not believe you can form a sacramental marriage with him do not marry. Delay it at a minimum. Perhaps it will be several more years before you are able to work past the hurts and patterns of past years.

You don’t say, so I hope you aren’t living with him and having sex with him still. You need, at a minimum, to separate yourself from any of that and focus on building new patters, new communication, new ways. You say right now he doesn’t want to work on it-- well that tells you something right there.

Talk to your priest. If you are feeling a compulsion to marry, it may be for the wrong reasons. It might be for the right ones, but to me it sounds like you want to marry b/c you’ve been together for so long and you are willing to throw yourself on the flames of martyrdom and live a miserable life if you must. That will get old and you will instead find yourself a divorced Catholic if you aren’t careful.


#6

Hi Hope,
I am not sure if I can really help you but I am in a similar position to you I live with my boyfriend and we have two children together. I had my son when I was 17. Unlike you I am not in RCIA as my boyfriend only wants me to attend church and not become Catholic and everytime I mention marriage he makes it clear that it is not something at the moment that is on the cards.

We like yourselves have some issues that are making our relationship struggle and I know what its like wanting to keep your family together and loving your children dearly but wishing that you had waited until marriage.

I know there is no practical advice here but I just wanted to let you know that your not the only one in this situation and I will keep you in my prayers!

God bless and I hope it all works out for your family.


#7

Bless you, dear - and welcome home!
I think that one reason that you are having problems in your relationship is because you are not yet married! God will not bless our relationships if they are disordered.
Personally, I think your boyfriend sounds like a really great guy. He is already Catholic, is the father of your children, treats you and the children well, and would do anything for you. What more could you want?
If I were you, I would seriously consider marriage, and soon.


#8

I disagree with Musician’s premise that merely getting married is a great idea. Marriage alone is not the answer. I know someone close who was married before (14 years, divorced and anulled by the Church). That person sought out counseling within the Church. It was helpful. Some people can through prayer get the Lord’s message and spirtual guidance without outside help, but I believe that God has given us earthly helpers as well to talk to us and listen to us. Marriage is a special relationship between two people. IMHO Commitment to God in that partnership journey is important to keep ourselves and our relationships centered on the ultimate truths: God and His love for us.

Hope, you have challenges and you are not alone. You came here for answers. That is courageous. Now, even with all the best forum answers in the world, I believe counseling with a professional will open doors for your next steps on your journey. That’s my prayer for you. :slight_smile:


closed #9

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