I’ve recently come to realize that most likely, I am called to marriage. It’s a long story (as most vocations stories are), but that seems to be where God is leading me.
The only major problem is that I am terrified of getting married and being a parent. It seems so difficult to be married, to take care of children, to raise children in the Faith, and to balance the needs of my children with the needs of my husband. Add in household chores, and I’m not sure I could do it all. To add to my worries, my family of origin was not very healthy, so I don’t really have any models of what it means to be a good wife and mother in a healthy relationship with her husband.
I want to go where God calls me, but I’m also very worried that I just don’t have what it takes. Any advice?
Put your trust in God! I was, at one time, also terrified of marriage. And then I met the right man and it all fell into place. I have been married only a year and a half but I can tell you - marriage isn’t always easy. But if you work together, learn to compromise, and are honest with each other, all issues can be resolved. Just please give your worries to God and He will sooth them. Marriage and parenthood is scary - for sure! But it’s also fun and wonderful! We don’t have children yet and I can’t wait until we do!
I everyone that was ever terrified of getting married didnt get married, there would be nobody in this world married, second guessing yourself, or the terror you are feeling is quite normal.
its your own “self defense” mechanism kicking in, the biggest thing that you will find you are worried about is “change” most people fear any kind of change from the norm.
Anyways its not as bad as you think, now some may say i shouldnt give any advice about marriage being as I was married for 18 and a half years then divorced, But I can tell you every problem that comes up can be fixed with this is they key to a great marriage as well “COMMUNICATION” as far as money issues go dont let them ever bother you they always have a way of working out,
and as far as being a parent ( which is the reason I stayed married over 18 yeras in the first place) that will come natural, you dont need books, magazines,or classes.
As I often tell my karate students “cant”, and “I dont think” have never accomplished a thing,
So remember fear is natural but dont let it control you, control it and you can master anything…
My dad once told me that as a new parent, you don’t have to know how to raise a ten year old - you just have to know how to take care of a newborn. You grow into being a parent as the children grow up.
Same with marraige - all you have to know is how to be a newlywed. Pick the right person, and you work it out together.
I kinda know how you feel. I wasn’t terrified of getting married but I am terrified of being a parent. I don’t feel my calling is to be a parent at all. I am just coming back to the church, I haven’t been to church since I was a child so I am basically new to this so to accept a lot of what the church teaches is putting me in shell shock! Some of my beliefs differ way different than the church teachings. I wish I had someone to talk about this!
I feel a little differently than some of the previous posters…
while I do believe that you have to place your trust in God, I don’t believe that you can do that and nothing else and have things work out “happily ever after”.
If you are convinced that He is calling you to the vocation of marriage but feel scared and unprepared, maybe that is His way of telling you that you need to do a little work first?
**Just as a man being called to the priesthood must go to the seminary to learn how to be a good priest (and if in fact it is his calling) you need to spend some time and effort too (you have already taken the first step by posting here:thumbsup: ). **
You already acknowledge that you “don’t really have any models of what it means to be a good wife and mother in a healthy relationship with her husband.” I would start there. Learn what it truly means to be a good wife and mom. Find real life examples, look around this forum (especially at the mistakes that are easy to fall in to), read books, and maybe even get some good counselling to deal with any issues from your past.
Second thing I would recommend is to really find out what you want and need from a husband (on top of praying for your future spouse). There is nothing worse than meeting and falling in love and then marrying a man who isn’t right for you. Well, ok, there are lots of things worse, lol, but you get my point. It just makes everyday more of a struggle than it needs to be. So be clear with yourself about what you want and need.
**As for the parenting part… not all women feel like they want to be mothers or feel they would be good at it. But it is part of the package deal of marriage (at least being open to it). **
I spent most of my life convinced that I didn’t want any children. I just knew I wouldn’t be a good mother. But God knew better. I now have a 9 month old baby girl and couldn’t be happier about it. I struggle much more than many moms it seems and I often still feel like I’m not the “best woman for the job” lol but I have to trust that God knew what He was doing;) .
Spend lots of time in prayer and lots of effort in being the best woman that you can and then let god do the rest! Good luck to you!!!
“His needs Her needs” by Willard F. Harley
"proper care and feeding of husbands" by Dr. Laura.
also - major thumb rule - dont forget this even if you forget everything else - Men need RESPECT more than anything else just like we want love. So when you are in the process of discerning who is the right person for you in prayer, make sure that you respect the man for who he is and not just love him.
This is the most important lesson that I have learned
Also, prepare yourself for being a good wife like Feanaro’s wife mentioned. Look at all the different aspects of your life and realise what would be the things that you would have to let go and allow him to take the decision for… remember with the right man, all this becomes incredibly easy!!!
Trust, trust, trust. It seems to me that it’s rarely normal to people and that most of the time, they’re either as terrified as you are, or completely ignorant and thus seeing nothing to fear. There’s a bunch trusting God and there’s a bunch of super-responsible, but that’s it.
Personally, I don’t know what my calling is - I suppose it’s marriage, though I also suspect God might want me in the frock, and it’s also possible that neither is true. Each of the three possibilities scare me properly. But God knows what He’s doing, so let’s just trust Him.
Peace comes with the Lord and from Him and through Him. If you’re with Him, you’re at peace. Peace is ultimately stronger than any fears. If you cling to God, you’ll pull it off.
Although I am pretty sure that I am called to marriage, my discernment is not complete, and I know that I could be mistaken. But even if I am not called to marriage, I want to know that for sure and not worry that I’m avoiding marriage because of my fear. It’s good to know that fear of marriage is at least somewhat normal.
There currently isn’t a Mr. Right in my life, but an experience I’ve had with trying to really love a certain man (in response to what I believe was God’s call–the whole situation is a long story) has shown me that my heart loves better when I concentrate my love primarily on one man.
Thank you especially to Malia for sharing your own experiences and offering some practical advice. I’ve been very fortunate that my spiritual director has really helped me grow as a person and overcome many of the tendencies that I learned from my parents. He’s probably saved me the equivalent of years of therapy. As I recognize more issues, I will probably address them with him or with a counselor.
I encourage you to continue seeking God’s will, take each day as it comes, ask God to show you what you need to be doing. A good, quick read about looking for a good husband is The ABC’s of Choosing a Good Husband. The right husband will bless you. Marry in haste, repent at leisure - good or bad! Pray that God will help you make a marriage that is pleasing to Him, if that is God’s will for you. At one of Mary’s apparitions she said that many were making marriages that were displeasing to God. So, pray, pray, pray!
After almost 20 years of marriage and 9 children - marriage is the most wonderful thing and hardest as well.
As a Catholic, marriage is a blessing in good and bad. I have grown so much as a person spiritually and in maturity. One excellent book to “chew” on is Kimberly Hahn’s Life Giving Love . You will never be the same after reading it. Marriage approached in a Godly Catholic way acts like water on rocks at the bottom of a stream. It smooths us and tumbles away our rough edges. We die to ourselves. learning to put situations and someone else in God’s hands, etc. We develop patience, putting someone else’s needs first, learning to listen, speak with love, etc. Marriage is ultimately about helping each other as a team to get both of you to Heaven:thumbsup:
I used to spend time wearing nice clothes, jewelry, nice shoes, and my goal was - more money! So, that’s what I prayed for, lots! Then God convicted me, asking me what He said a blessing was, and it was - children! So, with my hand spiritually lifted (and shaking), and my eyes closed (of course), I told God that I would have as many children as He wanted me to have. But, I begged Him to please make it verrrrry obvious, because I didn’t want to have more than necessary (how silly of me:( ) So, children began to come along, and it was hard! I couldn’t wear my nice clothes - they were spat up upon - and I couldn’t wear my jewelry, they were broken by little hands, -okay, no laughing here! and, well, being a stay-at-home mom didn’t really bring in the big bucks! But, today, I love who God has made me so much more! I die to myself continuously, learn patience - even when holding a little one most the night. But I’ve also had the joy of holding my babies in my arms for the first time, a feeling that nothing in this world even compares to the joy and love it brings you. You realize you would die for someone, like Jesus asks us to do for a friend - no greater love- and that this is sooo much better than getting a new house, or new car, or even new furniture.
Pray the Our Father aloud with your baby while changing their diapers or offer this up for their eternal salvation. Jesus said the sheep will go to Heaven because they gave food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, etc. - something that we as parents are blest and priviledged to do every day (especially when you have a little toddler that has learned to take off their clothes and is running around the house au natural ). It used to be hard for me as I looked out the window as the neighborhood women drove off to work in their nice cars and clothes, but the internal peace and joy that I have, I wouldn’t trade it for anything Talk with other Catholic Mom’s for advice, especially those with grown children who take their Faith seriously and have kept their children Catholic as well. They will give you great help
So, may God bless you and show you which path that He would have you go on. Rejoice! This is an exciting time in your life. Just pray it through carefully, and don’t jump into anything too hastily:o
All!! of God’s plans for you are good, no matter how hard they seem at times
I often see people here asking if they should marry because they’ve found someone they want to marry but circumstances are not ideal, (e.g. because the couple is in school and the wife would need to work even if there was a child) Usually this coulple is urged to marry and work out the details later.
But that is the case where the individuals are suited for each other and want to marry. The assumption in urging marriage is that the couple is willing to work to overcome obstacles because of dedication to each other and to the cause of marriage.
In the case of the OP, there is not even a couple yet. And while there seems to be some sense of calling to marriage and parenting, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of dedication. I don’t know how old the OP is, but if young (under 25) then there is no hurry. The OP can find some way to be of service to the community. (Service can, of course, be volunteer work of some kind. But it can also include entering the business world and doing the best job possible; businessshould be a means of serving the community.)