To Wed or Not to Wed


#1

Hi All,

Looking for some advice from some married folks with more wisdom and experience than myself.

I am 25 and in a roughly 1.5 year old relationship. I love this girl and respect her tremendously, but have some lingering doubts, both practical and in terms of whether it “feels” like it should. After feeling this way for about 6 months, it has become clear to me that more time isn’t going to answer my questions – it is time to either push aside the uncertainty and commit to this woman or decide it isn’t right and stop wasting both of our time.

We have some practical issues to deal with, including somewhat different visions of how to teach our children about religion (we are both committed to the faith) and somewhat different views of what a “good” financial situation/lifestyle would be (though we are both pretty financially conservative and responsible). However, we have talked extensively about those things and have worked out pretty detailed compromises that we can both live with.

The bigger issue in my mind is whether I “feel” the way I’m supposed to feel. I am certainly closer to her than I have been to any previous girlfriend, and there are many things I love about our relationship. She makes me want to be a better, healthier, more responsible man, and I know that if we get married she’ll stick out anything that comes our way. However, from the time we started seriously talking about marriage I’ve had gut-feeling doubts about us. Nothing is really wrong, and I’ve always battled doubt and skepticism in my life (from big things like “does God exist” on down), so that could be the real problem. I also know that it’s normal in a marriage to not always “feel” super great about the other person. But it is awfully hard to pull the trigger and propose when some part of me just doesn’t feel the way you’re supposed to feel when deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone.

I’ve been praying like crazy about this for many months, but I still find myself in the same situation: feeling like it might be a big mistake to commit to this woman without being confident that we are meant for each other, but feeling like breaking up with her could very easily be the worst decision of my life and might be a victory of my personal tendency to doubt and worry over what God was calling us to do.

Any advice from married or engaged couples on “how you knew,” particularly from anyone with a general tendency to doubt and worry, would be much appreciated. Prayers appreciated too.


#2

I have never been married so take this from where it comes. If someone actually has to ask someone else 'Should I marry this person?', the answer is always 'no'. This is a decision one comes from within and if you feel like you need advice from others, I think it is because deep down you know the answer is no

CM


#3

I have a definite opinion on this, but I’m thinking most others on this site will not agree with me. I recently posted about a friend of mine, a man, on this site who got married with the SAME uncertain feelings you have…over twenty years ago.
This uncertainty never went away for him…and now, two decades and several children later, he met a woman who, for the first time in his life, he felt “the way you are supposed to feel” about.
It has blind-sighted him, it has put him in anguish, and it has made him feel more happiness he ever thought possible.
Many on this site who posted comments on my posting about my friend said it doesn’t matter if he feels this way about the new woman, or, they argued, what he feels for this new woman is not really love.
And, of course, he must forget her, stop being silly, and get his head straight.
So…if you are Catholic and intend to follow the rulebook and not ever get divorced…my suggestion to you is, don’t get married unless you are SURE that you are crazy in love with this woman!
Marriage is challenging enough as it is…to start out with doubt in your mind is not a fantastic idea. In fact, it’s a really, really, really bad one.
It sounds like she is a terrific woman and that you love her for what a wonderful person she is…but maybe you are meant to just be friends, maybe you are not in love with her in a romantic way.
You are young and have so much time to find someone you feel sure about!!
Many on this site have written to me that “love is a choice, not a feeling”…and that you can “learn to love” someone…BUT, my thought is, will you be able to ignore those uncertain feelings for the rest of your life? My friend could not.
And when it’s the end of the day and you are home waiting for the love-of-your-life to arrive and you hear her key turn in the door lock… don’t you want your heart to go thump-thumpety-thump and burst out of your chest and make you leap outta your chair and run to her!!!
My two cents: Listen to your feelings and your gut!
And…good luck!


#4

I have been fighting with this idea of mine and many people have a hard time accepting it. Of course, it is compulsory to accept. I may be wrong either.

I think that to marry is not “to feel” but “to want”. Do you want to marry this Lady no matter how you feel? I mean: suppose (God forbid!) she is the prettiest Lady in the world and that on the next day of marriage she suffers an accident that puts her face ugly. would you stick to her even you do not feel that former attraction?

Feelings go and come, will stays, no matter what, through good and bad times, through disease and good health till the end of times.

The question is: Do you love HER or do you love her QUALITIES?

Me and my wife we had everything to go wrong for we are the opposites in tastes, in the philosophy of educating kids (2), in finances, in hobbies, in everything. It’s a shame !!! We fought for years and years. But we always came back again for I cannot live without her. Now we are doing 25 years of marriage and I love her more than before. and now, I understand her and I like more her character. But it took a long time. When we married, I knew that I loved (=wanted) her though I knew we were going to have a hell of a time. And we did. And I do not regret one day of our lives.

I keep insisting in the difference between “to love” and “to like” but no one listens. In an epoch of “feelings”, the “will” keeps being put aside.

I hope it helps. If not, erase it.

Bless you:thumbsup:


#5

I would add to the above, though, that it is feelings that often lead to "want" and to "will"...feelings inspire and support those Ws. Want and will aren't usually just a mathematical decision or equation as to "what's best for me" or whatever. They are linked to how a person feels.
And then it depends on the type of personality you are, too. Some people can "ignore" or suppress feelings they think are not the right ones to have. Can you ignore or live with, for the rest of your life possibly, that you are marrying someone as you are thinking "she's not the one meant for me?". If we want to bring God into the equation, we could also say that God might be trying to steer you to a person better suited for you--since you have not married this woman yet.
And, please make sure, that you are not talking marriage with her because you feel PRESSURED to do so...by your age, your family, by her, whatever. It could also be the timing for you...maybe she's great, but you don't feel ready yet to get married!


#6

[quote="Flightin_Irish, post:1, topic:250506"]
Hi All,

The bigger issue in my mind is whether I "feel" the way I'm supposed to feel. I am certainly closer to her than I have been to any previous girlfriend, and there are many things I love about our relationship. She makes me want to be a better, healthier, more responsible man, and I know that if we get married she'll stick out anything that comes our way. However, from the time we started seriously talking about marriage I've had gut-feeling doubts about us. Nothing is really wrong, and I've always battled doubt and skepticism in my life (from big things like "does God exist" on down), so that could be the real problem. I also know that it's normal in a marriage to not always "feel" super great about the other person. But it is awfully hard to pull the trigger and propose when some part of me just doesn't feel the way you're supposed to feel when deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone.

.

[/quote]

I was in a relationship similar to yours before I met my husband. It was a good relationship, and it would have been an ok marriage. I had nothing to compare it to at the time except previous boyfriends.

But when I met my husband, it was unlike any relationship before, I've never had even a first date that was so wonderful. I just knew he was the one and we were engaged 5 months after first meeting and have been married 13 years this past May. We both knew we never wanted to be without the other. He is my best friend.

The part that jumps out at me in the part I qouted from your OP was that if you do marry this girl, you said you know she'll stick out anything that comes your way. You want more than that in a marriage partner. You want someone that is going to help you thrive, not just survive, life's obstacles. And there doesn't have to be anything wrong in the relationship, nothing blatant, for you to not marry her. She's a nice girl from what you describe, but there are plenty of nice girls in this world. That doesn't mean you are to marry any of them if they don't set off the bells and whistles for you.

Your gut is telling you something. If you truly need to hear what its saying to you, break it off with her for awhile and just pray and discern what God is calling you to do in your life at this moment. Forget about making a decision about the relationship, talk to God about everything else for awhile. You can't hear God if all you're thinking about is this relationship and if you should get married or not.


#7

Your reasoning is being ruled by feelings rather than will......both are necessary to bring a balance to your thoughts. Id suggest you break it off with her, being hesitant about a relationship is always a bad sign....one that too often becomes true. But in future relationhips try to think before speaking your feelings, as most human beings tend to have fickle feelings, they can always change, or come and go, sometimes at their own whim...hence its better to wait til you meet someone you want and hence decide to love for the rest of your life. Love is about promises and commitment and not just feelings.

Godbless


#8

I was going to respond that “break it off” isn’t necessarily good advice just because one has some reservations… pointing out that Holywood style “feelings” aren’t reality, etc, etc, etc… but I think this is already the best possible advice that anyone can give on this thread… :thumbsup:


#9

You are young and not completely sure. Give yourself more time.


#10

[quote="ibo, post:4, topic:250506"]

The question is: Do you love HER or do you love her QUALITIES? :

[/quote]

I think this is a very good question. Do you love her for her or for all the qualities you see or think she will bring to your future?

Have you talked to her about any of your feelings? have you guys been praying together on your journey? Do you have an older married couple in your church you can talk to? Have you talked to your parents for advice?

Part of me thinks that if your asking after such a long time of discernment that you have your answer and you just need to listen.

From someone who had their engagement end a year ago today, I can say it hurt like hell but a year later I can see Gods blessing and his hand in my life. I still have hope and faith that marriage is the vocation path he has chosen for me but if not then I have peace that he as a reason for it all.


#11

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