Wanting marriage too much?

I’m just feeling really down at the moment and need to vent some.

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now, and I’ve known him and been friends for almost 8 years. We have decided we would like to get married after we both graduate with our Bachleor’s degrees…which will be in another year to year and a half.

Sometimes, I would like to talk about these plans and perhaps go a little more in depth with them as a year is not really a long time to plan a marriage. So, I simply ask him what is keeping him from proposing, to get a rough idea of when the engagement might be so I know how much time we’ll have to get things together.

His main concern, I’m finding, is his mother. She pretty much refuses to see that he’s a grown man now, and becomes visibly upset/depressed I guess when it comes to her thinking about him moving on in his life(mainly that equals when she thinks about me I guess) His father passed away when he was 6, so it has been just him and his mom for a long time. He feels guilty for wanting to move on in his life I think, because he feels like its his job to take care of his mom. But what about taking care of his own dreams and goals? What about him wanting to take care of me as his future wife? Am I being selfish here in wanting to get an idea of plans? I’m going to be 22 this year, its not like we’re not of marriage age or like we’re planning to marry in a few months.

I feel more and more sure that I am called to be married life. My boyfriend says he feels the same, yet refuses to even talk to me about our future. It gets me thinking, maybe he doesn’t really want to get married or something. I don’t know:( It just has me very upset and scared.

I am the youngest of 6 girls, and I guess I look at my own mother and how she has no problem at all letting go and I know I’ll be more like her when I have children. I just don’t understand why its so awful when your children have grown and wish to get married. Why does it seem she’s going to act like its the end of the world? What can I do?

I guess the best action now would be to shut up about it and ignore it. But I refuse to do so forever. I will not wait my whole life(or anymore than 5 years I don’t think) waiting for his mother to be ready to let go. that will never happen. I love this woman a lot and look forward to having her as my MIL someday, but I’m terrified that she will start to completely hate me soon just because I love her son!

Though I guess an even bigger fear is that its something he’s not telling me. Maybe he just really doesn’t want to be married. I just don’t understand why he won’t just talk to me! Just tell me his reservations so I can help him maybe with it. I just want to cry, because I feel like everyone refuses to let life go forward. With my depression and awful past, I’m very ready to finally move on! I guess maybe I’m just too much of a future oriented person. I just like to have some kind of plan before everything gets there. I dunno. Any advice? Or should I just shut up for now, and possibly wait a 5 years to a decade to marry just to make mother happy?:frowning: I love him and even though I say I wouldn’t wait, I probably would. I would, because he’s worth it.

First off, pray, pray, pray! :slight_smile: That will help a lot…giving your cares and worries to Christ! (Easier said than done, I know)

Also, it sounds like his mother is a little manipulative or too dependent on him. Either way, if he is a mama’s boy, then your chances of him marrying you (or anyone for a long time) could be slim. And if that’s the case, maybe he’s not for you. If he refuses to talk about it, then I’d just start moving on. Plan things to do with your life that YOU want to do (besides getting married). When I was a junior in college, I thought I’d be single forever, after being single since my freshman year of college. I wanted to get married SO badly and my mom kept making comments about how she met my dad her sophomore year of college and knew within two weeks that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Needless to say, that made me even more anxious. However, once I finally gave my life to God and said, “I’ll be content being single, if this is where you want me,” I felt so much peace! I knew I’d get married eventually, since I felt such a strong call to the married life, but in the meantime, I was going to enjoy my life and do what I wanted to do.

I planned to move to California and live near my closest friends (we’re from all over the US and my family is in IL). I would have a good job, pay off my student loans, and have as much fun as possible (morally, of course :wink: ). Well, two months later, the man I am now married to came into my life…or rather had been in my life, but God lifted the blinders from his eyes and he fell in love with me. I believe it always happens when you least expect it and if this man is not willing to even talk about it, I think I’d not be dependent on him for your future. I’m sure you love him and he cares about you, but I also believe a man should not be afraid of bringing up and talking about that lifetime commitment. If he is, there’s something there that’s not right. What it is, only he knows.

Another thing is that my mom always said to let the man bring marriage up. So, I waited. We talked about general things like how many children each of us wanted and where we wanted to go in life, but marriage itself was completely brought up by him.

So, my advice - let go and let God :)…in the long run, you’ll be much happier! Besides, if it takes some MAJOR convincing to get him to marry you, and/or his mom is too attached, that could lead to a TON of misery in your marriage and resentment as well. I hope all goes well!

I’m sorry you’re feeling down about this situation.

My only advice is to be sympathetic with his need to care for his mom. She is all HE has also, so maybe he’s a little aprehensive about loosing HER, kwim?
I had a similar situation… my husband lost his dad several years before we even met… and he had to emotionally care for his mom along the way. I remember having similar thoughts and feelings…
But at some point I heard an incredible revelation that really stuck with me…

Look at how much he cares for his mom. This is the perfect example of how he will treat his future wife. If he has learned how to love her unconditionally, then he will apply that lesson to how he’ll love his future wife.

It took a long time for that to really sink in with me, because it was really a point of jealousy for me.
No, my MIL is not perfect… and she can be as annoying as any other :wink: , but I have to say she’s about as wonderful as MIL’s come.

If you really feel like your boyfriend is “the one” that God is calling you to be with in marriage… then take a deep breath and wait it out. Maybe start praying for his relationship with his mother to “fully mature”. Remember, if he’s “the one” then she’s going to be part of your life too. You have to be willing to accept ALL of him (including his love for his mom)…
Try to not focus on the jealousy (easier said than done, I know!)… focus on his ability to love a family member unconditionally… because maybe one day that kind of love will be focused on his future wife! :slight_smile:

A controlling and manipulative MIL can make your life hell. A man who is a “mama’s boy” and refuses to cut the apron strings can make your life a living hell.

These are things you not only have a right to discuss, they are vital. How he plans to act going forward is a serious issue. If he will not or cannot deal with his mother, if he will not or cannot even bring himself to discuss it, then honey he ain’t the man for you.

I have so many friends who live this waking nightmare… don’t think you can change him. This is 100% in his court.

It’s a serious character issue that needs to be discerned BEFORE engagement and marriage.

Hi homewardbound,

The advice I offer based on my own experience and “wisdom” imparted by my mom, etc take what you want and discard the rest :stuck_out_tongue: .

It is my understanding that you’ve both decided on marriage after graduation. Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to happen the minute you graduate…you can have all the planning time in the world.

Engagement is a time for preparing not just for the wedding day itself, but also for life as a married couple. Your boyfriend may very well need to proceed at his own pace (I’m sure you are both busy with school, etc). Also, he may want the engagement to be a suprise, or possibly, think that engagement should occur closer to the wedding date itself, or that plans for marriage should not be discussed until after the engagement (my husband was of this school).

That being said, remember again that the marriage is more important than the wedding day (by that I mean the festivities, decorations, invitations, etc.) The sacrament entered into on that day is obviously of the utmost importance and would be so if it consisted of a bare church, family members only and cold-cuts.

Festivities help celebrate that union, of course. Many of my friends (and I as well) have had wonderful wedding days on less than a year of planning. Organization is more helpful than time here (and no matter how long you have to plan things can still go “wrong”:smiley: ).

Mothers (and Fathers too) have different reactions to lossing or being seperated from their children. Your boyfriend obviously cares deeply for his mother and this is something that you will need to consider when discerning your marriage to him (not to say this is a bad thing).

Men (or shall I say those I know, particularly mine) aren’t big talkers, but are doers…and sometimes get frustrated when put on the spot or forced to talk. And marrying him will not erase past hurts (though you may not have been implying this), but is designed to help each other get to heaven.

Finally, you are probably the best judge of whether or not there are real concerns with your relationship. I’d recommend some indepth thought on what you are and are not willing to wait for. If he is, as you say, a man worth the wait, than by all means wait (as long as you won’t feel resentment towards him because of it). I’m sorry this is long and may seem too blunt (my sister calls me tactless). I hope some of it helps. You will both be in my prayers.

God bless,

When I was just finishing up college and my current fiance and I were entering the workforce, we had a similar situation. My fiance kept bringing up marriage, and I would comment on it with her, but I didn’t propose…for a while. I wanted to have the means (mostly financially) to support a family. I wanted to let the proposal be a very special memory, something that was not rushed, imposed, or expected in any way.

For awhile, every time my current fiance brought up marriage or engagement, I told her that I would wait at least a year from that conversation until I popped the question. It became a running joke and every time she brought it up I would say “AHA! That’ll cost ya 12 more months!”. She took it well (as far as I know). Most of all, I wanted it to be my idea. After a few months of playing this game, I really surprised her one day by proposing and she cried tears of joy (I hope :o).

Maybe your bf is the same way. Maybe he just wants it to be special or to be a surprise. Maybe he will pop the question tomorrow. Who knows. I would suggest giving him a little time without pressuring him about it. Wait a few months and then ask again.

If he waits too long, ask him what he thinks your relationship is lacking that is necessary for a good marriage. That will get him thinking at least. just my :twocents:

Good luck in your relationship :slight_smile:

VERY good point.
My DH was the same way about REALLY wanting it to be HIS idea… as a TOTAL surprise to me.
That meant a LOT to him.

He has also reacted negatively to seeing some of his friends “plan ahead” for their engagements (ie having the girl pick out the ring just a few weeks ahead of time, etc)… for some reason this concept really turned him off. He really thought it was much more special to make it a surprise.

Just another possible point of view of why he may not want to talk about it.

I don’t think I have ever disagreed with 1ke, this time included. Well said.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your replies!

He saw me posting on here and that got us talking again for a few minutes.

I learned that he is afraid of losing his mom. “I’ve already lost one parent, I don’t want to lose the other.” It broke my heart!

He also wants to find some way to please everyone, and I think wants to focus on school now cause he puts himself under lots of unneeded stress.

it really isn’t so much that I’m concerned with getting married by a certain date, its just that he kept shutting off everytime I mention anything about it! I explained this and he apoligized and said he didn’t realize he did this, he’s just scared.

So pretty much, he’s not quite as ready yet for getting ready for married life as I am, he’s afraid and not ready yet to bring it up with his mom, and he wants to focus on now more than the future.

I’m fine with this. Sometimes I think I get too eager to move forward. I’ll try to focus more on the amazing love he has for his mother rather than our jealously of each other. I just had a thought, because she just called and he’s in the other room now talking to her, that perhaps he’s the lucky one when it comes to family. Yes, he only has his mom and one cousin that he’s very close to. But he has those two great woman whom he is in contact with and who calls him all the time. Meanwhile, I have my parents and 5 sisters and over a dozen nieces and nephews…I get no phone calls unless my mom needs to ask me something or if I get something in the mail.
I’m alone, and I guess maybe thats another reason why I get maybe more clingy than I should be at this stage in the relationship.

Anyway, thank you all for your amazing insight and advice! I will heed it and pray much for not only our future but our present as well.

We’re going to go out to a movie tonight I think, maybe dinner too if we have the money. He loves me and I love him. Thats certain, the rest we must learn to give to God.

As a guy perspective. I understand sorta why he wants to wait. I met my fiance five years ago and knew within a few weeks I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, but I knew that I was still in school. I was being financially supported (well sorta, I had a full ride to university) by my parents, and there was little way of us to live. I’ve been engaged for two years. It’s better he wait, trust me on this. If you get engaged to early you just want to get married right off. As a guy I never though of it like that. Maybe you guys can look into something like a promise ring. Drop hints. If you don’t spell it out for us, we’ll never get it.

Maybe try to make friends with his mother? It looks like she might be an amazing woman, someone to learn a lot from and perhaps someone to support you later in life too, as you will be her daughter-in-law if you marry her son.

People with single parents get attached more to the one parent they have than people with a two to either one of the couple, I think. So long as she doesn’t make his decisions, you should mostly be all right. But if she makes his decisions, he needs to cut the apron strings as it has been said.

My sympathies for your situation. I’m a bit of an insider to that kind of thing as I grew up almost totally without dad (we resumed talking some 2 years ago), and in my last relationship I freaked out about my ex’s parents making decisions in her life (another similarity is that we had been friends for some 2.5 years before, very affectionate and of the best friends ever). Won’t bore you with my stories, but just this much so you know I’ve seen some and I know what I’m talking about when I’m expressing my sympathies, so… here you go. I’ll remember you in my prayers, as well as your guy.

Jamannor up there is giving very sensible advice.

it is not about the mother in this case, it is about the man. Either he is an adult, or he is not. If he is not ready, willing and able to obey the biblical injunction to leave his mother and cling to his wife and put her first, he is not ready for marriage. No way to judge in this case, but in my experience, if he is not ready by age 21 he never will be.

rent the movie with John Candy as the son and Maureen OHara as the mother of the Chicago cop in the same dilemma, as she drives away the girl he loves, and he lets her get away with it-- and watch it together, name escapes me but it is something obvious like waiting for love, but it will spark a good discussion (or a fight, depending on your dispositions).

I agree it’s about the man, and not his mother, but I disagree with your magic age of 21. Life is different even than 10 years ago. Society has pushed the age of maturity later on in life. People say that 30 is the new 20. Just because someone at 21 is not ready to leave there parents doesn’t make them never going to want to. Most students in college don’t graduate until at least 22 to 23. As a recent graduate most of my friends haven’t gotten married yet. In fact, when I do get married in September I’ll be the second person out of my group of friends to get married and I’ll be 25 at that time.


Sometimes, when I read these boards, I get a little freaked out about myself. So many people here say they are called to marriage and wanted it to happen yesterday.

I’m 26, and I want to get married, my boyfriend wants to get married, but I’m the one who doesn’t want to get married yet. I have so many things I want to do before I get a ring put on my finger and my decisions cease being about me, and start being about us. Some of these things are little and stupid like finally finding a mascara that is both waterproof yet easy to remove. Some are much larger like paying off a credit card, or finishing my masters.

21 is really young. It’s the REST of your life that you’re going to be married. My personal philosphy is if he’s the right one right now, then he’ll be the right one in 3, 5, 10 or 15 years.

The idea of committing myself 100% to one person for the rest of my life is daunting to say the least, and perhaps that’s just what he is feeling as well.

Wow! I would definitely have to disagree here. People are pretty young at 21. I wasn’t ready until 26. Neither was my husband. We met at age 20 and dated for 6 years, and then were engaged for another year before we got married. There was absolutely no way that we were ready or even knew by age 21. Or 22. Or 23. You get the idea.

Very true, thank you. I do agree that marriage can be scary. He is frightened of it, and doesn’t know why. I don’t know why I’m not. Everyone’s different though. I will try to be patient because I know everything will happen in God’s time. I just hope he continues to be willing to talk to me about these things. He says he is ready for marriage, there are a few things he wants to get done though before then. Maybe I should make a list myself of things I’d like to do. I’d hate to get married and then regret not enjoying being young and single. Though I don’t know what kind of things I want to get done before marriage besides finish school. Ooh, I want to be confirmed of course. I won’t get married until I have fully entered the Catholic faith. hehe, I’ll have to brainstorm.

While I’m not married (not even close), and not an only child, I am looking at buying a house in the next few months that will be an hour away from my mom and step-dad. My mom raised me (with the every other weekend visit with my dad) and now she can barely walk without a cane and my step-dad is blind. I worry about moving b/c I won’t be as close to help my mom and step dad and I know that my brother and my step sister are almost useless to help them (based on the fact that they didn’t even visit, let alone help, when my mom broke her shoulder in five places (oh, except when they dropped off their children to be baby sat by her and me). Letting go is extremely scary for me, I can only imagine it being moreso for your boyfriend with the fact that he has no siblings to care for his mom and that she really doesn’t have siblings to care for her either. Cut him some slack, but if you’re 25 - 26 and still no wedding bells, then it will never happen

Two things that struck me…

Unless he is just using that as an excuse for a “brush off”, my advice would be to try to “pin him down” for more of an explanation as to how he will lose his mother. Will marriage mean moving out of state? Maybe his fear is irrational and you somehow need to explain to him that he will not be “losing a mother but gaining a wife”. If the mother is manipulative, then obviously there wil be a problem. Maybe if it were explained to her that she would be “gaining a daughter” - as well as grandkids - she might loosen up. If that doesn’t help, then there are obviously bigger problems and your bf needs to learn how to stand up to his mother, as I am about to explain below:

“People pleasing” is not healthy and leaves one open to manipulation by others. One first needs to worry about pleasing not people, but God; then, only those people necessary to please God. And if he has determined that lifelong celibacy is not for him, the way he will please God is by doing whatever is necessary to become a good husband/father. That may mean letting his mother down. Sorry, but that is what it may come down to.

Addditionally, there is a part of the CCC - near paragraph 2230, I believe (I’m going by memory here) that states that parents are supposed to respect their children’s freedom in determining state of life and choice of spouse. While “judicious advice” is warranted, sabotaging legitimate decisions is not, and maybe the mother needs to have the fear of going to hell for violating the catechism instilled in her (OK, the “going to hell” part is a little strong, but that is a card to play with her if it came to that).

It may take a long time for him to work up the courage to stick up for himself and not try to please everyone (he also needs to learn that some people plain and simple cannot be pleased), but the sooner he gets started, the better; even if the two of you break up, the same thing will probably repeat itself with the next girlfriend and the cycle will continue.

Now the above is if the mother is really an overcontrolling manipulative bully.

You also mentioned that he puts himself under a lot of stress. How dependent upon him is the mother for support? Is she ill where she needs him to take care of him? Or is the stress due to the fact that he is trying to meet too many other people’s irrational demands?

The problem with that mentality is that you could just keep on finding more things that you want to do and keep putting it off and then one day when you are going through the day’s mail you find your AARP card…

Well I if I based my decision on when to get married upon finding the perfect mascara, then you are completely correct mostly because I truly believe that there is no such thing as the perfect mascara. PLus, I can definetly pursue that one in my free time while I am married.

To me, there are just somethings I would like to do while I’m still single and completely independent. Like finishing my Masters degree, quitting smoking, or travelling a little bit with friends. I’ve already checked off buy a dog, buy a car, get a job I actually don’t completely loathe, buy actual furniture from a furniture store and not craigslist, quit biting my nails.

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