When to Get Married


#1

My fiance and I have been dating for a little over 3 years and we got engaged in April. We were planning on getting married in October–6 months after we got engaged–but our entire family is against it. My family really likes him but they are worried that he won’t be able to provide should I get pregnant. He’s a college grad but he doesn’t have a good job right now. He is making about $1000/month after taxes and his job doesn’t have room for him to move up nor does it have health benefits.

Right now, I am unemployed because I haven’t been able to find a job. I am also a college grad but I feel like if I don’t return to school, I won’t be able to find a decent job. We are also thinking about him going back to school because his job prospects are very slim with the major he chose in college.

We both love each other very much but we don’t know what to do. Do we get married, use NFP, and trust that God will help us find jobs and bring us children when the time is right? If we both go back to school, is it wise to be married and performing the marital act knowing that we wouldn’t be able to provide for a child should we get pregnant?

We’ve both been praying about our situation but we really don’t know what to do. We’ve tried talking to our priest but he just says keep praying for a job and don’t delay marriage. Both sets of parents keep telling us we’re being unwise and trying to rush things but neither side is Catholic so they don’t understand. It’s also very hard because we’ve been waiting so long to “enjoy” each other and the prospect of waiting for a year or more to get married is quite difficult.

For those of you who got married young, how did you all do it? I would really appreciate your advice and prayers!!


#2

Listen to your priest. Its time to put your faith into action and trust that God will provide, get married as you planned.


#3

My advice is:1) Listen to the priest and set the date. Marriage is about the two of you starting your life together, NOT about pleasing all the in-laws. 2) Get a job, any job (fast food, house cleaning, WHATEVER!). 3)You should live at home with your parents until marriage, even if they are annoyed. ALL the money you earn should be saved until (hoped for) baby arrives in the future. 4)You and your soon-to-be husband should learn to live on one income when married. It can be done (thrift stores, don't eat out, no cable, make it work!). If you learn to live on one income at the beginning of marriage, it will come naturally once the children come and you will be able to stay home with them. My husband and I were in about the same shape as you when we started out and the blessings that God had in store for us have been Amazing! Keep the Faith, Hope and Love alive in your heart! God Bless, MomFortune :thumbsup:


#4

Unfortunately, God is not hiring at this time.


#5

I see your parents' point.

I'm not sure where you guys live, but in my area 1000 dollars would maybe cover rent.

Would it really hurt to wait?


#6

I would get married. I did get married. And there was a time that our income was a lot less than we could afford. Trust in God; He won't steer you wrong.

PS: I admire that you have waited to "enjoy" each other. It takes a strong person and a strong relationship to refrain. Remember that in the hard times to come. There will be hard times, btw, but all marriages have them. Good luck!


#7

$1000 a month isn't enough to support 2 people, much less throwing a baby into the mix. If the two of you really love each other, marriage can wait until you have a means to support yourself without being a drain on your folks or society.

Miz


#8

If you have dated for three years, then you could certainly date for three more years. By that time, you may have a better financial situation.

With respect to marriage, I think it is always wiser to wait, the longer the better.


#9

You are two college-educated adults. Your parents can have opinions but they no longer have any control over what you do. If they really are upset, they don’t have to pay for or even attend the wedding. But, when you two choose to get married is not up to them at all. If you go ahead and do it I can guarantee they will get over it at some point. 10 years from now they won’t care that you didn’t have much money starting out.

At some point in their lives everyone goes through hard times - your hard times happen to be right now. It will not always be like this. In my opiniong that’s not a good enough reason to delay marriage. Keep looking for jobs - ANY job, pizza delivery or whatever comes your way even if it’s not in your field - and learn to live on less. It can be done! I got married at 21 and had been unemployed for 6 months (and I still don’t have a job) but my husband and I are 1,000 times happier now than we would be apart!

Also, you might want to rethink going back to school. Many people go back to school and end up deeper in debt and no closer to getting a job than when they started. In some fields holding an advanced degree is almost a requirement (such as counseling and social work), but not in most fields.


#10

I am married with one child and I can keep my family on the same kind of wage and I do not need my wife to work to supplement my income.

He is earning enough to raise a family.

It all depends on whether you are both wiling to be poor and live a life of constant sacrifices for each other and any children that God sends or not.

There are people all over the US raising families on the same kinds of income so it can be done, your standard of living is just going to change a lot if you chose to do it that’s all. No more eating out, no more shopping for fancy clothes, no more parties, no more trips to the hair salon etc. etc.

Listen to the priests advice, 3 years is not rushing things if anything it has already taken to long.


#11

Trust in God; He won’t steer you wrong

But perhaps one needs to discern God’s will. Maybe the lack of employment, being underemployed are all good reasons to wait. Maybe it’s God’s will they wait.

Jacob waited 7 years to get Rachel…and then another 7 when he was given Leah instead.


#12

You have done well to listen to both your parents and your priest for wisdom, but you’re old enough to decide for yourselves. There is a sacrifice in store for you, either way. Look at the pros and the cons, as you perceive them. You’re going to be the ones living with your decision. Look at them as objective truth the Church teaches you to see them, as well. That is the perspective of centuries of living, centuries of service to God, centuries of making mistakes, centuries of finding a way. I think your priest is answering more from that perspective than your parents–that is, it is objectively far easier for a 21st century couple to make do with a good deal less money than they’d like than for the same couple to stay chaste before marriage until their financial situation is an easier one–but I’m only guessing, since I don’t know you. Maybe you have far better control over your bodies than over your credit cards.

Marriage has a two-fold purpose: To help each other to heaven and, in doing so, to be parents who help their children to heaven. Put special weight on considering whether meeting a particular problem in a particular way will put you closer to God or farther away, whether it will make you more or less likely to raise a family of saints. Do not be afraid to be honest about how that applies to you personally, though, the way you are now, rather than how you feel you “ought” to be. Your service to God isn’t going to be rendered by a finished saint you’ve never met, but by you, the unfinished saints he’s molding right now.

All that looking may take a good deal of prayer. Whatever you actually decide to do will certainly take a good deal of it to carry out. That’s OK. Hang in there, and keep asking God when you have questions or when you need strength. You’ll make mistakes in your life, be sure of it, but you’ll do OK .


#13

If marriage isn’t an urgent matter from a spiritual standpoint, there is nothing wrong with putting it off, if the couple wants to do that. If your experience has been that couples who have waited successfully are rewarded for it, I won’t argue that, either! I think you and their parents only want the best for this couple.

As good as it is to be honest about whether your ability to support a family is sufficiently solid, though, I have found that chastity is not uncommonly overtested when the wait is too long. As St. Paul put it, “Now to the unmarried and to widows, I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do, but if they cannot exercise self-control they should marry, for it is better to marry than to be on fire.” 1 Cor. 7:8-9

No couple with enough mutual attraction to desire marriage should be expect to be able to deny themselves indefinitely, especially not when they are not physically separated by a military deployment or the like. In my experience, when couples wait too long past the testing point, it invites either unchastity or infidelity. That is worse to go through than tight finances!

IMHO, this couple will do best to take a good look at which test poses the greatest dangers and the greatest rewards to their souls, because both their reasons for wanting to wait and their reasons for not waiting are reasons well-rooted in moral desires. The scale might rightly come down in either direction.


#14

Rather than speculating on what God is calling or not calling them to do (only the OP can discern that). I can tell you what happened to me.

My husband I dated for 3 years in college before we got engaged, we were married 9 months later, (3months after graduating from college). My husband was graduate school and I was working making about 9.75/h. When we got married, my father's words to me, as I am getting ready to walk down the aisle were "Now don't do anything stupid like get pregnant right away." (He's not Catholic) We found out Christmas Day, about 3 and half months after our wedding, that I was pregnant, two months pregnant to be precise. My parents were extremely disappointed, not sure how we would provide for a child, we could barely take care of ourselves.

To make a long story short, we've been married for 10 years this month, have 4 beautiful children, my husband has his dream job, we have a wonderful house, and I'm getting ready to quit my job so that I can homeschool our children.

Bottom line is once you have discerned what God is calling you to do, then do it. My motto is, "God has a plan, and it's really just best not to antagonize Him." Unfortunately people who are not Catholic and don't trust in God, don't understand this, and while they think they know what's best for you, ultimately God is the one you need to listen to.

BTW: My parents have mellowed with each additional grandchild and are very happy being grandparents. :)


#15

Thank you for all your responses! It’s definitely hard because I really feel like God is calling my fiance and I to marriage but it’s so hard hearing my parents tell me that I am making a mistake. It’s really been tough. They are so loving and supportive of me and I don’t want to hurt them. I also don’t want to end up with a child that I can’t support. But I don’t want to live my life based on what they want me to do. It’s very confusing when I talk to them though because I think I have my mind made up but then I feel instant turmoil and doubt after they tell me what they think. :shrug:

I enjoyed your story Sullibe and it’s really nice when I hear success stories like this because it makes me think that we can do it and everything will be ok. If anyone else has stories like these I would LOVE to hear them and how you made it work! :thumbsup:


#16

[quote="EasterJoy, post:12, topic:211505"]
You have done well to listen to both your parents and your priest for wisdom, but you're old enough to decide for yourselves. There is a sacrifice in store for you, either way. Look at the pros and the cons, as you perceive them. You're going to be the ones living with your decision. Look at them as objective truth the Church teaches you to see them, as well. That is the perspective of centuries of living, centuries of service to God, centuries of making mistakes, centuries of finding a way. I think your priest is answering more from that perspective than your parents--that is, it is objectively far easier for a 21st century couple to make do with a good deal less money than they'd like than for the same couple to stay chaste before marriage until their financial situation is an easier one--but I'm only guessing, since I don't know you. Maybe you have far better control over your bodies than over your credit cards.

Marriage has a two-fold purpose: To help each other to heaven and, in doing so, to be parents who help their children to heaven. Put special weight on considering whether meeting a particular problem in a particular way will put you closer to God or farther away, whether it will make you more or less likely to raise a family of saints. Do not be afraid to be honest about how that applies to you personally, though, the way you are now, rather than how you feel you "ought" to be. Your service to God isn't going to be rendered by a finished saint you've never met, but by you, the unfinished saints he's molding right now.

All that looking may take a good deal of prayer. Whatever you actually decide to do will certainly take a good deal of it to carry out. That's OK. Hang in there, and keep asking God when you have questions or when you need strength. You'll make mistakes in your life, be sure of it, but you'll do OK .

[/quote]

I like what you wrote. It gave my fiance and I a different way of looking at things!


#17

I know the feeling of not wanting to dissapoint your parents, but at some point you have to just live your own life and let them cope with their opinions on their own. If they are good parents (and I’m sure they are, if they are so concerned for you) they will not love you any less no matter what you decide to do. My parents were worried at first when I got engaged at 20, but they got over it quickly because they saw how much my husband loves me and knew he could take care of me. We’re trying for a baby now even though all of our parents want us to wait (though hubby’s already 32 and has a well-paying, stable career, how much longer do they expect him to hold off? :confused:). They are going to be royally upset when we get pregnant, but we know that once they see their grankids they’ll soften up. We’re not going to hold off on our dreams because they have some hang-up about people having kids “too soon.”


#18

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:17, topic:211505"]
I know the feeling of not wanting to dissapoint your parents, but at some point you have to just live your own life and let them cope with their opinions on their own. If they are good parents (and I'm sure they are, if they are so concerned for you) they will not love you any less no matter what you decide to do. My parents were worried at first when I got engaged at 20, but they got over it quickly because they saw how much my husband loves me and knew he could take care of me. We're trying for a baby now even though all of our parents want us to wait (though hubby's already 32 and has a well-paying, stable career, how much longer do they expect him to hold off? :confused:). They are going to be royally upset when we get pregnant, but we know that once they see their grankids they'll soften up. We're not going to hold off on our dreams because they have some hang-up about people having kids "too soon."

[/quote]

Wow, 32 is too soon? LOL

I just don't want to get married and then have to come crawling back to them. It's not that they wouldn't take me in, I just don't want to screw up again knowing that they warned me before!


#19

[quote="SaintSerafina, post:18, topic:211505"]
Wow, 32 is too soon? LOL

[/quote]

Well, my mom had me at 42 and my brother at 44, and I think his Dad was about 38 when he was born so they all have pretty skewed views about how old parents should be when they have kids!
Are you living with your parents now? Do you have any way to support yourself on your own? Is your boyfriend living on his own? There was a thread not long ago about two young people who were still in college asking about when the right time to get married was. A lot of people advised them to hold off marriage until they could support themselves, which would be a good idea if your're really worried about having to move back in with your parents. Plenty of people live with their parents for a few years after marriage though, which is actually very common in my husband's native Peru. In the US it's not really seen as an ideal situation however.
If your boyfriend is living on his own you could move in with him after marriage and I think everything would work out alright depsite his low income. People can live on an income much lower than they think they can!


#20

Just a thought - you could always go back for your Masters- when I started mine - I found with my lack of income due to disability I would be making money going back to school - this would also help you on the job market. You could also choose to do an online program so that if there is a job offer - you are free to take it and still work on your studies. It is all about progressing while you are young so you can truly enjoy yourselves when you are older. Besides it will be harder to progress once the children come.


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