Young Man Seeking Guidance on a Couple of Issues


I’m 26 and I’ve been dating a girl for a couple of years now. She is a wonderful Catholic girl who started out as just a friend. We love each other and want to be married. We’ve remained virgins (although have been tempted to the contrary many times). Anyway, both of us have had problems in the judgement of the other. We both are exposed to many Catholic (and non-Catholic) Conservative information regarding family life. She is a part of Regnum Christi which provides good stimulus. I am an avid viewer/listener of EWTN, Radio Maria, and Dr. Laura which has given me much insight to successful marriages. We also converse with holy married people and read related books. The problem is that I have discovered that we may have been “overkilling” the choosing of our partners. We both have faults and maybe have been TOO critical of the other’s habits and turned that fear into fear of the future with each other. Despite this, we do love each other very much. My point to this is that I’m just wondering if others have done this same thing. It’s hard these days, because we have more problems in our society and young people have to recognize those issues in others in order to make proper friend and spousal choices, but that can be taken to an extreme I guess. It’s hard to be “on proper guard” and “open” simultaneously. Thank you and God bless.
Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." -Albert Einstein **


Without specifics it is hard to comment but My advice would be to cowboy up and become the man that you should be and make a decision. Too much analysis CAN be an indicator that you are not ready. However only you can know if you can be her man.


It seems as though you might be leaving God’s plan out on this one! Don’t rely on all the so-called “experts”. They may be able to point you in the right direction but every situation is different.

Once you get married I fully believe there are Sacramental Graces that allow you to handle the difficult nature/habits, etc. of your spouse.

It sounds like you are both very rooted in your faith and that is such a blessing!


I think Lynne and Potato are right but I have to commend both you and your future wife on being serious minded and sincere regarding wanting to be a good spouse to the other. That shows your ‘true character’.

You know, there were things about my late husband that drove me crazy sometimes…but I would give anything to have to deal with those things today.

You need, at some point, to make a decision and then put the results of that decision in the hands of Our Loving God.


Yep, it’s definitely difficult. What DH and I did while we were engaged and still do in marriage, which works best for us (mainly because I tend to be extremely emotional and it hurts when he “surprises” me with these things) is we sit down about once or twice a month with the question, “How can I be a better spouse to you?” That way, those things that could be just little habits that annoy us but really aren’t damaging to the marriage, are thrown out and it reminds me to keep a level head. Whereas, things that may seem small but bother one or the other (ie. I tend to leave my towel whereever I dress - he hangs his up immediately and has asked me to do the same b/c he’s very organized) to the point of needing to be discussed are discussed in a loving manner.

Another thing that really helped me was to remind myself how much I loved this man and how his “annoying habits” really made him unique and I LOVE his uniqueness! And I’m talking silly things like how he used to use the phrase “Righteous!” all the time (at first I thought it was incredibly dorky :wink: ) or now he has one quote that he says non-stop until he finds another one he likes or how he always had to be touching me (and still does) in public (his primary love language is physical touch).

Anyway, I don’t know if this is what you’re talking about, but I think it was more of a struggle for me - finding every imperfection and letting it get to me - probably because I didn’t have anything else to focus on. We had a wonderful relationship centered on Christ as much as we could. We prepared for this marriage as much as humanly possible, I think - reading books, doing ALL the marriage prep stuff (NFP, Engaged Encounter, pre-cana), talking with other couples, spending lots of time with family, you name it… In all my previous relationships, I went for the “fix-it” men and so I didn’t see the little habits and quirks because I was so focused on “fixing” the big problems that came with the relationship. So, you are not alone :).


I have to agree with the previous poster.

Although books are very helpful in preparing for marriage, I think the idea of “Is this person right for me” rests within your own feelings for the person. Of course, love isn’t just a feeling, it is committment made with reason, compassion, honestly, passion and trust.

You could, hypothetically talk yourself out of marrying the most perfect woman/man if you give yourself enough books and enough time.

Also, don’t forget, there is a reason for an engagement. It thrusts you into a time of deep focus on your future marriage as well as your role in society as a couple. During this time you will learn a lot in Pre Cana and learn even more about each other. If it is not meant to be, then there is a way out, to break off the engagment before participating in the Sacrament of Marriage.

I honestly don’t think that would be your problem. It sounds as though you both love each other and understand the committment.

As a priest said to my husband once:

“What are you waiting for? You love her, she loves you. Marry her already!”


There is a saying…We marry the perfect person and then we spend the rest of our lives trying to change them!

No person is perfect and that includes you and me. Therefore to expect someone to change to suit you is unreasonable. As time goes on, most people mature and change, just because of life experiences. So what may have attracted you in the beginning either becomes stronger, or becomes an obstacle. It’s up to you to decide if you want to compromise. If what you are seeking is self indulgent, then it’s not real love. Real love means you want that other person to one day be in heaven with you. So everything you do should lift that other person up to be everything, God intends them to be, not what you intend them to be.

My spouse and I do marriage prep. And we tell couples, that marriage is not 50/50 it’s 100/100 You give 100 and your spouse gives 100 and you always get 100 back. Some days because of illness, exhaustion, stress etc…you may have to give 120%…but in the long run, the relationship benefits.
It’s when we start keeping tabs on things…or pointing fingers, or finding faults, that troubles arise. There are so many wonderful resources on strenghtening relationships. Seek those. Lose the secular sources like Cosmopolitan magazine, or TV shows…couple of suggestions… or or explore the diocesan website,
With all things pray! Not just alone, pray together and for each other! It works. When you invite God into your relationship, things happen! I could tell you stories about how he has intervened for the best in my marriage. You would get goosebumps… Just take my word for it…Trust in the Lord and he will never ever let you down!


LSK, so sorry for your loss.

I agree with you. DH has his quirks, but I’d rather live with them than without them. :slight_smile:

You need to step back and examine your priorities and decide what is important. When you see flaws in each other, you need to honestly ask yourself if you ware willing to live with that for the rest of your life. And medical science being what it is, that could be a VERY long time.

The most important thing is being on the same page when it comes to your core values. It is important that each of you be open to making little sacrifices (and occasionaly even big ones) to keep your marriage harmonious. It is also important to be open to revisiting and discussing things as time goes by. A lot happens in the course of a lifetime, and it’s important for both of you to be flexible enough to handle “for better” and “for worse”, whenever they come along.

When you are married, you are traveling to heaven together, and each spouse is supposed to do what is needed to help the other get there in one piece. You are more than a team. You are part of each other. :slight_smile:


If I were in your shoes, I would assess what of those nitpicky things are things that I could live with and what are dealbreakers. It could also be an opportunity for youse two to iron a lot of things out prior to marriage.


You guys are right. I love her and believe that I am closer to the Kingdom with her. THIS is what matters…the rest…details!

Thanks. Its weird, I read my original post today (the day after), and I’m shakin’ my head at my moment of nervousness!

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