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 Post subject: Thoughts on relationship
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:56 am 
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Master
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Hi y'all!
Yeah, I know, haven't been here for ages (really) - have been very active in this so-called "real-life-world", heh...

Oh, well, enough about that.

To my problem.
I have a wonderful girlfriend. I like here very much and care for here. We've been together over a year, and recently I was very unsure if she really is the one, but I think it was mostly because I wasn't walking on clouds anymore. So I was convinced that this is normal and after that I really wanted to get our relationship to work.

So, in a few days when we saw each other on Skype (yeah, we have a long-distance relationship, maybe see each other once or twice a month) she said that she was a bit unsure, and I said that I was as well, and that upset her and after talking it through I came to the problem itself, or so at least I think.

I think my problem is that I am unsure if I can spend the rest of the life with a woman at all.
I mean, women are so different from us guys. I live together with a friend right now and it's like we have this great relationship, but when I talk to my girlfriend it's like she's from another planet (I am reading "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus") and I really don't know if I can put up with this my whole life without having these "fuzzy feelings" that makes it feel like "walking on sunshine".

I have booked a meeting with my "spiritual counselor" (is that really the English word for a Priest for example that you go to for spiritual guidance in your life?) but I was thinking that maybe you also have some thoughts on this?

My background is also that I'm quit afraid of many things.
I'm terrified of perhaps some day being a position where I'd get a divorce.
I'm actually so terrified of the thought that it makes me afraid of marriage.
Could be because my parents did get a divorce when I was about 7.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on relationship
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:09 am 
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Corporate Minion Moderator
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The best piece of marriage advice I ever heard was this: "Don't marry a person you can live with. Marry the ONE person you can't live WITHOUT." As a divorced/annulled Catholic, I wish I'd heard that advice before the wedding.

Having said that, though, you sound as if you're afraid to take the next step. Sometimes (in life aspects OTHER than marriage, as well) you have to take a leap of faith. Don't be so afraid of life that you never live at all.

Talk to her--IN PERSON--about your desires and concerns about the future of your relationship. If you decide to take the next step, take it slow. Maybe you should each speak to a priest (either together or separately) for guidance in furthering your relationship, then follow up with another long, honest talk in person. I'm no priest, but I get the impression that they would rather do pre-pre-pre-pre-pre-Cana than annulment advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on relationship
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:15 am 
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Sons of Thunder
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I'm a child of divorce too, so I know some of the feelings you're talking about, I think. You're definitely not alone in them. I think it plays into the widespread fear of commitment we see all around us. But God can bring healing there, and we should have great confidence in Him to do that for us. If we are called to the vocation of marriage, He will provide the graces we need to live it out. (Just like any other vocation, that does not mean that it will be easy or lack the Cross, but that it will be possible.)

One of the fascinating things in the way God made us is that He made men and women to complement each other (to differ in ways that build or "fill in," in a sense, the other), and this is not just the obvious physical complementarity but a spiritual one and a mental one. And yes, sometimes that's hard and sometimes may drive us a little crazy. This is as true for women as it is for men, of course. But out of those differences and the difficulties that sometimes come with them we can grow and see the world in a new way, a fuller way. If we get too far into seeing things just as men see them, we can lose balance. And of course in marriage there is the grace of the sacrament that assists us in all this.

The "falling in love" feeling is wonderful and intense, but for most people that initial rush is temporary, and in any case it's not what a marriage is made of. The kind of love that makes a marriage has feelings built in with it, but those ebb and flow. What's underneath it is much more abiding, a choice, aided by grace, to love that person, to will and work and sacrifice for her good, to hold the goodness of her existence in your heart even if no one else in the world does, to see the good thing God did in creating her and cherish it and foster it and protect it. Maybe it would be helpful to think of it in those terms for a while. Movies and books present this idea that there's "the one" out there and it's our job to find it. Of course God gave us attractions, gave us these crazy hearts to give away, wounded as they are, and our affections for a particular person are good and necessary. But again, they ebb and flow. What you really have to decide is whether this is a person you wish to commit to loving the way a husband loves until death parts you, not because she's perfect (you will never find anyone who is), not because she's going to "make you happy" (everyone disappoints on that scale, and it's the wrong question to ask anyway, since marriage from your point of view should be about you willing to do good for her, giving rather than getting) but because it's the vocation God is calling you to, the thing God wants you to do with your life, or rather, because it's the thing for which God wants you to lay down your life. (Make no mistake: He is calling you to do that for something.)

That's probably not something to decide in an instant or on a whim or even on a feeling that lasts a couple of weeks or a month. It require prayer and time and courage and prudence and faith, hope and love and a trusting openness to God's will in your life. Even after all that, you may not know perfectly and will have to decide as best you can. And even if you are married, you will be nowhere near perfect at it. It will be hard like every worthwhile thing is. If you're anything like me, almost two decades in you'll still be figuring it out. That's part of the plan, too, I hope.

Anyway, I'm no substitute for a spiritual director, but those are some of my thoughts, for what they may be worth.

:pray:

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 Post subject: Re: Thoughts on relationship
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:23 pm 
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The Exterminator
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Marriage and fatherhood has been very rewarding and it is clear to me now that it was my calling as my father had said. As with anything worth doing it has been difficult at times and required sacrifice at times and for me to change as well. Women can be hard to live with, impossible to understand, and also wonderful and the reason you go on, sometimes all at once.

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