Fear of marriage - what's the solution?

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JoeYAMseattle

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I learned tonight after Mass that a great young Catholic man in his 30s is experiencing a deep fear of marriage, I think because of the troubled marriages he has seen in close family members.

What is the solution for this? It seems to be quite widespread.

I think the solution is to kind of delve into what makes a good marriage - kind of a quest for truth. (Which is what I think Catholicism is all about: truth.)

I also think that looking to role models, people who are enjoying successful marriage by following the Catholic Church’s precepts, is very encouraging and puts fears to rest to a great extent as well, and paves the way for a good marriage.

What else can we do at the parish level to help young people form successful families?
 
I learned tonight after Mass that a great young Catholic man in his 30s is experiencing a deep fear of marriage, I think because of the troubled marriages he has seen in close family members.

What is the solution for this? It seems to be quite widespread.

I think the solution is to kind of delve into what makes a good marriage - kind of a quest for truth. (Which is what I think Catholicism is all about: truth.)

I also think that looking to role models, people who are enjoying successful marriage by following the Catholic Church’s precepts, is very encouraging and puts fears to rest to a great extent as well, and paves the way for a good marriage.

What else can we do at the parish level to help young people form successful families?
Is this man engaged? Is he dating anyone? If he is not engaged or dating anyone, pressuring him to date may make him even more fearful.
 
Fear of being a victim of a frivolous divorce, where I can possibly (and probably) end up losing custody of any possible children, the house, possessions that I’ve worked to obtain and roughly half my salary is one of the reasons I don’t see myself getting married. And yes, I do have friends who were, as far as he or anyone else knew, was married to a very good, Catholic woman. There’s just no way to know and it’s a risk I don’t want to take.
 
Well, from what I’ve seen, we need to change the whole terms of the discussion we have been having in many young adult ministry events. From the young adult events I’ve attended, it seems that fear of divorce has led to most talks on relationships to scare people away from marriage and harp on people for “the wrong reasons to get married” (many of which are based on secular psychobabble rather than Catholic Christian standards).

This has got to stop. Instead, I think we need to be more “in your face” with people to adhere to church teaching, be more hard on people who get divorced for frivolous reasons or cohabitate or who pursue those ineligible to marry in the Church, and reiterate that premarital sex is a mortal sin, as is artificial birth control. And don’t belittle the role of previous sexual activity in the harm done to marriages; I have heard an archdiocesan official quote a statistic that the lowest rate of divorce is among two people who were both virgins on their wedding night (so will certain people PUHLEEEASE get off the case of virgins who seek to marry fellow virgins - they are the ones seeking the lowest rate of divorce statistically, so we should be encouraging them, not launching mean spirited, uncharitable, vile tirades I’ve seen in some threads here).

Also, we have to get out of this notion that our spouses (and whether or not we even get married) are already decided for us. Not only is it theologically unsound, it is creating a generation of indecisive people and I wonder if this is what is causing the “fear” of the OP’s acquaintance.

Additionally, it is important to socialize with fellow parishoners once married, and I think there can be a type of “accountability partner” relationship to help prop each other up.
 
Additionally, it is important to socialize with fellow parishoners once married, and I think there can be a type of “accountability partner” relationship to help prop each other up.
I think “accountability partners” are a great way to guide Catholics, whether they are single or married. 👍
 
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