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Devoted to discussion pertaining to those issues which are specifically relevant to people 45+. Topics must have a specific perspective of people in this age group for it to be on topic.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is told in chapters 11-25 of the book of Genesis.
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Nov 11th 2012 new

(Quote) John-904878 said: funny. some have thought that i started this thread to advertise myself. That is to...
(Quote) John-904878 said:

funny. some have thought that i started this thread to advertise myself.


That is totally not the case. I started it just to mention that it is false--i assert--for anyone on cm to dismiss off hand anyone who has never been married as unable to live that life.

i have done this for you folks, that's all.

those in relationships have proven tragically well that they too are lacking in relationship skills, even if they can stick it out.

I am leaving cm in a couple weeks.

I just like to offer reflections to people for them to chew on, even if they do not bear upon my particular circumstance of life.

--hide--


I have not said that someone who has never been married is incapable of being in a marital relationship.. I have said that their follow through to get to the point of being married is lacking.. I was barely 20 and coming out of an alcoholic home of origin when I married the first time.. My second husband was abusive to my children.. The first time I was incapable of making a mature choice..The second time I made a poor choice, but there were extenuating circumstances.. I have now been single over 21 years..Hopefully my ability to make a good choice has improved.

Nov 11th 2012 new

(Quote) John-904878 said: Mary, thanks. I just came onto cm just as a means of seeing what folks like this think about and t...
(Quote) John-904878 said:

Mary, thanks. I just came onto cm just as a means of seeing what folks like this think about and talk about; what their expectations are, etc. to do that i had to create a profile though.......................

all my previous girlfriends were before my conversion in 1988; so both they and i were on a different level. in 89 i entered the monastery...

it is so true, what we are saying: i will simply never accept the premise that someone who has been through one or more failed marriage(s), or through several failed non-marital relationships....has what it takes to live the give and take of marriage successfully. I will certainly seek someone who has never been married or who is widowed.

But either way

and NORA, this ties into what you say (I think), I have learned very well how to live without constant female companionship. I have doubts that I will ever find a woman who would want to marry this beanpole anyway. So be it, though I hope to be married. It is very possible to be very happy and single. How many so called happy couples (with skills in relationships!!??) are very lonely and unhappy, bored and tired of each other. Many many. Serial failures................so sad. At least a little puppy dog will always love you--now that's a companion, eh??!!

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What about the person who married an alcoholic, addict, abuser not knowing it and so then ended up getting divorced and then got his/her annullment. You would not consider this person? That is very discriminatory (but certainly your choice). What about the person who had 1 or 2 failed marriages, but then went through a conversion experience and went through the annulment process? Would you not consider this person. And, as for widows/widowers, just because they stayed in a marriage does NOT mean it was a good one. I have found that out by talking to some of them . You are making blanket judgements which is never good. One should consider each person on and individual basis. That said, I have found that every man I have run into that has never been married by age 55 or so either does not want to get married or says they want to get married, but then does things to sabotage the relationship. It is certainly possible there is an exception to this, but I haven't found him. I don't think the same is true of women that have never married, because many of them want to get married, but haven't found the gentleman to marry them (after all, it is up to the gentleman to propose).

Nov 11th 2012 new

(Quote) John-904878 said: not really reading replies. this was just to offer some thoughts for whoever.............. ...
(Quote) John-904878 said:

not really reading replies. this was just to offer some thoughts for whoever..............

i have scanned a couple recently, though.

regarding older vocations.......at the monastery--we were perhaps an exception--we often gave older vocations a try. we did not decide beforehand that it couldn't work. sometimes it did very nicely. we actually inspired at least one other community to accept the fact that not all older men looking into monastic life were automatically 'solemnly professed bachelors'.

and as was mentioned, those who could not adjust to community life, could find vocational fulfillment in diocesan priesthood or some other less community oriented vocation. the point is that we did not generalize that, if you were older, you'd never make it............some communities do have an automatic cut off age and they hold to it rigorously. but that is their mode...............

i didn't really read the 'apples and oranges' post much more than to quickly scan. but to link Catholic religious life--and especially a cloistered community life--with a secular vocation is not correct. superficially, they can seem similar, in a couple aspects. but that is the end. no comparison. that is truly to compare apples and oranges. the difference between authentic vocation and secular career is absolutely massive, divinely so.

as far as a former religious criticizing her husband as being a sign that religious life could never be a prep for a relationship--many things could be said...........but just this: i know of so many couples who do little more than bicker--who have been together for a long time. many tales of people married until death, who really couldn't stand one another. and these are just a few examples of people i know personally.........it is very clear that those who have been in relationships are hardly experts at it. this is why we live in times of unprecedented shattered families.

if you have been in relationships before--as i have also--or have been in religious life, or have been married, in no way is that a sign of great emotional maturity and give and take spirit.

until we attain heaven, all of us...all of us--yes even those who have been in relationships, or have been married, or divorced--will be prone to selfishness and unkindness, immaturity and the unwillingness to yield. I have seen this in both religious life and marriage.



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Agreed, would say human nature makes it hard. If only we were all angels. smile

Nov 11th 2012 new

it is so true, what we are saying: i will simply never accept the premise that someone who has been through one or more failed marriage(s), or through several failed non-marital relationships....has what it takes to live the give and take of marriage successfully. I will certainly seek someone who has never been married or who is widowed....per john. from helen...is this a false generalization about failed marriages or non-married failed relationships? no one but that person knows what it was like to live behind closed doors when that marriage failed...just my two cents.

Nov 12th 2012 new

(Quote) Nora-914810 said: Gary,I do think it sounds weird saying, "don't need", but you are right to b...
(Quote) Nora-914810 said:

Gary,

I do think it sounds weird saying, "don't need", but you are right to be fulfilled we need. I think the big difference and you hit on it by saying, we can survive without a spouse. I have friends that I see going from man to man or woman to woman, never really taking time to realize that they can be happy on their own, I don't think you can bring anything to a relationship if you are so "needy". I want to be with someone because they make be a better person, not because I just want someone to have around. Hope that makes sense and doesn't sound horrible. Anyway I'm just resaying I think that most of us learn that as we "grow-up", or at least I pray most do. Ok, Football time, GO SAINTS....

Have a good day, Nora

--hide--



Hi Nora,

Well said...


Gary

Nov 12th 2012 new

Gosh, on the Women's Forum completely on a different topic I was just asked "If you have no need of a husband to support you in your office of mother (which is what the word Matrimony in fact means), then why are you seeking one?" Wondering if I should point her to my responses here??

Completely blew me away.... Nora

Nov 12th 2012 new

Actually it the post was in "Single Parenting" not the womens forum, sorry bout that.

Nov 12th 2012 new

(Quote) John-904878 said: I have read here that some seekers on CM look askance at an older person who has never been marrie...
(Quote) John-904878 said:

I have read here that some seekers on CM look askance at an older person who has never been married (i.e. someone who is not divorced or widowed)


For example, I have seen things like.......

1. such a person would not be able at an older age to adjust to living with another person, because (s)he has lived for him/herself for all these years (Yes, I actually read that here--yes.)


That is absolutely unbelievable, and anyone who is older and single, and who has read that, should be offended at being accused of a lifetime of self-absorption...........


Now, I should add that there can be a challenge in this regard for an older person to adjust to the give and take, being perhaps more set in their ways. So I fully acknowledge that.


I will just use myself as an example: I realize I am a pretty unusual 'apple' here on CM..............I have just spent over 22 years as a cloistered monk in an Eastern Catholic monastery. I have never been married, obviously, though I hope to be, once Rome permits it. Do you know the give and take required to live such a life? There is no vacation, no day off, no opportunity to just take off to blow off steam..If you have an interpersonal challenge, you DO NOT shun the other, but forgive instantly and carry on and pray for one another. There is no room for ignoring or shouting at another. The give and take, the little humiliations you receive from GOOD, HOLY people make the monastic life anything but a life of self absorption. As a cloistered monk, there is no opportunity to get out of the aquarium you share...with many different temperaments. There is virtually no such thing as free time--and what there is, is part of a very tight schedule, all of which is obligatory.


I was Director of Vocations, Director of the Retreat House, Assistant Superior, Assistant Novice Master, Novice Master, Finance Officer (and most enjoyably, chicken keeper!!) at various times over 22 years. You could say that I have been a father 20 times over. I know what it is like to mentor younger or older adults who give you 'pie in the face'. And do you reject them. NO, you love them and embrace them.........


I say this not to sound arrogant (I am arrogant already, so don't worry. I know!). But I just want to caution people from making generalizations about an older person who has never been married. ESPECIALLY in the assumption that they are now just too wrapped up in themselves to really love another person. Careful careful...............


As a final note on No. 1., I would like to mention that, in my vocational work, older vocations needed to be screened with a bit more caution. Why? Because there is a danger for such to be 'solemnly professed bachelors', unable to adapt to the rigorous give and take and forgiveness needed for monastic life. So I DO understand the concerns in this matter


Other things said are like this............


2. someone who is older and unmarried has not developed the skills necessary to have a serious relationship leading to marriage, whereas someone who is divorced or widowed, or who has experienced long term relationships really knows the ropes and what it takes. They are relationship pros, so to speak.

As with my experience with younger and older vocational prospects who have gone from pillar to post in their journey, I would actually be concerned about the ability to live the give and take of marriage in the case of one who has had serial failures in relationships. That is not a demonstration of skills in relationship; perhaps it is the opposite, in fact. In my vocational work, the serial monk was not considered very hopeful. 'Why has he not been able to settle into a committed form of religious life?' I have known many, and they did not work out....

I am not accusing such people--some of whom have been unjustly treated in relationships--of being bad people. And we should hope that 'relationship so-called pros' would also not make blanket assumptions about an older person who has never been married.

Remember the seven Capital Vices: Pride, Envy, Avarice, Anger, Lust, Gluttony, and Sloth. ME and you are all of these as a result of original sin. Yes, even those who have been in serial relationships. We all need forgiveness and and all should be given a chance. You might be the loser.

You are all in my heartfelt prayers before our Eucharistic Lord

--hide--
John, thank you for your posting on this issue. Many times I have pondered the idea of dating someone who has never married. Reading your post gave wonderful insight. Granted, your never married experience is probably different than most...........being a monk for all those years was truly as if, or more than, a marriage relationship.......all the self-sacrifice and God's grace refining you like silver....there is a great deal to be said about your developed ability to give and accept others strengths and weaknesses. Wow! Reading your post makes me want to meet you! LOL. Also, I am glad you mentioned in your view of failed marriages that perhaps some of them failed due to mal-treatment....something not forseen prior to the marriage. To remain in a harmful marriage is not what God intended for marriage. No matter how much one tries, they cannot change another person. Change can only come from within and the person must desire it. Thank you.

Nov 22nd 2012 new

I have never disregarded anyone who has never been married, but from what it sounds like you are saying you are as yet NOT FREE TO MARRY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, which means you probably should not be dating yet. Have you discussed the fact that you are on CM with your spiritual director? scratchchin

Dec 2nd 2012 new
(Quote) Nora-914810 said: Gary,I do think it sounds weird saying, "don't need", but you are right to be fulfilled we...
(Quote) Nora-914810 said:

Gary,

I do think it sounds weird saying, "don't need", but you are right to be fulfilled we need. I think the big difference and you hit on it by saying, we can survive without a spouse. I have friends that I see going from man to man or woman to woman, never really taking time to realize that they can be happy on their own, I don't think you can bring anything to a relationship if you are so "needy". I want to be with someone because they make be a better person, not because I just want someone to have around. Hope that makes sense and doesn't sound horrible. Anyway I'm just resaying I think that most of us learn that as we "grow-up", or at least I pray most do. Ok, Football time, GO SAINTS....

Have a good day, Nora



--hide--


Hi Nora, I agree with everything you and Gary have said regarding both a greater appreciation for a spouse and want vs need among older never been married people.

Because I've never been married, I feel that I would have a greater appreciation for my husband than I would have if I married when I was younger. I will not take a husband for granted now because I now realize that everything is a gift from God and needs to be cared for and nurtured.

I also agree that I don't need a husband but I want a husband. Neediness to me is unattractive. I also desire a husband who wants me and not needs me, either emotionally or for some other reason. I've met a few of those, even here on CM, and I am not interested in a marriage of convenience.

This thread prompted me to do some quick online research on marriage success and divorce rates among older never been marrieds who married for the first time. The conclusion - there is no conclusion. This segment of the population has not been studied by any government agency. I did find an interesting artice from USA Today (see link below), that found that most adults over 45 said the number one reason they didn't get married before was fear of marrying the wrong person. I highly aggree with that. I had opportunities to be married when I was younger, and thankfully I did not because those marriages would have been disasterous and most likely ended in divorce. I accepted mistreatment when I was younger and that is something I never would accept now. I also have gone through much needed changes over the years and have become a better person (I think) and more ready for marriage.

I will conclude by saying that I personally never have experienced the level of discrimination against older never been married people as I have here on CM, along with the constant suggestion that we older never been marrieds are incapable of sustaining a marriage because we've never lived with anyone. It has never even come up for me until now. It's been a rude awakening for me- not that we are not marriage material but that people feel this way about us.

usatoday30.usatoday.com
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