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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

At the request of many men (and women) I am starting a post that partially picks up on one that was locked. It is a shame that we cannot have an adult discussion about a topic that means so much to so many of us. If I didn't feel so strongly about this I would simply give up and quit. My CM subscription expires in 5 days and I'd be done with it. However, many have written to me--both men and women--and they want to be able to talk about how to balance having a career, being ambitious, and also trying to having a dating life--to go from being single to at some point, married. This is a valid topic that many of you agree you want to discuss. So, if they choose to shut this thread down again, then so be it. But I'd thought I'd give it one last fighting chance.

One special gentleman wrote to me and pointed out a vary valid point: that some people have it all and yet have nothing. They may have wealth and success in the world's eyes but they are still single and miserable. In essence, they lack that loving relationship with a spouse that so many of us seek.

For many men, women often expect them to be educated, ambitious, goal-driven, and the breadwinner. The flip-side is that men often feel that they don't want to sacrifice a family life over a career and thus may choose a position in life that is deemed less-ambitious. For women, many men expect them to be able to run a household and take care of the kids (and desire to) but they are so often pressured to also obtain an education and pursue a career (you know, in case Mr. Right never comes along or he does come along and something happens to him and they have to run the household).

So, my question is, what are realistic expectations--for both men and women--to have toward each other as singles? And, how can we better balance what we as singles ultimately want--to be married--with our ambitious, goals, education, dreams, etc?

03/26/2013 new

I'm going to throw you a curve ball:

No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no matter what the man thinks is ideal, and no matter how much they agree on it....
...you will live as circumstances demand.

My husband and I agreed that I would stay home and he would work. When he failed to find a job after retiring from the military, I went to work and he stayed home. It wasn't what we wanted, nor what we expected. But it's what we had to do.

03/26/2013 new

(Quote) Marge-938695 said: I'm going to throw you a curve ball:No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no ...
(Quote) Marge-938695 said:

I'm going to throw you a curve ball:

No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no matter what the man thinks is ideal, and no matter how much they agree on it....
...you will live as circumstances demand.

My husband and I agreed that I would stay home and he would work. When he failed to find a job after retiring from the military, I went to work and he stayed home. It wasn't what we wanted, nor what we expected. But it's what we had to do.

--hide--

I like that Marge. Thanks! :) I think curveballs are important to consider because as life goes we never know what will happen. So sometimes we have to be a little more flexible. I'm digging it. ;)

03/26/2013 new
(Quote) Marge-938695 said: I'm going to throw you a curve ball:No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no matter what th...
(Quote) Marge-938695 said:

I'm going to throw you a curve ball:

No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no matter what the man thinks is ideal, and no matter how much they agree on it....
...you will live as circumstances demand.

My husband and I agreed that I would stay home and he would work. When he failed to find a job after retiring from the military, I went to work and he stayed home. It wasn't what we wanted, nor what we expected. But it's what we had to do.

--hide--
I agree with you, Marge. I've always subscribed to the belief that if he wants it to work and she wants it to work, it will work out...and they'll work out their details unique to them...together. (Obviously assuming that you have two intelligent people with morals and a work ethic who love each other.) Things happen in life and you play the hand that was dealt to you.
03/26/2013 new

I think planning everything out to a tee is a good exercise in foresight, but of course, we can't forget that the created world is mutable, by definition. This means that "dreams" sometimes never get realized, goals fall by the wayside, education becomes obsolete, and individuals become unable to work. This doesn't mean that we ought to despair or sit passive in the world, just that we shouldn't take our plans as absolutes, when they are temporal in nature. They should all be subject to the journey along the path to salvation.

Obviously the family structure has to fall within what nature and revelation dictates, though:

I do not find it unrealistic for a single woman to expect her future husband to support her fully in the office of mother and as the heart of the family. If this means that a man must work 40-50 hours per week (or possibly more), while it's not necessarily appealing to all men, then so be it.

On the flip side, I do not find it in the least unrealistic for a single man to expect his future wife to be subject to him fully (that is, in all things except sin) as the head of the family. If this means that she disregards her career training or higher education to stay with her children if that's what he wants, while it's not necessarily appealing to all women, then so be it.

I think the best way that singles can balance what they want with one another is to judge what aids the pursuit of marriage and what puts impediments before it. If it impedes the possiblity or probability of peaceful married life, then it could be understood between two singles to be tolerated for a time before marriage, but must at some point before be given up. If it aids toward the building of a future peaceful married life, then it should be fostered and supported by both singles in one another.

03/26/2013 new

(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said:I think the best way that singles can balance what they want with one another is to judge what ...
(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said:

I think the best way that singles can balance what they want with one another is to judge what aids the pursuit of marriage and what puts impediments before it. If it impedes the possiblity or probability of peaceful married life, then it could be understood between two singles to be tolerated for a time before marriage, but must at some point before be given up. If it aids toward the building of a future peaceful married life, then it should be fostered and supported by both singles in one another.

--hide--

LOVED that last part! I think I'm going to write that down. Very good stuff! :)

03/26/2013 new

(Quote) Marge-938695 said: I'm going to throw you a curve ball:No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no ...
(Quote) Marge-938695 said:

I'm going to throw you a curve ball:

No matter what the woman thinks is ideal, and no matter what the man thinks is ideal, and no matter how much they agree on it....
...you will live as circumstances demand.

My husband and I agreed that I would stay home and he would work. When he failed to find a job after retiring from the military, I went to work and he stayed home. It wasn't what we wanted, nor what we expected. But it's what we had to do.

--hide--

There is an old maxim: hard cases make bad law. You are absolutely right: you do what you must to survive; however, we can't abdicate our normal duties to prepare for the rare sotuation that very likely will never occur. If we follow God's will and have faith in His Divine Providence, He will provide where necessary.

Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they? And which of you by taking thought, can add to his stature by one cubit? And for raiment why are you solicitous? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin. But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. And if the grass of the field, which is today, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, God doth so clothe: how much more you, O ye of little faith?

Be not solicitous therefore, saying, What shall we eat: or what shall we drink, or wherewith shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the heathens seek. For your Father knoweth that you have need of all these things. Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be not therefore solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. (Matt. 6:26-34)

03/26/2013 new

I think in order to have it all both parties need to be on the same page or it is going to be difficult for all parties. If the lady wants a career and the man wants a stay-at-home mom that is a big issue. Or if the lady has to work and doesn't really want to that can be another bone of contention. These things all need to be ironed out before you say I DO.

I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, and I have no regrets. I realize financially that is not possible for everyone.

My niece did not want children and her husband talked her into having one. They both have their Masters Degree, but he is staying home and she is pursuing her career. That was the agreement they made, and they appear to be very happy.

04/02/2013 new

(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said: I think planning everything out to a tee is a good exercise in foresight, but of course, we can't ...
(Quote) Chelsea-743484 said: I think planning everything out to a tee is a good exercise in foresight, but of course, we can't forget that the created world is mutable, by definition. This means that "dreams" sometimes never get realized, goals fall by the wayside, education becomes obsolete, and individuals become unable to work. This doesn't mean that we ought to despair or sit passive in the world, just that we shouldn't take our plans as absolutes, when they are temporal in nature. They should all be subject to the journey along the path to salvation.
--hide--


Well put, Chelsea! Dreams are made to evolve. Personally, I know mine certainly have. Five years ago, I wanted a home with some land. Today, I'm living in a 14 floor apartment complex and LOVING it. Making plans absolutes is a big mistake because absolutes cannot evolve / change with the times. I dated a very kind, gentle, sweet young woman from CM who had a very specific dream and plan that was having a hard-time executing the way she hoped and it may have contributed to the end of the greatest relationship I'd ever experienced. Flexibility--be it directions, ingredients or something else more tangible--is how a full-life is lived. Just my two cents. -Dan

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