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Singles discussion related to wedding planning, engagement, and married life should be posted in this room.

Saint Valentine is patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages.
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Aug 04 new
My take on it is if you want to have your engagement or marriage last, then don't have "private friends". Kiss the old ghosts of the past or friendships goodbye & start anew.

On ex. I saw in my family was this old family friend of my brother's & myself who invited my married brother over her house for dinner, as an exclusive "get-together". His wife was upset & told him "no, she didn't want him going over there" & rightly so. This female friend was the sister of my brother-in-law & also went to our same Catholic grade school, but I feel she really crossed the line, even if innocently, when she did the invite. This brother & his wife have now been married for abt. 27 yrs., rose so they lived through it! Boundary setting at appropriate times is the best you can do. biggrin
Aug 04 new
Dear Lynea,

There must be something in the air. I've had this conversation with at least two people this week. I think that the oft-stated, "your spouse should be your best friend" covers a lot of ground.

To this I will add that I firmly believe that as women we can affirm our spouse's manhood...but only other men confer it. Catholic men need good holy relationships with other Catholic men. They need to be able to take conversations to them and engage them in the way that only men can engage. There is also no reason that your wives should not be aware of these relationships.

A wife should be her spouse's resource for advise, for affirmation, for reflection and sometimes to hold a mirror up and check for "areas of improvement." This is the entire point of a relationship committed to each other's growth in holiness and sanctity.

"Private friends" of the nature described here seem, of course, unhealthy.

This is too anecdotal to make a satisfactory corollary so take it with a grain of salt, but some of the strongest marriages I have observed in my parish also seem to share common emails, example: johnandmarshatgmaildotcom or themillersatyahoodotcom (not real email addresses of parishioners in my area, in case you are the type who was tempted to call Jenny at 867-5309). I merely direct our attention to the transparency implicit in such relationships.

Therein the key: transparency. The soul that is clear as a peaceful lake can better reflect the glory of God. Such a soul is concerned with persevering in the narrow path and preserving the dignity of their spouse in marriage.

In addition, I say that in order to build that trust on which all this hinges....we must try to be transparent early on. I am not suggesting sharing every aspect of our lives with every stranger we message...but definitely as the relationship progresses. Trust is build on disclosure.

Lastly, and tangentially related, we must strive to be the sort of soul in which our spouse can confide. Do they find an understanding, charitable and loving ear? Gently speaking his/her truth and allowing the other room to find their own? I don't imagine it is easy to find room in a heart already brimming with suspicion.

In Christ,
Leyden
Aug 06 new
(quote) Leyden-904885 said: Dear Lynea,
There must be something in the air. I've had this conversation with at least two people this week. I think that the oft-stated, "your spouse should be your best friend" covers a lot of ground.
To this I will add that I firmly believe that as women we can affirm our spouse's manhood...but only other men confer it. Catholic men need good holy relationships with other Catholic men. They need to be able to take conversations to them and engage them in the way that only men can engage. There is also no reason that your wives should not be aware of these relationships.
A wife should be her spouse's resource for advise, for affirmation, for reflection and sometimes to hold a mirror up and check for "areas of improvement." This is the entire point of a relationship committed to each other's growth in holiness and sanctity.
"Private friends" of the nature described here seem, of course, unhealthy.
This is too anecdotal to make a satisfactory corollary so take it with a grain of salt, but some of the strongest marriages I have observed in my parish also seem to share common emails, example: johnandmarshatgmaildotcom or themillersatyahoodotcom (not real email addresses of parishioners in my area, in case you are the type who was tempted to call Jenny at 867-5309). I merely direct our attention to the transparency implicit in such relationships.
Therein the key: transparency. The soul that is clear as a peaceful lake can better reflect the glory of God. Such a soul is concerned with persevering in the narrow path and preserving the dignity of their spouse in marriage.
In addition, I say that in order to build that trust on which all this hinges....we must try to be transparent early on. I am not suggesting sharing every aspect of our lives with every stranger we message...but definitely as the relationship progresses. Trust is build on disclosure.

Lastly, and tangentially related, we must strive to be the sort of soul in which our spouse can confide. Do they find an understanding, charitable and loving ear? Gently speaking his/her truth and allowing the other room to find their own? I don't imagine it is easy to find room in a heart already brimming with suspicion.
In Christ,Leyden
yes yes and yes to transparency----but no doubt difficult at times--as two are getting to know one another--I think more difficult to navigate pre marriage--everyone has a different personality, needs, love language and communication style--there is lots to learn about --and it does take time--I agree that transparency helps to build trust & security in a relationship--while I agree, I have learned that when things are not transparent at a certain point, I get very uncomfortable and find it hard to trust. I am by nature a more open person and external processor as a friend recently mentioned to me..so I like to discuss and share---it makes me feel like things are on the table--so there is even a chance of true communication & meeting of minds/hearts. When I feel like some one is hiding something, omitting something 0r something is off, the Holy Spirit is tapping on my heart with intuition (even if I don't totally understand)--I find it very, very difficult to trust--until or unless I feel we can be transparent--- Trust is built on disclosure-appropriately and with love.

JMJ+

I also believe that Catholic men need other Catholic men too! Spouses do need to affirm each other, and while dating--important to learn each others love language--and learn how to affirm in the way the other needs...As a lady it does affirm relationships when my be loved is actively working on transparency---it makes me feel more secure--and at peace--even if there are problems etc....St Raphael, pray for us! Lisa
Aug 08 new
We all have friends and acquaintances where we work, the gym, etc, etc. I don't feel like you need to run home and share all of your encounters, however when in their presence, or referring to an event there should be no hesitancy to talk openly about them.

Secrets are damaging, just as is a lack of trust. I think this goes beyond having unknown friends to the first and most important quality of a relationship...trust.
Aug 17 new
(quote) Michelle-443439 said: We all have friends and acquaintances where we work, the gym, etc, etc. I don't feel like you need to run home and share all of your encounters, however when in their presence, or referring to an event there should be no hesitancy to talk openly about them.

Secrets are damaging, just as is a lack of trust. I think this goes beyond having unknown friends to the first and most important quality of a relationship...trust.
Michelle,
No one is talking about casual acquaintances as being a threat. so I'm not sure if you were confused for having failed to read the initial post, or if you honestly equate causal acquaintances with intimate friends with whom one confides, and/or spends time regularly with personally (not counting while at work). It is not at all the truly Catholic mindset to downgrade marriage or courtship with the intention of timely marriage, including engagement, as something that is merely to satisfy one social area such as the "main squeeze" while entertaining other intimate relationships of the opposite sex. Seeing acquaintances at work or at the gym is not the same as making plans to see someone at their home, or regularly going out to dinner with them, etc. planning trips together, etc., sharing intimate conversations over email, phone, etc. I think it is wrong to lump these all together in order to wrongly claim that someone who is in a committment who has someone cheating on them emotionally is lacking trust.

I'll provide to examples:

One man is married to his wife for many, many years. He has acquaintances, but then some of them become women he makes plans with to see for lunch, dinner, etc. Then he sleeps with them. His doting wife trusts him totally. Often she senses something is amiss, but his friends know what he's doing because he admits it, but knows that if he told her, she might likely leave him, and this, he does not want. But, he still justifies his cheating because of the problems with intimacy they are having. Kind of makes you wonder if the reason he is having problems is because his lack of commitment.

Another example is a man who is engaged to a nice, Catholic woman who is also, very trusting. It is gradually revealed that he has a habit of contacting ex's and other female friends, for all kinds of excuses --- but namely because he doesn't like to be alone for lunch, dinner, etc. and his finance is out of town, or he is sometimes out of town on business.

Rule of thought: If you feel you have to lie about something you are doing, you probably shouldn't be doing it. Hiding the truth about something consists of firstly, avoiding the truth, but to a substantial degree, and eventually, it has to be maintained by telling lies. Lying is not a way to have a relationship rooted in Christ, who is Truth Incarnate.
Aug 17 new
(quote) Suzanne-930338 said:
 Even to the point that if someone wants to tell you something in confidence you need to let them know that you do not "keep confidences" from your spouse if it would in any way be detrimental to your marriage. The same goes if I am the one talking to a friend, male or female.

I think you're right on in this Suzanne...

I always remember what Kimberly Hahn said to me once while confiding in her some of the trials of my marriage, (Both her & Scott are friends of my family) She simply cautioned me that what ever I tell her would also be open to Scott as they have a policy of no secrets between them. Her words, integrity & example have continually impressed me throughout the years. They possess one of the most dynamic, (and fruitful), marriages I've ever seen... rose
Aug 18 new
Thank you for such an insulting reply. Or, did I miss read that too?
Aug 18 new
(quote) Lynea-297530 said: When you're in a relationship that is on the marriage track, either talking marriage or officially engaged, is it ok to have friends of the opposite sex that your partner knows nothing or next to nothing about? Is this ok when you are married? Is it ok to have friends of the opposite sex that you share initimate discussions on life events, and your main relationship? I find it interesting that there are many practicing Catholics that think that there is no "cheating" if there is no physical intimacy, or no physical intimacy to the extend of the actually marriage act.

I've spoken to many priests about this, and all of them say the same thing: engaged or married couples ought to not have secret friends, whether or the opposite sex or even of the same sex.

That having been said, is not one of the main comforts of marriage the emotional bond? How can that be maintained if this sort of bond is being shared wtih others outside the marriage? Also, having close friends of either sex that are not shared with your partner is always wrong, and it is especially damaging when these close friends do not share the same marriage values and ideas.

ALSO, is it wrong to expect that one should be able to pick up their spouses cell phone and not be surprised by who their contacts are?

From what I am hearing, most infidelities in marriages occur without the intitial desire or intent, such as with a workplace affair. Sometimes people's wills are in conflict with their desire and/or intent, yet people nowadays people tend to presume that they can live by a code of morality that is half by the spirit of the culture, and half for the Lord. (Although, our Lord has some pretty choice words for people who try to straddle both camps, warning them for their lukewarmness.)

Thoughts? Please share!

No it's not ok. I have many male friends who contact me all times of the day, but we are just friends. When I date someone whom I'm serious about...I make he meets and hangs with every one of them, so he is totally comfortable with our friendships. And since I'm so open about my friends, it has never been an issue with any guy I have been with. No jealousy issues either. It's best to be an open book. Any hiding will result in suspicion once it's discovered. Really not worth the hassle.
Aug 18 new
(quote) Michelle-443439 said: Thank you for such an insulting reply. Or, did I miss read that too?
Michelle, I don't believe anyone intended to insult you. The posters were just trying to relay the importance of transparency in a soon to be marriage relationship, especially at a time when building trust is so important.
In "small town" America, everybody knows everybody, this issue is not nearly as relevant, however in large city America, where people are anonymous, it is dangerous to assume that your relationship with your soon to be spouse is "safe" from outside influence from members of the opposite sex.
In my own life I have learned to deal with this by focusing on the fact that I will always be more important than my marriage (this is scriptural, just can't remember where)
Aug 18 new
Joan-
Where are you getting this information? It has NOTHING to do with where you live, who you know or out side influences. The last time I looked, the opposite sex, and all variations in between, live everywhere. If you can not TRUST the person with whom you are in relationship, it does not matter where you are or who they encounter. Part of this trust is to know they would not do harm to you emotionally or physically. You may want to re-examine their core values if you have any doubts.

You write, "it is dangerous to assume that your relationship with your soon to be spouse is 'safe" from outside influences from members of the opposite sex." In my opinion, you have serious issues in your relationship and personally if you believe this. Jealousy and being paranoid will doom any relationship. I would start to wonder how secure any woman is with themselves, if they believe this. You are surely setting up any relationship for failure if your focus is on the 'other' women more than the one he comes home to at night.

There is no man that stands a chance in this circumstance.
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