I Beg Your Pardon?! What Surprised These CatholicMatch Alums About Marriage


I Beg Your Pardon?!


Kristi & Rachel are the co-founders of Hail Marry, a Catholic website designed to support Catholic newlyweds, young marrieds, young families, and the vocation of marriage through its blog and podcast series, Fiat: Faith in All Things, at www.hailmarry.org. Both women met their husbands here, on CatholicMatch. Rachel was married to her CatholicMatch in 2014, and Kristi in 2016. 



I remember, at age nine, knowing I’d one day be a wife and mother. I had it all planned out. I’d marry a handsome, wonderful man at 18, have my first child at 23, and go on to have five. Boom! Happily ever after!

Although I did have my first child at 23 and I am married to a handsome, fabulous man, my journey was wrought with many turns and surprises. Marriage has its fair share of surprises, too.

I knew, of course, that it’d be different, but the thing I expected to be the most challenging ended up being a breeze, and things I didn’t even register as a possibility to cause surprise did.


RachelThe priest finished saying, “For the first time, let me introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Washington.” My husband looked at me and winked. That moment was when it became real to me: I’m married to the man of my dreams.

I knew that our life would be a fairy tale. Fast forward two weeks and I’m telling myself, “I know Mom said that marriage is hard work but I didn’t realize how hard.”

I thought I was prepared. I took the classes, had uncomfortable conversations with my parents, got the things I needed to set up a household, but my unrealistic dream of a fairy tale marriage was the problem. My thoughts on how it was going to be were definitely not what God (or my husband) had planned for us. There are ton of wonderful—and not so wonderful—surprises that I encountered since marrying.

I know Mom said marriage is hard work, but I didn't realize how hard it is!Click To Tweet

Kristi Says: Money

For me, I just knew that money would be the source of grief in our marriage. It was when we were paying for our wedding, trying to split things and keep it on budget despite changing guest lists and gift ideas for the bridal party. It was when we were selling my husband’s home, thinking that we might have to pay for a home that we weren’t using. One conversation morphed into a heated conversation with tears.

Something happened after “I do,” though. Maybe it’s because we are now truly united in every sense of the word. Maybe it’s the residual grace from the sacrament. Maybe it’s because now we are 100% a team and we make all of our decisions together. When we sat down in January to plan our 2017 budget, we both braced for impact. But! But it was an open, honest conversation completely devoid of tension, derision, or tears.

Rachel Says: Conversations

We had our:

“Why do we leave a million odd socks all over the house?!”

“I let the puppy out last!”

“Did you rinse dishes before you put them in the dishwasher?” discussions.

The thing that broke my disillusion of the fairy tale marriage was the heavy conversations! What we want for our family, not what our family wants for us, is key.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Matthew 19:5)

My husband and I always talk about how we handle a certain situation. Of course it gets uncomfortable and feelings get hurt sometimes, but we realized with hot topics, these deep conversations actually strengthen our marriage for the better. We learn to be a team and to do best for our family and aren’t lead by unrealistic expectations of others. I encourage every couple to have those tough talks; your marriage is worth it.

They Both Agree: Holidays

Kristi: My husband and I were engaged early enough into 2016 that we needed a plan for holidays. We ended up alternating sides. After Thanksgiving with my parents, my hubby wasn’t sure that our plan was the best route. We were having frequent, intense conversations about how to spend the holidays. I quickly learned that this is an initiation—a rite of passage required of newlyweds.

I learned quickly that how to spend the holidays is a rite of passage required of newlyweds. Click To Tweet

Rachel: My husband and I were alternating between traveling to my hometown of St. Louis and staying home with his family. It got to be stressful and draining on us, and there weren’t enough of us to go around. After two years of holidays, something had to change.

Their Solution

Both sets of us decided that we were going to do what was best for our circumstances and allow ourselves wiggle room to change it at will, accommodating for our families as they may (hopefully!) grow.

We spent this Easter together, just our two little families.

Read more from Kristi and Rachel! Visit them at hailmarry.org and read Kristi’s CatholicMatch love story here



  1. Jesus-1431987 April 26, 2017 Reply

    yes!! iwant to date and meet someone special

  2. Stephanie-1368834 April 25, 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this article. It brings forth the importance of communication and most importantly marriage prep. My parents have been trained as mentor couples through the phenomenal ‘Witness to Love’ marriage prep program, and they personally underwent 10-weeks of marriage prep through the Catholic diocese in Singapore, where my mom is originally from. Some of the concerns highlighted in this article are covered by the Singapore marriage prep. We’re all imperfect, yet by the grace of God, we are given the gifts of the sacraments to help make us holy, so that we may act upon our free will wisely. The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony unites two imperfect people to unite with God’s Divine grace, and through this grace, the married couple may rely upon God to work through challenges that come their way. How great is our God; may Jesus be praised!

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