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August 16, 2006


Dick Connors

Best advice of all: Do what your grandmother suggests. I've even concluded that in a great many cases, arranged marriages, if properly done, work very nicely. A well informed outsdier who knows both people can be a far better judge of what works than the people themselves.

Tim J.

This is really depressing. I think I'll just go lie down.


I agree with Tim. The findings are totally depressing, or they would be if I accepted them.

I consider myself neither perpetually 'happy' nor perpetually 'depressed', which I take to mean I'm a mixture of both happiness and misery from one day to another, and which for me, is my kind of normal... I'll consider myself blessed to meet anyone who can put up with me.

I must add that I don't believe that being married will transport me to a happy state (at least not for all time, though hey, it's be great if it happened).

Marriage is hard work and a life-long commitment to helping a a spouse and the children of the marriage, attain their heavenly goal...what a responsibility! It's a tricky business.

I'm no different to many other Christians who believe that Holy Matrimony doesn't come with a disclaimer or 'get out clause' so I have to be sure that I have realistic expectations about the Sacrament (and the prospective spouse) and that I don't romanticise too much (which being me, I have a tendency to do...I'm very much into the Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy type drama's and sometimes forget that there aren't so many men around of similar fancy).

I can't think of many a greater cause for celebration than a Sacramental Marriage that is lived in real selfless love...not the fanciful love of my much treasured Jane Austin novels though, but the kind of love that sees two people come together in adversity and trials as well as in times of pleasure and 'happiness' and seeking to always climb up those seemingly insurmountable mountains of life...together.

I'm not really a miserable old sod but really I think we focus too much on the joy that we feel we have a 'right' to have. Joy, at least as far as I'm aware, isn't a right. We can enjoy 'it' when it happens, we can even live our lives in such a way that we find joy in even the smallest of things (that's hard to do too - at least for me), but for the most part, life is a lot of hard slog whether single or alone.

If I've gleaned anything in my 38 years, it's that I'd rather be single and miserable than stuck in a miserable relationship ...though ultimately of course, I'd prefer not to be miserable at all.

Maybe I've had too many Solphadeine Max today...but that kind of resembled a comment that had some shred of relevance to the post, didn't it? Hope so.

Some Day

Marriage is a vocation, period.
Yes it is very common, but not one for everyone.
A priestly vocation will never be happy married.
Nor will a marital vocation be in the Priesthood.
Its all about God, and what He wants for you.
Now the problem is why people get married.
Is it because of they love God, and love other creatures because of God, because there are only two loves, Self-Love and Love of God. It is immpossible to love a creature just for itself.
So when we love another, it is because of God.
So if people think they got to get married because they would "die without her"or "she is all I ever dreamed about."that in the end is love of oneself. We need marriages that know the meaning of Marriage, and that it is a VOCATION, in which they enter to sanctify themselves and their children. But you know how it is these days.
True Lust not True Love


The snarky side of me would say that the marital bond is stronger when held together by conjugal bliss, something often missing in a relationship marked by distance and conflict.

I don't think your logic works at all. You write under the assumption that a depressed spouse in a marriage was depressed before matrimony. Some people because depressed because of problems that occur after marriage (not necessarily because of the marriage). I don't see how you can jump from the study's results to the conclusion that it implies that depressed people should marry each other.

It might simply be a matter of regression to the mean. If you are less happy than normal, marriage is more likely to be a source of joy than the rest of your life, while if you are happier than normal, marriage is more likely to be a source of difficulty than the rest of your life.

Some Day

Joy will come if you follow God's plan for you.
It seems to be like most here feel its whether how you feel, happy or not. That is not it. Its a Valley of Tears and people got to realize we are here to suffer, but God provides joy for us, when we seek Him. If you are depressed (in my opinion, lots of causes of depression could be avoided, but doctors can blame whatever.) then you got to ssek what will make you happy. God makes us happy. Now what does God intend for me to be happy?
So then you embark on the process that will get you there. And the first cause, God, must be insight of this process. To marry simply because of social conventions, sensible happiness or even just for the physical pleasures will never make you happy. Marry because God wants it for you, if He does, and in following His will, you will be happy on Earth, and still have hardships, but the Glory of Heaven is yours. Its a vocation. Fidelity to it in ALL it's aspects can satisfy a person fully.

Jamie Beu

This is really depressing. I think I'll just go lie down.

Then, Tim, the research suggests you should get married ASAP! ;-)


If only it were so easy.

Some Day

What loserish talk is that?


Hey, Some Day, it's not "loserish talk". It's actually HARD to get married right now. Unless, of course, you believe in getting married as a lark, in which case I could have been married four times already. (And divorced once or twice, too.)

Or perhaps we should take the route that so many "good" Catholic friends and family have taken: start the sexual relationship after a couple months dating, move in together while saving money for the future, and set the wedding based on when we decide we want children. (Or to beat the child that's on the way.)

Ugh, now I'm depressed and need to lie down.


I am a happily single person, and I echo ukok's comments to the last letter. I'd much rather be happily single than to be unhappily married... in fact, I think it's FAR better to be lonely and single than to be lonely AND married, for a very long list of reasons.

I would like to get married someday, but it's really not easy to find a man willing to be committed to a truly Christian marriage. Marriage is not an escape route for me, so I prefer to stay single rather than to marry for the wrong reasons: ie, because I feel lonely or depressed, etc.

Some Day

Prayer. Don't get depressed. That is your fault if you sustain yourself off disanimating thoughts.
God wants your hapiness, and He will give your hapiness, even if it is hard to get. Never loose courage. That is the begining of your fall if you do that.
If its your vocation, God will provide a spouse.
If not, rejoice. You are one of the few people who aren't called to Marriage. Not that its bad, just that you are uncommon in these days, and a jewel valued deeply by God. You got more to offer to God. Virgins get a crown that no others can wear. They sing a song in Heaven that married people can't. Felix in Vocatio. Be happy in your vocation, whatever that may be.
But be patient. You that wait are absoulutly correct in waiting. Marriage is no game nor formality. I see my parents and what others say.
Its tough work, but rewarding if you are dedicated. The parents of St.Therese are an example of that. What a gift to have such great children. Prayer and discernment. That is the key.
The Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary and most importantly Daily Communion, are the keys to your hapiness. With those things, God will provide what you need for your vocation.
Our Lady Help Us All


Some Day,
You forgot "sense of humor". It's very important for a good marriage, especially when babies show up and start flushing things down the toilet. Don't worry if you don't have one yet, though. Boys teach you a sense of humor (while girls teach you patience).

Tim J.

"This is really depressing. I think I'll just go lie down.

Then, Tim, the research suggests you should get married ASAP! ;-)"

Actually, I was only joking before. I am extremely HAPPILY married for almost 25 years.

And I don't think anyone should read too much into Michelle's post, either. Apologists are allowed to be flippant and humorous on occasion, too.

I'm almost certain that Michelle is not SERIOUSLY proposing marriage as a cure for depression... or that she is seriously proposing anything, for that matter.

Lighten up, folks.

David B.

I'm in a very long-term relationship with someone who by far ain't perfect and really doesn't love me as much as they should. This person doesn't offer my much help on a daily basis, in fact, the only help I get comes not from this person, but from God. I don't think my friend cares enough about me. But I can't get out of this relationship I have with this person because I'm the person I've been writing about.

Thomas A. Gill

Depressed? Get Married! Happy? Stay Single! ---
If it ain't broke, don't fix it?

Some Day

That term "single"
It has a bad context these days.
"stay single and party."
Not a good idea.


"Single" also has another bad connotation that makes people not even consider the vocation to be single. It's so hard to talk to someone who's aging and desperate to marry when it's just out of the question for them to be single, simply because "everybody gets married and that's what's normal". I.e. something's wrong with people who don't marry, they believe. You feel bad for these people but how do you talk to them when being single might be their vocation, and they don't even consider it as legitimate?

Tim J.

Right, Karen. Especially outside of the Catholic understanding of vocations, there is little room for the idea of consecrated singlehood.

Within the Catholic tradition, there is still the living, viable concept of consecrated virginity (even if it is unpopular in the West).

In the Protestantism in which I grew up, there was no such tradition. The idea of religious brothers and sisters (monks and nuns) was looked at as a decidedly Catholic idiosyncracy (and therefore either a tragic error or a positive instrument of the devil), and Marriage and family was implicitly what EVERYONE was called to.

Add to that the popular media myth that "falling in love" is the highest of human experiences, and you have a sort of desperation to marry that works to the great disadvantage of many.

Kevin from Ohio in Virginia

For future reference... it's THE Ohio State University.

Very interesting survey. My wife does wonders for my spirits.

David B.

"Add to that the popular media myth that "falling in love" is the highest of human experiences"

It is if God is the one you're falling in love with. :-)


Goes to show that there is more to relationships then just the initial attraction.

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