Dear Future Husband

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Dear Future Husband,

I wonder what you are doing at this moment. Are you studying for finals? Maybe you’re chatting with friends, or are laughingly lost in a field of dandelions.  Are you sitting in Adoration? Or are you thinking of me? I have thought of you often over the years, and not a day goes by that I don’t pray for you. Sometimes this makes you feel so close, even though I don’t know you yet.

I wonder what you’re like. Are you a sugar-and-cream person, or do you like your coffee tall, dark, and black like I do? Or would you prefer tea? Do you enjoy long car rides with the windows down and the wind in your face? Are you sci-fi or action, a comedy or a musical? Do you make cloud-pictures, and have you ever caught fireflies in a mason jar? Do you like to dance in the rain or watch a lightening storm? What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Are you sweet or savory? I can hardly wait to discover all the little things that are part of who you are.

Dear sir, I hope you are the man who would help his children build a treehouse wear a baby-pack to keep track of the toddler on daytrips. I hope that you will find a bouquet of sunflowers as beautiful and romantic as I do… or almost as much. I’d find it wonderful if you enjoy all sorts of literature and the writings of St. Augustine, but have a special spot in your heart for Winnie the Pooh and Dr. Seuss. I hope that you will understand that sometimes I need to step away from everyone and relish the silence. I hope that our children will have many memories of your voice singing loudly around a campfire or softly as they drift to sleep. Please remember to remember that the value of a dollar isn’t as much as a single Hail Mary or the laugh of a child.

I pray that someday I will see in your eyes the same love that I’ve always seen shining from my parents’ from across the room. But most of all, I pray that you are a man of God who puts Him as his first criteria in choosing a career or buying a house. In our life together, let’s always put the spiritual well-being of the souls entrusted to our care as our highest priority in making decisions.

I know that all of this is years in the future, but I can’t help thinking about it and I can’t stop praying for you. Dearest, I pray that you are not waiting for me. I pray that you are not watching the clock tick away and the calendar roll past the years. Please, don’t wait for me. Rather, actively prepare for me. Use the time you have now to make yourself the man God created you to be. Learn, grow, and deepen your relationship with Christ. Don’t wait. Prepare in joyful expectation for the advent of our love. Prepare for the family we will have together.

Dear one, I have a song in my heart. Now and then I catch an echo of it, but it has never been played loudly enough for me to hear. Or maybe I haven’t been quiet enough to hear it. Dearest, one day- maybe when we meet in the Confession line, or in some small café, or when you ask me to dance the next slow song- maybe our song will be played. The melody of the deepest echoes of our hearts will begin our score. And we will know it is right. We will know it is time. Until then, please- don’t wait. Begin your life. Prepare for me; for us; for God. Run to him as fast as you can. I will run, too. And there we will meet.

I cannot yet say that I love you, as I do not yet know you. But I will be here praying for you and preparing to see your face for the first time. Because the time will be right.

Theresa Curley

Theresa Curley

Theresa Curley is currently taking pre-requisite classes in sainthood before her Final Exam at the end of her life. She hopes to meet you in person there. Until then, you can find her on her family's homestead in rural South Carolina, drinking tea, singing along with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and enjoying books by G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis.

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26 thoughts on “Dear Future Husband”

  1. Avatar

    The author has the fantasy that many Catholic young women write about. It reads like a shopping list. You’ll meet “him” in the confession line. Your first date will be at a mass. He’ll read the writings of the saints and he’ll be a great dancer. Something something about sunflowers. He’ll propose in the adoration room, and he’ll automatically just know how to make every decision in life.

    Sadly, many of these women will write and pray, and pray and write, all through their college and early adult years. But they won’t ever learn how to actually meet and interact with men. By age thirty, when they’ve aged out of the parish young adults group, they will start asserting that “there are no men”. Many will turn to the artificial world of online dating, still without the skills to meet and date.

    Do you think I’m making this up? Here’s an article written about this very issue – in 1993, probably way before our author was even born.

    I used to pray that God would drop a Catholic woman into my life. And not with such a detailed wish list, either – a basic mass-going Catholic gal would have been good enough for me. But it never happened, because I’ve never met one. I prayed for someone who either never existed, or who never made herself known to me. For all I know, she was writing letters to me just like this article. And that makes me sad.

    Don’t let that happen to you.

      1. Avatar

        Mr. Edwards, I was trying to offer advice and encouragement. Did you have something specific to respond to? Either in what I wrote, or in the article I cited which is almost 25 years old? Or did you just want to attack and discredit me because… well, I guess I don’t know why. I was speaking from personal experiences.

    1. Avatar

      Mr. Bud: Thanks for your input. I see your point. But I’d like to make a clarification on my part.
      The perfect man doesn’t exist. Or rather, The Perfect Man died of love for me 2000 years ago. That narrows my options to three:
      1. I could live my life as a Twilight Zone-Hallmark combo wherein everything I know is artificial, or an empty shadow, dreaming for impossibilities and sighing at the world.
      2. I could marry an imperfect man- one who is not yet perfect but is striving to follow the Perfect One, or even to overtake Him.
      3. Or… I could marry the Perfect One Himself!
      Yes, I believe life is a fairy tale, written by God’s finger. But that’s also because I KNOW that dragons exist. One day, my prince will come. I don’t look for him to be perfect. I can, and do, have hopes and dreams, but God doesn’t work with a checklist, so I mustn’t, either. I can’t wish a person to be someone they’re not, and I can’t invent one. But I can look for the love that would greet me with sunflowers because he knows I love them. Or the love that would truly love my children. Or the love that finds beauty in music and art, as it is an expression of God. The incidents may change, but the integrity behind each of those actions is the one I am preparing for.
      Maybe God will surprise me. Maybe He has a Perfect One waiting for me.

      1. Avatar

        I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to say with this response. I’m not a fairy-tales-and-sunflowers kind of person so we may be talking past each other.

        But I want to leave you with an important idea. Once upon a time, not too long ago, parishes acted like little communities in which everyone knew each other. If a single person needed a subtle nudge towards another single person… call it an introduction or even a set-up… the parish social network often helped. Not because the parish ran a dating service, but because this is something that often happens in a community. This was a valuable way for God to make you aware of potential spouses. Ask your parents or grandparents how they met. It may well have been at a parish activity or through acquaintances or friends from church.

        Those days are gone. Nowadays, we all shuffle into Mass each Sunday and we shuffle out again afterwards. There’s no social network and as a result, God has lost all those easy ways to bring singles together. Almost no weddings are taking place in the church. The cause and effect seems very clear to me.

        That’s my point. Praying and writing letters to an anonymous “future husband” will be fruitless if you don’t have a way to ever meet him.

    2. Avatar

      A fantasy is defined as the activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. The author here may have a fantasy in the sense of imagining, but not things that are impossible or improbable. We can imagine things that are likely as well, as is the case in this article. I understand your life did not turn out in the way this young author envisions and I am sorry that the catholic girl that you prayed for never turned up for you.

      I agree with you that many people get caught up in a fake reality while real life passes by and they miss out on how their lives could have been. They end up sad and discouraged. However, this article is not written by such a person. Note carefully the language. The author is not painting the exact way that everything is to happen, but rather the type of person she will marry. She wonders if her future husband is sitting in adoration because the man she is going to marry is the type of person who goes to adoration and mass. This man is the type of man who goes to confession, there is therefore a possibility that this is where they meet. There is nothing unrealistic about anything that I read in this article. From personal experience I can say that there are many people out there who know that “the value of a dollar isn’t as much as a single Hail Mary or the laugh of a child”.
      None of the things on your first paragraph “shopping list” are impossible or improbable except “automatically knowing how to make every decision in life”, which the author never hinted at. I know this from personal experience. I live in a community with 60 men who do most of what the author suggests that she wants in a man. I know that there are many men who love the kind of woman that this author is and would die for her. There is nothing improbable about finding this man and I know that one day, if God so wills, she will find him.

      1. Avatar

        You’re absolutely correct. In theory, it certainly shouldn’t be impossible or improbable for Catholic singles to meet. After all, the Church talks on and on and on about the importance of marriage. Meeting and getting to know other singles is the obvious first step.

        But in practice, the situation is as I wrote above. I won’t repeat it.

        I can’t accept “if God so wills, he/she will find her/him” as an answer. A call to action is needed. What kind of action? I wish I knew.

      2. Avatar

        I can help you there! The kind of action is (as a start) 1. To become yourself the person God created you to be, and 2. as you suggested, meeting and getting to know other young catholic singles.
        My comment that he or she will find the right person, as you rightly say, requires a call to action. What I mean by that comment is that you already have to be in action.

        I respectfully disagree with the idea that what the author describes in her article is in anyway improbable, even in practice. From experience I have witnessed many success stories that march in line with our young author. In practice this fails for some because God has a different plan for their lives or simply because they settle for less then what God calls them to.

        The author describes either in theory or from experience (maybe both) what I have witnessed in others my entire life. My parents marriage, my soon to be married sibling’s relationship, are two examples from only my own family. I can name countless others.
        There are no doubt, as your own experience testifies to, also thousands of cases that do not result like this. But, that does not make this just a theory. It makes it a valuable gem to be fought for and dreamt about as it is actively sought after.

      3. Avatar

        Ask an experienced priest how many weddings he performed last year vs. 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. One local parish with 4000 families recently published its annual report and it had 11 weddings last year. Less than one a month. How can this be? Young singles don’t know how to find each other. Older singles don’t know how to find each other. Did anyone at this parish say “we must do something different, we must find ways to promote ‘community’ in our parish”? No. Until that attitude changes, the trend will continue. Platitudes like “become the person God created you to be” are of no value.

      4. Avatar

        Our society does indeed make it difficult to find good, catholic spouses, and I have no doubt that the marriage rate has gone down. But why do you think that is? As I previously said and cited from my own experience, it is possible and frequent to those who actively seek it out. I do not know offhand why the marriage rate has gone down, but I do know that the people in my life who sought a good catholic spouse found one. Naturally there are exceptions, but the exceptions are just that.
        I believe that it is people like this young lady author who have the right attitude toward this situation and it is people like her who are trying to do things differently and promoting community in their parishes. It is through concrete action: social media, writing articles, being involved in your parish and home community etc. that helps solve this problem and that is what Theresa seems to be doing.
        I respectfully disagree with your last comment. If each person becomes the person God created him/her to be we would not have issues like this. We cannot force another to do so, but neither are we held accountable for their failures. We are, however, responsible for becoming that person ourselves.

      5. Avatar

        Unless you know the author from other articles, I see no evidence in this article that she is “trying to do things differently and promoting community in their parishes”. Perhaps she could speak to that if she’s still reading.

        It seems clear to me that the disintegration of community life in most Catholic parishes leads most young people to leave the Church. There is no peer pressure or encouragement giving them a reason to stay. This may be an over-generalization but I believe it to be largely true. There’s no social network to make introductions or to help singles of any age to identify each other. It’s easy to see why Catholic marriage is on the ropes.

      6. Avatar
        Seashell Sarah

        I said to my husband the other day “I wish I could get all my single Catholic friends together!” He laughed and said “What? You want to start a Catholic matchmaking service?” I know so many wonderful young Catholic men and women, but none of them seem interested in one another, especially the ones that go to the same university!

      7. Avatar

        Unfortunately, married folks (especially those that married young and don’t really “get” what living as an adult single is like) don’t understand that “let’s herd all the singles together” doesn’t work. “Singles ministry” simply doesn’t work. The variety of people that need support is too diverse (college-age, older and divorced, widowed, etc.) and the expectations are too diverse (some want a spouse, some want bible study, some don’t know what they want).

        But if all-inclusive “parish community life” could be resurrected? I mean social events that are open to everyone, which parishes just don’t have any more. Every parish used to be a “social network” where everyone knew each other, and singles like our author might get a gentle nudge toward suitable men to meet and date. I’ve been an adult Catholic single for over thirty years, and I’ve never met or been nudged towards any Catholic women. Ever.

      8. Avatar
        Orthodox Catholic

        Larry, Your posts are right on the $. Just got back from mass where I saw a 53ish guy I know who is in the same boat as you and me. his whole life single and a good faithful Catholic. It’s beyond tough out there. I’m 44 and have never found even 1 Catholic (or non-catholic)_ women for that matter. I’ve never really dated either. and we are both decent/good looking with great careers.

      9. Avatar

        Orthodox, I think I know you from that “black sheep” blog where I used to post under a different name. But the owner turned out to be a bit wacko, so I left.

        I wanted to bring your attention (and that of any other singles) to a new article and podcast on the topic of Catholic dating. Should you choose to comment there, be forewarned that the site is very very strictly moderated so be very careful.

        For some reason this Disqus account couldn’t post on that web site so I had to create another account.

      10. Avatar

        But are you sure that those Catholic singles don’t themselves know other Catholic singles who might be interested in these new people that they’re meeting? Modern singledom is bad for building networks, so building connections between strangers (with you as the first link) is useful in started to rebuild community among those left at its periphery.

      11. Avatar

        What you describe is one of the key problems, especially with the wide suburbanization of the Church (and its nationwide diffusion from old NE bases) in recent decades. Marriage has conventionally come not from meet-cutes but rather connections built in community, a prime example being friends-of-family (similarly friends-of-fellow-parishioner). With the communities found in churches less interconnected than those of the old Catholic Ghettoes, young singles don’t have the networks to find dates nor anyone to vouch for them building a relationship (not how, even in the sex-focused secular dating world, the idea of friends setting folks up remains, for this basic reason). We can’t find each other (if we’re even closer we enough to meet) and there’s not any system to build off those relationships that do form — when couples and nuclear families, especially in suburban parishes, isolate themselves it creates a pattern for others to follow.

        So, many face either despair or are left to fantasize.

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