A lot of questions about marriage and pregnancy


#1

So after spending a long time in loneliness, I unexpected went on a date with a man from my church in January, and we were engaged two weeks later. Our relationship is as close to being perfect as possible, and we are very happy together. We’re getting married at the end of August, the date we chose when we became officially engaged in the middle of March, because I was a teacher and didn’t want to get married during the school year or have to wait until summer 2010 to get married.

Despite our great relationship, we are facing a number of difficulties.

  1. I was not always religious, and I led a very secular lifestyle in my early 20s. He was the same way. Despite our renewed commitment to living our lives as good Catholics, we very quickly fell into having a regular sexual relationship, that we at first tried to stop, and now have just decided to live with since we will be married soon. I’ve confessed it a few times, but I don’t think the confessions were valid since I didn’t amend my life.

  2. I found out in April that I’m pregnant. We’re not getting married because of the pregnancy, but it does add some complexity to a new relationship. He is very supportive and optimistic and repeatedly reassures me that everything will work out even if we have a few difficult years. I’m not worried about having a baby, but…

  3. I am worried about finances. I’ve had pretty severe hyperemesis gravidum since I found out I was pregnant. It was so bad that I lost my job. I am looking for another job now that I am feeling a little better, but it seems silly to start a new job when I will have to quit for an undetermined length of time in December when the baby is born. Also, I can’t find anything. We can survive on one income, but it will be difficult. He is not worried about it. I am worried because I feel responsible for holding up my end of the expenses and I won’t be able to do it. How do other wives who aren’t working but used to work deal with this?

  4. Planning a wedding and preparing for a baby at the same time is difficult, especially since I’ve been so sick.

  5. I used to consider myself a good Catholic. We’ve told our priest about the pregnancy, but we haven’t told anyone else from church. I am nervous about what they will think of us. I don’t think anyone will have a bad reaction, but what should I do now that I am starting to show? Should I tell or just wait for everyone to figure it out?


#2

**How do other wives who aren’t working but used to work deal with this? **

I keep in mind that the most important thing, other than my relationship with God and my husband, is raising our children. Yes, we live a much more frugal lifestyle than we would if I went back to work (we would probably even have indoor plumbing!), but I can’t think of any job I could do that would be more rewarding. I also work at finding ways to save money and make do with what we have.

**Planning a wedding and preparing for a baby at the same time is difficult, especially since I’ve been so sick. **

Hopefully this will pass soon! I was so sick from seven weeks to around twelve weeks when it started to ease up. Usually it does get better!

I used to consider myself a good Catholic. We’ve told our priest about the pregnancy, but we haven’t told anyone else from church. I am nervous about what they will think of us. I don’t think anyone will have a bad reaction, but what should I do now that I am starting to show? Should I tell or just wait for everyone to figure it out?

Would getting it out in the open relieve the stress? If it would make it less stressful long term you may want to tell whoever you would feel the most comfortable telling, just so you don’t have to worry about speculation. Just try to keep in mind that everyone sins and no one should hold this against you. You’re nurturing a life and that’s an amazing thing. Really the answer to this one is up to you.


#3

Is your priest okay with this “perfection” of a relationship? Getting engaged two weeks into it? And the first thing you do is fall away from your commitment to Christ? And you’re going to get married 8 months into the relationship?

I seem to be the resident wet blanket here on CAF. But I’m going to just say your post is the stuff of tribunal cases. Pregnancy, insufficient dating time… you haven’t known him for a year even. The bible says you should know someone for at least a season to make a decision. The psychological honeymoon stage hasn’t worn off and the real people haven’t emerged. I am worried for you. Most of the creepy crawlies don’t start crawling out from under the rocks for at least a year. Right now it should be rainbows and butterflies. But that isn’t reality.

:frowning:

You have a lot on your plate. And I just wonder if maybe postponing the wedding wouldn’t be better. (waiting for the attacks that are sure to come.)

You’re still a good Catholic. You didn’t kill the baby. But planning a wedding should be the least of your worries right now. You are with someone who does not show much self control. You have resigned yourself even at this stage to giving in to a lifestyle that is not of Christ. If you are not in the state of grace, any decisions you make will be clouded by sin and subject to bad judgment. This isn’t a man who seems overly concerned with your immortal soul. So I really don’t think this relationship is as perfect as you want it to be. Within three months of meeting a lonely woman he had proposed and gotten her pregnant? And then hurry up with the wedding? And continue to use her sexually even if she’s hyperemetic? (I suffered from that. I know how bad it can be.) I see red lights flashing all over the place.

What does your family think? Have you been honest with them? Have they met him? Your relationship is too new and this man hasn’t proven to have a whole lot of virtue going for him. I hate to tell you, marriage is not the cure for sexual self control. You NEED to believe that your husband can control himself when you aren’t around. And he has not proven that to you in the seven short months you have known him.

Please talk to your priest alone and get his advice. Give this “new” relationship more time to find out more about each other. You’re happy because you have someone and it’s new. I see someone who has met a young woman and within half a year has her committed to him and financially and emotionally dependent upon him. I’m worried for you. I repeat, it’s not that great a relationship if he immediately lets go of his newfound commitment to Christ with a woman he found at church. He’s not showing a lot of respect for your commitment to Christ. Are you really bringing out the best in each other?

You have serious issues to explore before a wedding. Whether you show, tell the world, get a job or other people’s reactions are the least of your concerns right now. Please go talk to your parents at least.

And listen to them. With your heart. Don’t be defensive of your fiance.


#4

Honestly depending on how religious your family is they probably won’t think harshly of you. Unfortunely pregnancy before marriage is not at all uncommon these days. I’m not judging you just stating a fact. If they love you your family will stand behind you regardless. As to the other issues I’ve never been married or pregnant so I’m not qualified to give advice but I’ll keep you in my prayers.

I don’t know that I would have gotten engaged after two weeks though but then again it’s been known to work for some people. If you’re rethinking the marriage thing it may be better to put it off till the child is born. I know the vast majority will disagree but I think two parents who really love each other and want to be together is better then two parents who married for the sake of the child but only you and your fiance can answer that question. Good luck.


#5

Liberano,

I’ll join you so you’re not the only wet blanket. I had the same concerns. Getting engaged after two weeks is insane, getting married only 8 months in is highly inadvisable.

And anyone who says their relationship is “perfect” is in for a lot of rude awakenings. Any couple that never argues is unhealthy, because someone is suppressing, and no one is communicating honestly.

No couple agrees on everything.


#6

The others have given you some great advice about your relationship and your situation in general. This is the only part I can offer you advice about: If you decide to marry, all you really need for a wedding is you, your man, a priest and a couple witnesses in a church. The fees will be minimal or non-existent. You don’t need a fancy gown that breaks your bank or a big diamond or engraved invitations or a catered reception hall w/ a band or a 3-tiered cake, etc., etc…

Just give yourself a break and have a small, sacramental wedding…exchange your vows and then enjoy your marriage. This is what I’m doing and we’re thrilled with it! (Also it’s a big relief for friends and family, trust me. Everyone is grateful for the break!) Take the guests out to a restaurant afterwards. Contrary to what pop culture tells you at every turn, you just don’t have to make it more complicated than it needs to be. Especially when you’re worried about finances!

HTH :slight_smile:


#7

I agree with you both as well. Engagement after two weeks seems insane to me too. In some cases that is only a few dates.

The immediate red flag for me was that she preceeded everything by saying she spent a long time in loneliness. That right their can cause a person to act irrationally with the first person that really shows an interest in them.

Anyway, I wish the OP the best. I hope you two will continue to grow as a couple and build a strong foundation for a long lasting marriage. Their are definitely issues to work through, but all relationships have challenges.


#8

Allow me…

I knew three weeks after I met my last girlfriend that I wanted to propose, and one week later I did. Three months later I was reassigned, and we spent the next two and a half years apart. Our relationship consisted of phone calls, emails, letters, and vacation visits. It took three years, from sorting out the Army assignments, correcting our pasts, and working on our own without support from our families, before things were finally set right. 7+ years of marriage later, we have four children, with a fifth on the way.

I do not believe that a long courtship is necessary for people who are not that young anymore and have figured out what is really important in life. If, and this is a big if, you both have decided that this is happening for all the right reasons, then you’ll be fine. My wife and I were both at that point, and we ran into each other at that time in our lives.

We messed up, too. We were not perfect either, and you will have to explain to your children as they get older, but set things right before the wedding. If it’s impossible for you, then perhaps one of you is not ready, because there will be times during the marriage where you and he will need to refrain, and that cannot be avoided.

Good luck and God bless. :thumbsup:


#9

My aunt and uncle married after knowing each other for a weekend. She took him home to her folks and said this is Ray, my husband. Her father replied, Ray who? He didn’t even know him. They had 3 daughters and were married for over 50 years until she died a few years back.

The important thing is how committed each of you are to the relationship, not how long you’ve known each other, or whether you’re pregnant (mazel tov!) or well off, comfortable, or church mouse poor.


#10

The “perfect” is a bigger red flag than the pregnancy, to me.

That being said, the number of dumb mistakes I made before I got married are too numerous to count. But we did know each other longer than a year. I highly recommend that. I also knew that all the “little quirks” are magnified 100x after marriage. Get your relationship with God right first. Confess with a contrite heart.

Blessings on your future and congratulations on your little one!


#11

Annie: The fact that you’re having a “regular sexual relationship” in sin and that both of you are more or less ok with that is a much bigger red flag than the “perfect” comment or the brief amount of time you’ve known eachother.

IMO you’d be best off repenting of your sin, STOP SINNING, and get married ASAP (see my last post about the wedding). As far as what others will think…who cares? :stuck_out_tongue: There are some people who are going to say something no matter what, and there’s really no way (IMO) that you can resolve this situation to make it appear 100% scandal free. All you can do is make the best decisions you can from here on out.

Once the baby is born and you’re married, all people will see is a happy new family. :slight_smile:


#12

I think it would be a good idea to terminate your sexual relationship until you are married. Do a pre-marriage course, maybe see a financial counselor. And I agree, the big wedding may be a mistake now.

Also, you need to talk specifics about money - if you find yourself with a baby and not able to pay the bills, your new marriage will be under enormous stress, the kind which destroys even well-grounded marriages. Once you have your baby you will feel a strong need to protect her, including from a husband who is casual about money. Don’t put yourself in a position where it is you and the baby against the husband - make a plan together now.


#13

Hi OP,

Congratulations on the child! All children are a beautiful gift, no matter what. Remember, God writes straight with crooked lines.

This being said, I’m very worried about you.

I understand that you’re caught up in everything. I was set to marry a man once after about two weeks… her turned out to be abusive (I praise God that I didn’t marry him! God saved me). Ideally, he should be as commited to Christ as you and not want the sexual relationship. If he’s not at that point, as many aren’t (but can get there with the Love of Christ), that is something he needs to work on, but there is NO excuse for his failure to support your relationship with God. If you expressed that you didn’t want to have sex, but he let you give in and encouraged it, then he is NOT worthy of you at this point. I’m sorry for the caps, but I made the same mistakes as you! I just don’t want the same thing to happen to my fellow sister. Please, set your relationship with God first, and if he isn’t supportive, then seriously rethink this relationship. I didn’t believe people when they said he wasn’t good for me because he wasn’t supportive of my beliefs. I’m not saying that your fiance is crazy or anything, but just that if he’s not willing to support you in your relationship with God, even if you are straying yourself (remember, your spouse is supposed to help SANCTIFY you, even when you yourself are on the road to sinning!), then you need to hold off getting married (a LIFETIME commitment, remember!) until he is. You have a child to provide for, and if being married to him now will deny your child a happy, supportive, loving, Catholic faith-based home, then you need to wait until he’s ready to provide those things, even if that means never marrying him.

I also agree about the small wedding. That’s a good test for yourself: if you immediately balked at that possibility, then you probably are letting the dreams of the wedding cloud your judgment surrounding the wedding. I know it’s very easy to do, and many women do.

I will say prayers for you, and I wish you the best! I pray that God will use the members of this forum to show you His will and that you will open your heart to Him.

sj


#14

There have been a lot of good points made and a lot of good advice given. There has also been a lot that I disagree with. I’m not sure when it became the norm for couples to date for years and years before getting married. I know that I’ve seen it with many of my friends from college who, after six years of dating, aren’t sure what the next step is. I can’t say that the idea of taking years to get to know one another seems conductive to having a pure relationship though.

I met my husband less than a week after breaking up with someone else. And we both knew, inside of two weeks that that was it, we were going to get married. I’m sure if I had asked people here they would have said it was a rebound relationship, red flags were raised and that I was making a huge mistake. He didn’t pop the question for a few more months because he wanted to propose on Valentine’s Day and we ended up getting married a year from the day of our first date. Eight months into the relationship we definitely knew we were doing the right thing.

To all the responders who got so worked up about the OP saying that the relationship is “perfect” I’m pretty sure that she’s using it as a figure of speech. She’s told us that she knows there are going to be problems with money and problems with saving. Her eyes seem open to the realities that they are facing (or as much as they can be before you actually get to them). If you asked me how my relationship is with my husband I would probably say the same thing. We have arguments and disagreements and both of us were pretty snappy after months of sleep deprivation with a new baby, but we also couldn’t imagine it any other way. Every couple has problems, because we are human, but even with those problems when you put your faith in God it can be pretty good, even when things are tough (I’ve said before in other posts, we don’t have running water and our family lives in a 10 by 15 foot cabin.). Sometimes hardships strengthen a relationship.

And sometimes you really do just know that a person is right and that it’s meant to be. I’m not saying that marriage is easy. It takes work. And I would absolutely advise going to confession and sleeping in separate beds till the wedding. But it is definitely worth it. Just commit yourself to the idea that there is no divorce, that this is forever and that when problems come up you’ll have to work through them.

I think the best advice we got at our pre-Cana counseling was to pray together. They said that one in two marriages in the US end in divorce. They said that for families that go to Mass every Sunday that drops to one in twenty. They went on to say that for families that pray together daily it drops to one in two hundred.

Congratulations again on your upcoming marriage and the birth of your first child!


#15

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