We all have fears. I am not marrying her parents, nor it is always true that a parent’s children takes up the behaviors of the parent. Many people marry in good conscience and with Catholic counseling and discernment, living happily in matrimony for their lifetimes with never meeting their spouse’s birth families. Sometimes they have passed on (as my father has). Others may be of a different faith and/or have other serious issues. In any case, the parents will be a part of my family if they choose to be. While my fiance’s fear of them is only that, there is a reality to it for her that I continually aid her in. Her parents are her only “obstacle” in her mind. My goal is to show her that her parents are not to be feared, only respected. But respect is not the same as strict obedience. It’s a matter of how she was raised, and since I wasn’t there (nor am I a cradle Catholic), I will be there as she needs me to know that I will be her family as well–one that will never leave her side.
That’s exactly what I’ve have done from the start, per the famous words of St. Paul to the Ephesians. Yes, her fears and the reality definitely differ, and I remind her of this when she frets. Thank you for your charity and thoughts.
My son is my family, of course, and my fiance’ will be as well. I have and will always defend them. I know for a fact that my fiance’ is not at all ashamed of me or my son or our relationship–far from it. But her parents mean much to her, and I must respect that even as I build a new family. She believes it’s an either/or situation where she will be forced to pick. I know it’s not the case. It would be her parents, in the worst case, who may choose not to communicate out of some level of misguided self-piety (heaven forbid). My family’s door will always be open to them. As for parents who disdain divorce and children from divorce and what her parents could do (in the worst case), I do not worry. My child has many other grandparents in his large family, and understands (through genealogy and by experience) that some people just don’t “play well” with others. He’s very mature for his age and will never lack someone older to look up to. (As an aside, my fiance’ is a woman. “Girl” implies a certain immaturity that I would never take as a bride. I’m sure you didn’t mean that to be an offense.)
And counseling is a part of every good marriage preparation. No one on this earth has ever entered any friendship or romantic relationship without some level of baggage. The testament to a good friendship or marriage is how the two people not only manage such baggage, but offer it up to the Lord as a sign that they endure and thrive despite of it. If I were to wait for the perfect woman, I’d need the lifetime of several Adams to find her. But I have found her, because God appears to have sent her to guide me to Him and to the Church (long story for another thread/forum).
As noted before, many people marry and lead fruitful lifetimes together without meeting or receiving the aid and counsel of their mutual parents. I am old enough now that more years are appearing behind me than in front of me, which gives me a thimbles-full more wisdom than years before, with one parent long deceased and another aging. My fiance’s situation is a special case and I acknowledge that. In fact, I appreciate it more than you may realize. Her parents are very good people, and I know it in my heart. I will know it personally soon when I meet them in the coming weeks. There is no rush and if my fiance’ and I can help them cope in understanding, all the better. My own fear involved getting the freedom to marry through the Church in the first place. I applied around the start of Advent of last year. The Pauline Privilege response arrived on Good Friday, very suddenly. I saw that as a good sign. After that ordeal, helping my fiance’ with her fears of her parents (most of them unfounded) will be rewarding, for the Lord continues to bless me with many riches–including thoughts from posters like yourself. Thanks.