Advice for a catholic in love with a non-catholic man


#1

Hello-

I guess I am on here looking for legitimate advice from more than one view point in hopes that I may find peace. If anything, I may have prayer in regard to my current struggle.
To start off, I will say that I still consider myself a "new catholic" - It's about five years now since I have converted to Catholicism through RCIA and am constantly learning about the faith. I've always been very active in my faith but always struggled with what is "right". To give you an understanding of my background, I was baptized in the Methodist church in California, raised in the Lutheran church when I moved to Missouri and have since converted to Catholicism on my own. I'm 25, single and very happy with where I am and what I believe the Catholic Church teaches. As far as my dating life is concerned, I have had my share of ultimate heart breaks that could fill an entire different thread... so we will skip over most of this. Long story short, after a few horrible break ups, I'm starting to lose hope. In the past two years, I have met probably the most amazing man I believe there is out there for me. I truly think God brought him to me - yet our relationship is causing me a great deal of pain.

To begin with I will have to mention that he is 10 years older than I am, divorced and has two children. If I could say the least, this is something I would have normally never ever considered. I was introduced to him through my uncle (who was a preacher of his church) and I completely stepped out of my comfort zone when finally accepting to meet him. It was a very pleasant surprise and I have been treated like an absolute princess ever since. We've both fell madly in love with one another, and truly consider each other our best friend. He's a great father and did everything in his power to save his previous marriage. I have no doubt that if it were not for religion; we would never have any issues or hang ups about anything. We're honestly the couple that people "gag" over. lol It's awful, but we're VERY happy. But, there's a point where you must decide to take things to the next level or not. Well, we differ GREATLY when it comes to religion.

(see continued post)


#2

(SECOND POST)
This is our one and only huge hang up. Hind sight is always 20/20 and we both wondered about a year and a half ago if this is something we should pursue or not. Well, he is extremely committed to his religion as a Missionary Baptist. This is very different than a lot of other Baptist faiths, and it's a religion I have yet to ever understand nor even been able to comprehend. Honestly, if I could - I would... but it just makes absolutely no sense to me. So here I am, in tears at 1:17am pouring my heart out to absolute strangers....
It's easy for someone in the church to tell me that if someone is not Catholic or refuses to be a part of the Catholic Church, then we should just leave it at that. If it were that easy, I would be done... I can assure you that. I'm sick of wondering where my life is supposed to go. Our relationship plays a large part in my career choice and furthering my education as a nurse. Within the next few years I plan on getting into in CRNA School which would require me to relocate. The location could all change if I am in a relationship with him or not due to the fact that he has kids, a job, etc. I also believe I would be more patient with something like this if he were not 10 years older than I am. I want nothing more than to become a mother - but I also don't think that it's healthy for couples to immediately start having children right after being wed. I would like to enjoy time as a married couple for a few years prior to having any children. It's more the fact that "his biological clock" is ticking.
What I am getting at is that we have attempted to resolve this. I'm sure he was hoping and praying that I would have a change of heart if I attended church with him and me vice versa. The only large factor is that he is completely unwilling to be open-minded to anything other than the only faith he has ever known. He states he has researched and had extensive conversations before with people about this type of thing and been to church with other people - yet he won't go with me? All he asked me at one point was just to attend with him. I did. Shamefully I will admit. I asked God the entire week, and the day of that if this was His will to please let me feel something. To let me know that this is what needs to be done and that I'm ready to have answers or at least know which way my life is going. If anything I was pushed away. It was during their "revival". A process in which they believe they are going to get people "saved". As being "saved" is some experience in which they feel conviction for a particular amount of time, until God finally saves them. They must pray hard and be obedient and so forth and finally God will give them this feeling in which they just KNOW they are saved, and all the pain and suffering they have endured while they were convicted and lost is relieved, and gone. They then only feel joy, and that is the experience of their salvation and so forth that they share. They all pray very loudly and cry at the alter randomly. They randomly call songs that they feel like singing, and service never ends at a specific time. It's mostly led by the members. People get up in the middle of service randomly to "testify" anything that is "heavy" on their heart. I try to compare this to confession in a way to justify what this is relating to, but I don't know. This is all just very uncomfortable. At one point the preacher was yelling so loudly it was causing my eyes to squint over and over. There was so much crying the entire time I could not figure out why in the world any one would enjoy it. I feel guilty saying this, but I almost feel like it's a brain washing type of thing that is done there. If one member of their church misses a service, someone is calling to check on them. It's as if they want to make sure that the member of the church is not staying too far away in fear that they will lose them. There is a lot of gossip that goes on - we're from a small town. They literally think that THEY are the church that God set up and the closest thing to what God wanted set up, therefore the only ones that experience this true salvation and are the ones going to heaven. I could go on and on, but I need to be quiet and just keep this part to myself.

(only 1 more post - I PROMISE!)


#3

Last post - thanks for sticking with me :)

Of course all you Catholics reading this are probably up in arms with multiple arguments to refute this believe system... and I have done this to its fullest extent, trust me. But one thing is certain; I do not believe that anything I say or prove with scripture is going to change his thoughts on the church or why I believe what I believe. John Salza has an amazing website (didn't want to cite it, in case it was not allowed) that I have used as reference. I have studied and read hours upon hours. I have even attempted to use different versions of the bible as a parallel reference to the New American Standard to validate that my points are also valid in other versions of the bible. He is currently working on a long email explaining the refuted arguments I have given him with scripture, but of course are taking a while to compile. But the point of the matter is that, whatever we come up with - this is driving a wedge between us.
What do I do? Where do I go from here? I don't want to end this... and neither does he? For goodness sakes he's my best friend. I love this man with absolutely all that I am and want nothing more than to be able to spend my life with him. Yet, he mentions that if we have children he wants to be able to at least take them to church with him and raise them in his church. Maybe it could work if I let him take them, I don't know... but I do know that I would want my children to be baptized and experience Eucharist. Of course I would prefer them in the Catholic Church period... and who knows maybe he would be open to the idea that they could go with me one week and with him another. I don't believe that the Catholic Church would think very highly of this but I am just not willing to give up on him. I am certain that there very few couples whom are half as happy as we are or love one another as much as we do. Honestly, I am not giving what we have much justice through typing either. It’s just rare; I will leave it at that. I’ve been in 3 serious relationships and this is extremely rare. I could tell you a thousand ways that we are absolutely meant for one another. So when people try to say that I should let it go and move on, it kills me. I'm willing to fight for this and give it all I have. Neither one of us want to give up. We just do not know what to do. But at the same time, what if we’re not going to get anywhere? He mentioned the other day that he had looked at engagement rings 2-3 times now, but I know he's not going to pull the trigger without having some sort of answer.
What else can I do on my part other than pray? Nothing is happening. I'm trying to be patient. But I also do not feel that I should have to hurt this bad. Maybe I'm not praying hard enough... I don't know. I miss mass here and there due to work... maybe that is it. I always feel like I could pray more. Maybe God is asking me to do something and I'm not listening -therefore he isn't giving me answers either. I know one thing I just want peace. I'm sick of hurting and crying so hard over this. It literally causes loneliness and pain. I feel often like my heart is aching out of my chest and it's driving a wedge between us. He is the one person I go to for everything - he's my best friend. So now, here I am and I'm just flat out lost. He's not someone I argue or fight with... What's even awful is that I’ve started taking an antidepressant hoping it would life me up a bit - but it's not changing my situation, therefore ineffective (because it cannot change my situation, it can only change my mood)
We finally talked about the specifics regarding scripture to validate my believes as a Catholic very extensively tonight over text messages (I know.. not ideal -he had his kids, worked, etc. ). But, I am now sitting here awake, miserable and rambling... my head is pounding and I can't sleep. I will be lucky if anyone makes it through this entire post lol , but if so... I would be forever for grateful for any words of advice or prayers that you may share with me. All I know to do is to pray for God to give me peace. I can't tell you how many times I've sat here saying it over and over.

I genuinely thank you for your time,

Madison


#4

[quote="mdsnRN, post:1, topic:220525"]
..he is 10 years older than I am, divorced and has two children...

[/quote]

And he's not Catholic.

I think you have your answer.

p.s. His children already have a mother. Why would he bring a stranger like you into their lives? Or is he the type that puts his own "needs" first?

p.p.s. call me uncharitable, but i've been around the block


#5

Madison,
God hears your prayers always. The feeling that you get that just isn’t good, is God’s way of telling you that He wants you to return to the Catholic church. If you find that he is pushing the issue of wanting you to join his church, tell him that you don’t want to. Far be it for him to decide where you worship. As far as going to school and relocating due to his job etc., only do so if he allows you the freedom to go to your own catholic church. If he is a controlling person, break up asap. I went with a man who was controlling and I lost all contact with my family until I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore. [Some men feel that if they can find someone they can control, they will be able to keep them as a servant to them. You are no one elses servant but our Lord Jesus, who wants only the best for you.] Go to some functions in your church you go to now, if there’s a CC nearby.Other than that if there isn’t, all I can say is to go home to your original church you received RCIA in, and get your training as a CRNA in an area that has a catholic church in it.Do not worry so much as to if you will find someone to marry, have kids with, etc., it is more important you focus on your work, and just finding a friend who believes as you do… in the Catholic Church’s teachings.
I hope this sort of helps. God’s peace be with you.
PRAYER FOR OUR FAMILY # 3
Heavenly Father,
you have given us the model of life
in the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to make our family another Nazareth
where love, peace and joy reign.
May it be deeply contemplative,
intensely eucharistic,
revived with joy.

Help us to stay together in joy
and sorrow in family prayer.
Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our families,
especially in their distressing disguise.
May the eucharistic heart of Jesus
make our hearts humble like his
and help us to carry out our family duties
in a holy way.
May we love one another
as God loves each one of us,
more and more each day,
and forgive each other’s faults
as you forgive our sins.
Help us, O Loving Father,
to take whatever you give
and give whatever you take with a big smile.

Immaculate Heart of Mary,
cause of our joy, pray for us.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Holy Guardian Angels,
be always with us,
guide and protect us.

Amen.

(Author: Mother Teresa of Calcutta)

PRAYER OF REFUGE
(By St. Alphonsus Liguori.)
Behold, O Mother of my God,
my only hope, Mary,
behold at thy feet a miserable sinner,
who asks thee for mercy.
Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole Church,
and by all the faithful,
the refuge of sinners.
Thou art consequently my refuge;
thou hast to save me.
I will say with William of Paris:
Thou knowest, most sweet Mother of God,
how much thy blessed Son desires our salvation.
Thou knowest all that Jesus Christ endured for this end.
I present thee, O my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus:
the cold that He endured in the stable,
His journey into Egypt,
His toils, His sweat, the Blood that He shed;
the anguish which caused His death on the Cross,
and of which thou wast thyself a witness.
Oh, show that thou lovest thy beloved Son,
and by this love I implore thee to assist me.
Extend thy hand to a poor creature who has fallen
and asks thy help.
Were I a Saint I would not need seek thy mercy;
but because I am a sinner I fly to thee,
who art the Mother of mercies.
I know that thy compassionate heart
finds it a consolation in assisting the miserable,
when thou canst do so,
and dost not find them obstinate.
Console, then, thy compassionate heart,
and console me this day;
for now thou hast the opportunity
of saving a poor creature condemned to Hell;
and thou canst do so,
for I will not be obstinate.
I abandon myself into thy hands,
only tell me what thou wouldst have me do,
and obtain for me strength to execute it,
for I am resolved to do all
that depends on me to recover the Divine grace.
I take refuge under thy mantle.
Jesus wills that I should have recourse to thee,
in order not only that His Blood may save me,
but also that thy prayers may assist me in this great work;
for thy glory. and for His Own,
since thou art His Mother.
He sends me to thee, that thou mayest help me.
O Mary, see, I have recourse to thee;
in thee do I confide.
Thou prayest for so many others,
pray also for me; say only a word.
Tell Our Lord that thou willest my salvation,
and God will certainly save me.
Say that I am thine,
and then I have obtained all that I ask,
all that I desire.


#6

I think in your heart,you know the answer.Have you read the CCC.on “mixed marridges”?I will be praing for you and him.May our Lord Jesus be with you,Rocky.


#7

NO, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!!!!

Please, for the mercy from heaven disengage from a relationship with this man. I am sure he is a nice man and all, but he is probably also a very faith-driven man who will most likely refuse to convert to the Catholic Church and remain Baptist. I have heard one too many stories of a Catholic spouse leaving the Church because the person married someone who was Baptist. Baptists practically believe that Catholics are in complete error to the point of going to you know where-- I had a catechist in RCIA who used to be Baptist and told us that!

And for what it's worth, the couples I've talked to or heard of where the wife was Catholic always ended up leaving the Church because of the husband. ALWAYS. Baptists have a very different way of looking at marital/gender roles which at first glance may seem just like what the Church teaches, but really it's not. And remember, wives are taught to submit to their husbands even if he is a non-believer-- and in this case even if he is a nonCatholic.

You say he's you best friend, but guess what? There are many, MANY, single Catholic men out there who are looking for a devout Catholic woman out there! And these men are marriage-minded and won't cause you to change your faith because of doctrinal mismatches. I am sure right now because you feel these feelings and emotional attachment what I am saying seems rather cruel, but I am only stating this for your own good. As a Christian in general it's risky to get into a relationship with a non-Christian but as a Catholic you are really playing with fire by being in a relationship with someone who is Baptist. I mean, they believe completely in sola scriptura with absolutely no traditions whatsoever. Even Lutherans believe in some sort of tradition, and they are sola scriptura!

For the love of all that is holy and glorious, stop the relationship with this man. Seriously. You obviously have doubts and I say listen to them.

This is my personal advice to you at 4:44 am.


#8

You just have to listen to yourself. Can you remain with him without having to sacrifice your own identity? If not, this is not the kind of love that makes for a good marriage.


#9

I would guess that the discussions are about what he says Catholics believe and how that is wrong. When you tell him what Catholics actually believe, it doesn't register. This turns into a defensive argument where no one is satisfied.

If he is totally unwilling to attend Mass with you, while you attend Church services with him, then he has likely decided that your faith is totally in error and so dangerous that he will not subject himself to it.

He probably thought that when you attended a Church service with him, you would see the light and the spirit would move you to accept Jesus into your heart and be "saved." The emotional content of the Church services is not attractive to most Catholics. It is all about how everyone feels (or demonstrates) the love of Jesus. Facts and reason have no impact when everything is determined or rejected based on emotional argument supported by Biblical proof texting.

The only solution that MIGHT work is for him to attend RCIA to learn what Catholics really believe. Attending RCIA does not mean that he must decide to convert. If he is unwilling to learn about your faith, he is unwilling to learn about you and will constantly try to change you because he cannot respect your beliefs.

It is unlikely that a marriage with these issues will be happy or long lasting. When such opposition to each other’s faith exists, it carries over into all areas. The solution is not to convert to his Church.

[FONT=Arial]In fact, there really is no decision here at all. Since he is divorced, he would need to pursue an annulment, which is unlikely because of his aversion to the Catholic Church and refusal to recognize any authority of the Catholic Church.

[FONT=Arial]This is not about changing him. Your faith requires you to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church. You control yourself and not him. This is not an imposition on him it is your criteria. It belongs to you and he is free to do what he pleases, as are you.

So that means that you are free to choose to maintain your belief and choose to be obedient to the Church. Should you rather choose to be obedient to him instead of God?

[/FONT][FONT=Arial]Write down your PRINCIPLES and follow them, that way you will know what choice to make, although no decision is easy. Never compromise any PRINCIPLE because it invites further erosion of your boundaries, and it is all downhill from there. Make a distinction to him that although you both may have similar VALUES, your PINCIPLES are non-negotiable.
[/FONT][/FONT]


#10

It seems to me as though if something is causing you this much pain, it may not be right.

As someone who is in a relationship with a non-Catholic I find it difficult enough to discern whether marrying him would be right or not. It's very easy for people to say "well he's not Catholic, so it's not God's will". I struggle with the fact that he is an incredible person and a better person than most people I know, Catholic or not. If there is any one person in my lifetime (I am 28) who has led me closer to heaven it's him, as weird as that is.

However, I think your situation is different because it doesn't seem like he is accepting your faith, and rather trying to pull you over to his "side". In addition, you seem to be in a lot of anguish. If you are now, it's probably not going to ever get any easier. When we're trying to discern whether a person is right for us to marry, we need to look carefully at the "fruits" of the relationship. Generally speaking God sends us a person who will not keep us up crying until the wee hours of the morning. Which is not to say that this man is a bad person, but rather that the circumstances of your relationship with him are tearing you up, and that to me doesn't sound like something God would want for you.

I think it would be one thing if you were involved with someone who wasn't Catholic but supported your faith and was willing to attend Mass with you, and agreed that you could raise your children in the Catholic faith. But it concerns me that your boyfriend doesn't seem open to this at all. It will be a constant struggle, and you have to ask yourself whether the way you're feeling now is the way you want to feel for the rest of your life.


#11

You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole. Period.

I have also been around the block a few times. My first marriage ended (and never should have been) because I was Baptist (at the time) and the man I married was Nazarene. He and his church were very anti-Baptist, but I thought I was doing the Christian thing and being a good Christian wife by accepting this. We lasted a little over 2 years.
Fast fwd 10 years. I became engaged to a non-practicing, ignorant Catholic who led me down many, many wrong roads and skewed what the Catholic Church taught to satisfy his selfish desires. He abandoned me when I needed him the most - after losing a job. I've had a relationship with another Catholic who flat out does not believe that God exists.
I've also ended a relationship with someone who leaned towards Buddhism and even though we got along great and respected each other's differences, it was just not right, and by now I'm gun shy of any relationship that is in religious opposition.

I am now waiting for God to introduce me to a Catholic man who is like me, trying hard everyday to live the faith out as much as possible. There is just too much **** to overcome and you cannot change anyone or hope that one day they will change.

Either take them as they are today and accept that as what you get or wait for the right one at the right time. It's frustrating to wait, but I've made too many mistakes and caused MYSELF too much heartbreak to risk going down that path again. You cannot make it right when it's not.


#12

With all the Catholic males who are eligible to be married (because they do not have the canonical impediment of divorce) having a hard time finding a Catholic wife, why are you turning your backs on them and pursuing someone who is not eligible?


#13

[quote="Norseman82, post:12, topic:220525"]
With all the Catholic males who are eligible to be married (because they do not have the canonical impediment of divorce) having a hard time finding a Catholic wife, why are you turning your backs on them and pursuing someone who is not eligible?

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

This is what I'm praying for. I hope he finds me soon. :p


#14

Missionary baptists are opposed to infant baptism. How do you plan on handling that? Can you imagine his reaction when your children announce to him that they want to be altar servers? To join a convent or become a priest? Ballistic doesn’t quite cover that, does it?

I am married to a non-Catholic, never married before me, who is attends Mass with me and who is very supportive of raising our boys Catholic. There is no ex-wife in our lives, I’m not a stepmother, he teaches the Catholic faith to our kids as the truth, not as “what Mom believes.” I married him after a lot of tears and discernment, and even considering how well things have worked out, those tears were warranted. He does everything he can to support my faith and the faith of our children, and it is still hard. I know women married to men who oppose their faith: they suffer greatly…and these are women whose husband allowed them to have their children baptized and taught the Catholic faith.

*What else can I do on my part other than pray? Nothing is happening. I’m trying to be patient. But I also do not feel that I should have to hurt this bad. Maybe I’m not praying hard enough… I don’t know. I miss mass here and there due to work… maybe that is it. I always feel like I could pray more. Maybe God is asking me to do something and I’m not listening -therefore he isn’t giving me answers either. I know one thing I just want peace. I’m sick of hurting and crying so hard over this. It literally causes loneliness and pain. I feel often like my heart is aching out of my chest and it’s driving a wedge between us. He is the one person I go to for everything - he’s my best friend. So now, here I am and I’m just flat out lost. He’s not someone I argue or fight with… What’s even awful is that I’ve started taking an antidepressant hoping it would life me up a bit - but it’s not changing my situation, therefore ineffective (because it cannot change my situation, it can only change my mood) *

This might change, it is possible, but marriage itself will not change this. There is an old story about how hunters used to catch wild monkeys for zoos and other collectors. They’d but a piece of candy in a coconut shell. The hole in the shell, of course, was big enough for the monkey’s hand to fit through, but not big enough so that the hand could be withdrawn with fist clenched. The monkeys would see the hunters appoaching, but they could not bring themselves to let go of their prize and escape. Over and over again, as predictable as the sun coming up, they lost their freedom over a sweet. I think you can hear what I’m suggesting.

If you insist on staying with him and he is very committed to being a Baptist, it is high time you discussed with him how he thinks 2 Corinthians 6 applies to the two of you. There are Baptists who see Catholics as fellow believers, and there are Baptists who see Catholics as heretics who need to convert. (Do you need to have this conversation? Don’t you know the answer?) Have your pastor explain to you just what it means if you get a dispensation to marry a committed Missionary Baptist: if it works, if it doesn’t. If you are still determined to pursue the relationship, have your pastor talk to the two of you and explain to your boyfrien what it would mean to marry a Catholic.

This will include talking to the priest about whether there is any chance that this man will be able to get a declaration of nullity with regards to his first marriage. A failed marriage and an invalid marriage are not the same thing, regardless of how hard one party to it tried. If he is validly married, his divorce does not leave him free to marry again. If you marry him in that case, you’d be committing adultery. So if your relationship is going to go one bit further, you personally, not your boyfriend, are going to have to shell out the money to have a tribunal consider his first marriage. Then you’ll know if you can even pass “Go”.

It is very hard, and nothing against this guy, but if you can let go of the sweet, do it. If you will not do that, then it is past time to find out if marriage to this man is even possible.


#15

I admit that I haven't read the WHOLE story, but I think you need to ask yourself:

What is the point in marriage?

A Catholic Apologist's answer:

Christians recognize marriage to be a sacrament. The purpose of all of the sacraments, marriage included, is to be a conduit of grace from God enabling the recipient to get to heaven. We can say then that the "point" of marriage is heaven and eventual union with God.

For non-religious people, the point in marriage might be economic benefits, making one's time on earth pleasurable, or joining forces in raising children.

Once you define what the point in marriage is for you, you can move forward. Please be aware that if you move forward with this man, you will NOT have the WONDERFUL gift of a "spiritual sherpa" and you will not have the JOY of being someone else's spiritual sherpa. For ME, that is the #1 purpose of marriage, so I can't imagine a marriage without it.

I can only imagine how difficult your situation is. Wish I could give you a hug as you make these difficult decisions!


#16

" To begin with I will have to mention that he is 10 years older than I am, divorced and has two children. "

I hate to say this but you may never get him to even consider working toward an annulment. How can he be free to marry?

I too once had a relationship like that and had to walk away, just do it. It will be the most awful experience for about 3 months, find a really good girlfriend, or PM me if you need, but you NEED to leave. **This will tear you into a million pieces. **Once the pain has subsided, if you are young I would suggest something like Ave Maria Singles.

I "did" this mess for 2 years, JUST LEAVE. I KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!

Blessings, and Prayers, and PLEASE PM me if you need,
His Mercy2011


#17

I can't thank everyone enough for taking the time to respond to me so quickly. What I failed to clarify in my first post is that he has never asked me to believe in something that I do not. It has been an issue we have swept under a rug and not dealt with due to the intense fear that it will pull us apart and so forth.

As of late it is something we realize that we need to face. As I have previously mentioned, I still consider myself a "new" convert into Catholicism and am completely unaware what I would need to do in order to marry and so forth. The only thing I am aware of is that I would need pre-marital counseling (but I was also dating a Catholic man at the time of conversion). I have in fact mentioned to my boyfriend that if we did have children I want them baptized and so forth. He has never once mentioned to me that this is something he was opposed to. After last night I also gave him many references of scripture in which we base our faith upon. He is to respond to me soon, but of course it takes time, because I'm sure he would like to provide reference to refute these particular items.

I also had to bring about a valid point in to him regarding the King James bible in which he reads (the 70,000+ errors and stray from Latin Vulgate, etc). He is also going to attempt to try to give me good reason in why he feels that this is still a valid biblical reference. I believe it merely impossible to defend my faith base against a bible that may have a completely different text than the American Standard (and even the New King James) version. There are many sites I have used to pull up and compare that still validate the Catholic faith in any text. Unfortunately the King James Version was unavailable to me at the time - but the New King James version did in fact still prove useful.

I need to also clarify that my boyfriend is the most LEAST controlling person I know and I feel guilty that I have portrayed him in that way. He knows nothing of jealousy and is always very fair. He is probably a lot more polite about not criticizing my faith versus me criticizing his. The man does not raise his voice and has the absolute patience of Job. He is also very intelligent (which is why I am surprised he has yet to come to the light lol). But when we do discuss this, he mentions to me that he will always want to me come to church with him and if we have children he would like to take them there. So, who knows - maybe through this he will develop insight and decide he will come to mass with me - I don't know. But, what I am merely certain of is that he will probably in no way request an annulment.

I have a very close friend whose father annulled his marriage to remarry his current wife. It has absolutely destroyed my friend and since then she has had ill thoughts of the Catholic Church. I know in my boyfriend's church that they also do not agree with divorce and so forth - but this was absolutely inevitable with him. He tried everything under the sun to keep his ex-wife from leaving him. He joined support groups and literally had everyone in his church attempting to keep her from leaving him. He slowly has healed and luckily we have found one another. But, for his sake his church has allowed him to continue attending church and to become married. What is also certain though is if he were to remarry it would also be considered adultery. His explanation to this is though he knows God considers this adultery, he also believes that God wants him to find someone and ultimately be happy. Circumstances led this completely out of his hands regardless of the many hours he prayed for this to not happen. I believe I would feel absolutely awful asking him to request an annulment from his ex-wife with children involved. It would make the children basically come from in illegitimate marriage... and in what way is this fair?

So if this is the case, and there is nothing I can ever do to make this valid - I should leave someone that has been an absolute God-send to me(up until this current dilemma?) The anguish I have expressed is in only in response to the confusion and fear of our religious differences and possible separation – not our relationship in any other way. It may have to do with my lack of sleep and so forth - it is an issue that is constantly nagging at me. In no way will I ever convert to a Missionary Baptist faith, I do assure everyone of this. By the constant exposure to the many different Baptist faiths in my area – I would have been “converted” by now… and in NO way is that happening. I have mentioned to my boyfriend before, I merely cannot pretend to be something I am not.

But, I am not certain I will be able to worship in the same faith as my boyfriend does. Who knows, maybe through this he will discover new insight and truly learn what the Catholic faith teaches. Maybe this is why the two of us were brought together. I fear now about the annulment aspect of this. But, I can only hope my prayers are answered and that this will be something I can continue to pursue.

Thank you everyone for your help, I look forward to hearing to you all.

*Someone has asked me why I am turning my back on single Catholic men. THEY are practically non-existent in Southwest Missouri (at least in my age group)... we're in the Baptist Bible belt. I’m convinced at least ¾ of the men in my church are probably converts lol. Otherwise, I would have GLADLY dated a Catholic man! The closest Catholic “singles” are primarily in St. Louis – which is 3.5 hours NE of my location. :shrug:


#18

This man is not free to date or marry. He needs to petition for an anullment asap . You need to stop dating him .

Anullment does not in any way cause a child to be illigitimate.

foryourmarriage.org/catholic-marriage/church-teachings/annulments/

How can a man who is so opposed to your religion be the spiritual leader that a husband is supposed to be? How will you raise your children Catholic?


#19

[quote="mdsnRN, post:17, topic:220525"]
I believe I would feel absolutely awful asking him to request an annulment from his ex-wife with children involved. It would make the children basically come from in illegitimate marriage... and in what way is this fair?

[/quote]

No, this is concept is wrong. Annulment does not invalidate the legitimacy of the children, it is mainly a determination that a permanent marital bond was not established, which is why (re)marriage would again be possible without being adultery. Basically the civil part of the marriage existed, but the covenantal part did not. Therefore children are still legitimate.

Too many people have an erroneous view of annulment. Belief in erroneous things destroys many because they would rather adhere to their own understanding instead of the official truth.

FYI, I prefer the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition of the Bible, which included the books that the Protestants do not accept. Otherwise the RSV is identical to a Bible translation that is sometimes used by Protestants.


#20

"So if this is the case, and there is nothing I can ever do to make this valid - I should leave someone that has been an absolute God-send to me(up until this current dilemma?) "

People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime - is something a friend of mine once told me. Just because he has been a God send to you during this particular point of your life does not mean that he is there for permanency. Of course, it's not my place to say the outcome, but as a former Baptist (non-missionary) I can tell you that you are in for a HUGE ordeal. Get ready. There are just as many stereotypes both ways and many Baptists will treat you as if you are despicable and like you sacrifice animals every Sunday. And good luck dealing with the whole Bible version issue. Since the KJV doesn't have the apocrypha, you're going to have a good time explaining that. According to Baptists/Protestants, the NAB is NOT trustworthy and is extra stuff added in and oh no, what is it that the Catholics added in, if it's not in the KJV or other Protestant Bible, it's of the devil! <---sarcasm

My last boyfriend - the "Buddhist" - treated me SO WELL. He treated me the way I wished my former fiance had - the Catholic who was verbally and emotionally abusive to me. The last bf and I NEVER fought. But there came a point in our relationship where I asked the questions that needed to be asked. Neither of us were willing to budge on our beliefs and I had to have the strength to move on and get out, and an honest part of me was RELIEVED because I didn't have to have the fight in my head and heart anymore over how to bridge the gap between us.

I believe now that the reason he was in my life was to show me that not all men are abusive and that there are men who are respectful and one day I will have the man who also shows me the affection and speaks to me respectfully and treats me well that I have always longed for.

Good luck.


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