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


#21

**God **did not send you a man to commit adultery with. That much I am certain of.

He says he *knows *it’s adultery but is willing to do it because God would want him to be happy? Can I just say: BARF. Capital B. That is not God. That is SELF delusion.

Look, I was a 25 year old woman when I converted to the Catholic faith. I decided day one that I would only date Catholics because I knew the Church held the fullness of truth and I did not want a house divided. I did not want to raise children in a mixed faith household. I did not want fights and arguments over religions or who attends church where and when. I wanted a man to pray with me, the Rosary. I wanted a man to go with me to Mass. I wanted a man who loved God and the Church as much as me.

Did God slap one down on my porch the next day? No. For 13 years I was a faithful Catholic woman who couldn’t seem to meet a decent Catholic man. Not ONCE did I ever waiver in my decision to only date Catholic men.

And now I have the most wonderful Catholic husband EVER.

Honey, it’s **always **your choice. You can choose to be faithful to God and wait for the right person to come into your life. Or you can go on for 14 posts on here about how this guy is the right guy. However, if he were ACTUALLY the right guy, you wouldn’t need **one **post let alone 4 to tell us all the problems and then a bunch more telling us we really don’t understand or we’d agree with you that there has to be a way, that ‘God’ wouldn’t do this to you.

YOU are doing this to you.

Not warm and fuzzy, but the truth.

He is not free to marry. He is already married. Unfair that she left? Yes. Free to marry someone else? No.

Regarding nullity-- it’s not something someone “gets.” The Church examines evidence and if there is evidence of invalidity, they will make a declaration. BUT, the marriage might well be valid and then he would be unable to marry until his wife is no longer living.

You went in eyes wide shut. Now, open your eyes and see the reality: you have made these choices all along the way until you are so “in love” that you cannot see that this is a bad situation and it will tear you apart if you keep heading down this road.

“But he’s my best friend.” The man you marry will be your best friend. This man will fade away. How do I know? I was you when I was in my 20s. I had several very serious boyfriends who I thought were my best friends and who I could not live without. And I haven’t seen or talked to them in 15 years. And I didn’t die of a broken heart. I screwed my head on straight and put God first in my life. And things go a LOT better.


#22

EasterJoy and I are in similar circumstances. My husband and I are both “cradle Catholics,” but both of us were lapsed when we met and married. I never thought I would return to the faith of my youth but after our 1st son was born, I felt a strong pull back to the Church. My husband didn’t feel that pull at all, and hasn’t since then (about 19 years ago). He has gone to Mass with us all along, allowed me to put the kids through religious schools, but is not a spiritual leader to his sons in any way. The only time we pray is at mealtimes. Otherwise God is not brought up by him at all. All of that is to say that I have gone through heartache because my husband will not spiritually lead the family, and he’s relatively tolerant. Married to a Baptist? Expect religious abuse, because Baptists think we Catholics are pagans and need saving. Many churches celebrate any time one of their members effects a conversion. It just will not work in your favor, dear sister. You will have one fight after another, especially if and when God brings you children. Well, I really don’t think you would ever reach the altar because he would never agree to raise the children as Catholics, so you’d have to marry outside the Church and that would mean an invalid marriage.

The problem is that you allowed yourself to go further into the relationship when you knew there would be problems with his faith and with yours. In our case, my husband and I were on the same page when we married - and that was totally a-religious. It was me who changed and went back to being a Catholic. Now we are what Protestants like to call “unequally yoked,” a marriage of a believer to a non-believer (hubby could not answer me when I asked him if he believes in God). It’s a painful thing to know I am alone with my joy of life in Christ. I want to share it with him but I cannot.

Do not start out your marriage this way. Mine may come to an end after 22 years. I pray not, but do not do this to yourself and your faith.


#23

[quote="therese_lisieux, post:13, topic:220525"]
:thumbsup:

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

[/quote]

Hi!!! :)


#24

Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith? This may be a long shot, but I can't tell you how many people have already mentioned to me that they eventually became Catholic after meeting someone and so forth?

Someone had mentioned that inviting him to RCIA would be the first step I should take, and I am willing to do so. I just need to find out when the next session begins and so forth.

Does anyone else oppose this possibility? I agree with everything everyone else has said, and I am not trying to defend him in any way. I want to stand firm in my beliefs and begin a healthy marriage. This is why we have not made the next step. I realize this and mature in that regard. If I didn't take the time or was patient, we would have probably been married by now, because everything else has felt "right".

I just would like to at least say that I have given it my "all" before absolutely walking away from this. I do thank you all for clarifying the idea of annulment. If we decide to marry and things go "ideally", would these be something I would need to talk to my priest about? If so, does he grant this - or who does? What would need to be done legally as well? He is an attorney but also hired a separate divorce attorney - would he need to contact him again... or is this something he may be able to do on his own? This may be strictly church based as well- not requiring "legal paperwork". I can only hope he would still be obligated to provide his children child support and so forth, correct? This is all just information I would like to know about.


#25

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith?

[/quote]

Do you not believe that he possibly has been brought to you by Satan in order to take you away from the Catholic faith?


#26

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith?

[/quote]

No.

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
This may be a long shot, but I can't tell you how many people have already mentioned to me that they eventually became Catholic after meeting someone and so forth?

[/quote]

Missionary dating is a bad idea. If you want to evangelize, you do so on equal footing. You do not inject an element into it, which by the way your boyfriend is doing as well, where one has a sense that if they do not move in the direction the other wants then that person will leave them.

I am happy to explain my faith to anyone who asks. I actively work towards the conversion of others. That is the purpose of friendship. But that is NOT the purpose of marriage.

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]

Someone had mentioned that inviting him to RCIA would be the first step I should take, and I am willing to do so. I just need to find out when the next session begins and so forth.

Does anyone else oppose this possibility?

[/quote]

Sure, invite him to seek out the Catholic faith. Without you. See how far it goes.

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
I agree with everything everyone else has said, and I am not trying to defend him in any way. I want to stand firm in my beliefs and begin a healthy marriage. This is why we have not made the next step. I realize this and mature in that regard. If I didn't take the time or was patient, we would have probably been married by now, because everything else has felt "right".

[/quote]

One should not base major decisions solely on things "feeling right" because tomorrow they could "feel" wrong, and then what?

Look at the objective facts:

[LIST]
*]He isn't free to marry
*]He and you have major areas of disagreement in the most fundamental aspect of who you are and wha tyou believe
*]Neither of you wants to conver to the other's faith
*]You disagree on future child rearing
*]Religion is causing arguments
[/LIST]

If someone you didn't know came to you with this list of issues, what would you tell them?

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]

I do thank you all for clarifying the idea of annulment. If we decide to marry and things go "ideally", would these be something I would need to talk to my priest about? If so, does he grant this - or who does?

[/quote]

I think you need to read this book: **Annulment: The Wedding That Was **by Michael Smith Foster.

No one 'grants' a decree of nullity (it is not an annulment). The diocesan tribunal will investigate the case after it is submitted. It begins with the parish priest. Your friend, not you, would bring the case for nullity. The priest would evaluate wethere or not there are grounds for nullity, which means whether or not he will even submit the case to the diocese. Once at the diocese, testimony is collected from the spouses and witnesses. The tribunal will evaluate the evidence to determine if there is sufficient evidence to prove nullity. Nullity means an impediment to a valid marriage existed at the time the vows were exchanged. This process takes, on average, between 1 and 2 years in most dioceses in the US.

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]

What would need to be done legally as well? He is an attorney but also hired a separate divorce attorney - would he need to contact him again...

[/quote]

This is not a civil proceeding. It is a Church proceeding.

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]

or is this something he may be able to do on his own? This may be strictly church based as well- not requiring "legal paperwork".

[/quote]

It requires lots of paperwork, but it is not civil in nature. The priest is the place to start. Actually, reading the book is the place to start.

I think that you are under the impression this is just some sort of formality or paperwork. The petitioner actually has to have valid grounds or the diocese won't take the case. In other words, his marriage may very well BE valid. Meaning you cannot marry him, ever.

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
can only hope he would still be obligated to provide his children child support and so forth, correct? This is all just information I would like to know about.

[/quote]

The nullity process has nothing to do with civil obligations.

Again, please get the book I've recommended.


#27

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith? This may be a long shot, but I can't tell you how many people have already mentioned to me that they eventually became Catholic after meeting someone and so forth?

[/quote]

If this is the case, you can evangelize to him without marrying him, living with him, dating him, having sex with him, etc. In fact, your evangelizing would be most effective if you abide by the teaching of the Church. Engaging in adultery with a married man would probably undermine any evangelizing attempts. :(


#28

[quote="MtnDwellar, post:23, topic:220525"]
Hi!!! :)

[/quote]

LOL


#29

You have come such a long way in terms of your faith. Now you are asking the right questions. Do you really want to marry this man if your faiths conflict like this. Which they do, very greatly. Can you settle with going to mass by yourself or without your husband for the rest of your life? Or fighting over how to raise your kids? This is a matter of life and death, everlasting. What I have found is that while dating I will date outside of my faith. However, before I get married they will need to convert to Catholicism, and be honest and want it themselves. Otherwise, I will surely not marry them. That is my personal stance. It is way too hard otherwise. There are plenty of great Catholic men out there. But if he really won’t consider converting I would advise to end it, that is if your faith is the most important thing in your life.


#30

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith? This may be a long shot, but I can't tell you how many people have already mentioned to me that they eventually became Catholic after meeting someone and so forth?

Someone had mentioned that inviting him to RCIA would be the first step I should take, and I am willing to do so.

[/quote]

I suggested RCIA (pick an orthodox parish). It is going too far to determine the purpose for your relationship. Just be satisfied that each of you may be a instrument of truth on the path of life for each other. Maybe it will work, maybe not, but grasping onto a possible outcome is premature. Thinking otherwise is rationalization, justification and projection.

You have no obligation to give it your all, because there is no binding commitment and an obstacle to marriage exists. It is not your job to "save" him, just as it is not his job to "save" you. Be a mustard seed!

He is not "free to marry." If you really love him, the truth should be more important than a marriage, no matter what suffering this entails. You are experiencing a test of yourself, not a test of him or your future relationship.


#31

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith? This may be a long shot, but I can't tell you how many people have already mentioned to me that they eventually became Catholic after meeting someone and so forth?

Someone had mentioned that inviting him to RCIA would be the first step I should take, and I am willing to do so. I just need to find out when the next session begins and so forth.

Does anyone else oppose this possibility? I agree with everything everyone else has said, and I am not trying to defend him in any way. I want to stand firm in my beliefs and begin a healthy marriage. This is why we have not made the next step. I realize this and mature in that regard. If I didn't take the time or was patient, we would have probably been married by now, because everything else has felt "right".

I just would like to at least say that I have given it my "all" before absolutely walking away from this. I do thank you all for clarifying the idea of annulment. If we decide to marry and things go "ideally", would these be something I would need to talk to my priest about? If so, does he grant this - or who does? What would need to be done legally as well? He is an attorney but also hired a separate divorce attorney - would he need to contact him again... or is this something he may be able to do on his own? This may be strictly church based as well- not requiring "legal paperwork". I can only hope he would still be obligated to provide his children child support and so forth, correct? This is all just information I would like to know about.

[/quote]

An annulment is a very difficult, frustrating, long process. I went through it and almost didn't go through with getting confirmed because I was so frustrated with the process and OVER IT. It's archaic and if you're not Catholic or going through RCIA, it's even more frustrating, especially when you have to drag family and friends through it with you as your witnesses. You have to talk to someone at your parish, either priest or whoever is responsible there to get the ball rolling, and it also costs money. Is your guy willing to do this? Mine took over a year to be complete and only that fast because I was pushing my witnesses to get their paperwork back quickly.

Ironically, I didn't even need an annulment as my ex fiance dumped me and my ex husband passed away from cancer this spring.


#32

Im still trying to figure out how any woman can be attracted to a guy thats been divorced and has kids, especially when they are so young themselves. There are many younger and older single guys that dont have the same baggage. I just dont understand women.


#33

[quote="mjs1987, post:32, topic:220525"]
Im still trying to figure out how any woman can be attracted to a guy thats been divorced and has kids, especially when they are so young themselves. There are many younger and older single guys that dont have the same baggage. I just dont understand women.

[/quote]

It isn't just women. It is that when you meet an actual person with a lot going for them and a lot to attract you, you want to overlook the down sides, including the obvious stuff. Then they aren't a "a guy thats been divorced and has kids." It's different, because this is Bill, or Jason or whoever it is. Our friends are different. Our friends become an extension of ourselves, and we want to believe we can be the exception to the rule. It is human nature.

This is why we go through life doing extraordinary things and doing extraordinarily stupid things, and even being smart and being too smart for our own good, too. Few of us have the wisdom to see the difference, not when it is our own life.

There are only two kinds of people, after all. There are people who look back on their lives and find reason to say, "What was I thinking?" and people who aren't above a white lie.


#34

[quote="mdsnRN, post:24, topic:220525"]
*Are there not many that believe that I possibly have been brought to him in order to bring him to the Catholic faith? * This may be a long shot, but I can't tell you how many people have already mentioned to me that they eventually became Catholic after meeting someone and so forth?

*Someone had mentioned that inviting him to RCIA would be the first step I should take, and I am willing to do so. I just need to find out when the next session begins and so forth. *

Does anyone else oppose this possibility? I agree with everything everyone else has said, and I am not trying to defend him in any way. I want to stand firm in my beliefs and begin a healthy marriage. This is why we have not made the next step. I realize this and mature in that regard. If I didn't take the time or was patient, we would have probably been married by now, because everything else has felt "right".

I just would like to at least say that I have given it my "all" before absolutely walking away from this. I do thank you all for clarifying the idea of annulment. If we decide to marry and things go "ideally", would these be something I would need to talk to my priest about? If so, does he grant this - or who does? What would need to be done legally as well? He is an attorney but also hired a separate divorce attorney - would he need to contact him again... or is this something he may be able to do on his own? This may be strictly church based as well- not requiring "legal paperwork". I can only hope he would still be obligated to provide his children child support and so forth, correct? This is all just information I would like to know about.

[/quote]

The Holy Spirit is who brings him to his faith, not you. I think you are under a delusion if you think God has led him to you so you can help convert him. The funny thing is that he is probably telling himself the same thing! Don't kid yourself, it's not your job or advisable that you should wind yourself into this life in that way. Even lifelong Catholics would not take on such a responsibility, nor would they want to believe that they could be wholly responsible for someone's eventual conversion.

This whole situation is simply not a good one. It's going to hurt a lot but the circumstances are against you. Just think with your mind, not your heart. You are not thinking straight about this. Good luck with getting a missionary Baptist to attend RCIA!! Yeah, right!!!

:eek:


#35

This is exactly the fact. I held onto my last Catholic boyfriend for entirely too long. He put me through the ringer. I found he was sleeping with a bunch of girls he was meeting out, wanted to party ALL of the time, he was a mess - the list is endless. The only good thing I got out of him was Catholicism. I have never been in a relationship less than two years. My first serious boyfriend was four years, the Catholic guy for three years, and one other guy for almost 3 years and currently this one now for a little over two. So when you do find someone that treats you amazing after being through the ringer - you don't necessarily want to lose hope. It would be different if he weren't a Christian man whom was an extremely good father. His ex-wife was the only other woman he has ever dated. So, you please don't assume that it's dating some random guy, divorced with two kids. It wasn't like that all. In fact, I completely refused to meet him for a long time, but have never once regretted the fact that I did. I GAVE enough to the single guys without baggage. The guy I dated for 2.5 years was also Catholic - not as bad of a break up, but he still was not ready to "grow up" at 25.


#36

Just because all those other guys weren't right doesn't mean this one is. He may be a really nice guy, but he shouldn't even be dating. He should be focusing on his kids. Forget the religious difference, you have NO IDEA what you're signing up for with his ex and kids. She will be the third person in your marriage... you will ALWAYS have to deal with her. His kids have emotional scars from the divorce, don't fool yourself that they don't, and that will become your problem. Trust me, I was the kid whose dad dated and remarried... they DON'T want you there. You are a distraction for their father and they do not want to share him with you.

This is not a fit, and you know it. You should move on and give yourself a chance to find the man who is truly right for you. Simplify your life and date only Catholics. If you truly want a Catholic home and family, that is the choice you are going to have to make.

As someone who does share Catholic faith with my spouse, I can tell you that that glue makes SO MUCH difference. Our family would be completely different without that unity. I cannot imagine how it would work. Our union is deeper and stronger because we are united on every level. Isn't that what you want? I never had to argue with my husband about our kids' religious upbringing. I don't have to get into theological debates with him. We worship together every week, and our kids see that, and that is POWERFUL. My two oldest children are involved in ministry of their own accord, out of their own desire. That doesn't happen in a family where faith is not communicated as the most important factor in the family's life. It also doesn't happen in a family where the kids are afraid of betraying one parent by practicing their faith. Think about that.


#37

[quote="1ke, post:21, topic:220525"]
**God **did not send you a man to commit adultery with. That much I am certain of.

[/quote]

1ke, I agree with you completely...in fact, this is what I should tell myself whenever I feel tempted to rekindle my "friendship" with a married man...that God would not send me a man to commit adultery with. Your comment really made things clear for me.

He says he knows *it's adultery but is willing to do it because God would want him to be *happy? Can I just say: BARF. Capital B. That is not God. That is SELF delusion.

To me, this would be a huge red flag, even if this man was a Catholic who was civilly divorced and not planning on applying for a Decree of Nullity because he believed the marriage was valid.

mdsnRN, if your BF admits that remarrying would be adultery...isn't that the same as saying that he is okay with making you not his true wife, but his mistress? Why would someone who is as great as you say, who loves you as much as you say, be willing to do that to you?

I also wonder, have you ever read Jane Eyre?

And re your previous bad relationships. Well, this man may be the best one you have met so far. The way he treats you may indeed be better than any other man you've met. However, that is not the same as saying this is the best you can do! If that's how you feel, then I would strongly suggest seeking some counseling, about why your self-worth is so low. You might also want to see if there is some pattern, some mental habit, that leads you into these unsatisfactory relationships. I'm not sure who's said this before on CAF, but it seems your "man-picker" is broken, or at least in need of readjustment.

Seems you're new to CAF, so you may not know my story, but I actually hear you about never meeting a man like this one before, how he's your best friend, how you fear losing that. I used to feel exactly the same way about a man I met a few years ago. I had never met a man like him, a man who treated women with respect, who didn't see any point to going out and partying when he could spend time with his family instead, who respected my choice not to drink alcohol, who listened to me and validated my feelings...etc, etc. He actually helped get me interested in the Catholic faith.

But he wasn't the man God sent me. Actually, I'm not even sure God is in the celestial matchmaker business, but if he is, he sent this man to the woman who married him and bore his child.

Now, I do recommend you read up on what a Declaration of Nullity really means. If you do, you may very well wind up thinking that your BF has a case, but nothing is guaranteed. If he never gets such a decree, you will not be allowed to marry in the Church. If you marry outside the Church, you will be considered to be living in a state of sin, and be barred from Communion. If you decide to take Communion anyway, then you will be committing yet another sin. I will leave it to the Catholics here to explain exactly what that sin is, as I'm not familiar with the terminology. All I know is that this sin would be a mortal one.

Even if he were to agree to apply for a Decree of Nullity, and marry you in the Catholic Church...if he still believes that his first marriage is valid, then he's still ok with making you his mistress, and putting your soul in jeopardy, so he can be happy. Of course, unless he figures that since you're not a member of his church, your soul is doomed for a certain warm place anyway, so it doesn't matter. Hmm, I wonder, has he dated any women in his church since his divorce?

This is even before the issue of your children. If you marry in the Church, you will be obliged to promise to raise them in the Catholic faith. Many children whose parents try out the "teach them about both and have them choose" approach wind up choosing NO religion at all, or at least rejecting both faiths, because they figure, if their parents thought one was just as valid as another, then neither must really be the true faith. Do you want your children to decide Christianity is just a social club, and converting to, say, Islam?

I can't think of much else to say, except that believe me, no man is worth putting your soul in jeopardy over. Probably not those of your children, either.


#38

[quote="EasterJoy, post:33, topic:220525"]
It isn't just women. It is that when you meet an actual person with a lot going for them and a lot to attract you, you want to overlook the down sides, including the obvious stuff. Then they aren't a "a guy thats been divorced and has kids." It's different, because this is Bill, or Jason or whoever it is. Our friends are different. Our friends become an extension of ourselves, and we want to believe we can be the exception to the rule. It is human nature.

[/quote]

First of all - Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! The last thing I need is to be criticized over this. Secondly, I have not made any moves, for OBVIOUS reasons, so I do not know why people are acting like I am doing something awful here. I am TRYING to do the right thing or I wouldn't have been here and asked for assistance in the first place. Please understand this. :confused:


#39

*I'm a talker... as you've noticed.. so this is 1 of 2 :blush:
Does this recommended book give me scripture so that I may understand a lot of these things you all are telling me?

I'm not sure why I'm being completely thrown the wolves here about all of this. I appreciate everyone's concern whole-heartedly and the advice you all have been giving me. It has most definitely opened my eyes. But what I also find so confusing is that there are many people on here who are also converts and/or have spouses that have done the very same thing. I cannot sit here and truly say that he will NEVER go to mass with me. He has never reported so. As of late - yes, but this isn't something I fear he would NEVER do - otherwise I would not have let it go on as long as it has. I have prayed entirely too hard and long about it to feel that I have made a poor choice by doing so. I possibly should have given more thought and constructed my very first post a bit better, gave more insight and discussions that I have had with him. He states that he feels like he needs to stay in his church right now and prays about it all the time. He has also mentioned that if he feels like he should go elsewhere that he will most certainly do so, but he feels God has not given him those feelings at this point.

I will add that over this past weekend, I believe I have exposed him to a lot of ideas and beliefs that he did not think were scripture based - that in fact are. He truly had no idea of what the Catholic Church believes and/or teaches. All that he was sure of is that our ideas about salvation are completely different. I forget how someone put it earlier, but I shouldn’t try to “evangelize” him nor him “evangelize” me. Ok? – Point taken. But do you not find it WRONG to not be a disciple of God and to expose him to the Truth if in fact he has not KNOWN the Truth all along? He asked me to explain my beliefs and therefore I did. Of course I believe that conversion to Catholicism should only be on his terms. Who am I to tell someone to believe something for me? I only hope and pray that he learns what the Catholic Church truly teaches and believes. Then if he one day believes that he would like to join me in this faith – would it be beneficial to me. I wish people would stop assuming that I am doing this or that without TRULY knowing. It’s a bit offensive. Remember, I am asking WHAT to do in here, not that I HAVE done anything. I probably should have explained more in my first post, I do now realize. I was going on 25 hours without sleep (I’m an RN whom works nights) which was causing my emotions to be that much more intense.

I should also probably should stop replying or posting about all of this as I was criticized for that as well. I “know” the answer; otherwise I wouldn’t keep trying to defend myself in 4+ posts. I’m not sure that this has been what I expected it would be. It has in fact helped, but it’s often felt like I am not amongst people listening to me or giving me any sort of support through this. I don’t need to be lectured and slain here. I need educated and helped through this. There are some wonderful posts and prayers that have I absolutely been touched by and gracious for. Please do not get me wrong by expressing my feelings. I know I have not heard all what I necessarily “wanted to hear”, but that is also what I have asked for. So please do not think I am taking those comments poorly either. There are just particular ones that have slightly stung – and I would rather be open about this than hide it.


#40

2 of 2:o
Aside from that I would like insight on another thing if at all possible. What are your opinions about this “salvation” that this religion “feels”? I do not believe that ALL of these members have this experience feeling (I would be a fool to think that a lot of this is not a big show). But, I most certainly do in regard to my boyfriend. This is why he is so absolutely devoted to this faith. He motioned to me once that he doesn’t have all the answers to my questions, and he is in no way able to tell me personally if I am saved or who is in his church, etc. But that there is one thing that he is 100% certain of. This was this experience he had with God. He had these intense emotions come about him (at age 12, I believe) and it’s something he finally felt or “new” after a lot of prayer, reflection and other members praying for him. I think that this is comparable to what a lot of us have also experienced. But not that it is a “salvation”(to us at least), and I believe that this is where they are most wrong. DISCLAIMER: This is something I would want to know - regardless of my relationship dilemma. I just want to know other Catholics opinions on this.

I will try to explain this experience the best way that I have been explained to about it (by a couple of my family members that also go to this church). There is a point where they feel a deep conviction from God (and he refers to Paul and Paul’s conviction when speaking about this a lot) and it goes on and they pray and pray as they fear they are not going to heaven and may be condemned to hell if not “saved”. They pray and pray for this salvation. Then at some point, they eventually become saved. I know this is bizarre. I do not need instruction on what Catholics believe and how this differs from our understanding of salvation. I am very clear in what the Catholic Church believes, and absolutely CERTAIN I am “saved”. But, I truly believe that he did in fact have this experience. This is why he is moved by it and takes pride in what he believes- because he felt it. I also understand that after having such experience why he wants his children to also have it. But, I want to know what I can compare it to or explain this by. The theories I have had include anything from the fact that he finally prayed hard enough, intensely enough - and truly experienced God for this first time. But it was only at that one particular time did he truly feel God. I have also often wondered if it had something to do with literally being “brain-washed” for so long about how horrible of people they are during service, and condemning them all to hell. Then by the pure and absolute fear that is put in them during service are they “driven” to the altar and forced to actually pray deeply- until they finally feel God’s graces or experience God. I’m not really sure, but I don’t doubt that he had this experience. I would just like to know and understand what it truly is or even be able to explain to him what I feel this might be. Because, I am NOT certain of what it truly is. I often think I have had that experience myself, but it has happened more than one time. I’m not sure I cried nearly as hard and long about it (mind you I didn’t have someone yelling down my throat, preaching hell, fire and brimstone either), but I can say I’m certain I felt something like that.

I do understand all of your points and reasons you are telling me to leave in regard to the invalidity of marriage- if a nullment wasn’t granted, etc. But as I also have mentioned, I’m not a cradle Catholic and still have a lot of learning to do. I was completely unaware of all of this. I learned NOTHING about it in RCIA. I came from the Lutheran church; therefore I had the hardest times understanding things regarding Mary, Original sin and so forth. This was not something I was inquisitive about at all. Understanding the Catholic Church’s teachings will take a lot of time. But I believe that this is a part of it I should have become better acquainted with sooner than now. But, I can’t beat myself up about it – I just need to educate myself and figure it out.

I thank you all again. Please do not mistake my expressions as being ungrateful, as I am VERY grateful for all of your time and advice that has been given. Like I said before, it is just small remarks here or there that have seemed to sting. Remember, I am deeply hurting and worrying about this. I really need to feel amongst friends, not foes. I am genuinely trying to not be “overly sensitive” – but who knows, it truly may be that very fact. If so, I do apologize.


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