Advice on mixed marriage please



Okay - it will help if I explain the situation - my fiancee is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church by upbringing and we have been together for about 2 years now. After much thought at the end of last year I asked her would she like to get married and she was mad enough to say yes. Now I’ve read a lot of threads here about people having problems with mixed marriages where people find incompabitble beilefs and clash over matters theological. However, here we have a slightly different situation. The discussion turned to where we would like to hold the marriage obviously - now I was surprised when my fiancee said it might make more sense for her to convert so as to avoid arguments and stress within the family in future years. I would be the last person on earth to pressure her to do such a thing as her culture and background are part of who she is and why she is the person she is. But her reasoning was that in the future if children were involved it would look better to the kids if both parents presented an united face to them on religous and moral matters. Her own personal religous outlook is quite moderate -she believes in god, but also believes as do I that god is there for everyone of every faith and that no-person or their faith should be disrespected. She is a little bit more old fashioned than me though in a relationship and for her the man is boss and leads (or thinks he does anyway :slight_smile: and he is head of the house - we talked the subject over more later and she believes mixed marriages can work but only where mutual respect is there and she thinks it works best if one partner makes a sincere attempt to understand the other. She has been looking at the Catholic faith and she does not think it would be unduly awkward to change faiths for her as the biggest differences are things not relevant to our everyday lifes such as the policy on married priests. On nearly all other issues we are in agreement, she is oppossed to abortion like me, believes marriage is about creating a happy and stable family etc. etc.

That said I’ve read any number of threads here about conversion for members of the orthodox church. Some have had said that adult instruction is not neccesary and only a profession of faith is required. But I also worried that maybe I have accidentally pressured her without realising. Part of the reason I asked her to marry me in the first place was because of the fact that she has extremely high moral values and is very family oriented and apart from that I tried to imagine not been with her and found I didn’t want to imagine that.

I wonder should I encourage her or let her think about the matter more. My father who is far, far more devout than I am thinks I should give her space to think about it. He thinks if she then wishes to it would be easier but that it must be her own decision not influenced by himself or myself. I can see her point


Your fiancee is right, now go ahead, respect her decision.


Your fiancee wants to become Catholic so that there won’t be any problems later on?

You couldn’t have asked for a better blessing from God.



Your fiance is absolutely correct.

Suggest she go talk to a priest, without you if you fear that you unduly influence her.

And, yes, she has already validly received the Sacraments of Initiation and would only need to make a profession of faith to be received into the Catholic Church. There may be some question as to what Rite she would be a part of at conversion and how she formally becomes Latin Rite-- so talking to a priest would be the first step.


I am currently dating a Roman and am Orthodox myself. I converted to Orthodoxy to join the church that Jesus Himself planted. Perhaps YOU need to learn more about Orthodoxy. Perhaps she doesn’t truly understand her own faith. Perhaps you both don’t understand that they are the same church just as siblings are always siblings.

Are you willing to have icons in your home?
Are you willing to go to an Eastern Catholic church?
Are you willing to have some Orthodox practices and Russian ethnic traditions in your home?
Just how Roman does she want to be? Does this require giving up her heritage? Why should she do that? How is that healthy? This can definitely build resentment over the years.

Good luck


I already have icons in my home - one i bought myself on a trip with her which i liked and one of the virgin she gave my father as a christmas present as my father has a special liking for Mary. My father who is elderly lives with me and lived with russian emigres when he first came to england many years ago from ireland so he speaks some russian as a result and they get on well together as she is from a family of people from the countryside who were farmers originally which is similar to my fathers own background.

Of course I’m willing to have russian ethnic traditions in my house or I wouldn’t ask her to marry me in the first place. We have discussed that - should kids arrive one day in the future they will learn about both our culturual traditions as they are what makes us both what we are and we are both quite patriotic and there are quite a lot of parallels as well as differences between Irish and Russian history.

Both she and I do not belief that either only the orthodox or catholic church contains a way to god. We believe they are BOTH a way to god and i would not do anything that would make her resentful if i could which is why i asked for advice.


AH nvm I misread the post, i agree with the others now that i re-read it.


Marry the woman and let her decide. I’m in her position right now. I think that the Roman church in America is simply stronger than the Orthodox Church and I want my children to have that strong support as they grow up.



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