Catholic / Non-Catholic relationships


i just want to thank everyone, from the bottom of my heart, who has responded to my posts with such warmth, love, support and encouragement. this community has helped me so much and means so much to me. just to update you on how i am doing, i am feeling much better, and the darkness has finally lifted. i still don’t feel much inner peace, and i still have some anxiety, and today has gotten off to a rocky start – but i’m following my pastor’s advice and learning to take life one moment at a time so that it doesn’t completely overwhelm me. i feel very ashamed of how i reacted to the darkness when it attacked me, which shows that i still have a lot to work on, but at the same time i am deeply grateful for all that i went through because i feel that i have new strength and a new sense of purpose and direction to become more diligent and consistent in my faith. today won’t be the new beginning that i was hoping for, but tonight definitely will be – i plan to become much more consistent in prayer and devotion, and i will continue to update all of you on how my spiritual life is progressing.

words can’t express how much your amazing support has meant to me. when i read your incredible responses to my cry for help, they literally brought tears to my eyes, and reminded me that i am never alone. i may feel helpless at the moment, and know that i have a long way to go until i reach holiness, but i finally feel far from hopeless. i don’t know how i can thank all of you enough, for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers, and responding with such love and kindness. i also have good news in that the demon might have finally left my friend. we’re not sure yet if it’s really gone, so we’re not yet getting our hopes up, but please continue to keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers as we look towards an end to this battle with darkness. it’s very complicated how the demon was hurt and might have been defeated, and i don’t have time to tell the whole story, but it’s a great testament to the power of Jesus and the Cross, and it just goes to show that light will always overcome darkness, if we only wait to see the ending.

to get to the point of this post, basically, i know that mixed marriages are strictly forbidden, but are there any rules on other relationships? i have developed feelings for a boy who is a Christian but not Catholic, which presents a problem. he will probably soon present to me the idea of a relationship with him, maybe even today, and i don’t want to get into a relationship with a non-Catholic if it would be wrong. while it would hurt me, i would definitely give up this chance at a relationship if it meant that i was doing the right thing. i would really appreciate your thoughts on this - are the rules for relationships the same as the rules for mixed marriages? i don’t date casually - this would be my first relationship, and i would take it extremely seriously. i don’t want to grow close to someone and then have to leave them because they’re not Catholic, so before the relationship begins, i would really appreciate it if you could tell me -

would it be wrong for me to have a romantic relationship with a non-Catholic? if so, i will definitely tell him that we should just remain friends, and i will know that God has other things in store for me. :slight_smile:

thank you so much, again, to all of you, and i am sorry that i’ve been posting so much. i promise that i’m not trying to draw attention to myself - i just have had a lot of issues and questions lately, but my life finally seems to be calming down. i have no doubt that i’ve been protected from the demon, and that God is working in my life to make me stronger and bring me closer to Him. thanks again, and God bless you all. i love you all so much. :heart:

in the peace and love of Christ,
alison xx


A ‘mixed’ faith marriage can work but it is also much more difficult. My wife of 30+ years is non-Catholic (she is non-denominational non-practicing Christian-barely Christian, almost atheist). It has been a struggle as most marriages are, but sometimes the fact that she is not Catholic causes some very serious problems.

IF you ever get very serious with such a relationship be sure to iron out as many differences as you can before hand. Thing such as how many kids if any, NFP, Catholic upbringing for the kids etc. The more you can settle up front the less of a hassle it is down the road.

All couples have problems and every couple needs to work on their marriage but mixed faith couples have their own special problems. It can be done, but be prepared to encounter some rocky roads. It takes a lot of patience, understanding, determination, heart burn, and love and prayers to make things work, but so does every marriage. Good luck.


I am married to a wonderful man despite his being ‘agnostic’ (whatever that is). He goes to mass with me every Sunday that he is home.
These relationships can work out. They can be difficult. But you never know, you might lead him Home to the Catholic Church.

Can I ask your age? I am curious because you sound young and I (and others) could better answer you in this regard.


thank you so much for taking the time to read and to respond. :slight_smile: juliasmith, i was actually thinking the same thing, that i might end up sharing the true Faith with him and lead him Home. i am sixteen, by the way, since you were wondering. :slight_smile: God bless both of you. :heart:

in the peace and love of Christ,
alison xx


Conversion is a possibility IF your significant other is open to our beliefs. If that is not the case, you just have to make things work.

My DW is very pro-choice, very pro-feminist and not very receptive to Catholic beliefs and ideals. Still I pray for her often, and otherwise we get along great. Some where in scriptures, there is a passage that basically says, the faith of the spouse makes up for the unbeliever spouse.


Hello Alison,

There is nothing wrong with dating someone of another denomination, but as others have said, it can prove difficult, especially if we desire to be children of God first before being someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend, because even though we may all, in one way or another, believe in God and in Jesus Christ, it is the expressions of our faith which can make the most difference.

I might advise you, though, that if you have any specific fears about this relationship and becoming serious in it only for it to fall apart for whatever reason, then your best bet is to remain his friend, which can be difficult, I know, since you both like one another very much. Being his friend, though, will allow you the opportunity to truly see what kind of person he is, how he truly lives his faith, and this will allow you to be able to make a better decision in the future if a relationship with him is what you both truly want. :slight_smile:


Child of a mixed marriage (Catholic/Protestant) here.

Never was a problem, as far as I could see. As far as children were concerned, it was clearly worked out in advance that any children were to be raised Catholic. Mom was a practicing Catholic and Dad did not attend church at all, so he had no problem with that. I can imagine it being a problem, though, if both parents were really serious about their faith and couldn’t come to terms about how to raise the children.

Never saw the faith difference as a problem in any other aspect of the marriage either.

Just a quick thought.

Good luck.


The reason for a relationship is to determine if this is the person you will marry. Are you ready to marry? If not, it is best to put off relationships until you are ready to look for a spouse.

When you look for a spouse, look for someone who will share you faith. Some mixed marriages work, many more are a lonely life, to never be able to recieve Communion with your spouse, to never completely share the most important thing in life.


I am a protestant who will soon be making the journey into RCIA. My gf is a Catholic (For those of you wondering Im not joining so I can marry her. The words of Ignatius about the Eucharist broke me and my theology in two) and planned on marrying me and becoming a protestant. I admit it would have been a struggle especially every time the eucharist would have been passed out at church, but I’m sure we would have found a way.

However, I have to say if I was her, knowing what I know now, I would have never even given me the time of day. Although I didn’t think this at first when we dated I understand that even though we were both baptized Christians we were unequally yoked. We were both yoked under the lordship of Christ, but our yokes were very unequal.

My advice to you is wait for God! Don’t try to make things happen. Remember what happened when Abram and Sarai took God’s will into their own hands (Gen 16). In God’s perfect timing he will deliver you your suitable helper. A fellow Catholic. Better to wait a time and be happy then settle down now and have unsettable differences until death do you part.


thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and to respond. :slight_smile:

i think that some of you have misunderstood my age to be older than i really am … i am only sixteen! :slight_smile: i’m very confused at the moment because i really like this person, who asked me out yesterday, and i told him yes. i am looking for a very serious relationship (emotionally and spiritually, not anything else!) and i don’t date casually at all. this would be my first relationship, and i don’t know how i’m supposed to know if i will end up marrying him unless i give this relationship a chance. i will definitely pray for wisdom and God’s guidance in this situation, and if He lets me know that this isn’t meant to be, then of course i will end this immediately. i just feel strongly that this person has been brought into my life for a reason, although after reading your posts, i’m not so sure what i should do. i do date to look for someone to spend the rest of my life with, and i didn’t want our different denominations to get in the way of our relationship, but now i’m very confused.

would you mind praying for me, that God grants me wisdom and guidance in this situation? i will let you all know how it is progressing. thank you so much for your posts. :slight_smile:


You are wise beyond your years. We forget that in earlier times (the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s) folks got married much too early. Many of these concerns are for more serious dating and eventual marriage. For now dating should not be so serious as finding Mr right.

Although it could happen, it’s unlikely that the first one you meet will be that special someone for life. When you do think you’ve found the special one, try not to get too overwhelmed and over look tragic flaws. It’s tough to be objective when you are young and infatuated but remember marriage for Catholics is for life.

Find someone with a kind heart, a great sense of humor, and a generous spirit. Oh to be young again… I remember it well !!!


You are in my prayers! :slight_smile: You might want to keep in mind St. Maria Goretti, canonized a saint just before her 12th birthday, and do a novena to ask for her intercession in revealing God’s will to you for this aspect of your life. Her bio: A novena is there as well. :thumbsup: I may start one today to ask for God’s guidance on a similar situation in my life. Only God gives grace to another person for his free choice to convert, sometimes we are instruments in his hands. :slight_smile:

Very possibly I will order Love and Responsibility by His Holiness Pope John Paul II to make sure I understand what it truly means to love in an authentic Catholic marriage. A preview of the work is here: (a great resource on genuine friendship in addition to love)

I asked my priest: His advice, of course it may be different for you with your priest, advice may not be directly transferrable between people!

**0) Relationships come and go.

  1. Make sure you know him extremely well and he knows you.
  2. Be friends for a long time first.
  3. Don’t get married until you are 25.

When I was 18/19, I gave up a relationship because of my commitment to Christ. On my part I think I was too spiritually & emotionally immature for sacrificial love, responsibile love, and lifetime commitment.

Statistics that I learned about regarding Natural Family Planning! Divorce rate estimated from .6% to 5%.

Relevant bible verses:
Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers. For what partnership do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What accord has Christ with Beliar? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said: “I will live with them and move among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people.
Therefore, come forth from them and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch nothing unclean; then I will receive you
and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” ** 2 Corinthians 6:14-18**

To the rest I say (not the Lord): if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever and she is willing to go on living with him, he should not divorce her; and if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he is willing to go on living with her, she should not divorce her husband.
For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through the brother. Otherwise your children would be unclean, whearas in fact they are holy.
If the unbeliever separates, however, let him separate. The brother or sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to peace.
For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband: or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? ** 1 Corinthians 7:12-16**

“Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.” ** 1 Peter 4:8 **

I give a new commandment, love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. ** John 13:34-35**

I know a woman who married a nonChristian but she has an extraordinarily intimate relationship with Christ demonstrated by the love in her personality and her regular attendance at Daily Mass. She told me that her husband doesn’t understand why she spends all day in prayers for her family, him, or whatever. But her son this year entered seminary! (May I be corrected if I am wrong!) but I think that is exceedingly rare, I once heard there are around 5,000 priests for 60 million Catholics in the United States.

“Elisabeth Lesur was a married French woman who lived in Paris until her death in 1914. She silently offered all her sufferings for the conversion of her atheist husband, Felix. After her death, Felix read Elisabeth’s spiritual diary awas converted and eventually became a priest.” From PhilotheaZ’s posting in Who do you wish would be beautified/canonized?

Wouldn’t it be amazing to raise beautiful spiritual children as a gift to God? Maybe if it is God’s will! :stuck_out_tongue:

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world! For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


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