Church of Christ

So this more of a short story with a few questions attached at the end. I wasn’t sure what site to post on, so i decided to come here.

I grew up Catholic, my mom was born Catholic and my dad converted to Catholicism in the early 2000’s. I went on a college externship in Italy for three months and (now regretfully never went to mass), a classmate that I had a giant crush on went with me. I told her in Italy that I liked her, and she told me she looked at me more as a brother than a boyfriend. I was always there for her when she needed someone to talk to…well we finally started dating. We should have realized from the start that it wasn’t going to work out: it was long distance (I live in Atlanta, she lives in Knoxville), all the odds were against our relationship. We stayed together for 3 years and I asked her to marry me. Her parents were hesitant to bless our marriage (they actually never gave me an answer), it was absolutely one of the most awkward situations I’ve put myself in. Their concern was our faith: a Catholic and a member of the Church of Christ. I was so in love, that I said I would give my Catholic faith up…but something deep down was telling me no. Her parents came down here to talk to my family and I expressed my concerns about giving up my faith. I felt it wasn’t necessary that we could continue to be what we both are. Her mom said: "You can remain Catholic, you can go to church with our daughter but your kids (that haven’t even been created yet) will attend the Church of Christ. Well remember love is blinding, I agreed, we just wanted to be together. The more I thought about it the more I wondered why is she telling me how I should live my life, how we are to live our lives, how we are to raise our children.

There were many times we talked on the phone at night and it became a Catholic bashing session…the Pope can’t tell me what to do…The Pope means nothing to me, thats how I was raised…It hurt I will never forget some of the bashing that came from her.

Anyways, I told her I couldn’t marry her, that I loved her more than anything but I felt that I would always regret my decision to leave the Catholic Church…and the bashing continued (I assume out of frustration of what was going on). Instead of hurting us more later on that it was best that we end it now.

The weekend after I went to mass for the first time in months, OH it felt amazing, I felt at peace in my heart that I had made the decision to follow what was calling me deep down. However, the negativity kept coming…we continued talking for a few weeks after that and one night she told me “You will probably be dating 5 months from now, I’ll be single the rest of my life.” Funnily enough, she was dating within 3 months of our breaking off the engagement…it was difficult seeing someone who said they loved you so much, move on so quickly knowing that you were there for her for 5 years of both of your lives. (btw I have been on 1 date since this happened 2 years ago)

I continue to wonder though, did I make the right decision, I don’t understand or see where God is taking me but I’m trying to trust in him.

Ok so I lied…I do have questions:

  1. If you were in this situation what would you have done?
  2. Do you think I made the right decision?
  3. Why have I not been able to move on, if I’m the one that decided to end our relationship?

I think you made the right decision to break up. Once children came along your problems would have multiplied. Issues with your future in-laws would not have gone away and your guilt at leaving the Catholic Church would have only grown stronger. I think God was guiding you.

You were with her for a long time. Be open to meeting someone new. Tell yourself you just have to move on. Best of luck.

Actually. I was sort of in this situation. That’s how I became Catholic. :wink:

Yes. The difference between being Catholic and most other Christian denominations would have caused a real problem for your spirit. You can’t downgrade like that. It’s too hard.

You haven’t moved on because you feel a sense of responsibility for ending things. This is part of it. The other side of it is that I have no idea. I mean you’ve not given us enough information about what you’ve tried. We’re sort of in the dark on that score. Because there’s a world of difference between sitting alone in your room. And being listed on 3 dozen dating sites. So yeah. If you’re expecting God to march someone else through your door to replace the one you gave up for Him. Well. You’re gonna be waiting a long time. Because God doesn’t do that. He’s not a great matchmaker like that. He’s more of a low-key kinda guy. So yeah. Go looking. Get out your net. And go fishing.

Good luck.

Peace.

-Trident

Gadzooks! Your future mother in law told you that you could not raise your kids Catholic. Nothing but trouble coming in that marriage. You of course made the right choice by choosing God and His Church over someone who would lead you away from Him. Keep trusting in God; He will not let you down.

All difficulties in Life are but Gods Bounty to us.

Each situation allows us to make a decision that either brings us Closer to the Love of God or continues to keep us back from that Love.

Harmony is required without transgressing the Laws given by God. So we have those choices of how much of our self do we give up for this Harmony, if the choice is still within Gods Laws.

If the decisions are contrary to the Love of God and His Laws, then the choice should not be made. It has become a Test of conviction of ones chosen Faith.

God Bless your choices - Regards Tony

You definitely made the right choice. You would have had no peace. You would have felt very sad and guilty for no longer being Catholic and not raising your children Catholic.
You should never date or marry someone who bashes your beliefs. That is an utter show of disrespect to you.

Of course it is hard to move on. You still love her. She probably has many good traits.
Try to keep busy with hobbies and make new Catholic friends. I met my husband on Catholic Match. Give it a try.

Ask Our Lady of Sorrows and Jesus to help you heal your broken heart.

Praying for you.

Your story was touching. I could feel your pain.in your post.

Since you have peace concerning your faith choice in staying Catholic, you made the right choice about your faith,

Things will get better…it just takes time…r he heart moves much slower and longer to heal.

Don’t question yourself or try to second guess why things happened, they did and now it’s part of your life experience.

You know some things much better from this experience…hard still to deal with, but you’ll be ok…eventually…let healing occur.

Don’t think too harshly about your one future inlawa, your own faith tradition would also want your commitment to raise your children Catholic, that Church of Christ wanted that as well is no surprise.

Trust your decisions.

The reason you are having such a hard time letting go is because you put yourself into that relationship as you truly are. You were willing to be open to her and her family’s opinions. It seems to me that that wasn’t the case with her and her family, though. From what you’ve told us, it appears they wanted someone who they could tell what to do, and she was right there in on it. I think you had a very lucky escape. It wouldn’t have mattered if they had been Catholic, as well, as far as I can see. Those were controlling people who were going to have everything their way no matter how much it hurt your conscience or what you might want. Oh brother! are you lucky to have dodged that bullet.

Your faith saved you from abusive people who cared not at all about you–evidenced by her ability to move on so soon, and by the fact that she was willing to bully you into submitting to her and her family’s ideas about everything. You gave your heart. But now you need to give it to someone better–to Jesus. Give all this to him and be at peace. And actively look for someone more worthy of your love when you are ready for it. You need some time to get your feelings together and to move on. But don’t let it become an excuse for not participating in life. Get involved in some activity at your parish or some service ministry. Pray and trust God and in time you’ll look back on this time in your life as character and faith building for you and your future wife.

Yes…for in the end, God does not stop desiring our obedience to Him…more blessings will come your way.

1 Samuel 15:22-23
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”

Well, that’s a nice insult of others’ faith…SMH.

To me, it sounds like you made the right decision for you, but I’m surprised this came to light once you got around to marriage, not well before.

I’m in a “mixed” marriage myself. Is it tough for me personally sometimes, ya. Why, because I live over 100 miles from my family and my Church. My in-laws are all Catholic (because they go to mass on holidays), and don’t support me. But you know, my wife does and that’s what matters. I support her when she takes the kids to Mass, and she supports me by attending the ELCA Church in town so I can receive. What’s going to get tricky now is, our oldest is getting to the first communion age and explaining why Dad can’t join him. But, that’s just a bridge we’ll cross.

Yes, many mixed marriages can work well. In the OP’s case, not so much when he was being pressured into agreeing to everything his potential in-laws were demanding of him. In order for it to work both have be be willing to let the other person have his/her beliefs and practice them as conscience requires. That’s what was lacking in the OP’s case, sad to say.

Yep, agreed. That’s pretty much how we roll. (Although I wish my in-laws were a bit more supportive, but whateves)

I was just surprised that such differences as these made it all the way to engagement before really coming to light.

When my dh and I married he was lapsed Catholic and I was Episcopalian. He never influenced me or pressured me into becoming Catholic when he wanted to return to the Church. If he had I probably wouldn’t have put a toe through the parish door. :slight_smile:

I was just surprised that such differences as these made it all the way to engagement before really coming to light.

As I read the OP, it seems that it’d been an ongoing battle the whole time, but only came to a head when marriage was being considered.

In such situations as his it’s better to nip it in the bud because constantly fighting over such essential issues is no basis for any marriage. And when the potential in-laws were as demanding as his were–dictating what he was going to do in his marriage and so on–that went too far. It’s one thing for in-laws to not be supportive–that’s only natural, it’s another to be downright divisive. The gonna-be wife seems to have sided completely with her family–not good, not good at all.

Yeah. Sorry about that. You caught me there. Right as I was being honest. Trust me though. I’m not usually like that. Usually I just like to make people feel good. I like to let them know that everything’s the same. No reason to hop a fence here or there. Just stay in your own pasture if you want. It’s cool. :blush:

Oh it was before. I had to go through the whole RCIA thing before a date could get set. But I mean it was a really rewarding thing. Got me on a great path there.

Yeah. That’s a tough road for sure. I feel for you there. I’m glad you’ve got an understanding in that though. Glad you’ve worked things up to that point so far. I’m sure you’ll find some way to keep up that support. You sound like a pretty together guy.

Peace TC. Sorry about the accidental insult. Didn’t mean it. Not even a little. :hug1:

-Trident

No worries. And the rest of my post was directed at the OP, so we’re all good there as well.

Thanks man. Thanks for that.

I am on Catholic Match and a few other dating websites…

Just my two cents as a non-Catholic Christian:
I’m sorry for the pain you went through. That must have been hard. Our prayers go out to you as you continue to get over it. I hope you meet a nice Catholic girl who will be your soul mate.

Even though I’m not Catholic, it sounds like you did the right thing. It’s best when both spouses are on the same page when it comes to religion or at least respect the other’s faith to the point where there is peace in the home. It sounds like your fiancée wasn’t able to do that.

As others have mentioned, the sticky point would be what faith the kids would be raised in.
My only pet peeve is that my understanding is that Catholic teaching is that all children born of mixed marriages are mandated to be raised Catholic in all cases.

That is why it is best for Catholics to marry Catholics, in my opinion, although my younger sister (a lifelong Presbyterian) married a nominal Catholic man. He doesn’t go to church much (he is a high school head football coach and acts like football is his religion) while my sister and their kids attend the Presbyterian Church together. Their kids are pretty well-adjusted except they sometimes have voiced that they wished their father came with them to church. He attends once in a while with them (major holidays, mainly) but that’s about it.

In my opinion, that is why most mixed marriages (Catholic and Protestant) only work out when one of the spouses is not as serious in their faith as the other one. If a devout Catholic and a devout Protestant got married, I think they would most likely butt heads and not be on the same page when it came to how to raise the kids and it would be very difficult for them and equally hard and confusing for their kids.

In fact, listening to their parents squabbling might turn the kids off to Christianity altogether, which is even worse.

May God richly bless your life and help you find the one He has in mind for you, Jonas. I also hope and pray when that time comes that you will have a wonderful and loving marriage and a happy family life.

I believe that you did what you felt you had to do. No one knows until they walk in your shoes. But I believe there is something deeper in this relationship that was bothering you, besides your faith that made you walk away. Until you figure it out, you cannot move on or do not want to more on for some reason.

What I really believe it is though is this, you have not found the right person yet, and are getting anxious if you ever will. Many people tend to settle, and found out that in the end it ends up ugly anyway.

Put your faith in God, Ask him to help you be patient until the right one comes around. It is better to be alone then be with the wrong person.

The reason why the children are to be brought up Catholic is because they are to be baptized in the Church, which makes them Catholic. It’s not unreasonable for those baptized Catholic be raised Catholic. :slight_smile:

That is why it is best for Catholics to marry Catholics, in my opinion, although my younger sister (a lifelong Presbyterian) married a nominal Catholic man. He doesn’t go to church much (he is a high school head football coach and acts like football is his religion) while my sister and their kids attend the Presbyterian Church together. Their kids are pretty well-adjusted except they sometimes have voiced that they wished their father came with them to church. He attends once in a while with them (major holidays, mainly) but that’s about it.

By his example he’s telling his kids that faith isn’t important. They know what comes first in his life and it’s not God. The home is the “domestic church” where the parents have the first responsibility to teach by word, example, and practice the importance of putting God first in our lives. When one parent isn’t willing to do that, it definitely sends mixed messages.

In my opinion, that is why most mixed marriages (Catholic and Protestant) only work out when one of the spouses is not as serious in their faith as the other one. If a devout Catholic and a devout Protestant got married, I think they would most likely butt heads and not be on the same page when it came to how to raise the kids and it would be very difficult for them and equally hard and confusing for their kids.

In some cases that’s true, but it can work if the non-Catholic parent will agree to bring up the children as Catholics if they are baptized Catholic and not stand in the way of them practicing their faith. I know of one couple in which he is devout Catholic and she is devout Baptist, but they’ve made it work. But it does make a harder row to hoe.

In fact, listening to their parents squabbling might turn the kids off to Christianity altogether, which is even worse.

Yes, that and parents leaving faith matters up to their children to work out for themselves, which generally leads to indifferentism rather than choosing one faith to practice.

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