Dating/marrying non catholics

I’d like to hear some opinions on dating/marrying non catholics… is it always a bad idea???

Course it isn’t. My Fiance is a Nazarene, and he’s more “catholic” than most of the people I know at Mass. He’s the most loving, supportive,. tender and Godly man I know


My wife is Catholic. I am not. It’s been a wonderful 15-plus years and counting.

I was not Catholic when I started dating my Catholic husband. I was confirmed a Catholic a few months before we were married.

My husband is not Catholic. We met when I was 18. We dated for 6.5 years before we married. He took my beliefs seriously and has always been a believer in God, although that was about the extent of his religion. He was baptised Christian using a form that is recognised by the Church, so there was no impediment to our being married. What made it okay for me is that he fully accepted my beliefs and knew exactly what he was getting himself into. We did premarital counselling with my Priest, during which my husband was able to ask anything at all, which he did as well, so he was fully informed.

We will be celebrating 10 years marriage this year, and we have an appointment for our Priest to visit us very soon to talk to my husband about Catholic formation, with the view to his becoming Catholic.:smiley: he’s not there yet, but I have high hopes.

As long as there is mutual respect then marrying someone outside of your faith is no different then marrying someone of a different race or ethnic heritage.

I am catholic and my husband is methodist. He is not a practicing methodist and has issues with all forms of organized religion, BUT he does respect my views and opinions and he also respects my desire to raise our children in the catholic faith.

May will be our 12yr anniversary and we have been together since 1996

It depends on the couple. I’d say a Catholic spouse should be your first choice, but marriages between Catholic and non-Catholics have been successful in the past. If you choose to date a non-Catholic, make sure you respect each other’s faith and have a clear plan for raising children (which faith?) if you decide to get married.

My husband was not Catholic when we married. Now he is. It worked for us!

I wouldn’t get into a relationship thinking “hopefully she will convert” or something similar.

If it was the case that I dated a non-Catholic, she would have to be completely Catholic in morals. Otherwise it wouldn’t work.

And since there are hardly any Catholics these days who are completely Catholic in morals, nevermind non-Catholics, I think - personally - it would be best to only marry a Catholic.

I dated a guy who was “christian” but more or less an unbeliever. He was a FABULOUS, gentle, respectful, loving guy. Everything I could ask for. However, he didn’t believe in God. It was really hard to reconcile for me. Mostly becuase his morals were based on how it made him “feel” and not on any real code of conduct. We didn’t stay together for long becuase there was no real “glue”…it was a house on sand. Only good feelings and well wishes.

At the same time, I would back away from any Catholic who say, hated the pope, or was pro-choice, or mocked the Eucharist, no matter HOW much they or their family was “Catholic”. To me that’d be a house on lava.

Catholic or not, it’s important to remember flexability. No one is going to be exactly like you. I wouldn’t want it anyway. I am leaning towars favoring Catholics though. It’s so wonderful to be able to truly participate in Mass with your significant other. You can be anywhere in the world and participate in the same unbloody sacrifice…together. It is a beautiful gift that the absence of must be taken very seriously. No other church holds that.

My husband is more agnostic than anything.

His agnosticism is very personal. He has nothing against Catholicism. He sees it as such a positive force in my life that he feels that he should not withhold it from our children (which we don’t have yet). As for former Episcopalian says he doesn’t totally understand why some things (like female priests) are never going to happen. But if I, as a Catholic woman he loves and respects, am perfectly fine with the male priesthood, than who is he to rail against it? Nor does he have anything against organized religion. He understands the value of rules and laws. He’s the one that raves about NFP to our contracepting friends.

I pray for him a lot. But before praying for conversion I thank God every day for sending him into my life because he really is a treasure.

My siblings have had some misses with dating non-Catholics and Catholics alike. My two younger sisters are currently courting/dating very devout Catholics with wildly different results. One knows what it means to be a man in laying down his life for his wife and coming together as one body. The other is more concerned with my sister’s submission than his own self-sacrifice.

I once had a Protestant girlfriend. There were some tensions, though things might possibly have worked out on that particular front (the relationship failed for other reasons). Also had a slipped-away-Catholic agnostic girlfriend with whom there were tensions and things didn’t work out apparently largely due to the differences.

From my current standpoint, I do not exclude anybody on grounds of externally belonging but Catholic romance is the kind of blitz I’m longing for. :wink: It would be very difficult to be married to someone who had beliefs mutually exclusive with Catholic ones and wished to convey them to the children. I want to raise my possible future children Catholic.

The Church says it is. See the many Vatican documents condemning mixed marriage.

However, the Church is also pastoral and if one *insists *on marrying a non-Catholic the Church will grant permission after ascertaining there is no danger of the Catholic defecting or losing their faith and if there are assurances in place that children will be raised Catholic. Lacking such assurances, the Church will not give permission.

I wouldn’t advise it. There are so many anti-Catholics around these days that I would have a hard time believing that a non-Catholic would truly understand/support my faith.

Both my husband and I are “cradle Catholics;” both of us were lapsed when we met and when we married several years later. I reverted after our 1st son was born, he didn’t, and is farther away from the Church and really, from God, than ever, as far as I can tell. He has come to church with us and allowed the boys to be raised in the faith but other than that he does nothing to help with the spiritual development of his sons. It has been a wedge between us. He also makes comments that tear down my own commitment - here’s one - I was telling him how much I enjoy going to Mass on the weekdays and he said, “You’re not supposed to go every day.” I just looked at him with disbelief, and then he said, “Well, you don’t HAVE TO go every day…” I said, “Of course not, but it’s really so good to go more often.” Pretty much anything I do with the church he does that - makes comments that are unsupportive. And during a counseling session when the subject of abortion came up, he said “Well, we can talk about that, but you might not like what you hear.”

We disagree about all sorts of things now. I actually don’t know how we are going to survive as a couple, although I would never divorce him - he may not have that impediment about our marriage.

So you just never know what is going to happen. I can’t blame my husband because I am the one who changed - he didn’t. But if I knew I was going to return to the Church, I could not have chosen him in the first place because he’s not only a lapsed Catholic, he’s anti-Catholic in many ways. How can he help me get to heaven??? I pray for him every day, for the Holy Spirit to get ahold of him. I miss having someone to talk to about my faith! I’ve never had it and I miss it so much anyway!

I think some agnostics or atheists might be more compatible because they might not have such an angry attitude at God and the Catholic Church. Of course they could not help me get to heaven but there would be a good chance they would convert, if they were open-minded.

I would say that it is not bad, but it can be more difficult. I am Lutheran married to a Catholic. It does add an additional aspect to our marriage that had to be sorted out and figured out, and often has to be readdressed.

You will run into those who are totally against it, and those who think it is great with not additional hitchs.

I could never imagine being married to someone else. I love my husband dearly and he is a wonderful husband and father. Mixed marriages can work, and they do work, but they are not always easier.

I agree with the cautioning of not marrying someone hoping they will convert, that is unrealistic and will only lead to heartache. I would also make sure you get a good premarital counselor and discuss how you are going to raise furture kids.

thanks for the responses! I got some good insight here… its nice to hear from people who are dating/married to a non catholic themselves or are married to a catholic but are not catholic themselves. It sounds like it really just depends on the couple and the circumstances…

Yes, I think you got it right.

I am married to a non- Catholic who was brought up Episcopalian. Neither of us had ever really been into our faith. We both had drifted away when we met at 16. We married in his Church at 18 and have had lots of ups and downs. Then I, like TheRealJuliane reverted back to Catholicism. My husband reluctantly agreed to have our marriage convalidated in the Catholic Church. I am so in love with my Catholic faith now! My husband will not tell me what he believes except that he knows there is a God. He makes mean remarks about Catholics whenever I say anything about it.

So I have to say that I would advise marrying a strong Catholic.

I can’t tell you enough how sad it is to not be able to pray, go to mass, or discuss my love for the Catholic faith with him! I go to church all alone because my grown children are not religious either. I pray for all of them and cry out to God.

You are so right. It also helps to be willing to work with each other and respect the other’s faith. Being Lutheran MS, married to a Catholic makes it easier too, as our churches are really pretty close doctrinally, so there are not really any huge moral arguements when it come to modeling our faith for the kids. I will say I believe it is easier to be married to a Catholic if the NonCatholic party is from a High Litergical Church. The worship format and doctrine are really similar then.

I am so glad I found this forum. Not only have I deepened and widened my faith since I came here, but I have found others who are going through the same or very similar circumstances…not that I am celebrating the shared misery…but just to know that I am not alone in my peculiarly painful situation. It’s hard to understand why God would lead me home to the Church of my childhood, but I know that all I can do is pray. I have at least had somewhat of a support from my husband, so I can count my blessings. Having no spiritual partner has tested my faith, for sure. My husband and I come at life from such totally different positions now. I cannot share with him the largest and deepest part of myself…which of course sets a distance between us. He only sees that I have drawn away from him, but it’s not that I wish to…it’s that, as you say, you cannot share the joy and love of the Lord with your husband. I guess I have begun to accept that it is my cross to bear, for now, and maybe forever. God has his reasons and I don’t understand them. Maybe this pain will bear fruit in some way, if not in my life then perhaps in our sons’ lives.

I will add you to my prayers, dear sister.

Thanks for that post Juliane,

It does help to know that we have company in our sufferings. You got it right that it is our cross and perhaps my only way to heaven. I too have resolved to make the most of my sufferings here on earth although it won’t be easy for me. I am going to try an emulate St. Monica and keep praying with the hope that they will come to the Lord.:slight_smile:

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