Daughters refusal to get married in Church


#1

I need advise...My daughter recently became engaged. She has been living with her now fiance for approx 2 years. As my kids were growing up my husband and I both stated many times that if they chose to move in with their significant other prior to marriage we would not pay for a big wedding. We would pay for a small, very nice affair...They were both raised Catholic and my soon to be son-in-law was very active in the Church prior to their living arrangement. To my knowledge he has not been to church in a while??? They are both well over 21...

My problem is that they have chosen a destination wedding. I have no problem with that. The wedding gown has been purchased and will be paid for by me...at the time of the purcahse my daughter led me to believe she was at least thinking about a Church wedding...I found out by chance that the wedding will not be held in a church but officiated by a civil judge. I am hurt since she knows how this will hurt me.

How would any of you handle this situation????


#2

my adult children cannot force me to act against my conscience and finance their choices to live in sin. for a Catholic, a civil ceremony is living in sin. they can attempt to hold me hostage through emotional blackmail, but the can't force me to endorse their sin.


#3

I am sorry for your situation! How sad for these young people that they are undermining their commitment to each other by pretending to live as a married couple!

If it were me, I would tell her that I could contribute x amount for the wedding, whatever you feel you need to do. I really would not have promised to pay for anything if my child decided to basically spit on her faith and violate the morals she had been raised with, but you said you would, so…Especially since they are out of your house and are self-supporting, you owe them nothing and in my opinion should not give them your approval through contributing to the wedding. OTOH, at least they ARE getting married!

They are marrying as if they are not Catholic. When my husband and I married, we did the same thing - a civil ceremony, no church wedding. We were both lapsed, for different reasons. We renewed our vows on our 10th anniversary, and our marriage was then valid.

Does your daughter understand the ramifications of what she is doing? Does she intend to keep attending church? Tell her that when children are born, she may well rethink what she’s been doing and want to bring them up as Catholic. It may not make any impression since I couldn’t have imagined how strongly I would be called to return…

You can always tell her, “Your dad and I said we would pay for this sort of wedding but we have since changed our minds. I am sorry that you do not want to marry in a way we can all celebrate. We wish you the best of luck but we will not pay for anything else.” Takes support from your husband to do this.


#4

Thank you both...you said what my heart and mind are saying. Another wrinkle in this is that our son is in the seminary...he will not attend and has stated so. I have not told her and she has not asked. I think she knows the answer. I feel so depressed about all this. What did I miss with her. Our youngest daughter just got married in a very traditional ceremony...I thought she would see what she is missing...what she is relinquishing, but no such luck.:shrug:

Remmeber me in your prayers as I will you! God bless.


#5

I must admit that I really jumped to an ill informed conclusion about your parenting as I read the first post.

After reading the above post, I can see how wrong I was.

Best wishes to you and your family.


#6

[quote="mark_a, post:5, topic:218778"]
I must admit that I really jumped to an ill informed conclusion about your parenting as I read the first post.

After reading the above post, I can see how wrong I was.

Best wishes to you and your family.

[/quote]

One thing I can say is that most parents worry about their parenting skills and those that don's well??? LOL


#7

What did I miss with her.

i hate this part of parenting. for me, i can always find something i “missed” – something i failed at.

despite what i may have gotten right and what i have “missed” my adult kids have free will. they can either accept or reject Truth.

and i’m reminded daily: my kids cannot-- simply CANNOT– out-sin God’s love and mercy for them. so my prayers are intense and increase quadruply all the time.

they can reject Truth, but I, their mother, can combat their sins by intereceding for them astonsihing graces through Eucharist, Rosaries, novenas and small sacrifices. as long as i’m doing that, i’m living my vocation as their mother.

i have REALLY failed as soon as i say, “well, they’re happy so i’m happy” (be it they leave the Church, cohabitate, practice same-sex relationships or whatever.)


#8

If I were in your shoes(I haven't) I wouldn't pay a dime for the wedding, but would probably attend. It is sad, pray that they confess and become married for real eventually.


#9

[quote="TheresaLS, post:4, topic:218778"]
Thank you both...you said what my heart and mind are saying. Another wrinkle in this is that our son is in the seminary...he will not attend and has stated so. I have not told her and she has not asked. I think she knows the answer. I feel so depressed about all this. What did I miss with her. Our youngest daughter just got married in a very traditional ceremony...I thought she would see what she is missing...what she is relinquishing, but no such luck.:shrug:

Remmeber me in your prayers as I will you! God bless.

[/quote]

You have 2 out of 3 that are doing well...You have a son in seminary! How wonderful! Some kids (now adults) just have to go through their own process. Some are more stubborn, some rebel, some fall away. We as moms can't beat ourselves up too much. Of course there might be some things you missed. But then again, she has a God and it's not you!

Since I joined this forum, I have been reminded of St. Monica over and over. I was not aware of her sacrifice on behalf of her son. I only knew St. Augustine as a brilliant theologian, not as the sinner that he was. What an inspiration to all the mothers who have sons and daughters not following their faith. I want to pray like St. Monica.


#10

Have you talked to her about the possibility of having a small private ceremony with a Priest before the public legal ceremony? I think that is permitted, but I am not completely sure so someone else is going to have to back me up or correct me.


#11

Jesus,our Lords peace be with You.
Sorry for my bad english,dear friend,as I understod they have been living togehter for 2 years? That is a sin. But I am not here to judge. I understand so well what You must feel,but there is little we can do when it comes to adult children,believe me,I have three,OK,one is a step-daugter,the two others a boy and a girl,but when they get something in their head we can’t do much. So,don’t blame Yourself,You have done nothing wrong,it is the time. We have different values then they,and in the end,they love eachother enough to get married,and even if they do so in front of a judge,God will be there,all love come from God. So enjoy the big day,we can’t do moore. I wish I could help You,but I can’t. But I will pray for You. And hey,in the end love and faith is all that matters.


#12

It sounds like your daughter is not really a believing Catholic. It seems to me that really, her choices about her wedding are saddening to you because they are a real symbol and even a fulfillment of that fact - whereas before you had some hope that maybe deep down it was something she valued.

There are a lot of things that are hard in this kind of situation - the idea that she is not building a closer relationship with God; that it may cause her marriage to suffer; the worry that you failed somehow; and even pain that something you tried to give her was rejected as worthless.

Really, for her to marry in the Church with no real belief would also be bad. I What you want is for her to be Catholic, not just have a Catholic wedding.

But I think at the same time, as a parent are role is not to make decisions about our adult children's religious beliefs, or what they do for a living, or how they raise their children. It may be right to give guidance in some cases, but God made us to be self-determining creatures with free will.

And the thing is, he allows us to make mistakes, and still loves us, and even continues to fill our lives with blessings despite our sin. I think that is the model we have to follow as parents as well.

So from my perspective, it might be right to talk to your daughter about this, but then I would be graceful and treat her as a daughter you love, not as a person who has somehow failed to do your bidding.


#13

Has she said why they don't want a Catholic wedding?


#14

If we give money to a child who is in sin, are we sinning as well? I know this is not as grave as paying for an abortion, for example, but to fund the wedding of 2 Catholics who are not marrying in the Church and have been shacking up for 2 years…Does that put the OP and husband into sin territory as well?

I know I would have a problem supporting this kind of choice and would think their sin would then “catch” me too.


#15

This is a tough one. :(

First I agree with the above you shouldn't pay for anything else, but I think you should attend the wedding. Why?

The world has changed a lot since the 1950's when a parent's blessing meant something.Not going to the wedding years ago would put cultural pressure for the couple to fix it.
But I don't think this tactic works today with most kids. They will think of this as a personal rejection and will hold a grudge against the Faith that made their parents do that. It is all about emotions not logic in today's society.

I knew a father and mother in a similar situation with their daughter She was getting married in a Protestant Church to a divorced guy.
The mom and dad talked to their daughter in private and explained why they were against the wedding. She hit the ceiling screaming ...etc... not pleasant at all. But the father made his position clear. Not angry, just mater of fact (calmness is NUMBER one in these situations--no arguing just stating a position that all).
They told her they would go to the wedding out of love for her and as a sign that she understands that there are always ways to fix things and they will be there for her but not condoning the marriage.
About 3 years later the husband got an annulment from his first "marriage"and their marriage was blessed by the Church. ( I don't like the annulment process in USA but if the Church ok's it I have little to say, and leave it in God's Hands)

Don't think you have fail somewhere, it is probably mistakes and misunderstand on all sides. We all fail somehow or other, say or do things we regret, but it can all be fixed-- Seven times seventy--forgiveness is the key to all relationships. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ.


#16

The world has changed a lot since the 1950's when a parent's blessing meant something.Not going to the wedding years ago would put cultural pressure for the couple to fix it. But I don't think this tactic works today with most kids.

theTruth hasnt changed since forever. Baptized Catholics are to enter sacramental, convenental unions.

if the OP mom was withholding money or threatening to absent herself from her daughter's wedding in an attempt to "fix it", it would be manipulative on her part. a real challenge will be to make these choices as an act of conscience, without expectation of any change in outcome.

of course the OP should make these choices in love, love of God above all, then love of her neighbor (daughter) as herself. if she avoids punitive motives and attitude, coupled with ongoing prayer for daughter's conversion, then she's done the best she can.

should she go to the wedding? that's a really tough one. despite all the struggle it would cause me, at the end of the day, i think i wouldnt go. and i would lovingly communicate the reason for my choice.


#17

I appreciate all the wisdom. I think of Mary, our Mother, so often and ask for guidance.

The problem with today is that we all crave to be different. Brides have this overwhelming desire to think that the day is "all about them". I worry about the marriage because my son-in-law to be simply says, "whatever you want is fine." I worry about the children. Both parents must agree and not leave the heavy lifting of parenting to one or the other.

I feel like I live in another decade. I pray constantly for His help and guidance, but ultimelty it's up to my daughter.

Thanks again, God bless.


#18

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:218778"]
If we give money to a child who is in sin, are we sinning as well? I know this is not as grave as paying for an abortion, for example, but to fund the wedding of 2 Catholics who are not marrying in the Church and have been shacking up for 2 years....Does that put the OP and husband into sin territory as well?

I know I would have a problem supporting this kind of choice and would think their sin would then "catch" me too.

[/quote]

A civil marriage is not a sin. A civil marriage accompanies all Catholic marriages. Fornication is a sin. Paying for a civil marriage does not put one into "sin territory".

If the OP said that she would pay for a small wedding, then she should do what she said she was going to do.

Attending a civil ceremony does not mean that you approve of a lifestyle of sin. It means that you love your daughter.


#19

Agreed…but what about parental responsibility? Is that not what is wrong with our society today??? We donn’t want to hurt our children…they won’t love us…???


#20

I am in a similar situation with one of my children. He is no longer a practicing Catholic and is talking about marrying his girlfriend but not in Church. As sad as I am about him abandoning his faith, it would not make me feel any better if he were to get up in the front of a church and make vows he did not mean. I pray that he returns to the Faith some day and then he can honestly make his relationship with this girl right before God.

I know just what you mean about questioning myself as a parent when I see some of the choices my children have made. One of the most important responsibilities God has given me is that of parent to my children. I am going to have to answer to Him and the thought terrifies me. I depend on the mercy of God, for my children and for myself.


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