Did I handle this right?


#1

So my fiance (we're getting married next January) is protestant, but we've come to an agreement on a very Catholic marriage. Children will be Catholic, we'll be married in the church. He's even, of course, agreed to use NFP. And therein lies my question.

Like I said, he has agreed that we will use NFP, but he did ask me today what his culpability within this, being protestant. WEll, of course I couldn't lie to him. I told him the truth; that I COULD NOT enter into a marriage with the intention of him to contracept, but in the end, if he HIMSELF chose that later in the marriage, despite knowing my views on the subject, he chose to contracept, that would be his taking with God. I made sure to let him know I would not ever approve of the use, and would pray about whether I thought it was appropriate to continue relations, and he swore to me that he didn't intend on entering this marriage like that.

I know I couldn't have lied to him. He deserves to know the truth on what the church teaches about our situation, and I know he still respects my desire to use NFP; I just hope I told him in the right way, without seeming like I was condoning?


#2

if he HIMSELF chose that later in the marriage, despite knowing my views on the subject, he chose to contracept, that would be his taking with God. I made sure to let him know I would not ever approve of the use, and would pray about whether I thought it was appropriate to continue relations

this doesnt sound like approving or condoning. it sounds pretty straight up.


#3

I tried to be particularly careful about how I worded that part. I've thought of several possibilities and which direction each possibility would lead me. Some circumstances, I feel it would be unloving to deny relations, others I feel it would be necessary, at least for a time. Should I keep this to myself, or share with him?


#4

Since you could talk about the other things, I think I'd share that with him as well.

I'm impressed that you have all of this laid out ahead of time. I'm married to a non-Catholic, as well... and our kids go to a Catholic school and church with me. I don't think we discussed everything in great detail before our marriage, outside of a loose concept of "the kids will be Catholic" kind of thing. Then again, I wasn't in the same place with my faith back then that I am now.

All this rambling to say that it's great you guys are working these things out before marriage. I wish more people gave careful thought to these kinds of things before they were married!


#5

thank you very much for your kind words.

I feel very lucky that God led me to where I am so early (I'll be just shy of 22 when we're married) and he too is a very faith filled person, so religion, faith and God are central in our relationship.

I wasn't raised in a veyr loving or faithful home, so I'm still working through some trust issues I grew up with. I have NO reason to believe he would do this, but a part of me seems to think that being too detailed here would be like telling him, if ya do things this certain way, you can use a condom! He's been VERY supportive of me learning NFP, and of my decision not to contracept, so like I said, I have no basis to think he would do this...guess I just want to make sure it's a kisher way of dealing with this.


#6

It's really great that you both talked about issues like this. That's a very mature way to handle things that are important to both of you. If you continue to keep your faith as the forefront in your life and approach your husband-to-be with love and respect (and him to you of course) I'm sure you will have a long and wonderful life together.

Make sure not to force your Catholicism on him though. It's good that he knows what he's getting into and is looking forward to being a great spouse to a Catholic. You need to know in your heart of hearts that there will never be a way to convince someone to be Catholic. I hope you can be a great example to him on how to live a happy and healthy spiritual life and that you two grow together in love and understanding of each other.

You two are in my prayers!

Congratulations on your engagement.


#7

Vally Lily,

You would NOT believe the problems that you have avoided by being straight up with your fiance'!!! I WISH, I knew what you know when I was your age. I've been married 18 years, my husband converted to Catholicism so we could get married, we agreed to raise children Catholic and then we got married. I thought since he became Catholic everything would be ok. Another problem was, I was using BC, I didn't know about NFP, my own ignorant mother, God rest her soul, never taught me about it. To make a long story short, I can't count the times that I have regretted not starting out with NFP, and now that I am using it, he is NOT in agreement with it and since I had to learn it without him, I have had 2 babies in my 40's. He was very angry about that and blamed me for getting pregnant on purpose. It was very ugly, things are getting better little by little. But I just had to tell you how PROUD I am of you that you are so young and living your Catholic faith!! I just keep kicking myself because If I had followed God's rules, everything would have been so much easier!! I assume that your fiancee' is going to go through RCIA?

God's Blessings upon you and your marriage!


#8

[quote="kmuestwin, post:6, topic:228821"]
It's really great that you both talked about issues like this. That's a very mature way to handle things that are important to both of you. If you continue to keep your faith as the forefront in your life and approach your husband-to-be with love and respect (and him to you of course) I'm sure you will have a long and wonderful life together.

Make sure not to force your Catholicism on him though. It's good that he knows what he's getting into and is looking forward to being a great spouse to a Catholic. You need to know in your heart of hearts that there will never be a way to convince someone to be Catholic. I hope you can be a great example to him on how to live a happy and healthy spiritual life and that you two grow together in love and understanding of each other.

You two are in my prayers!

Congratulations on your engagement.

[/quote]

Oh DOn't worry, I try very hard NOT to! Early on in hte relationship, he eveer offered that if I wanted him to, he would convert, and I gave him a very adamaent NO, and told him if he desired to convert, it should be a personal matter between him and God, something he desired wholly, and not just to please me.

It's his unselfishness that leads me to believe that A, he is unlikely to want to contracept and B, if for some reason he ever DID choose to, i know it would be out of his idea of love and concern, and I can't see him choosing it long term, even if he DID. He knows my opinions very clearly, and has been nothing but open to them, without force ;)


#9

[quote="surfin, post:7, topic:228821"]
He was very angry about that and blamed me for getting pregnant on purpose. !

[/quote]

Sorry to go OT... but I'm AMAZED at how you did that all by yourself! ;)


#10

I just want to give you my view on it from my identical situation. I'm not trying to make you feel as if you did the "wrong" thing - I'm not sure what's "wrong" and "right" from a moral standpoint when a Catholic marries a Protestant.

I thought a great deal about this, and I realized that while my fiance may or may not become Catholic, I can only be in a Catholic marriage, if that make any sense. That means that the rules need to be followed. I told my fiance as much before we were even engaged and were only talking about marriage.

I think my fiance is going to become Catholic, but I can't know for sure. Perhaps he'll got through RCIA and find some hitch in his faith that prevents him from becoming Catholic without more prayer - or perhaps ever. Luckily, he takes it very seriously, and so I know that he isn't going to just go with the flow to please me.

He and I had a long talk the other day about (to use a delicate phrase) onanism and the spilling of seed. I told him that looking at it one way, what he spills or doesn't spill when I'm not around is none of my business - and he's not Catholic, after all. In the end, though, I can't look at it that way. As a Catholic, when I marry him, for me, his reproductive matter is part of his whole human promise and for him to treat it in a non-Catholic way in our shared marriage is going to be a real problem. I'm exchanging my whole person, including my reproductive power, for him, but he's not sharing his whole person with me if he's engaging in onanism - or, to make it relevant to the OP, using a condom.

I said to him: basically, this isn't about "being allowed" and "not being allowed." It's about how you know and understand what the Catholic theology says and how much it means to me, and you know that you'll put a hole in my heart if you - in my eyes, according to my values - withhold your whole person from me though I am giving you mine. Think about it, and know what you're getting into.

I think you should keep talking before you walk down the aisle. I'm not saying that you should leave him! I think that more talking can only help, though. Best of luck.


#11

[quote="Valley_Lily, post:1, topic:228821"]
So my fiance (we're getting married next January) is protestant, but we've come to an agreement on a very Catholic marriage. Children will be Catholic, we'll be married in the church. He's even, of course, agreed to use NFP. And therein lies my question.

Like I said, he has agreed that we will use NFP, but he did ask me today what his culpability within this, being protestant. WEll, of course I couldn't lie to him. I told him the truth; that I COULD NOT enter into a marriage with the intention of him to contracept, but in the end, if he HIMSELF chose that later in the marriage, despite knowing my views on the subject, he chose to contracept, that would be his taking with God. I made sure to let him know I would not ever approve of the use, and would pray about whether I thought it was appropriate to continue relations, and he swore to me that he didn't intend on entering this marriage like that.

I know I couldn't have lied to him. He deserves to know the truth on what the church teaches about our situation, and I know he still respects my desire to use NFP; I just hope I told him in the right way, without seeming like I was condoning?

[/quote]

It sounds like you were very straightforward with him. Good for you for talking this all out in advance, you're saving yourself from a ton of headaches later. He might not agree with your reasons for using NFP (the "Catholic" ones) but if he's supportive in your choice to use it, that is what is important. Best wishes to you with your upcoming marriage!


#12

[quote="BrickRoux, post:10, topic:228821"]
I just want to give you my view on it from my identical situation. I'm not trying to make you feel as if you did the "wrong" thing - I'm not sure what's "wrong" and "right" from a moral standpoint when a Catholic marries a Protestant.

I thought a great deal about this, and I realized that while my fiance may or may not become Catholic, I can only be in a Catholic marriage, if that make any sense. That means that the rules need to be followed. I told my fiance as much before we were even engaged and were only talking about marriage.

I think my fiance is going to become Catholic, but I can't know for sure. Perhaps he'll got through RCIA and find some hitch in his faith that prevents him from becoming Catholic without more prayer - or perhaps ever. Luckily, he takes it very seriously, and so I know that he isn't going to just go with the flow to please me.

He and I had a long talk the other day about (to use a delicate phrase) onanism and the spilling of seed. I told him that looking at it one way, what he spills or doesn't spill when I'm not around is none of my business - and he's not Catholic, after all. In the end, though, I can't look at it that way. As a Catholic, when I marry him, for me, his reproductive matter is part of his whole human promise and for him to treat it in a non-Catholic way in our shared marriage is going to be a real problem. I'm exchanging my whole person, including my reproductive power, for him, but he's not sharing his whole person with me if he's engaging in onanism - or, to make it relevant to the OP, using a condom.

I said to him: basically, this isn't about "being allowed" and "not being allowed." It's about how you know and understand what the Catholic theology says and how much it means to me, and you know that you'll put a hole in my heart if you - in my eyes, according to my values - withhold your whole person from me though I am giving you mine. Think about it, and know what you're getting into.

I think you should keep talking before you walk down the aisle. I'm not saying that you should leave him! I think that more talking can only help, though. Best of luck.

[/quote]

Well, that's the teaching of the church, so far as I know, for a couple that may encounter that problem. and I just felt that I had a responsibility to tell him that straight forward.


#13

I think you should make clear that if he were to contracept later on, that he would be making you an accessory to his sin, i.e., it would be better for you both to refrain from sex than to have contraceptive sex, and you would be obligated to do everything in your power (except sin) to prevent him from contracepting, yet refusing the marital act may be sin, situation depending...

It's just a messy issue, and really, insofar as marriage is about leading one to God, he should be on his way to the Catholic Church and away from Protestant errors ... If he's not interested in converting, then you're in for a tough life.


#14

If I wanted someone to tell me my fiance is inadequate for not being Catholic, i could have found several forums to do that. But I came here to ask a specific question on a certain sibject, NOT to get your unwanted opinion on my fiance, THANK YOU very much. He has already BEEN “lead to God,” and devout Catholic or not, I find your inmplications that he is not highly offensive.


#15

I think you did an EXCELLENT job explaining the situation to him. Honestly, if your end goal were to ever convert him to Catholicism, you are off to an excellent start. You didn't make excuses for the Church's teaching, you explained it correctly and without judgment, and you let him know how you would react if he ever did try to introduce contraception into your relationship.

I especially think YOU should always practice NFP. Keep him notified of when your fertile window is beginning/ending. I honestly don't see why he'd want a vasectomy if you are gently suggesting that you "wait until Tuesday" during the fertile window, anyway.

(I strongly advise against allowing condom use. In my non-educated opinion, the wife is just as culpable for the sinfulness of sex involving condom use.)

Congratulations on your engagement! :thumbsup: With you as Christ's witness to your fiance, I wouldn't be surprised if he converts. (I was raised Protestant and saw converting to Catholicism as "returning to the mother ship!")


#16

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:15, topic:228821"]
I think you did an EXCELLENT job explaining the situation to him. Honestly, if your end goal were to ever convert him to Catholicism, you are off to an excellent start. You didn't make excuses for the Church's teaching, you explained it correctly and without judgment, and you let him know how you would react if he ever did try to introduce contraception into your relationship.

I especially think YOU should always practice NFP. Keep him notified of when your fertile window is beginning/ending. I honestly don't see why he'd want a vasectomy if you are gently suggesting that you "wait until Tuesday" during the fertile window, anyway.

(I strongly advise against allowing condom use. In my non-educated opinion, the wife is just as culpable for the sinfulness of sex involving condom use.)

Congratulations on your engagement! :thumbsup: With you as Christ's witness to your fiance, I wouldn't be surprised if he converts. (I was raised Protestant and saw converting to Catholicism as "returning to the mother ship!")

[/quote]

Thank you very much for your input.

As for conversion, he's said several times he would, but I adamantly tell him time and time again, do it for HIM, and for himself, not because he feels obligated. If he does, I want it to be because he's studied it and truly BELIEVES it, not just because he thinks, hey, might as well. I know he has a few disagreements with some church teachings, all of which he's still very respectful towards, but I know they're things he couldn't fully embrace as a Catholic. yet.

Persoanlly, if he did ever insist on some form on contraception, i think I would much rather he use a condom than have a vasectomy. What research I've done doesn't indicate a wife having a part in the sin of it's use, and to me, it seems like such a less drastic choice than sterilization. I would be confused and hurt enough if he wanted to use a barrier; I'd be ten times more hurt if he wanted to use a more permanent means, to me.


#17

[quote="Valley_Lily, post:16, topic:228821"]
Persoanlly, if he did ever insist on some form on contraception, i think I would much rather he use a condom than have a vasectomy. What research I've done doesn't indicate a wife having a part in the sin of it's use, and to me, it seems like such a less drastic choice than sterilization. I would be confused and hurt enough if he wanted to use a barrier; I'd be ten times more hurt if he wanted to use a more permanent means, to me.

[/quote]

I think your logic is sound (though I agree that a husband demanding condom use is extremely hurtful. It's like saying "I kind of love you." It sounds like your fiance is the kind of man that, even if he doesn't understand the teaching 100%, will understand your feelings about contraceptive sex and will hopefully respect those feelings enough to work with you.)

Have you read Holy Sex? I highly recommend it for both you and your fiance. It's not perfect (what is?), but it is a good "readable" explanation of what the Catholic Church believes God intended sex to be (and not to be). For me, coming from a Protestant background, it was useful to dispel the myths I had believed all my life...and for my husband, coming from a Catholic background, it was useful to dispel the myths HE had believed all of his life. :) It helped us see the "higher purpose" of sex within a Catholic marriage.


#18

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