Ended relationship with non-Catholic

Hi, I’ve been reading a lot on the forums and decided to join. It’s been great to read about a lot of issues and I have continued to learn alot. I’m not sure if this is the right forum to post this thread, but I thought I’d just ask the question myself.

I grew up Catholic and attended both grade school and high school. I was pretty firm in my faith, however; I did have a set of very very bad life circumstances which ultimately severed my relationship with God for about 7 years. I thought for a long time I’d never really move past that event in my life and last year I finally found peace and also my relationship with God. It’s of course not perfect, but I have made my way back and I’m wanting to continue to strengthen that and move forward in a positive manner.

I started seeing someone about 10 months ago. She was raised Catholic and received the sacraments then later she practiced Mormonism. Currently she doesn’t practice either or really attend church in any regard. I’m not sure what the official term would be, but she’s basically not practicing anything.

We were physical during the relationship quite a bit and I really wanted to stop as it runs counter to being Catholic. She was very upset at this understandably. We had a long discussion and also I asked her point blank about her religious stance again.

She said she prays and said she wants to develop it more. I proposed the idea of RCIA and she really wasn’t interested. I had a difficult decision to make b/c I really wanted to take things further and she’s a good person to me, but it was pretty evident we were not on the same wavelength in regards to religion.

It was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life. I’ve found my way back to God not too long after meeting her, yet I know exactly where her stance it and it’s more towards a casual religious position. I suppose I really had to decide to take a gamble with her that she might eventually convert, or end things.

Ultimately I ended things which was incredibly painful as I really cared about her as a person, but the religion ultimately got in the way. The more I’ve read, I have seen about being unequally yoked. I’ve also read a lot of stories where one spouse was not Catholic and it caused issues.

For me, my end goal would be to raise my children Catholic like myself and have a strong practicing faith (which I have been doing more recently as well).

Does anyone have more insight on this or has ended relationships that have been seemingly well solely based on religion ?

I know deep down it was for the best, but it still has been difficult for me nonetheless.

1 Like

You made a really wise choice. It’s very hard but you did right. Differences in religion - and the ones you describe are major, not minor - place a lot of strain on a relationship. You will be better off for this - as will your kids yet unborn, and your wife as yet unknown.

:eek:

Yeah it was all over the place. This was my first time dating someone not Catholic and I had no idea how to go about it. Now after researching it was clearly not good faith wise. I also have read (no offense) a lot of stories on where one of the spouse was either non-believer or non-Catholic where there were problems with the kids.

That was my biggest worry was raising kids as I know a few people whom only one parent was a strong believer and the kids had a tendency to migrate towards the non-religious aspect. I think inherently when you don’t have 2 parents in tandem there is a potential for issues. I don’t date without the purpose of marriage of course and it was something that I was worried about and would not want to happen. I’m sure it can still worked with mixed faith, but it complicates things.

Lesson learned I suppose, and I am disappointed b/c she was a very good person, but this issue really just got in the way.

That was a very smart decision, and I think you feel that in your heart.

I also dated a non-practicing Catholic and I wasn’t practicing anything, so we got along very well. 5 years of dating. Then I came into the Church and our relationship just crumbled. Moving on, although very difficult at the time (5 years seems like forever when it’s over) was the smartest decision. I married a Catholic man and we’ve been married over 25 years now and my past boyfriend has been married twice and is currently dating again. I am so very glad for the smart decision I made those many years ago.

Dating is to discern whether the person is a good life partner. You need to keep a clear head and getting intimate before it’s time will cause a bonding. God made sex to create a bond between husband and wife, to strengthen that bond during difficult times, which comes to every person. You can’t think straight if you apply God’s ‘super glue’ before it’s time. There are many many people who had sex during dating, got married, and 5 or 10 years down the road say “What on earth was I thinking??” The divorce rate is a testament to this.

Honor God with your singleness, with your dating, and with your marriage. Walk in His blessing every day, and in doing so, you will draw down blessing upon yourself, your community, and the world. This is each of our calling. May God strengthen you during this difficult time. There are better days ahead!

I’m sorry for your difficulties but it probably was for the best. I seem to remember a study once that said the two biggest factors for success in marriage are being from the same socio-economic background and having the same religion. Based on observation this seems to be true.

I had a friend who was a non-practicing Catholic. He married a non-practicing Jewish girl. Everything was fine until the issues of kids came up. Though neither was devout both wanted to raise the kids in their religious tradition. The marriage ended in divorce.

Religion, even the lack of it, is a big deal in relationships. Having the same views doesn’t guarantee things will be easy. But disagreeing will be a big challenge. I think one problem is culturally marriage, and therefore dating, have been so removed from family that people really don’t think about this as they should. If you start thinking about the person you are dating as the mother of your children who you will spend the rest of your life with, no matter what trials you encounter, you’ll likely judge their suitability as a spouse differently.

You did well, as PolarGuy stated.

FWIW, a person Baptized Catholic is still a Catholic. For life.
The fact that she was non-practicing (no matter which way she wandered) does not negate the fact that she is a Catholic.

This would have brought you untold problems and sorrows.
In future, look around for the person with your same values and beliefs.
**Pray for your future spouse. **
You’ll never regret it.
Good luck!

You did the right thing; raising my children Catholic was always a deal breaker for me. Better to end it now before the relationship got even more complicated.

If she was baptized catholic, she is catholic for life.
Even if she later go to other church or other religion, that doesn’t dissolve her baptism. She only need to repent for doing so and go for confession, and she’ll be allowed to receive holy communion again.

RCIA? what’s RCIA for a baptised catholic?
Please contact your local priest and consult him.

Regarding break up with non-catholic:

  1. We are not suppose to have attitude of “exclusiveness” regarding race, religion, etc. Jesus teach us to be humble, and He healed the romans soldiers daughter, and a feronesian woman, counsel a samaritan woman. The word “catholic” means “inclusive”. We should not exclude and disqualify people. In the oppostie, the spirit is “catholic” meaning we include all people in mind in the plan of God’s salvation.

  2. with such thinking in mind, the church and the bible teach: sacramental marriage if your partner is catholic. If she is not, then love her, minister to her the love of God bestowed on you. Teach your children the same thing. If she receive it, get her baptized according to her free choice. If she refuse, continue to LOVE HER faithfully ANYWAY.

  3. we shouldn’t condone people to break up relationship simply because of their religion, race, family background, look, riches, and so on. We shouldn’t teach people unfaithulness (ie racist, religionist). The latter is heresy.

The Bible teach that God has chosen israel (us)-- NOT because Israel (we) is (are) better than other people, rather-- in order to save the WHOLE world through our faith.

You my have just saved your soul. It would have been a sin for you to marry a woman who would have kept you and your children from God. The primary purpose of marriage is to bring up children for heaven and a mixed marriage is always a serious impediment to this, no matter how willing the non-Catholic (or baptised Catholic without faith) is to have the children brought up Catholic. What trouble she would have caused you and what pain at seeing your children led astray without being able to do a thing about it ! - just one parent denying that the Catholic religion is true (even implicitly, through their behaviour) is enough to sow the seeds of serious doubt in the minds of weak and impressionable children who have a deep natural attachment to both parents.

If a relationship is not yet deep and not yet serious, and then the person realize religion can potentially become serious problem in the marriage, then I would tend to agree that the couple break-up may save them their future.

However, if relationship is already deep and serious, especially according to the girl’s cultural background, sometimes it is a CRUELTY to break her up simply because a man “suddenly” become religious. You were not so religious before, why suddenly now you are? That’s questionable.

I detest men who claim religious reasons to break-up relationship after they have sex with the girlfriend. I don’t think religious reasons ever be the reason, otherwise, they wouldn’t have gone so far with her and found the religious incompatibility first, before things gone so far.

It’s too easy to suddenly claim righteousness after “get rid of the sin”.

I would prefer to see each scenario differently, though (case by case). Bottom line, I would tend to advice the man to guide the woman (since he’s the leader/ the “chirst”) and not so quickly give him thumbsups to get rid of the girl simply because of her religion. I guess my advice will not be the same if the woman is the one want to break up, because the man demand her to be physical, yet talk nonsense about his religion :frowning:

If relationship already deep, then my advice: be faithful and hopefully your partner will see you as her spiritual leader too! That’s if you are truly lead/ inspired by Christ in your heart, as you claim you are.

For girls, I would advice, find a good man who will lead you to Christ in a sincere way. Not the one with vain religous attitude. In the end they will get rid of you as “their past sin”!

She is 29 I am 30 turning 31 soon. I know someone I did CRHP with and he was baptized yet did not actively practice in the church for a very long time. In fact, he recently just came back after his wife passed from cancer. He did RCIA despite receiving sacraments to re-familarize himself with the Catholic teaching since he largely had not been exposed to it since a young child.

My ex-gf also was in the same situation. She was never really open about it and despite the time we dated, there was still a lot that I don’t know about her. She did already have one divorce with a guy who was Catholic. They never married in the church so no annulment needed, just legally. That marriage lasted less than 1 year despite dating prior for 8 years.

Her ex husband was not a practicing Catholic despite “claiming” to be one.

My issue is the whole concept of “missionary dating”. I never or have taken a non-inclusive approach to others who have a different faith background, however; being Catholic when it is a “core value” (i.e. something that defines you) and the sacrament of marriage, it is a different playing field.

I’m turning 31 next month, but after reflecting a lot on this topic, I will not date someone moving forward who is not Catholic. I had that same approach before, and I broke my own rule with this past relationship and have to deal with the consequences.

It’s not to say people don’t change, they certainly do, however; knowing her it’s unlikely it will happen anytime soon if ever. It brings the question, if not now then when ? What is she waiting for ?

For the religious aspect the turning point for me was attending, then subsequently hosting CRHP. I took a humble stance and really re-evaluated my relationship with God. No excuses, no “I’ll do it later” approaches. I really made a commitment to change moving forward.

I talked about it with her and she said she did not feel that pre-marital sex was an issue b/c it was within the confines of a dating relationship. I asked her to clarify more, and she just held her ground on that view point even though I stated that is not what the Church teaches.

So what exactly am I supposed to do moving forward ? Continue to commit a mortal sin to placate my girlfriend, or end things which I did to move in the right direction. That’s literally the only 2 options I had. There was no other options after many discussions. I’m a guy and I do appreciate sex just like most men. At the same time, I also made a decision to put the Catholic faith ABOVE my own personal sexual desires. It’s a sacrifice.

I honestly think that it is easy for most people in the situation to take a “a la carte” approach towards being Catholic in which, sure I’ll go to mass and practice, but I’ll also have sex with my g/f as well.

Looking back on it, I do feel that it was the best for me overall. I did want to date only Catholics and I broke that rule most recently and it caused issues. I became familiar with the term “missionary dating” and while it sounds good on the surface, it appears to really be an excuse to continue a relationship when the religions differ. As someone who is Catholic and actively practicing having different religious standpoint it just did continue to create issues.

Largely my decision comes down to, do I continue to commit a mortal sin and placate my ex-g/f, or move forward without her and follow the Catholic faith. She was pretty clear did not see eye-to-eye with my on the sexual aspect. As a guy (like many), I can appreciate sex greatly, but I was calling myself to sacrifice to follow the Catholic faith and place that ABOVE my own self-desires.

Difficult which I prayed a lot about, but she had told me she refused to budge from her own position regarding the sex and she disagreed that it was a sin b/c we were dating as opposed to just having a fling.

So initally you did wanted to date only Catholics, then you became familiar with “missionary dating”

I have been catholic for a long long time, I have never never heard/ knew what “missionary dating” is.

I know that some moslem men date girls from different religons in order to convert them. Is this similar to what you refer to as “missionary dating?”

Largely my decision comes down to, do I continue to commit a mortal sin and placate my ex-g/f, or move forward without her and follow the Catholic faith. She was pretty clear did not see eye-to-eye with my on the sexual aspect. As a guy (like many), I can appreciate sex greatly, but I was calling myself to sacrifice to follow the Catholic faith and place that ABOVE my own self-desires.

Difficult which I prayed a lot about, but she had told me she refused to budge from her own position regarding the sex and she disagreed that it was a sin b/c we were dating as opposed to just having a fling.

As the man, your gf can’t force you to have sex with her. I’m sure if you communicated with her, she would have respected your choice and will learn to know the value of chastity in a good relationship.

I’m sure you mean well and I dont mean disrespect when I say this but I’ve read your previous posts and they have largely not been helpful to me and I’m not really following you.

what is “missionary dating”?

I am still trying to understand your previous posts too

Your happiness and the happiness of your future wife depend very much on your not have a wall between you. Different religions is not only a wall, it’s a very high wall.

There are plenty of marriageable Catholic girls out there waiting to meet you.

Good luck finding just the right one for you! :thumbsup:

I’m sorry. Breakups… they’re just, well, not easy.

She sounds a bit confused and you’re right - she could use some RCIA classes, that was classy of you to suggest, and it was also classy of you to give the relationship your best. You tried. In the end, kudos to you for following your integrity.

FWIW, you sound like a pretty great guy.

God Bless,
GreyWings

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.