Engaged to Protestant and having doubts


#1

I recently became engaged to my boyfriend of five years. He is a Protestant who respects the Catholic Church, and I am a convert to the Catholic Church. He plays drums in his protestant church every Sunday but still tries to go to an occasional Mass with me. He recently told me that he feels a void after sitting through Mass. He doesn't think it compares to his church and the spirituality there. I have tried to explain to him the beauty of the Mass, but he does not understand at all. The closer I get to God and his beautiful Church, the more I am second-guessing our engagement. I'm seriously considering breaking it off, which is a scary thought because I do love him and I know he loves me... but I love God's Church more.

Please, any advice would be appreciated.


#2

:gopray2:Altough I cannot tell you what to do (nobody can, this will be your decision), I also became engaged to a Protestant. When we became engaged, we had already been talking about religion for some time. I asked him to at least meet with my priest. He was open to the idea on conversion and went through RCIA completely on his own. I was his confirmation sponsor.

The thing that I think you need to consider in the long-term is how this could effect your family...many dual-religion families try to raise kids in both churches. it can be very hard on kids to have to "decide" what faith they want to be. Also, when you do marry, you will both be required to sign documents that state you will raise your children in the Catholic church. If he is not open to himself being Catholic, would he be open to his kids celebrating mass and sacraments?

This is not something to be taken lightly, and I can feel your confusion. I will pray for you and him both, for direction and peace with decisions. twk


#3

I agree with twk, it's a very big deal and thinking about how you want your children raised is an huge part.


#4

[quote="animachristi1, post:1, topic:201507"]
I recently became engaged to my boyfriend of five years. He is a Protestant who respects the Catholic Church, and I am a convert to the Catholic Church. He plays drums in his protestant church every Sunday but still tries to go to an occasional Mass with me. He recently told me that he feels a void after sitting through Mass. He doesn't think it compares to his church and the spirituality there. I have tried to explain to him the beauty of the Mass, but he does not understand at all. The closer I get to God and his beautiful Church, the more I am second-guessing our engagement. I'm seriously considering breaking it off, which is a scary thought because I do love him and I know he loves me... but I love God's Church more.

Please, any advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

Sounds like his faith is more emotion-based.

He clearly doesn't understand the Mass.

If you think he's open to it, you might have him listen to a great .mp3 talk by Fr. Larry Richards:

alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/The_Mass_Explained.mp3

(You can download it and put it on his iPod, .mp3 player, his PC, or just burn it onto a blank CD so he can play it in his car, etc. It's free.)

Maybe go to Mass and pray a Rosary beforehand to kind of "stock up" on grace. :)


#5

It's very difficult for married people of different faiths to stay strong in their own religions. It's definitely your own decision, and it must be very painful! :hug1: but God is always number one. If you think He can remain your priority while married to a non-Catholic, then go ahead. If you think not, then you should break up. I'd suggest spending a lot of time at adoration (either 'official' or just praying by the Tabernacle), saying lots of Rosaries, and going to Mass as much as possible, to try and discern what God wants you to do.

God Bless!!! I'll pray for you!


#6

[quote="ljubim, post:5, topic:201507"]
It's very difficult for married people of different faiths to stay strong in their own religions. It's definitely your own decision, and it must be very painful! :hug1: but God is always number one. If you think He can remain your priority while married to a non-Catholic, then go ahead. If you think not, then you should break up. I'd suggest spending a lot of time at adoration (either 'official' or just praying by the Tabernacle), saying lots of Rosaries, and going to Mass as much as possible, to try and discern what God wants you to do.

God Bless!!! I'll pray for you!

[/quote]

ljubim, that was excellent advice. Just outstanding! :)


#7

[quote="animachristi1, post:1, topic:201507"]
I recently became engaged to my boyfriend of five years. He is a Protestant who respects the Catholic Church, and I am a convert to the Catholic Church. He plays drums in his protestant church every Sunday but still tries to go to an occasional Mass with me. He recently told me that he feels a void after sitting through Mass. He doesn't think it compares to his church and the spirituality there. I have tried to explain to him the beauty of the Mass, but he does not understand at all. The closer I get to God and his beautiful Church, the more I am second-guessing our engagement. I'm seriously considering breaking it off, which is a scary thought because I do love him and I know he loves me... but I love God's Church more.

Please, any advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

It's tough....I just came from a Protestant church....looking for that "feeling". As long as he goes to Mass with the mindset of that "feeling", he will not see the true Mass. It was only after I said to my husband....I don't know if I should be searching for that "feeling" that I had at our other church, that the graces flowed in. It is then when I saw the true beauty of the Mass. Another thing that you should consider is how theologically apart are you two.....that will make a difference later on down the road.


#8

Seek God first, always. Encourage your fiance to seek God first, too. If it is within God's plan that you be married to each other, He will draw you together. If it is not within His will, seeking God may cause you and your fiance to drift apart (which may be temporary or may not). That is a grace (even if it hurts for a time).

Regarding his lack of enthusiasm for the Mass, encourage him to discover what it means and how Jesus is truly, physically present. He can get his music in the car and jamming with friends. He can't find the Eucharist anywhere outside the Church founded by Jesus.


#9

[quote="animachristi1, post:1, topic:201507"]
I recently became engaged to my boyfriend of five years. He is a Protestant who respects the Catholic Church, and I am a convert to the Catholic Church. He plays drums in his protestant church every Sunday but still tries to go to an occasional Mass with me. He recently told me that he feels a void after sitting through Mass. He doesn't think it compares to his church and the spirituality there. I have tried to explain to him the beauty of the Mass, but he does not understand at all. The closer I get to God and his beautiful Church, the more I am second-guessing our engagement. I'm seriously considering breaking it off, which is a scary thought because I do love him and I know he loves me... but I love God's Church more.

Please, any advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

No one but God can know if your finance will someday change and want to be Catholic.

I can just tell you that my husband cannot understand Catholicism. He never wants to go to church with me. He actually never wants to go to any church. For many years I never used to go either because he did not want to go and I just fell away. Since I came back it is really heart breaking to me that he will not come to church with me. Our two grown boys were never baptized. So I go alone to mass. I am a very active volunteer in the church. It feels like I have two different lives. The one at home with my husband and the one with my church family. I pray for him and have offered him books to read about our faith. I have explained the beauty of the mass but nothing seems to help.


#10

I forgot to mention that my husband was brought up in a protestant Church also.


#11

[quote="onmyknees, post:9, topic:201507"]
No one but God can know if your finance will someday change and want to be Catholic.

I can just tell you that my husband cannot understand Catholicism. He never wants to go to church with me. He actually never wants to go to any church. For many years I never used to go either because he did not want to go and I just fell away. Since I came back it is really heart breaking to me that he will not come to church with me. Our two grown boys were never baptized. So I go alone to mass. I am a very active volunteer in the church. It feels like I have two different lives. The one at home with my husband and the one with my church family. I pray for him and have offered him books to read about our faith. I have explained the beauty of the mass but nothing seems to help.

[/quote]

heartbreaking. Hang in there; there is still hope for him and your children. Ask St. Monica for assistance. Her tenacity eventually won over St. Augustine.


#12

In a valid marriage, you are stuck for life - even you are sorry later.
There is a significant amount of Church teaching on Marriage (Matrimony), including marriages of mixed faith. (See index in back of CCC, 2nd Ed.)
I believe that it is critical that anyone contemplating marriage, read the CCC, 2nd Ed, and pray. Then make your decision. Never go into marriage without the teachings of the Church, and your eyes wide open.


#13

Thank you for offering me some hope. I really needed that.:slight_smile:


#14

[quote="onmyknees, post:9, topic:201507"]
No one but God can know if your finance will someday change and want to be Catholic.
I can just tell you that my husband cannot understand Catholicism. He never wants to go to church with me. He actually never wants to go to any church. For many years I never used to go either because he did not want to go and I just fell away. Since I came back it is really heart breaking to me that he will not come to church with me. Our two grown boys were never baptized. So I go alone to mass. I am a very active volunteer in the church. It feels like I have two different lives. The one at home with my husband and the one with my church family. I pray for him and have offered him books to read about our faith. I have explained the beauty of the mass but nothing seems to help.

[/quote]

Onmyknees, every soul has a price, according to the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He said that one Saturday night, he was hearing Confessions in the cathedral. A young woman came in and said she really wasn't there to go to Confession, but just wanted to "kill a little time." He said, "Oh, and how much time would you like to kill?" She said, "About five minutes." He said, "Who are you trying to fool?" She said, "My mother." He asked, "Are you scared?" She said, "Yes!" He said, "Well, if you allow me to move this little curtain aside, turn the light on and look at you, I might be able to make your confession for you." She said, "What are you, a wise guy?" He said, "No, but if you allow me to look at you, I might be able to help." So, she said he could. When he looked at her, he said, "You are a prostitute." She said, "Yes! But that's not all." So, he pleaded with her for 15 minutes to get her to tell him the rest, but she wouldn't. She ran out into the night. So, he said he gave every penitent after that a penace of saying a rosary "for the conversion of a great sinner" and they all said they would, except one old woman who complained and said she hadn't done anything that bad. When he finished hearing confessions, he went and knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and prayed for that young woman. 9:00, 10:00, 11:00. About midnight, he hear the door open and he thought it was perhaps the police coming to see why the lights were on in the cathedral. He turned around, and it was that young woman, in tears, ready to finish her confession. He said the price for hour soul had been "paid." Some souls are cheap, some souls are expensive. St. Monica prayed for St. Augustine for 30 years before he straightened out!

So, we never know how much prayer and sacrifice it will take to soften the hardened heart of any particular sinner. All we can do is pray continually and offer up any suffering we get to Jesus for that person. And, get others to pray for them, too.

We also used to have a group some years back in my home town. Whenever someone needed prayers (sick, conversion needed, etc.), they would run the recall list (about 40 people). One guy owned a school bus and would pick up those who didn't feel like driving. The group would meet in the church about 2am for a holy hour for whatever cause was needed. They would do stations of the cross (usually on their knees on the hard marble floor), rosary, etc. I can tell you that many miracles came about from this sort of prayer. It involved sacrifice (getting up at 2am for an hour!) and prayer. Eventually, some bright soul decided we could just do it at 7 or 8pm, and the other sheep went along with it. The sacrifice was lacking, and the miracles stopped, then it all fell apart.

I think it was St. Augustine who said that the conversion of a soul is a greater miracle than when God created the universe. Because when He created the universe, He created it out of nothing. And this nothing from which He created it did not resist Him like we humans do!

Just thought I'd pass this along. Offer your suffering up for your husband, along with your prayers. Then, trust the rest go God. He has His schedule, but He never publishes ahead of time. ;)


#15

[quote="animachristi1, post:1, topic:201507"]
I The closer I get to God and his beautiful Church, the more I am second-guessing our engagement. I'm seriously considering breaking it off, which is a scary thought because I do love him and I know he loves me... but I love God's Church more.

Please, any advice would be appreciated.

[/quote]

My advice is to break it off. If these are your feelings BEFORE you even commit yourself to this man for the rest of your life, end it now. You will experience heart break because you've been together for a long time, but it will be nothing compared to the heartbreak of a very difficult marraige, and more often than not - a Catholic/Protestant marriage when both parties are "into" their faith is difficult. Marriage is hard under the best of circumstances. Why make it even harder?

I'd find myself a very devoted Catholic guy so we'd be on the same page with birth control, the sacraments & the importance of rasising our children Catholic.

That's what I would do. I will pray you make the right decision for YOU.


#16

I've read countless threads like this on CAF and these situations typically do not end well. The protestant spouse is either hostile to the Church, not in line with the church's teaching on contraception, not open to converting or allowing the children to be raised Catholic. And personally just pondering situations like this, I would really think that there would be a huge void between you and your fiance spiritually speaking, you would never really be able to relate to one another on the deeper levels of spirituality. And not to mention you never know how he will react when you want to raise your children Catholic, what if he does not want that and tries to lure the children to his church instead? All these things need to be considered.


#17

Thanks for the advice scooby. I will do this and I think I need to trust in Him more because I go to Adoration often but I sometimes wonder if it is possible for my husband to believe.


#18

This may sound strange, but I would pray a novena to St. Therese asking for her guidance. In the novena, ask her to send you a certain color rose to indicate yes or no to your question. She may or may not send one to you, but you most certainly will receive grace and guidance from the novena.

If you are having second thoughts, then I would talk to a priest about it. I think a lot of engaged couples have second thoughs...sometimes it's from cold feet and sometimes it's because of a very serious issue.

Mixed marriages can work, they take a lot of compromise,communication and patience, but they can work.

Have you and your fiance talked about how you will raise the children? Because if he doesn't agree to raise them Catholic then that's an automatic deal breaker.


#19

Thank you, each and every one of you, for taking the time to answer me. I am severely troubled by this and am praying for guidance. Reading your posts has helped me greatly, and I will try to persevere in doing God's will in my life. I will let you know when I make a decision in case any of you are curious. Thank you again - and please - if you think of anything else that may help me, please let me know!

Love in Christ.


#20

Very very very wise of you to be second-guessing your engagement.


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