Engagement


#1

I wonder if I can put this here. I recently got engaged to the person that I love. I cannot, legally or religiously, marry them. I don't know how to tell them this without making them angry or upset about it. I would really appreciate it if someone would give me advice on this issue.


#2

It might help to have a little more information . Why can you not marry this one you love . Why would you say yes to an engagement ( betrothal = marriage ) if you can not . Poor you this sounds like a tough position to be in . Give us something to work with and we will do our best to help out . Its hard to tell if you want to break this engagement off , or what you would like to see happen . :shrug: none the less we will be praying for you .


#3

I am so sorry you are in this situation. I'm sure it is heartbreaking. :( I agree it would help to have more information, but if you think you cannot legally and religiously marry this person you need to break off the engagement. It is not fair to the person you love to string them along if you cannot marry them.
Are you sure you cannot marry them? There are several reasons a person cannot religiously marry someone, but I can't think of very many legal reasons someone can't get married. The only ones I can think of that would prevent you from marrying on both counts would be age and close family relations. So unless you're engaged to your nine year old nephew I'm not sure what the problem would be. :confused:


#4

[quote="MariaTS, post:1, topic:209872"]
I wonder if I can put this here. I recently got engaged to the person that I love. I cannot, legally or religiously, marry them. I don't know how to tell them this without making them angry or upset about it. I would really appreciate it if someone would give me advice on this issue.

[/quote]

Have you not told this person of your history? Putting the wedding aside, I think it's important that you be honest about the issues that are going to complicate your future. It's never good to build a relationship on secrets. Good luck.


#5

The sooner you are honest with the person the better. My husband was not honest - we went through with the wedding - sacramental and everything. He was cheating among other things and now a little less than two years later we are going through a divorce.


#6

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:3, topic:209872"]
The only ones I can think of that would prevent you from marrying on both counts would be age and close family relations. So unless you're engaged to your nine year old nephew I'm not sure what the problem would be. :confused:

[/quote]

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=480349


#7

Is "this person" a man or a woman? (I'm just asking because its odd how you avoided gender terms in your post).


#8

You may not be able to tell them without it making them angry or upset. You’ll simply have to live with that.

So, the best way is directly and quickly. Don’t drag it out. Don’t give the impression it is up for discussion. “It’s over, I can’t marry you, I’m sorry.” And, yes, this person may be angry, hurt, not want anything to do with you ever again, etc. You can’t control that.

Telling them kindly and not dragging it out is about all you can do.


#9

I once had to breakup with someone for similar reasons. Amazingly, they were able to go on living without wonderful me and now have a wonderful family of their own. :p


#10

[quote="MariaTS, post:1, topic:209872"]
I wonder if I can put this here. I recently got engaged to the person that I love. I cannot, legally or religiously, marry them. I don't know how to tell them this without making them angry or upset about it. I would really appreciate it if someone would give me advice on this issue.

[/quote]

You wrote this three weeks ago:

*I don't know who I would marry, I'm only an 18-year-old girl. I don't think about whether I want to marry a man or a woman, I just know I want to marry the one I love and adopt children someday. I don't know who I love yet. *

And now you are engaged? I find it odd that you went from not having anyone in particular in mind regarding marriage to *engaged *in three weeks.

You also wrote that you knew you could not marry either civilly or in the Church due to your gender identity issues. And, yet, you got engaged?

Sorry, IMHO, it just seems that there are some things that don't add up across various threads.


#11

[quote="MariaTS, post:1, topic:209872"]
I wonder if I can put this here. I recently got engaged to the person that I love. I cannot, legally or religiously, marry them. I don't know how to tell them this without making them angry or upset about it. I would really appreciate it if someone would give me advice on this issue.

[/quote]

If you are a male-female combination; and there is no impediment (such as previous marraige) then you can get married.


#12

MariaT you seem to be pretty good at keeping the controversy going eh ? nice .....:(


#13

[quote="1ke, post:10, topic:209872"]

And now you are engaged? I find it odd that you went from not having anyone in particular in mind regarding marriage to *engaged *in three weeks.

You also wrote that you knew you could not marry either civilly or in the Church due to your gender identity issues. And, yet, you got engaged?

Sorry, IMHO, it just seems that there are some things that don't add up across various threads.

[/quote]

Just because you don't think about marriage doesn't mean you cannot be in love with someone, doesn't mean you cannot accept an engagement. It doesn't matter if it is allowed legally or religiously, however most people want a legal or religious marriage. Also, most people are engaged for years before they get married. So, every single thing does add up.


#14

[quote="Corki, post:4, topic:209872"]
Have you not told this person of your history? Putting the wedding aside, I think it's important that you be honest about the issues that are going to complicate your future. It's never good to build a relationship on secrets. Good luck.

[/quote]

I never lied to this person, I just never told them about my medical history, there is a difference. However, I know, at this point, that I must now tell them. I just don't know how to bring it up.


#15

[quote="Deb_H, post:12, topic:209872"]
MariaT you seem to be pretty good at keeping the controversy going eh ? nice .....:(

[/quote]

I'm sorry but what do you mean?


#16

You really should have covered this before becomming engaged. Not disclosing significant things before marraige may cause that marraige to be invalid under Canon 1098. This would result in a putative marriage.

You should approach this issue as fast and as openly as possible. There is no easy way to do it so just calmly state it.


#17

[quote="MariaTS, post:14, topic:209872"]
I never lied to this person, I just never told them about my medical history, there is a difference. However, I know, at this point, that I must now tell them. I just don't know how to bring it up.

[/quote]

Withholding information can be just as deceiving as a lie. And if you couldn't be upfront with the person, you shouldn't be getting engaged in the first place. You shouldn't have accepted the engagement.


#18

Sorry, hon, but an engagement is a promise to marry. If there can be no marriage, then there is no engagement. And it’s not right to pretend there is one.


#19

Maria, I am not sure why you say that marriage is impossible. Others here have mentioned gender may be a factor, but I am sure you know that in the US five states perform marriages between persons irrespective of gender.

Granted, such marriages are not recognized in most states of the US. However, in addition to those five states there are another three to five states which recognize such marriages even though they do not perform them.

So if gender is the reason for the impossibility of marriage, then marriage actually is possible for you. Not in the Catholic Church, to be sure, but there are plenty of states where gender is not a requirement for a marriage to be valid.

Of course, if there is some other impediment to marriage, I would appreciate if you shared it with us. Doing so would aid discussion, and hopefully, helping you.

(NB: Maria lives in the US, she just wishes she lived in New Zealand)


#20

[quote="MariaTS, post:14, topic:209872"]
I never lied to this person, I just never told them about my medical history, there is a difference. However, I know, at this point, that I must now tell them. I just don't know how to bring it up.

[/quote]

I think this is a totally separate issue from the possibility of marriage. And perhaps it is a much more serious problem, since your betrothed may feel deceived and angry when the news is shared. I think it is a mistake to consider marriage when important secrets are being withhold from your beloved.

I apologize for not being able to offer advice on how to break the news. I just don't have experience in this area. However, I wonder if it wouldn't be best to do so in a public location such as a coffeehouse. People come and go, so a sudden angry departure won't stir too much comment. And being around other people might be good, just in case things turn violent. :(


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.