Family dating matter


Hello! I am lifelong Catholic who became actively involved in my faith about 12 years ago. I am a single mother with a 17 year old daughter. I have never been married nor have I lived with anyone since I had my daughter.

The issue in my family is my sister. She is divorced from her husband whom she married in the Catholic church. He left her but wanted to reconcile later but she did not want to. Currently, she is dating a married man and I am not sure how to handle this. In the past, I have come across as being very judgemental, however, at the same time, I am concerned about the message this is sending to my daughter and am appalled by my parents’ complete acceptance of this. I am not sure what to do. I have not met this man yet, although I am sure to soon, during the holidays probably. The married man whom she is dating has a wife who is currently serving time in prison for embezzlement and he tells my sister he plans to divorce his wife. I think this man and woman were married by a court and they have two children together. I do not know how I should act when my sister brings this man to my parent’s home for the holidays and what should I tell my daughter. I have not tried talking to my sister, but in the past, any talks with her of moral issues have not been successful. I will appreciate your advice.


well just based on experience with my family (ramifications you don’t want to hear about) what has worked for us is simply to accept guests brought by family members as merely their friends and acquaintances, and assume as Miss Manners (and Christian charity) would have it that we know absolutely nothing about any other relationship or goings on there may be. If it is my home, that is another story, but in someone else’s home, they are just another guest. If they are overly affectionate (which would be inappropriate even for a married couple IMO) we just give a gentle joking reminder, like “Please not in front of the K.I.D.S.”. When my kids would ask questions like, “Does uncle Herman really like his friend a LOT?” we would just say, “well, I love Uncle Herman, he is your dad’s brother, but that does not necessarily mean we agree on how to live or what is proper to do, but that is his business.” I have also learned it is absolutely useless, and does more harm than good, to have a discussion about faith and morals, and I don’t offer any comment unless I am asked a direct question, and they all know by now that I will give a direct answer.


Thank you for your very quick, honest and sincere reply. It was helpful and I will use that friendly approach. I have already discussed this matter in private with my daughter, and so she knows where I stand. I guess that is all that really matters as far as I’m concerned. May God bless you!


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