God parent/ family advice


My husband and I excitedly expecting our first child, and are beginning to plan for the child’s baptism. We have chosen the godparents (my brother and hubby’s cousin) ourselves but have not asked them or announced to anyone yet.

A little background, SIL is getting married at the end of the month and my husband’s cousin was initially supposed to be a bridesmaid but declined since they are not getting married in the church and doesn’t feel she can support this as she knows both are Catholic. SIL is very offended and hurt by this and is holding a major grudge against this cousin. (SIL is also only baptized and has not made another sacraments.)

Last night future BIL told my husband that if we chose this cousin as godmother my SIL will not talk to us anymore as she is till upset about the wedding. She says that she plans on going through RCIA to make her sacraments in a year or 2, but we cannot wait the long to get the baby baptized. My husband and I think the cousin is our best choice right now as she is a devout practicing Catholic and will be the best role model for our child at this point. We do want SIL involved in our child’s life as were are close to her, but we don’t feel that she is ready to be a godparent yet.

I guess what I’m asking is how to best explain this to SIL as to not ruin the family relationship with her.


I’d reply: thanks for the heads up, but we do not make our choices based on blackmail attempts.

If SIL wants to hold a grudge, that’s her business and it will be sad if she chooses to isolate herself, but she doesn’t dictate your choices.


Not only is she not ready, if she is not confirmed she cannot be a sponsor. It’s a requirement.


Good luck to you. It sounds like you made good choices; I judge you don’t need any of this made up drama. Basically tell her you and your husband made these choices, and at this time she isn’t eligible according to the church.


If there are other suitable people I would consider asking them to keep the peace or if there isn’t anyone else one godparent is all that is needed.

All depends on how much you want to keep the relationship and how serious you think your sister in law is about not keeping a relationship if you ask your husband’s cousin to be a godparent.


You need not explain anything. Make the choice you think is best for your child! Do this now to set precident for future decisions as parents. This is actually not that much if a dilemma. Shame in others for trying to pull you, and your child into drama!


I don’t know that what you are hoping for is even an option necessarily. I don’t know how you could gently explain something to a person like her, she has already threatened to cut you off if you don’t do as she demands with your child? Wow.

My advice: let this rest for a while. You said her wedding is at the end of this month? She is a nervous bride and so now is not the time to say anything.

When the time for the Baptism approaches, let your HUSBAND handle any and all conversations with his family and his sister. He has known her for many years, let him handle it.

(I am praying for you. It’s very sad when family members behave like this. I have had this drama in my life as well. When family members forced me to choose between their best interests and my children’s guess whose I chose? The decision took me less than a second! You are not alone, hang in there.)



If you do this you will be allowing her to manipulate and blackmail you. Don’t allow her to control your choices with her manipulation. You made a choice to do what you think is best for your child. Don’t backtrack because of this utterly childish (and honestly, borderline narcissistic behavior).

SIL is 110% wrong in her actions here. If you let her manipulate you like this now, it’s not unlikely that she’ll use tactics like this to control your decisions in the future.


This ^^^^^^^^


It always amazes me when people believe that the relationship between two cognitively intact adults is their business and decide to take it as a personal affront if a friend or family member chooses to have contact with someone when there is an estrangement from the third party. (Obviously I’m not speaking of situations such as gay marriage or gay intimate relationships.)

Hubby’s aunt threw a fit because Hubby, an adult, continued to have contact with the aunt’s former husband. (Of note, the aunt has major mental health and substance abuse issues.) She took it as a personal affront that Hubby had a continued relationship with her ex as she felt it was disloyal. Needless to say she became Aunt Who We Don’t See (and don’t have contact with).


I say, let your husband deal with his crazy sister. Not your circus. Not your monkeys. Also, don’t negotiate with people who try to emotionally blackmail you.


Since it wasn’t announced I don’t think that the sister in law would know if they hadn’t been going to ask the OP’s husbands cousin. Had she already been asked I would stick to my decision but in this scenario I would be willing to compromise to keep the peace.


Compromise how though, Elf? The SIL hasn’t gone through RCIA yet…


And is planning an invalid wedding in the meantime.

Not a hope I’d be asking her to be a godmother to my child (and in fact I would have done the same as the OP’s husbands cousin).

They could ask another practicing Catholic woman to be their child’s godmother or just have a godfather (the OP’s brother).

Invite both sister in law and husband’s cousin to the baptism. That would be a non negotiable for me.


That’s far besides the point. If they change their godparent plans now, they will be allowing SIL to control them with her narcissistic blackmailing tactics. No one should allow someone to have that kind of power over them, regardless of whether it’s about choosing godparents or something else.

I’ve experienced this sort of thing firsthand, and believe me, it needs to be nipped in the bud, before innocent people who “don’t want to offend anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings” fall prey to allowing extended family to control their private lives (decisions regarding child rearing, marriage decisions, etc.)

SIL is being immature and borderline narcissistic. Succumbing to this sort of manipulation to “keep the peace” would be merely setting up the OP and her husband to be taken advantage of and controlled by SIL in the future.


I suppose I’m coming at it from the point of view that as long as I can give my children a practising Catholic godparent who lives the faith and I believe would be close to them I don’t really care who he/she is.

It’s something I would be prepared to do but I understand the opposing view and of course if they were to go that route the OP’s husband should be on board.

I also find it interesting that it was the sister in laws fiancé and not the sister in law herself that mentioned it. It makes me wonder if he is projecting his feelings on to his fiancée.


Fair enough. If OP and Husband decide, for reasons unrelated to SIL, that they’d prefer someone other than Cousin to be the godmother then by all means they should choose that person. They just should absolutely not make the decision based on SIL’s emotional blackmailing.

I agree. The entire situation sounds very messy.


This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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.