HELP ME PLEASE!


#1

I am in a very serious relationship right now and the time has come that we are discussing marraige. He comes from a practicing baptist family and I come from a practicing Catholic family. I was initially attracted to him for his spirituality and determination. He is wonderful and we want to spend the rest of our lives together. But his parents do not like me because I am Catholic and all Catholics are not saved! :mad:
I dont know where to begin. I also have been considering the fact that I will be raising my children in a home with divided religions. I am so confused and so in love. I have become stronger in my relationship with Christ because of him but now it seems to be backfiring. Please help me with some ideas.


#2

Personally, i would think that his parents do not have much say in your marriage. If he has accepted your practicing catholicism and embraces it, then you needn’t worry what his parents think of you. They should be happy that you are a christian, like them. You have an obligation to raise your children catholic. This should be discussed with your partner. If he agrees and his parent’s do not, it’s their loss. If they treat your children with the same anymosity that they treat you simply for being catholic, then it’s their error and they must deal with the consequences.

That’s my take, but most people here are better qualified to answer.


#3

Sancti,

I’m not going to pretend I have the answer to your dilemma…I’m simply going to play Devil’s Advocate and list some observations for you. What you do with them is up to you.

  • Your BF will not be able to share in your love for many uniquely Catholic things (ie. the Eucharist, the Rosary, the Communion of Saints, etc.) - if you want a spouse to share these loves with, you need a Catholic man

  • Your BF may convert to Catholicism, but never marry anyone thinking that this will happen…it only sets you up for frustration and disappointment if it doesn’t

  • How close, both geographically and emotionally, is your BF to his parents? If the answer to both is very close, your marriage to him will likely be constantly strained due to their opinion of you on account of your Faith

  • Raising children in a house of divided faiths is stressful to the kids as they will feel that if they choose one of your religions as their own, they will be choosing one parent and rejecting the other. I’ve seen this happen to many of my friends and in the end, rather than choosing one parent and hurting the other, they simply chose no faith and fell into apathy towards Christianity for the division it caused in their family.

Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, but I think these are things you need to take into account. May God guide you in your decision!


#4

Gen 2:24 - For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

What does your husband to be say about this? Will he allow you to continue to practice your faith, in the Catholic Church. Will he allow you to raise the children Catholic? Would he be willing to convert?

These are QUESTIONS which HAVE to be answered before you walk down the isle.


#5

[quote=raphaela]Personally, i would think that his parents do not have much say in your marriage…
[/quote]

While this is true in one sense, it ignores the practical aspects of what you are considering. Realize that when you marry him, you are marrying into his family as well. These will be the grand-parents of your future children. These will be people you will likely have to deal with on a regular basis. You have to think about the future ramifications of how this will affect the REST of your life.

Likewise, as someone who has been married for about 10 years (and dating the same person for 5 years previous), you also need to realize that it is very likely that you both will have some periods in your life where there will be MAJOR reasessment of priorities and goals. If you aren’t on the same page spiritually to begin with, this becomes much more difficult (though not impossible) to navigate.

Finally, do not downplay the importance of divided religion in a household when it comes to children. When/if you had children, both of you will find yourself suddenly seeing your religious life as more important and it’s very possible you will battle over what religion you will raise them. If you marry in the Catholic Church he will HAVE to agree to raise them Catholic. BUT, he may make this promise now, not realizing what it really entails when children actually come along.

Being ‘in love’ in the early stages of a relationship is a beautiful and necessary part of how God made our relationships to work. But, the ‘infatuation’ phase WILL pass. This is not a negative or discouraging comment. Love doesn’t die, it simply grows, matures and deepens. And when it does the nitty gritty details of dealing with the daily things of marriage and life are far more peaceful (though of course not perfect), if both husband and wife are of the same faith. And further, it is easier if the in-laws don’t think you are bound for hell and are vehemtely against your faith.

I am not necessarily trying to convince you what to do, just explaining that if your faith is important to you, you must consider these things.


#6

[quote=Lil Flower Love]- Your BF may convert to Catholicism, but never marry anyone thinking that this will happen…it only sets you up for frustration and disappointment if it doesn’t

[/quote]

I want to echo this, and also mention that it is very possible that he may be thinking the same about you. He may assume that he’ll show you the error of Catholicism after your married. Would you want the stress and pain of your future husband trying to evangalize and convert you?


#7

The other thing you can do is ask his parents if they understand what Catholics believe?

If they say yes, ask them why Catholics are not saved?

Take the first reason (*), and using the index of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, look it up for them. Then give them the Catechism and ask them to read it so that they may understand your faith prior to critizing it.

(*) if it is because X said so, so X has the power to determine who is saved or not? I thought that was God’s call. Then give them the Catechism and ask them to read it so that they may understand your faith prior to critizing it.

If they say no, then give them the Catechism and ask them to read it so that they may understand your faith prior to critizing it.

Note: you need to bring a Catechism with you to give to them.

You are bascially telling them, this is what I believe. You can if you like ask them for their church’s catechism and offer to read it so you can understand what they believe.


#8

Now about the boy friend, sit down and be totally honest about how you feel about your faith.

Read the Catechism with him, finding those areas you share and understanding where he differs. Find out if he has any misunderstandings about the church and have him show you in the Catechism where does it show that.

You all are in my prayers.


#9
  • I was not Catholic when we got married…my inability to accept her faith eventually pulled her away from the church
  • I did eventually convert but I did not love the Church. This caused more problems than not being a Catholic at all…NOW I knew the Catholic Law and used it against her.

It was not until I developed a Personal Relationship with Jesus, through the Church, that I found peace in my family and fully embrace the Catholic Teachings.


#10

When you are young and in love it seems that love will conquer everything. Well, take it from an old married woman that marriage is about many many things, and the fluffy romantic heart pounding love is not part of day to day life.

Marriage is hard work, and there are going to be hard times when the ONLY thing you have is your faith. If the two of you do not agree on faith, that has a good chance of adding to the bad times.

Imagine for a moment each Holiday, asking the kids who’s family they want to spend Christmas with. Do you want to go to dad’s family or mom’s family? That is what every Sunday becomes when you don’t share the same faith.

Crossing that bridge when we get to it is not a good idea when it comes to major value decisions.

While I was not Catholic when I got married, I married someone who was not a Christian. He became Christian, I converted to Catholicism. We have been married 14 years. A year ago in December, he decided to convert. For 13 years, I and my son went to church alone (except for Christmas and Easter). After my conversion, very Mass for 7 years, I prayed for his conversion. At a very young age I began to impress on my son how important it was to date people of his Faith. At age 13, he will tell you that he only plans on dating Catholic girls because he does not want to fall in love with someone who will not sit by him at Mass when they are married.

I know it seems like a hard thing, but, we all must put God first in our lives. And if a relationship comes between you and practicing your faith, well, the relationship has to change.

I am praying for you and for your boyfriend, that he will see the strenght of your faith and be drawn to it!

Kage


#11

I have been married to my cradle Catholic wife for 13 years. Recently I became Catholic.

Formerly there were some things I always resented about the Catholic church. Requiring my children to be raised Catholic. Telling me about sexual morality. Requiring attendance at weekly Mass. Claiming the Church is the authority on how a Christian life should be lived. Then there was all that ritual mumbo-jumbo, incense, sign of the cross, holy water, Rosary, etc.

Why do they do all that stuff when the core of being a Christian is to accept the gift salvation made possible by Jesus death on the cross.

My eyes have been opened and I understand the “why”. In fact the issues I had with the Protestant faith were addressed by the Catholic teaching and things finally made sense.

I wish that someone could have explained the “why” to me. I only learned the “why” in my RCIA class. (And even that did not tell me the value that the Catholic church places on the marital union and sex.)

I wish my wife would have been more open to learning about my faith and it would have been a good idea for us to have had an agreement that we would each attne faith classes and read some books about the each other’s faiths.

It is a misconception that participating in RCIA means you have decided to convert. RCIA about learning the basis of the Catholic faith. A person can participate in the RCIA classes and have no intention of converting. A person may need to forgo some of the rituals but anyone would be welcome to sit in on the classes. I would encourage you to put together an agreement with your fiancé (with verification by a priest or deacon) that your fiancé can participate in the RCIA classes without the intention, expectation or any pressure to convert. Then he can attend the RCIA classes solely to learn why Catholics do all those “strange things”.

To illustrate, there were people in my RCIA class that dropped out or decided to not become Catholic. One of the teachers had converted to Catholicism and he dropped out of RCIA the first time and then did it again the following year.

Now would I have been willing to do this as a prerequisite to marrying my Catholic wife? I don’t know. But I would like to think that I would have considered it if I was under no obligation or expectation to convert and if I had known that is acceptable to participate (and even give dissenting views) in an RCIA class. In fact many of the lay teachers and sponsors of the RCIA do it to be challenged in their faith, to consider other views and the Catholic perspective. My experience is that these people have a stronger and more theologically correct perspective than most Catholics.

Now I would guess that not all parishes have RCIA classes that fit my description so you would need to find the right one.

Email me or have him email me if he has any questions. I believe that my marriage would be stronger today if I had someone that would have talked to me about this stuff.

In summary
Don’t try to change his faith
Do not compromise your faith
Do agree to learn more about his faith
Expect him to learn more about your faith

Steve


#12

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