Interfaith Marriage with Progressive Protestant

I have been dating SO for a few years and we have spoken about marriage. However, we have both acknowledged our religious differences. She is Protestant but never attends church and our conversations are rarely spiritual. I am a devout Catholic and attend Traditional Latin Masses. I’ve issues with how the Masses are held post Vatican 2. I share this to express where I fall along the line of church belief. My SO also is extremely progressive and supports LGBT+ and everything else from gender identity, gay marriage, trans, sex change surgery etc. she is also an adamant support of Planned Parenthood and abortion. When our relationship began, I wasn’t as involved in the church. I am at a crossroads. She is extremely empathetic and exemplifies the virtue of Charity more so than my Catholic friends and is a very loyal and trustworthy companion. She exemplifies all the attributes of a great wife. However, I will teach my children the truth and she is adamant that she will express her ways and then the children will ultimately make their own decision. Also: the Children will be raised Catholic and go to Catholic school. No exceptions.

Thoughts on what I should do?

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Voice of experience here: this is gonna be trouble. She may be a nice girl, but it doesn’t sound like she’s the one. You have fundamental differences regarding what the children will be taught, and that’s huge, especially in a society that’s so bent on undermining Catholic teaching.

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Gotta go with my main man neophyte on this one…

Marriage is hard. Like really hard. It makes it exponentially harder when you don’t see eye to eye about faith and morals. The future kids thing issue is huge. Would you be okay with her taking your future children to a pro-abortion or anti-gun protest? How about a gay pride parade?

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That is a concern as it was brought up that she would be entitled to take the children to the woman’s march since I would take the children to March for Life. Or the fact that she donates to Planned Parenthood whereas my tithe abd work with KoC directly undermines that. Disclaimer: fully supportive of woman but do not condone the Woman’s March approach and what they stand for.

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We’re a Protestant couple, both rather liberal when we married. Now my husband is still rather liberal, I want to come home in the Church. It’s very difficult, to be honest.

I love him enough that I would probably marry him again, even knowing what we would have to go though. But it is extremely painful and exhausting. And we couldn’t even have children – which, right now, is probably a good thing, because it would just have been too much to handle. I just hope someday we’ll be over these tensions.

Think about it carefully.

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This is a minor point, but I don’t see what’s anti-Catholic about supporting increased gun control. Faithful Catholics can disagree on this one. It’s not like abortion where there is a clear, unequivocal stance.

Anyway, to the OP: this will be a tough one. Obviously, no two people will agree on everything, but it sounds like you guys are diametrically opposed on everything.

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Time to part ways.

Find a spouse who shares your values and beliefs.

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If you do not agree on your foundational morals, your children are going to figure that as you cannot both be right, both of you are likely wrong.

A bird and a fish may fall in love, but, where will they make a home?

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No, of course not. You can totally be Catholic and anti-gun. I guess you cold also be conservative and anti-gun, but those types are few and far between.

I just mention anti-gun because around my part of the country, it seemed to be all the rage for progressives to take their kids to the march for life events.

I sincerely appreciate the responses. Thank you to all.

Unfortunately, it appears I am receiving the answers that I expected.

I have in the past expressed a desire to marry her and she has expressed the same to me (although she did it more than a year ago and I only recently). However I have said that there a numerous things we need to discuss and figure out before that commitment. Are there any places that we can go to explore this topic with an expert? Relationship guidance? Preferably a Catholic one as I suspect a secular one will not be as sympathetic to the Catholic side. Thanks.

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Your pastor would be a place to start.

You could also go to the FOCCUS site and find a FOCCUS facilitator who will work with you on the FOCCUS assessment.

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With all due respect, I find the thought of you making an attempt at this to be brutal and heartbreaking. The heart lies and in making this decision you will be battling your worst enemy, yourself.

Even IF, even if you could honestly rely on her to not undermine such efforts, those efforts could be very lonely, demoralizing, and a cause for resentment. As a very tiny example, imagine getting up super early on a sunday morning in order to get your kids ready for church… all by yourself. As you head out the door you can hear her snoring. Believe me, you want a partner.

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Putting aside her views on life issues and the progressivist gender-related agenda, she sounds like a fine woman. However, I’ve just got to say this, I wouldn’t do it. There are a lot of fine women in the world. There are a lot of fine women in the Church.

Questions I would consider:

  • Just precisely how is she going to help me get to heaven?
  • Is there any likelihood she would ever change, or even modify, her views?
  • HUGE consideration — do not marry someone hoping they will change. Been there, did that, didn’t work, ended tragically for all concerned.
  • What happens if you die and leave her to raise the children? What happens to their Catholic upbringing?
  • And I hate to bring this into it, but how is the birth control thing going to work?

Just my two groats’ worth.

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I am married for several years with somebody with different faith, different values and different ethnic background. It is very very hard. Even harder after we became parents.
Right now you are still in the honey moon phase, you see only the nice girl and you are discussing theoretically what your life together and your parenting style will be. It is the phase I call ‘love is enough’. When boredom, routine, life worries and sleepless nights will kick in you will realize how much easier it could be to build your family with a person that is sharing your faith and your values; you will realize how stronger you are as a couple if you both find your strength in Christ.

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Okay, if you get married and three years down the road she has an opportunity for a big career move. She also finds out she’s pregnant. She believes it’s not a good time to have a child because of this career opportunity. The unborn child is also found to have a defect that will require much care after birth. She wants an abortion.
Can you live with that?
By the way, this scenario is not out of the question.
Just something to illustrate what can happen.

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This is from the US Bishops:

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Ps. Don’t worry about the women or pro-life march.
Let’s get more practical.

Will you use artificial contraception with her?
Will you accept abortion if the baby has a disability and she doesn’t feel like carrying to term the pregnancy?
If you will experience infertility are you ok with IVF? Surrogacy?
Are you ok going to Church by yourself for years?
Is she ok baptizing a new born?
Is she ok with letting you children receive Sacraments (beside Baptism…)
What if one of your loved one is very sick and desire to get euthanized?
How is your relationship with your inlaws? Are they also not on the same page with you in term of faith and life values?

I think you should discuss all of this with her BEFORE marriage (and possibly have a record of it for future reference).

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I’m in the minority. I, too, speak from experience with my own marriage. I think that depending on the unique dynamic of your relationship these things may be reconcilable. As anonymous Internet forum users, I don’t think we have enough context. Have you discussed the matter with your priest, with or without her present? You could call your parish office and ask for a pre-marital consultation.

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I’m against contraception, however she uses it more b/c of her period cramps which apparently are debilitating. It’s not for sex as we do not have sex anymore (I shared I wanted to be chaste even though our relationship had been extremely sexual for the most of it)

I am adamantly pro life regardless of circumstances and her aborting my child would be a basis for separation (I won’t remarry unless death of other spouse. I personally beleive the annulments today are too lenient. )

If we cannot have kids, that is God’s choice. I am against IVF. I am open to adoption regardless of our own Ability to have children.

She is ok with the sacraments as the kids will be raised Catholic.

That’s funny you mention euthanize: She was extremely upset that I wouldn’t euthanize her if she was in horrible pain. Almost to the point of guilt tripping me.

My parents are somewhat interfaith: mother was Methodist that converted. She Was very strong Catholic for most of upbringing but has recently stopped going to mass. I grew up doing the basics of church as a family and it was mostly watered down. Then spent my teen years and college years as an “atheist” (still believed God but couldn’t Bear the guilt of my actions so decided that I would force myself not to believe). Have sense returned and recently entered into a state of grace. Haven’t been without mortal sins since 15 years ago and I am finally at peace.

I am very concerned about the loneliness of my faithful journey. The mother would come to mass with family. That is non-Negotiateable. I realize I can’t force anyone to do anything, but I am trying to be as explicit as possible about what a Catholic marriage would look like. If that is not what my SO wants, then we need to re-evaluate whether we are meant for each other.

The reason I keep asking questions and trying to find a way is that we are deeply in love with each other and have been for some time. We have been through a lot together. However, I do realize that not all things are meant to be.

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You are correct that the Total context May be lacking due to an Internet format, however I believe it would be hard for anyone to really grasp the entire context of any situation. However, I have come to you all because I believe I would receive a more honest answer from anonymous group of individuals that deeply catholic/Christian rather than the secular Catholics in my area that would be afraid to hurt my feelings. Know that I sincerely appreciate everyone’s help. It feels great to speak freely on the subject. This has been weighing tremendously on my heart.

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