It's an awful reason for not getting engaged, but


#1

…I’m afraid of how my family will take it. Let me back up a little.

I love my boyfriend, and my boyfriend loves me. We’ve been dating for almost seven years, so marriage seems like the next logical step. However, at the present time, my beliefs are not in line with the church’s and I worry that with the counseling beforehand, they will find out and refuse to marry us. My family, especially the older members, is devoutly Catholic in every aspect. I am often criticized for being “too liberal” and “holding the devil in my heart”. Therefore, if I don’t get married in the church, I would ostracize myself more from my family.

I can’t get married in the church, and I can’t NOT get married in the church. So that’s why I’ve been stagnant in my relationship. What’s a girl to do?


#2

Well, not being a girl, I have no idea what they would do. ;)

But from what I know of the marriage rites of the catholic church, they don't go into details about if your beliefs are orthodox or not. It's not an issue unless your a Satanist or overtly and directly against the church.

Maybe there is another reason your dragging your feet? Perhaps a subconscious one...


#3

That's not an awful reason. I think it's smart to "find [your] place in [the Church]" before you get married, anyway. If you read through some of these threads about marriage, many of the tensions and conflicts that posters are seeking advice about arose because their faith changed or grew after they got married, and their spouse's faith did not grow or change as well.

Do not get married because it's "the next logical step." Do not get married in the Church just because your family wants you to. Marriage is between you, your spouse, and God alone. Find your place with God, and figure out how marriage fits into that equation.

:hug3: Prayers!


#4

[quote="plinko, post:1, topic:196930"]
...I'm afraid of how my family will take it. Let me back up a little.

I love my boyfriend, and my boyfriend loves me. We've been dating for almost seven years, so marriage seems like the next logical step. However, at the present time, my beliefs are not in line with the church's and I worry that with the counseling beforehand, they will find out and refuse to marry us. My family, especially the older members, is devoutly Catholic in every aspect. I am often criticized for being "too liberal" and "holding the devil in my heart". Therefore, if I don't get married in the church, I would ostracize myself more from my family.

I can't get married in the church, and I can't NOT get married in the church. So that's why I've been stagnant in my relationship. What's a girl to do?

[/quote]

Learn more about your Catholic faith, and convert in your heart? :shrug:

It seems like it would solve a lot of issues and allow you to move forward with your life. :)


#5

I have learned about the Catholic faith, but learning doesn't equate to believing. A lot of things the church considers immoral, I don't (like gay marriage, masturbation, condoms, Harry Potter--joking there). I don't think I'll ever change my stance on these issues, so I really can't rectify that before getting married within the church.

By "next logical step", I meant that people date, fall in love, and get married. I wasn't thinking about potential marriage analytically. I was merely stating that taking our relationship to the next level means marriage.

To the person who said that there may be subconscious reasons beyond this, I am unsure that there are. My main fear is lying in front of God when/if I promise to raise my unborn kids Catholic (which is sort of null and void, considering I'm infertile) versus having to tell my old, frail grandmother that I don't want to get married in the same church that the entire family has used. I love my boyfriend and if it wouldn't mess up my family, I'd go down to the courthouse tomorrow to sign the marriage certificate.


#6

[quote="plinko, post:5, topic:196930"]

To the person who said that there may be subconscious reasons beyond this, I am unsure that there are. My main fear is lying in front of God when/if I promise to raise my unborn kids Catholic (which is sort of null and void, considering I'm infertile) versus having to tell my old, frail grandmother that I don't want to get married in the same church that the entire family has used. I love my boyfriend and if it wouldn't mess up my family, I'd go down to the courthouse tomorrow to sign the marriage certificate.

[/quote]

Well of course your unsure that there might be-that's why they are called subconscious. ;)


#7

Seven years?? If you’re not married after dating for seven years, it’s time to move on.


#8

I sort of agree, but there are always some unique circumstances. Maybe they where in college or something.


#9

[quote="JimG, post:7, topic:196930"]
Seven years?? If you're not married after dating for seven years, it's time to move on.

[/quote]

I'm only 24. Previous reasons for not getting married included: being 18, being 19, being 20, a desire for grad school without strapping a husband with loans, living 2500 miles apart... see where I'm going with this? It's not time to move on; my relationship with him is just getting started.

In fact, marriage is something I've never really placed importance on. It's actually just starting to creep up on me as I start to see all my friends getting married.


#10

Who means more to you, your boyfriend or family? The answer to that question determines if you should marry the man. If you love this man then it would be up to the family to accept him or you need to be able to accept any possible reaction to it.

It is not a good thing to get married in the church because of all the religious classes you need to go through and the promise to raise children Catholic. You may be infertile but down the line you both may want to adopt and this would mean raising the child a Catholic.

The best advice is to marry him in a secular setting and get the marriage blessed by a priest if you choose to reconcile with the church. I believe that is allowed in the church. It is surely a bad thing to get married in the church when both of you are not religious believers. This is because of the promises you make when you do get married in the church and the lack of divorce. There is no divorce in the church so you cannot re-marry. If you get married in a secular environment and get divorced the church will not recognize this later in life if you do come home to the church.


#11

[quote="plinko, post:5, topic:196930"]
I have learned about the Catholic faith, but learning doesn't equate to believing. A lot of things the church considers immoral, I don't (like gay marriage, masturbation, condoms, Harry Potter--joking there). I don't think I'll ever change my stance on these issues, so I really can't rectify that before getting married within the church.

[/quote]

Do you understand why the Church considers these things to be immoral (that the union of man and woman in marriage is an image of our communion with Christ, and that other expressions of sexuality don't image the union with Christ very well at all), or are you just thinking "how unfair, to forbid people who are in love with themselves or with other persons of the same sex, not to be allowed to express it physically"?

By "next logical step", I meant that people date, fall in love, and get married. I wasn't thinking about potential marriage analytically. I was merely stating that taking our relationship to the next level means marriage.

Two-year engagements are considered "long" - seven years is a really long time to leave your boyfriend on the hook.


#12

I do understand why the church considers these things immoral, but I don’t agree with the reasoning either. I don’t believe that any sexual act between me and my future husband will be unitive AND procreative (since I can’t pop out kiddos), so I don’t see how my marriage would be any different from a loving marriage between 2 men or 2 women. I believe that love takes many forms… I’m definitely not starting yet ANOTHER thread on gay marriage though… I have reasons for my other beliefs too, but since I really REALLY don’t want to start a morality debate, please understand my unwillingness to express my thoughts here.

Additionally, my boyfriend is not “on the hook”. He is neither asking nor pleading for marriage. We have discussed it, sure, but only in a theoretical “this may happen some day” kind of way. Everyone is shocked, as if 7 years is a long time, but hopefully knowing my age and life experiences will put things in a different light.


#13

[quote="plinko, post:12, topic:196930"]
I do understand why the church considers these things immoral, but I don't agree with the reasoning either. I don't believe that any sexual act between me and my future husband will be unitive AND procreative (since I can't pop out kiddos), so I don't see how my marriage would be any different from a loving marriage between 2 men or 2 women.

[/quote]

In your case, the body parts are designed to fit together in communion like Christ with His Bride - two men together or two women together can't do that (and in fact, I have a hard time understanding why what they do is even considered a kind of sex) - and as long as you aren't doing anything on your part to deliberately cause children not to come, you are leaving God free to do His will with you - many an infertile woman has found herself pregnant, when leaving it up to God.

Everyone is shocked, as if 7 years is a long time, but hopefully knowing my age and life experiences will put things in a different light.

Yes, it does - you must have been childhood sweethearts. :)


#14

Sounds like I’ve been given a Sophie’s choice, but I think your advice makes sense. It would cause a rift in my family, but time heals all wounds…


#15

Marriage is such a permanent, important decision that you definitely need to feel ready to give yourself to it heart and soul. A big part of that is being willing to make that commitment to your partner, but I truly believe that there is another part that is more about you and your own readiness for the married life (which is not the same as living with someone, no matter what anyone says).

I made the terrible mistake of marrying a man because I thought that's what I should do and what was the next "logical" step. Worst mistake of my life. And what's even worse is that I know I had doubts beforehand but never followed them up and instead went ahead with the marriage.

It's really good that you're not rushing into anything. Perhaps you could arrange to talk to your local priest, or to a Catholic relationship counsellor about your feelings and reluctance on the matter. Not because you need to get married, but because they may be able to provide a perspective for you that you hadn't considered, and may even help you with how to handle your family's reactions to the situation. It's really hard to go against the flow - even when its the right thing to do - so its good to get support to help you do it.


#16

I agree that seven years is a LONG time to date and not be married.:eek:

Church? That’s just an excuse.:rolleyes:

I say: If you don’t want to marry, DON’T. I think it messes the balance of the world up if you’ve dated this long, and established your lives together this way and then marry. One of you is bound to think that ‘marriage’ means something more than the other does.:mad:

You aren’t married? Why get married? If it means nothing to you, why do it? Just asking… not looking for an answer.:slight_smile:


#17

[quote="Apryl, post:16, topic:196930"]
I agree that seven years is a LONG time to date and not be married.:eek:

Church? That's just an excuse.:rolleyes:

I say: If you don't want to marry, DON'T. I think it messes the balance of the world up if you've dated this long, and established your lives together this way and then marry. One of you is bound to think that 'marriage' means something more than the other does.:mad:

You aren't married? Why get married? If it means nothing to you, why do it? Just asking.. not looking for an answer.:)

[/quote]

I never said marriage means nothing to me; I said that I didn't used to want to get married. Watching it happen to my friends has begun to spark my interest.

Really guys, it's not a question of love. I love him with everything that I am. We live 2500 miles away right now, and every time we part, the only thing that gets me through is his random texts counting down the days until we see eachother again. People seem to think because we've been dating 7 years, I'm obviously not truly in love with him, but there's a difference between a 24 year old who has been in a relationship for 7 years and a 40 year old. When would have been an appropriate time to marry him? When I had been dating him for 2 years and I was a junior in college? I was barely mature enough to pay rent and bills, let alone share my life completely with him.

I'm really not using the Church as an excuse. If I wanted to make up an excuse, I would say that we live too far apart, that I need to finish school, that he needs to find a place of his own instead of living with a roommate... there are far more plausible 'I don't want to marry so I'll make up alternative reasons' excuses than the concern of a Catholic vs secular wedding.


#18

You do seem to be in love with him.

Remember something though-one of the huge benefits of posting in this forum is that we don’t know you-we see things in a different light. It’s both a detriment and a positive. Perhaps it would be best to take some of our advice and really think about what you want in religion, love, and life before you get make a really big choice.


#19

[quote="Rascalking, post:18, topic:196930"]
You do seem to be in love with him.

Remember something though-one of the huge benefits of posting in this forum is that we don't know you-we see things in a different light. It's both a detriment and a positive. Perhaps it would be best to take some of our advice and really think about what you want in religion, love, and life before you get make a really big choice.

[/quote]

Yeah, I see your point :)

I am truly listening to those posting real advice and not judging me for how long I've been in a relationship. As my boyfriend and I get closer and closer to living in the same city again (within the year--yay!), we will discuss this dilemma further and figure it out together. I suppose it comes down to how I look in the eyes of God vs. how I look in the eyes of my family. While I love my family deeply, I should probably be more concerned with being square with God.


#20

If you are unable to believe in what the Church teaches then perhaps you ought to consider moving along and doing something else. One should be more concerned with what Jesus says than with what one's grandmother might say.

.


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