Lying, Drinking Fiance


I have been with my fiance for 4 years now. We have two beautiful children ages 1 and 2 and plan to marry this summer in the Church. I went threw RCIA this year and was baptized, confirmed, and receive my first Holy Communion on Saturday :slight_smile: While I love the Church and want to do right by my faith, I am dragging in some baggage from the past (ie live in boyfriend, children out of wedlock etc).

He is not Catholic or anything for that matter, never baptized, but does believe in God…that’s good. The problem is I am trying to be a good Catholic fiance, but I am running out of fuel. He is lying to me and drinking against our resolution to quit (both alcoholics) he spends all hours of the night with “friends” (people who enable him to lie, drink, and dishonor his family) and puts us (me and kids) last. He started a new career out of college and is having a hard time getting that off the ground. While I am trying to be supportive (accepting him working long days, nights and weekends) lying drinking and milking time away from his responsibilities at home is making me sick to my stomach. Then, he says things like he needs more freedom! I feel like we are a burden to him, a kink in the lifestyle he wants. I am dedicated to this family, and want to make it work, but what do I do in the meantime? He ditches us at least once a week, twice I missed RCIA and I missed Mass on Good Friday because of his selfish choices. My oldest child and I have waited up for him twice because he is supposed to be home at a certain time and my daughter ends up falling asleep on my shoulder because he doesn’t show!! It’s one thing to lie to me (not okay, but I can handle it) but now it’s effecting our babies.

Help me please! Am I being to controlling/demanding? Is it too much to ask for him to be home with me and his kids when he’s not working? At least most of the time? Isn’t that how responsible parents are supposed to act?


You’ve no obligation to marry him. If you didn’t “have to” marry him before you had children, you certainly don’t “have to” marry him now. I think you need to do a lot of praying and a lot of talking to your priest about WHY you should/shouldn’t marry this man. Marriage certainly isn’t going to change HIM, but it will certainly change things for you - and that change may NOT be for the best. Look at the way things are right now… is this how you want to spend the rest of your life?


Hi OregonKim,

I think that you alone can answer the question of whether or not this man is the person with whom you will vow before God to love and cherish for the rest of your life. I would definitely meet with your Priest, both alone and as a couple. Based on what you’ve written, I am unsure as to whether your fiance is able at this point to vow to a sacramental marriage. I would like to comment on two things that stood out to me in your post.

First, one of the most important roles that a husband plays is in doing his best to help his wife get to Heaven. It does not sound like your fiance is in a place yet where he can be your spiritual support or leader of your family. Marriage with another Catholic can be challenging. Marriage with a practicing Protestant is also challenging. Marriage with a non-practicing, un-baptized “believer” would be even more difficult. But by adding his other current struggles of alcoholism, immaturity and untruthfulness really makes the challenge seem unsurmountable.

Second, if your fiance is still struggling with alchoholism, my understanding is that the treatment programs do not recommend getting into a relationship, esp. a marriage, until achieving at least one year of sobriety. Since he is actively drinking and struggles with this as an addiction, I am unsure as to why you would want him to be your spouse.

Things do not get easier once you are married. Marriage is difficult enough without these extra burdens. I hope he can get the help he needs and begin making more mature, faith-filled decisions in the interest of your children. It may be that the answer to your marriage dilemna is not “No” but rather “Not right now.”

Congratulations on your recent conversion and welcome to the family of Catholic believers. I will keep you, your children, and your fiance in my prayers.


What others said. Confession can fix the co-habitation thing rather than marriage. Your choices from what you have described (Big red disclaimer: I am assuming everything is exactly as you say. I don’t know the fiance’s side of the story) are: end the engagement, boot the boyfriend out of the house and abstain from sex with anyone, and confess. Or, you can abstain from sex until the time of marriage (still need to confess), and marry him (I think you might need dispensation) and endure and pray he eventually pulls his head out of his derrier. **This is a choice that needs to be made NOW. **No one likes ultimatums–giving or receiving, but that’s the way it is. Or I suppose another choice is that you can pretend that none of it matters and just go on in life-sucking status quo. I can’t in good conscience recommend that last option. I will pray for you.


Alcohol is a huge red flag in the preparation for marriage. Consider delaying the date or calling off the date altogether until you are 100% satisfied that he can eliminate his abusive and addictive behaviors.

You have several choices here:

  1. You can continue this relationship into marriage as-is. This historically means the problem will most likely get worse, and his behavior towards you and the kids will get worse.

  2. You can delay the marriage for as long as needed, until you feel that he has developed, resolved issues, come to an agreement, whatever. This could take a couple years.

  3. You can call off the engagement and break up with him.

Knowing only what you have told me in your post, I would personally choose #3. Alcoholism in a husband, with kids, is a horrible situation. The abuse your kids will experience, even indirectly, is something no mother would wish upon her kids, and you are at a point in your life where you can faithfully choose not to put your kids in this situation.

Breaking an engagement is not the same as divorce.


I would, if I were you, give a serious thought to NOT marry this guy. I know you probably want him, the father of your children, around your kids, but the fact that he’s alcoholic and not trying to recover is more damaging to your children. It would be better for the children to have a SAFE household with one parent than a dangerous one with two.

Prayers for you and your family. :gopray2:



Welcome to the Church! It is truly your new family.

Sounds like you are in a tough situation. It is never wrong to expect honestly, truthfulness and devotion from a future spouse. Do not think otherwise.

Next, also know that you can’t change him. Yes, he can change, especially with grace, but he has to want to change.

You might want to try

if you specific support to determine whether or not to continue this relationship, you will get a lot of good support there.

Best wishes,


this whole thing reminds me of my ex husband… he was exactly the same way…
believe me, once you are married, he will want even more “freedom” and it will make u miserable…
if he cant handle the responsibility now, he definitly wont be able to in the future… things will not change and you will not have a choice then as you have now to walk away…

please take some time off from this relationship and evaluate… i realise that might be difficult as u have 2 kids… but it is better for the kids to be with one stable parent than an unstable household… he will be a very bad influence on them…


Why would you want to marry someone who lies to you?


why are you considering marrying a man who neither respects you, himself or your children and why are you still living with him? your first attention should be to your own spiritual and material welfare and that of your children. You are putting them in danger, as well as yourself, by choosing to live in this destructive situation. Remove yourself and your children from this downward spiral, put your own life in order and put your interests and theirs first, which entails as your first priority putting your own spiritual house in order. I would say this in love to a daughter in your situation and since you asked for advice I am giving it to you. Take it or leave it, but remember the consequences of your life choices are borne by your children as well as yourself.


You and your babies deserve better…it is time to move on. :frowning: If things change, you could end up happily married to him someday, but not until your fiance has started to try to change…and stayed changed for a good period of time. :thumbsup:

Welcome to the church! My prayers are with you.


Please Please reconsider marriage. My first husband was an alcoholic when I married him. The marriage was annulled eighteen years and two children later. Both my children have been terribly hurt and carry scars from this. Drug and alcohol abuse, relationship problems, mental illness to name a few.

Take care of yourself and your precious babies first last and always!!!

I am praying for you.


Thank for all your answers, I appreciate you taking time to help me.

It’s easy to say “leave him”. But how can I just walk away? I know we aren’t technically married, but I have poured my heart and soul into this as a wife (even if he hasn’t had the same devotion, and perhaps that’s part of the problem) and I think walking away would be giving up. Aren’t I supposed to help him? Aren’t I supposed to be his rock? How can I just give up what we have (a family) because he has issues. I’m not perfect…I know that you are all probably so right, I just can’t bring myself to accept it…

Thanks again for your help, much love and my God bless you.


But, what do you mean by help? If you continue to stay in his life, and accept his behavior, is that helping him?

When a person is grappling with a serious issue, such as abusive behavior or alcohol addiction, the “other” person often falls into a pattern of protecting and defending. This can slow down his healing, or even cause him to get worse.

Maybe taking the kids, finding a safe place to stay and telling him he needs to stop will be the best help in his life. A lot of people who have recovered from addictions and abusive relationships usually mention that nothing got better until the other person got tough.


Sorry for my ME, ME, ME talk, But I included marrying him as one of your options. My larger point is that that the status quo is unacceptable, which you know. Marry him or boot him yesterday and get off the fence. In either case, no more sex with him as long as you are unmarried. Speak with a priest.


How can you help him by enabling him to do whatever he likes at the expense of you and your children?

More than likely, the best thing for him will be to lose you as a result of his poor choices, which will hopefully steer him toward a path of recovery.

It won’t be easy, but based on what you’re saying, it would be the best thing for all of you.



How can you do it? It is what you need to do, for yourself, for your children, and even for him. Do not let this go on and on. You have tried and tried. You have been with him for how long? He has had ample opportunity to change. It is up to him. You can’t make things better for him. It absolutely has to come from him.

I tried and tried, spent my whole adult life, from age 17 to 39 with such a man and had 4 children with him. I should have stopped trying to make it work long before I left. Do everyone a favor and make that tough choice now. You are absolutely doing him no favors by making it easy and consequence free to carry on with his destructive lifestyle. Don’t make your children pay the price of growing up in an alcoholic family.

Please do speak to your priest about this and do seek some support from groups like al-anon. You really do have the strength to change.


With all due respect - you are NOT a wife. You are a girlfriend. That’s all. There is no sacrament there. Do you have a lot invested in this? Sure you do. But that’s the past. Now you are moving forward, and you need to look to the future.

Read the title you chose for this discussion. Do you want that to read “Lying, Drinking Husband” in a couple of years and be here asking us what to do then?

You need to be concerned about getting your soul, the souls of your children, and that of your husband to heaven. Your husband (whoever that may end up to be) has that same obligation to you. Do you feel that THIS MAN is the best choice to help you get to heaven? Because if you can’t say an unqualified YES to that, then you need to start thinking about another plan that involves being out of this relationship.

No one said it would be easy. No one said being a Catholic would be easy - not even Jesus Himself.




That is why I recommended the forum that I did on my previous post. It will take strength and courage to break free from this, and if it is how you describe it, then it is not healthy.

Hang in there!!




First, you’re his girlfriend, not his wife. There are absolutely no ties that bind you to him, and your relationship with him certainly isn’t sacramental.

Second, marriage does matter, and it does make a difference in how you should go about doing things. Marriage is way more than “just a piece of paper.”

Third, you have a family with your children - based on what you’ve shared, he doesn’t sound like he’s much of a part of your family at all.

Fourth, it takes more than sperm donation to make a man a father.

Fifth, attend a few Al-Anon meetings and learn the difference between “helping” and “enabling.”

Sixth, and finally, you cannot change him. He has to change himself, and actions speak much louder than words.

I will pray for you, because you are neither facing an easy decision, nor an easy life should you choose to stay with him.

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