Marriage/ children / advice?


I am twenty one years old currently on my way to graduating from college. I have been with my boyfriend for a little over a year and a half. He’s twenty two. We talk about marriage often and we both know that we are going to get married someday. I have always wanted to get married by the age of 25. He is christian and i am catholic. and for the majority of my life i have not been very religious but as of the past year i have been making an effort to be more devoted to going to church reading the bible and so on and so forth. I very much like the way I am living my life and this is where me and my boyfriend find our differences. He does believe in god. Yet he does not go to church read the bible pray and so on and so forth. I do love him with all of my heart but when we discuss how we would raise our children… catholic or christian. its always

“well im never stepping foot in a catholic church and our children will be raised christian.”

I do not wish to live a life where i am shut out from my own family. when my future husband doesnt practice his own religion but refuses to embrace and accept mine. has anyone had this problem? and if not what is your advice.

I feel like i am on my own. My family doesnt practice there religion and so i am alone with no one to turn to for advice.


This is a tough one. My first answer is you should seek a Catholic priest, deacon, etc. Maybe somebody involved in pre-cana. I did not have this epxerience. My wife and I were both non-practicing Catholics when we got married. We’re now fully practicing Catholics as of about 2 years ago and we’ve been married 19 years.
I’m trying to think what I would do in this case. You certainly have to honor your faith. If that means going to Mass without him and any future children - I guess you have to do it - unless it would endanger yourself, him or the children. I don’t know, I’m feeling like I’m speaking out of turn here.
Let me speak about something I can pass on - and all of this comes from Fr. Corapi - make sure you truly love him and he truly loves you. Make sure you and he know what love is. Our English language has just the one word - love - but we use it with very different meanings - I love pizza, I love this forum, I love my dog. But what is married love? Look at a crucifix - total self donation, self sacrificing love, the kind of love that pours itself out and doesn’t count the cost. The Greek word for this type of love is agape. If you love someone, don’t you want the highest and best thing for that person? There might be more than one definition of this type of love but most people agree with this. And what would this thing be? Nice house, dog, children - all good but what else? And people say, what else is there? The answer - how about heaven - do you desire heaven for the one you’re going to spend the rest of your lfie with? Are you willing to do anything to get them there? Husbands, are you willing to give up anything to get your wife to heaevn? Wives are you willing to do anything to get your husband there? And these are Fr. Corapi’s exact words - "For if you’re not, then you don’t know what love is."
I know this is stark and hard. But use it to give some thought. He goes on to say, love is not merely a feeling or an emotion. It’s not chemistry - that can blow up. It’s not feelings because those are up one day and down the next. He says love is a decision.
Sorry for dumping all this on you. But I think they are good questions to ask yourselves.


What are his specific objections to Catholicism? He sounds like he feels quite strongly about it. If he thinks the Pope is the Antichrist, than it is logical that he wouldn’t want his kids raised Catholic, but you have bigger issues to work out.

Also - for one parent to absolutely forbid something relating to the kids is pretty strong, if the other parent disagrees. It really should only happen in unusual circumstances. Does this reflect his general attitude toward gender roles in a marriage, or is he just inclined to speak in a very assured/definite way about things?


+ :slight_smile: Here’s a super Catholic online website . . . they can probably very helpfully answer each of your questions and concerns . . . based on lots of experience with lots of couples . . . from a variety of backgrounds . . . They welcome all contacts . . . and they did a super interview with Father Mark on the new . . . Life on the Rock. . . television show . . . on the . . . ** Catholic EWTN cable television network **. . . not long back . . . check your TV listing . . . they may have it set to rerun . . . and . . . if I’m remembering correctly . . . all these are on-line for watching if you go to the ** **website . . .

Your questions and concerns are an excellent place to start in your contact with them . . . they have some delightful :clapping: marriage materials which both you and your potential husband might enjoy . . . whether he is Catholic or not . . .

A gentle suggestion . . . ***as a beloved Catholic child of God ***. . . you need to draw even closer to our **Wonderful Lord **during this special time of your life . . . since the extraordinarily important decisions you are making now will affect the rest of your life . . .

If you haven’t already up to this point . . . the best next step for you in your search for wisdom and understanding about marriage and children . . . would be for you find a healthy . . . Roman Catholic Church with a good holy priest . . . and begin attending **Holy Mass **regularly . . . so that you can enter into learning . . . and experiencing first hand. . . more . . . in-depth . . . about the great goodness and holy kindness of our . . . **Wonderful Loving God **. . . and His loving ways for us as His children . . . And talk with the priest there . . . he can be a . . . **wonderful friend to have **. . . at a time like this in your life . . . as you seek wisdom and God’s purpose and pathway for your life today and for your future . . . Even as you studied in college in a particular field toward a particular goal of a degree in that field . . . it is very wise of you to seek wisdom and knowledge about marriage and the raising of children before you make decisions regarding same for your life . . . and the Church is the place to go for help in this regard . . . If you make it a personal goal to learn and grow in your Faith . . . and to learn and grow in your understanding Christian marriage and the raising of children as your Church practices and teaches . . . your life will be wonderfully blest . . . and you will find the guidance you need for the future ahead of you . . .

*May the Lord bless and keep you both . . . and draw you closer in His love . . . *

"Direct me in thy truth,
and teach me;
for thou art
God my Saviour;
and on thee have I waited
all the day long."
Psalm 24:5[25:5]
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Holy Mother Mary+
. . . cover this dear child with your Holy Mantle+
. . . thank you Lord Jesus+


I know that alot of people ‘convert’ to their spouses religion once they are married. but in this case neither one of us will… I practice my religion yet he does not. So this is all very confusing for me. He will not attend church with me at all. Im a very supportive and am trying to encourage him to attend church (and go with him every once in a while) even if its not mine… I am willing to swallow my pride and do this FOR HIM. Yet he will not for me.

As being the one in the relationship that actually practices then I dont see why our future children shouldnt be raised catholic. When it comes to this issue overall. he just tends to be stubborn and doesnt see it as an issue bc he figures he is going to get his way. And as his future spouse I thinnk there should be some middleground. And I dont know how to break the ice.


As a Catholic there are a lot of things you can’t give way on and sacrifice.It’s one thing to swallow pride its quite another thing to turn your back on your responsibilities as a Catholic. One of those is raising your children. Catholics promise to do everything in their power to raise their children Catholic. You are talking about creating children with someone who says absolutely not. This is a deal breaker. As painful as this is. This is a man who will not respect the church or the God who you have a relationship with. How about the wedding. Where is that going to be? Is he willing to take the pre-marriage classes with you , practice NFP with you , limit some of the sexual practices that protestants often allow with you ?

One of the main reasons to get married is that you believe this person is the one person in the world who will help you transform into the best person that God wants you to be. We believe that this person will help us get to heaven. Do you really see this man doing this with his attitude? Is he going to support your life as a Catholic? Support your life with the Sacraments? Doesn’t really look that way. Your life as a Catholic is in grave danger with this relationship.

Be glad he is being honest, wish him well and tell him goodbye.


Well, no you don’t “know” this for a fact. You seem to making choices that will lead you into marriage with this man, but you could equally make choices that do not do so.

I would suggest you focus less on arbitrary timelines, and more on the qualities that you should bring to a marriage as a wife-- such as continuing to grow in holiness as you have been doing-- and the qualities a future spouse should have for you to consider marrying them.

Step back from this person who you think you love right now.

Step back and look at the vision you have for your future family. Does this vision include going to Mass together? Worshiping God together? Raising your children in unity and harmony? Growing in holiness together, continuing to grow and learn about God and embracing Jesus more fully every day?

Not sure why you have made a distinction in this way. Catholics *are *Christians.

So, as you envision your future life and that of your future family, is this the type of spouse you want to have? One who “believes” in God but has a dead faith that does not inform how he lives his life? Do you want a husband who models holiness for his children or do you want one one who doesn’t pray, go to church, read the bible, or support you in the practice of your faith? What is it that is most important to you? Marrying *this *man, or marrying a *holy *man?

Marriage is a vocation to holiness. If we are called to marriage as Christians it is to work together toward Heaven and to raise up future saints when we have children.

It sounds to me like you are growing in holiness and are finding out that the person who you have invested a lot of time and energy on-- and become emotionally attached to-- isn’t doing the same and has no interest in doing so.

Again, it’s all about choices. You can choose to go into a marriage knowing that you will be alone in the practice of your faith. Or you can choose (what I would consider) the better path of waiting to find the man God wants you to grow in holiness WITH.

Catholics have an *obligation *to raise their children Catholic. A man who has no intention of going to Church, and yet makes demands that I not raise my children in the faith I practice, is not a person I would ever consider marrying. This man obviously has beliefs about the Catholic Church that lead him to believe it is (a) not Christian and (b) not something he ever wants to be involved in. He recoils from Catholicism. How is that not recoiling from who you are?

I think you have already figured out that this is exactly the kind of life you would live if you choose to move forward knowing what you know about this man, how he views his own faith life, and how he views yours. You have free will. You can choose to marry him. But, you better look twice before you leap into such a marriage.


I would not consider any man to be the father of my children if he did not agree to allow the children to be raised Catholic. Some things cannot be compromised. :nope:


It is because of exactly this that the Church counsels against “mixed” marriages–that is Catholics marrying someone of another faith or Christian practice. I know that you love your boyfriend, but I would strongly caution you against setting up any kind of mental timeline (marriage by 25) because of this huge difference in your lives.

It will be extremely difficult to attend 2 different churches–even before you have children. And if your boyfriend isn’t attending his own services now, or praying or studying, you will find that you are pulling further apart.

Please speak to the priest at your current parish or university and ask about activites for evangalization that you can bring your boyfriend to. Also, please allow yourself to consider the idea that he is not the man that God has in mind for you. I will be praying for you.


This is very bad news. There is no middle ground here. The Catholic church has the fullness of the truth and is the church that Jesus founded. You cannot “swallow your pride” over this.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”


This is a big problem, bigger than the issue of raising your Children in religion. Your boyfriend is being very disrespectful of you and your religious belief. It is important to you and he realizes it; but he is either refusing to explain the reasons for his opinion, or he is asserting himself without any reasons. Neither bodes well. If he would tell you his concerns, you might be able to address them or come to some accommodation. But he is preventing that, and a marriage with such a person will not work.

Mixed marriages can work, but they are hard, they require both partners to give way to the requirements of the other, and the details need to be discussed before the wedding. An example is the spouse of the priest at the local Anglican Church is RC. The kids attend both, but are doing all the “official” sacramental stuff as Roman Catholic. They have a good working understanding of both denominations. When they are adults, they will obviously decide how they want to identify themselves.

I would tell him - as a Catholic there are certain things you need to do, like be married in the Church, or bring your Children up in the Church. There are certain ways you can compromise (eg they can attend his church too), but you need to discuss it to know if it can work, or if you both need to look at moving on.


You are very fortunate in that your boyfriend has shown you honestly what he will be like if you marry. Some people hide their true selves until after marriage, pretending to be nice and reasonable, and then bring out what they are really like after it is too late.

But you know exactly what you are getting yourself into if you should marry your boyfriend - it will be exactly like you describe your relationship now. He will not practice his religion and still hate Catholicism and your faithfulness to it. Nothing major is going to change if you should get married.

So you have to decide if the battles you are facing now is how you want to live the rest of your life, and how you want to raise your children. You have all the facts – you just need to make the decision, and stick with the consequences.


thank you for your adivice. I do believe mixed marriages can work.

’ When they are adults, they will obviously decide how they want to identify themselves.’

I have talked over with my boyfriend and actually did come to an arangment so thank you.


And how much did you give up to reach it? We know he wasn’t going to compromise…


*I agree with those that suggest this could be a deal breaker–refusing to raise the kids Catholic, etc.

I would never compromise my faith for a man. This might be a cross roads for you–in this relationship. Sometimes, we are given opportunities to see clearly into the future…this is one of those times. Imagine 5 to 10 years into marriage, and you are still compromising…and pretty soon, you are splitting your time and your kids’ time between churches. Some people convert into Catholicism, because it is such a beautiful faith–but it doesn’t sound like your bf is even open to the idea…sounds like he has disdain for The Roman Catholic Church, for whatever reason.

I would reflect…do you want to spend your marriage compromising your faith, to please a man? And how can you get married in the Catholic Church if he has such disdain for it? I think you have much to pray over…I will pray that God enlightens you to do the very best thing. God bless :heart:

niellehearts…and I believe that mixed marriages can ‘work.’ But I want a marriage that does more than suffice, or ‘work.’ I believe that if two people are going in opposite directions with their respective faiths, there isn’t full unity in the marriage. It’s not like a hobby, or something along those lines…if a person is devoutly Catholic, having a spouse who has disdain for the faith will be a challenge, and will prevent full unity between the two. Just my opinion. *


“well im never stepping foot in a catholic church and our children will be raised christian.”

Are you willing to never let your future children experience the fullness of the truth?
Will you sacrifice not baptizing them into Christ as babies?
Will he expect you to contracept? Are you willing to risk your own soul in doing this?

You are only 21. He is not the last man on earth. I am not trying to be harsh, but you will be living in a spiritual prison if you marry this man.


What agreement did you come to so quickly?


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