Marriage Question

#21

[quote="lizaanne, post:20, topic:201606"]
Yes - every marriage is considered valid until/unless a Marriage Tribunal determines otherwise.

You must be open to life. You can not contracept - this would not be seen as a grave reason such as possible death due to pregnancy or transfer of disease, that would warrant the use of NFP as birth control. I am not one to advise you on NFP, there are others here who know far more than I on the subject.

Talk to a different priest. Someone who is not wishy washy and will help you with this situation. You need to trust in God, that He will do what is right for you and your husband in this. Don't feel you are alone in this.

~Liza

[/quote]

Thank you for reassuring me about our marriage being valid. I always worry about that. :o

Oh heaven's no we'd not use contraception if our life depended on it. :nope: But I thought that the "problem" would be solved by not having children. Since we seem to be naturally infertile, this wouldn't be too difficult.

I just feel so awful, like I've committed some horrible sin and that all my confessions and communions made for the past 5 years are some how invalid/sacrilegious.

I am VERY scrupulous and have severe OCD, in case you couldn't tell already. ;)

0 Likes

#22

You have committed no sin as you are talking about the future.

It is vital that you resolve this with your husband before kids are brought into the equation. You believe in the one true Faith so forget what you promised or what the priest badly advised you. You need to worry about God first, husband second. If he is the one God intended for you, he will understand that by you sending your kids off to his church , you are comprimising your faith by confusing your children as to what is the one true Faith.

My advice would be to talk together with a more prudent priest and if your husband is insistent, then you have to make the hard decision because your children being brought up in One true Faith is more important than anything your husband wants.

Hope this helps.

0 Likes

#23

[quote="Yes2Prudence, post:22, topic:201606"]
You have committed no sin as you are talking about the future.

It is vital that you resolve this with your husband before kids are brought into the equation. You believe in the one true Faith so forget what you promised or what the priest badly advised you. You need to worry about God first, husband second. If he is the one God intended for you, he will understand that by you sending your kids off to his church , you are comprimising your faith by confusing your children as to what is the one true Faith.

My advice would be to talk together with a more prudent priest and if your husband is insistent, then you have to make the hard decision because your children being brought up in One true Faith is more important than anything your husband wants.

Hope this helps.

[/quote]

So if he doesn't agree to letting me raise the children catholic, I shouldn't have married him and thus I would have to leave him? :confused: :(

We've been infertile so far, but might make more of an effort to try to avoid through NFP so that this issue, hopefully God willing, doesn't come up. This is a huge step in a direction we never thought we'd go. Originally we wanted as many children as God would give us. Now, we are praying for Him to send His blessings to others in better situations and who are more deserving.

0 Likes

#24

This is really a tough case.

You posted quite a bit just recently in the thread on "The Rise and Fall of Interfaith Marriages" in defense of Catholic-Protestant marriages, so it is ironic to see this new thread.

I think that in general, marriages between practicing Catholics and Protestants can work out just fine and thrive - until children come along. That is where the disagreements and the troubles begin.

I really hate to say this, but your infertility might actually be providential. Like you said in the other thread, your case is not the ideal, but God has permitted it. Perhaps he permitted the infertility as well so your marriage would be more harmonious?

Anyway, I do not think you should practice NFP to avoid pregnancy, necessarily, but I also do not think you should be adopting as long as this remains an issue (and it probably always will).

I'll keep you in prayer. But you should really see an orthodox (but charitable) priest or spiritual director about your situation. I have struggled in the past with a serious case of scrupulosity too - so I know where you're coming from.

0 Likes

#25

Yes, your husband seems to have taken a stand on your prior agreement, and the two of you are at an impasse now. But things can change; circumstances can change people’s hearts. You are still several years away from this even being a possible issue for your family, and who knows what will happen in the meantime? Or how God may work on your husband’s heart? And it’s not even as if he’s said that the kids can’t be raised Catholic or anything like that. And…you want to have children so much, so I’d really hate to see you take any kind of drastic measures right now based on a possible conflict that might come up in the future. Not to mention the fact that you’re obviously very emotional right now (as you’ve pointed out) and being on an emotional roller coaster is NOT the time to be making drastic decisions. (IMO starting to use NFP to avoid because of this possible future issue would be drastic and imprudent.)

0 Likes

#26

You haven’t sinned; you were married in the Church, you are not contracepting, and there are no kids involved!

You keep bringing up the prior arrangements but I will again reiterate that it is more important that you follow God’s will in this (raising your future children Catholic) than follow arrangements that you made under poor advice. I consider THAT contract null and void, not your marriage contract. You signed a paper saying you would take them to protestant services, but now you have come to a deeper understanding of the Truth and are aware that you received inaccurate advice. Keep in mind that you are serving God by living out your vocation. I am sure you husband would understand if you sat down with a priest and talked about it.

There is no difference from diocese to diocese. Every priest should be telling every couple that any children resulting from the marriage are to be raised Catholic. Break out your Catechism. It is in there.

0 Likes

#27

[quote="Michael_Saint, post:24, topic:201606"]
Anyway, I do not think you should practice NFP to avoid pregnancy, necessarily, but I also do not think you should be adopting as long as this remains an issue (and it probably always will).

[/quote]

But it might not be an issue in the future. Right now prolifewife's husband is still protestant but she said that he goes to Mass with her most of the time, and doesn't even attend his own church faithfully. A lot of the time people are real adament about things when they are dealing in far-off, hypothetical situations. It looks to me just as likely that he could soften his position later on, if/when they actually do ever have children.

And again, as I just said above (sorry for being redundant), her husband has agreed that the children will be raised Catholic. The only issue is he's saying (now) that he still wants them to also attend a protestant church. I could be wrong of course, but I don't think that this is as dire a situation as some (including the OP) are making it out to be.

OP: stop thinking about using NFP to avoid and stop thinking about all these different scenarios and situations that might come up that would cause you to leave your husband. You're just making youself more anxious and sad over nothing.

0 Likes

#28

[quote="prolifewife, post:23, topic:201606"]
So if he doesn't agree to letting me raise the children catholic, I shouldn't have married him and thus I would have to leave him? :confused: :(

We've been infertile so far, but might make more of an effort to try to avoid through NFP so that this issue, hopefully God willing, doesn't come up. This is a huge step in a direction we never thought we'd go. Originally we wanted as many children as God would give us. Now, we are praying for Him to send His blessings to others in better situations and who are more deserving.

[/quote]

God Bless You.

You certainly dont have to leave your beloved. You simply MUST let him know that if children come, you will not allow them to go to his Church, as it is against your Faith and if that means annullment then so be it, but that;s obviously the last resort.If he makes you choose between what God wants and what he wants then you know the answer, as hard as it may be.

You cannot bank on NFP 'cause we did that and we alraedy have two kids , lol. Plus, it sounds like you want to have kids and not having kids to avoid this confrontation will only make you bitter towards your husband later on.To choose not to have kids out of fear is not the right decision. Nip it in the bud, talk with him with a GOOD priest and pray a 54 day Novena that he will see reason. Its soooooooooo powerful.!!!

All the best to you both.

0 Likes

#29

People have posted some very definitive opinions against the original agreement the op made when married, but I haven’t seen any quotes from Canon Law, etc. supporting these opinions. I’d love to see these, if they exist.

From the way things appear, the op was validly married in the Church, and permission was given for any children resulting from the union to attend services with the father, while receiving the Sacraments and a strictly Catholic religious education. This isn’t ideal, but it was/is allowed. There’s no reason for the op to go against her word to her husband or to avoid having children.

My husband’s brother is in a similar situation. They married in the Church and they attend, as a family, both the wife’s services and Holy Mass. They have 1 child, who is baptized in the Faith and will receive a Catholic education. Its not ideal, but it works for them. The catholic parent may have to work extra hard, but attending services in another church alongside Mass is not going to condemn the child to lose their faith.

0 Likes

#30

[quote="ac_claire, post:27, topic:201606"]
OP: stop thinking about using NFP to avoid and stop thinking about all these different scenarios and situations that might come up that would cause you to leave your husband. You're just making youself more anxious and sad over nothing.

[/quote]

Sorry prolifewife, for the "over nothing" comment. I post in haste sometimes, before thinking it through. I'm gonna also go ahead and blame my hormones here as well, while I still can. ;) Obviously your sadness and anxiety is not over "nothing"....Again, I could be wrong, but I just suspect that the situation may not be as dire as you and some other posters are thinking, that's all.

0 Likes

#31

[quote="ac_claire, post:25, topic:201606"]
Yes, your husband seems to have taken a stand on your prior agreement, and the two of you are at an impasse now. But things can change; circumstances can change people's hearts. You are still several years away from this even being a possible issue for your family, and who knows what will happen in the meantime? Or how God may work on your husband's heart? And it's not even as if he's said that the kids can't be raised Catholic or anything like that. And...you want to have children so much, so I'd really hate to see you take any kind of drastic measures right now based on a possible conflict that might come up in the future. Not to mention the fact that you're obviously very emotional right now (as you've pointed out) and being on an emotional roller coaster is NOT the time to be making drastic decisions. (IMO starting to use NFP to avoid because of this possible future issue would be drastic and imprudent.)

[/quote]

[quote="ac_claire, post:27, topic:201606"]
But it might not be an issue in the future. Right now prolifewife's husband is still protestant but she said that he goes to Mass with her most of the time, and doesn't even attend his own church faithfully. A lot of the time people are real adament about things when they are dealing in far-off, hypothetical situations. It looks to me just as likely that he could soften his position later on, if/when they actually do ever have children.

And again, as I just said above (sorry for being redundant), her husband has agreed that the children will be raised Catholic. The only issue is he's saying (now) that he still wants them to also attend a protestant church. I could be wrong of course, but I don't think that this is as dire a situation as some (including the OP) are making it out to be.

OP: stop thinking about using NFP to avoid and stop thinking about all these different scenarios and situations that might come up that would cause you to leave your husband. You're just making youself more anxious and sad over nothing.

[/quote]

[quote="ac_claire, post:30, topic:201606"]
Sorry prolifewife, for the "over nothing" comment. I post in haste sometimes, before thinking it through. I'm gonna also go ahead and blame my hormones here as well, while I still can. ;) Obviously your sadness and anxiety is not over "nothing"....Again, I could be wrong, but I just suspect that the situation may not be as dire as you and some other posters are thinking, that's all.

[/quote]

Thank you for your hopeful outlook. This is very kind of you! :hug3: I keep trying to hope for the best too, but after this I think he's more turned off Catholicism than ever. :(

We have only two options as far as I see. 1. Get an annulment. 2. Not adopt or have biological children. I think number 2 is a better option than number 1. :shrug:

You are very sweet to us and I thank you so much for your kind, gentle, hopeful input on this thread. :hug3:

0 Likes

#32

[quote="Yes2Prudence, post:28, topic:201606"]
God Bless You.

You certainly dont have to leave your beloved. You simply MUST let him know that if children come, you will not allow them to go to his Church, as it is against your Faith and if that means annullment then so be it, but that;s obviously the last resort.If he makes you choose between what God wants and what he wants then you know the answer, as hard as it may be.

You cannot bank on NFP 'cause we did that and we alraedy have two kids , lol. Plus, it sounds like you want to have kids and not having kids to avoid this confrontation will only make you bitter towards your husband later on.To choose not to have kids out of fear is not the right decision. Nip it in the bud, talk with him with a GOOD priest and pray a 54 day Novena that he will see reason. Its soooooooooo powerful.!!!

All the best to you both.

[/quote]

My husband will not budge on our previous agreement. He also said he would rather not have children than get an annulment/divorce.

We actually can pretty much bank on NFP. We are very infertile and NFP would only make us more so. We could probably just use nothing and make it too. :o

I wouldn't be bitter to him about not having kids, because we already haven't been able to have them and I am already going through a whole slew of emotions because of it. If anything I am mad at myself. Sometimes I get upset with God over it, but then I just go back to being mad at myself. :o

0 Likes

#33

I agree with everything ac claire has said on this thread.

prolifewife,

I can see how pained you are by this situation, but let me say two things. I'm going to be blunt, though I hope not too blunt...:o

First, take annulment off the table and STOP discussing it with your husband! It is not an option for you, and even from all the things you have posted on CAF I can't imagine that you have grounds for annulment at all. It's not Catholic divorce; it is the statement that the marriage never happened. Your marriage DID happen, and you and your husband agreed beforehand to a certain arrangement regarding the raising of children. That arrangement, whether you want to keep it up when you have kids or not, does NOT call into question your marriage to your husband.

I can only imagine that it is hurting your marriage to keep bringing up the question of "is this the last straw? the final sign that we are not meant to be married to one another and that we should just get a divorce/annulment?" with your husband is not at all helping your marital problems. Have you two tried praying together, even though you have differences of belief? Focus on seeing one another as the gifts that you are to one another, and commit yourselves to the goal of helping to get one another to heaven, as that is the goal of marriage. How does having intense arguments about how you will raise the children you do not have help your marriage or help you get your husband to heaven?

Secondly, for your own well-being, perhaps it is best not to linger on these questions of how you will raise your hypothetical future children? As claire said, often people who are far, far away from a situation are able to have absolute feelings about what they would want to do in that situation, but when they are in the situation their feelings change. When you are pregnant or about to adopt, THEN you can seriously sit down with your husband and with your priest to discuss this specific issue. It does not sound like your husband is standing in the way of your raising the children Catholic, only that he wants to expose them to the faith he was raised with as well. So no, I don't this is really grounds to not have kids at all, either.

Have you found a new therapist and spiritual director? I will pray that you find professionals who are able to guide you through this time. God bless.

0 Likes

#34

[quote="prolifewife, post:31, topic:201606"]
Thank you for your hopeful outlook. This is very kind of you! :hug3: I keep trying to hope for the best too, but after this I think he's more turned off Catholicism than ever. :(

We have only two options as far as I see. 1. Get an annulment. 2. Not adopt or have biological children. I think number 2 is a better option than number 1. :shrug:

[/quote]

No, those aren't your only two options at all. If you go back and read the suggestions that have been posted throughout the thread, I think you might see that. It seems like maybe you're stuck on this idea of getting rid of the marriage or getting rid of your hope to ever have children. These are maybe the two most treasured things in your life! Think about this: nobody else who responded to your OP has agreed with you that you are stuck between these two choices. There has been a lot of advice and insight (some suggestions contradicting others), but it's all based on reasoning, personal experiences, or Church teaching. What's more likely-- that everyone else is wrong or that, maybe, you are? About these two awful extremes being your only options? (I hope that doesn't come off as being too harsh...that's the clearest way I could think of to say it. :o)

[quote="prolifewife, post:32, topic:201606"]
My husband will not budge on our previous agreement.

[/quote]

He says *he won't budge, *now. Who knows what will happen years down the road, when children are even a close possibility? (When you're pregnant for instance, or when you're about to go through with an adoption, etc.) You're still years away from this even being relevant to your situation. This is a good point that I think bears repeating:

[quote="Rach620, post:33, topic:201606"]
It does not sound like your husband is standing in the way of your raising the children Catholic, only that he wants to expose them to the faith he was raised with as well.

[/quote]

From the information you've given, this is NOT an issue of your husband refusing to let you raise any future children in the Church.

0 Likes

#35

Thank you so much Rach! Your post was very helpful and encouraging. :hug1:

With the help of a good priest we have come to a decision on this that I can be at peace with. We are going to not pursue adoption at this time, and we are deciding between abstaining during my most fertile days of the month, or continuing to trust God's plan with our natural infertility. We are doing this because my OCD is so severe right now. Father did not think I was healthy enough to have children right now. And while at first it was hard to take, my husband and I are finding peace in his answer. So this means the children's faith issue is non-existent for the time being. And I have lots more time to pray for my DH's conversion (and I pray that you all will pray too! :) .)

Hopefully one day (sooner than later I hope ;)), I will be healthy enough in mind and body to be a good Catholic mommy. But for now, I am finding, for the first time in my life, peace in my infertility. I see it now not as a punishment or God being mad at me, but God's loving will and providence for our personal situation. And I also know that if our attempts to abstain should happen to fail, that God meant for us to start down the parenting path sooner than we thought He did.

So yeah, much peace here. So much better than it was. Thank you all so very much for all your help and replies and prayers! You are a wonderful group of people. God bless you all! :hug3:

0 Likes

#36

:hug1: prolifewife, I'm glad to hear about your meeting with the priest, and that you have some peace with the course of action you've decided on for now. I think you're right on in leaving whether or not God gives you children right in His hands.

0 Likes

#37

I am so glad that you have arrived at a mutually acceptable agreement. I also want to commend you on being able to humble yourself before your priest and accept his opinion that your OCD right now would get in the way of parenting. That takes a lot of humility. God bless you and your husband.

0 Likes

#38

I'm glad you have found peace in your current state in life, prolifewife. You will continue to be in my prayers.
:hug1:

0 Likes

#39

Okay, so I finally scrounged up our old marriage preparation pamphlet. I am not crazy, at least not in this. :o It's all here in writing in "Together for Life." (by Joseph Champlin) I made this promise according to the norms of the church (at least in this book *says *are the norms :o) "I reaffirm my faith in Jesus Christ and, with God's help, intend to continue living that faith in the Catholic Church. I promise to do all in my power to share the faith I have received with our children by having them baptized and reared as Catholics."

So that is what I promised and signed to. The pamphlet continues "The partner who is not Roman Catholic neither signs papers nor is asked to make promises about bringing the children up Catholic. However, he or she naturally should be informed of and understand his spouse's obligations in this regard."

So...this confuses me all the more. It seems that the priest shouldn't have allowed the children to attend protestant services, but according to this, did nothing inherently wrong. :shrug: My husband didn't have to sign anything or make any promises. II sure hope we are legitimately married. Please be kind I have severe OCD. :o

0 Likes

#40

I also found this in ask an apologist. Michelle Arnold confirms that the protestant no longer has to make a promise or sign a document. Only the catholic party does. This is how it was presented to me in my former parish. So I guess the form is valid. No need to worry there. Still don't exactly no how to deal with the other issue. :o

0 Likes

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.