Me & my non catholic girlfriend


#1

Hi all, this my first post in this forum, I hope this is the correct section for my post and I’m sorry for my bad English.

Here is my story;
I’m currently 26 and dating a protestant girl; if I’m not mistaken, her church is a Reformed denomination.

I’m thinking of marrying her in 1 or 2 more years from now and I really hope that she can convert to catholic before the marriage.

The problem is, she is not willing to convert; she never asks me to convert to her religion either.
She doesn’t mind to marry me even if our religion is not same. She is thinking something like this “our religion is different and so be it”.:(

I tried talked to her and discuss about our faith, and it goes to arguing each other.
I gave her many books about catholic faith, conversion story, etc but it seems it doesn’t change any of her perspective.
I thought that her rejection of her conversion is not only because of the faith, but also because of her family and friends. Maybe she is feeling guilty to her society, when she converts to Catholic.

How to encourage her about this situation??

I cannot think any other way to make her convert. All I can do is pray; almost in each of my prayer in the last 2 years of my relationship with her, I did pray for her, hoping that she can open her heart for Catholicism. I will continue doing this and I really need your help also to pray for her.

I don’t want to and cannot force her to convert but I really want her to come to Catholicism.

I did have told her about marriage in Catholic; that we have to promise to raise our children in Catholic faith. She actually has no problem with that, but I’m still worried that our future children will get confused in their faith.

Now, almost every Sunday morning we go to Catholic Church and right after that we continue to her church.
When I said that I don’t to go to her church, she also said that she doesn’t want to come to Catholic Church with me.
So I’m thinking, I will accompany her to her church so that at least she can come and see the mass in Catholic Church.

Am I doing the right thing?:shrug:

If by the planned time of our marriage come and she is not yet convert to Catholicism, what should I do? Should we continue with the marriage?

For any Catholic in this forum who is converted from Protestantism, could you share a little bit of your story?

What makes you willing to convert?
And what is your suggestion for me to do? Have I done the right thing?

Thanks before for any of your answer.
Sincerely,
Ndu


#2

Welcome!

This is a common question on CAF. Unfortunately I cannot give you any positive suggestions. I do not think that you should consider marrying a non-Catholic and I think you should stop pressuring her to convert. You said that it causes arguments - she is obviously not open to converting at this time. Take her word for it and start letting go of your expectation that she will convert.

You hope, you want, you are planning for her to become a Catholic. Think, Ndu, if she never converts, do you still want to marry her? Knowing that there will be many things you will not be able to share with her? Knowing that she may want to teach your children HER faith? Knowing that she may have a very different belief about birth control and/or abortion?

You say, “I cannot think any other way to make her convert.” You are not going to make her convert. How would you like it if someone wanted to MAKE you convert?

My advice is to start letting go of her. And find a Catholic girl to go out with. And to discern marriage with. Being the same faith is one of the things that you search for!


#3

Welcome!

I agree with TheRealJulianne on several points, but not all.

First of all, I agree that you cannot make anyone else convert. You just can't do it. and if you try too hard, you can make her dislike Catholicism. It is OK to say that you are willing to talk if she ever wants to, and you can pray a lot. But since even God won't force someone to convert, certainly we can't do it.

If you just aren't willing to marry a non-Catholic, you really shouldn't be dating one. If you aren't willing to marry your girlfriend even if she doesn't convert, you should break it off.

I am a little less pessimistic than TheRealJulianne about whether you could have a successful marriage, though. If she is a devout member of a Reformed church, she may have the same thoughts about life issues (like contraception and abortion) that you do. You need to find out for sure, and if she does not have the same views that you have, you really do have to break it off. Otherwise she might kill a child of yours, and you might not ever know! But if all of the following are true, you might have a good shot:

[LIST]
*]she does agree with you about contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and related issues
*]she believes that Christ should be the center of each of your lives as well as the center of your marriage
*]she REALLY understands that your children will be Catholic ONLY (not Catholic and Protestant too), meaning that probably in their chilhood they should not attend any Protestant church except for weddings, funerals, and that sort of thing
[/LIST]

If any of the above are not true, it is really likely that your marriage would have a big chance of being unhappy.

Even if they are all true, it does make life a lot harder. In the most important part of your life, there will be some separation between you, possibly always. You yourself may be tempted to unite your family by giving in and joining her church. (You may not think so now, but wait until you've been married 5 years or so.) The fact that she is not concerned about the difference in your faiths is not a good sign. If she really believes her church is teaching the truth, why doesn't she want you to know it too? If she doesn't think it is important, that is really more dangerous to your relationship than the fact that she is Protestant.

I pray that God will guide you in the right direction, which He knows and I don't. :)

God bless you!

--Jen


#4

Thanks for your response.

if she never converts, do you still want to marry her?

That is the question that I have been thinking these days also. And I think my answer is yes.

I believe God has some plan for me and my girlfriend. Because, before I met her, I was a so so catholic. I did go to church, but I never really pay any attention to it. I didn't know what is the difference between catholic and other christian.

After I met her, I started to learn again about catholic and it is truly beautiful and I thank her for this.
I started to look for online reference and books. I never be the same again with before, my eyes are opened.

You are not going to make her convert. How would you like it if someone wanted to MAKE you convert

Thanks for your advice, after I browsed more topics in this forum, I also realized that there is no way I can make to convert.

But I still hope she will open her heart.

So what I'm doing now ( accompany her to her church so that she can attend the mass in Catholic Chruch), is it correct?

Or can you suggest any other way?

Thanks,


#5

Hi Ndu,

I'm going to give you Marital Advice - not just religious advice.

When you choose a person to marry, you do not choose her with the "hope" that she is going to change. You accept her as she is now - warts and all.

For example, if you do not like it that she is very bad with financial matters, then you have to decide here and now - is this something you can live with for the rest of your life? You don't go into the marriage thinking - oh, I'll teach her how to be better financially.

This is the same with EVERYTHING else about her. Especially her religion.

You have to list your set of absolutes - as in, "I can't marry somebody who is..." and bounce that list against the person you choose to marry. And no - you can't even bounce that against something you are going to ask her to change before the marriage. If you have an absolute qualification and she does not meet it now, then you don't marry the girl. Simple.

If later on, she converts (not because you asked her to, but because she found the truth of the Catholic Church by her own choosing), and you're still interested, then you can strike up a relationship then and see where that goes.

This is the same for everything else about her. You can't stand her family - might not be a good idea to marry. You can't stand her cultural upbringing - might not be a good idea to marry. You can't stand that she watches Dancing With the Stars 2 nights a week - might not be a good idea to marry... etc. etc. etc. When you decide to marry her, you take her as she is, no changes necessary.

Good luck.


#6

[quote="Ndu, post:1, topic:242374"]
Hi all,
Am I doing the right thing?

Ndu

[/quote]

not really

in the first place, it is not necessary for her to convert for you to marry her, but you will have to get a dispensation to do so from the bishop.

in the second place, since she does not even want to convert, arguing and fighting about it is certainly the wrong way to educate her about the faith, or motivate her to consider it. You cannot "make" anyone convert. How would you like it if she put that kind of pressure on you?

in the third place, why are you dating and contemplating marriage with a non-Catholic? You cannot possibly be thinking of raising children together as they will almost certainly not adhere to your Catholic faith, since there is very little chance you can raise them Catholic without her cooperation.

In almost all mixed marriages one party loses their own faith, and it is usually the one who is least committed.


#7

Very very wise advice, and when it’s the right person, I believe it feels right that she is who she is, with no changes. In other words, girls before her may have been not quite right, but OK, but this girl will be “Yes” all the way with no changes needed.

However it is not easy to figure out if you really accept that person or if you have a subtle desire to “help” them…or re-form your own life around them…

Anyway, I think you should copy that message and plant it in any thread about marriage discernment.

:thumbsup:


#8

Thanks for your response Jen,

Actually at the very beginning of my relationship with her, she said that there is a possibility of her to convert. That’s why I go on with this relationship and hoping that possibility come true.

But at that time, she didn’t say how and when she will convert, she only said that she will do it when the time is come.

That’s why I still put my hope and best effort to make her more understand about Catholic faith.

Actually she also doesn’t know much about her church, about the doctrine and history of her church and she doesn’t care much about that one. In fact she doesn’t know regarding the 5 solas until I mentioned it.:shrug:
That’s why, almost of our discussion is one way from my side only.

Anyhow thanks for your prayer, I really need it

Sincerely,


#9

Hi Ndu,

I’m going to give you Marital Advice - not just religious advice.

When you choose a person to marry, you do not choose her with the “hope” that she is going to change. You accept her as she is now - warts and all.

For example, if you do not like it that she is very bad with financial matters, then you have to decide here and now - is this something you can live with for the rest of your life? You don’t go into the marriage thinking - oh, I’ll teach her how to be better financially.

This is the same with EVERYTHING else about her. Especially her religion.

You have to list your set of absolutes - as in, “I can’t marry somebody who is…” and bounce that list against the person you choose to marry. And no - you can’t even bounce that against something you are going to ask her to change before the marriage. If you have an absolute qualification and she does not meet it now, then you don’t marry the girl. Simple.

If later on, she converts (not because you asked her to, but because she found the truth of the Catholic Church by her own choosing), and you’re still interested, then you can strike up a relationship then and see where that goes.

This is the same for everything else about her. You can’t stand her family - might not be a good idea to marry. You can’t stand her cultural upbringing - might not be a good idea to marry. You can’t stand that she watches Dancing With the Stars 2 nights a week - might not be a good idea to marry… etc. etc. etc. When you decide to marry her, you take her as she is, no changes necessary.

Good luck.

Thanks for your advice, it is really a good one.:thumbsup:

As for my condition, I can accept everything from her.

And I still hope she can convert though.

When I accompany her to her church so that she can attend the mass in Catholic Church also, am I doing the right thing??


#10

It depends upon what you and she are doing in both churches. Is she receiving communion in the Catholic Church? Are you receiving it in hers if they do that there? That is not allowed. What is her faith tradition?

How will you raise your children with a non catholic Mother? The burden of education a child in religion often falls more on the mother. How will this affect things in your house? Will she want to teach the children things that contradict the Catholic faith in a harmful way?

What about birth control? Will she be willing to use NFP ?


#11

I married my husband after falling away from the Catholic church. I returned to the church last year. He is not catholic and doesn't believe in conformed religion at all. My advice to you is that if you want your wife to be catholic then don't marry this person. You cannot make her convert no matter how much info you give her. The only thing you can do is pray for her. I understand you love her, but you really need to consider some of the other points that other posters have mentioned....how does she feel about contraception? abortion? Even if she agrees to raise your children catholic, there will be confusion and questions by your children. IMO, for the peace that any person wants for their marriage, always marry someone who believes the same thing you do. Marriage is hard enough, add different religions to the mix and you've got a really hard road to walk....I know.


#12

I also have a Protestant girlfriend, although my girlfriend is studying to become a Baptist pastor.
We have talked about this subject a couple of times but we never imposed anything.
I allowed the possibility that our children could go to her Church as well… though I’m not sure if that will be confusing to the children or not… but she is kinda liberal in the sense that she isn’t trying to convert me and she believes that I can be saved even beeing a Catholic.
We have been dating for only 2 months though… only God can say what will happen.

I go to her devotions and we’ve also gone to a lutheran devotion but it’s not like I’m participating in the rituals, I’m there because I love her and because the people around us are our friends. She doesn’t take the Eucharist when she comes to Mass with me (cause I explained her she couldn’t) and I don’t take the “Last Supper” in her Devotions (even though she asked me to).
It’s not easy… she knows a lot about the History of the Bible and the Church but I fell in love with her partially because of the awesome relationship she demonstrated having with God. I’m trusting God will guide both of us to choose the right path.

P.S.: I forgot to add that I presented NFP to her and she is considering it. Her mother side of the family is Catholic (though her father’s side is Baptist and her father is a pastor as well).

God bless,
Daniel


#13

It’s up to you.

I was Catholic, my husband LDS when we got married. He attended Catholic Church every Sunday with no fail.

He didn’t attend Catholic Church because he wanted to convert. He attended out of respect for my faith and so that he can understand me better. And yes, I prayed and prayed that he would convert even asked him periodically if he’s ready to be baptized Catholic. He just smiles at me and says No. I was okay with it because he assures me I can practice my faith freely and that’s what I signed up for when I married him.


#14

And now you say YOU are LDS? So he converted you instead?

:frowning:


#15

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:14, topic:242374"]
And now you say YOU are LDS? So he converted you instead?

:(

[/quote]

Uhm, no. He didn't convert me. I joined the LDS Church out of my own spiritual experiences separate from his. Just like I had no expectation that he would become Catholic - he had no expectation that I would become LDS.


#16

[quote="Ndu, post:1, topic:242374"]
Hi all, this my first post in this forum, I hope this is the correct section for my post and I’m sorry for my bad English.

Here is my story;
I’m currently 26 and dating a protestant girl; if I’m not mistaken, her church is a Reformed denomination.

I’m thinking of marrying her in 1 or 2 more years from now and I really hope that she can convert to catholic before the marriage.

The problem is, she is not willing to convert; she never asks me to convert to her religion either.
She doesn’t mind to marry me even if our religion is not same. She is thinking something like this “our religion is different and so be it”.:(

I tried talked to her and discuss about our faith, and it goes to arguing each other.
I gave her many books about catholic faith, conversion story, etc but it seems it doesn’t change any of her perspective.
I thought that her rejection of her conversion is not only because of the faith, but also because of her family and friends. Maybe she is feeling guilty to her society, when she converts to Catholic.

How to encourage her about this situation??

I cannot think any other way to make her convert. All I can do is pray; almost in each of my prayer in the last 2 years of my relationship with her, I did pray for her, hoping that she can open her heart for Catholicism. I will continue doing this and I really need your help also to pray for her.

I don’t want to and cannot force her to convert but I really want her to come to Catholicism.

I did have told her about marriage in Catholic; that we have to promise to raise our children in Catholic faith. She actually has no problem with that, but I’m still worried that our future children will get confused in their faith.

Now, almost every Sunday morning we go to Catholic Church and right after that we continue to her church.
When I said that I don’t to go to her church, she also said that she doesn’t want to come to Catholic Church with me.
So I’m thinking, I will accompany her to her church so that at least she can come and see the mass in Catholic Church.

Am I doing the right thing?:shrug:

If by the planned time of our marriage come and she is not yet convert to Catholicism, what should I do? Should we continue with the marriage?

For any Catholic in this forum who is converted from Protestantism, could you share a little bit of your story?

What makes you willing to convert?
And what is your suggestion for me to do? Have I done the right thing?

Thanks before for any of your answer.
Sincerely,
Ndu

[/quote]

Dear Ndu,

why did you start dating this Protestant girl?
Its not fair of you to get so involved with a person and then want to change them.

She is who she is, and you either accept her as she is, or you let her find a Protestant man who will.

Did you read books etc. about her faith? Maybe if you show true willingness for dialog she will also look into your faith. But if she feels like you wanna change her or will not love her if she doesn't she will probably also test your love for her and become defensive.


#17

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