Need help w/my relationship plz


#1

In case you havent read my ramblings about my 2-year relationship with my girlfriend, here’s my (our) problem. I’ve had a somewhat recent experience that turned me from weak-spirited ignorant Christmas Catholic to a Catholic going to mass every week while exploring the faith. My girlfriend on the other hand, whom I met while I was a Christmas Catholic, was baptized Lutheran, but not religious or religiously educated.

So a little while back I decided to try to ourselves on the same page religiously. She claims that she hasnt found God yet, not sold yet on the idea so to speak. The biggest “problem” is that she doesnt believe there is a black and white right and wrong (ie right and wrong is relative to a person’s beliefs of what is right and wrong).

This leads to the following disagreements:

Contraception: Within marriage, she doesnt see a problem with it. I hate the rule myself, but I understand it and would follow it. See below.

**Children: **She claims that she doesnt want children at all when there are so many children up for adoption/in foster care who would need us more. We’re still incredibly young, so I’m not too worried about this at the moment, honestly.

Abortion: Pro-choice in cases of rape and when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. I dont know the Church’s postion in the case of a life-threatening pregnancy, though.

However, we’re both virgens and committed to stay as such until marriage. I have her to thank for that before my little revelation. She doesnt dress provacatively and we both dont smoke, drink or anything like that and volunteers extensively. She leds a moral life, really, but just doesnt yet believe in God.

We’re committed to working this out in the next 5 years when we’ll both be outta school. A friend of the family perscribed we both read Theology of the Body, St. Anselm’s Proslogion and Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I personally like Meister Eckhart.
Any other suggestions? I’m not a very good speaker, I’ve got the same problem Moses did, and have so far been unable to convince her there is a “black and white” right and wrong. After that, I think the rest would be relatively easy.


#2

CFC-Youth (Collge based) or CFC-Singles for Christ are two Catholic ministries which can help you grow stronger in your faith and help you keep a Christ centered life. We have not reached Madison yet, but with your help we could set up a group up there. Read the below links and PM or e-mail me for more information. YOU ARE NOT ALONE in your stuggles, we are here to help you.


#3

Would her family allow you to take her to Mass? It might be something that you could do with her on occasion. I am not sure that there is much you can do other than hope and pray and lead by example.

I think she sounds like a really great person who could use a little guidance. As long as you don’t force it on her you may be able to bring her into a better place.

I hope things work out for the two of you.

Kat


#4

Hi, Argh.

Re contraception, the divorce rate boomed as contraceptive use boomed when The Pill popularized use of contraceptives. I have long believed that that is because contraceptive use bothers the non-relative consciences of its users, who project their guilt onto their partners and end up screaming at and arguing with them.

Why would there be guilt? Because the contraceptive user is killing a conscience-protected life process to access maximum risk-free sexual pleasure. It’s not that much different than ancient Romans who would maximize their eating pleasure by vomitting-up full stomachs of food and going back to eating.

Tell your girlfriend that she’ll like the Billings Mucus Method. It’s easy. It takes about 10 seconds per night. It’s intimate. The attitudes toward sexuality which it requires happen to be absolutely perfect for a happy marriage.


#5

I’m honestly dont know whether or not her parents would approve of her going to a mass or not. Somehow I dont think they’d care either way, she’s 18 after all.

I think she would be open to meeting with other people or even a priest to talk about our religious differences, so there’s an idea. We’ve just gotta find the time.

I think I should mention that one of her friends, a Lutheran, is trying to work on her a little bit too. She’s been taking my gf to a Bible study or religious ed. class or something. I guess that’s a good thing, but it wouldnt solve the disagreement about contraception.

Here’s something that’s been eating me to NO END:

Ok, I realize we’re a long ways from getting married, but that she says she doesnt want to have children bothers me. It’s not like I’m crazy about kids either, but I get the distinct impression the Church says we would have to, unless some medical excuse or something, in order to get married. Maybe not right away, but still. My gf says (always humorously) that she doesnt want to go through all the pain of having a child when we can adopt a child. I dont quite believe it myself cause we’re, well, young and stupid. She loves kids, wants to be a HS teacher and works at a Girl Scoot camp for next-to-nothing to be with kids. I dont know, maybe I’m being paranoid for nothing…


#6

Argh,

I feel compelled to add a completely different point of view. It sounds like the Holy Spirit is really tugging at you. Your girlfriend seems to have many views that are COMPLETELY contrary to Church teaching. Especially not having children at all. My brother became engaged, set a wedding date, and we all bought bridesmaids dresses before he decided to call things off with his girlfriend. She also did not want to have children. He kept rationalizing it and making excuses. However, in the end, she never really changed her mind on that. You both must be open to the children that God wants you to have. Also, I believe that a marriage can be considered invalid if you contracept from the beginning without intention of ever having children…it’s considered a marriage that is not consummated.
By the way, as an adoptive mother of 3 wonderful kids, I must tell you that adoption is not the easy way to have children. We had 4 adoptions fall through, in addition to the 3 we have. It was painful and agonizing. Even if adopting through foster care, there can be many pitfalls. My husband and I tried to have children for over 6 years before we were blessed with our first child through adoption. It is not fair to the children being adopted if both parents aren’t completely supportive of it. It sounds as if you would like to have children first. No one says you can’t adopt too, but if God wants to give kids to you the old fashioned way, you can’t say NO:)!!!

Please spend some time in front of The Blessed Sacrament praying. The Holy Spirit may nudge you even harder in the right direction.

God Bless
Giannawannabe


#7

[quote=Giannawannabe]Argh,

I feel compelled to add a completely different point of view. It sounds like the Holy Spirit is really tugging at you. Your girlfriend seems to have many views that are COMPLETELY contrary to Church teaching. Especially not having children at all. My brother became engaged, set a wedding date, and we all bought bridesmaids dresses before he decided to call things off with his girlfriend. She also did not want to have children. He kept rationalizing it and making excuses. However, in the end, she never really changed her mind on that. You both must be open to the children that God wants you to have. Also, I believe that a marriage can be considered invalid if you contracept from the beginning without intention of ever having children…it’s considered a marriage that is not consummated.
By the way, as an adoptive mother of 3 wonderful kids, I must tell you that adoption is not the easy way to have children. We had 4 adoptions fall through, in addition to the 3 we have. It was painful and agonizing. Even if adopting through foster care, there can be many pitfalls. My husband and I tried to have children for over 6 years before we were blessed with our first child through adoption. It is not fair to the children being adopted if both parents aren’t completely supportive of it. It sounds as if you would like to have children first. No one says you can’t adopt too, but if God wants to give kids to you the old fashioned way, you can’t say NO:)!!!

Please spend some time in front of The Blessed Sacrament praying. The Holy Spirit may nudge you even harder in the right direction.

God Bless
Giannawannabe
[/quote]

Oh no, I’m afraid to death of being a f-a-t-h-e-r…my fingers shake just typing it. Right now, it’s an almost inconceivable (haha, pun) thought. That’s the LAST thing I want to be at 19 years old pursuing an engineering degree.

I honestly dont believe her. I really dont. She’s afraid of, well, the morning sickness, the fatigue, the stretchmarks, the pain, discomfort and all of the things I’ll never experience or fully comprehend. But, isnt this to be expected? I mean, it’s not like any women wants all of the bad side-effects, unless I’m totally missing something. Some little voice inside is telling me that when we get older and our friends are having…kids…(wow thats a WEIRD thought), she might see it’s not that bad and change her mind. Maternal instinct has to kick in sometime and it’s not that bad…is it?

I very strongly believe we’re meant for each other. And as I look around Madison, there’s no one else I’d rather be with. Where else am I going to find an intelligent girl who’s into stuff like gaming, computers and RPG’s and who’s idea of a good time isnt going to some loud bar getting drunk wearing see-through pants? I’ve met a few Catholic females here and honestly, most of them smoke (ugh), are on the pill, drink 3 nights a week and have little appreciation of computers. There are exceptions of, course, but not many really. Madison isnt a safe place to be Catholic.

Every day now I meditate on it, ask St. Valentine for help, pray and I end up with the same conclusion.


#8

I have a very simple suggestion. Why not expand your horizons and try dating a few other people too?

This young lady doesn’t seem convinced that there really is a God, that there really are rules (we call them 10 Commandments, not 10 Suggestions), and she is flat out on the opposite side of where the Church says she needs to be to follow God’s directions. Furthermore, she’s not Catholic. How much more do you want to add to the list of future problems?

Life will give you enough when you are with someone who is in basic agreement with you. Finding someone with serious disparities, and hoping you can change them is a sign that you are not yet mature enough to make the kind of committment marriage is. You are not going to change her. God is not going to change her. God may give her the graces to change, but there is this one little thorny problem; it is called free will. God honors that. Do you? Are you willing to take this woman on as a spouse for the next 60, or even 70 years, with the understanding (not in your head, in your gut) that she will never change these positions? If you are not, then you are not ready to marry, and/or she is not the one you should marry.

Before you fo off the deep end, find a couple of serious Catholics who have been married to, and still are married to, a non-Catholic who is not showing any signs of becoming Catholic. Ask them what it is like. Ask lots of questions. Then tell me why your relationship is different.


#9

Here’s a thread with some different perspectives on interfaith marriage. Check it out.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=493693#post493693


#10

If she’s at all a reader, hand her a copy of C.S. Lewis’ ‘Mere Christianity’. This will be the beginning of the end of her moral relativism.

Skip the other suggestions you’ve been given. Orthodoxy, and the theology of the body are very advanced and are for folks much further along on the spiritual journey. I can hardly beleive anyone suggested them for someone in her position.

The other thing I’d strongly suggest is that you stop trying to convince her at all with words. The greatest evangelical tool a Catholic has is to live a prayerful, sacramental and moral life. The effects this has on you and how you treat her and others will be so profound that this will likely be more convincing than anything you could ever say. Learn your faith, and live it, then prayer every day for her, and the Holy Spirit will do the rest. Remember that it’s not your job to convert her. That’s God’s job. Yours is to be a tool of God’s in the process. Keep in mind always St. Francis’ words, ‘Evangelize always, and sometimes use words.’


#11

Yes, ty Steve. The person who recommended them is *very *well read and sometimes forgets he’s talking above people’s heads. He did recommend C.S. Lewis, but I forgot to mention that. He also gave me the same quote of St. Francis.


#12

**

posted by

Argh
Contraception: Within marriage, she doesnt see a problem with it. I hate the rule myself, but I understand it and would follow it. See below.
**

You are aware that you can’t follow the churches teachings on contraception if she doesn’t don’t you?

If she takes the pill, it doesn’t always prevent ovulation, but it does prevent a ferilized egg, from implanting in the womb. It’s a morning after pill that you take every day, basically.

So what would you do then, not have sex with your wife? If you did, you could be causing a child to be killed. Is this really where you want to be? Choosing between relations with your wife or killing a child?

As for her not wanting children, my sister said she did not want kids at 17, 19, 25, 32, 35. She is now 43 and still does not want children, nor does she have any. She became quite angry when men she dated didn’t think she was serious and tried to “talk her into it” or “knew she would change her mind, every woman wants kids eventually!”

When you marry someone, you should not be looking at what they could be and might believe, you should look at who they are and what they believe now.

God Bless,
Maria


#13

We’re not getting married tomorrow. We have 5+ years at least to work on this and she is open to discussion. Maybe I implied earlier that she’s dead set in her thinking, I didnt mean to. I didnt mean to imply that she has anything against the Church either, she doesnt. She also believes that we should work out our differences and that religion should be important in our relationship.


#14

If you think that you can get her to understand and change her mind about having children, contraception etc., it is your time and choice.

Just make sure befor you set a date that her feelings and beliefs have changed. If a person changes for the better after marriage you are blessed. But we should never marry hoping, thinking or otherwise praying that they will change. So if when you set a date, she still does not want children, you must assume she means it and plan you life accordingly.

I am going to bring up an something here. In no way do I mean to imply that this is your situation at all. But I just want to show you how dangerous counting on love can be.

There are women (and men) who “love” someone so much they are willing to put up the person beating them. “He loves me”. "He is so great in every other way. " Some of these women are killed within this relationship of love because they make excuses for and convince themselves that it is not as bad as they think.

Just make sure in the end, you do not allow yourself to die spiritually for this relationship. And unless she changes considerably, you will be committing spiritual suicide by still choosing to marry.

Make sure you end up marrying who she is and what she stands for and not what you still hope she can become because you love her.

Love can change things. But don’t let the time dim your concerns. Let the problems be fixed. Don’t decide they are not that important anymore because you love her.

In fact, you should write a list of the reasons that a marriage between you two cannot happen and you be a practicing Catholic Christian of good standing.

Children and birth control should be at the top of the list.

As the time moves on, make sure that her mind is changing on the issues, not that you are deciding loving her is more important than loving and obeying God.

God Bless,
Maria


#15

While I recognize that there are some women who never want kids, I don’t think your girlfriend is one of them. As you said, she loves kids and is very interested in adoption. It seems she is only a little scared of pregnancy, which I can say I definitely was at her age! It’s still a little scary sometimes to think about, but I know that when I’m ready to have children, I’ll be ready to be pregnant.

The problem with your disagreements on faith and contraceptives are more worrisome. It sounds like you want to share your faith with her, but I am not sure if you are willing to accept the fact that it may never happen. Also, there are many good reasons not to use contraceptives, and not all of them are faith-based. I would definitely suggest you try to learn what all of the reasons are and carefully explain them to her at some point.

But as you said you have plenty of time to figure all of this out with her, and if you really do feel called to marriage with this woman, I think there is nothing wrong with exploring the relationship. Just because you date for marriage doesn’t mean that it always works out with the person you’re dating. She sounds like a very nice girl and definitely worth going through a bit of difficulty with.

God bless.


#16

When my sister was younger, because everyone expects women to want children, she said things like, I don’t want to be pregnant, I’ll just adopt. There are too many kids who need homes. It was not until she was almost 35 that she was finally able to just flat out tell people, no I do not want kids, nor do I wish to adopt.

Do not assume someone will change their mind when they see all of their friends having kids. Loving kids, watching others kids does not always translate to eventually wanting some of your own.

But I’ll bow out now. You are young, and it is quite apparrent that you are not really looking for anything except, don’t worry, it will all work out. Maybe it will.

Truly,

God Bless,

Maria


#17

Don’t be discouraged by the differences in your respective belief systems.

My fiance and myself were 18 and 17 when we met, and at the time I was an atheist without any openness to God. I also decided that I would never have children, and even wanted to sterilize myself in order to protect myself from possibly changing my mind in the future. The list goes on.

The most important thing that my fiance did for me was debate with me for an extended period of time. We read things about God together, and debated them. We started with philosophical arguments for the existence of God (I didn’t think it was logical to believe etc.), then we read books about Christianity (C.S. Lewis’ books come to mind). This made me think a lot about God and about Christianity. I was raised in a secular environment and had never considered these things before. Considering them made me open to the gift of faith. etc. etc.

Now I’m in RCIA, and am very excited about becoming Catholic. I actually WANT to have children now (whereas before I hated the fact that I had the capacity to reproduce), I wouldn’t use artificial contraception now not only because the Church teaches it is sinful but because I feel in my heart how sinful and destructive it is to the person who uses it.

So there is capacity for change, but I don’t think it will come unless something is done about it. I know that if I hadn’t read all those philosophical arguments and Christian apologetics books I would still be an atheist, I would still be completely closed to the possibility of having children. I also know that I probably would not have read any of those things if my fiance (a cradle Catholic) had not been there to guide me to those readings. I probably wouldn’t even have been aware of the existence of such writings or such ways of thinking. Modern schools do not teach them, they are not found in culture etc.

In short, if you want her to change you have to be there to effect change. It’s very unlikely that she’ll do it on her own because modern culture doesn’t motivate people to develop spiritually or to seek truth. You have to be there to lead her to God.

EDIT: I thought I’d give you some apologetics links:

peterkreeft.com/featured-writing.htm
peterkreeft.com/featured-writing_more.htm
leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-smith_harvard00.html
leaderu.com/menus/theo-apol.html

Books like Mere Christianity, and Miracles (both by C.S. Lewis)helped a lot.

Triumph: The Power and Glory of the Catholic Church is a very good book.

The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict has good arguments for the truth of the Bible, Jesus’ existence and divinity etc. Although you have to be careful with this one, as its written from a Protestant position.

Above all read all these things together!!! Back when I was an atheist I was not motivated enough to read things like these.You have to be her motivation at first.


#18

P.S. Conversion is a long and gradual process. And from my experience, it’s not a once and for all thing either. For example, sometimes I’ll still have doubts and will need to read to strengthen faith. Sometimes I can fall back into selfish thinking and think of how much easier it would be not to have kids. There are times when I resent how hard the moral way of life can be compared to the modern secular way of life. But on the whole things get better and better. It’s a really, really, really long road from immorality back to God. It’s hard to completely shake old habits and beliefs.


#19

Well, I didnt get her to mass on Sunday, but the weekend was not without success.

  1. She’s very willing to go to mass with me.

  2. I saw and e-mailed her this: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=44322

Her response when we saw each other Saturday was “We’ll see what we want to do when we get there”. I think that is perfectly reasonable, isnt it?

  1. We briefly mentioned ABC and she seems very accepting of no-ABC. I dont think she shares the Church’s view that ABC is intrinsictly evil, but she’s certainly not against some form of NFP, just a little uneasy about effectiveness.

  2. While she doesnt want to read anything by C.S. Lewis right now, she’ll be reading “Brave New World” on the airplane. Which, when you think about it, is about the value of human life in society.


#20

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