I am hoping there is someone out there who is or has been in a similar situation because right now I feel really alone. Six years ago I converted to Catholicism. I was raised a Southern Baptist and my conversion really upset my family. I have been attending church and practicing my faith alone for six years. About a year and a half ago, I met a wonderful man, fell in love and am now engaged. He would have to receive an annulment before we could get married with the church’s blessing. However because he was raised Protestant as I was, he does not see why it is necessary. We have talked about this issue in length and I have tried to explain the process and why the church requires it as best as I can. I feel guilty and embarrased that I have to ask him to do this. I know the annulment process is difficult because I have been through it myself when I joined the church. In fact because my family was so against my conversion, my process was extremely difficult and painful. Even though I love the Catholic faith, my conversion has been painful and lonely. Now it seems to be causing me more pain. I have considered many options: calling off the engagement, leaving the church, marrying anyway and using the internal forum as a solution. ( My reason for this is because my fiance’s wife left him for another man. I know that in scripture Jesus gave adultery as a valid reason for divorce.) Anyway, I hope there is someone who can give some loving advice or support. Please, I don’t need any preaching, I already feel enough guilt and pain.
I am sorry about your situation. I am wondering why in the year & a half you were in a relationship, why annullment was never brought up as something that would be required if your relatioship was to move forward to marriage? Is your fiance open to your Catholic faith? How does he feel about your Catholic faith? Also, if you marry him, how does he feel about raising children in the Catholic Church? It will be a difficult road to be married to someone not open to your faith. I would not leave the Church! Please, my advice is to talk to your Priest asap for advice. You have some tough decisions ahead of you. Be open & honest with your fiance. I will keep you in my prayers. God Bless.
I would go see a priest as a couple so the the priest could explain the reasons and the churches docturin on the issue. Perhaps see a spiritual advisor or catholic councilor as well. If that doesn’t work I would rethink your engagement. It’s my feeling that if the guy really loves you he would do it for your the sake and for the sake of your concience. I wouldn’t want to marry someone who wasn’t concerned about my peace of mind and spiritual happiness.
The Internal Forum Solution would not apply to your situation. That is designed for couples who are already married, and they would be required to separate unless they had a serious reason to stay together. Since you are not married, it would not really make sense to consider it an option.
Leaving the Church would not be a good option. I think you know that.
The only two options I see as acceptable are waiting to marry until he receives an affirmative decision on his nullity petition or call off the engagement and stick to dating Catholic men who are free to marry. I think you only have any control over one of those options. So, in a way, the man you are interested in will make the decision as to which of these two paths you choose.
That sort of makes deciding what is right a little bit easier, don’t you think?
Firstr of all, welcome to the faith…I converted 8 years ago and know what you are going through.
I agree with the other posters when they say … go see your priest. aside from that, If your fincee’ is being selfish and not willing to support you in your faith (and get an annulment) what else is he not willing to support you in? If you compromise your faith, what else is he expecting you to compromise?
A good marriage is 100% give - from BOTH sides. Hold on to your faith. If he’s the right man for you, he’ll gome around…
I am sorry you are going through such a rough time. If I were in your shoes, I would definitely talk to my priest and tell him all that you are saying here and simply listen and try to follow his advice.
I would not leave the church. That would not be an option.
God bless your heart.