Alright, this is a very complicated story, and it may seem foolish, as you’re all probably much older and much wiser than I am. But I’m hoping that someone can offer some advice or support.
I’m in love with a man from England. (I live in the U.S.) We met on the internet and became great friends. I realized I had feelings for him but we weren’t together, because he was pagan and I’m Catholic. God moved in my life a lot at the beginning of high school and opened my eyes to Him, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle being in a relationship with someone whose beliefs so drastically contrasted mine. But I prayed for him, because I knew I loved him, and I prayed that God would change his life.
And He has. He really has. My boyfriend (finally he’s my boyfriend!) has started going to church and listening and talking to God. His heart hasn’t fully turned over yet, but I’m praying that God will continue to work in his life and our relationship and draw us closer together and banish all the dark forces that ever gripped him. (I sent him a rosary and just recently saw it – amazing that the crucifix is a Benedictine cross just like the one I wear around my neck, and I never knew because I got it off the internet and sent it directly to him! THAT was someone upstairs sending a message!)
Anyway, he just recently visited and we saw each other for the very first time. We have known each other for at least five years, and I’ve loved him for two, at least. We talk every day on the internet and instead of the phone we use voice services and microphones. But we actually got to meet. He stayed for a bit over a week, and I can now say with certainty that I’m completely in love with this boy. I finally got to go to church with him! God brought us together once and I trust that He will again if it is meant to be, but now my boyfriend’s back in England and it’s tearing us up. It’s hard to trust that everything will be okay when so many laws and hard-to-understand requirements stand in the way if we choose to get married someday.
I guess what I’m wondering is this: it seems the easiest way to get him residency is to marry internationally and then apply for his residency. That’s fine. But what is the best way to do it? He plans to join the Catholic church, and I know it tends to be a relatively long process with lots of classes and special prayers at Masses (some friends have joined the church). He said he wants me to be around when he does that, and I want to be around for him too. I want a good wedding, I want to be married in the church. But the only option, then, is for him to join the church in England and deal with all the classes and everything all by himself. His family will likely be less-than-supportive, for they’re pagan too.
Would it be even remotely acceptable to have a sort of … law-only wedding, and then when he gets residency, to have the wedding in the church here? To me the wedding in the law wouldn’t be anything but a way to get him here. The ceremony in the church would be the important one. And we wouldn’t live together or anything like that until that took place. Our chastity is very important to both of us. I just don’t know if that would be okay. But if we were married legally then he could join the church here and we could marry in the church after that, then get a house together and start our life as a married couple.
It seems incredibly important that he become Catholic before our wedding.
Of course, all this is looking way into the future. I’m probably putting the cart in front of the horse. It’s just that part of me is so sure about this because God seems to have guided everything from the start, even though some of it you don’t see 'til you’re looking back, you know?
I’m feeling rather hopeless right now because the distance is killing us. It feels like God created him just for me, just like I always prayed for – the perfect man, we fit together. I never thought I’d even get to be with him and now he’s turning his heart over to God, but the fact we’re from two different countries is in the way now. I’m trying hard to trust God and believe that He will pull us through if it is meant to be.
Does anyone have any advice at all? I know this is really out there. Sorry for babbling, it’s just been on my mind constantly.