Pregnant couple wants to marry & needs advice


#1

I sincerely apologize for the long post, and I thank you so very much for reading it. I have deeply and truly loved my fiancee for over 4 1/2 years. I have always wanted the best for her, no matter what or who that may be. I’ve thanked God every day for the chance to know and love her. We were together for over a year back then, but her family strongly disapproved of the relationship because we were really young (18). We tried really, really hard to be respectful and obedient. Family is so very important to us. It seemed worth being patient in order to build a loving relationship. I lost my family when I was very young, and while it’s not the same when you’re marrying into the relationship, it would bring such tremendous joy to my heart to have a mother and a father, and brothers and sisters, who loved and respected me and to whom I could turn for advice.

We stopped seeing each other at her parent’s insistence. It was very painful, and very hard. About 6 months ago we started seeing each other again nearly every day. They have been the best days of our lives, every one of them. We have made every effort to gain her family’s love and respect, and we have done a really great job. They have been so impressed with us, and so happy to see us together. I love her family so much… It has been so rewarding to be involved with the family. We’ve been wanting to get engaged/married for months, but we have put it off and put it off, trying to make things good for her family. We were going to ask her parents before Thanksgiving…

But we fell to temptation a few weeks ago. :frowning: We went to our priest the very next day. We have been forgiven by God, and we have forgiven each other. Then we found out this week… We’re having a baby! :slight_smile: We’re full of joy to be together, and we’re full of joy that God has blessed us with this new life. We feel sorrow for the offense we committed, but only joy for our baby.

We went straight to her parents after we found out. We felt that deception would only hurt more in the long run. It felt dishonest to not tell them, and even more dishonest to ask for their blessing to marry without telling them. It didn’t go as hoped… They were very angry, hurt, betrayed… I can understand that, and I couldn’t presume to know what I would do in their shoes. They want us to get married quietly… In the next week or two… They don’t want to be there, they don’t want family there. They say we’ve lost the joy of our new baby, that we’ve lost the joy of our wedding. That she doesn’t deserve a “real” wedding, that we should just go get the sacrament with a couple of witnesses.

I REALLY do not feel good about all this. We have worked closely with a few priests for a long time, and they would know the sincerity of our commitment. We probably stand a decent chance of getting one of them to make an exception to the normal rules and marry us sooner. We are committed, we do love each other. We have worked through some really hard times together so smoothly. We would feel confident if we were getting married tomorrow. The idea that I reject is that our wedding shouldn’t be joyful. And that our baby shouldn’t be joyful. I reject that our family (hers is mine now, for better or worse) shouldn’t be there. I reject that she shouldn’t have flowers. I reject that she can’t have her sister there as maid of honor. I reject that she can’t have a small reception to celebrate. I reject that she can’t have a baby shower down the road with her friends and family. We’re not famous, our wedding isn’t going on magazine covers, and all we ever wanted was a small family wedding. I don’t believe that should be gone.

I really feel that if it had gotten out that we slipped up, but weren’t having a baby, all it would be is some smirks/groans/eye rolling, maybe even a chuckle here or there, and a talk or two. I really feel that this is the same sin, as serious as it is, and as serious as the consequences turned out. We know this will be really, really hard. We know that it’ll put extra pressure on our relationship. But we were planning to be married in 7 months and have babies together right away. It doesn’t seem like our married life is going to be THAT much harder now than it would’ve been this summer. I know we can be good parents.

Am I looking at this all wrong? Am I being proud? I don’t want to understate the pain we’ve caused… I know we’ve betrayed them. I know it will take a lot of work to regain their trust. But the whole family knows now anyway… And we will be part of the family for the rest of our lives. They want us to marry. Does shoving our wedding in the closet and not celebrating the occasion fix anything? Would it be so very, very wrong if our priest wanted us to wait until the summer? Or even until after the baby is born? My fiancee is terribly upset and wants to stick with her parents’ wishes… I won’t do it. I don’t want our vows to be exchanged alone through tears of pain and anguish. I do love and respect her parents, and I do understand how painful this must be, but I feel that they are very wrong here. Thank you so very, very much for your time and your thoughts. God bless all of you!


#2

If your fiance is over 18, then your instinct is right that this is a matter to work out with you, your fiancee, and your priest. If she is a minor, yes her parents must have some input, but ultimately marriage is a sacrament of the Church and the Church will advise you and when, where and with what preparation you may approach this sacrament. Do what you have been doing, which is working with the priest. You will almost assuredly be advised that being pregnant is not by itself enough reason to get married now, and will be counseled to go through a solid marriage preparation (and pre-baptismal classes in the meantime) which respects your situation. This is so there can be no measure of pressure or force, which might invalidate the marriage. And yes the joy about the baby is the natural normal reaction, and I predict opposition from her parents will evaporate once baby arrives. Yes respect her parents and honor their natural feelings as well, and keep them informed, but follow the advice of your priest.


#3

I’m really sorry for what you are going through. Her family is not treating you fairly.

It was very cruel of them to break the two of you up in the past, and it is cruel of them now to demand that you not have a normal wedding.

I guess that since she gave into their demands to break up with you before, she is taking this current demand very seriously?

I don’t know what you should do. Her parents are completely out of line in their behavior, both the past and the present. They seem to be very domineering and insensitive people, and very likely they are not going to change.

You have to decide where you will draw the line when it comes to meeting their demands. It is not the first time they have made unreasonable demands, nor will it be the last. You and your fiancee have to decide how to manage this relationship. You are both adults, and as a soon to be married 22 year old pregnant woman she does not owe them obedience. It’s time to make your own decisions in life.

What are your finances like? I am guessing you are independent/have a job? What about her? How do you think they would react if you threw a reasonably sized wedding that included plenty of friends, family, and flowers? Would they declare war on you from now until forever? Would the rest of the family?

And I have to say, you absolutely did not betray them. You sinned against God, and you have since repented, confessed, and been forgiven. You absolutely did not sin against her parents. And since God has forgiven you, they have no business holding grudges. These people really seem to be very cruel and harsh, be prepared for more of the same from them over the years. Find a way to say no when they go crazy and be happy with the love of your life.


#4

I just wanted to say that I think you sound mature, and I agree with what you’ve posted here. You and your fiancee messed up, but you obviously know that. We all sin, just most of us have sins that are not so visible. Now, the thing is - while I do agree with everything you’ve said here, you must think about the consequences of going directly against your future in-law’s wishes and what that kind of tension and division that might cause. Has it been very long since they found out the news? Will things settle down after a little more time, and they might be more open to discussing your wishes? Also, if your future wife desires to please her parents and do what they ask regarding the wedding, you have to consider her wishes as well. You just have a lot to think about, and you might have to put your own beliefs about the situation aside and do what is best for your future family. I do think you and your fiancee should discuss this with your priest.

God bless you and I will pray for you! Keep us updated.

Bella


#5

I agree completely…
Discuss your situation with your priest and ask for his advice. I agree that solid marriage preparation and a pre-baptismal class should definitely be sought, and that you should be able to CELEBRATE the beautiful Sacrament of Matrimony! Hopefully your priest will be able to advise you on how to bring peace to the entire situation with your future in-laws.

You and your fiance and your little baby will be in my prayers…


#6

What you propose sounds appropriate - small family wedding with lots of JOY. A marriage is a wonderful event, and a baby should always be welcomed with happiness and love. If your future in-laws cannot participate in this, then that is something they need to work out for themselves. You need to focus on your wife-to-be and entering into the sacrament of marriage and making a happy home for your baby. If others will not support this, then you need to do it without them. This is the point in your lives where you break free from parents and establish yourselves as a family, and do so in your own way.


#7

I wanted to agree with what was posted above, and add something I think is important : it looks like her family’s opinion is pretty much important to your fiancée, as well as to you, given the fact that you couldn’t enjoy a proper family.
Yet it is very, very important that you, and especially she, learn to take distance from her family: she has to prove she’s able to be independant NOW, because if she doesn’t, there is a good probability she won’t either, once you’re married.
They are not the one who should dictate your behaviour. You’re now old enough to make your own decisions, and live by it. :slight_smile:


#8

As a side note…I think you should celebrate your wedding and child…however…your fiancées parents have a right (and prerogative) to protect/shield any minor children from this situation until a time they deem appropriate. As you are now a parent I’d be really respectful to your future in-laws in regards to their decisions about their minor children.

If that means your fiancée must have a different bride’s maid, that, not the loss of joy, is the cost of the situation.


#9

I’m not sure exactly what you have in mind as a “small reception.” That means different things to different people. I do think you should get married as quickly as the church allows and if you have to sacrifice the size of your wedding or the number of flowers there to make that happen, so be it. Also, your future in-laws were reacting to some earth shattering news when they said all the things they did so I would give it a little time to sink in and approach the subject again with what you’ve got in mind as far as wedding plans are concerned.


#10

I think you should turn the tables here and make it a good thing!

Talk to your favorite priest and see if you can collaborate on a homily. Make it clear to him that you two are willing to humbly admit your mistake in front of all and that you’d like to make it into a witness to your family and friends that your catholic faith is about admitting to your failures and shortcomings and asking Jesus to redeem you! If the priest is freed from tiptoing around the issue, I suspect a good one could make a very powerful homily about admitting to sin, being forgiven and then accepting the Grace that God offers to ALL of us sinners.

GOD clearly here was willing to give you a new life even through circumstances that were clearly sinful. There’s a message there! If your priest is willing to work it through that way, ask HIM to discuss it with her parents and ask them to reconsider coming to the wedding.

Nobody has a right to a fancy wedding with tons of flowers, expensive reception, etc. If some of that is the cost of proving to your future in laws that you’ll sacrifice as necessary for the sake of your bride, so be it.


#11

adam,

all this is good advice, especially FrenchGwen’s (about your fiance needing to detach from them and soon) and PuzzleAnnie’s general advice stood out, too. but here’s what I’m guessing-- the future inlaws don’t want to pay for the thing. because of their disappointment, they shouldn’t have to.

you make whatever arrangements you can reasonably afford, invite whom you like (of course you invite the inlaws, even if you KNOW they will refuse). just don’t ask them for a dime or for the use of their home.

you two will have to learn quickly how to be a family without the inlaws’ undue persuasions. conversely, though, and simultaneously, you will have to learn to forgive them.

if their hearts change yet they never apologize for exerting pressure, you’ll have to forgive them and forge a new relationahip (with you and your wife acting as adults free to make your own choices) without a fullly communicated reconciliation. if they do not recover a sense of happiness over your relationship, you will have to detach, forgive and move on distanced from them.


#12

Adam
I would speak to the priest with your finacee,perhaps the priest could try to talk to her parents .Whatever the case the priest is the one to talk to and trust.May God bless you,your finacee and baby.


#13

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