Relationship with non-practicing Catholic


#1

Hi everyone,

I've been dating a man for about three years now, and he is wonderful. However, although his parents had him baptized he was not brought up as a Catholic and faith is not important to him.

This creates quite a divide between us, as I attend Mass every week and attended Catholic schools, as well as Catholic college. It is very important to me, and he knows and respects that, and has gone with me to church occasionally. He is willing to be married in the Catholic church and understands that I want children to be raised Catholic.

I love him very much and do want to marry him. In many ways, I consider him a better Catholic than I am- he is generous, loving, and selfless. He makes me a better person. But I worry about this issue in the future, especially while trying to raise children.

I am looking for insight from anyone, but particularly from people who are married to non-practicing Catholics. I am interested in hearing about challenges I might encounter, should I choose to marry this man. I'm very confused. I want to do what is right for myself, him and any future children.

Thanks :)


#2

I think that the biggest problem is that even if the two of you share similar values the source of your values is quite different. His morality is based on a platform different than yours. At first things might be fine but you have to understand that there is a good chance that things will be quite different when deep problems will arise. When children will come both of you will change. Each one of you will pull strongly toward the way you have been raised, with the same expectations and boundaries.

What about if you are going to be pregnant with a child with some kind of issues, and the doctor were to suggest abortion? How the two of you would react? What about if him or you were to lie in a bed incapacitated; which is your end of life belief? Is the other going to respect it?

Now the big question is: “Are the both of you mature enough to understand that, and honest enough to really commit to what you say?” If the answer is yes, then the probabilities of a successful marriage are higher.


#3

Read the nine thousand posts here from spouses who are so lonely in marriage, who watch their kids leave the faith, who suffer for decades because they are unequally yoked in marriage.


#4

Whoa!
Most folk assume they can train up a child the way you desire to instead of the way they think things work.
Children are not dumb, stupid or blind.
What do you suppose your children will see and obey.

Most are going to see your faith as restrictive and dad's as tolerant.
Based on the facts(they see) there are two sincere faiths and they must reconcile these together.
They will also see that you didn't think your faith important enough to adhere to. You love dad why wouldn't Gd.

Values in morality are so important to Gd that He died to keep them.

I shouldn't say this but you should have asked this question years ago. And do you love the value he has placed on the Gd you perport to loving more than life itself, (with all your heart, body, mind, and soul) as Jesus said.

The odds are in favor of you staying in this relationship, you compromising your values, and your children compromising the faith.

I have to quote Kage_ar here,
"Read the nine thousand posts here from spouses who are so lonely in marriage, who watch their kids leave the faith, who suffer for decades because they are unequally yoked in marriage"

That's the odds. There are "nine thousand forums too"


#5

[quote="Betty09, post:1, topic:187973"]
Hi everyone,

I've been dating a man for about three years now, and he is wonderful. However, although his parents had him baptized he was not brought up as a Catholic and faith is not important to him.

This creates quite a divide between us, as I attend Mass every week and attended Catholic schools, as well as Catholic college. It is very important to me, and he knows and respects that, and has gone with me to church occasionally. He is willing to be married in the Catholic church and understands that I want children to be raised Catholic.

I love him very much and do want to marry him. In many ways, I consider him a better Catholic than I am- he is generous, loving, and selfless. He makes me a better person. But I worry about this issue in the future, especially while trying to raise children.

I am looking for insight from anyone, but particularly from people who are married to non-practicing Catholics. I am interested in hearing about challenges I might encounter, should I choose to marry this man. I'm very confused. I want to do what is right for myself, him and any future children.

Thanks :)

[/quote]

He is not a better Catholic than you if he does not worship God so drop that notion to begin with.

As you say this creates a great divide between you, and that divide is not going to go away by the sounds of things, three years is a very long time, if it was going to get better it would have by now, how then do you expect to be able to fulfil the aim of marriage for the two of you to become one?

Do not mistake his willingness to go along with you on certain things as a positive thing either it is simply a sign of his complete indifference to the whole thing and his lack of firm convictions. It doesn't mean he respects it, it just means he likes you and doesn't care either way about religion.

I strongly advise you to rethink marrying this man.

Firstly you will be unequaly yoked.

For you marriage will be for life, you only get one chance to marry as a Catholic. He doesn't care about any of that if he wants out of the marriage in the future he will divorce you and get someone else, you on the other hand won't have that option.

Two, you are bound my the Churches teachings on sex, he doesn't care about any of that and so the temptation for you to rebel against the Churches teachings on things such as artificial birth control will be much stronger.

Three, just by doing nothing he will already be a bad influence on any children if you were to marry this man. You would have to deal with questions such as: "Why do I have to go to church and daddy doesn't?" on a constant basis. And the children will play the differences between the two of you to get their own way.

It has now been shown that children are for more likely to abandon religion if their fathers do not practice it. The reason been obvious, their father teaches them that religion does not really matter by simply not treating it with any importance.

Fourthly, been a Catholic is hard work, especially once you have kids you need the support of a Catholic spouse, he can't be that man for you.

You have left it far to late to ask these questions, the time to ask these questions was long before you allowed yourself to fall for this man. Your future happiness not to mention salvation and the salvation of your children may well depend on this decision, its not something to gamble on.

And telling him you can only marry him if he starts practising the faith won't work long term either in case you are thinking it will, it will last about as long as the honeymoon.


#6

Here’s some thoughts for you. You said he’s okay with raising children Catholic, but what about NFP? Is he okay with practicing that and not using birth control? Even if the result is 5 or more children? Or will he get stressed and want to use ABC because he doesn’t understand the Church’s teachings on it?

How often do you talk about faith? Have you tried talking to him about it and tried to help him go back to his Catholic roots? (out of his own wanting, not forcing)

I say don’t rule out all non-Catholics, as I am a convert, but I converted before my fiance and I even got engaged. If it were me, I would not choose to be married to someone not of the same faith. My sister married an agnostic (she is Lutheran) and because his morals differed than hers, they couldn’t make things work and are now getting divorced.

Obviously that doesn’t happen to all those married to people of different faiths, but it is going to be hard if he doesn’t have the same faith as you.


#7

Make sure that you talk to your boyfriend about the importance of Catholicism in your and your children's lives. Let him know that this isn't a simple promise that can be changed later but one that must be kept from the day given. I'm marrying a non-Catholic and we've talked, talked, and talked some more about what this means for our relationship. I know that down the road after we get married, have kids, have more kids, move houses, move states, etc we'll continue to revisit this (and MANY other) topics to reaffirm the promises we've both made to each other. Just because one person isn't Catholic doesn't mean a relationship is doomed. Nor does having two Catholic spouses mean a relationship is an automatic success. Communication, trust, and openness lead to successful marriages. So talk, listen, and talk until you both understand your goals and desires for your relationship. Best of luck to you!


#8

For three years, you've compartmentalized the most important part of who you are. Do you want to compartmentalize forever? Or, in marriage do you want to live out this Catholic faith of your WITH your spouse, being an example for children, filling your home with Catholic faith, Catholic practice, Catholic culture? It ain't gonna happen with a non-practicing Catholic.

Moreover, while he might say he "understands" that you want to raise children Catholic, what does that look like? Is it mommy only teaching prayers, praying rosary, meal prayer, going to Mass, teaching the kids their faith? What does daddy do? Sit like a lump on a log? Make comments about the faith that are negative? What does daddy say when the kids ask him why he doesn't go to Church when it's a mortal sin not to? "Daddy, I don't want you to go to Hell." What does daddy say when the kids ask why he doesn't want Jesus in the Eucharist? What does he tell them? That it's just a piece of bread?

I mean really, how does that work?????

What are you going to do as a spouse when you want to share the deepest part of who you are and he wants nothing to do with it?

Those are questions I never intended to find out the answer to-- therefore, I made sure I only dated Catholic men who were devout and loved God as much as I do and wanted to build a family and create a household life based on that love of God and the Catholic faith.


#9

I can't say my situation was exactly the same, but at the time I married my wife (almost 30 years ago), she was Anglican and I was a catholic. We ended up getting 3 dispensations for the marriage, out of parish, out of country, and by a protestant minister. (Although a Catholic Priest said the readings).

She agreed to bring up the kids in Catholic faith, has always had a strong Christian background, and about 17 years ago, when our first kids were making First Communion she went through RCIA. I must say that since then our married lives and our marriage has an added spirituality to it that I wouldn't trade, however, I was so in love with her (still am), I am not sure whatever her religion was at the time, that I still would have married her.

What is the result as far as the kids are concerned. ... 3 out of 4 of my kids have married and are dating Catholic partners. We have had 2 great Catholic weddings (one Polish in Detriot and another Irish/Mexican)

My youngest is dating his first girlfriend of now 2 years who is of French/Catholic background. ....

This is just one person's story, but hope's it helps a little. .....


#10

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