Sister (lapsed Catholic) lives with boyfriend


#1

So my sister lives with her boyfriend. She has lived with him for 4 years, and I know they have a sexual relationship. Obviously, it comes with all the usual stuff - they use contraception, think nothing of abortion, don't want children, think marriage is for old people. On top of that, he is anti-Catholic and anti-religion.

Now, my sister really does struggle. She tries going to Mass, and does so, then stops going for a few months, then starts again. It's start stop. And it's the same with prayer, she says she prays the rosary then forgets about it for long. She hasn't been properly catechized, because I wasn't and I instructed myself through research this past year.

Now. I have a few concerns. I mean, my sister grew up with my mom and I grew up with my dad. We both missed out on that parent relationship. We both went through divorce etc, and my sister always had a particularly hard time with things. One day I spoke to her about her boyfriend and their relationship, because I know my dad is too scared to do it fearing that he might ruin their relationship. My sister kind of half acknowledged that she is living in sin and that spiritually this guy isn't good for her. But she ended the conversation telling me that he is her life and she couldn't live without him. Obviously, not a very healthy relationship but particularly when we consider the Catholic angle.

So what can I do? I mean, this guy - as nice as he is - is not the guy I want my sister to marry or be with. Fine, he lets her practise her faith, but that means nothing. He tolerates it. He is not the man I want my sister to be with, and I know it hurts my dad to know that my sister lives in sin and he doesn't want to say anything in fear of losing her. But I can say something. I can correct her, can't I? Fraternal correction - christian charity demanding that we correct our Christian brethren.

I just think it very unhealthy, even without the Catholic element. But add that in, that in all likelihood he is dragging her away from the faith (reminds me of the Screwtape Letters) and she is struggling internally to face the truth. I mean arg. Just makes one feel helpless.


#2

Just pray. There’s nothing you can do to make her want to love God any more than she does now other than help her by praying for her.


#3

[quote="Daegus, post:2, topic:224148"]
Just pray. There's nothing you can do to make her want to love God any more than she does now other than help her by praying for her.

[/quote]

I do! I pray every day, as does my father and his wife. I know to be patient. But there is more that can be done, surely. I can't just sit back and let God do all the work. Proactive approach!


#4

Perhaps get her some materials from Jason and Christalina Evert, www.chastity.com

They have good booklets, CDs, videos, etc.

Your sister doesn't respect herself or her body. She is with a man that does not respect her or her faith. She needs to see herself as a valuable person, loved completely by God.


#5

[quote="1ke, post:4, topic:224148"]

Your sister doesn't respect herself or her body. She is with a man that does not respect her or her faith. She needs to see herself as a valuable person, loved completely by God.

[/quote]

Precisely. But if you tell her, or anyone in her position, that thing she will just laugh it off and say something immature like "you just don't understand" or "yes but that's just crazy christian talk".

I have been thinking about getting her a book from Jason. Or perhaps, The Good News about Sex and Marriage.

But as a brother, as a man, as someone who aspires to be Christ like, I hate seeing someone with my sister who doesn't respect the faith or her body. Really just makes me go a bit grrr on the inside.


#6

[quote="NewsTheMan, post:5, topic:224148"]
Precisely. But if you tell her, or anyone in her position, that thing she will just laugh it off and say something immature like "you just don't understand" or "yes but that's just crazy christian talk".

[/quote]

She has to discover this for herself, that's why I suggest the Everts' video or CD.


#7

JPII's encyclical about sex and our bodies. It may be rather conscious raising to consider one's children that will not be born, the possiblity of infidelity by her boyfriend causing health issues, the reason God made sex, the respect for one's body.

Besides that there are financial issues. Can your sister support herself, or, is she dependant financially on this man? Can she understand that she does not have financial security in such a relationship. Are there reasons for the non-marriage relating to government aid.

Psychological issues involve the relationship with her Dad. She should be encouraged to spend more time with her Father, and learn to love him and respect him. A Father might come across unnecessarily strict, but, has she given a thought to how wholesome that is to have someone who cares that much for her person, without asking for much in return ... certainly not sex. Has she understood her mother's choices.

Does she have relationships or belong to groups, or work relationships outside of the relationship. Who are her friends, are they people she should continue to have as friends, or, are they contributing to her debasement.

Does she understand the sacraments. Can she go to confession. Can she talk to a Priest or nun. Can she attend a class which would increase her basic knowledge of Catholicism.

Will she pray in Church.


#8

Sometimes, it takes more than just prayer. Sometimes, we also have to offer up sacrifice. Fasting is good. Making a holy hour at a very inconvenient time (2am, for example). That sort of thing. Sacrifices of this sort can be the catalyst of apostolic action that can "jump start" a person's conversion process. :)


#9

[quote="Scoobyshme, post:8, topic:224148"]
Sometimes, it takes more than just prayer. Sometimes, we also have to offer up sacrifice. Fasting is good. Making a holy hour at a very inconvenient time (2am, for example). That sort of thing. Sacrifices of this sort can be the catalyst of apostolic action that can "jump start" a person's conversion process. :)

[/quote]

So fasting for religious purposes isn't a form of prayer...? :confused:


#10

Be an example of faith in her life.Let her see you living the life of a good practising catholic,attending Mass and enjoying it, loving your neighbour and being kind and considerate etc.Tell her you love her and are praying for her (and do pray for her) eventually (and it may take some considerable time) she will be motivated by your example of faith.

Try to show her you are not 'judging her' but love her and are concerned for her soul.Put no pressure on her other than by your example.When you show what a loving kind person you are she and her boyfriend will see it is a good thing to be a practising catholic.

Hope this helps

God bless


#11

Yeah its just difficult to set the example because I live in a different country (so does our dad) and we talk maybe 3 times a year! So it's not like my example can be rubbed off :(


#12

Distance does indeed make it very difficult to express your faith by example!

In this case then I would be an example of faith by email & not ask what she is doing with the boyfriend keep to positive things like what you are doing like attending Mass & mention that you are keeping her in your prayers becuase you love her.Tell her about the homilies your priest says on Sunday Mass and gradually influence her in a positive way like this.


#13

[quote=NewsTheMan;7407433But as a brother, as a man, as someone who aspires to be Christ like, I hate
[/quote]

seeing someone with my sister who doesn't respect the faith or her body. Really just makes me go a bit grrr on the inside.

And so basically you hate seeing her with herself... because she's not respecting her faith or her body. And there's no reason to expect someone else to respect her faith or her body MORE than she does... especially when they are no where near the same set of ideals.

I think all you should do is continue to share the "did you knows" about the Catholic faith. Not about her chastity or lack there of. Entice her with the truth in the Church. Let the rest come naturally. Maybe she'll tell her boyfriend they either need to get married, or he needs to get out... Who knows. But it needs to be HER that makes those decisions, based on her own knowledge.

But if they do get married, and you acquire a brother in law, who might be the father to your nieces and nephews, you might not want to be the guy that has been nothing but wrench in the system. You might want to be the guy who is asked to be God father, and who gets to share the Catholic faith even more.

Nothing in life is perfect. And as much as we love our families, we can't make them perfect. And we can't sit by angry watching them not be perfect. We learn from them. We hope we can extend some valuable information. We are there when the chips fall. IF they fall. We pray and hope for the best.


closed #14

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