Stuggling to deal with girlfriend's family

Hi, my girlfriend and I are coming up on being together for almost 4 years now. We are both still young, both 21 years old, and are constantly discerning marriage but have always thought we are called to marry one another (Main reason we are not engaged or married is because we are both in school and don’t have the financial means to support a family yet).

My dilemma is her family. We both come from different cultures and have different relationships with our extended family. Her extended family is extremely close and spends at times almost every weekend together. I don’t have a problem spending time with them because I do enjoy doing so, and because I know it makes my girlfriend happy, but they can at times be big partyers. At most family gatherings alcohol can become a huge part of the gathering, to the point where everyone’s trying to get drunk. This has made it very difficult for me as I’ve never been much of a drinker and still am not so I don’t always fit in. My girlfriend is very much like me but can be easily influenced by her family. Before she was 21 she always had an excuse for them why she didn’t want to drink with them but now that she is 21 there isn’t much of an excuse.

The hardest part of this is that my girlfriend and I practice are faith together the best we can: we go to daily mass, confession every 2 weeks, adoration, etc. Unfortunately her family doesn’t really practice at all, yet they do call themselves Catholic. Does anyone have any opinions on how I should handle this, or if I should even do anything at all?

When I am with her while spending time with her family she isn’t very influenced by them because I am a constant reminder to her, but it’s when she’s alone with all her girl cousin’s when I won’t make it to a gathering that sometimes worries me. She is strong in her faith, but when with her cousins are telling her to “drink up” and expecting her to be like them it bothers me.

Any advice would be appreciated. I love my girlfriend very much and want her to be my wife someday, and I’m trying my best to lead her to Heaven. Sometimes I feel powerless though :confused:

Thank you for sharing your story.

Your girlfriend recently turned 21 and is from a family of “party people.” It is no wonder that she is drinking. Drinking can be enjoyable, she might enjoy the feeling that it gives her. Plus, having grown up in the environment that she did, it is natural for her to follow this path. She really does not have much incentive NOT to. She loves her family, and as she is probably not driving probably doesn’t see a problem with it.

Drinking is a novelty that can wear off, or not.

What you will need to discern in the next year or so that you are dating, is whether or not you can have this in your life, and if you can picture your future children living this way. These will be your future children 's grandparents and this will impact your family life. Perhaps you may discern that it isn’t so bad, conversely you may discern that you cannot have this in your life. My suggestion is to keep your heart open to the Holy Spirit and his voice. God bless you for your commitment to the faith and your concern, what a blessing and a joy to hear about young people dedicated to Christ. Please be assured of my prayers.

Thank you very much! I really appreciate your prayers and will definitely keep that in mind during my discernment.

Pray the rosary for her and you will protect her mightily from a great many temptations.

Pray it often for her, I suggest, and you’ll be doing her a great service of love.

Then quit worrying! :wink:

Speak with your gf about your concerns, and discover if you are both on the same page.

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