Thinking about how to break news to my parents


#1

Hey everyone,

I would like some advice on this.

My girlfriend and I have been together for a little bit. She is a single mother whose previous, very short marriage, ended with an annulment. Everything has been going providentially great, but my parents don’t really seem to understand my situation. They are very conservative and think that the only type of marriage is the traditional form. How can I come to help them understand that being in a relationship with a single mother, not against anything that the Catholic church teaches?

Thanks a ton!
Josh,

by the way… I am new to here, so I am looking for some good buddies to share thoughts with!

thanks


#2

Are they worried about Church teaching or about you getting involved w/ someone who already has a child? It’s not the easiest situation to be in.


#3

I’m not sure what you mean by the only type of marriage is the “traditional form”.

Regarding your parents, my suggestion is that you take your relationship with this woman slowly. I presume that she is a practicing Catholic and that she fully embraces the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Go gradually. Don’t become attached to her child(ren) or allow them to become attached to you. Date the mom, not the children-- not until you are at the point of contemplating marriage.

If you discern that you two are called to marriage, go to counseling to discuss the root cause of her failed first marriage (yes, it was invalid but you need to explore what caused the breakdown of the marriage) and how your relationship will be different.

Let your parents get to know her gradually. If they bring up disapproval or concern-- listen to them. But, if they don’t have any factually based concerns then you must make your own way. If the only thing they object to is that she has been married before, she has a decree of nullity. They cannot hold her to a higher standard that the Church herself, which has proclaimed her freedom to marry.

What, specifically, is their issue?


#4

Dear Josh, you don’t need to apologise to anyone for loving and dating a mother with a child. There is no contravention of Church law as her previous marriage is annulled. In this case much as you love them, it isn’t about your parents, it is about your life and happiness, within the laws of the Church. You have the right to tell your parents kindly but confidently, and if they object, in this instance it is actually their issue. If they love you they should respect your choice which will have the full blessing of the Sacrament of Matrimony. I think it is important for you to be confident in telling them, but of course with cheerful kindness. Don’t take their attitude on board. If you are apologetic, you will hook their sense of Parent and they will react to you as if you are Child…but you are a man, and you are not doing wrong. If you approach them kindly as Adult, you have at least a hope of hooking their Adult, if they aren’t too fearful, which again is their issue and a point at which they may learn to grow. In time they may get over their reservations. The advice in the above posts is very important, eg 1ke’s points are excelent.

Please God all will work out wonderfully for you all.

“Have you not read that from the beginning, the creator made them male and female and this is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body? They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So, then, what God has united, man must not divide.” [Matthew 19:4-6]


#5

Just say Mom Dad i met someone, i want you to meet her, I really like her alot, she was married but its been cleared with the church, so if we want to get married in the Church its cool. If you need to know anything about the process ask Father on Sunday and he will explain it better. Thats all. Good luck love, hope if shes the one you have alot of love and happiness.


#6

Good advice from 1ke. As a single mom myself, I would just like to underscore the advice to not become too involved with her child. The relationship with the mom has to come first, and a relationship with her child should only come after it has been established that the two of you are compatible and have common values and goals. Then you can see if you are compatible with the child and have similar parenting philosophies. I think you both will have to keep in mind that should you marry, your relationship with each other will far outlast the time where you would be actively parenting and living with her child. So, it really has to be about the two of you.

Counseling is not a bad idea at all, and it is important to understand the patterns that led to the breakdown of her first marriage. Too often people are comfortable in a familiar pattern and don’t understand the bigger picture about how established behaviors can lead to real problems.


#7

don’t know what you mean by other than the traditional form of marriage. if you are going to marry her and you are Catholic, it will be a Catholic marriage. what part of that don’t they accept.

I am also putting the kindest possible construction on “being together” so if your meaning is not my definition (friends, having started courtship, discerning marriage, chaste before, during and after) then that’s great. maybe they just need time to acclimate to a ready-made grandchild.


#8

I am referring to a traditional, marry have kids… then a blended family


#9

If you are really young, I can understand why your parents might have reservations, thinking that perhaps you aren’t mature enough to assume the responsibilities of an instant family?

If it isn’t a matter of your age/maturity, I say give them a bit of time… if she’s as great as you believe her to be, why wouldn’t they? Also, I think most parents can’t resist a sweet child who may make them instant grandparents!


#10

Sounds as if she has tried to do the right thing - having her marriage reviewed by the tribunal and all.

Give your parents a chance to know her, be humble and realize that they will have some concerns (like the fact that you will have to deal with the bio dad and work all that out).

Could having a meeting with your parents and a Priest who knows your girlfriend be a help?

Pray LOTS!


#11

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