What would you do in this scenario?

let’s say you have an adult child who married outside the church, against your good upbringing. or one who got divorced and remarried without an annulment.

how would you practically treat the situation. do you refer to their person as their wife/husband? if they come to visit, would you give them separate sleeping quarters as if they weren’t married? would you stay at their house if they live together, even if they are just bf/gf?

I understand these are complicated situations. on the one hand,you don’t want to seem like you’re shunning thjem, on the other, you can’t condone certain things. I honestly have no idea what I would do in these situations, was just wondering how other good faithful catholics might approach things

That’s a difficult scenario. I hope I would be charitable to both of them, but encouraging a sinful lifestyle is not charity. Separate beds, definitely. Not attending that wedding, or the reception. I don’t think I would stay at their house, either. That doesn’t mean you have to break off all contact, but avoid those actions which would show approval of sin. There’s no need to be nasty or judgmental; one can calmly state the facts of the matter, and act accordingly. If they perceive that as being judgmental, that’s their problem. They expect you to respect their beliefs; they should respect yours.

OP, you are asking several different questions, involving very different situations.

Many of these situations are matters of prudential judgment.

I mean, I don’t know what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do, but hypothetically I think I would:

  1. Refer to spouse by first name, instead of husband/wife
  2. Yes to separate living quarters
  3. I don’t see anything wrong with staying at their house if they are living together - it’s not condoning their sin in any way.

I think I would obviously voice my wish that they get their marriage blessed in the Catholic church. Once they knew that, I would treat them exactly as my son / daughter. The only time they would ever be aware of any different treatment is the separate beds thing if they came to stay.

My son and his wife were married by a JP when they eloped. They were both in their mid-twenties and had been out of their parents’ house for years.

I do not treat them any differently than I do my daughter who was married in the Church. They know my feelings, they acted in their own conscience (my DIL is not Catholic and my son disassociated himself from the Church years ago.) That is a cross I have to bear, and voicing my disapproval or treating them differently from the rest of the family is not going to do anything but cause strained relations with no good religious outcome whatsoever.

Legally, they are married and she is his wife and he is her husband under the law–that cannot be denied, and that is how I refer to them. They have been married 18 years, there is no point in insisting on separate bedrooms when we or they visit. It’s not going to make one iota of difference. Some things we have to be realistic about.

Now people (esp. those not in the situation) on this forum may see things differently, but let me remind those who would chastise me for what I have said that it is not their place to do so.
Adult children are responsible for their own decisions, and I am not responsible for them any more. And parents do not easily give up on their children. I don’t treat them like outcasts from the family, and never will. There is always hope.

A beautiful, and loving response.

I agree with you 100%. You seem to be a good momma. Peace.

Wife: “My mom and dad say we can’t sleep together when we visit them because we weren’t married in the Church.”

Husband: “Then let’s not visit them anymore.”

Wife: “Fine by me.”


You know, people can say many things but we all know most of that stuff about tough love goes out the window when it’s your own child,
You don’t stop loving you children when they make poor decisions, or ones that don’t go with our worldview.
Right or wrong, you don’t stop loving your children.
What Carolyn says is a prime example.
Life happens angel. We hope and pray that our kids remain in the church.
Sometimes they don’t. There’s always hope that they will return.

I believe this is what I would do as well. Great post :thumbsup:

If you tell a legally (but invalidly) married couple they would have to stay in separate rooms if they visit you then they would never visit you and likely would cut off any relationship you have.

And full of common sense.

Yes, this would be the most likely outcome.

That is a cross I have to bear, and voicing my disapproval or treating them differently from the rest of the family is not going to do anything but cause strained relations with no good religious outcome whatsoever.


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