A non-catholic in need…

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  leegal 3 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #2087

    Anon
    Member

    I have a question, I need new perspective. I have been dating a catholic girl for the last long while. We’re on a very serious track for marriage..once we get our degrees. I am not, nor will I likely ever be catholic myself. While it may not be for catholic reasons, it is incredibly important to me that I not make her feel like she is in danger. However, specifically from a sexual standpoint, I feel like I am putting pressure on her unintentionally (though I think this would be true of anyone in a long term relationship).

    Sex is the biggest difficulty we face. Especially since I keep finding out that all of the other catholic couples around us are succumbing to the same issues.

    So my question is: Even though I am not catholic, I always welcome a new perspective. How am I supposed to hold up – and hold her up as she is more likely to break her rules than me – when all of the other good catholic couples we know have failed? She would likely fail as well if weren’t for me and I doubt I can keep this up until marriage, still more than a year off.

    #10202

    Anon
    Wow, I think this is a question that should best be directed at somebody more qualified. I would recommend asking this exact question at

    http://www.saint-mike.org/qa/default.asp

    This is a brother who deals with many questions like this and an expert. It’s important to know exactly where your girlfriend is in regards to her Catholicism; is she a faithful Catholic, or just in name; where do YOU stand on your relationship with Our Lord, etc. I personally don’t think that sex is the biggest difficulty but differences of Faiths should be the biggest difficulty. I know from firsthand experience. The brother from this website counsels many who are contemplating inter-faith marriages. He is a former Protestant Minister and I have seen him deal with these types of issues and if you are really serious and wanting to do the right thing, then best get advice from experts rather than different opinions which could probably confuse you more than help.

    I’ll be praying for you.

    #10203

    Anon
    Member

    Thanks for the reply, I think I’ll check that out.
    But first, I’d just like to clarify. She is a faithful catholic as best she can be and this is very important to her. I should have said that sex is our biggest issue at the moment. We have discussed faith a great deal and have come to terms with the differences as best we know how, reinforcing that it can continue to work in the future. While it is by no means solved and I am aware that there will continue to be conflicts in the future, our differences in faith are less of an issue at the moment than what is directly on the doorstep right now: sex and how it operates within the Catholic faith.
    While I’m not entirely sure why, though I know their significance, she is particularly concerned with sexual sins more than any other to do with us.

    As for my own faith…I’d say I’m still working on that.

    #10204

    subaru
    Member

    First of all, let me commend you for not giving yourselves away before marriage. I think each couple such as yourself should be commended for that. We deal with such negative influence in the media it just makes me sick. So, good job, and stay pure! (easier said than done, right?!)

    I’m speaking strictly from experience, as my husband and I just got married this last July and we stayed pure until then. From everything we experienced up until we got married, I don’t want to sugar coat how the next year will go for you. It was one of the most difficult things I had to deal with, and the biggest thing for us was 1. we were, and still are, on the same page in our spiritual walk. You said “our differences in faith are less of an issue at the moment than what is directly on the doorstep right now: sex…”. To be honest with you, Anon, if you and your fiance are not on the same page spiritually and don’t have that squared away, figuring out how sex works in the catholic church will actually be the least of your worries. Right now it probably seems like the biggest struggle (it was huge for us too! I understand!), but until you get on the same page with your spiritual walk, things will be complicated and just get worse as time goes on. 2. we held each other accountable. If things were physically getting out of hand, even just kissing going too far, we stopped and backed away. The key for us was stopping the physical part before it got out of hand. And, I don’t mean to put any pressure on you, but you’re the one in the relationship who will have the most trouble with this. It was funny after my husband and I got married, he says , “wow I can think so much clearer!” So, be strong and make sure you both hold each other accountable.

    One last piece of advice I have is to surround yourself with Godly people and a positive influence. They will be the best support (or should be..) that you can find for helping your situation.

    Things will be hard (especially for you!) and probably get harder, especially the last few weeks before your wedding, but don’t give in to temptation! The enemy wants you to stumble on your human instinct! Don’t give him a chance!

    #10205

    Anon
    Member

    I’m not entirely certain what you mean by ‘the same page of our spiritual walk’ but we have come to peaceful and supportive conclusions from where we both sit from that perceptive. As I said before, I am not Catholic and it is unlikely I ever will be, however I can and do provide the support that I can for her. I know more than enough of the faith now to help her uphold herself, and our children, when they need it.

    Sex is the issue I asked about but it seems I have gotten advice on other aspects as well. I still do not know about the sexual part, I don’t what I expected to hear as far as advice goes. I had hoped there was some method, other resource or something, silly as that sounds.

    Anyway, thanks for the posts that were made regarding that. If anyone has anything general on interfaith marriages or other useful thoughts, please don’t hesitate to mention it, I’d love as many opinions as possible.

    #10206

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    The best advice I have is to stay true to the boundaries you set. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

    #10208

    leegal
    Member
    "Anon":2efgbi08 wrote:
    I’m not entirely certain what you mean by ‘the same page of our spiritual walk’ but we have come to peaceful and supportive conclusions from where we both sit from that perceptive. As I said before, I am not Catholic and it is unlikely I ever will be, however I can and do provide the support that I can for her. I know more than enough of the faith now to help her uphold herself, and our children, when they need it.

    Sex is the issue I asked about but it seems I have gotten advice on other aspects as well. I still do not know about the sexual part, I don’t what I expected to hear as far as advice goes. I had hoped there was some method, other resource or something, silly as that sounds.

    Anyway, thanks for the posts that were made regarding that. If anyone has anything general on interfaith marriages or other useful thoughts, please don’t hesitate to mention it, I’d love as many opinions as possible.[/quote:2efgbi08]
    You don’t mention what faith you are, if any. Or why it is unlikely that you would convert. I accept this as your knowledge, not as a criticism.

    To be on the same page in a spiritual walk is that both parties have the spiritual life of the other party in mind. You would not do anything that would cause her to sin — you would not prevent her from practicing her faith — and you must be open to raising the children as Catholic as well, even while you do not convert. I’m in no way suggesting that you are doing any of the above, only giving you examples of the obligations of the non-Catholic spouse.

    In that regard, when two are of the same faith, they have that much more in common — that common purpose of advancing each other’s spiritual life because they are on the same page — a common understanding and a common goals. You do not question her choice to pursue her faith (and I don’t think you are so I am speaking generally and not addressing you, specifically). Asking questions to understand why Catholics believe in a certain doctrine are understandable, but not to create conflict and criticize the other’s faith. Again, I don’t think you are doing that, but it does happen when two are not of the same faith. So, think about what happens when you are confronted with something within her Catholic faith and you just cannot understand it, and how will you deal with your inability to accept or understand something?

    Sexual temptation is not limited to Catholics – we are all tempted. But it’s true what the poster said — interfaith marriage brings up all other kinds of questions and problems, and they don’t only have to do with sex. Many do.

    I suggest you study up on the marital union for Catholics because it has a two-fold purpose — unification and procreation — since you are on the marriage track. You need to research this together so that you understand the teachings of the Church on the issue of marital sex as well (the Church’s teachings, the prohibitions against artificial birth control and the Church’s position on natural family planning — NFP) — as this will come up and it will affect the marriage if you are not “on the same page” with post-marital issues if you do not accept the teachings or see the need to conform, and she does.

    I only bring this up, not to preach to you, but to suggest that this may come up and you might have a conflict after you are married. You asked for other questions that arise in inter-faith marriages. If these come up will you be able to deal with them — accept them, while not preventing her from remaining true to her faith? It could be her weekly obligation to attend Mass when it conflicts with something else you had planned and the Church’s schedule does not conform to your plans. Can you accept that? Raising the children as Catholics? That’s being on the same page.

    The other advice is all good. Easy for me to say; not so easy to do, I realize that.

    Good luck and God Bless.

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