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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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I have recently been in a struggle with the decision to move foward with a relationship. I started a friendship with a man 5 months ago and it has eventually turned into a very serious attractiveness. I would even go as far to say that he is "the one". The only problem is that he is not Catholic. He had a very hard childhood and grew up with no religion. As the case with many people in this country, he doesn't believe in organized religion. I know that I will not enter into any sort of commitment with a man who is not catholic because I choose to raise my children Catholic with my husband being the leader. But after much reflection and prayer, I can't help but believe that there is some reason for me to be in his life, and vice versa. I am very confused at this point and the decision on taking this relationship further needs to be made. Since I have this wonderful resource of Catholicmatch, I thought I would take a shot at it. Any suggestions?

Sep 30th 2012 new

There is no answer one can give you in what you should do. It really depends on yourself, on your morals and values, how you view your future and married life. All that I can advice you is to not blindly follow your heart, but think with your mind and very thorougly and deeply about your future. I have no doubt that you can love him and he can love you, but love isn't enough. There is much more you have to think about. Like you stated yourself, how are you going to raise your children? Is he going to respect you? Is he going to make you develop and grow in your faith, intellect and life. And can you handle those differences in marriage? Religion isn't just a religion, but a lifestyle. Maybe he doesn't like the organized religion, but he does believe in the teachings, morals and values of the church? If that's the case he can share your choice of lifestyle. It's a tough decision and I hope you will find your answer.


Praying

Sep 30th 2012 new

Marriage comes with many challenges. Sharing faith and putting God in the center of those trying times can make all the difference. Catholic tradition is much different than any other religion. Will this man encourage you to attend mass, observe the Lenten fast, understand when you go to reconciliation or will he want to be the end all-be all of your life. I have seen very successful marriages where there are different religions between them. Often they join the same church. Other times I see them attend different churches. I find this sad, because they are missing out on that bond.

Really pray about this one. Talk to your friend. Faith doesn't grow on it's own. It takes habit and exercise. Is that something you want to do alone?

Sep 30th 2012 new

(Quote) Rosario-841845 said: I have recently been in a struggle with the decision to move foward with a relationship. I star...
(Quote) Rosario-841845 said:

I have recently been in a struggle with the decision to move foward with a relationship. I started a friendship with a man 5 months ago and it has eventually turned into a very serious attractiveness. I would even go as far to say that he is "the one". The only problem is that he is not Catholic. He had a very hard childhood and grew up with no religion. As the case with many people in this country, he doesn't believe in organized religion. I know that I will not enter into any sort of commitment with a man who is not catholic because I choose to raise my children Catholic with my husband being the leader. But after much reflection and prayer, I can't help but believe that there is some reason for me to be in his life, and vice versa. I am very confused at this point and the decision on taking this relationship further needs to be made. Since I have this wonderful resource of Catholicmatch, I thought I would take a shot at it. Any suggestions?

--hide--
First of all, we want to welcome you to the forums. You're a relatively new member, and we're glad you found your way here so soon. It's a good place for sharing ideas, experiences and a lot more.

This is a difficult area but not insurrmountable. There are many successful marriages involving people of different faiths. Of course it can work, but a lot of thought and analyzing must take place prior to taking the big step. The first item to consider is that you can't expect him to change, so you will have to discern and judge from the standpoint of where he is now. His background suggests a lack of catechesis of ANY kind. Thus, any spiritual direction given to your children will be solely your responsibility. Apparently he has some type of spiritual feelings, but is unchurched and doesn't feel the need for organized religion.

Some considerations: Is he open to hearing your views and welcoming your devotion to the Catholic Faith? Or....is he disrespectful and mocking what the Church represents?

Would he be comfortable with you practicing your Faith and growing in it? Is there a possibility that you yourself could drift away from it, having been influenced by his views?

Although there may be doctrinal differences between you (well, yours and none to be blunt), how closely aligned are your values? Your treatment of others? Is he willing to share something with you and at least learn some of the basics of the Catholic Faith so he understands your position bettere? Will the differences in beliefs create disharmony in your family, should you decide to marry him? How much tension will this cause?

You can pray for his conversion, or at least some improvement in his beliefs, but you cannot absolutely count on it. You will be his biggest influence in this area. You won't be able to nag him about this -- that will have a backlash effect. Are you comfortable with attending Mass alone (eventually with your children if you are so blessed).? Could the diffeences lead to discord in the household, so severe that the marriage fails? How much do you feel will be missing if both of you don't practice the same faith or have the same beliefs? Can you help him understand why you believe in an organized religion (a faithful interpretation of the Word of God), as opposed to "we'll believe what we choose"?

These are questions to be addressed -- as objectively as possible. You really need to get to know each other to discover your core values. A marriage is, among other things, a means of helping one's partner to salvation. Will you each be able to do that? Look at this with scrutiny.

People can fall in love, but it doesn't mean they would be good marriage partners. Rather sad, but that's real life.

Can it work? Certainly -- with extra understanding and efforts from both of you. Perhaps someday he will see where your Faith has led you and want to be part of it. Even with the best of circumstances, there can be the feeling of "something's missing here". How will you feel about that?

We look for the ideal partner, but in reality, come as close as we can. We don't compromise our ideals in the process however.

I'll toss this in for thought. My wife came from a family of the Lutheran faith. She remained in it for 12-13 years into our marriage, then decided to study the Church and subsequently was confirmed in the Faith. Did I prod her to do this? No. Did we respect each others beliefs? Yes -- we didn't argue about doctrinal differences but occasionally pointed out what we believe and why. Her joining the Church created an added dimension to our marriage, even though it was a good relationship before that happened. There's no guarantee this will happen to you, but there's always hope.

Take your time with this, and talk to others who are in a "mixed marriage" situation to see how they've handled their faith differences.

Do your homework..... biggrin

Sep 30th 2012 new

(Quote) Rosario-841845 said: I know that I will not enter into any sort of commitment with a man who is not catholic because I choo...
(Quote) Rosario-841845 said: I know that I will not enter into any sort of commitment with a man who is not catholic because I choose to raise my children Catholic with my husband being the leader.
--hide--


Rosario ~

You are very brave to post this and I commend you for seeking advice! This is a very good question you raise.

From personal experience, I think Sally, Kathy and Ray all have posted very, very sound advice. Re-read their posts until all of their questions truly sink in to the point that you are personally aware in your gut what they are saying. It sounds like you have made your decision, but now you are second-guessing yourself, yes?

Ponder this: you may hear the idea that you should see your life in the most rose-colored way. You may hear that you should see yourself leading this person to Christ. You may hear that you should want to "be there" for the moment when this person accepts Christ. You may hear that you should hope for this outcome. Those are nice thoughts but they're bad information.

How could these things be bad if they sound like nice things, you ask? Because you aren't seeing the person for who he is but who you want him to be.

Ask yourself, can you live with a person who doesn't know Christ? Can you live with a person who you should never expect to know Christ? Can you picture yourself in a relationship with someone who isn't interested in your faith or Christ? (These two questions aren't for this site but for you to ask yourself: Do you know why your friend doesn't value faith? Have you had a faith discussion with him that gives you a satisfactory answer so you know what you're entering in terms of a relationship with him? Again, those last two questions were for you, not for posting on here.)

I'm not trying to talk you out of your relationship, Rosario. However, I'm suggesting at this point in time you take some time off to yourself - guided by the Holy Spirit - and discern whether this is the direction you want to go.

Sep 30th 2012 new

(Quote) John-727073 said: Rosario ~ You are very brave to post this and I commend you for seeking ad...
(Quote) John-727073 said:



Rosario ~

You are very brave to post this and I commend you for seeking advice! This is a very good question you raise.

From personal experience, I think Sally, Kathy and Ray all have posted very, very sound advice. Re-read their posts until all of their questions truly sink in to the point that you are personally aware in your gut what they are saying. It sounds like you have made your decision, but now you are second-guessing yourself, yes?

Ponder this: you may hear the idea that you should see your life in the most rose-colored way. You may hear that you should see yourself leading this person to Christ. You may hear that you should want to "be there" for the moment when this person accepts Christ. You may hear that you should hope for this outcome. Those are nice thoughts but they're bad information.

How could these things be bad if they sound like nice things, you ask? Because you aren't seeing the person for who he is but who you want him to be.

Ask yourself, can you live with a person who doesn't know Christ? Can you live with a person who you should never expect to know Christ? Can you picture yourself in a relationship with someone who isn't interested in your faith or Christ? (These two questions aren't for this site but for you to ask yourself: Do you know why your friend doesn't value faith? Have you had a faith discussion with him that gives you a satisfactory answer so you know what you're entering in terms of a relationship with him? Again, those last two questions were for you, not for posting on here.)

I'm not trying to talk you out of your relationship, Rosario. However, I'm suggesting at this point in time you take some time off to yourself - guided by the Holy Spirit - and discern whether this is the direction you want to go.

--hide--



Marriage is a very serious commitment. Being with someone who has had a hard life can feel very compelling but it does not make him the right person for you. I have enough experience with this to know. I pray you will make the right choice and I do agree with these people above here who have posted to your question. I have been in a few relationships such as you describe and we get bonded to the person and love is blind. I suggest you really pray about this. I do know that usually a relationship needs to run its course and you probably will need to let that happen unless you are feeling particularly strongly about ending it already. May God Lead you to the right man for you. Bottom line- It is too big of a commitment to be in with someone who does not know Jesus. If this man does not value faith chances are that he is getting something from you because of your faith,but you may not be able to ge the spiritual things you need from him. You can never enjoy the fullness of an equally yoked Christian Catholic and sacramental marriage if you marry him. If you two are sexually involved, you will not be able to think straight about this until you stop your sexual relationship. When two people are sexually involved, bonding chemicals are released in the brain and it immediately creates a bond and this bond is a very very strong bond. That is how God intended it and made us but most people don't take that bond into account when they get involved and then end up feeling they can't get away from that person... even if they want to. Praying

Sep 30th 2012 new

Hi Rosario,

I agree with everything Ray said. It does happen, but there are difficulties.

Peace,

Matt

Sep 30th 2012 new

Hi Rosario,

I agree with everything Ray said. It does happen, but there are difficulties.

Peace,

Matt

Sep 30th 2012 new

(Quote) Rosario-841845 said: I have recently been in a struggle with the decision to move foward with a relationship. I star...
(Quote) Rosario-841845 said:

I have recently been in a struggle with the decision to move foward with a relationship. I started a friendship with a man 5 months ago and it has eventually turned into a very serious attractiveness. I would even go as far to say that he is "the one". The only problem is that he is not Catholic. He had a very hard childhood and grew up with no religion. As the case with many people in this country, he doesn't believe in organized religion. I know that I will not enter into any sort of commitment with a man who is not catholic because I choose to raise my children Catholic with my husband being the leader. But after much reflection and prayer, I can't help but believe that there is some reason for me to be in his life, and vice versa. I am very confused at this point and the decision on taking this relationship further needs to be made. Since I have this wonderful resource of Catholicmatch, I thought I would take a shot at it. Any suggestions?

--hide--


As Ray said, It can happen, butI will add that it is rare that it can work out, if he is so against religion..

Sep 30th 2012 new

Rosario, I know this is a tough question for anyone. I would never give a blanket statement, that you shouldn't marry a non-believer, my mother was Catholic shile my father was Anglican. In their case, after 26 years of marriage he converted, they've now been married for 44 years.

My mother would say the difference is, he was raised to be strong in his Anglican faith and, discussing faith issues and differences with a very good priest and friend of the family, he came to understand and evenutally accept our faith as his own.

For someone who was raised to have no faith at all, it is going to be an uphill struggle. Does he think your faith and practices 'weird' or more intruiging? Does he support you even if he doesn't understand... or is it more of an eye-rolling, 'I can't believe she's doing this' attitude?

For me growing up, I wondered why Daddy didn't come to mass with us, but went somewhere else instead - I can remember asking if I could go to his instead? (solid NO, by the way! laughing ) If you had children with this man, would he support your efforts to teach them faith, or would he likely tell them something along the lines of, 'well, your mum believes this but - - - '

It is a decision that only you can make and I wish you strength, peace and joy in whatever you choose.

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