FILs Object to Us Getting Married [LONG]

posted 3 years ago in Family
Post # 2
594 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’m sorry you are going through this. His parents sound very controlling and maybe they are having a hard time dealing with the fact that they have no control over this situation. As long as you and your FI are a united front you will be fine. Don’t let them bully you into having the wedding that you don’t want. Their son is grown and he has made his choice for a life partner. They will just have to accept that. 

Post # 3
20 posts

I agree. Stand up to this together. I got bullied into cancelling my wedding (if you just look at my most recent post). This is your life together with your FI so even though they may think they are looking out for the best, you both are in charge of your own life. 

Give them time to calm down. They are the ones that have to compromise. Stand firm and good luck!!

Post # 4
3637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

That is very, very weird. It would be a lot less weird if you hadn’t already bought a house together, I feel like all of this should have come up then. But, perhaps being Catholic and therefore not believing in divorce, this has all of a sudden been seen as the “final” step before forever.

Did he/talk to them at all about the intention of proposing? Perhaps it was a surprise in that they didn’t know it was coming because they had expected him to talk to them before popping the question. I get that at this stage in your relationship it was not a shock, but if you had always expected that someone would tell you about an event before making it happen, I can see how it may have shocked them.

How long ago did you get engaged? Hopefully this will all die down in time. 

Post # 5
1793 posts
Buzzing bee


Cathemeral:  One thing that comes to mind is this:  marriage is one of the Sacraments in the Catholic Church.  If he does not marry in the Church he can’t take communion and that is tremendous concern in the Catholic Church.  I am a Protestant who married into a Catholic family, my husband hasn’t practiced since he was in his early 20’s and we are now in our 50’s.

I don’t want to speak for Catholic parents everywhere, but they don’t just see this as “Oh,  hey you are marrying a non-believer”, they see “Are you crazy?  You won’t be able to take Communion!!  You will not be in good standing with the Church!!”  Again, a very serious thing for them.

So, while I am not at all condoning their actions at all, I am just offering a window for you to glimpse what may be going on in their minds.  I find it helpful when I have a problem if I can at least try to see things from the other perspective.

What has your FI said to his parents in response?  How long has it been since you told them you were engaged?  Giving them some time to get used to this is probably a good start.  Sometimes as parents, we need a moment to accept that the pre-conceived “vision” we had for our kids lives isn’t reality.  Maybe a little distance for awhile so they can mull this over is a good idea.

I am going to assume FI has your back in all of this and you guys are on the same page.  I wish you luck, but I would put a little distance and time between you guys and his parents til they calm down.  I wish you the best in all of this.

Post # 7
2150 posts
Buzzing bee

Cathemeral:  So sorry you’re going through this. FI and I went through a sort of similar issuse.

We were both raised Catholic- his mom and maternal grandmother love that about me. However, my mom’s side of the family was the religious party, and most of them have all passed away, including my mom. That being said, we don’t go to church. FI’s mom goes every Sunday and his grandmother goes like everyday, literally. 

FI and I have been living together for 3 years, also.  His mom was a little upset when we told her we were going to move in together, but she realized that it was better this way than waiting until we were married and possibly discover it wasn’t going to work. His grandma was pretty upset, but she soon got over it. (FI is her favorite grandkid, so I think she makes exceptions for us lol).

Anyway, when we got engaged, we immediately booked a Catholic church. I guess we did that because we were both raised Catholic and that’s the first thing that came to mind. The more we thought about a Catholic ceremony and all of the strings attached to it (pre cana, raising your kids Catholic, etc) we decided it wasn’t for us. We don’t really identify as Catholic anymore- me more so than FI. I am more of a deist, while FI still identifies with Christianity.

So, our ceremony. We’ve hired an officiant who is a member of a local Native American tribal society (I have Native American roots and have always felt drawn to the spirituality of my ancestors), but he also performs Christian ceremonies. 

Our ceremony is going to include handfasting, a Native American prayer, and a Catholic prayer from St. Francis of Assisi (FI was confirmed under St. Francis’ name because of his strong ties with nature). FI’s mom was disappointed in our decision to be married outside of the church (we really wanted an outdoor ceremony, which is also forbidden by the church), but I think she and his grandmother will understand.

Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share my story in hopes it’ll help. In the end, do what you and your FI want- it’s your wedding, afterall!

Post # 8
2150 posts
Buzzing bee

Cathemeral:  Oh and I almost forgot…

You can get married outside of the church and later down the road if you decide Catholicism is for you, you can always get married again in the church so that the church recognizes your marriage.

This is our plan (if we ever decide to get back into the religion), and what we told FI’s family to help ease the pain.

A lot of couples who have DW and are Catholic get married at their destination and come home to have another church ceremony.

Post # 9
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Cathemeral:  Commiserating, girlfriend! FI’s mom is Christian and pissed that we’re not getting married in a church. Despite the fact that FI didn’t consider himself a Christian long before I came along, apparently I made the situation “worse” because I’m not religious either. We’ve had three drawn out discussion that basically made my FI so angry he said that if she brought the subject up again then he literally wouldn’t speak to her anymore – she said we are going to hell, disrespected us regarding our religion (or lack there of – however, we ARE spiritual people and believe in a higher power, just not that organized religion is the answer), and just saying that we’re wrong in the way that we are living our life. We were/are/always have been completely respectful of her beliefs and understand that she absolutely believes in Christianity, and that’s great for her, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

We booked our venue a couple of weeks ago (outside, BEAUTIFUL, what’s more of a miracle than nature itself?) that has a cross near the place where we’ll say our vows. We asked that they remove it for the ceremony. We probably would’ve left it to appease his mom but after what she’s said my FI and I don’t feel the need to compromise.

All the advice I can give is that make sure you’re both on the same page. I told my FI that I wasn’t going to argue with his mother (he did that himself, though I was present and interjected here and there) or any of his other family members about anything so he can handle his family and I’ll handle mine – which I have no problem telling them what’s up if it comes to that. What I told him is that “She doesn’t have to love me, I’m not her kid. She’s always going to love you so you can be the bad guy.” Lol. So that was incredibly helpful. Good luck!

Post # 10
1806 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - EDD Aug '15

Cathemeral:  Wow, just wow! So sorry. In your situation I would stand as a team with your FI and go ahead and plan the wedding you both want. Don’t let them be a part of the planning and organizing process. Then when the time comes they can either go to your wedding and see their son happy and marrying you (yay!) or not.

Post # 11
3014 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

My grandparents were married in the Catholic church, due to the wishes of my grandfather’s mother. My grandmother says it was the first, last and ONLY time that she stepped foot in one. Not so coincidentally, they pretty much cut off ties with their families when they emigrated from England to Canada. Even over 50 years later, my grandmother is still kind of bitter about having her wedding day dictated by someone else like that. 


If I were you I would try to find some way of getting your FI’s family to be at peace with you not having a Catholic ceremony. I wouldn’t compromise!

Post # 12
2869 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It’s really none of their business- none of it. Who pays, where it happens, that he proposed- those are all choices to be made by y’all. I mean they can be mad or upset if they want, but you don’t have to take those feelings into consideration when making plans. I’m sorry they are raining on what should be a happy time. 

Post # 14
290 posts
Helper bee

This is literally the exact situation I’m looking to be in soon, right down to “My FI’s family is conservative and strongly Catholic, while he’s a lapsed/non-churchgoing Catholic and I’m an atheist.” I’m so nervous about something like this happening when my boyfriend and I get engaged. In terms of what you should do….. I’m going to suggest the same thing that my boyfriend and I agreed on. Tell them “tough cookies”. Its your wedding, they already had their chance and in no way should you compromise your own beliefs and wants for them…. expecially down the line when you look back on your wedding. Do you want to have regrets about not having had the wedding you want, or glad that you stuck to your guns and had the wedding of your dreams? It might cause some backlash from them, true, but eventually they will have to get over it. From how you’ve described, they’re religious, not psychotic (what’s the difference, am I right? Haha… I kid). I sincerely doubt that they will be obsessing about it forever.

Post # 15
123 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Former Mormon here. My dad was Mormon as a kid, my mom never was. When they found out I was getting married they both lamented that I can’t get married in the Mormon temple. Btw, they aren’t considered “worthy” to be permitted in the temple as non-members, so they wouldn’t have been able to go to my wedding. Their religious ideals are such that they didn’t even care about that, they still wanted me to have a church-worthy wedding. They suggested that I have a former bishop be our officiant, and told me how we have to have a religious ceremony because even though I say I’m an athiest I know deep in my heart that God exists and that marriage has no meaning out of religious context.

Fast forward a couple months and they have really backed down on some of the outrageous ideas they had for our wedding. I absolutely refused to compromise because being insincere about my commitment to God should not be in the same ceremony as my very real commitment to my FI. You can’t make one of the biggest promises of your life while lying in the next breath. It seems like you feel the same because you said you don’t want to lie about raising children Catholic, etc.

Hold your ground because you should not lie in your wedding ceremony. However, be polite and understanding about the fact that they think their son is going to burn for this and that that is a very real fear for them even if you don’t understand it. Even though it might take a bit for them to mentally change the vision they had for their son, they’re going to come to terms with it. They are powerless here. They can’t make you Catholic, or their future grandbabies, or their son, so they will mentally have to find a way to reconcile that. I bet they’ll realize that there is nothing they can do and will come around peacefully.

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