Post # 1
Hello…I am a Protestant Christian engaged to a wonderful man who was raised in the Polish Catholic Church. We have been attending my church (non-denominational) together for several months now and he’s made no secret of it to his parents. He loves going there. When his parents found out we got engaged and want to be married in a Protestant church (not my church because it’s unavailable at the time we wish to be married), they refused to come to the wedding. We as a couple are willing to have both a Protestant pastor (I have several good friends who are pastors) and Catholic priest co-officiate our ceremony, but his parents still said they won’t come unless it’s in a Catholic church. We have many reasons for wanting to be married in a Protestant Church (one of the main ones is we want to raise our kids Protestant but also expose them to Catholic faith so they can make their own decision). I went to a Catholic school and attended Mass for 9 years as a child, and I think I understand Catholic faith pretty well, but his parents’ unwillingness to budge even an inch I think (and he agrees) is very unreasonable. Help! Is there anything we can do to sway them without letting them control our lives? (We’re paying for this wedding completely on our own).
Post # 3
Yep. I’m dating someone who’s mother is Polish Catholic, and she told him if we don’t get married in a church, she won’t come to the wedding. We’re very tempted to call her bluff because it’s not fair to us just because we aren’t catholic. When she said that, my SO said “Fine, it’s your loss, Mom.” I’m very interested to see what she actually does when it comes down to it. I’m sorry they’re being like this. *Hug*
Post # 4
WOW!!!!! That is outrageous. She should care more that her son has found a way to incorporate religion into his daily life (very rare these days), not that he will commit himself to you in a building with a slightly different sign out front. Do waht works best for you and your fiance- and raise your children as you see fit. And then be open minded to whatever type of wedding they wind up wanting to have 🙂
Post # 5
It’s a shame she feels that way, and that’s exactly what I’d say to her. If you give in now, just wait until you have kids. She sounds like a joy to deal with.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@OneOfTheseDaysAlice: Pretty much what this poster’s FH said. It’s their loss if they don’t want to attend your wedding and it will likely affect your relationship with them as well as the relationship you and your FH decide for them to have with your children.
Post # 7
I would have to tell them that you are going to miss them, 100%. It’s YOUR wedding, not theirs!
Post # 8
The only way to fight a bully is to hit back. Tell them it’s thier choice to attend or not, but you will be having your ceremony where it best represents you and your Fiance.
Post # 9
Sounds like my mother! Fiance and I are both non-practicing catholics, although we were both raised in the church. My mom is a die-hard, and FMIL/FFIL haven’t said anything crazy about it, but have mentioned how “nice” it would be. So, we’re picking our battles and giving in. We’ll be having a non-mass service in a Catholic church (my mom is footing the bill for it, and pre-cana) and then we’re having one hell of a party on OUR terms.
There is, to me, something sweet about walking down a “real” aisle…the religion stuff aside, I kind of like the formality of a church ceremony. Fiance feels the same way. Just some things aren’t worth the fight, and my mom is crazy enough as-is … so we’re giving her this.
Post # 10
i feel for you completely. my FI’s parents are uber irish catholic and they havent given us a direct ultimatum yet, i feel it looming. it really sucks. in most situations i would suggest compromise, but it sounds like youve made a pretty awesome compromise already. if they cant accept that, then i think your might just have to make it known that you want them there but stand your ground.
Post # 11
Thanks, everyone, for the support! OneOfTheseDaysAlice, my fiance said pretty much the same thing to his mom. You probably understand it’s hard to tell how far they’ll take it (relating to our future children, etc.) because they barely speak English and I don’t speak Polish (yet) so I can’t very well gauge how big of a rift this might cause in the future. I hope your situation gets better…
beachbride1216, I’m hoping it’s not as bad as you say it might be. I know we have to stand up to them but I do worry that if we do we’ll never be able to rely on them for help (caring for the kids, etc) especially since my parents (very supportive) live several hours away.
Well, I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that things will work themselves out in time. Wedding’s not far away 🙂
Post # 12
Btw, Treeline, great wedding date! July 27 is my birthday, so it’s bound to be a great day 🙂
Post # 13
Oh they may be mighty miffed about a non-Catholic ceremony/church and maybe even not show up for the wedding but believe me, they will want be in the lives of their grandchildren. My Fiance is Polish and his very large extended family practically worship the kids. Of course they will bug you about raising them Catholic (which is perfectly OK IF that’s what you want) – which is all the more reason to stand up for what you want now.
Post # 14
Uff, their loss. I have no tolerance or respect for people who refuse to accept others’ religious beliefs, and to bully their kids into having a wedding they don’t want to placate their own selfish wishes. Your Fiance needs to tell them ‘too bad so sad, they’ll be missed’ should they decide to not attend.
Post # 15
Your Future In-Laws are probably worried that your marriage won’t be considered “valid” in the eyes of the Church. Ask them if that is their concern.
There is a way around that, if you are interested…… it’s called “dispensation from canonical form.” And it’s becoming much easier to accomplish, especially when one partner is not Catholic. The Bishop can authorize this, you just have to go talk to the Priest from your FI’s Catholic Church.
I know it’s very easy for everyone to say that you would dismiss people who are judgemental. And for the most part, I agree with that. But, ask yourself if it’s worth it to you to create antagonistic feelings with your in-laws. This may be something small that you could do that would indicate to your FIL’s that you respect their beliefs. I have met a fair amount of “staunch Catholics” and this is something you may have to hear about for the rest of their lives. You’re not promising anything that you don’t believe in….. Your Fiance would just have to agree to tell any children about catholicsm. You don’t have to vow to raise your kids Catholic or anything.
However, if you guys don’t want to do that…. then they may not be present at your ceremony. Catholics take marriage in the Catholic Church very seriously. It’s one of the sacraments. They might be able to come to the reception and be happy for you. But they can’t go witness a ceremony that contradicts their faith.
It would be like someone asking you to stand up and support someone renouncing their citizenship to the US. By doing so, in the eyes of the US you are being un-patriotic. Now multiply that by a million and that’s what it means in regards to marriage in the Catholic Church.
You can say “that’s their loss”…. And yes, it is. But it’s also kind of your loss if the people your Fiance loves won’t be there to celebrate with him.
I’d also like to say for the record, that I’m not Catholic. But I have family that are…. so I’ve done a bit of studying on what that religion is about. I just wanted to share insight into WHY your future IL’s might be indicating they are willing to not attend your ceremony. So that maybe you can understand and approach them with a bit of empathy. But I do think that ultimately, where and how you get married is up to you and your Fiance. As long as you both understand that there may be a consequence and you are ok with that…. then do what you need to do to be happy.
Post # 16
I’m sorry… but are they getting married, or you? They need to mind their own stinking business!!!!