(Closed) Anyone else having problems from parents because….

posted 8 years ago in Interfaith
Post # 3
Member
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Sorry that you’re experiencing this!  I have run into a little bit of this, but not to the extent that you are.  My Fiance is protestant, and I am agnostic.  We made the decision together that we were having an outdoor, somewhat non-religious ceremony.  We told his parents this, and while they aren’t thrilled, they understand its our decision.

I say somewhat non-religious, because while the majority will lean more towards secular, its important to Fiance that there is a religious aspect to it.  So I told him, since it was more important to him than me, that he was in charge of finding the officiant and whatnot.  Can’t you sit down with Fiance first and explain that since you both know your faith is more important to you than his is to him, that you should have that element represented?  Then, present that as a united front to his parents, and tell them.

My question is, what if you DON’T have a catholic wedding?  What are they going to do?  Honestly, I would rather suffer the wrath of the in-laws than to compromise my vision for our wedding.  Your Fiance really just needs to tell them what you’re going to be doing. (also, why are YOU writing letters and figuring out logistics?  I would SO tell my Fiance that if we were doing things at the bequest of his parents, then HE would be responsible for the logistics, not me).  I know you said he doesn’t say anything to just avoid their commentary, but how does he really feel about it?

Also, about the other wedding stuff.  Why are you telling them all the details, and giving them info on the places/vendors?  Just be vague about it.

And the church thing…just go to what church you want (especially when you are in your hometown).  Tell Fiance he can do/go where he wants, but you are going to your church.  I can understand going with them while you visit them, but maybe don’t do it everytime?  Make an appearance?

Like I said, I’m really sorry that you have to deal with this stress.  I’m the type of person that just doesn’t take crap from anyone, so I would just not let them tell me anything.  I tell Fiance, as soon as someone TELLS me what to do is the moment I stop doing it altogether. 😛  I hope you guys are able to figure something out that you both love.

Post # 5
Member
646 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Ok… I’m going to haveto disagree with you on this. I’m Catholic (practice occasionally, probably much like your fiance…) but my family is VERY catholic. And in the Catholic church, marriage is a sacrament. To be married is just like being baptized, first communion, confirmation, etc.  So, for it to have to happen in a Catholic church isn’t that surprising. For example, if you had gotten baptized in the Lutheran church, would you be Methodist? No.

All catholics getting married have to go through pre-marital counseling, which often includes the FOCUS test (which actually has been really interesting!), usually an engaged retreat, etc. Everyone has to do it.. The good news is that all of my friends who have been through it have found it interesting and/or helpful.

One of the more *interesting* things about Catholics is that there is a lot of beurocracy. Hence all of the prep, forms, permissions, etc. A lot of times, they’re just a formality. Time consuming, I know, but it is what it is. I know its a pain now, but its writing a letter REALLY that big of a deal in the long run? (The priest, btw, has already had to get special permission for your Fiance to marry you because you’re not Catholic…)

I know its a lot of hoops to jump through, but they’re the same hoops that ALL Catholics have to jump through when they get married (especially if they want to get married elsewhere.)

One thing you could do is have a catholic ceremony prior to your wedding day or at some point during it. If your Fiance is like me, it isn’t terribly important to ME to get married in the Catholic church, but it is VERY important to my family. Because a wedding day isn’t only about YOU, you do have to consider the family’s feelings.

My Fiance and I are having our wedding in a Catholic church with a priest officiating and my FI’s uncle, who is a minister in his religion, will be co-officiating. My compromise to him is that we won’t be doing communion, which upsets my family a little, but they appreciate that I’m trying to meet them inthe middle.

Don’t forget, this is a unity of two families. Unfortunately, the Catholic church is really strict on marriage, but you really have to go with it to respect your Fiance and his family.

Good luck!

Post # 6
Member
706 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@sonj818:   Why should she be the one to completely disregard her personal beliefs when her Fiance doesn’t seem to really want a Catholic wedding?  It doesn’t even really seem like he wants it because its important to his family, but merely to keep the peace, which isn’t really a great reason.

Her religious beliefs are JUST as important (to her and I’m assuming to HER family) and it doesn’t seem like his family cares about that.  Sure weddings are about compromise, but his family should respect that they have different views on what they want.  And she should most certainly not be doing the logistical stuff; that’s HIS responsibility if he wants to let his parents dictate this.

I’m firmly in the camp that the tone of the wedding should reflect the bride and groom.  It’s difficult when there are two differing sets of religious beliefs, but I still believe that whoever’s faith is strongest has a bigger say (ie I’m agnostic, my Fiance is protestant; thus, his religious beliefs are being reflected in our ceremony).

Weddings are about joining two families, but it doesn’t mean that one can dictate what happens. I’m curious, @emersynsmommy35: what does YOUR family say about this?

Post # 8
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@emersynsmommy35: Hi!

I’m sorry you are so frustrated. Wedding planning can drive you crazy.

Here’s my perspective, so you can take it for what you will:

It sounds like your beliefs are being primarily reflected in the wedding. You are getting married by your minister in the location you want. That’s great! It will give you a lot of control over the ceremony. It sounds like your fiance is probably going through a dry spell in his faith, but it is good that you are willing to incorporate some of his faith too by having a Catholic priest present.

The thing is, it is harder to have a Catholic “presence” at a wedding that to just decide to incorporate pieces from the religion. Like sonj818 said, marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic church, but it isn’t in the Methodist (http://www.hillcrestmethodist.org/sacraments.htm). That doesn’t mean that they aren’t holy, or aren’t sacred, its just they aren’t considered sacramental. That’s okay, that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t “recognize” it. But to a Catholic, a sacramental marriage means that through the act of getting married, we receive God’s grace. Most Protestant churches believe the only 2 sacraments are communion and baptism, and don’t see marriage in the same way as those two acts. Catholics do.

So its very important for Catholics to have a Catholic marriage. Even if your fiance isn’t practicing, let me tell you – its something that still is hard for Catholics to let go of. Its kind of different than being Protestant in that regard. A lot of times, when a Catholic “falls away”, they still consider themselves Catholic and bound to the same standards and expectations. I know Protestants often see that as “just going through the motions,” but Catholics tend to see it as, “yes they’ve fallen away, but at the end of the day people still see it as something important.” We could argue about which interpretation is better till were blue in the face, but the point is that Catholics don’t usually flat out leave the church, just become less active. So just because they aren’t practicing, it doesn’t mean that these things aren’t important to them.

I know that getting married in a way that is recognized by the Catholic Church involves a lot more paperwork than it does other places. But trust me, it’s not that bad. They do it not to be cruel and unusual, but because (back to the whole sacramental marriage) marriage is taken very, very seriously. The Catholic church doesn’t generally recognize divorces. So when you get married, you have to know its the real deal. And the Church doesn’t want to tell people “hey, sorry, you took the vows, now you’re stuck in this for life. What, your Mother-In-Law threatened to disown her son if he didn’t marry you cause you were pregnant? Well, too bad, should’ve told us earlier.” So they do all these “hoops” to make sure you are getting married of your own free will and understand what you are getting yourself into. I know it can be frustrating, but when I had to go through it all, it made me happy to know I was getting married somewhere that took marriage that seriously.

Another thing, and this might be helpful to talk to your in-laws about, the Catholic Church’s requirement isn’t “you have to get married in a church building. Indoors rules, outdoors drools.” Its that your marriage should be recognized by the Church. So, for 2 Catholics, they should get married in their parish or their parent’s parish because its a community event, not an “invitation-only” event (people don’t usually follow that rule, but technically, everyone is invited to a Catholic wedding). Having it out in Bongobongoland would take away from that community feel. But there are times when it is permissible to have it not in a Catholic church. I went to a wedding where the girl got married in her parent’s backyard, and it was approved by the bishop. I think you’ll actually have an easier time getting approval since you are an interfaith couple and you have good reason to want to be married by your minister. 

Another thing on Communion – I won’t get into this much here, but please know, NO ONE cares if you are sitting in the pew. I know people always think its awkward and everyone is staring, but trust me, no one will notice. Everyone is just trying not to trip over their own pew. There are times when Catholics don’t take communion, usually there are plenty of interfaith couples where one parent doesn’t, visitors, etc. So trust me – no one will blink an eye, judge you, or really, probably even notice. Though I am sorry it makes you feel awkward.

And one last thing – people usually love the Catholic marriage retreat. Give it a chance! You can look on the Catholic board for info about it, it’s usually called Engaged Encounter or Pre-Cana.

Post # 9
Member
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@jedeve – **like** great post!

Post # 11
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@emersynsmommy35: I’m sorry that you are having trouble with your in-laws. They shouldn’t treat you like that.

You’re applying for a Dispensation from the Canonical Form of Marriage, right? That’s the form you need to get married elsewhere. You shouldn’t have to worry about the priest trying to make it as Catholic as possible. Catholic priests can’t usually marry someone outside of a Catholic Church, and he won’t try to make it as Catholic as possible. It’ll be a “Catholic ceremony” in the sense that it will be a valid marriage in the Catholic Church, but it won’t have to look like a Catholic wedding. Like, you won’t be having a mass, so there’s no point in trying to make it “look” like a mass. I wouldn’t worry about that.

I would keep explaining to your in-laws that while you are having a valid Catholic wedding, it is important for you to maintain your own faith. Maybe they’ll get it eventually. 

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