Post # 1
I feel sort of betrayed by my Fiance because in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of our engagement he said he would become Catholic (even though I had told him he didn’t need to do that for the wedding because I respect his belief system). For a number of reasons (outlined below), he didn’t follow through. I wish he had said that in the first place instead of setting me up for an expectation that he would take the initiative to do this ON HIS OWN. I sooo wanted him to follow through on such a sweet promise and instead I feel humiliated because I told my family one thing (that we would have a Catholic ceremony) and now we won’t be able to deliver on that in time.
After noticing for weeks that he was completely not invested in this, I asked him tonight and he confirmed it: he doesn’t care and doesn’t really want to become Catholic. SO WHY PROMISE IT TO ME? I am bending over backwards to make his family like me and he can’t follow through on one promise? Not cool, Mr. Fiance.
Back story for context:
I was raised in a Mexican, Catholic home. I am not technically a practicing Catholic at this point in my life but I believe that there is a huge benefit in raising kids with a faith that they can draw strength from when life gets complicated. My Fiance did not grow up in any religion.
In the days after he proposed, he told me he wanted to become Catholic so that we could have a Catholic wedding in part to honor my very Catholic, Mexican family and in part because we had already talked about raising our kids Catholic.
Soo…that was over three months ago. Since then, we went “parish-shopping” a few times, I secured a Catholic priest to officiate the wedding (my thesis professor from college!), and that’s where it stopped. He told me that the parish where he inquired about becoming catholic told him to come back in June because the catechism course he needed to take had already started…and he never bothered asking elsewhere or following up with me.
Post # 3
Converting to Catholicism takes quite a bit of work nowadays. If his heart isn’t in it, and he hasn’t started by now, you may have a rough time making it happen by August. I know in my area the pre-cana classes would already be full for the summer!
I think if it is important to you (because you’ve already told your family) you should express that to him. If it’s important enough to you, it should be important to him. Maybe he didn’t realize that this was something he couldn’t recant.
Post # 4
you can still have a catholic ceremony even if only one of you is catholic. we had a ceremony outside of mass, which was basically everything except communion. it was a good compromise between our two families – i also have a large, catholic, mexican family too!
i agree that you should bring this subject up with your fiance, though. try and do it in a non-confrontational way at first, so he doesn’t immediately go on the defensive. but if his conversion to catholicism is important to you, then the two of you need to discuss it.
Post # 5
Although my husband is not Catholic, we still had full Catholic ceremony. My husband did not take Communion but received a blessing from the priest instead. I am from a huge Irish Catholic family and went to Catholic schools my entire life so having a full Catholic ceremony was very important to me. He knew this and was fine with it.
Years ago he told me that he’d convert and become Catholic because my religion is very important to me. However, he has since decided he did not want to convert but we still go to Catholic Mass together and will raise our children in the Catholic faith.
Can you two compromise somehow? If you talk to your priest about having a full Catholic ceremony beforehand, but giving just a blessing to your Fiance and any other guests, hopefully that will be fine.
Post # 6
It’s so disappointing when things don’t turn out like you had anticipated. It sounds like you and he had different levels of importance attached to his conversion—really important and symbolic to you, but not as important to him (perhaps it was important to him only insofar as it was important to you). I also see a little tit-for-tat going on—you feel like you’re bending over backward to impress his family, and he can’t follow through on this promise to you that would be so important to your family. That seems so unfair and also like you shouldn’t have to work so much proportionately harder to make the in-laws happy. My husband and I confront a tendency toward doing this as well, and it has been so tough to learn that it’s not about who is working harder or making everything exactly fair. Each person is going to have different challenges.
That said, I agree with all the others that you don’t have to give up your plans to get a Catholic ceremony or to raise your children Catholic. Also, he might still take the classes someday. Faith and religion are about more than just a wedding day—hopefully his (non)conversion can be part of a larger conversation about how you are going to treat religion in your regular lives. Good luck 🙂
Post # 7
Going from non-religious to converting to a religion (any religion) is a huge step to take, especially if you don’t truly believe. My cousin is not religious, but her husband is Catholic. It was important to him to baptize their children and they are raising them Catholic, but she has not converted to Catholicism. I understand your frustration. Your Fiance shouldn’t have told you he would convert if he didn’t really feel it, but maybe he didn’t quite understand the enormity of his choice until he started to investigate the process. I am sure you guys will work this out and I think your FIs heart was in the right place.
Post # 8
I can understand why you’re upset that he promised to do something but now isn’t following through. As a consolation, you can still have a Catholic wedding like the other posters pointed out. My situation is the opposite–my husband was raised Catholic and I was not. We were married in his church, and I offered to convert for him. Keep in mind with your fiance that becoming Catholic is a big deal and an involved process. To become Catholic in most churches, you must take a “class” that starts in the fall and ends at Easter. That’s what I’m currently in. It’s a lot of work. It’s also a very personal matter. Maybe your fiance made the promise without truly thinking it through. I was raised Christian, yet becoming Catholic has at times challenged my beliefs, simply because some of them are fundamentally very different from what I was raised with. I think the example brought up by mhirni is a good idea–you can have a Catholic wedding and agree to raise your children Catholic, but don’t force your fiance to convert right away. Let him get some exposure to the church first and then decide if he wants to make such a huge decision.
Post # 9
I can see him thinking it was a great idea at first. He wanted to make you happy. But as others have stated, becoming catholic is a big ordeal. You have to do A LOT of things to become catholic. Catholics can come off strict. (I’m a catholic and I know there are a lot of traditional catholics who are very strict catholics.) Maybe he didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I understand why your upset because he did promise you but there’s a lot of things the church asks you to do and if your heart is not in it, he may end up regretting it, if he just does it. Also, a lot of other christian religions aren’t as strict as we are and he might have gotten the impression that it wasn’t a big deal. But if you have gone to pre-cana, catholics are strict about marriage… so you can imagine how strict they are and how they don’t just allow anyone to become catholic. Do tell him that you are upset. So he knows.
Also, I’m catholic and my Darling Husband is not a catholic. We had a catholic church ceremony and everything. Oh, your priest will still marry you two if he has at least been baptised. I don’t know what happens if he is not baptised. Darling Husband thought the pre-cana was a bit intense but overall he told me it wasn’t that bad. Darling Husband is a lutheran.
Post # 10
Thanks everyone!! Your words made me realize that I may have jumped the gun in how upset I was with him about this. I tend to add on the pressure where there is none, and as most of you suggested, we talked it out and all is well.
We actually met with our officiant last week and he is able to work with my Fiance to baptize/confirm him by June, so we can have a full-on Catholic ceremony/mass. This is by far the best solution because our priest is also a quite liberal sociology professor so he has a very modern approach to the catholic faith.
So it was kind of perfect that we couldn’t get pre-cana in a new parish we barely knew, because now we get the more ‘customized’ approach 🙂
WHEW! This is yet another lesson learned for me that stressing out is sometimes unnecessary.
Post # 11
Awesome! I’m glad things are working out so well for you! It all tends to work out the way it’s supposed to, doesn’t it? 🙂
Post # 12
I’m glad things seem to be working out…
… You can still have a “catholic wedding” regardless of if he is “Catholic.” If his heart isn’t in it to be Catholic, I wouldn’t really force it. My uncle converted “for my aunt” and then when he stopped attending mass and he wasn’t “in to it” it REALLY hurt her and their marriage. There’s many other reasons their marriage started falling apart but for her this is one of the most hurtful.
Just another thought. It’s a big step to become Catholic, and it IS a belief system. So, if he does believe in the church, he does believe that during the Eucharist JESUS HIMSELF is present in communion, then by all means, go ahead. But I wouldn’t force it…