Post # 1
I have been going through a lot of difficulties lately with my family. I was brought up in a Protestant church where my mother was Christian and father was Athiest. My dad became a Christian a few years ago. Since dating my boyfriend in 2011 I have gone to his Catholic church and have chosen to convert.
I did this for me and for nobody else. I had no idea that I would love his church but after going for a few months I realised that it was the one for me. My dad is happy for me but my mother hates the idea and said she doesn’t want me to live at home anymore since choosing Catholicism.
My main dilemma is our wedding. We aren’t engaged yet but my boyfriend has been wanting to ask me since last year, but we’ve been putting it off until my mum settles down. I want a Catholic wedding but I know my mum will be so disappointed. What can I do? I was hoping she would be happy that I found a church I actually liked going to, but instead she gives me the cold shoulder and doesn’t want me at home.
Post # 3
@sunshinewish15: I wouldn’t worry about it now. You aren’t engaged yet, so where you get married isn’t an issue.
What you need to focus on now is living a life that is above scrutiny. Be a good daughter, a devout Catholic and, basically, more of an adult than your mom is being. When she sees that you are happy, healthy and faithful she will hopefully come around to accepting your new religion. At the very least, she will see that you are living your faith and active in your parish so your wedding won’t be a surprise.
Post # 4
@MexiPino: Thank you for the kind advice. I have been attending his church when possible, but sadly for the past few months there have been days where I have come home from church and she has told me to ‘get out’ and leave home for the day. I am planning on leaving home at the end of the year, but I just hope she settles down.
Post # 5
@sunshinewish15: Congratulations and welcome to the Church. 🙂
Even beyond faith issues, it seems pretty common for moms and daughters to cut the apron strings. My own mother I think really wanted to plan my entire wedding. She nearly blew a gasket when I considered getting married in my husband’s parish. My husband and I are both Catholic, so religion wasn’t an issue at all. My mom just didn’t want to travel and basically told me none of my relatives would want to travel so far. She didn’t understand that we prefered a small church wedding. I gave in a bit because I felt guilty and got sick of fighting, but it was a time to grow in my independence and to cut those ties.
While its pretty traditional for the parents of the bride to provide the wedding, it is rarely done today. My parents wanted to give me a wedding, but now I wish I would have just accepted money and left them out until it was time to send invitations. If they’re not financially contributing at all, then that should be even less strain on you to appease them.
Invite them, let them be and try not to take things personally. My brother-in-laws father decided to not attend attend my sister and brother-in-laws wedding for no apparent reason. He even had him worrying that his grandmother was dying when she wasn’t because he was trying to come up with a reasonable excuse. They still had a beautiful wedding and I know he enjoyed his wedding even if there was that element of sadness.
Post # 6
Have you talked to your mother? People often have distorted visions of religions/denominations, but can come to realise that each one is special. You should make sure she knows why you feel happier now, what it is about Catholicism that particularly speaks to you. Thank her for your up bringing.
Anyways, I can relate. I’m planning to get baptised before our wedding so that we can get married in a Church, and because I want our children to grow up with some concept of religion. My parents will freak out! They purposefully went against all my family’s wishes to get me baptised as a baby, because they see religion as the “opium of the masses” haha.
Whatever, it’s your life, it’s my life. They will eventually get over it!
Post # 7
Your faith is your choice. Ignore her for now. Talk to your dad since he’s more understanding. Maybe he can sway her to see the error of her ways.
Post # 8
I am so happy for you and your conversion and your SO! Your mother should be delighted and you’re both still Christians, I don’t undertand what the problem could be. There are so many other choices you could be making with your life that are not so positive. If you really understand and feel led to the doctrine/beliefs of the Catholic church you’ve made a significant committment that deserves respect. Have your wedding when and how you want. I’m sure there will be lots of support and love from your husband’s family and your new church family.
As for your mother not wanting you to live with her anymore since you’ve made this decision. I would ask her to enlighten herself on Catholicism and try to talk to her. But not for very long, she is the one in this situation who should have more maturity and emotional intelligence. Since she does not, I would begin looking for somewhere else to live as soon as possible, even a room mate situation if financially necessary. She may be trying to push your buttons into the “sin” of living together before marriage so she’ll have something to taunt you with, who knows?
Best wishes to you.
Post # 9
@sunshinewish15: your mom isnt very Christian of her! Make an apointment with her pastor and discuss it with him you ll see…
Post # 10
Two years ago my husband converted from Catholicism to observant Judaism and he had similar difficulties with his parents. The are both quite devout (especially his mom) and really struggled with it on both a theological and cultural level. It was extra hard because everytime we ate a meal together, there was a strong reminder of how different he was now (we both observe kashrut).
It’s important to acknowledge that having a child convert can be a really stressful and emotional experience for parents. His parents experienced a sense of loss and rejection that was very real for them, as well as concerns over his soul. Think about this from your Mom’s point of view; you’ve put a space of permanent difference between you and you’ve also told her that the religious choices she’s made are not “right” in your eyes. Let her have her time to mourn her expectations for you and keep showing her that even though some things will be different, almost everything will remain the same. Try to stress all the similarities between Catholicism and Prostestantism, playing up what you still share in terms of faith. You can’t do much to change her worry for your soul, but you can definitely help her with her feelings of loss and rejection. They’re natural and it doesn’t mean that she’s anti-Catholic (even though it may feel that way sometimes). It just means that she loves you very much and doesn’t want to lose you.
Lastly, I would recommend avoiding talking about the wedding with her for as long as possible. It is going to trigger a lot of feelings for her and I think it’s better if you work on the fundamentals of moving past your conversion together before you pull in something that’s so emotionally charged.
Hope this helps!
Post # 11
Congratulations on your conversion and welcome to Catholicism 🙂 It’s a beautiful place to be.
I’m sorry that it’s coming between you and your mother. Catholicism is more subject to a LOT of misconception than most other Christian denominations. Perhaps she’s upset because of a misunderstanding of Church teaching. Can you sit down and have an adult conversation with her about her concerns?
I’m a serious Catholic and my FH is Protestant. So I understand your struggle having someone who loves you and whom you love disagree with your religious beliefs. What is key in these situations is deep mutual respect. Try not to engage her in any sort of religious or philosophical debate; it sounds like this development is too new to get into that. Your mother is reacting emotionally, not logically, so play to her emotions and talk about your relationship with God. Stress that you’re not doing this out of rebellion or because your SO is pressuring you, but that you’re doing it because you believe you can best know, love, and serve God by being a member of the Catholic Church. Stress your relationship with God, your spiritual life, and give specific examples when you can. The logic/philosophy behind your decision can come after, but get through this phase first.
Best of luck to you. I’m happy to speak with you via PM if you so desire, and am happy to help however I can.