Author Topic: marriage after pregnancy?  (Read 2480 times)

Offline Jayne

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marriage after pregnancy?
« on: May 25, 2020, 12:03:18 PM »
Here is a hypothetical case.  A couple has been dating for over a year.  They love each other but have concerns about marriage because one is a practicing Catholic and the other is not (but from a Catholic family).  The practicing Catholic does some sub-par practicing and she is expecting a child.

So it looks like she has a choice between marrying a non-Catholic or being a single mother.  These are both pretty bad things.  What principles should inform her choice?

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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 02:26:03 AM »
I guess I'd try to suss out each one's character with the aim of determining whether each one would be committed to marriage forever.  If either one's character has major warning flags then divorce is likely and I think that would be more devastating to the child than having been raised (at least temporarily) without a father (there is always the chance he will one day have a step-father).  The non-Catholic aspect is harder because it will primarily be the model of the father that guides the children in their faith over the long term.  Presumably the goal then is a serious practicing Catholic man and that greatly limits things in addition to being a single mother.  That challenge would need to be balanced out against the probability that the father would one day return to the Church.

Of course sitting down and interviewing either one is almost useless (on the pro-marriage side) since they'll say anything and once the emotions die down do the opposite.  Of course in the interview were either to flat out indicate they have no desire to marry then that does (on the negative-marriage side) immediately answer the question.

When considering each one's character I would think about:

Man
- does he party?
- how many girlfriends has he had?
- does he drink a lot?  does he use drugs?
- does he have a job?  does he have a path towards a job?
- what is his financial situation?  does he have any sense on this matter or just coasting through life?
- when was he planing on proposing to this woman?  [can ask in interview, if he says "Oh I dunno" then bad answer, if he says "I was going to do it soon anyways so this is all fine just less than ideal" then that's fairly good"]
- are his parents married?
- what does he do in his free time?
- what are his views on divorce?  [try to suss out if he has an innate revulsion against it or not]

If somehow he came out seeming like an ace husband without consideration for the Catholic aspect, then I'd want to try to see how likely it is that he would at least not be hostile towards raising a Catholic family.  Is he an angry atheist or just someone who fell away because the N.O. lacks inspiration and sincerity?  Does he think religion is dumb / evil or was he just bored?  Is he in any way intrigued by the TLM or is he going to hate being dragged out every Sunday?

The woman needs to be analyzed as well.  Many of the same questions involved.  Divorce is most likely by the man in the early years (skipping out of town while baby is still a baby) but divorce is more likely from the woman when the family is grown up (kids are school age but she isn't happy and so she wants to find a new man to make her happy).  This is the more disastrous outcome of the two bad outcomes.

What does she want out of life?
What does love mean to her?  Is it just emotion?
Is she overly sentimental and unreliable?
Does she watch TV soap operas and have a distorted view of life?
Does she use Facebook or similar social media?

Things like that might indicate that she is not mentally prepared for marriage and would be a high risk for divorce.

I guess I would first try to determine the likelihood of divorce from either side before analyzing the non-Catholic aspect of it.  There are reverts here (such as myself) and there might be a decent chance of a good man who had a lousy Catholic upbringing reverting to the Faith.  Can't count on it but I guess my primary concern right now would be the risk of divorce.

Also because she was dating a non-Catholic to begin with that might indicate a problem from her side anyways with regards to the level of fervor in raising Catholic children.  In other words, even were he to incidentally have been Catholic, that hypothetical fact does not seem to be of primary importance to her or her future hypothetical children (although not hypothetical now).  So again I guess my primary concern is with divorce risk.
 
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 04:32:33 AM »
The tradition is to marry the father if at all possible. It’s not traditional to be a single mother.

Wives have the promise of God in Scripture that if they have an unbelieving husband, they will be able to convert him by their good example. Even husbands have no such promise. Wives also receive the priceless marriage blessing during the Nuptial Mass. There is no blessing or promise in Scriptures for unwed mothers, only curses.

In like manner also let wives be subject to their husbands: that if any believe not the word, they may be won without the word, by the conversation of the wives.



The exact situation you describe happened to a friend, except she was a good practicing Catholic who obviously made a big mistake. The tradition is to marry the father, which is what she did. Despite his initial flaws, she has been able to really bring out the very best in him through her humility and good attitude and they have a happy marriage. He’s now become a serious practicing traditional Catholic and a good husband and father. They also have continued to have more adorable children, another advantage of getting married.

A surprising number of girls from school and church have also been in the same situation, but are now unwed mothers. It has not turned out well for them.


 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 08:07:15 AM »
So it looks like she has a choice between marrying a non-Catholic or being a single mother.  These are both pretty bad things.  What principles should inform her choice?

Maybe "none of the above"? Because that's not an exhaustive list. If we're just dealing with hypotheticals, other options would include:
- Marry some other man who will forseeably be a better husband/father than the biological father
- Arrange that a Catholic family might adopt the child
 
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Offline Jayne

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 09:28:25 AM »
So it looks like she has a choice between marrying a non-Catholic or being a single mother.  These are both pretty bad things.  What principles should inform her choice?

Maybe "none of the above"? Because that's not an exhaustive list. If we're just dealing with hypotheticals, other options would include:
- Marry some other man who will forseeably be a better husband/father than the biological father
- Arrange that a Catholic family might adopt the child

As everyone has probably guessed, the hypothetical case is based on one that exists in reality. These other options, while worth considering in a hypothetical way, would not be considered by the real couple in question.
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 10:31:25 AM »
I would second Davis's post about weighing the likelihood of divorce. Anything resembling a "shotgun wedding" carries an extremely high risk of divorce within 5 years.
 
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Offline Philip G.

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 01:55:17 PM »
Here is a hypothetical case.  A couple has been dating for over a year.  They love each other but have concerns about marriage because one is a practicing Catholic and the other is not (but from a Catholic family).  The practicing Catholic does some sub-par practicing and she is expecting a child.

So it looks like she has a choice between marrying a non-Catholic or being a single mother.  These are both pretty bad things.  What principles should inform her choice?

For starters, I would say that they did not love each other.  They lusted after each other.  And, I say this because if their religious differences are/remain such an obstacle to marriage, combined with the fact that they fornicated, it is definitely not love.  Therefore, I do not advise the next step to be marriage, for it is a sacrament. 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 01:57:27 PM by Philip G. »
For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer.  Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and prepareth a city by iniquity. - Habacuc 2,11-12
 
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 04:35:25 AM »
Doesn't the SSPX usually recommend waiting until the baby is about 6 months to a year old before the couple gets married? That way a lot of the emotion and rush is taken out of things, and the couple can decide if they are actually suited to marriage at all. I would definitely recommend against marriage at this time. The only time it was "traditional" to marry the guy was when people were all Catholic. The "traditional" thing to do whenever the match was considered unsuitable was to have the girl adopt out the baby. You say they would never consider this...

If I were her I would wait, see if the guy seems like he would be a good husband and father on his own merit, not just because she got pregnant with him; although if he is not interested in the faith I don't care how nice or mature he seems, I would never marry him. The stigma of having a baby outside wedlock is actually not that horrible these days, maybe it should be...but it isn't. I have known plenty of couples where one came to the marriage with a child. Usually the new spouse is a little older, a little world-wise, understands that mistakes happen, and is willing to overlook the past to get a good Catholic spouse. She obviously needs to work on her faith and practice, so she will be desirable in this way as well. Marrying some random guy because you got pregnant is a terrible idea. All the misery of a bad marriage, fighting to raise your child Catholic, never being a united front...all bad.
 
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Offline clau clau

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 06:53:23 AM »
 :pray1:
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Nineteen hundred years or near,
Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 07:19:24 AM »
If the man wants to be the father of the child I would suppose he has a right to it, and, barring a serious impediment, the woman is obligated to marry him.
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2020, 07:33:55 AM »
The traditional normal period of engagement is two weeks. The reason for this is that it’s important to enter marriage on the crest of enthusiasm, not after you’ve been stressed planning the wedding for a year or two, all the while getting less and less excited about the actual marriage and possibly committing countless sins of impurity.

The best thing a girl can do in the hypothetical situation is to jump at his offer with a big grateful smile. If ever there was a time to be happy and thankful, it’s when you could end up as an abandoned fallen woman with an illegitimate baby, but instead a man is offering to make you an honest woman with a husband, home, and family.

The alternative is you marry someone you’ve made sure knows that, even though you’re clearly far from perfect yourself, he’s so horrible and marriage to him such a miserable prospect that you had to take months to convince yourself to swallow the bitter pill. Worst case is that he changes his mind. 

Nobody likes an unenthusiastic response to their marriage proposal- offering to take care of a woman for the rest of her life and probably having just spent thousands of dollars on a ring-  especially not when he’s doing the honorable thing and life is going to be tough enough with enthusiasm.

The reason why adoption is a traditional second recourse is because the man is the one who knows he could probably do a lot better. The reason why it’s called a “shotgun wedding” is because the expectation is that the man has to be held at gun point to marry the girl. She’s very lucky that the non-practicing Catholic is the one who has his head screwed on straight enough to at least know some basic facts of life and is trying to make things right of his own volition.

He’s the one who is probably wondering if he wants to marry someone- Catholic or not- who he now knows was willing to go that far without planning on marriage at some point.

Worst of all, even if some imaginary better man suddenly came along and wanted to marry her, her child would always be illegitimate. The only way to legitimize the child at this point is for the actual parents to get married.

Also, with the corona virus on, this is an ideal chance to have a quick, small wedding without raising any eyebrows.
 
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2020, 07:34:28 AM »
I would second Davis's post about weighing the likelihood of divorce. Anything resembling a "shotgun wedding" carries an extremely high risk of divorce within 5 years.

Based on which statistics?
 

Offline Maximilian

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2020, 10:51:08 AM »
The traditional normal period of engagement is two weeks.

You need at least 3 weeks for the banns to be read.
 
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2020, 11:12:41 AM »
I would second Davis's post about weighing the likelihood of divorce. Anything resembling a "shotgun wedding" carries an extremely high risk of divorce within 5 years.

Based on which statistics?

The last major study on shotgun marriages was in 2016 by Duke University for North Carolina. The divorce rate was 30% within a decade; and that's just under the narrow definition of marriages after conception but before birth, not counting post-birth marriages. Other factors can greatly increase the likelihood of divorce from here, like money matters, differences of religion, low education level, and so forth.

In any case, my advice was not "don't do it"; it was "think about it very carefully". A young woman in a pre-marital, accidental pregnancy is in a high-risk situation and prone to making bad decisions.
 
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2020, 12:12:16 PM »
The traditional normal period of engagement is two weeks.

[quote/]

I would be very interested to see some evidence of that. I have never heard of anything so short in my life.
 
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