Author Topic: marriage after pregnancy?  (Read 2496 times)

Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2020, 12:19:35 PM »
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.

Wrong, that is not the best thing at all. Do you know how many women spend their lives being belittled by their husbands and treated badly b/c they "had" to get married. Also, why should she be grateful? This creates a horrible power dynamic in the marriage. This is as much his fault as hers, there is no question of "gratitude." Maybe if we didn't have DNA tests, but come on...it's 2020. You want the girl to spend her life feeling like the lucky one whom he condescended to marry? 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.

"illegitimate" And what is that exactly? This isn't Medieval France. No one is barring the child from church, school, seminary, etc based on his legitimacy. That means nothing now. The baby doesn't bare a mark in the eyes of God.

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

And yet this goes against the advice of every traditional priest I have ever met; many of whom downright refuse to marry pregnant brides, and make them wait. They know what they are talking about. They spend their lives counseling couples who are struggling/divorcing/etc.
 

Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2020, 12:24:25 PM »
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.

He can be the father without being her husband! A women is never obligated to marry a man, especially not because she is pregnant. What nonsense. The only obligation you could argue would be that of a serious fiance who has pledged herself to a man. Even that "obligation" is based on old intricate social structures that looked on a broken engagement as shameful and put solemn betrothals in place to discourage them. Considering that almost 100% of wedding expenses are on the bride these days, it is the man who needs to be careful not to cancel things too late when the bride's family could be out thousands of dollars. Also, serious impediment...???? He is not a Catholic. That is already a huge, serious impediment. It should have kept this young lady from keeping company with him period. Unfortunately it did not.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 12:26:42 PM by coffeeandcigarette »
 
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Offline clau clau

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2020, 12:24:43 PM »
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.

What was the divorce rate for non-shotgun weddings.  Without that comparison the 30% figure is meaningless.
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Offline Armor of Light

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2020, 12:41:10 PM »
How old are these people?
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2020, 12:42:55 PM »
How old are these people?

That is an excellent question.
 

Offline Jayne

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2020, 12:53:02 PM »
How old are these people?

Mid-twenties.  Both have jobs, employment experience and training.
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Offline Jayne

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2020, 01:01:36 PM »
And yet this goes against the advice of every traditional priest I have ever met; many of whom downright refuse to marry pregnant brides, and make them wait. They know what they are talking about. They spend their lives counseling couples who are struggling/divorcing/etc.

In Lithuania, it is the policy of the  bishops (NO) that marriages cannot be performed under those circumstances, so it is a country-wide ban.  This was apparently in response to a huge number of requests for annulment being based on a case that pregnancy had interfered with free consent.
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Offline The Harlequin King

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2020, 01:12:13 PM »
What was the divorce rate for non-shotgun weddings.  Without that comparison the 30% figure is meaningless.

I'm not sure. I'll grant you it's a good question. Nevertheless, careful discernment about the likelihood of divorce is a common-sense proposal.
 
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2020, 01:20:33 PM »
And yet this goes against the advice of every traditional priest I have ever met; many of whom downright refuse to marry pregnant brides, and make them wait. They know what they are talking about. They spend their lives counseling couples who are struggling/divorcing/etc.

In Lithuania, it is the policy of the  bishops (NO) that marriages cannot be performed under those circumstances, so it is a country-wide ban.  This was apparently in response to a huge number of requests for annulment being based on a case that pregnancy had interfered with free consent.

Exactly. Even though this is not actually a legitimate reason for annulment, it is used and allowed by the modern bishops at an alarming rate. Not to mention that "shotgun" weddings dispose women to verbal abuse, belittlement, infidelity, etc. It is so insanely unfair that a women in this position is considered "used goods" and should be grateful to the guy who did exactly the same thing as her; and to be put down by the very man who put her in that position is insupportable. If she has the baby, life goes on, and then he says, "listen, I love you, why don't we get married, not because we have to, but because I love you" that would be different. I would pray and hope that he becomes Catholic of course.
 
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Offline John Lamb

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2020, 02:06:12 PM »
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.

He can be the father without being her husband! A women is never obligated to marry a man, especially not because she is pregnant. What nonsense. The only obligation you could argue would be that of a serious fiance who has pledged herself to a man. Even that "obligation" is based on old intricate social structures that looked on a broken engagement as shameful and put solemn betrothals in place to discourage them. Considering that almost 100% of wedding expenses are on the bride these days, it is the man who needs to be careful not to cancel things too late when the bride's family could be out thousands of dollars. Also, serious impediment...???? He is not a Catholic. That is already a huge, serious impediment. It should have kept this young lady from keeping company with him period. Unfortunately it did not.

I think the baby is being overlooked here. If the child is brought up without the presence of the father, and later finds out that the only reason he wasn't there was that his mother/family wouldn't tolerate his being non-catholic, that might make him want to leave the faith; which would be understandable, since the faith shouldn't overturn our natural obligations to our children, and as they've conceived a child the number one priority should be working towards an environment where the child can be brought up normally with its father and mother. When I speak of an obligation I'm thinking of the child.

I don't know why fear of future divorce should be an obstacle either. They've already had intercourse and conceived a child, so according to nature they're already married; separating now would be physically and psychologically speaking identical to a divorce. I suppose the fear of getting the civil & ecclesiastical stamp on the relationship comes from all the legal obligations that come with it, and that might complicate a separation/divorce should it occur; but then presumably the father is going to be financially responsible for the child no matter what happens. This makes me sympathetic to those who in this situation avoid any official marriage and just choose to live together and raise the child as if they were married – a kind of natural law marriage. If laws and social obligations (like big wedding expenses) are putting people off getting officially married, that's a sign these laws and social obligations are acting as more of a hindrance than a help.

The fact is as long as they have this child, they should do everything they can to give it a normal upbringing. What might happen in the future doesn't change that.

Quote from: Jayne
In Lithuania, it is the policy of the  bishops (NO) that marriages cannot be performed under those circumstances, so it is a country-wide ban.  This was apparently in response to a huge number of requests for annulment being based on a case that pregnancy had interfered with free consent.

Well this is the "problem", so to speak, with Catholic marriages: they're indissoluble. So yes, neither partner would want to put themselves in a position where if their spouse leaves them, they're forced to be single from then on if they don't want to be shunned by the Church*. So my advice to this couple would probably be to just carry on living together or maybe get a civil marriage, and if later on their relationship looks like it can meet the standards of a Catholic sacramental marriage, then they can marry in the Church. That seems like the common sense course of action. There's no point in getting a Catholic marriage if you don't truly intend to enter into that indissoluble, sacramental bond; that would be more or less hypocritical, and I sympathise with priests who are sick of people using Catholic churches to conduct weddings they don't appreciate or understand. They both need to have something of a religious conversion / catechesis before getting married in the Church. If this sounds scandalous, then maybe Pope Francis had a point after all in Amoris Laetitia, about the disconnect between the Church's high and strict understanding of Christian marriage, and the prevailing culture which puts so few warnings and obstacles on entering into a carnal relationship. It's not just that people are only half- or quarter-catechised, it's that the culture itself is counter-catechetical. The Church's strict understanding of marriage developed in a strong Christian culture where people more or less knew their obligations, and where the cultural mores reinforced them.

* But then, at least among traditionalists, I suppose they're shunned anyway for having a child out of wedlock and living together. So it's a kind of damned-if-you-do / damned-if-you-don't situation: don't get married, and you're condemned as a fornicator, can't go to communion because you're committing a mortal sin every time you sleep with the person you're living and raising a child with; but if you do get married and later there's a separation, you risk being left alone for the rest of your life, or getting barred from communion if you do re-marry. So I suppose there's only two options: have a religious conversion and trust that God will pull your marriage together and make it work, and raise your child in the Church; or turn your nose up at the Church's legalism and have a lukewarm relationship with it for the rest of your life. Again, I think this is what Pope Francis was trying to work out in Amoris Laetitia. For people in this situation, it's as though the sacraments are being used to push them away from the Church, rather than to draw them in. Yeah you can just well say, "they shouldn't have done it", but that's besides the point: the point is, how is the Church supposed to help them live a Christian life and bring up their child in a Christian house now that it has happened?
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 02:19:06 PM by John Lamb »
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2020, 02:27:09 PM »
.
 So I suppose there's only two options: have a religious conversion and trust that God will pull your marriage together and make it work, and raise your child in the Church; or turn your nose up at the Church's legalism and have a lukewarm relationship with it for the rest of your life.

Those options are only the "only" options if you stay with the father. Single mothers can raise their children in the church, I have seen it quite a few times actually. If this young women chooses not to marry the guy it does not mean she is divorcing herself from the church.

I would also wonder if this young women would be able to raise her child within a big Catholic/trad family? Does she have uncles, brothers, cousins, who would be good male role-models? That would help a lot. Even living with her parents could give this child a father-figure in the person of the mom's dad.
 

Offline John Lamb

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2020, 02:44:23 PM »
.
 So I suppose there's only two options: have a religious conversion and trust that God will pull your marriage together and make it work, and raise your child in the Church; or turn your nose up at the Church's legalism and have a lukewarm relationship with it for the rest of your life.

Those options are only the "only" options if you stay with the father. Single mothers can raise their children in the church, I have seen it quite a few times actually. If this young women chooses not to marry the guy it does not mean she is divorcing herself from the church.

True; the assumption I'm running on is that the child comes first. Surely the church ought to be something that helps keep families together, not pull them apart. If you're looking at a devout Catholic woman who's conceived the child of a non-Catholic or anti-Catholic man, then I suppose we could imagine the woman separating from the father in order to guarantee the child a Catholic upbringing. But then surely even that is a last resort, since St. Paul speaks of the believing wife sanctifying the unbelieving husband, and there are examples in Church history where Christian queens would marry pagan husbands and evangelise them through the marriage. The parents obligation to stay together and raise their child is a religious obligation. And the rights of a father to raise his child are primordial.
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Offline coffeeandcigarette

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2020, 04:04:26 PM »
.
 So I suppose there's only two options: have a religious conversion and trust that God will pull your marriage together and make it work, and raise your child in the Church; or turn your nose up at the Church's legalism and have a lukewarm relationship with it for the rest of your life.

Those options are only the "only" options if you stay with the father. Single mothers can raise their children in the church, I have seen it quite a few times actually. If this young women chooses not to marry the guy it does not mean she is divorcing herself from the church.

True; the assumption I'm running on is that the child comes first. Surely the church ought to be something that helps keep families together, not pull them apart. If you're looking at a devout Catholic woman who's conceived the child of a non-Catholic or anti-Catholic man, then I suppose we could imagine the woman separating from the father in order to guarantee the child a Catholic upbringing. But then surely even that is a last resort, since St. Paul speaks of the believing wife sanctifying the unbelieving husband, and there are examples in Church history where Christian queens would marry pagan husbands and evangelise them through the marriage. The parents obligation to stay together and raise their child is a religious obligation. And the rights of a father to raise his child are primordial.

I don't think raising the child in a half-Catholic home is in the best interest of the child, ever. The "unbelieving wife" thing is all well and good, but how did that work out for Saint Monica? There are plenty of devout women who's husbands don't ever convert. Now, I think there may be some gift given to the spouse in the afterlife/grace of final repentance (St. John Vianny had a few things like this) but I don not think miraculous conversions in this life are something one should count on just because one is Catholic. There is no "promise" in the Bible. That is the wrong idea. I have met many women who are raising their kids Catholic on their own. True, the husbands "let" them, but they don't get involved or passionate about it. All church going, sacraments, catechism, good example, vocational discussions, etc, are all on the mother. This gets exhausting for them very fast. Even if a husband is not doing anything to stop you, he probably won't be doing anything to help you, and that is awful. You have to also consider that this non-Catholic husband will come with a family, grandparents, uncles, etc...are they going to respect the faith, encourage good behavior, help the children strive for virtue, set examples of good lifestyle/morals? The mother might spend her life not only fighting the husbands wrong ideas about faith/life, but his whole family as well.

Staying with the father of a child conceived out of wedlock is not a moral obligation. I don't know where you got that, it is incorrect. The right of a husband and father to raise his own child is primordial. If you drink the milk before buying the proverbial cow, you don't get to demand rights.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2020, 04:06:39 PM by coffeeandcigarette »
 

Offline Aeternitus

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2020, 04:44:44 PM »

I don't think raising the child in a half-Catholic home is in the best interest of the child, ever. The "unbelieving wife" thing is all well and good, but how did that work out for Saint Monica?

St Monica's pagan husband, Patricius, did convert a year before his death.  So too his pagan mother. 
 
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Offline Graham

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Re: marriage after pregnancy?
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2020, 04:48:25 PM »
If she doesnt marry the father her future prospects of marriage immediately plummet. Something to keep in mind.

I come from a family where my mother is a practicing Anglican, while my father is an atheist who only came to church on Christmas eve. My fiancee is from a family where the mother is Catholic and the father is atheist, but goes to mass with them every Sunday. These are not really crazy, untenable situations at all, and they can readily produce good fruit. Neother of us could imagine not having our fathers around growing up - our lives would likely be inordinately worse.
 
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