A 27-year-old woman was engaged to her 30-year-old partner and was facing a challenging situation regarding their upcoming wedding ceremonies. She had always tried to maintain respect for other people’s cultures, but she soon found that this would become increasingly difficult in the face of her future in-laws Catholic beliefs.
The woman identified as an Indigenous Native American, while her fiancé was Catholic Caucasian. This presented a somewhat problematic situation, as their cultures and beliefs varied greatly, with Catholicism being particularly rigid and uncompromising.
To accommodate their differing cultures and beliefs, the couple planned to have two wedding ceremonies. They would have one Catholic ceremony for the man’s family and a cultural ceremony for hers, with both sets of parents being invited to each ceremony.
A Polite Request
The couple met with a priest to discuss the details of the Catholic ceremony. During this meeting, the woman made a request to modify certain aspects of the ceremony’s wording to better align with her beliefs.
An Unexpected Reaction
Unfortunately, the request was not taken with the understanding that the woman had hoped. “It actually resulted in the priest refusing to do the ceremony”, the woman explained.
The in-Laws’ Fury
To make matters worse, the woman’s soon-to-be in-laws reacted in a similar light. “They took back their blessing of our marriage, claiming that I was being “disrespectful to them, their son, their church, and their religion”, she continued.
The woman, feeling bewildered by the strong reaction, admitted that her knowledge of Catholicism was limited. She had, however, made accommodations in her culture’s wedding ceremony to ensure her partner’s comfort, which had been well-received by her tribal leaders. “I kinda expected the same understanding from them,” she lamented naively.
A Cold Silence
In response to the negative reactions, the woman had ceased all communication with her in-laws over the past few days. “Their reaction was not nice so I’ve stopped talking to them, for now at least”, she explained.
The Dilemma of Cultural Sensitivity
The woman had become torn between the two cultural perspectives. “Like, I’m not catholic so maybe I should not have asked to change their ceremony and let it go”, she considered. “However, words are powerful in my culture, and we don’t just toss around promises/vows like they don’t mean anything.”
A Strained Relationship
To add to the complexity of the situation, the emotional distance that developed between the woman and her in-laws deeply affected her partner. He too was feeling upset and conflicted, but instead of talking, he shut down and refused to engage with her, his family, or anyone else.
With her stress and anxiety mounting, the woman turned to her loyal online community to seek solace, opening up the comment section for any advice, validation, or criticism. “From one indigenous woman to the other, LEAVE”, suggested one reader. “You’re never going to be heard in this relationship… his parents are already trying to dictate your wedding vows!”
In for a Rough Ride
To the woman’s dismay, this was a sentiment commonly found in the comment section. “If your future in-laws are this kind of Catholic, you are not in for a good time”, another reader pointed out. “You are going to have to have a talk with your future husband because this is not the last time his parents are going to be pulling stuff like this for sure.”
A Weak Partner
Many commenters made it clear that they felt the woman’s partner needed to step up. “Without his parent’s support, your husband turns into a catatonic plant”, one commenter accused. “What will you do when you decide where to live, where you visit during holidays, how to live!? What about when you will have kids, what then? How would you make all the decisions?”
Another reader also pointed out troubles that will come with children. “You can guarantee they will try and force you into raising your future children as Catholic. I don’t think this relationship is a good idea…”
The Partner Sucks
Overall, many commenters felt that if anyone had acted wrongly, it was the woman’s partner. “Your partner is ridiculous for not explaining all of this and discussing this with you prior to all of this… strict Catholicism is a big deal.”
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