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WWYD? Pre marital counseling issues

I need opinions from unbiased POVs. Thanks!

My fiance and I have been together 11 years. We met as teens and have made a life together and we have one child. We are both liberal thinkers and share a good amount of beliefs. I am more Unitarian and he is Christian raised but has a lot of agnostic ideas. We have not based our relationship on religion at all in 11 years. We want to get married to share our love and commitment with our family and friends and we can now afford it :) My fiance's uncle is a minister. We both care for him and thought it would be within the family tradition to ask him the honor of performing our ceremony. He said we would have to complete his pre marital counseling. We agreed and went. The first session, we had to answer religious questions and about our beliefs. My fiance said he is Christian and gave the impression that he believes in the bible 100% just so not to upset his uncle. I was honest about my beliefs and the fact that I do not accept the bible as 100% truth and I do not believe in the trinity or that Jesus was holy. His uncle did not like this, was very upset and kind of had a mocking type attitude toward my belief. He also said if we were to be married, I would have to let my fiance be head of household and make the decisions and speak for the family etc. When I would not aggree and said we run our relationship as 100% equal and together, he said I would have to agree to submit. We went back for the second session and he was nicer but he asked me " So you still don't believe in our Lord Jesus?" When I said I believe in Jesus and his teachings but not that he was an incarnation of God, he explained how he cannot go against his beliefs and marry a non Christian to a Christian. BUT he said since I was saved as a child and raised Christian, he thinks he can work with us but he needs another session. I kind of feel that if we didn't have a child and I hadn't been a part of the family for over a decade, his uncle would just tell him you shouldn't marry a non Christian.

 I do not want a religious ceremony and my fiance doesn't care as long as he can state his own vows. I don't think his uncle will do a non religious ceremony which is what I have been planning on for years. I do not think we will have the freedom to plan our marriage the way we want because his uncle is very adamant about having a biblical marriage and neither one of us want that. Our relationship has been about love, equality and commitment not because a book said, but because of our love for each other. We want to raise our child learning about religious ideas but let her make her own choice as well. I also do not want his uncle going outside of his beliefs to make his nephew happy etc. I don't think this situation is going to work out well and I am struggling not to stress out about having a marriage ceremony I want or pleasing a family member. I don't want my fiance put in the middle either. What is the best way to approach the situation?


Asked by Anonymous at 12:49 PM on Apr. 5, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • You poor thing. Well look at it this way...when you two became one (and yes you did that before you even say I do) you also got away from your parents and so on. Make your own traditions and make your own plans. Don't make plans to please everyone else. This is YOUR day not theirs. You can do the justice of the peace or just a general minister. My mom had a simple one outside with just the simple vows but you can make up your own. The only thing you can't change about the wedding is the legal documents!!!!!! Just keep your chin up hun.

    Answer by jujubean1979200 at 4:23 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • He said he can't go against his beliefs. Kindly tell him thank you for his time, and find someone who will perform the service you want.

    Answer by Renee3K at 12:55 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • Tell him you can't go against your beliefs either.  Thank him for his time and find someone else to perform the ceremony.


    Answer by beeky at 1:05 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I would tell the uncle that much as you appreciate his time, you've decided to have someone else do the ceremony. Then I would find a minister or justice of the peace who you are both comfortable with to do the ceremony both of you actually want. It isn't worth the stress you'll both face by trying to please someone else, and it's not a good way to start your marriage by having a ceremony or an officiant that you are not completely comfortable with.

    Answer by Freela at 3:51 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • Bottom line.

    If what he is doing, is going to make your wedding day a living hell, and set you against the rest of the family- find someone else to perform the ceremony for you. You two tried to give him the honor of performing it, and he is using it to be abusive.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 4:07 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I would say thank you but this isnt going to work and have a non religious ceremony.

    Answer by okmommy08 at 1:01 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • I'm sorry your fiance wasn't upfront and honest from the start. His uncle has the wrong impression of your relationship, and continuing these sessions isn't going to make it better.

    Tell him thanks but no thanks.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:18 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • Sounds like the uncle is way more fundamentalist than either one of you. Just gracefully back out. I think I would not have gone back after the first time. He was dissing you, albeit through religion, but dissing all the same. Get a Unitarian minister, then all your bases are covered no matter what your beliefs.

    Answer by lilangilyn at 3:18 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • It is a special day for the two of you, and everyone else should be there to support you and celebrate your marriage the way that you two would like to celebrate it - not the way THEY think it should be celebrated.

    If his uncle is not comfortable with this, and you really think that he will turn it into something you don't want it to be, then just gently let him know that you would prefer it if he just attended as a guest. If he is a good person, he should understand that this day is not about him, and still be honored to be there to celebrate it with you, even if he is not the one performing the ceremony.


    Answer by Eek_a_Geek at 5:01 PM on Apr. 5, 2011

  • The fact that your fiance lied so easily to his uncle is a HUGE red flag. Please consider real couples counseling before going further.

    Also, think long and hard about the difference between BEING married and GETTING married.


    Answer by rkoloms at 5:19 AM on Apr. 6, 2011

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