White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

Marriage Counseling/Parental Blackmail

The White Robed Monks of St. Benedict do not mandate marriage or pre-marital counseling prior to a wedding ceremony. We strongly suggest that a couple enter into their marriage with as much information as is reasonably possible about themselves as individuals, their respective families, current financial debits/credits, their individual and joint hopes, dreams, desires and so forth prior to marriage. In this way. being responsible, taking care with due diligence, the couple can make their commitment to one another and their marriage as statement of their own individual personal integrity. Not discussed in other sections related to marriage is parental blackmail. Please understand that what we write next comes from our serving couples over the years. We have learned that it is very important that we give couples the opportunity to be very, very clear about what they are doing as they are entering into marriage and the foundations upon which they are establishing their marriage. The choice, of course, is totally the couples' and we will support the couple in their own decision based upon their own judicious discernment and decision making process.

We recognize and emphasize with Asian and Latin customs regarding the reality of respecting one's parents and their wishes. Please know that such thinking results from belief systems that are not limited to Asia and Latin families alone. Such customs historically have come into being to keep children at the behest of their parents well into adulthood. We advise only once that a couple who abdicates their own authority as they establish their own individual identity as a married man and married woman, sets a precedence rife with the possibility of unnecessary pain and suffering later on in the marriage.

Please recall that in marriage, one no longer answers to one's parents but to one's own self, one's spouse and their relationship. Do the couple's parents respect the decision making ability of the couple? Must the parents dictate the lives and countermand the decision of the couple? Are the couple's parents blackmailing the couple in terms of financial/emotional support for the wedding itself and for family financial/emotional support down the line? Do the parents respect their adult children? Does an adult child respect a parent who holds fast to a parental decision that countermands the couple's decisions? We offer these questions only for your discernment and well-being and to possibly alleviate possible future pain and suffering.

We also recognize the family-centered nature of Asian and Latin families. We also must recommend that a couple find a balance within the context of the family wherein there is mutual respect based upon each person's personal integrity and personal responsibility for one's own integrity. The couple takes precedence over the parents.

We ask that a couple sincerely review these questions. We ask that a couple determine between themselves the truth value of the answers that the couple generates to these questions. If a couple wishes further insight into the dynamic of their relationship, they might refer to either
If you take advantage of either testing services (or any other) and wish to discuss the results with your deacon or priest, please let your deacon or priest know your intention.

May many blessings be to you and yours now and forevermore.

Peace and Joy!

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

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Frequently Asked Questions (Marriage)
Marriage Petition
On Kids: Divorced Parents and Remarriage
On Money: Marriage and Economic Friction
Point of Departure: Contemporary Catholics
Christianity: One Reality, Two Perspectives (Catholic and Protestant)
Catholic Spirituality
Religion and Spirituality: Unity in Difference
The Order's Brochure
The Network's Brochure

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
Post Office Box 27536
San Francisco CA 94127-0536 USA
Phone: 415-292-3228
Page URL: http://www.whiterobedmonks.org/counseling.html
Copyright 2003 White Robed Monks of St. Benedict