Keep Your Faith, Be Yourself

My abuela was the epitome of a good Catholic woman. She married my grandfather a virgin, bore him 9 healthy babies and was never unfaithful. She went to church three times a week and rose every morning at dawn, rosary in hand, to pray to the Lord.

But what if you find it a bit more difficult to fulfill the role of dutiful, submissive and pure Catholic girlfriend, and later, wife? What if you're not as pure as Mary; therefore seen as a wicked, manipulative Jezebel or a sinning Mary Magdalene or weak, easily tempted Eve? These are the categories that many of us, as Catholic women, are pegged under, leaving most of us playing a role in our relationships instead of just being ourselves. So here are some ways to be the woman you want to be in a relationship while maintaining your Catholic beliefs:

Know Who You Are: You must know who you are or it will be that much easier for others to place you in a category. Labels are everywhere, even in the Bible, and the labels that are placed on us (whether pure, manipulative, weak, or otherwise) stick with us. Eventually we become the label and forget the essence of who we are.

Be Who You Are With Your Beliefs: Our beliefs are part of who we are. Without moral character and spiritual and/or religious values, we are empty shells. But sometimes our beliefs contradict our persona or stifle who we are due to our desire to follow strict religious rules. So how can you be you and still maintain your beliefs? By mastering a moderate approach. If you struggle with anger, for example, learn to express your feelings to your mate without reaching the following two extremes: suppressing your feelings and anger like a dutiful, traditional woman or expressing your feelings in a full on explosion like a devil in disguise.

Discuss Your Role With Your Mate: In order for a relationship to function successfully, there must be communication. Expectations placed on the relationship, the future, yourself and your mate must be expressed. If your mate expects you to be more of a mother figure, like Mary, who tends to the children and her home, and you're more of a proud, work the money Mary Magdalene type then this should be revealed. There is nothing wrong with either role as long as it's who you are. However, you must make sure your mate's needs match your own needs.

By Sujeiry Gonzalez of for


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