But - for the record - you do you. Yes, at some point, you are allowed to stop pretending to be the child they intended to raise. I agree with your statement.
@catalina Hello! Cradle Catholic here with a Mom who's not as intense as yours but in the same vein of faith. She and my sister once had a long fight when my sister (a sophomore in high school talking basic girl talk about what she wanted in a wedding someday long in the future) said she wanted my father (a judge) to marry her because she thought that would be amazing. My mom freaked that she would even CONSIDER being married outside the faith.
So that's just to let you know I'm in the club. For the record (not sure if it matters), I am an actively practicing Catholic at the moment.
But here's my suggestion after all that (probably unnecessary set-up): what about having the marriage blessed? It's the official procedure for people who have been married outside of the Church for whatever reason (couldn't get first marriage annulled, were a different or no faith when they got married, etc.) but want a marriage blessed by the Catholic Church. The rules are much less strict, however, and most priests will do it without a lot of prep and cross-examining about faith because you're already married/living like you are but not religiously married (depending on their level of fundamentalism).
You could have the city hall wedding, let the first wave of panic subside, and then tell her that, upon consideration, you want to have the marriage blessed in her hometown church. To her, it looks like you've realized the error of your ways.
You can also execute this plan without the deception of pretending it's a plan you had later if you're less devious than I am.
So, I thought about this a little more, and I want to amend what I said worked for my mom and me.
I didn't so much enact consequences and threaten to or actually cut her off -- I just used an old trick she once told me she used on her mother-in-law: I refused to respond in any way to her words when I found them offensive. I came out to the extended family as if she hadn't objected. I just gave her a blank look when she said hurtful/ignorant things. I didn't feed the negative conversation.
Won't work on everyone, but I felt compelled to correct myself.
Your letter sounds a lot like my experience coming out (bisexual) to my mother -- including the hint of "here's hoping it goes away!" with her not acknowledging my comments about potentially ending up with a woman instead of a man or rolling her eyes at my use of gender neutral words like "future spouse". She knew she was supposed to say she was okay with it, so she did, but we both knew it wasn't true.
We even had the "telling the extended family" fight/cry when I wanted to come out to my father's extended family (my father died a few years back) and she didn't want me to. There was a lot of "if you come out, you're stuck with this, and you can't ever take it back when you realize you're just straight!" mixed up in it which I'm guessing is related to what you're dealing with -- "When this relationship finally ENDS she will be stuck in this ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE BOX!" panic.
The good news!
My mother proceeded to get her act together and do all of the things that A Queer Chick lists. We had endless talks about it, she stopped blanching at gender neutral pronouns (although she still forgets to use them), and she basically faked being okay with it long and hard enough that she is deeply ashamed of her early reactions. But we've talked that through too!
So, yes, all the people saying you may have to cut them out may be right, no two situations (and especially not ours) are the same, but it CAN have a happy ending. The tough part is that the next step is on THEM, not YOU. I couldn't help my mom through the transition to bi-supporting parent until she wanted to do so. I had to make her see that it hurt me, I had to insist again and again that this wasn't going away, and I had to make it clear that this was putting distance between us.
I agree with some of the above comments -- set distinct, immediate consequences because they are not realizing (or caring) what the long-term consequences of their actions would be.
I hope this doesn't come out condescending, but I am a middle school teacher, and that's the way we stress discipline - we're providing immediate consequences for people who don't yet realize what the potential long-term consequences of their actions will be.
Yes. This. All of this.
I kept wondering at the beginning of this piece, however, if it was going to be pointing out how horrible chivalry was or saying it should only be considered for proper beyond-normal heroic/compassionate acts. Trying to do both resulted in a bit of whiplash, but hey, I'm happy.
On Ask Baba Yaga: There's Got to Be a Way to Exist Without Constantly Inflating and Deflating My Ego
That was beautiful and all kinds of awesome.
On "The cost for each attendee: $4000. And that was after Tracy’s fiancé paid one night for everyone at the W hotel"
I have had good luck with the weddings I have actually been in, but my sister recently presided over an increasingly insane bride's bachelorette with almost 30 people (the bride was overcompensating for the fact that she has precisely 2 female friends by inviting every woman she's met). To give you an idea, one of the CHEAPEST ideas was to fly to Cancun and stay at a friend's vacation home there (reason it was the cheapest). Estimated flight + $200 a day for the long weekend.
LW2, I really feel you on this! I am in a very similar situation (I work for a Catholic school and even just being a "straight ally" is dangerous for me).
One thing that helped, although it might not apply to you: I have one fellow teacher who talked about her brother being gay. I came out to her and felt like less of a hypocrite even though I am still mostly closeted at work. She's not even my closest colleague, just someone I thought I could trust to be an ally. If you could trust the rumor mill not to spread it, that could be something. Find one person, and then you have another one to discuss it with as well. Perhaps someone who will give you specific advice, unlike therapist.