Anti-catholic mother in law complicating things


#1

my husband is in catechism, which has been on the agenda for... practically a decade now. he was going to get baptized in a couple months. my mother in law is very much anti-organized religion, especially catholicism,(to the point of saying very offensive things in front of me, in a confrontational way and contradicting what the kids are taught) and he's easily persuaded by her. he was very excited about all he's been learning and understanding since he's been in catechism.
well, the two went off together for an evening, and now he's not so sure. he did tell me they talked a lot about catholicism and the baptism..
do you think i should stay relatively uninvolved in this, and let the priest continue instructing him and guiding him through this, or should i speak to the mother in law, or..... should i what? i'm really getting impatient with the mother in law, but don't want to say anything that's going to cause friction in the family. right now the only one angry is me, and i'm the only one who knows it lol i'd like to keep it that way and just trust that in the end my husband will see through it and do the right thing. on the other hand, there's a lot of anxiety for me that she's going to end up talking him out of it. the two talk a lot (they'll spend over an hour on the phone together, sometimes a couple times a week) i just don't want her putting things into his head.

but he's grown, he's talking to a great priest, i feel like he's in good hands....... should i just leave it alone? i don't want to meddle like she is, it feels like a soap opera. any advice is appreciated.

thanks


#2

You do have a problem, it is not with your husband's conversion although that is the focus right now.

Your husband has failed to "leave and cleave." He is still too attached to his mother and has not shifted his loyalties to you and your kids. The issue is that, and there would have been some other issue had not this one arisen. Until he separates from his mother, this is going to keep happening to the detriment of your family.

If it were me, I would 1) talk to the priest and let him know the situation, explain it is a larger issue and ask him to recommend that husband actually switch his loyalties to his created family, whatever that takes and 2) sit down and talk to my husband and get it all out on the table. I would do things in that order, so that the priest is the first one to talk to my husband about it. I know many would not agree but since your husband has already shown that he is listening to an outside source more than considering your needs and his own desires, the priest might make him think about it.

Do not talk to your MIL! You will only set up more triangulation that way. Your relationship with your husband should mean that HE takes care of any opposition from this mother.

Hang in there, it is a concern but many husbands, once they realize they didn't go through a separation from their mothers, do recognize that they need to do it and they successfully "grow up."


#3

Oh! I so feel your pain! My father-in-law is totally anti catholic and does not mince words when letting us know how he feels!

Both my husband and I are cradle Catholics and our children are being raised in the Catholic faith. My FIL is not Catholic but was married in the Catholic church. He and my MIL divorced after 35 years of marriage and he remarried. He is very active in his Methodist church. My FIL takes every opportunity to express how unwelcoming the Catholic church is because he isn't allowed to receive communion when he attends mass for various family reasons (weddings, funerals, etc.) We don't invite him into our home any longer because he is so confrontational with us and our children about Catholicism.

We have a friend that, about 18 years ago, went through RCIA but at the end of the instruction did not convert because his mother said it would kill her. Our friend stays in touch with the priest that instructed him and within the last year, the priest said he would do the necessary paperwork to finish the process whenever he's ready. Our friend says he can't convert while his mother is still living. His wife is Catholic and his children are being raised Catholic. He attends church but doesn't receive communion, of course, with his family.

Would you be able to speak with the priest that is instructing your husband about the situation with your MIL? I'm not sure what the protocol is in a situation like this, but if the priest knows that your husband is struggling with the decision to convert, he can gently guide your husband through the process. (And if your husband is like my husband would be, he may be sugar coating the situation if he's talking about it at all with the priest.)

You and your husband are in my prayers.


#4

I think you have a marriage problem, too.

Your husband needs to put more effort into his relationship with you and leave his mom out of it.

I would NOT call his mom. She doesn't care what you think anyway. All the breaking off has to come from your husband. He needs to become stronger as a man. You might want to ask your priest if he could recommend a good marriage counselor.


#5

[quote="greatlakes, post:1, topic:229890"]
my husband is in catechism, which has been on the agenda for... practically a decade now. he was going to get baptized in a couple months. my mother in law is very much anti-organized religion, especially catholicism,(to the point of saying very offensive things in front of me, in a confrontational way and contradicting what the kids are taught) and he's easily persuaded by her. he was very excited about all he's been learning and understanding since he's been in catechism.
well, the two went off together for an evening, and now he's not so sure. he did tell me they talked a lot about catholicism and the baptism..
do you think i should stay relatively uninvolved in this, and let the priest continue instructing him and guiding him through this, or should i speak to the mother in law, or..... should i what? i'm really getting impatient with the mother in law, but don't want to say anything that's going to cause friction in the family. right now the only one angry is me, and i'm the only one who knows it lol i'd like to keep it that way and just trust that in the end my husband will see through it and do the right thing. on the other hand, there's a lot of anxiety for me that she's going to end up talking him out of it. the two talk a lot (they'll spend over an hour on the phone together, sometimes a couple times a week) i just don't want her putting things into his head.

but he's grown, he's talking to a great priest, i feel like he's in good hands....... should i just leave it alone? i don't want to meddle like she is, it feels like a soap opera. any advice is appreciated.

thanks

[/quote]

i think you should turn to the holy souls in purgatory for help...

this is from a favourite website i like to view

missionbell.homestead.com/Afavourgrantedbytheholysouls.html

*A Speedy recovery

Susan’s husband Steve was seriously injured. He sustained many broken bones, and was in lots of pain, because of an accident, in which he was knocked off his push-bike by a car. Susan and her husband made a Novena for the relief of: The Holy Souls in Purgatory, and her husband made a remarkable recovery in a short period of time. Four weeks later Steve’s father was involved in a serious car accident. The Holy Souls in Purgatory were again invoked to help him. He is coping well. Susan’s mother had been cool towards Susan and Steve because of their interest in religion. Her attitude towards her daughter and son-in-law has improved a lot, after she saw the wonderful recovery of her son-in-law Steve. Susan’s brother Luke who is twenty-four, was very impressed with the recovery of his brother-in-law. He is now seeking instruction in The Catholic faith, with a view to receiving the sacrament of Baptism. There has been a domino effect on the attitudes of Susan and Steve’s relatives toward religion, since they have seen the results of the intercession of: The Holy Souls in Purgatory, for Steve. *

the holy souls in purgatory are powerful with god...if you pray for their relief and deliverance then they will be happy to pray and intercede for your prayer requests


#6

I agree that the problem is your husband is still too attached to his mom. I would start setting boundaries with my husband/MIL. If your MIL is going to contradict what you are teaching YOUR children, then her time around her grandkids should seriously be limited to almost no contact until she can repent.

I would also explain to my husband that I need to be the #1 woman in his life.

Which also however open the possibility he never wanted to be Catholic. When one has the gift of faith, the 'mommy' can not come between that. I think (as much as I am sure it will be hard) listening to your husbands feelings and taking them seriously is also required

CM


#7

Oh... How I could have written your post... and very nearly did just about a month ago. Except my DH is not converting... ONE CAN PRAY however!!!

I would talk to the priest. Let him know there is a force to contend with.

The ONLY think I would talk to DH about right now... is your MILs talk infront of impressionable children.

We have a rule in our house. And it MUST be stuck to...

The in-laws are allowed in the house, to come visit and such. They can be all the grandparent they want to be. If, however, they take it upon themselves to teach anything, anti-Catholic... They just announced they'd like NEVER to come over again. And they just announced they are not allowed unsupervised visits with our children. I'm not sure how DH has conveyed this... but so far so good.

The In-laws do realize that I hold the strings on the children. They don't care for me much. That's fine. But I do see they love their grandchildren. They are NOT stupid people.

Now, finally, I will say one last thing. My MIL pulled the... "let's have lunch 'without her." move once. Let's just say, I handled it with some rather crass comments. But, for the most part... MIL is not in my bed anymore.


#8

I'm going to disagree with others about your husband being too attached to his mother. He may be but based on the info supplied I don't see this as a valid conclusion. It could be any person who he trusts and is anticatholic who could sway his view on entering the church.

That said though, I agree with others that you should probably not talk to the MIL unless it is necessary. By that I mean, if she gets out of line in front of the kids, saying mean things about the faith etc, you might want to gently try to change the subject or clear the air by saying - "This is our belief, please respect it" or somthing like that....

Do let the priest know of this negative influence and you keep talking to your husband and encouraging him. Pray together for proper discernment and trust in God to bring Him home....

Peace
James


#9

[quote="Suzq2, post:3, topic:229890"]
.....
We have a friend that, about 18 years ago, went through RCIA but at the end of the instruction did not convert because his mother said it would kill her. Our friend stays in touch with the priest that instructed him and within the last year, the priest said he would do the necessary paperwork to finish the process whenever he's ready. Our friend says he can't convert while his mother is still living. His wife is Catholic and his children are being raised Catholic. He attends church but doesn't receive communion, of course, with his family.

[/quote]

Wow... seriously, I'm such a Smart A**! Because I would have called for a test on that!!! Let's see if she really dies because you convert!


#10

Leave it in God's hands. They are very capable hands.

As to your mother-in-law, pray for her. In the meantime, do not confront her, just be sweetness and light. Show her, by your example, that Christians are forgiving and loving people.

Be thankful that this is the only issue. I have spent 30 plus years trying by example to convince my mother-in;law that I am a suitable husband for her daughter, and she STILL hates me with a passion. My wife is severely physically disabled, we have had 4 miscarriages, she has constant severe pain and I have supported her throughout and love her with a passion. Yet my mother in law is still convinced that I am not the right man for her daughter.

Thankfully, her daughter loves me. And my m-i-l is a Roman Catholic!


#11

[quote="faithfully, post:9, topic:229890"]
Wow... seriously, I'm such a Smart A**! Because I would have called for a test on that!!! Let's see if she really dies because you convert!

[/quote]

What a sad, sad shame that this crummy mother is actually holding her son's faith hostage...Of course it is the son's acquiescence to her blackmail that keeps it going, but - wow, what a (words fail me).

I'm with you, I'd probably smart off before I even thought about it, "Well, Mom, sure hope you've got that will ready, because I'm converting anyway!"

:D


#12

Thanks for all the thoughts and ideas, guys. He meets with the priest again this week, so I'm gonna wait and see how that meeting goes. If he is still feeling negative after he's had a chance to talk to the priest about his doubts, i'll let the priest in on the issue. if he does end up being baptized, I'd consider that to be a HUGE step in cutting those apron strings lol

I do admire the relationship he has with his mom, but he sure does need to scale back her influence. Maybe this baptism will help him break the ice in standing up to her, because he'll certainly need to defend it. I'm hoping that he'll help stand up to her concerning the kids' faith as well, because I avoid confrontation with her. Sometimes maybe I shouldn't but it sure doesn't help that she's super menopausal. once he's baptized he'll be faced with these issues that he won't be able to shrug off or ignore anymore... I'm so tired of absorbing all of the insults and jabs on my own. I'm a pretty calm and agreeable person, but everyone has their limits!

Thanks a LOT for your prayers and insights. xoxo


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.