Catholic Husband Complains Wife is TOO Catholic


#1

Hello All

I'm having trouble balancing married life and Catholic life. I have a strong desire to go to mass whenever I can, go to confession, volunteer at the Church and just do whatever I can. My husband, who is cradle Catholic, often whines (literally) and complains whenever I want to do these things.

How far am I supposed to "obey/respect my husband's wishes" and obey Christ and the Church's commandment that we go to Mass every Sunday, confession as often as we can, etc.

He makes me feel guilty about going to confession or going to mass or being a part of the Church :-/

I don't want to sin against my husband but I also don't want to reign in my enthusiasm about Christ either. I'm not perfect by any means and nor am I the best Catholic but I try.

Anyone else have issues like this or advice?:shrug:


#2

what is it that he doesn't like about it? are you neglecting your relationship with your husband, your duties in the home or at work? is he expected to 'take up the slack' in some way because you are making yourself unavailable and not 'living up to your part of the bargain'? are any of his complaints realistic? or is he jealous in some way of your great love of God? or is he not wanting to grow closer to God and turn away from some 'fun' activities that lead you away from God and he wants to still participate in with you? what is it that he has to whine about? i think daily Mass and frequent confession and a good prayer life should be good for your life and relationships and to strive for. maybe inviting him to come with you and making these activities enjoyable and part of your bonding love could help him come around. maybe he doesn't understand why you do these things and you could explain better and help him to value these things too.


#3

Talk with him at a good time (not when you are headed out and he has a complaint). Tell him why this is important to you and find out what his concerns are. Remember that your vocation of marriage is also an important part of being Catholic. See if you can do things together like date nights where you go to Mass then out to dinner.


#4

How involved is your husband in the faith? Does he at least follow the commandments and precepts of the Church? If he is not going to Mass every Sunday and receiving the Sacraments on a regular basis, then we have a problem. In that case, you should approach your pastor and ask for help in bringing your husband back to Church.

If your husband is going to Mass on Sundays and frequents the Sacraments on a regular basis - in other words, he is a good Catholic, just not as much as you are - then we have a different situation. If he is complaining because you go to daily Mass and weekly Confession but aren't around at home as much because of your faith life, maybe he has a valid point. As laity - esp. as a wife and mother - your primary role is to encourage the faith within your family. That can be done at home, as well as at Church. If your husband is a good Catholic but has problems with you "being too involved at Church" then perhaps you can use that as a segue into improving your family's prayer life at home. Maybe you can pray the Rosary as a family, or do morning and evening prayers together. If you have a family, you have to worry about the holiness of the family as well as your personal holiness.

It can be a tough balancing act, but it's not impossible. Being a good wife and being a good Catholic are not mutually exclusive. Being a good Catholic isn't measured by how "active" in the Church you are, but ultimately by that personal relationship with God and how that relationship is manifested in your life. You might even become a better Catholic by sacrificing your daily attendance at Mass and offering that up for the holiness of your husband and your family, and by coming up with other ways to grow in holiness with your family.

In the final analysis, though, I'd say ask your pastor about a matter like this - how to balance family/married life with your spiritual life. This isn't a new problem - that's why St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the unmarried woman is able to devote herself to the Lord, whereas the married woman is divided. Hope this helps a bit...


#5

Men get neglected-feeling easily. Do you invite him to come along to a week-day mass? Do you invite him to voulenteer by your side or to join in on the fun? For instance, if you're cooking a parish dinner or BBQ and he's not into cooking do you atleast invite him along for the meal? Are you a stay-at-home wife or do you use your "free" time to do these things?

I love going to Mass, to church things. But I would not let this cut into "us" time for me and my SO if both of us were working 40hrs a week with commute time and other factors. I would not voulenteer to cook, serve and clean up after a parish dinner from 11am to 8pm on a Saturday if this took time from "us". God should be your focal point, but you husband should be your priority and you his.


#6

[quote="FaustinaClare, post:1, topic:216516"]
Hello All

I'm having trouble balancing married life and Catholic life. I have a strong desire to go to mass whenever I can, go to confession, volunteer at the Church and just do whatever I can. My husband, who is cradle Catholic, often whines (literally) and complains whenever I want to do these things.

How far am I supposed to "obey/respect my husband's wishes" and obey Christ and the Church's commandment that we go to Mass every Sunday, confession as often as we can, etc.

He makes me feel guilty about going to confession or going to mass or being a part of the Church :-/

I don't want to sin against my husband but I also don't want to reign in my enthusiasm about Christ either. I'm not perfect by any means and nor am I the best Catholic but I try.

Anyone else have issues like this or advice?:shrug:

[/quote]

Yes Christ must come first :) (he says this very clearly...)

BUT you also have a VOCATION to Marriage...so it is the will of God that you live well with him (read Paul and Peter on this....and the Catechism etc)....

This means...being a very good wife :) and may mean that you give up certain devotional activities...(but not Mass or Confession or regular prayer life etc)...

so for example....rosary groups...some Church events...some volunteer stuff...

You do not want "the pot to burn while you are doing "personal devotions""


#7

Free stuff that may be of interest:

scepterpublishers.org/product/index.php?FULL=356


#8

Thank you all for your advice

He doesn't go to mass every week b/c of his job. He works too much and has to miss mass but when he is home and is able he goes. He doesn't think confession is necessary except once a year.

One time (before we were married) I wanted to go to confession b/c of a mortal sin in which we both were guilty of. He complained that I felt the need to go but I finally convinced him to go to. He said he only went b/c I wanted him to go. Prior to that he still took communion until I pointed out that he shouldn't.

I always invite him to go places with me if he isn't working and I usually go to mass or to events at the church during the time he is working anyway so I figured he wouldn't care.

An example:

We were leaving mass and there was a Pro Life table with brochures and info b/c it was preparing for the 40 days of life. I wanted to just walk over to the table on our way to the car and he grabbed at me and didn't want me to go. I was unable to come up with a reason why he would care so much. It isn't like we had anywhere to be. So he sat there and literally POUTED while I went to the table and grabbed a brochure. Took me all of 10 secs and didn't hurt him in anyway.

Another example:

He is currently working night shift and sleeps during the day. I drove to where he was to spend the weekend with him. During his sleeping hours one day I went to a Catholic event nearby with my mother. He complained that I went even though he was sleeping!! If I was there I would have been making noise and keeping him awake.

I try to go to things that he can go to and invite him to go to or go to things while he is working so he won't miss me.

Granted I probably am slipping up in my wifely chores b/c I work two jobs from 8am till 9pm. I asked him if I could quit one and he said no. At this point I am at a loss to what to do. He doesn't want to pray with me and doesn' tlike it when I take a few min away from him to go and pray either.

In my opinion he is jealous. I will try to do better and be a better wife. It is a work in progress of course and I am guilty of probably being a less than attentive wife. Being involved in the Church is a stress relief for me b/c of my highly stressful job. He tries to understand I think but it is a little frustrating still.


#9

The problem is not that you are too catholic, it is that he is not catholic enough.


#10

Although we cannot overephasize the need for charity and clarity and gentleness, it appears that God has provided you to this man in order to help him take the faith more seriously.

Keep close to God, volunteer in small ways (and not for "everything) so that he does not feel “slighted”. Continue to pray, both at church and at Home…So that you can sho him the Love if Christ shining through you.

He will, I’m sure begin to come around. Probably he won’t complain as much. Then he might start praying with you more. Getting to Church will become a greater priority for him and finally confession.
I’m just kind of guessing though…

This may take many years, but frankly, I’d look upon his comments that you are “too catholic” as a compliment. :thumbsup:
In thirty years from now, he won’t call you “too Catholic”. Instead he’ll call you his “saintly wife” and “the best thing that ever happened to him”.

Peace
James


#11

[quote="FaustinaClare, post:8, topic:216516"]
Thank you all for your advice

He doesn't go to mass every week b/c of his job. He works too much and has to miss mass but when he is home and is able he goes. He doesn't think confession is necessary except once a year.

One time (before we were married) I wanted to go to confession b/c of a mortal sin in which we both were guilty of. He complained that I felt the need to go but I finally convinced him to go to. He said he only went b/c I wanted him to go. Prior to that he still took communion until I pointed out that he shouldn't.

I always invite him to go places with me if he isn't working and I usually go to mass or to events at the church during the time he is working anyway so I figured he wouldn't care.

An example:

We were leaving mass and there was a Pro Life table with brochures and info b/c it was preparing for the 40 days of life. I wanted to just walk over to the table on our way to the car and he grabbed at me and didn't want me to go. I was unable to come up with a reason why he would care so much. It isn't like we had anywhere to be. So he sat there and literally POUTED while I went to the table and grabbed a brochure. Took me all of 10 secs and didn't hurt him in anyway.

Another example:

He is currently working night shift and sleeps during the day. I drove to where he was to spend the weekend with him. During his sleeping hours one day I went to a Catholic event nearby with my mother. He complained that I went even though he was sleeping!! If I was there I would have been making noise and keeping him awake.

I try to go to things that he can go to and invite him to go to or go to things while he is working so he won't miss me.

Granted I probably am slipping up in my wifely chores b/c I work two jobs from 8am till 9pm. I asked him if I could quit one and he said no. At this point I am at a loss to what to do. He doesn't want to pray with me and doesn' tlike it when I take a few min away from him to go and pray either.

In my opinion he is jealous. I will try to do better and be a better wife. It is a work in progress of course and I am guilty of probably being a less than attentive wife. Being involved in the Church is a stress relief for me b/c of my highly stressful job. He tries to understand I think but it is a little frustrating still.

[/quote]

Based on the examples you've given, it sounds like he does have some "control" issues....Stay close to Christ and Love your husband for the Love of Christ.

Peace
James


#12

On second thought (and with your latter post) it seems far more is going on here besides Mass attendance. Please seek counceling if your husband is trying to control your work schedule or other such things.


#13

That was what I was thinking as well. Something else is amiss, and if it wasn’t the activities involving the Church, it would be something else he would be upset about. Please talk to your priest or another professional.


#14

Agree, but at this point we shouldn’t become too overly concerned. Based on what she has told us, it appears that:
a) He works many hours and is away from home some. He is likely often tired, and possibly irritable. Not good, but also not necessarily “pathological” if you know what I mean.
b) There appears to be issues about money, possibly too much debt since she is working 2 jobs and he is working a lot of hours.

Talking to trusted friends, her priest, and yes, possibly a councilor might help.

Peace
James


#15

He does have some control issues, I will admit that. I think he will admit it himself lol. We make more than plenty. In fact we could be comfortable on his salary alone. I work b/c I want to work and also b/c I have school loans to pay off which I have never had trouble doing even when I was by myself. When we got married I was already working the two jobs. He didn't want me to quit until I had children so we could save as much as possible. The 2nd job, being a professor at a college, I can keep even with children b/c the schedule is flexible. The other job, working for the gov't, is just mentally draining and I hope to be able to get rid of that one if at all possible.

Frankly it is killing me to work so much but I understand where he is coming from. His control issues are out of concern for our happiness so I can't fault him with that. We have discussed his "control" problems many times and with openness. It is hard for people to change.

He works hard b/c his father worked just as hard in the same field and I think it has been ingrained in him that this is normal and expected.

I've been trying to work with him and hopefully his clinginess and control problems will be nipped in the bud. I couldn't love a man more and I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a bad wife by being "too" Catholic. I have many many faults myself and he has been patient.

I can't thank you enough for your help with this b/c I wasn't quite sure how in the wrong I was by wanting to be more and more involved in the Church.

I talked with him and I think I can cut back on a lot of stuff for both of our sakes but there are certain things I just can't go without.

Keep us in your prayers if you can spare a moment


#16

[quote="FaustinaClare, post:15, topic:216516"]
He does have some control issues, I will admit that. I think he will admit it himself lol. We make more than plenty. In fact we could be comfortable on his salary alone. I work b/c I want to work and also b/c I have school loans to pay off which I have never had trouble doing even when I was by myself. When we got married I was already working the two jobs. He didn't want me to quit until I had children so we could save as much as possible. The 2nd job, being a professor at a college, I can keep even with children b/c the schedule is flexible. The other job, working for the gov't, is just mentally draining and I hope to be able to get rid of that one if at all possible.

Frankly it is killing me to work so much but I understand where he is coming from. His control issues are out of concern for our happiness so I can't fault him with that. We have discussed his "control" problems many times and with openness. It is hard for people to change.

He works hard b/c his father worked just as hard in the same field and I think it has been ingrained in him that this is normal and expected.

I've been trying to work with him and hopefully his clinginess and control problems will be nipped in the bud. I couldn't love a man more and I just wanted to make sure I wasn't being a bad wife by being "too" Catholic. I have many many faults myself and he has been patient.

I can't thank you enough for your help with this b/c I wasn't quite sure how in the wrong I was by wanting to be more and more involved in the Church.

I talked with him and I think I can cut back on a lot of stuff for both of our sakes but there are certain things I just can't go without.

Keep us in your prayers if you can spare a moment

[/quote]

Let me understand this... you are more than comfortable financially, could survive on his salary alone, and he "won't let" you quit one of your jobs, even when it is "killing you to work so much"???

Stop making excuses for him. This man has serious controlling tendencies, and objecting to your Church involvement isn't the problem...it's a symptom.

It saddens me so when bright, devout women such as yourself blame themselves when (at least from what we have heard) it is so clearly an issue of a self-centered, controlling husband. Counseling - with a good Catholic counselor - is a necessary first step. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.


#17

I think that “cradle Catholics” can be exasperated and confused when converts get on fire for the Lord and start doing things that the cradles have never done, such as ministries, confessions on a regular basis, etc. It’s almost like being unequally yoked. They are being challenged to actually participate in Church and they may not want to be bothered. This is the “old-fashioned” model of Catholicism - show up at Church once in a while, go to confession once a year, put some money in the collection basket, and you’re good to go. Oh, and work hard toward your salvation. The Calvinist Catholic, if you will.

You probably have a Baptist-like zeal for all things Catholic, now that you know the truth about us! LOL :smiley: and that may threaten your husband’s complacency. My husband would do the same thing about the pro-life stuff. He just doesn’t want to know all of the things I am interested in, would rather not think about unpleasant things like abortion. He finds it depressing while I am glad I am finally participating after sitting in the pews praying about it for years. He’s also not convinced that the Church has all the answers - maybe that’s where your husband is too.

Please consider counseling - there are likely other issues you both need to communicate about, not just how many times you go to Mass during the week. Paying off your student loans is a good thing but if it’s killing your time to be together, might be something to consider. Together, though.


#18

Well I think I know SOME of whats going on here, because we have the same problem. Except in reverse.

My husband is more extremely Catholic than I am (daily mass when he can, militant about weekly confession, etc). We are both very conservative and both very devout, but he would absolutely sacrifice family time for extra church time.

This is ENTIRELY. MY. PROBLEM.

His devotion makes me feel guilty and inferior about my own-- like he’s rubbing my face in how holy he is.

BUT HE DOESNT DO THAT AT ALL!

He doesnt rub his holiness in my face-- hes not preachy (often :)), hes not judgemental, etc.

But my own guilt and complacency makes me feel that way. I know in my head AND my heart that this issue is MY issue-- but it still bothers me that he drops everything to get to that Saturday confession.

I think your husband needs a little self-examination about why your devotion is so annoying for him. Only when we recognize our problem can we take steps to fix it!


#19

[quote="yellowdaisy, post:18, topic:216516"]
Well I think I know SOME of whats going on here, because we have the same problem. Except in reverse.

My husband is more extremely Catholic than I am (daily mass when he can, militant about weekly confession, etc). We are both very conservative and both very devout, but he would absolutely sacrifice family time for extra church time.

This is ENTIRELY. MY. PROBLEM.

His devotion makes me feel guilty and inferior about my own-- like he's rubbing my face in how holy he is.

BUT HE DOESNT DO THAT AT ALL!

He doesnt rub his holiness in my face-- hes not preachy (often :)), hes not judgemental, etc.

But my own guilt and complacency makes me feel that way. I know in my head AND my heart that this issue is MY issue-- but it still bothers me that he drops everything to get to that Saturday confession.

I think your husband needs a little self-examination about why your devotion is so annoying for him. Only when we recognize our problem can we take steps to fix it!

[/quote]

Thank you for your perspective. It could have something to do with it.

Yes I am a former Baptist and I guess I do have zeal ha ha. My mother is a convert and is very zealous as well.

He has made comments in the past that he doesn't understand why I have to do things with the Church, like why would I go out of my way to do things for the Church, etc. He is very complacent with the way he has been doing things.

I really did not intend to make him feel inferior. I do get caught up in things in regards to the Church and find myself wishing I could be at Mass instead of at work. I don't mean to ignore him or make him feel bad but it looks like I do.

He does need to recognize some things about himself, so hopefully with patience, we can come to an agreement. If necessary I think he would be willing to meet with our priest for counseling for starters.

Thank you all for your prayers. This wasn't an issue really until AFTER we were married and moved in together. I think I was so used to having a lot of private time to myself for prayer and church activities and he thought that once we were married we would spend ALL of our time together.

My personality requires private time and his requires constant entertainment and interaction. I guess that is what marriage is all about, figuring each other out and fixing problems along the way.

I will def keep counseling in mind and if the direct approach does not work I will take the next step. I really appreciate all of you!


#20

p.s. When I suggest counseling, it is to be pro-active and work on communication, so that problems don't get worse and lead to a crisis.

I prefer Christian counseling because then I know that the counselor won't blithely suggest a separation or divorce.

And it doesn't have to be a great big deal, either, just going to see someone who can help you get your issues out onto the table and learn how to compromise better.

Prayers for you,


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.