Catholic Husband, Non-Catholic Wife


My wife and I were married in 2003 in the Catholic Church. Prior to this we use to go to Sunday Mass together almost every Sunday.

Almost a year after we were married my wife left the Catholic Church. She started attending different Non-Catholic Christian Churches (Moody, etc.) When she first left, I felt so much anger, betrayal, sadness, confusion.

Prior to this, I felt that as a Catholic I was okay. I went to mass once a week and did a variety of volunteer work on certain weekends. After my wife left the Catholic Church, I had to figure what should I do. I decided to pray and pray and pray some more. As always God answered my prayers! I learned about catholic answers and my knowledge of the Catholic faith has grown immensly (Plus I realized I had to do more than just go to mass 1 time a week and volunteer on a monthly). Through Catholic Answers (& EWTN) I truly learned the richness of the Catholic Faith. I’m so blessed to be Catholic! I now go to mass daily, pray the rosary daily, read scripture daily, joined the Church Choir, listen to Catholic Radio, Catholic Internet, Catholic Books, etc., I’m so addicted and passionate now, but there is still the issue of my marriage.

I love my wife very much and she is such amazing wife (and mother. We just had our first child a month ago.) Prior to discovering the richness of the Catholic Faith I bought books about Interfaith marriages and how to make them work. These books were helpful, but what I truly want is for my wife to come back into the Catholic Faith. I want our child to be raised Catholic without having to be confused on why his parents are in different churches.

I accept alot of blame in this because prior to our marriage even though I was an “ok” Catholic, I did not discuss with my wife more issues regarding our faith (I did not care to discuss something I knew very little of) I knew she had some objections to the Catholic Faith, but not so much that she would leave the Catholic Faith.

Now my wife and I have had discussions about this issue in our lives (unfortunately sometimes they end in arguments). Our most recent discussions are about baptizing our child (which she is open to, but she is concerned that after the baptism she will be obligated to raising our child Catholic. I believe when getting married in the Catholic Church this obligation already existed)

Fellow members any advice, comments, etc.

Please keep my family in your prayers.



She may have left the Church but before you had kids you were both Catholic and it was understood that you would raise all kids Catholic. Unless you BOTH agree to do something different she should be amenable to Catholic children. She is certainly free to share her faith with them but should never try to undermine you or the Church as far as the kids go.

The Catholic upbringing is certainly now squarely on your shoulders. Keep firm in your faith and study of our faith. Try to address her concerns. Did she leave for theological reasons? Or was it the “user friendly” stuff? Try to find a parish that is more to her liking and yours if that was her concern. Maybe she will come back in a different setting.

Since she left the Church I think you and your child owe her very few curtesies such as worshipping at her church with her. I would say Easter and Christmas only, if even that. Don’t let him in the VBS etc. Sunday School too. Be wary of couples studeis there.

In the worst case scenario as a widow she might not raise the children Catholic but for right now she should proceed with her child’s baptism. Keep an eye out because these churches are always after “saving” people which is nice but is their teaching true?


Hi Don,
you didn’t say whether you and your wife attended an RCIA course prior to your marriage. Was she, in fact, sacramentally initiated into the Catholic Faith prior to marriage? I am assuming she was.
There are two items that stand out for me here.

  1. She is a fantastic wife and mother and you love her.
  2. You have found renewed faith and pray more and understand more about your faith.

So my advice is to keep open, loving dialogue with your wife on all issues not just religion. Share lovingly, patiently as permitted by your wife, your new understandings. Try to do so by listening to her questions and trying to answer or find the answers she is looking for,
The most important advice TRUST GOD. If He has rekindled the Baptismal flame of your Faith, trust he will answer your prayers for your wife.
Another important piece of advice is to not be agressive and demanding for conversion but rather constantly PUSH. PUSH means Pray Until Something Happens.

God bless you and your family and I’ll PUSH for you also.


she is probably into bible study in a big way in her new church. Suggest to her that you read the bible together every day, or at least every week - just read it, don’t argue it, try to interpret it or do a formal study, just read together, and pray together before you begin. Also pray together each morning and evening something you can agree on like the Lord’s Prayer. She should be big on this and welcome the chance for some kind of faith expression you can share. Once you start praying and reading the bible together, it may surprise you how powerful this can be for your marriage, and for your individual faith lives. You will begin to make decisions together on bible principals, and you yourself will be motivated to learn even more about your Catholic faith.

She also may be introduced to the idea of headship of the husband and father, which will be another fruitful topic of discussion for you both. good luck, we are praying for you


As a baptists married to a Catholic, I believe John-the-Seeker has given you excellent advice. When my husband and I were first married, I was uncomfortable going to Mass and had absolutely no intention of allowing my child to be baptized in the Catholic church or compromise on my belief in any way. However, after two years of watching my husband grow in his faith, talking with him about his faith, attending mass with him, and scouring CA Forum, I have come a long way. While I am not there yet, I now go to Mass every week, and am pretty comfortable with our child being raised in his father’s faith. The best thing my husband did was to be patient and never forceful when it came to Catholicism. He went to mass EVERY DAY, stopped eating meat on Friday and I am sure prayed quite a bit. He just let me come around on my own. And as I said, I am not there yet… but well on my way. I don’t know if this will work for your wife, but it seems to be working pretty well on me. Just wanted to let you know. Also, while others on the forum may advise against this, my husband also attended and still attends my baptist church with me. Believe it or not this made it a lot easier for me to speak with him about our religions, both the differences as well as the similarites. If you are strong enough in your faith, you might consider doing this as well. LIke I said, it made me much more comfortable knowing he would help me grow in my faith even if it wasn’t the church he wanted me in. I think his attending church with me was a major plus for my change in attitude. Of course, this may not be something that will work in your situation, I was just letting you know what has worked and is working for me. I hope everything works out well for the both of you.

RyanL’s Wife


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