Fighting temptations against our marriage...please help!

Okay, I’m so embarrassed to be posting this. But I’m really needing some help here. My husband is a wonderful man. I really have a blessing and I know it. He takes care of me day in and day out, year in and year out with my various physical and mental health issues. He is always trying to make me happy and do things I like to do to cheer me up. He prays daily with me and attends Mass with me each week (even though he’s not Catholic.) He’s great with children and will make an excellent father (if we are ever blessed!) We still go on dates and our marriage bed is still, um, shall I say very alive and well…several times a week…and some weeks daily…:blush: We really have a good marriage. His only real “fault” is that he’s not Catholic.

Let me just say that I TRIED to find a good Catholic man, but none of them ever really liked me for long. The ones who did like me, were seminarians (no wasn’t dating them, just friends) and so I just backed away from the situation so I didn’t tempt them out of a vocation. The one Catholic man I ended up hanging out with the most ended up marrying another Catholic girl. After that I only met lapsed and fallen away Catholics and while I did try to date one I realized it wasn’t for me. So when I met my practicing Protestant husband, who was so loving and gentle and kind to me and acceptant of all my health issues and willing to care for me when I was sick. I fell in love and the rest is History. Through our whole marriage prep I had this nagging feeling that I should be waiting for a good Catholic, but the priest was very accepting of my DH, and he’s everything I wanted in a husband and future father of our children.

But now those nagging feelings are back. I find myself flirting with temptation, but I don’t see it as temptation. I see it as doing God’s will. :eek: “God would have been happier if I married a Catholic man.” “God would want you to get an annulment and find a good Catholic man.” At Church it is the worst. My eyes wander, looking at the single Catholic men, thinking “God would have been so much more pleased with me if I had chosen on of them.” I could slap myself I feel so guilty.

Then it doesn’t help that we can’t have children biological or adopted. Sometimes I see this as an extra confirmation that God isn’t happy with our marriage and wants me to leave. :frowning:

Please help me get rid of these nagging thoughts and feelings. I don’t see how God could want me to get a divorce just so I am paired up with a Catholic, and neither does anyone around me. But these nagging thoughts are so powerful and I feel they are from God. I get so confused. I just want these thoughts/feelings to go away. Any advice on HOW? :o

What you are feeling is normal. It is in the natural order of things for the husband to be the spiritual head of the household, heck - why did scripture tell is not to be unequally yoked?? Becaues God knew how difficult it is to be married to someone who does not share your Faith.

Pray for your husband, fast for him, offer up sacrifices for his conversion. Have you asked him to go to RCIA? Going to RCIA does not mean that he is going to convert this year, but, it does mean that he is open to learning.

Thank you Kage! I’ve been neglecting my prayers for him lately because they just seem so pointless. He’s faithful and baptized and a good Christian man, just has no desire on becoming Catholic. He doesn’t wish to enter a RCIA either. Already asked.

So if these feelings are normal and natural, does that mean that God wants me to leave and try again? :o Or is it more like, oops I goofed, didn’t make the best decision I could have, but God wants me to make the best of it? :o

It is normal to want your husband to be the leader in Faith, to share your Faith. If he is not a practicing Catholic, he does not share your Faith - he shares some of your beliefs but not the most important.

Do you have a Spiritual Director? It would help you to find one.

Find something else that will help fill your Spiritual voids - maybe go to Adoration? Help with a ministry at the Parish?

Also, read some books - My Spirit Rejoices: The Diary of a Christian Soul in an Age of Unbelief by Elisabeth Leseur is one I’d suggest. She was married to a non-believer who only converted after her death.

God hates divorce, unless you have reason to believe that you entered an invalid marriage, take that thought out of your head.

Pray, fast, be the best Catholic you can be - surround yourselves with Catholics, get involved at the Parish - Faith is contageous!

Why would you want to leave a great man and a great marriage for only the possibility of something great?

Imagine that you left your husband and were out in the dating world trying to find a Catholic man, but that man never came. Then how would you feel?

It sounds like life has been kind of down for you lately and you’re looking for a way to make life happier. So you’ve gotten stuck on this idea that God is wanting you to be with a Catholic man and then he’ll make you a lot happier. It doesn’t work that way. Changing your surroundings won’t make you any happier if what is really bothering you has to do with you. I’d suggest doing some soul-searching to figure out what’s really bothering you. If it really is that your husband isn’t Catholic, talk to him. Let him know your worries. If the problem ends up being something else, then figure out how you can work to make that problem better.

Sorry to hear that you’re having doubts and I hope that you find some peace of mind soon.

See that’s the thing. He’s protestant, but more catholic than not in my opinion. He’s against divorce, abortion, birth control, the whole nine yards. He shares my opinions on about everything save Mary, the saints, the Pope, Confession, and Church authority. Those are his “sticking” points. But funny thing is he TAKES me to confession, ENCOURAGES me to say the Rosary, and always tells me news about the Holy Father. :shrug: So he’s not totally against these things either I guess. :o

The only thing that could have made our marriage invalid is my mental illnesses, which my husband knew full well about before we married. But I have talked to three priests and they all said to presume validity. So I guess that means I should. :shrug: :smiley:

See the thing is I don’t WANT to leave, but feel like maybe God wants that somehow. Like I said, these are temptations and I’m trying to find ways to fight them. Yes I do have a LOT going on right now. I’ve been sick with so many things lately. I’m not happy, but it is not because of him. Yes the whole not Catholic thing does make me very sad, but so does not having children, not being able to get out much due to illness, being sick all the time, plus my normal mental illness troubles, etc.

Speaking of mental illness my “main” one is OCD and so I tend to be an obsesser and worrier by nature, which is not helping this at all. :o

Have you talked to a priest about your feeling that God wants you to make a change? You may not feel the same, but I tend to feel that priest’s are a little closer to God and sometimes have a better handle on what he wants. So their thoughts help me sort out my own when I need direction about what God wants.

I also know that when I’m bored I get tempted by things more easily (hello, stress eating!). You’ve mentioned that your health isn’t that great, among other things. I don’t know your situation, but is it possible to be more active? Maybe join a bible study that meets once a week or physical therapy through a gym or even a bi-monthly get together with the girls for dinner?

Hi,

Have you considered that your marriage is in fact what God wants for both of you? In marriage husband and wife are meant to help each other to heaven. Perhaps, in some way that you are not fully aware of this is precisely what you are doing for each other. He may not be a Catholic now, but it seems clear from what you say about him that he is keen for you to be a good Catholic and that he supports you fully in this, and that through these actions on his part he is in close contact with the Church. Perhaps this is exactly what God wants him to be doing at the moment. He helps you, and you are helping him. Now maybe all that is needed is time and prayer.

Just pray, and do your best to love your husband. It seems that in so many ways you have a wonderful marriage. Don’t be tempted to think that the grass might be greener.

God Bless,

Bridget

Your last sentence explains it, it seems to me. This “temptation” is NOT God (Who wants your valid, Christian marriage to succeed) but your OCD talking. Why in the name of heaven would God want you to leave a wonderful Christian man who is devout and helps you attend to your faith?

Just keep praying, and in the meantime, thank God for sending you the dear man you have. (Or I might have to come over and shake you a little!) :wink:

You are so right! You HAVE been blessed, many times over!!!

I have a question for you, Hon. Do you enjoy daily “prayer of thanksgiving” sessions with just you and Our Lord? You know, when all you do is thank God for the blessings He has given you – no special requests, no intentions for anyone else, no negativity, nothing but simply saying how much you love Him, and listing every specific way you are blessed. I highly recommend it. Whenever I start feeling unhappy with what I have, I start this daily prayer session, and it really helps turn my attitude around.

There was only one perfect man on this earth, and we hung Him on a cross. He has the power to soften hearts. I often remind myself that St. Monica prayed for decades (4 of them, I think) for the conversion of her husband and son. I figure that since I’ve only been praying for my husband’s faith (he’s Catholic, but struggling big time) for only 4 years, I have absolutely no excuse to give up hope this early! :wink:

You enjoy the benefit and graces of a sacramental marriage. That is beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I know it is discouraging, to be married for a few years and still waiting to be blessed with children. I won’t tell you that one day, you will be so blessed, because I don’t know. Of course I’ve been praying for you like crazy the past 2 years (has it really been that long that I’ve known you, Convert???), that you and your husband are gifted with a baby. The gift of a child, as you know, is sometimes given to people who don’t even want children or who end up aborting, so clearly who God decides to bless with a baby isn’t based on desire, merit, or anything else I can think of. I don’t have to tell you any of this, though – You already know it. You have been chosen, for whatever reason, to bear this extraordinarily heavy cross. I honestly don’t think this cross would be taken away from you, if you divorced your awesome husband.

Something else to think about… I assume you married in the Church, or have had your marriage blessed in the Church, yes? If that is the case, a decree of nullity is not simply going to be automatically granted because your husband is not Catholic. What if you get divorced, but you are denied a decree of nullity? That is a very real possibility, Hon.

God doesn’t tempt us. Your thread title is, “Fighting temptations against our marriage…” Think about it. :wink:

Yep, yep, and yep. This is exactly what I’m trying to do, too.

Prayers are never pointless. :console: Please don’t give up hope! Befriend St. Monica, too.

Did you offer to go with him? Does he think it’s for “conversion” only? I know you’ve already been through RCIA, but it’s a great way to learn about our faith, since you’ll learn something new every time. I think many of us would benefit from going every once in awhile!

I don’t think so, no.

I don’t think this is quite it, either.

I, for one, don’t think you goofed at all. You have a wonderful marriage, and your husband goes to Mass with you! My husband goes with me, too, despite being unsure if God even exists. It is such a blessing for us to have husbands who attend Mass with us, who aren’t bothered by our crucifixes on the wall, and who love us as Christ loves His Church.

And that is what they are supposed to do. That is what the good husbands do. They love their wives as Christ loves His Church. Let your husband love you as Christ loves His Church, and let Christ lead your husband home. Have hope.

So you have a great husband now; I can assure you that if your attitude doesn’t change, his will.

I am like your husband, My wife converted and I am very happy as a Reformed Christian. I could/would never convert. I have observed over the past three years since she converted that she would really rather have a Catholic husband. Now, she’ll never say anything, but you don’t live with someone for almost thirty years without picking up signals. I am not the spiritual head of our house, we’re a divided house. She is jealous of women who have Catholic husbands.

I am no longer “good enough” for her. She doesn’t say it, but her attitudes and actions do. It has worn on me and I can say I’m not the husband I was. I was your husband, now I’m just going through the motions. I can’t change to be what she needs and she wishes I were something else. Neither of us likes it.

If you value your husband, then accept him for who he is. If he realizes that he’s not what you want and you see him lacking, then he will become dispirited. Don’t push him away. You’ll regret it.

I agree with dixieeagle…I too have OCD and can tell you the thoughts that pop into your head are certainly NOT always to be followed or paid attention to. In fact many times they should be ignored. I struggle with this as well, and what Father Vincent is not to act on your feelings, but on the healthy voice that you hear that tells you to trust the Lord’s love for you. I understand what you are going through, not always easy. But no I would agree you would not leave a good Christian man and marriage because he’s not Catholic. I don’t pretend to know His will, but I know that we should trust in Him not our random OCD thoughts.

God Bless
Kevin

When you married him, you were fully aware of what marrying a Protestant would entail. If you accepted it and married him, now you have to carry out the marriage you entered with your free will. The fact that your husband is Protestant does not make your marriage vow any less before God.
If your husband were abusive and prohibited you to practise your faith, I would understand that you are worried, but given that he is loving and he even encourages you to practise your Catholic faith, I really do not see why you are thinking of divorce.
I see it as a dangerous temptation which you should fight with prayer.
As a Catholic, you should know that prayer is not “pointless” and that perseverance in it is the key. I would suggest to pray for your marriage and for the conversion of your spouse to the Catholic faith.

Anna

*(((Convert))) Words that I live by. God will never tell us to do something that directly opposes His Word. Simple as that. He wouldn’t tell you to leave your husband, who has been loving in EVERY way, for you to find someone else. Just keep repeating that…and know that sometimes, we are tempted to stray. The devil is at play every minute, of every hour, of every day. He wants nothing more than to destroy marriages.

When you hear those voices in your mind…ask yourself…is this really of God? Does this go against God’s Commandments, and His Word? If so, then just pray to get rid of those thoughts…

Prayers for you. :hug1:*

I’m in total agreement with Dixieagle here.

C99, please don’t listen to your OCD, please, please, please, please.

I’ve been down this road with a very good friend of mine.

It’s not from God, it’s that beastly OCD giving you something else to worry about.

…And I’ll join Dixie in shaking you up just a little. :wink:

Not every thought that pops into our head is from God.

My “convert” ex-husband mocked my faith and abused me and has undermined the faith to my children by his example so much that they’re barely Catholic anymore.

If you were to leave this good and patient man, you would alienate him forever from any idea of being Catholic. And any Catholic man you’d meet would be very unimpressed with your self-justification for breaking up a marriage. Your activity would tell him you don’t think marriage is forever. Good Catholic men would run from you.

Count your blessings. Many women with “Catholic” husbands would like a husband like you have.

Convert I’m sorry to hear you’re having doubts! I agree with everyone here that your thoughts are probably more your OCD than God.
My husband is not Catholic, nor Christian at all. Neither was I when we married. My husband is a loving generous and thoughtful man. He supported my decision to convert 100%. He takes great care of me and the baby. But it is lonely being the only one to teach DS about God. And it is scary knowing he will probably question his Dad’s lack of faith as he grows. And it is sad to pray alone and practise alone. I’ve worn my knees out in prayer asking God why won’t my husband warm at all to the thought of becoming a Christian? But the only answer I get is to pray and so pray I will! But even though it is very hard being in a marriage with a nonbeliever, my marriage is valid. Yours is both valid and sacramental! God doesn’t want you to leave your husband. God loves our husbands and our prayers don’t fall on deaf ears! And even if your husband has no intention of converting now, the fact that his beliefs are close and he attends mass with you are a great start. He sounds like a wonderful Christian man and there is no reason to question your marriage’s validity.

Hi Convert99,

Let’s just say that I am married to a Cradle Catholic man. I wish he had the faith and the attentiveness your husband seems to have. The grass is NOT always greener! :frowning:

In His Love,

Hope

Thank you, thank you all who took time to reply! Your words give me strength and encouragement. :hug3:

To those who were wondering, yes we were married in the Catholic Church, by a Catholic priest. We did all our prerequisites and got the dispensations and all. Only thing we didn’t do was take the NFP course, but our priest said we could do that after. And I did self teach myself and so even that small thing we completed in obedience. :wink:

I have never wanted to leave my husband, but kept getting these horrible thoughts that it was what I should be doing. :frowning: I was not planning on remarrying if I got an annulment (though I might be tempted into it. :() I would just be single, and I thought, REALLY thought that God might prefer me being single to being married to a protestant. That He was really that unhappy with all of this. :shrug:

The sad thing is my husband knows everything. I keep nothing from him and he keeps nothing from me. He said he already knew when I told him, that I would prefer if He were Catholic. That that is the thing I would change about him and us if I could. He knows I would like not another man, but a catholic version of him.

My life has always been difficult. Now is no exception. I want these horrible thoughts and temptations to go away. I just want peace that everything I’m doing is okay. I’ve been distancing myself from my local parish because it is full of families and young children and we are infertile. I also have been avoiding it because I am afraid that I might meet someone who’s single, catholic and the thoughts and temptations would be overwhelming. I hate being this way. I end up avoiding God more and more cause I’m ashamed of my thoughts and I feel like He’s mad at me for so many things and that I’m never doing what He wants, etc.

And my husband, bless his heart, KNOWS ALL THIS, all my struggles, all my bad thoughts, all my temptations, EVERYTHING and he still wants nothing more than to be married to me. He still feels blessed to be married to me. I wish I was half the wife that he is a husband. I DON’T deserve him, really I don’t. I’m blessed beyond measure, and yet these thoughts and temptations and doubts still overwhelm me and some days literally consume me. Please pray that they go away once and for all. Please pray hard that I see God’s will and hand right in front of me, in my husband that He allowed me to marry. Even if it wasn’t what He wanted from all eternity, He did PERMIT me to marry my husband, He blessed the marriage in the Church, even heightened it to the level of a sacrament!

I think a good shaking from those who offered might be just what I need! :o Along with the major prayers of course! :smiley:

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