This is my first post here. I signed up because I have a question that I hope some people who have been in the same boat could help me with.
I am far more Catholic than my wife and I desperately want her to explore her faith as deeply as I have and see the fun and joy that exists within it. Let me explain the situation a bit more clearly:
When we met, neither of us were practicing Catholics. In fact, she often would be the one trying to drag me to church on Sunday saying it’s something we should start doing again. We got engaged and I started returning to church with her and without her (every other week she would work on Sunday). I wanted to get back into the habit of going to church because I knew it’s how I wanted to raise the children that I knew I wanted to have once we were married.
The habit of going to Mass made me realize I knew very little about what was happening at Mass (even though I was a cradle Catholic and went to Catholic schools!). I started researching the Church. I started actually praying in Mass and outside of Mass. I found beauty in the liturgy through self-learning and I had prayers answered that were seemingly impossible at the time. My life changed.
My wife knew I was on a spiritual journey. She however took it far less seriously than me which I didn’t have a problem with at the time. About eight months into marriage, I started becoming the practicing Catholic I am today. I frequented the sacraments as often as possible. I found saints that I wanted to learn about. I found a deep devotion to Our Lady. I started reading as much as I could. My wife never was close to where I was spiritually, but she certainly progressed with me, albeit much slower. For instance, she would sometimes skip or try to skip Mass if we were out of town for a weekend while I pushed to go to every Mass early on. Now she understands Sundays and Holy Days are always days we attend Mass. She has helped me celebrate feast days for favorite saints and has even asked me about the Rosary–which I helped her pray (to my complete delight). She has volunteered at our church and has even attended a group for moms that are trying to grow in her faith. When we take long car trips (which is somewhat often), she brings books by Scott Hahn, Robert Barron, or CS Lewis to read aloud while I’m driving. She even seems to enjoy it when sometimes I’ll put in a Lighthouse Media CD. She has read Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly and Rome Sweet Home. She casually reads parts of Signs of Life by Scott Hahn too.
She has told me that sometimes she feels like she’s simply “going through the motions”. She has said that she doesn’t get “joy” that I talk about out of it. She put up a strong rejection to going back to confession since her confirmation–after a long talk she actually gave it a try a couple weeks ago and it seemed to go well. While she’s read some choice books she fails to go out of her way to seek out books or information. She says she just can’t get the same out of it as I do and I tell her that it doesn’t fall in your lap. To get something out of it, you must put something into it. I’m not certain where she is at with her prayer life. I don’t know if she actually prays in Mass or if she just sort-of does. I know some people are bashful or don’t know how to approach prayer so I try to offer tips sometimes.
I do have a type-A personality and she is a type-B personality. I understand I run the risk of coming off as too much sometimes. Between my extroverted personality and the absolute joy I find in my spiritual life, sometimes I might be a little too much which obviously can result the opposite of what I intend. In fact, just one week after I got her to reconcile, last Sunday she said she wasn’t going to go to Mass because the only one she could go to was an 8am one (I had to go to an 11am one as I am someone’s confirmation sponsor). I was very disappointed. I told her I was disappointed. During the day she texted me, I think feeling bad, and said she prayed in the chapel at work (she works at a Catholic hospital). I told her that is good. She came home and I was determined to be loving and happy to her. I don’t want to be someone that is cold to her, I love my wife and being cold or upset would only hurt her faith. Also, I prayed at Mass for her and prayed a Rosary that afternoon for her all I could do the rest of the day is be a good husband to her. We had a nice evening and when we were in bed she said to me “are you mad at me?”. I told her no, but I was very disappointed. She told me that she’s not where I am in her spiritual life and that all of this was just sprung on her out of nowhere and it’s hard to keep up with me. She said that sometimes she just wants to “rebel” and that’s what she did that morning. I told her I understand her feelings, and I really do. I don’t know what I would think if it was the opposite happening–seeing as I was the one keeping her from church in our dating years. It forced me to reflect on the strides she did make–she has made way more strides than most people our age (30) in her faith and I am proud of her. She tries but she just doesn’t put the same into it as I do and I think she struggles with prayer or understanding the importance of keeping your soul as healthy as your mind or body.
Continued in next post…