Help b4 I lose it


#1

Hi, I am a 41 year old new convert 2010, husband and father of 3. My wife and kids did not convert. My struggle is that my wife does not mind me being Catholic (she says) but there is always tension when I go to Mass or discuss anything Catholic. The issue is that she doesnt want her family or freinds at her church (CoC) to know because she doesnt want to have to explain that I converted. When the topic of my family comes up, different Preist have told me I should attend church with her to show my support for her and our kids. The problem with that is that I was always involved with her church and they continue to ask me to teach adult Sunday school, help with youth trips etc. which I dont feel like I should do so I just stopped going with her. It has gotten to the point that I feel guilty for converting and at the same time I dont even feel like I can cross myself infront of my wife with out her being offended. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can stay true to the Catholic faith but also protect my wife's feelings and relationship with her family? I am weary from sneeking around to be Catholic. Thanks for any help and prayers.


#2

:eek: That's a rough one....

First, any particular reason why they didn't convert? Just curioius, also see my signature, hope it helps in some way.

Second if you want to go to their church to support them, do it. If asked to do something you don't feel comfortable doing because it goes against your faith I would say just explain it as tactfully as you can. I would hope members of any church would be understanding of that but know from personal experience that's not always the case.

As someone looking to convert and getting mixed reactions (mostly negative from those that aren't Catholic) I feel your pain but can't begin to relate as my girlfriend is Catholic as is her entire family. Hope it works out for you. :thumbsup:


#3

I’m big on keeping my word, so, what was your agreement with your wife about how the kids should be raised? If it involved raising them in the CoC, I would say than showing support to your wife and them by going to services is appropriate.

As they grow older and observe you practising Catholicism you can explain the faith to them. Leave it up to them whether they will eventually follow your example (pray as well, of course).

As to the tension at that Church, I agree it would be hypocritical to teach what you no longer believe. I don’t see a problem with helping out with youth activities in the role of setup/cleanup/chaperone etc. Again, this goes back to following through on how you and your wife agreed to raise the kids. It supports them having faith in God even if they understand you and your wife approach/express that faith somewhat differently.

But there is a simple word, if asked to teach. No. You don’t have to elaborate on why if your wife would see this as a betrayal, or if she believes it will make it more difficult for her to practise her faith there. It’s obvious that you will have less time available if you’re going to attend both CoC and Catholic services etc. So, No I’m sorry my circumstances have changed somewhat and I honestly don’t have the time. But I can help out at some of the events.


#4

Tell her that you are proud to be a Catholic as much as you are proud of being married to her even if the two of you have some different views on Christianity. Tell her that your conversion is helping you to become a better husband and while you support her religious choices she should support yours. Also mention that you are surprised that the possible concerns of the people in her family and congregation might appear to be more important than your spiritual well being. Remember that truth in charity is the way to be a Christian, at times it is not easy but it is the way to go. Once you became a Catholic your obligation toward her has not changed and so accompany her to the protestant services and sometimes offer to help in her church even if they are not Catholics.


#5

My suggestion: Read the book, "When Only One Converts" --

amazon.com/When-Only-Converts-Lynn-Nordhagen/dp/0879733152


#6

I would back off doing anything Catholic in front of her for a while, except for regularly attending Mass, of course. Don't discuss anything Catholic (unless she asks) don't pray Catholic prayers in front of her, don't read Catholic books in front of her. She may feel like you are trying to convert her, when she is not ready. You are Catholic now, so it is time to cut all ties with your former church, leave it up to her to explain why you no longer go there. Under no circumstances should you feel guilty for joining the Catholic Church. You made the right choice, now you just have to have patience, lead by example and give your wife some breathing room to let her catch upand pray, pray, pray.


#7

I think you should not hide your Catholicism though; that isn't going to work. Don't be in her face but don't crawl behind a rock either. Read that book mentioned by Jim Dandy, it might help. And tell your wife that you still value a lot of what you had from the previous faith, and that you are building on it further where you are, even if that's difficult for her to understand at this time.


#8

Be a man of integrity. Put on your breastplate and stand as a man proud of your faith. Let the chips fall where they may!

You will be suprised at the difference. You do not need to defend your conversion, but you should NOT hide it, or you telegraph being a weak man, uncertain of himself. Practice an impervious smile of confidence.

Every time you walk through a doorway envision a string pulling upwards on your chest to improve your posture. People don't mess with a man that projects confidence.


#9

[quote="Catholic1954, post:6, topic:225868"]
I would back off doing anything Catholic in front of her for a while, except for regularly attending Mass, of course. Don't discuss anything Catholic (unless she asks) don't pray Catholic prayers in front of her, don't read Catholic books in front of her. She may feel like you are trying to convert her, when she is not ready. You are Catholic now, so it is time to cut all ties with your former church, leave it up to her to explain why you no longer go there. Under no circumstances should you feel guilty for joining the Catholic Church. You made the right choice, now you just have to have patience, lead by example and give your wife some breathing room to let her catch upand pray, pray, pray.

[/quote]

I think this is baloney. If you are the spiritual head of the family, you should practice your faith openly without hesitation. There is no need to preach, just to be an example of a man living his faith.


#10

Rough, tough situation!

Praying for you.

Now, not that it's any of my business, but how old are your children? Before I converted, I asked my husband about raising the children Catholic and he agreed. I probably would not have converted if he didn't agree. It would have only caused more suffering ... however, you are the man of the house, head of the woman and Christ is your head. You must take care of your family spiritually.

Is the CoC Church of Christ? As in the Church of Christ that we have in the southern US? They are very anti-catholic around here and think they are the only one's going to Heaven. If this is what you are dealing with, I highly suggest you not be a part of this church at all and get those kids out. Sorry, but my opinion.


#11

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