Help I feel trapped in the web of the CC


#1

Help ?

I am married 20 yrs to my Catholic wife & I feel like I just don’t matter anymore…I tried the RCIA 10 yrs ago…Can’t find it in my heart to believe in trans-sub…so membership in the CC is not a possibility…when I’ve tried attending my own Protestant church, my wife freaks out fearing our children will not stay the coarse as Catholics. I quit attending Mass with my family in June of this yr…My wife actually asked me not to come anymore…like 3 or 4 times…I feel us slipping farther & farther apart…I hate my life right now & wish I’d never been born …Ive tried talking in prvt msgs here w/other Catholics about the situation & it just dead ends when our conversations get to the spot where I can not accept trans sub real. I’m falling apart over this & don’t know what to do…One thing I know in my heart is I can never believe in the stuff I’d have to accept to join her in the CC…+ I’ve never experienced anything but cold unwelcoming indifference there anyway. Does anyone know of a on line support group for people married to Catholics? It just seems like no one cares…and there’s no hope of anything improving… If there is a God, I’ve come to believe he keeps sending misery into my life just to see how much more I can take…


#2

[quote="mikehere, post:1, topic:178110"]
Help ?

I am married 20 yrs to my Catholic wife & I feel like I just don't matter anymore......I tried the RCIA 10 yrs ago....Can't find it in my heart to believe in trans-sub...so membership in the CC is not a possibility...when I've tried attending my own Protestant church, my wife freaks out fearing our children will not stay the coarse as Catholics. I quit attending Mass with my family in June of this yr......My wife actually asked me not to come anymore....like 3 or 4 times....I feel us slipping farther & farther apart.....I hate my life right now & wish I'd never been born .....Ive tried talking in prvt msgs here w/other Catholics about the situation & it just dead ends when our conversations get to the spot where I can not accept trans sub real. I'm falling apart over this & don't know what to do....One thing I know in my heart is I can never believe in the stuff I'd have to accept to join her in the CC......+ I've never experienced anything but cold unwelcoming indifference there anyway. Does anyone know of a on line support group for people married to Catholics? It just seems like no one cares......and there's no hope of anything improving..... If there is a God, I've come to believe he keeps sending misery into my life just to see how much more I can take.....

[/quote]

Don't lose hope.

Why did your wife ask you not to come to mass with the family? Were you arguing about doctrine a lot? You're a Christian, you and your wife have a lot in common. Are there ways you can experience your faiths together without conflict? What if you both read the bible or pray as a family?


#3

Either last month or the month before there was a whole Catholic Digest dedicated to mixed religion marriages. Here is a link to their site catholicdigest.com/ you might be able to contact them and get a copy of that issue.

My honest suggestion is, have you ever met and spoken to your wife's priest about this? It really depends on him if you should go to him or not. If he is someone that cares more about saving your marriage than converting you I would suggest talking to him. If you don't know, talk to him, feel him out and see if he can help or suggest someone to help with your marriage. I know a lot of priests will be more than willing to help you without trying to convert you.


#4

If your lack of belief is causing a lot of problems you can always just fake it. If you and your wife get along well other than clashes over faith it seems really silly to argue over transubstantiation.


#5

As the husband and father of your familly, you need to be the spiritual leader of your family. What does this mean for a mixed faith family? 1. That it's going to be hard work 2. That you have to be mature 3. That you have to support your family in going to Mass and being Catholic.
It doesn't mean you have to convert, but it does mean you can't argue doctrine with your children or wife nor can you slam the Church. It could mean that you try RCIA again at a different Church with different teachers. It could mean that you attend your service alone and then attend Mass with your family. It means pray together. Read the bible together. Support your children as they receive the Sacraments. It means you go to Mass with a smile on your face, participating in as much as you are allowed. It means praying for your wife and children. It means praying for yourself, that you may see and accept truth. As a convert myself, I can understand your hesitation. I'll admit that transubstantiation wasn't a stumbling block for me, because God can do anything--why not this miracle? There were other proofs that supported my accepting this doctrine, but it does come down to me not limiting God to what I think He should be able to do.
God bless you as you continue to lead your family. Be strong and faithful.


#6

[quote="mikehere, post:1, topic:178110"]

...when I've tried attending my own Protestant church, my wife freaks out

..... I quit attending Mass with my family in June of this yr......My wife actually asked me not to come anymore....like 3 or 4 times....

[/quote]

I ask the posters here to ponder what Mike says - the part I'm quoting above. This is "damned if I do - damned if I don't". Very un-Christian and very un-Catholic. His wife doesn't want him to attend his own Protestant church, and she doesn't want him to attend Catholic Mass with the family.

Did I get that right, Mike?

My heart goes out to you...


#7

The real question is why did she ask him to not attend Mass? Is he arguing about doctrine? Is he not being supportive? Is he going grudgingly? We don’t know why, he didn’t tell us. And if his answer is “I don’t know why she asked me not to come” then he needs to ask her and find out why…


#8

First, I am very sorry that you are treated poorly in your family Parish. We have a number of non-Catholic spouses who attend Mass at our Parish, with their families and they participate in social functions and some of the ministries -- we would never think of shunning a non-Catholic Christian. Second, I think your wife needs to bear some responsibility for the situation you find yourself in. I understand and respect her desire to make sure your children have a strong Catholic foundation, but she also has a marital responsibility to you, to stand with you to present a united front for the children.

After all this time it is obvious that your are not going to convert, so she should turn her attention, in a constructive way, toward doing the next best thing -- being the Catholic role model for the children without diminishing your authority as a parent. It is also more important that you are attending a Church on Sundays where your spiritual needs are being met (it is a sin not to keep the Sabbath Holy), than it is that you attend a Church whose teachings and doctrines you so adamantly oppose.

Also, check with your diocese to see if they offer counseling services -- our diocese has 2 professionals, one a priest and one a lay person -- to help individuals and families in crisis. Yours is definitely in crisis. And please, pray! Never stop praying -- God will grant you the wisdom and strength you need to make the right choices.


#9

Hey man, I have hope in you. God IS real, as you already know. If you believe in the intercession of the saints, then that's a good start. I see that you have a "Protestant" label on your religious affiliation. I would check out the Catholic answers to Catholic doctrines, just to be firm on what is Catholic and what is a Protestant answer to a Catholic belief.

If you're having trouble believing in transubstantiation, have you ever tried attending an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament? Just go, sit anywhere, in the back if you would like to, and just bring your favorite Bible and read. Look up at the monstrance every now and then, and just relax and know you're in the company of Jesus Our Lord. Even if you don't believe He's there, just hang out in the Church. I can guarantee you will feel something or get something out of being there, and I'd go from there in believing whether or not transubstantiation is true.

I'll be praying for you, too, just know theres a massive community of Catholics on earth praying for you. Should you feel that those are not enough, call on some saints and angels, and just ask Jesus himself for help too... you'll realize He does this through the saints and angels , if you haven't.

:signofcross:


#10

Well we’ll have to wait until Mike tells us why his wife asked him not to attend Catholic Mass. But I wouldn’t jump to conclusions until Mike comes back and tells us the reason. Maybe he argued - maybe she argued. We don’t know at this point. But the present situation, where Mike’s wife doesn’t want him to attend ANY Church service, be it either Protestant or Catholic, doesn’t make sense to me. And I don’t understand how could Mike’s attending of his Protestant Church jeopardize the children’s Catholic upbringing.


#11

Mike, first off, I'm sorry to hear how hard things are for you right now. I will surely pray for you and your family. Sometimes it takes an incredibly difficult time in our life before we decide to truly let God in and to trust completely in Him.

So let me... You do not believe in the true presence at all or did Jesus actually change bread and wine into his body and blood, but you have a hard time believing that this still takes place in mass today?

You said that this is the only thing keeping you from the Church, correct? So you believe in the forgiveness of sins? Why could God give Priests the power to forgive sins but not to stand in his place at the alter where bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ?

... So I started writing this message like 45 min ago, but I keep phone calls... I need to go, but I'll write more later today or tomorrow morning.


#12

Good posts here OP. Counseling, questioning the charity of the catholic church you are attending (ditto there), a rock/hard place situation for you, and a wife who seems confused herself (my opinion). So I have nothing to add about all that except I think the counseling should involve her too. And also, I think it was said, check with the archdiocese on support groups for mixed marriages… bound to be some hopefully.

But, re: transubstantiation. The catechism has pages on that topic. It is not magic: say the words and presto, body and blood of Jesus. That can seem ridiculous to a rational person. The entire ritual means more than that. It is about love, the giving and receiving in love, and the consequences of that. Much like what you are experiencing now in your marriage. Sometimes the consequences of love is delight, sometimes pain, and* always there is a struggle to believe that what one hopes for *will be attained. That’s Eucharist.


#13

[quote="mikehere, post:1, topic:178110"]
Help ?

I am married 20 yrs to my Catholic wife & I feel like I just don't matter anymore......I tried the RCIA 10 yrs ago....Can't find it in my heart to believe in trans-sub...so membership in the CC is not a possibility...

[/quote]

If by believing in transubstantiation you mean understanding it. Don't worry no one else really understands it either. So this should be no impediment to your joining the Church.

I was raised catholic and left for a number of years before returning. There is much that I don't believe in the sense that I don't understand. There is much that I accept because I beleive the Church to be God's instrument for our benefit.

So - Consider in your heartwhat your "unbelief" is based on. After all, even if we don't understand trasnsub. we still can receive great graces from the sacrament by our faith.

The other thing to consider is whether this doubt/unbelief about transubstantiation is worth losing your marriage over.

when I've tried attending my own Protestant church, my wife freaks out fearing our children will not stay the coarse as Catholics. I quit attending Mass with my family in June of this yr......My wife actually asked me not to come anymore....like 3 or 4 times....

It sounds like there is a great deal going on here that we don't know about. My guess is that you both need to meet with a priest/councilor to try work out the underlying issues.

I feel us slipping farther & farther apart.....I hate my life right now & wish I'd never been born .....

Guard yourself well here. Do not fall into despair. You are already in many peoples prayers and I am praying for you now.

Ive tried talking in prvt msgs here w/other Catholics about the situation & it just dead ends when our conversations get to the spot where I can not accept trans sub real.

Nothing I can say here without knowing what all was covered ni your private messages.

I'm falling apart over this & don't know what to do....One thing I know in my heart is I can never believe in the stuff I'd have to accept to join her in the CC......+ I've never experienced anything but cold unwelcoming indifference there anyway.

I'm sorry you feel unwelcome at your local parish. Please know that you are welcome here in our little "cyber-parish". Here we have the advantage of knowing each other even better in some ways by not knowing each other at all (in person).
When you say you "....can never believe in the stuff I'd have to accept to join her in the CC..." are you refering to things other than transubstantiation?

Does anyone know of a on line support group for people married to Catholics? It just seems like no one cares......and there's no hope of anything improving..... If there is a God, I've come to believe he keeps sending misery into my life just to see how much more I can take.....

Well - I know of no specific group such as you suggest, but in truth I think you may have joined one of the best "support groups" on line period. In reviewing the responses so far I am seeing a lot of concern and support. I hope we can continue to be a support to you. I believe God has led you here just for this reason.

Yes God does seem to send us much trouble sometimes. Yet he also provides the support and Love to help us. It is only up to us to make use of that support. To know that God sends us trouble in order to give us the opportunity to rely ever more Him. Like in the old "Footprints" posem where, when the man asks about the times when there are only one set of footprints, Jesus responds, "but my child, that is when I carried you".

Have you tried visiting Church at odd hours and just sitting in the dark quiet before the tabernacle? Whether you accept Transub. or not, this can provide a good time to "talk things over" with God in peace. Pour out your heart to Him. Let Him lead you and I'm sure He will give you peace and courage.

May God be with you and Bless you

Peace
James


#14

Begin to study the Faith, pray - remember, faith is a GIFT. Read the Gospel of John, especially Chapter 6 -


#15

Thanks everyone for the input…I’ll need more time to read and understand…so please be patient as I have a very busy life right now…more soon…

I faithfully attended mass w/ my wife since we began dating…(3 yrs before we were married) up until June. In the last eight years in the same church in the 3rd or 4th row ten feet away from the same priest all this time, I have sat week after week & no one speaks to me…other than the peace sign… At times (3 or 4) I have cried sitting there feeling like no one cares if I come or not…I starred at the floor the last 3 1/2 or 4 yrs so I did not have to watch the consecration / communion, as I see this as a man made thing - therefore idol worship…I mean no disrespect…just explaining how it feels…It stikes me as very strange my wife , or our kids or the priest who has seen this week after week month after month year after year never asked me if I would like to take part in some activity, or introduced himself, or ask if there was a problem I was struggeling with. I know I’m very obvious as I don’t kneel or sign or take part in any of the rituals…this is one of many many things that I’ve expierienced that have lead me to where I’m at w/ the church…

My wife see’s trans-sub as the one little thing I’ve singeled out to use as an excuse not to join…she knows that I don’t like it at her church ( I actually feel uncomfortable driving into the parking lot to pick up our kids from ccd classes) so my non participation coupled with the negative comments I had made to her back when we used to talk about religion at all led to her asking me not to come… said I was setting a poor example to the kids I guess too…she ask a number of times before I actually stopped…I’m sure I did not look very enthused when I went…but I did go, & did believe that going was a sacrifice to her, the church & our kids…something I never received an ounce of recognition for.
It was like she had no idea how hard this was for me…( crying in church…would you not ask you spouse about this ? )

I know I’ve got a poor attitude towrds the CC, this is something I’m trying to change by learning here on CAF…so thanks for caring enough to respond & for trying to help me…but my interaction with your church over all these years has made me feel so left out and un welcome /unwanted there that I have a long ways to go & many things to get past…

I will read & write more soon as I can…Again Thanks,
Mike


#16

I'm sorry you are suffering so much. Regardless of any differences in beliefs you may have it's not okay for your wife to do anything to make you feel bad about being who you are and feeling the way you do. I know marriage is give and take but I think you really need to stand up for yourself in this situation.


#17

I used to work in a technical field, so, I will use an analogy from that world.

Information gets to the end user in one of two ways. Push or pull.

The end user goes and looks for the information - types “how can I watch movies online” into google - that end user is pulling the information.

The end user logs on, a huge NETFLIX ad pops up in front of him saying “come join for free and watch movies online” - that is information being pushed to the end user.

Every protestant/non-denom/evangelical (insert other non-Catholic term here) congregation I have ever been around - and that number is up in the thousands for me - the congregation PUSHES information to the end user. You walk in the door for the first time, they are inviting you to things and asking you to join thus and such and asking you over to eat… and if you miss services, someone is looking for you to find out why! Remember, for them, church attendance is voluntary so they know you might have just chosen to stay home and that is not a good thing.

The Catholic Church is the opposite, it is about pulling. If you want to be involved, there is a bulletin and maybe a website where you can find out what classes, groups, volunteer, fellowship, prayer, study, etc groups there are. If you miss Mass, people assume you went to a different Mass that weekend. For Catholics, Mass is an obligation so the assumption is made that you are a grown up and you fufilled your obligation.

As a convert, I see this over and over and over and over. Cradle Catholics do not notice it - it seems normal to them. For converts or those who have attended non-Catholic congregations, it seems cold and unwelcoming.

The answer?? Get involved. Volunteer for something. There are things you can volunteer for where you do not have to be a card-carrying Catholic (some things do require you to be practicing, for instance any kind of Religious Ed or Religious instruction), as a non-Catholic spouse you can attend study and prayer groups, volunteer with social justice (soup kitchen, SSVDP, pro life ministry, ESL…).

Once you get involved with something, you will find a whole Catholic parish family. They are waiting for you to join in - so, dig out that bulletin and find something!


#18

First, you have my prayers and I hope you can work things out.

Have you tried talking to your wife about this? telling her everything you just told us? Talk to her and see if there is anyway you can be active in their faith life. Maybe, she never eralized how hard it was for you, and she saw you as just showing up and moping. I suggest you talk to her. Also, after Mass try going up to the priest and asking if there are ways you can get involved.

I hope things work out for you.


#19

[quote="kage_ar, post:17, topic:178110"]
I used to work in a technical field, so, I will use an analogy from that world.

Information gets to the end user in one of two ways. Push or pull.

The end user goes and looks for the information - types "how can I watch movies online" into google - that end user is pulling the information.

The end user logs on, a huge NETFLIX ad pops up in front of him saying "come join for free and watch movies online" - that is information being pushed to the end user.

Every protestant/non-denom/evangelical (insert other non-Catholic term here) congregation I have ever been around - and that number is up in the thousands for me - the congregation PUSHES information to the end user. You walk in the door for the first time, they are inviting you to things and asking you to join thus and such and asking you over to eat... and if you miss services, someone is looking for you to find out why! Remember, for them, church attendance is voluntary so they know you might have just chosen to stay home and that is not a good thing.

The Catholic Church is the opposite, it is about pulling. If you want to be involved, there is a bulletin and maybe a website where you can find out what classes, groups, volunteer, fellowship, prayer, study, etc groups there are. If you miss Mass, people assume you went to a different Mass that weekend. For Catholics, Mass is an obligation so the assumption is made that you are a grown up and you fufilled your obligation.

As a convert, I see this over and over and over and over. Cradle Catholics do not notice it - it seems normal to them. For converts or those who have attended non-Catholic congregations, it seems cold and unwelcoming.

The answer?? Get involved. Volunteer for something. There are things you can volunteer for where you do not have to be a card-carrying Catholic (some things do require you to be practicing, for instance any kind of Religious Ed or Religious instruction), as a non-Catholic spouse you can attend study and prayer groups, volunteer with social justice (soup kitchen, SSVDP, pro life ministry, ESL...).

Once you get involved with something, you will find a whole Catholic parish family. They are waiting for you to join in - so, dig out that bulletin and find something!

[/quote]

As another convert I have to fully agree with kage_ar. Catholics don't want to be intrusive in others lives. For a Catholic, your relationship with God is no one's business but your own, you see. If people see you crying they probably think you've been moved by the Holy Spirit not that you are miserable. They can't read your heart and mind and they don't want to try. No one is going to "love bomb" you at Mass. The best way to get to know people in a Catholic parish is to get involved in some parish activity. We have many non-Catholic spouses at our parish who join in doing all sorts of things. No one is going to invade your privacy at a Catholic parish. If you want/need help you are expected to contact the appropriate people and ask. In your case I'd contact the pastor and meet with him. Tell him everything you've told us. He's going to want to help you, not force you into anything. You'll be much happier once you know that he really does care, once you've told him your dilemma, that is. ;) You and your family have my prayers, as well. :)


#20

Hey Mike,

another point of view . . .
To a Catholic, the Mass is totally focused on JesusChrist - all eyes in his direction only - for the duration of the mass.

Fellowship comes later - and outside the mass (f.t.m.p.) in various ministries and organizations. If you are not involved in them, you will miss out on the fellowship, faith sharing, and faith building. Some parishes have a wider range of ministries than others, and not every ministry is a good fit for every person, so it pays to look around at what is available to you.

I have a very good friend that also was troubled by trans.sub. I had long and deep conversation with him on the topic (as did many others), and in a nutshell, it is not for us to make him believe - that is between God and him and perhaps it might be Gods will for it to be that way for now - Anyhow, it never stood in the way of him being a great Christian man and someone we admire and our Spiritual brother that we included in all our activities.
More later . .

Where do you live?


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