I plan to convert to Catholicism and will begin attending RCIA in the Fall. As excited I am about joining the Church, I’m also terrified. You see, my husband (who is atheist) really hates the Church with a passion.
Though he grins and bears the fact that I will be attending Mass, he absolutely forbids me from taking our children. He says he will allow our children to be baptized as infants, but no further involvement will be permitted by him. No Sunday Mass, no religious education, no confirmation, no nothin’.
Our children will only be permitted to attend Mass, religious eduction, etc. if they specifically ask to go. Basically all I can do to influence my children is pray, be a good example, and talk to them about the Church as much as my husband will allow.
I fear that my children will never believe in God, or may actually grow up to hate the Church with the same intensity that my husband does. If that is that case, haven’t I failed my children? The fact that my children could end up spiritually dead due to my negligence as a parent is terrifying to me.
My husband assures me that if I take the children to Church, or try to teach them the Gospel in secret, he will divorce me and sue for custody of the children.
Do I have a moral obligation to raise my children in the Church at all costs? Should I let my husband divorce me and pray that I win custody of my children? What if I don’t win? Can I be forgiven by God for allowing my children to be essentially “lost” to the Church?
Converting to the Church has not been easy for me- and I haven’t even started the formal process yet! My husband mocks me constantly for my belief, detests the doctrines of NFP, and laughs in my face about convalidating our marriage.
Believe it or not, he’s a good husband and father besides his intense disbelief. I fear divorce because, one, I love my husband, and two, I’m a SAHM with little education and minimal job skills. I divorce would also hurt our children emotionally.
Me converting to Catholicism has put so much strain on our marriage. I know that I am supposed to serve God before all others, but sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choice.
Thanks for listening.