Husband never wants to go to church


#1

My husband was born and raised Catholic, went to Catholic schools, and his parents are very devout Church members. However, he is not a church-goer, and has never been for the entire 13 years that I have known him. I was born and raised Baptist. When my husband and I became engaged, I began RCIA classes. He made it very clear to me, repeatedly, that he in no way wanted to be involved. He honestly could have cared less if I converted or not. I have always been Christian, but I was looking for a new church home, however, and became very interested in learning more about Catholicism. So I went through the process of conversion on my own. He neither encouraged nor discouraged it. As soon as I converted, my son (from my previous marriage, then annulled) was baptized as Catholic. However, we were never good about going to church every week.

Fast forward to now. We had a baby girl nearly 3 years ago, and promptly had her baptized within a month of her birth, to the delight of my in-laws. For a short time, we began going to church again. The birth and baptism of our daughter drew us closer to the Church. However, we stopped going consistently a while back. We go through short phases of attending for several weeks at a time, but then stop for no good reason. I have been feeling very withdrawn, and have been questioning my decision about converting. I’m not involved with the church, but want to be.

My problem lies with the fact that every week I ask my husband if he wants to go to church with the kids and I, and he always refuses because he is “tired” or “busy.” I cave and end up not taking the kids to church simply because I do not want to sit there alone, as a “single parent” when I most certainly have a Catholic husband at home who is just unwilling to go with us. Further, our 2-year-old is very challenging, and it’s so hard to enjoy Mass while battling with her the entire time. I end up not only angry with my husband for making me sit without him in church, but also because I have to tend to our kids most of the time already…and to have to deal with it in church, too, without his help…just makes me very angry. So, I never go.

Just wondered if I could get some advice or encouragement of some kind here. THANKS!


#2

Hello,

I would just go to Mass with the kids. This will teach them to take the Third Commandment seriously. Hopefully, it will teach your husband too, even if he doesn't go.

I don't think people will assume you are a single mother if they see you alone with children at Mass. Myself, I tend to assume that the husband is of another religion or indifferent.


#3

[quote="mPR, post:2, topic:200157"]
Hello,

I would just go to Mass with the kids. This will teach them to take the Third Commandment seriously. Hopefully, it will teach your husband too, even if he doesn't go.

I don't think people will assume you are a single mother if they see you alone with children at Mass. Myself, I tend to assume that the husband is of another religion or indifferent.

[/quote]

especially if you see a wedding ring on the finger:p


#4

You need to forge your relationship with God independently of your husband. Although that is not the ideal situation, and your devotion to the Faith may influence your husband, you are ultimately responsible for yourself and, because you have brought your children into the Faith, for them as well. It will be difficult and there will be times when you may not feel that it is worth it, or that your husband will change or whatever. But when you are before God and He asks why you didn’t go to church or raise your children with a strong base, what excuse will be good enough for Him?


#5

Does your husband know (as a Catholic himself) that it is a mortal sin not to attend Sunday Mass?

If he does, and still doesn’t care, of course I greatly encourage you to keep attending Mass with your children.

But if you find it possible, I suggest that you and your husband meet with a priest to discuss this situation.

Remember that the family that prays together, stays together. And if you ask me, he needs to get off of his rear end once a week to show due reverence to God along with the blessings his family that God has bestowed upon him!


#6

Hello stran, there are at least two issues here that you need to tackle with. First, your husband could be undergoing some crisis with himself. He may not show it but he surely is trying to deal with it on his own. Have you tried to ask him if he is willing to discuss things with you? If he is not willing then assure him you will pray for him and you are just there in case he is ready to discuss his problem with you.

Second, if you are a new convert, you surely had someone who guided you through the process of joining the Catholic Church. Do you think he or she can give you some assistance or guidance on how you can avoid the danger of falling off from your new-found faith? Someone who knows you as a person and therefore knows every detail of your problem?

Meanwhile I shall include you in my prayers. Dear one, a newly baptized is a pure soul. They are like angels in the throne of God who sees His face. Perhaps, you could call your Father in Heaven who just took you as His own? Prayers of a newly baptized are powerful before his Throne of Mercy. Try to ask Him what your heart desires. And share to us what miracles have happened from hereon.

Shalom!.. Love Incarnate


#7

You may have to bribe him to attend at least one, if he refuses afterwards, you must leave it up in prayer, just saying, at least try that tactic, I feel strongly that once one attends once, if there is any fertile soil, it will take root and flourish, if it doesn’t take hold, the soil is going to need plenty of tilling before he’s willing to come back and that’s done mainly through prayer.

Also, if you can get him to wear a miraculous medal around his neck, it will do wonders, trust me on that one, you don’t even need to explain to him what it is about.


#8

First and foremost, go to confession. Even though it is frustrating that your husband doesn’t want to attend mass and your daughter is challenging, it is still a sin to miss Sunday mass. If she is really that bad, then why not leave her with your husband? It’s only one hour.

Second, if your husband sees you attending mass consistently then it may inspire him to start attending with you. Spotty attendence on your part is showing him that mass is no big deal. I think you’d get bonus points by taking your daughter then he’ll see that you have the desire to attend even though she may make the experience miserable. It reminds me of the famous saying by St. Francis, “preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.”

Third, your relationship with God is not dependent on your husband. God first, spouse second, children third. Get involved with the RCIA program, or any other ministry that you feel called to. I’m sure you will meet other people who have indifferent spouses and you all can support each other. If it’s any consolation, about 2 years ago there was a guy in my parish’s RCIA program who finally decided to convert after 14 years of marriage to his Catholic wife. She took her 3 children (2 of which were twins!) to mass every Sunday w/o him. Now, they attend as a family and I am positive it was because of her prayers, faith and diligent mass attendance.


#9

Thanks everyone. :slight_smile: Yes, my husband does know that missing Mass is a sin that must be confessed, but he has no interest in going to confession. On the rare occasion that he goes to Mass, he just doesn’t take Communion. It’s almost as if he is the non-Catholic, unaware and disinterested. :shrug:

Next Saturday, I will head to Confession. And to Mass. And I will ask (again) if he wants to go. I know others see the wedding ring, and know I’m married, but I’d almost rather really be a single parent with my kids in church than face the question, “Where is your husband?” for the thousandth time. I feel like I’m always covering for him, even if people don’t ask, I know they’re wondering. And when they do ask (like Sister Marie, who helped us get our marriage blessed in the Church) what do I say? It’s just embarrassing, and I know for certain he could care less if I tell Sister Marie, Father, or others that he just truly doesn’t care to come to Mass.

He does have several hang-ups with the Catholic Church. Doesn’t agree with many of the “rules.” I must say, there are some “rules” I don’t follow, either, but I still want to be there. Know what I mean? He doesn’t want to go because it just doesn’t mean anything to him. The only times he goes to confession are when we are getting ready for a sacrament of some kind…our daughter’s baptism, our oldest son’s first Communion, our marriage blessing. That’s it.


#10

[quote="stran1229, post:1, topic:200157"]
My My problem lies with the fact that every week I ask my husband if he wants to go to church with the kids and I, and he always refuses because he is "tired" or "busy." I cave and end up not taking the kids to church simply because I do not want to sit there alone, as a "single parent" when I most certainly have a Catholic husband at home who is just unwilling to go with us. Further, our 2-year-old is very challenging, and it's so hard to enjoy Mass while battling with her the entire time. I !

[/quote]

perfectly understandable feelings, but it does not negate the fact that you and your children of school age and above are obligated to assist at Mass every Sunday. Period. The answer to your family dilemma lies in you returning to Mass and the sacraments faithfully and raising your children in the Faith, single-handed if you have to. In this way the grace you need to bring your family around will be availab le. You will not be alone, and you will not stand out. There are dozens if not more parents in your parish facing the same thing. You also need to make sure your son who is already baptized, and the others as they become old enough, continue in parish religious education programs. If you can become involved it will be a great source of strength and support for you, because you will meet the other parents who struggle as you do. By all means if the younger children are simply not ready to sit still for church, leave them home with their father. (then you can say "he is home with the baby")

Welcome Home, belatedly, we need you!


#11

[quote="stran1229, post:9, topic:200157"]
I know others see the wedding ring, and know I'm married, but I'd almost rather really be a single parent with my kids in church than face the question, "Where is your husband?" for the thousandth time. I feel like I'm always covering for him, even if people don't ask, I know they're wondering. And when they do ask (like Sister Marie, who helped us get our marriage blessed in the Church) what do I say? It's just embarrassing, and I know for certain he could care less if I tell Sister Marie, Father, or others that he just truly doesn't care to come to Mass.

[/quote]

I was raised Catholic, along with my siblings. My siblings don't practice the faith anymore. When people used to ask, I would just say matter of factly, "they don't practice the faith anymore...yeah, it's too bad..." I know that when it's a husband, you expect yourself to be measured by his actions, but you just have to try not to let that get to you. Just matter of fact say either "he's home" or say that he doesn't come to church, and then move on in the conversation. It's not necessary to cover for him, but it's also not necessary for everyone you talk with to hear the whole story. If they press you for more information, or ask you if he's another religion, you could say, "no, he's Catholic, and I hope that someday he'll come again. Say a prayer for him would you?" and then try to change the topic again. Really, just say as much or little as you want to.

But please don't let this discomfort, and his sin lead you to sin by not going to Mass. It is difficult to be faithful when your faith is not supported, but Going to Mass even when it's difficult is not only an obligation, but also a gift of love from you to God.


#12

The flip side of what worked with my dh along with reminding him that he is the spiritual head of our household and I would like him to do that but would like him not to take me somewhere in a handbasket…Is that we live in a smaller town and know a lot of people and he teaches kids so one day I asked him if he agreed that lying was wrong. And he did. So I asked him if he would agree with me that me lying for him would be wrong. And he told me that it would. So I asked him what I should say if one of his grade school students were to ask me why he wasn’t there. I told him I wouldn’t lie. I have kept that promise. For the kid’s sake here and there where it has legitimately happened I may be able to say something like his back was really sore (which it was) - as I belive we still attach differeing importance to attendance but not to God. It is splitting hairs but not lying. jUst my 2 cents.


#13

Just want to say thanks, again! It's helpful to read all of your responses. :)


#14

OMG are you serious? My partner isn't a Catholic and really doesn't get our masses (he's AOG) but I asked him about going to a Catholic church in the future once we're married, and he said that if it makes you happy then I'll come.lol On a side note: I told him that the only way I'm getting married is via the Catholic church and according to our customs and traditions. At first he was all NO WAY. We have to get married in his church, under their Pastor (a relative). I said that we wouldn't be getting married then and he goes well if it's the ONLY way, then yes lol looks like we're gonna have two services lol xx


#15

Just wait. Someone is going to come along here and tell you that the Church does not permit two services. :rolleyes:


#16

[quote="rick43235, post:15, topic:200157"]
Just wait. Someone is going to come along here and tell you that the Church does not permit two services. :rolleyes:

[/quote]

As long as they go through all of the pre-marital (engagement, whatever each Church may call it not to offend the other spouse) classes and receie all of the proper disparity of cult permissions that each Church may require then there should should be no problem however each Church will each recognize theirs as being the Sacramental service - rather than having it said you went through two services but that is not the discusiion here and you will have plenty of tiem for that discussion.


#17

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