Husband won't let me convert...


#1

I've posted this on another board full of Trads and I've gotten some good posts saying they will pray for me but I've also gotten the "convert no matter what" posts.

Here's the situation my husband was raised Episcopalian and then went off to college to become a worldly fella with drugs etc. Fast forward around 5 years and he met me, I was a non practicing Baptist and we started to look for a church together, we attended a Catholic church almost went to RCIA but the Marian stuff drove us both nuts. (one of those I could kick myself!-later) We checked out Episcopalian churches-too liberal, baptist-spent some time there we both were baptized (me first time him second time-he was baptized as a baby) we checked out the fundy indy baptists, bible churchers, mennonites, and then ran into a fella that believed and introduced us to the early church fathers. He's my husband's best friend an staunch Cont. Anglican and my girls godfather. He's a big driving force in my husband's beliefs.

We started to attend Cont. Anglican Churches where are daughters were both baptized and that is where we are now. He's an altar server (acolyte a grown up altar boy really) and has mentioned that he would like to become a priest at some point. Problem is I've read the early church too and I recognize St. Peter's supremacy and the Catholic Church as THE CHURCH. I have tried several times to convert, it always ends the same. He yells, argues, attacks the church and me for being rebellious and dividing our house etc and has told me in no uncertain terms that he would divorce me if I convert-so I give in and quietly attend church with him. He allows me to watch EWTN and pray the rosary (he mocks EWTN but can't say much about the rosary since we belong to an Anglo-catholic parish). He CAN'T STAND the Catholic Church he belittles it every chance he gets. I feel like bawling every time we pass a Catholic Church on our way to this Anglo-catholic one. :(

I feel like I'm trapped I'm freaking out inside wanting to go to church and convert but I can't and I'm trying hard not to feel resentment towards him over this. Funny thing that gets me is he will say that the Catholic Church is a valid church with valid sacraments and we are all part of the church but will divorce me if I dare convert to it!!! I'm just frustrated and upset over the whole thing. I do have my 6 yr. old daughter praying the rosary with me everyday while I secretly pray for my husband's conversion or at least a softening of heart so I can convert. Please help!!! Please pray for my family! I've been praying the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, prayers to St.s Rita and Monica I need all the help I can get.

DoT


#2

No one can tell you what **you **should do. Only you can decide that.

We can tell you what **we **would do. I would follow my conscience, obey Christ, and take the consequences. That's me.


#3

I’m not sure what the Cont. Anglican church is but if they are using the word Anglican rather than Episcopal I would suggest looking up and presenting him with the number of Traditional Anglican Churches who are wholesale converting to Catholicism.

In other words there are whole Parishes, Anglican Orders and other groups (Priests, Bishops etc…) who have asked for full communion with the Church on a massive scale.

What do those devout Anglican know that is pushing them to do this?

Joe


#4

Hello defenderofFaith :O)

It's nice to know that you are catholic at heart and is teaching your kids Catholic prayers. God is really great for he has shown you back to His church. The journey you have taken is rare, being born into a Baptist home,then converting to Anglicanism and hopefully to Catholicism. I, myself was lucky enought to be born into a Catholic family and didnt have to go through that long journey you have taken and for that I appluade you.

With regards to your husband's conversion, I don't think there is anything you can do. His relationship with God is his alone. Like you, he has his own journey to take. All you can do is to keep praying for his conversion, keep watching Ewtn and keep on strengthening your faith. I do suggest that you enter the Catholic Church. By you entering the Catholic Church does not mean that you want your husband to convert with you.

Maybe you should just start there.Try going to RCIA classes but still go to the Abglican church services with your husband and family. Keep on praying for his conversion too. God is great and I know he listens to every prayer.

God bless you.


#5

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:199078"]
I've posted this on another board full of Trads and I've gotten some good posts saying they will pray for me but I've also gotten the "convert no matter what" posts.

Here's the situation my husband was raised Episcopalian and then went off to college to become a worldly fella with drugs etc. Fast forward around 5 years and he met me, I was a non practicing Baptist and we started to look for a church together, we attended a Catholic church almost went to RCIA but the Marian stuff drove us both nuts. (one of those I could kick myself!-later) We checked out Episcopalian churches-too liberal, baptist-spent some time there we both were baptized (me first time him second time-he was baptized as a baby) we checked out the fundy indy baptists, bible churchers, mennonites, and then ran into a fella that believed and introduced us to the early church fathers. He's my husband's best friend an staunch Cont. Anglican and my girls godfather. He's a big driving force in my husband's beliefs.

We started to attend Cont. Anglican Churches where are daughters were both baptized and that is where we are now. He's an altar server (acolyte a grown up altar boy really) and has mentioned that he would like to become a priest at some point. Problem is I've read the early church too and I recognize St. Peter's supremacy and the Catholic Church as THE CHURCH. I have tried several times to convert, it always ends the same. He yells, argues, attacks the church and me for being rebellious and dividing our house etc and has told me in no uncertain terms that he would divorce me if I convert-so I give in and quietly attend church with him. He allows me to watch EWTN and pray the rosary (he mocks EWTN but can't say much about the rosary since we belong to an Anglo-catholic parish). He CAN'T STAND the Catholic Church he belittles it every chance he gets. I feel like bawling every time we pass a Catholic Church on our way to this Anglo-catholic one. :(

I feel like I'm trapped I'm freaking out inside wanting to go to church and convert but I can't and I'm trying hard not to feel resentment towards him over this. Funny thing that gets me is he will say that the Catholic Church is a valid church with valid sacraments and we are all part of the church but will divorce me if I dare convert to it!!! I'm just frustrated and upset over the whole thing. I do have my 6 yr. old daughter praying the rosary with me everyday while I secretly pray for my husband's conversion or at least a softening of heart so I can convert. Please help!!! Please pray for my family! I've been praying the rosary, divine mercy chaplet, prayers to St.s Rita and Monica I need all the help I can get.

DoT

[/quote]

I am not really up on the terminology, is the Anglo-Catholic church a parish that is in communion with Rome(or soon to be)?

A possible compromise would be to join a Anglican rite Catholic Church. I believe there are a few parishes the entered the Church awhile back and there are going to be more via the Pope's recent ruling allowing Anglican Churches to join with the Catholic Church with minimal changes to their liturgy and an expedited "re-ordination" (for lack of a better term) of their priests.

That being said, it is quite shocking to hear that he would divorce you over this. This shows that there is something wrong with his position. I am not suprised however that obstacles are being thrown in your way on your journey to the Church.

God Bless,


#6

I have tried several times to go to RCIA and he this last time said I could but when he realized I wasn’t joking but serious and was willing to go alone without him he flipped out. He brow beat me (yelled and screamed) until I gave in and said “fine I won’t go to church with you and I’ll just be a Catholic at heart”-which wasn’t good enough either he said it doesn’t matter if I’m a Catholic at heart I’m still in rebellion to him and his authority as the spiritual head of our home and still dividing the house with my spiritual beliefs.

So as far as he knows…I’m Anglo-Catholic at heart now. I hate to deceive him but really he must suspect something since I’ve been watch EWTN and Catholic Answers on the radio. I haven’t come right out AGAIN and said I would like to convert since I know it’s just another scream out session with our poor 6 year old being witness to it. He likes to throw out well go ahead be part of Rome and damn your husband and kids since they don’t belong to your “true church”.

It’s horrible.

DoT


#7

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:6, topic:199078"]
I have tried several times to go to RCIA and he this last time said I could but when he realized I wasn't joking but serious and was willing to go alone without him he flipped out. He brow beat me (yelled and screamed) until I gave in and said "fine I won't go to church with you and I'll just be a Catholic at heart"-which wasn't good enough either he said it doesn't matter if I'm a Catholic at heart I'm still in rebellion to him and his authority as the spiritual head of our home and still dividing the house with my spiritual beliefs.

So as far as he knows....I'm Anglo-Catholic at heart now. I hate to deceive him but really he must suspect something since I've been watch EWTN and Catholic Answers on the radio. I haven't come right out AGAIN and said I would like to convert since I know it's just another scream out session with our poor 6 year old being witness to it. He likes to throw out well go ahead be part of Rome and damn your husband and kids since they don't belong to your "true church".

It's horrible.

DoT

[/quote]

How long has this been going on? (You wanting to convert and your husband getting mad about it?) At least he is not preventing you from watching EWTN even if he criticizes it a lot.


#8

DoT, have you spoken with the priest at your husband's Anglican parish? He would certainly not agree with your husbands actions. He might even be willing to talk with your husband, if that would help. I feel for you both; religion can't be forced, but it's tough when only one spouse converts, especially when children are involved.


#9

I have spoken with him (the head priest at the church we attend). He told me that Rome was wrong about this and that and then told my husband not to yell at me about it-yet he gave my husband a book about the whole "the Anglican church was an early church" theory. So my husband yelled alot and nothing was done except I caved. He likes my husband and likes having serve at the altar he doesn't want him going anywhere. Not only that his older best friend by 8 years is nasty about the Church too and my husband won't allow me to convert because he knows that his friend will go down the divide thing and say "oh soon you'll be Roman too brother" or "you gonna let your wife divide the house like this"-he's kind of a sexist pig. This (me wanting to convert has gone on over like 3-4 years) I get to the point I can't stand it anymore and I say something about RCIA and then the whole yelling cycle goes on and on. It won't change unless God changes him. He justifies the divorce thing as a "house divided against itself can't stand", and he points out that I'm not under his spiritual head like I should be scripturally (1 Corinthians etc.) so I am an unbeliever in his view which is acceptable of divorce.

I have two choices: I can convert have him yell and scream at me which divorce is inevitable like he said. Or I can secretly say my prayers for his conversion while my heart is in the church.

I just can't stop crying over it. He keeps asking me what's wrong ("why are you crying") but I know better than to tell him because 2 months ago this happened and I told him and he freaked out and started yelling, I'm pregnant now and was then I don't need to have draining arguments over things he'll never agree with (unless God changes his heart). Some may find that weird but my faith and the church I attend is very important to me-I've also read St. Cyprian's Unity of the Church and can see beyond a shadow of a doubt Rome is Home and those outside are schismatic and or heretical sects. I hate taking communion at that church but if I stop he'll freak out on me and know that I don't see it as valid. (since their head bishop is a schismatic from Episcopals and they are schismatic from Rome.)

DoT


#10

Anglo-catholic is an Anglican church that (most of the time) believes in praying to saints, confession, the rosary, stations of the cross, high mass-with missals not prayerbook. This particular parish had a split in it not to long ago because half of the congregation wanted to stick with their bishops (they were ACA/TAC-a body that wants to join Rome) and this particular priest(s) wanted nothing to do with it. ("our orders and sacraments are valid we don't need rome") He made comments that he would see it a resturant before it became a Catholic Church. (this is the priest I talked to about the converting thing)

They have no interest in joining the Church. (and unfortunately my husband is with them VEHEMENTLY WITH THEM)

DoT


#11

DofT-

There is no such thing as being Catholic at heart- I am sorry to tell you this. I feel for you and I reach out my arms for you to embrace you in a friendly hug of support. Please know that we are your brothers and sisters and we are here but the way to be truly part of the Catholic Church is to be in communion with the Christ and the Saints and to do that is through the Sacrament of Eucharist. You must go through RCIA for this. But trust me nothing will bring more peace to your heart or your home that this. It is not what happens around us but what happens inside of us. It is not what happens during our life but after our life that count.

The priest already has spoken to him about his abusive behavior. Guess what if he continues to be abusive and leaves you will be raising the kids in this case - CAtholic - because he won't be home to care. Marriage is about helping your spouse to Heaven - that means helping your spouse find the way to God. Ask him to please not mock but to watch - maybe write it if he won't listen.

Feel free to PM if needed.


#12

I see a problem here that is way more than which church you attend. A husband who will scream at and belittle his wife and threaten her with divorce every time he doesn't get his own way in controlling her....well....there are some serious problems here. Being the spiritual head of the family does not give him the right to brow beat his wife. He sounds like a controlling, verbally abusive bully. I'm not one to advocate divorce, but is this really how you want to live, and is this the example of marriage that you want your children to think is OK?


#13

[quote="Arlene, post:12, topic:199078"]
I see a problem here that is way more than which church you attend. A husband who will scream at and belittle his wife and threaten her with divorce every time he doesn't get his own way in controlling her....well....there are some serious problems here. Being the spiritual head of the family does not give him the right to brow beat his wife. He sounds like a controlling, verbally abusive bully. I'm not one to advocate divorce, but is this really how you want to live, and is this the example of marriage that you want your children to think is OK?

[/quote]

This is what I was about to say. Please get in touch with a therapist/counseler and talk to somebody about this. It really sounds to me like you are in an emotionally abusive relationship.


#14

joandarc2008,

I hear what you are saying but guess what he's going to kick me out and keep the kids, I will be Catholic and they'll still be Anglican with him and they'll believe I left them for a church which won't convert him or them...no thanks.

Arlene,
I agree it is childish and bullying behavior but I married him, we have two (three) kids and when I'm not talking about converting we get along perfectly fine no arguments! This is the one and only subject he freaks out about.


#15

Your husband's reactions seem really extreme. Have you considered why that may be? Is it at all possible that he is engaged in an inner battle over the issue himself? Possibly he feels that he also should be Catholic, but he also wants to be a priest, and since he is married he couldn't be ordained a Catholic priest. It's possible that it's nothing like that, but regardless it seems like his reaction is unreasonable, and there is probably some reason. He may not know what the reason is himself, but if you talk about it reasonably and lovingly together maybe together you can find out what the reason is.

I mean, if you say to him, "You mean you are going to divorce your pregnant wife because her conscience is leading her to a Church which you admit is valid, with valid sacraments? You believe your headship of the household extends to matters of my own conscience and salvation, and that you are willing to be responsible for my going to Hell if you are wrong?" well, that conversation probably won't go well. :) And in fact it is a bit of an exaggeration as well. But only a bit, the Catechism says: "... they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it." (CCC #846, quoting Lumen Gentium) Your husband, who does not believe that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary, would not be in the same position, but you, who do believe it, are in danger. I have no doubt that you can trust in God's mercy because you are doing all you can both to follow your conscience and to keep your family intact. But what loving husband would put you in the position he has put you in? Only one who didn't see what he was doing. So maybe you can help him to see it gently but firmly.

As for the mere macho thing about you becoming Catholic dividing your house and therefore him looking bad for his friend, well there is a way to get around that. If you can convince your husband to support you at all, then you may be able to get him to see that if he is supporting you whole-heartedly, you aren't in any way going against his authority by converting, but he is showing how secure he is that he isn't afraid of your family being divided.

But for any of that to work, he has to be not yelling at you. Have you talked to him about it since his own priest said he shouldn't yell? And if he is quoting 1 Corinthians, might I recommend 1 Cor 13:4-7. It sounds like you are doing your best to follow those instructions, and I know it's hard, but it will always be the best "argument." However, if he were to happen to read it, he might be convicted that he wasn't following them very well.

--Jen


#16

I recently heard of a saint who was not allowed to practice her religion by her husband. I don't think he ever allowed her to go to church. I believe she's a recent saint too. Maybe someone reading this would remember her name.

I too believe the minister of his Church would be very upset discovering his attitude. It is abuse and doesn't speak one who desires to serve a church.


#17

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:6, topic:199078"]
I have tried several times to go to RCIA and he this last time said I could but when he realized I wasn't joking but serious and was willing to go alone without him he flipped out. He brow beat me (yelled and screamed) until I gave in and said "fine I won't go to church with you and I'll just be a Catholic at heart"-which wasn't good enough either he said it doesn't matter if I'm a Catholic at heart I'm still in rebellion to him and his authority as the spiritual head of our home and still dividing the house with my spiritual beliefs.

DoT

[/quote]

this would be wrong if the issue was you taking a college class, joining gym, or taking up knitting. It is both wrong and a violation of conscience when it involves your religion. He is way out of line, and this sounds like a matter for marriage counselling.


#18

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:14, topic:199078"]
I hear what you are saying but guess what he's going to kick me out and keep the kids, I will be Catholic and they'll still be Anglican with him and they'll believe I left them for a church which won't convert him or them...no thanks.

[/quote]

You have legal rights. You cannot be kicked out of your house because you have converted to another faith. If he wants a divorce and you don't, then he will have to leave, and no court is going to grant him custody of your children if he leaves you because you converted from Anglo-Catholic to Catholic. Of course it is much better if it never comes up.

Be not afraid.

--Jen


#19

Good Lord...I'd have beaten the living snot out of my husband if he tried to come between me and God. Your husband sounds like an immature bully and control freak. Get used to it; he won't change. Today it's about religion, tomorrow it will be something else...

Miz


#20

[quote="Arlene, post:12, topic:199078"]
I see a problem here that is way more than which church you attend. A husband who will scream at and belittle his wife and threaten her with divorce every time he doesn't get his own way in controlling her....well....there are some serious problems here. Being the spiritual head of the family does not give him the right to brow beat his wife. He sounds like a controlling, verbally abusive bully. I'm not one to advocate divorce, but is this really how you want to live, and is this the example of marriage that you want your children to think is OK?

[/quote]

With all due respect to the OP, I have read all the threads and I am quite shock it took so many replies before someone actually pointed this out. I was not half way threw your first post when my heart started to bleed for you. It is very obvious your husband mistreats you.

It appears you are doing all the compromising to keep your marriage from divorce. No woman should live like this. I can't help but think if I man can yell at a wife for wanting to change religions, he is probably yelling about other things.

Keep praying to God to show you his next step. Keep posting here as much as you need. You deserve happiness

CM


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