I’m going to apologize for my long post but there is a lot to say. I was born and raised Catholic and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My family is large and strong in faith. My dad is a deacon and I have multiple family members that are deacons, priests, nuns and so on. My husband and I have been together for 4 years; however, we have only been married for almost 3 months. He knew while we were dating my passion for my faith. He began attending mass with me regularly after we had dated about 2 1/2 years. We had several deep discussions about marriage and faith and raising children in a mixed faith marriage. We were married in the church, and he attends mass with me every Sunday, he even agreed to use NFP as our way of planning a family (huge step!!!). I don’t expect him to become Catholic. We both agree that is between him and God and it shouldn’t be a decision made for or by me. Of course I pray that he will someday become Catholic :). I guess I should get to my point…I feel very alone in my faith. I am surrounded by people who believe what I believe and I love that and don’t want to take it for granted but I fear that my husband and I aren’t developing a Christ centered marriage. I feel like can’t talk to him about my thoughts and beliefs. We don’t pray together and it kills me. I try to encourage him to read books with me and do devotionals (even non-Catholic devotionals to make him feel more comfortable). He always pushes the subject aside or he will make a comment that pierces my heart a tiny bit and I have to bite my lip to avoid crying. I don’t know what to do. I want him to know and understand my beliefs but he acts like we are fine the way it is. I love him and I know he loves me. I know he loves God and has he relationship with Him. I am just so desperate to have a relationship together with God…I don’t know what to do. It always ends in him shuffling off the subject and me holding back tears and begging God to help my husband listen to my desperate need. I need advice!
Perhaps because that is what he actually believes.
If you did not have this type of relationship for the 4 years you dated, why did you expect it to suddenly change into such a relationship after you married?
You married a non-Catholic who was not into reading, doing devotions, etc. What made you think that was something other than the real him?
You adjust your unrealistic expectations.
Perhaps God wants YOU to do the listening. You chose a non-Catholic man. You chose a person who was not interested in the same spiritual things you were. So, perhaps begging God to change is the wrong prayer. Perhaps praying for acceptance of your mixed marriage is what you need to be doing.
If you needed such a relationship, why did you not pursue such a relationship?
This is, frankly, quite disrespectful of your husband. If you wanted him to be a different person you should have done him a favor and not married him.
You need to stop making yourself unhappy by imagining this perfect marriage that isn’t yours. Your non Catholic husband attends Mass with you each week and practices NFP. That is more than some Catholic husbands do.
Of course you can continue to pray for your husband, that he grow in faith and love God. But you need to adjust your expectations before you cause a problem. You knew him for 4 plus years before marriage. If you didn’t pray together or do devotions then, you shouldn’t demand it now. Be focused on your own prayer life. Find a devotion and prayer routine that works for you to do on your own, be grateful for what your husband does do and don’t push him away with demands that he’s not ready to fulfill now.
Love him and concentrate on other aspects of your relationship.
I agree with the last two people but also wanted to say you’re pushing too hard. You have him on nfp and going to mass, back off!
I am married to a non-Catholic, a prince of a man who has done nothing but support me but who is definitely not “into” conversations about religion. I know the situation you and I are in.
1ke is right. Your work as a wife is to be thankful for what your spouse is–do you have any idea how few *Catholic *men will accept the self-denial needed to use NFP?–and developing forbearance towards what he ought to be but is not yet. Gratitude is the key, here, gratitude and finding other persons with whom you can share your faith. The truth is, my dear, that even Catholic men are not often wild about talking about the faith with their wives. Being present for the devotionals, maybe, but they are more into doing than the talking.
You are overlooking what you do have, which is people in your own family who are very naturally interested in these things you want. Do not get so wound up in it being your husband who has to give you the feeling that you are not “alone in your faith,” then! You have many people in your life–people in your own family!–with whom to share your particular way of being faithful. Avail yourself of their company. Have religious conversations with them. Pray for your husband. Appreciate what he is. Look for ways to share expressions of faith that work for him, such as working together to volunteer to help the poor. That is the ticket.
Also, consider the case of Servant of God Élisabeth Arrighi Leseur. Her husband was not just non-Catholic. Her husband was virulently anti-religion, and tormented her for her practice of her faith. Because of her willingness to pray and make sacrifices for him, he not only converted after she died, but became a Dominican priest, a priest who later met Fulton Sheen, who was also instrumental, along with Élisabeth’s husband, in making her life and writings known to the world.
I ran across this citation for an article about how she handled the physical suffering in her life, but I have not had a chance to read it. The title of the article about her starts with “Physical Illness…”
If you search for stories told by Fulton Sheen with the name Leseur, you will find an account of her story, too.
Good advice so far. Be patient,I was married 33yrs. before my husband converted;)
Yes it is lonely. My husband is a lapsed convert, lapsed because he became ill despite all his good prayers and efforts, and his response to the question :" …, what broke your heart, … was, “God did. I tried my very best and there was no response.” It was not that he was ill and broken down, but that God seemed to offer no relief or support. He is a practical man and this is how he interprets reality. By facts and results. He lost faith in God as a loving father and also as a living Being.
To force religious discussion on your husband will only exasperate him and drive a wedge between you.
You need your husband’s acceptance and willingness for your children to be baptized and raised Catholic. You will encounter some antagonism of counter behavior if you exasperate him.
Your husband tried the Catholic faith inasfar as he could and was not convinced. Only God can change that so pray always for him, and give him love, and good example of yourself as a loving, fair, beautiful Catholic.
My husband turned from antagonism to a fair and generous allowing of me to live a life of active faith.
I see him do good for others even though it exhausts him and often leaves him in pain.
I trust God for his soul, knowing Matthew 25 verses 31-46.
God will act in him as and when He gives the graces. I pray this will be so for your loved husband.
God bless and console you.
(((HUGS)))!!! I’m in a similar relationship and know exactly how you feel. My husband converted the year before we got married and shortly afterwards just stopped going to Mass. Now he goes on Christmas and Easter with me and our son, but he is very disengaged in general in the faith.
In my case, he was Catholic but became non-practicing after some time. I pray for his conversion every day and have begun abstaining from meat on all Fridays, as well. I am extremely lonely at Mass and hope that I’m guiding our son well in the faith. We do bedtime prayers together as a family, but that’s about it.
My advice, don’t try to control the situation. Pray to the Holy Spirit that your husband be guided to the faith. Let him see your example and continue to pray and consider fasting for him. Even if your husband had converted, there’s no guarantee that he would always have remained as faithful as you are in your faith, or that he would even remained Catholic.
You married him for who he was, not for whom you want him to become. Pray for him, and show him your humble example. Always leave the door open him, but never prod. Think of how Our Lord calls people to himself. He never forces us. Sometimes my husband asks me theological questions that I do my best to answer. I come here, listen to EWTN, etc. to know I can relay the Truth to him. Know your faith well and be prepared for if your husband starts to come around in his thinking. Don’t worry if he does not. Leave it in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Life events also have a way of drawing people to the Church: births of children, first Communion, funerals, etc. Any of these can be an opportunity for him. Have open discussion about news events relevant to the faith. Just remember to be open and don’t prod.
Padre Pio said it best: “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”
You may need to break the current trend and defuse the situation by a loving, gentle,
“Darling, I’m sorry I’ve been pressuring you regarding religion.
It means a lot to me. I’ll try not to to push you into discussion unless you wish it.”
something like that in your own sweet words.
Otherwise the least word about religion may continue to cause irritation in him and make him feel cornered. Making someone feel cornered builds up resentment and that isn’t good gfor your marriage nor for his future tolerance and acceptance of your faith.
God’s grace is free and in its own time.
You are so blessed that your husband goes to Mass with you!
Few of us in our position receive that blessing!
You’ve only been married for 3 months?
I was a non Catholic married into the Catholic Church to a man who came from a very pious family. He stopped practicing his faith before we got married. I think he married in the church to please his family. I was a true pagan of sorts. I did promise to baptize the children, with a nod to catechism, but by the time our first was born several years later, he didn’t even think about church. We did get her baptized though. It was over TWENTY years before God called me home to the Catholic Church, and by that time, my husband was virulently ANTI-Catholic. It’s been 15 years or more now, and I’m happy when he will attend a Catholic fundraiser with me. (Although at the same time, he’s been to Rome twice, the Holy Land and Holy Sites all throughout Europe) Still no conversion for him.
Everything is in God’s time. But if you push really hard, God’s time will take longer. Love him into faith and don’t PUSH hard. do this kind of pushing instead…
P-PRAY U-UNTIL S-SOMETHING H-HAPPENS.
Oh, yeah. This is my 40th year of marriage. Do I feel alone in my faith sometimes? Sure. But as long as I’m praying, I’m not alone at all!
Thank you for all of your advice! I don’t want you to think my husband is a bad man or that we don’t have a good relationship. He is very hard working and loving. He has a huge heart and would do anything to help his family or even a stranger out. We love each other very deeply, respect each other, and are very commited. This has just weighed on my heart. My mother was not Catholic when her and my father married. She always says his example is what opened her heart to grow closer in their relationship with God together. They give great advice but its nice to hear other people opinions outside of family. You are all right. I need to back off. I brought it up a lot when we were dating and went through a period of understanding and I backed off. I guess through all the marriage prep and listening to our priest and sponsor couple about prayer life it put it all back on my mind. I didn’t expect a sudden change like some of you might think (and I know it sounds that way). But we didn’t live together before we were married and I’m sure all of you understand what an adjustment it is. I might have thought prayer time together would just happen. I am going to continue to pray and be an example. I am very happy with my husband and would never second guess our marriage at all (I’m sorry if I came across that way in my first post). I just wasn’t sure how to encourage a prayer life together when we come from different faiths. Thanks again for those of you who had kinds words of advice and understanding!
P.S. Thank you to those of you who reminded me about his willingness to attend mass with me (which is all him, I never ask) and his excitement and acceptance of practicing NFP. I was taking that all for granted when I should be thankful that he understands and respect my beliefs enough to support them :).
We could all pray for each other, for our dear non-Catholic or lapsed Catholic spouses, and for each other and our children, until we all, with God’s mercy, meet in heaven.
This was my first thought after reading the original post. I don’t think the issue is faith so much as the honey moon is over and you are simply adjusting to the routine of married life
“Choose your love and love your choice.”
If you wanted to marry a man who would share your Catholic faith, pray with you, discuss religion with you, etc., then you needed to consider that when you were dating him. You freely chose to pledge your life to a man you knew did not fit such a description. You now must endure the results of that choice.
Sure, you can pray for him, but be prepared to accept the fact that he may not change. He is the man you chose. Love him as he is, which I’m sure you do.
Hey girl, I’m.in the same boat as you, love my husband, he’s very supportive of my faith, but prayer time together is lacking. I have read the the diary of Elisabeth leseur and it’s very good. Trusting God is also trusting in his timing, my husband and I have been married 7 years and finally are expecting our first child, praise God! I know that children look to their father as the role model especially in faith, and I do worry that my children won’t value their faith in God and will turn away but I also know that what I pray for in faith God will answer, so I continue to pray for my husband and the little one growing inside me that they will choose God and not be lost for eternity. Agree with the other’s post but I also wanted to tell you that you weren’t alone. it’s not wrong to hope for unity of faith but we can’t control their choices either. Keep praying, and I’m going to take the others advice about fasting ( when I’m not pregnant).
If you don’t stop this ‘pushy’ business he’s gonna cut & run. And who would blame him?
Religion is a very personal private matter. Don’t let dogma get between you & your husband. You seem to be on a quest to save him? Leave that to God. Someone shoving pamphlets in my face would be a real turn off. It’s enough having JWs at the door without finding them on the pillow.
Just leave the man alone. love him don’t pester/preach. He is an adult — you got to respect him.
Now if you really really love him you will let him read all these replies & you will see how wonderful he is.
I would just pray for him, attend mass/confession/adoration, and have FAITH. Remember, Christian love is faith hope and love but above all these is LOVE.
He is on NFP? Better than most guys!!!
He is not advocating abortion??
You are soooo hard on yourself. You have made a wonderful Christian marriage out of this!! His heart is OK. You are too much in the middle of it to see the wonderful seeds you planted, and because you hang out in this every day, you are not giving yourself any credit. List 20 things that were GOOD that have become of your CHRISTIAN marriage and claim your marriage in your heart for God and tell the priest in confession you want to claim your marriage for Christ. You think Christ isn’t king of ALL? Lord of ALL???
The only sensible thing said in this discussion!
It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t want to be a catholic, that is his road to tread. You are not alone, you have God, that is the same God that you husband has. So you are not so far apart. My wife is C of E, we attend both Catholic and C of E services, I enjoy both. How about you engage in his beliefs, it shouldn’t be all one sided, especially if you really want to understand him.
Here are my 2 cents. I am Catholic, my husband is Lutheran. We married in the church and our children are being brought up Catholic. When we were dating, quite frankly my husband was more involved with his church , than I with mine. I went to mass and that was about it. 19 years later, my husband goes to mass with me every Sunday. We go to retreats together, we go to Catholic studies together, we pray as a family at Lent. I am blessed. Many times I have asked him about converting and he has two minor sticking points, theologically. I think the real reason is his family is Lutheran and he feels such love and respect for them. His family totally respects me and when they visit we all attend Mass together. His brother recently married a Catholic a few years back. Family history; my mother was Lutheran and married my Catholic father and converted a few years after the kids came. Thank goodness as my mother was the teacher and example of faith in our family. I guess my advice is, your marriage is new. Who knows how God will work in your life and marriage. It may not be as you expect, but if you and your husband are both keeping your eyes on God and allow His grace to work through you both all will work itself out. God Bless you both!