I have shaken my wife's foundations


#1

Last Friday I received Confirmation at my local parish. I have been attending every week since June. I was raised Catholic but my parents divorced when I was 14. I no longer went to CCD, nor did I have any desire at that age. My wife and I married in a Methodist church when we were 19, and left the country. (I was in the U.S. Navy).
We began attending the Protestant chapel when our first child came along, about 4 years later. My wife was not catholic, and I didn’t care to be then.
To make a long, long story short, we became very involved for 14 years in two differnet Non-denominational churches. (One for 8 years, then another for 6). We only left the first one because of a geographical move. As we had two more children, we were grounding them in Christianity, or so I thought. One sunday the preacher preached to us that a young lady who had just come to the altar didn’t need to confess her sins, because God already knew everything she had done, she just needed to pray the sinner’s prayer and she was now saved! It struck me as wrong, and began my journey that landed me back in the Catholic Church about 5 years ago. I didn’t take that very seriously though until this past summer. I decided that I couldn’t let my wife’s objections to the Catholic church keep me away anymore. I told her I would go with her to whatever church she wanted, but she would have to initiate it. I would be attending Mass each week. Well…
I decided to go ahead with my confirmation and told her so a month or two ago. Finally, last thursday, I told her I would be getting confirmed Friday morning, just to let her know. I didn’t invite her because I know how upset she gets. Well, Friday morning, as I was getting ready, she got our two youngest up and ready and we all went. Sounds like a happy ending, but I could tell she felt very conflicted about being there. Later in the day, she said I had taken away her very foundation of our family life, which was attending church together. I had asked her to study with me a few years ago when I was searching, but she refused. I hope that someday she can accept the Catholic faith, but due to some of my in-laws ideas about Catholics, I don’t think that she can. She hasn’t told her mom about my going to Mass or confirmation.
It surprised me to find out that 26 years of marriage is shaken so much. I don’t fear a rupture in our marriage, but I know it makes my wife so sad. My 13 year old daughter is going with me, and she is involved in the middle school youth group and will be having first communion next fall. This is very difficult for her also, but it was my daughter’s choice. It’s not like we were involved in another church youth group or anything, and she wanted to go.
Anyway, I just hope for your prayers. I pray the rosary each day, and I lift my wife up in prayer. Please do the same.

Thanks,


#2

Did I miss something?

How did you get Confirmed without having your marriage validated in the Church? (Just tell me to MYOB, if it’s none of my business.)

And CONGRATULATIONS on being restored to the Fullness of Christ’s Church. :thumbsup:


#3

Marriage is not a requirement for confirmation, according to My pastor. I have approached my wife about having our marriage blessed by the church. It is still up in the air. Apparently my priest didn’t believe that my confirmation should be held up if my wife wasn’t willing to have our marriage blessed by the Catholic church. He was more pleased that it is our first marriage and is going on 27 years!
I am pursuing having our marriage blessed, and I pray it will happen soon.


#4

I will join my prayers with yours. :slight_smile:


#5

kmcgonigle CONGRATULATIONS! I hope with God’s grace to be Confirmed myself Pentacost Sunday 2007. My husband was raised a Methodist, and his family also has some strange thoughts about the Catholic Church. He didn’t/doesn’t care so much about what his family may have said about Catholicism (for the most part they’re just nominal Christians anyway), but it sounds as if your wife cares deeply about her family’s opinion, and that they are pretty strongly against it. Of course I don’t know you, but I’d wager a bet that your wife is more hurt about having to address this with her family than she is upset with you. She will displace the feelings on to you though. Maybe I’m wrong, others will say so, but this is just a simple opinion I have. If her family could care less either way, I’d bet she would convert with you, especially considering she dressed up the babies and took them to the church for your Confirmation. I think that’s really really wonderful. If she outs this to her family, and deals with their reaction, it will probably be the start of her own personal road to conversion. THAT is the FOUNDATION that you’ve shattered. Her family with you is one thing. The family she came from is another!! God bless you both! It may be a difficult time ahead, but keep charity in your heart and be there for support. It will be difficult for her, whether she converts or not. There’s a book I read titled “When Only One Converts”, and it’s filled with stories of couples who’ve gone through this same transition. Some marriages make it, some don’t. Just be kind, generous, and charitable, hope for the best, and have faith in God!


#6

Thanks for your very thoughtful reply! I suspect you may be hitting the nail on the head about her family, and their opinion about my returning to the catholic church. Maybe I should tell them? I know they appreciate me and the kind of husband and father I have been to their daughter and grandchildren. At least they tell me often. I believe they mean it. Maybe my wife thinks their reaction would be worse than it would be. They didn’t have a problem with letting her marry me, and they knew my family was Roman Catholic. They also knew I wasn’t attending Mass. Maybe that’s why they didn’t care. Anyway, thanks for your post, again, and continue to pray for us.

Humbly yours,


#7

BeeSweet, were you also raised Catholic? Does your DH attend Mass with you? Does he support your getting confirmed?

Just wondering,


#8

Your wife says that you have taken away the foundation of her life, which is going to church together. Why can’t you go to church with her and she with you?


#9

I am willing to go to church with her. What she means is that I am not interested in being a member of her church. We were always quite involved and I taught Adult Sunday School and led small groups. She knows that I am not able to do this in submission to her church. I also cannot partake in her church’s communion service, which is monthly. She also knows that she cannot take part in Catholic communion, and would feel very out of place, according to her.

Thanks,


#10

Has she read Rome Sweet Home? It might make her feel better to read what Kimberly Hahn went through. It’s sometimes nice to know that you are not alone.


#11

You might consider getting in touch with the Coming Home Network. They work with people in situations like yours and other variations. They began as a ministry to Protestant pastors and their families when they converted, leaving not only a ministry but a career behind. They offer support for others going though a conversion including those who have a non-Catholic spouse.


#12

I guess it’s hard when either partner in a marriage makes a change that the other one is not a part of, or part of the decision making regarding the change.

I had a friend when I was growing up whose mom and dad used to be some “party hounds”- then the dad had a conversion experience and became a Baptist preacher. Great for him- but the wife did NOT feel the same calling and she had a really hard time dealing with the change in their lives for a while. They were lovely people and of course I know that in the end it was a blessing to them both, and she was fine after awhile, but…you can imagine the shock to her.

I’m glad you’ve followed your heart and returned to the church. I think your wife will be alright in time. Just continue to pray for her, and let God’s light and love shine through you. How wonderful it would be if, in time, she felt called to follow in your footsteps! Only time will tell. God bless you both!


#13

I strongly urge you to talk to a Catholic Answers apologist regarding what your pastor said. He is right about one not having to be married (in general) before confirmation. But as I understand it, if you are living with her as husband and wife (having marital relations), convalidation and confession should occur before any other sacraments. Including Holy Communion. Sometimes, in a misguided effort to be merciful, a pastor will attempt to bend rules he has no authority over :frowning: . You’re in my prayers.


#14

I think the Ask an Apologist Forum is down. I think one thing that might be making the difference was whether or not he was a Catholic at the time he married. Had he already joined another church?


#15

Here’s some info on that subject: jimmyakin.org/2006/04/formal_defectio.html

And if the forum is down:
CA Apologetics Department
619-387-7200
Monday–Friday, 9 AM–5 PM, Pacific


#16

I too had to have my marriage convalidated (that is the official term). If you’re a baptized Catholic, you should not be receiving Holy Communion without getting the marriage convalidated. It’s very important. It took me better than six months to get done, but it was worth it. Your wife doesn’t have to become Catholic to get it convalidated, good luck.


#17

Hi,

I know where your wife is coming from. And trust me, it can be utterly heartbreaking, as though your entire world has turned upside down. Please be patient and understanding with her.

Your wife will possibly go through may stages in dealing with your reversion: Hurt, Anger , despair. It helps to let her know you will always be there for her and your children including going to church with them.

For me, part of the terms of our marriage was that my husband agree to raise our children in the Baptist church. When he reverted back to Catholicism I was so angry. I felt lied to and betrayed. But he was very supportive. He never pushed his religion on me. He would slip off to daily mass without saying a word. He would get up early and go to Sunday Mass returning just in time to go with me to my Church. Over time, the anger turned to sadness, which turned to worry, which turned to questioning. Eventually, I wanted to know what this religion was that he was so obsessed about. (by the way…immersing yourself in Catholicism will be the best witness for your wife. Don’t throw it in her face, but subtly make her aware that your new found faith means the world to you. Do whatever it takes to learn and live your faith… if you need pointers on how to accomplish this without making it overtly obviously to your wife…PM my husband, RyanL. I am sure he can help you out)

While, I haven’t converted… we are now raising our Children in the Catholic church. My parents are aware of Ryan’s dedication and my interest in the Church. It breaks their hearts to see me so interested in the Catholic church, but they want me to go where God leads me. (I have great parents who, while they hope I don’t join the church, have made it clear they don’t want this to come between any of us…it may not be so easy for your wife)

Anyway… I hope some of this has helped. As you know, this is a very tough time for your wife. Love her extra special for awhile. Let her know you aren’t leaving her for your knew faith, but that your knew faith will make the two of you stronger.

God Bless,

RyanL’s Wife


#18

I was raised Catholic, both my parents are cradle Catholic’s, both went to parochial schools up through highschool, and had a beautiful church wedding. My family fell away from the faith when I was twelve years old though, I think for some complicated emotional reasons. Maybe they were both going through a mid-life crisis??

No doubt my husband and I have argued about this! He’s just non-religious though, he doesn’t understand any of it. We’ve been sweethearts since our early twenties. We married in 2004 in a civil ceremony (after living together for 6 years), and a year after we married my husband said he thought it would be a responsibility to our culture for us to have children (he’d been reading Pat Buchanan’s book The Death of the West). I told him if we were going to have children I would have to start going back to church (which I did, and God blessed us with a little one as soon as I came off the ABC!) but I also said I in no way expected him to convert, or even attend church with me. He’s gone with me a few times, and the funny thing I think is his first mass was a Latin Novus Ordo!! I think that’s just awesome. I pray for his conversion, but I in no way evangelise him. It’s a difficult situation because as the head of the household he should also be the head of our spiritual life. As a woman, and certainly as his wife I don’t feel it’s my place at all to try to convert him, I feel any attempt to do so on my part would totally backfire! He does ask questions though, so I put little sticky notes in the Catechism and in the Bible so he can read for himself. That way he’s in charge, as we should all be with regard to our spiritual development.

As far as supporting my Confirmation, My parish would not allow me to become Confirmed until our civil marriage was blessed. So, we arranged to have our son Baptised and our Marriage blessed on the same day, September 9. The Confirmation is something that doesn’t involve him, so he doesn’t really care one way or the other. He argued about the Marriage blessing, but I can be purty stubborn, so he went along with it, and I really think he was actually very very happy to do so in the end. I was the ONLY practicing Catholic at the ceremony( aside from the priest and some wierd guy who walked in off the street and sat there to watch us for some reason, I assume he was Catholic)! I pray that having my parents and my brother and his wife there may lead them back to the church as well!

Do you know of the Green Scapular of the Blessed Virgin Mary? It is a gift to us to bring about the conversion of others. You can find them in your Catholic Bookstores, but if you write to the folks at this web address, they’ll send you one for free that’s already blessed! monksofadoration.org/mom/mom120.html

One argument in particular we had in the very beginning was that my husband was afraid the church would make me leave him. I couldn’t believe what a ridiculous fear that was!! He knows a lot more about the church now, and I see him opening up to God more and more and more. Your circumstance with your wife is somewhat more complicated in this regard than is my situation with my husband. Just be patient and above all charitable. I don’t know if it’s a good idea for you to tell her family yourself, but I don’t know your relationship with them, and being a man, maybe it would be a good thing?!? You’ll have to ask around on that one!! God bless you!!


#19

“Foundations” are another word to use for womens undergarments.

So, if all the guy did was shake 'em, that is AOK.

Then I read the post…

Wow, this one is a lot more serious than I originally thought.

I wish it had been what I first thought.:frowning:


#20

Dont give up hope! My wife was Episcopalean and wanted nothing to do with the Catholic Church. In fact 4 years ago this summer she commented out of the blue that she could NEVER become a Catholic. She was confirmed in the Catholic Church the following April.


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