I’m really worried about the future of my marriage. We have been married five years, one year was in Iraq serving with the National Guard. Our marriage has changed drastically since I’ve returned from war. Part of our problem comes from a decision I made a few months after I came home. One of my characteristics that attracted my wife was that we shared the same faith. We were both United Methodists and it was important to her that we shared the same beliefs and could receive the same Communion. She once told me while we were dating that she would never marry a Catholic. So our relationship was amazing during our dating and engagement periods. We were to be married in December of 2004 and had to move the date back a few months because my National Guard unit was set to deploy at the end of that year.
Everything appears to be decent considering we hadn’t been together for so long. At this time, I’m still investigating the Church without her knowledge because as I mentioned I knew she would be against even thinking of Catholicism as a choice. I was watching EWTN secretively whenever I could. I had this intense yearning for the Eucharist so I decided I had to tell her what I was thinking spiritually. It was two months after I had been home and I remember the scene like it was yesterday. We were in the kitchen preparing dinner talking about our day. Between conversations I told her “I want to be a Catholic deacon”, not knowing fully what I was saying. At the time little did I know she actually has control over whether the diaconate is a possibility! She broke down crying, just sobbing. I didn’t know what to say to her. I was stupid and didn’t plan on where that statement would take our marriage. I couldn’t stand going to the watered-down services at our Methodist church any longer. The next months are filled with arguing and fighting about this dramatic turn of events. The arguments were just horrible. They were filled with a lot of crying, they were emotionally draining, filled with misconceptions of intention. She still thinks I’m trying to convert her when I really just want her to see the Catholic faith isn’t what she previously thought it was. And also for her to accept what God laid on my heart in revealing the Catholic Church to me.
Months after I told her, things relatively calmed down with the arguing. We just learned that we could not agree and we avoided the topic. However, she was still determined to let me know that she will not be converting with me and nor will our future children if we have any. Our relationship got to the point where she said she didn’t know if she wanted to have children with me. (We now have a 2 year old girl and a 10 month old girl). She withdrew herself intimately from me and she no longer looks at me with love in her eyes. I haven’t seen that look since I came home from Iraq. I started RCIA and about 8 months later received Confirmation on the vigil of Corpus Christi.
It took about a year for her to open up and share with me that because of my decision to become Catholic, she feels deceived and abandoned. It has caused her to slough off in her relationship with the Lord. She has stated that by me becoming Catholic, it’s as if I have said everything she has known about God up to this point is wrong (I never once said that or eluded to it). She has told me many times that she continues to be bitter and she holds on to a lot of resentment. She feels I have divided our home because of our closed Communion. She said her family is disappointed in me (though they haven’t talked to me about it and it’s been at least 2 years). It’s taken many years but things are still uneasy. My complaints are that she won’t even read any of my books on the Catholic faith. She doesn’t care what the Fathers have to say. Our prayer life wasn’t very good before we got married and it’s even worse now.
I make romantic gestures to try and rekindle some of what was lost and she laughs at me as though I’m corny. We do take time to talk about our days, but beyond that nothing too in depth. Our sex life is little to none which is why I’m surprised we have two little girls. I told her I won’t participate in contraception, especially the pill. She sees nothing wrong with contraception. We tried NFP before our second baby, which she says I forced her to do. She wouldn’t go to classes to actually learn it, we just read from the text books. She complained the whole time and it was fruitless in her eyes so she stopped. She saw it as a burden and a hassle every morning.
My prayer is for her to be excited about me again. I understand relationships mature and evolve into more meaningful expressions. But honestly, I feel like I’m married to my sister (I never had a sister but I envision this is what it’s like). I try my best, given the circumstances, to show her my love and devotion (flowers, words of love, actively participate around the house doing chores and taking care of our girls) and it seems to get nowhere with her. She says she still loves me but I’m not content with the type of love she’s showing me in return. She knows my “love languages” but makes little to no effort. She’s tired from working (kindergarten teacher) and with being a mother. Our two year old can be difficult to say the least. I’m at the end of my rope here. I don’t believe in divorce and neither does she, but I’m worried if things don’t get better 5-10 years down the road something bad could happen. Please help!! What more can I do to make our marriage better? She gets upset when I go to Mass to worship God! What would she do if I went out to bars instead?
I’m probably leaving out some key points. There has been so much happen so please ask if there are any questions.
Thank you for helping me.