I think my marriage is over if I convert

I am having such a terrible time of it and I have no idea what to do.

My marriage has been quite difficult for some time, but it has just got so much worse. I have felt called to communion with the Catholic Church for years, but put it off as my wife just wasn’t comfortable with it at all. However a few years ago her heart softened towards the Church - she came across Catholics and Catholic blogs that really changed her perception. I started towards the path of reception a year ago but put it off as she really wasn’t happy. Then, in the autumn she said to me that if I really felt called to this I should slowly explore it. I started going to the RCIA classes and met with a great local priest who has been very helpful, and my wife attended the classes with me. It all seemed fine and going in the right direction until this week. She has utterly freaked out and has said that I am dividing the family, that we won’t have any unity. She says I am disgusting for believing in Transubstantiation and that she will be ‘unequally yoked’. Last night she said that I should try and get an “annulment or something” if I wanted to be a Catholic and that I would be better off single, that our marriage was clearly a mistake and that I have become such a different person from the one she married.

I just don’t know what to do. I am off today on the Bishop’s retreat day the diocese does for those on the RCIA - she has told me to go on it and maybe “get some insight”. I feel utterly at a loss and have no solution here. It seems the choice is my conscience or my marriage, and as I have vows to keep already then I guess my marriage needs to come first.

Oh, boy… that is a difficult situation. Do talk to a priest and/or spiritual directors.

GK Chesterton waited several years to convert officially because he was waiting for his beloved wife, Frances, to convert with him.

I am an adult convert, married to an Eastern Orthodox man. I was quite surprised when the Catholic Sister instructing me told me that if it were to cause any problems in my marriage it would be better for me to remain as I was (Protestant). As it happened, my husband had no objections.

That sounds like a difficult situation to be in, I’m sorry! :frowning:

I’m guessing as your wife mentioned the unequally yoked, she is a Christian? The guys on here were showing me a passage related to this where it states you should not get divorced for this reason. Maybe go over this passage with her?

Definitely talk to a priest

It sounds as if your marriage has been difficult anyway and she was having a particularly bad day. Us women can say some pretty hurtful things when we want to. Maybe you need to put both of your beliefs to the side and work on your marriage to see where the real problem is? I could be wrong but it sounds as though this is just a symptom, the tip of the iceberg?

My Evangelical wife has given me an ultimatum that if I am to convert to the Catholic faith I am not allowed to influence our children along that line. She said to me “I am not going to become Catholic, and neither are my boys”. That hurt me much, I thought all these years that they were our boys. I had agreed to go to the Catholic Church at 9am and the Evangelical Church at 11am thinking that if I gave a little I would get a little back. That didn’t happen, I found myself more alone.

For me the only thing I know for sure is that God is calling me to be Catholic (not just me but everyone), and that God gave me my wife and children. My consolation in my uncertainty comes from the witnesses who have converted before me and then over time, their spouse softens eventually. I have hope and trust in God on this one, I have no where else I can go.

I feel your wife is right in this situation.
You have all the time in the world to become an RC. You are freaking your wife out with this rush of religiosity. Both of you need to go to a neutral counsellor to figure things out. Seems you are putting your idea of religion before the happiness of your wife.

Why don’t you just cool everything for 6 months. Take a holiday, take a break from this quest. The Church will still be there. Imagine how you would feel if she said she wanted to become a Muslem…I think you would totally freak out. So give her a little slack, a lot of time and back off. You seem to be deliberately forcing a crisis. St Helen waited for many many years for the conversion of her son Augustine who was a whoremonger. Everything in God’s time…not yours.

Has your wife been attending RCIA regularly up until last week? Were you meant to enter the Church this Easter? Has something specific in RCIA set her off?

My suggestion would be to convert if that is your desire. It sounds as if your wife is fearful about something— what it is, I dont know. But if you feel called to the Catholic Church I would not delay.

I can only believe that being a faithful Catholic will help you be a good and loving husband/father. After you convert, maybe your wife will see she had nothing to be fearful about.

Just my opinion.

I think part of the problem is that if you want to convert and your spouse is actively opposed to it, you start to feel that they don’t want you to be happy and fulfilled. You feel disappointed and let-down, quite apart from the fact that you feel drawn to the Church and really want to make the journey now, not at some indeterminate time in the future. At the same time, you love your spouse and don’t want to cause strife within your family. It’s being caught between a rock and a hard place, as they say.

You have my sympathies, OP (and everyone else in this position) and I hope things work out for you.

OP, did you notice a trigger? Something someone said or something she read that made her nervous?

You said everything was fine until this week when she “freaked out.” That sounds to me like something specific happened that made her worry about your future. Maybe try talking to her, calmly, about her specific fears. What does “unequally yoked” mean to her? And Bl. Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, St. Augustine… are they disgusting too?

A lot of people get grossed out by Transtabulation.
Who wouldn’t if you understood it the way they do and some Catholics make it sound.
My former Catholic Grandfather in law calls it Cannibal Sunday.
I think the problem is semantics.
We kinda need to stop saying we are eating the literal body and blood of Christ.
We don’t want people to associate Jesus and the walking dead.

The Literal presence of Christ is in the Eucharist.
Let’s leave it at that.

It’s more spiritual than you eating another human being.

Don’t know what to tell you about your wife.
Maybe go to Mass and confession alone for awhile.
That’s what I did because I went overboard when I became Christian.
I had to prove to my wife I wasn’t gonna buy religious decorations and litter them across the house and become a zealot.
Took me a long time to prove to her I was stable in my faith.

So maybe go through RCIA go to Mass alone and Confession then slowly integrate taking your kids with you to Mass then her then try to get the kids Baptized if there not.

You have to practice what’s in your heart and if that’s being Catholic and that’s whats keeping you close to God then go for it.

I debated on my reversion because I had and to some degree still have some issues with the Church.
Mainly it had to do with some fringe groups and going over board on all the private revelations and devotionals but I digress.
I liked the simplicity that Protestants had in their faith but I liked the Structure that Catholics had and I knew.
So I stayed.
Many of you are thinking Gee man did you have to stay lol.

I found I could be Catholic and be Simple.

This may take you a long time.
I am now just getting to being in the process of getting our Children Baptized,
My wife is not Catholic.
I’m OK with that because I wouldn’t want her to be something she couldn’t be whole heartily.

It may take you years before she lets you get your kids baptized.

Best thing you can do is work on you and live by example.


I am married to a non-Catholic and he often gets upset and says I am waaaay to Catholic.

I heard a similar situation on Catholic radio, I think it may have been Dr. Ray Guarendi’s show, and a caller expressed that their non-Catholic spouse felt that Catholicism was taking over their lives.

His advice was to listen to Catholic radio and watch EWTN when the spouse was not around. When they walk into the room say “What would you like to watch on t.v.” and change the channel. When reading a Catholic book or listening to Catholic radio do not let it take time away from the spouse.

I think we have to find a way to be 100% Catholic in a way that does not “bug” our non-Catholic spouses. It is tricky but it’s just the way it is.

I can assure you, you are not alone my friend. :slight_smile:

Hi Darryl,
its only because she doesn’t understand, provide her with resources for the reasons why you feel called to the Catholic Church. Show her that the catholic church and the earilest church are the exact same church - ALSO show her how corrupt Luther was -YET let her know how all the protestants think he is hero.

Here is something i put together on luther when I got sick of people telling me how wonderful he was.


Life to your Marriage in Jesus Almighty name

I never thought I would be Catholic, yet here I am . Please, follow the voice of God. You may very well be the tool that He uses to convert her. Put your faith and trust in Him.

Read** ‘Rome Sweet Home’ by Scott Hahn.** Scott converted from being a Presbyterian minister and theologian to a lay person in the Catholic Church. His wife Kimberly (who also accomplished in Presbyterian theology) was not happy, but 5 years later she was received into the Catholic Church. So there is hope, the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways!

Prayers ascending for you and your wife. When you describe the ultimatum your wife gave you, I’m so sorry you have that to deal with. That had to really hurt.

You mention you’re happy with the priest teaching RCIA. Have you talked this over with him yet?

btw, the Church has always believed in transubstantiation. Even when Jesus taught His followers face to face about the realities of the Eucharist, THEY got freaked out too and left Him over it. John 6:52-54** , **John 6:65-67 Jesus didn’t go after the ones who left. He let them go. IMV, that might be the scariest passage in scripture. The human will turning away from God even when He is standing there face to face with them.

There are plenty of resources here at Catholic Answers for educational purposes. Maybe your wife would consider reading from some of those sources for her own understanding.

I think that you have to sit down and speak to your spouse about it. You have seen what is right, if your spouse uses that as an excuse to leave you then God Bless your spouse. You cannot deny the truth.


Yes … yes … yes to this book recommendation!!! Also … my prayers are with you during this difficult time! I’m sorry you are experiencing this.

At the same time … God has a plan for all of us - through our joyous moments and our sufferings. As hard as it is to realize now, there is a reason why this is happening, and maybe it is supposed to bring your marriage to a stronger, more focused point - where you grow with each other on this journey.

Rome Sweet Home is phenomenal and it would be a perfect read for you right now!

Prayers for you!

Yes, I was just thinking of posting about this book. Great idea! :thumbsup:

I feel for you, Ian. Pretty darn difficult situation you are in. Seems to me that if she was thinking it was at least “okay” up to that point then there should be room for a calming turn in her attitude. You need to reassure her that you want to do everything you can to have a great and loving marriage. Try to get her to talk to that good priest.

To me, you should really not consider dropping out of RCIA. She is frightened and is being manipulated by the evil one, and is in turn trying to stop your decision. Commit to the Church. Re-commit to her. Patience.

You said your marriage had problems before…was that related to your wanting to become Catholic…is your wife trying to use your conversion as a way out for her maybe…is she trying to dictate to you into doing what she wants and not considering what you want…is she being influenced by outsiders about your Catholic beliefs…some Evangelical Protestants believe Transubstantiation is disgusting…is she a church going Christian…if not why is she trying to stop you…if she does attend church is it one that thinks Catholics are idol worshippers…if she has attended some RCIA with you and has a rudimentary understanding of Catholicism but then “freaks out”…is she fighting against what she doesn’t want to acknowledge about the truth of Catholicism…or just doesn’t want you to join…or using it as an excuse for an out of marriage for her…you need to find out her motive before you can figure out what to do…good luck and God bless :slight_smile:

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