Or not do…
Well, I’ve been a member of this forum for over a month now, reading, participating, even trying to help others. I’ve given you all parts of my story but yesterday’s counseling session has me reeling and needing some Catholic help. I mean, I have other friends but the Catholic part of this is really important. I am going to be very honest about the reality here, so if it seems like TMI, I apologize beforehand,
Catholic History: I lost my mother at age 10, and church went with her because my dad was a convert and I guess it was HER church and not really his. I experimented with many spiritual directions from then on, including a short spell (pun intended) when I considered myself a witch. Anything but Catholic, I did Zen Buddhism for a while, yoga, meditation, etc. When hubby and I met I wasn’t anything, certainly not attending church nor would I have said I was a Catholic at all. He is a cradle Catholic too, also lapsed for a different reason.
We met in a punk rock bar. We were physical pretty quickly after we met (why not, we didn’t have any reason not to) and I was not a virgin at that point (had lost my virginity at 15). Neither was he. We are a product of the “free love” 60’s and 70’s. I was on birth control and had been since 15. We “dated” for a while, then I got tired of always being in 2nd place to his work and we broke up for a few years. Several temporary relationships ensued on my part. Not sure about what happened on his side.
I was due to leave the state to go to college in 2 days when my best friend ran into him in downtown Denver. I mean, they just literally ran into each other. She told him that I was leaving the state and he asked for my phone number and called me. We met and fell into bed again. We were amazed at the “coincidence” which I later saw as God’s will.
OK, so after another split up, we got back together and I moved into his condo. Things went reasonably well, and then his job was transferred out of state. He proposed to me at that point and I agreed. We moved and we’ve now been married for 22 years. First son was born about 3 years after we married. During the pregnancy I got very sick and could not eat, was losing weight and feared for my baby’s health. I started to pray to God, and made a deal with God that if He would give me a healthy baby I would go back to church. How mature of me (LOL). Well I had a hard time with labor but eventually, we did have that healthy baby and I found that I was so grateful to God for the miracle of this baby, so awed by the creation of life, knowing that most of the credit belonged to God, that I started on my path back to the Church and have not stopped yet.
Needless to say my husband has not taken that same path. He stopped going to church when his parents divorced after a very stormy marriage - he had prayed and prayed for God to send him to Hell instead (this was in the 1960’s) of his parents or not let them divorce. They did divorce and God didn’t send him to Hell, and I believe at that point, he cut God out of his life (at least the God of Catholicism). He was about 14.
He’s always come to church with us, and gone through the motions, including the usual prayer at meals. He allowed me to send the boys to Christian schools. He says he has kept his mouth shut although he disagrees with me on most matters of faith. Yesterday’s session included him saying that he will discuss a subject like abortion with me, but I might not like what I hear. And when he talks about God his face changes - he looks remote and hard. He works to cope with what happened in his life. I go to Al-Anon because work is like an addiction to him. And I am very co-dependent because I have tried to make up for that addiction and pretend it wasn’t there.
So there you are, the whole mess. As I grow in my faith, and want to deepen my commitment, we are pulling farther and farther apart. He says I have walls up - but his walls are against God. The counseling has gotten me to the point where I feel completely hopeless that he will ever want to deal with the pain of his childhood and instead is blaming me for returning back to the Church he no longer believes in. Help.
oh and p.s. I have confessed my promiscuity, use of ABC and all the rest. I still feel guilty and ashamed of that and DH has no idea how promiscuous I was.