Is my salvation affected by my wifes choices?

My wife is protestantant and I’m of course Catholic.

She is lapsing, abusing pain medications and seemingly uninterested in going to church.

I talked to a priest about it, and he said that my job is to just be a loving husband and not try to force her to give up her sins.

Any more information regarding this questions or resources for marrying outside the faith would be greatly appreciated

You are required only to not condone her sinful behavior. What is gravely sinful to a Catholic may not be viewed as a serious sin (or maybe not a sin at all) to a Protestant. Denominational differences aside, I’d try to approach it from the medical and societal point of view. It’s bad for her health and the health of those around her. I’d look into getting her medical (physical and psychological) help to overcome this addiction. Leave sin and religion out of it for now. Certainly pray for her, but the main focus right now should be to get her physical and psychological help.

I see. Sure is hard watching your loved one walked into the fire though >.<

Sounds like the priest gave you excellent advice.

It’s not exactly the same situation but you might get something out of reading “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. It details Scott’s conversion from protestant to Catholic and the challenges it created with his marriage to Kimberly and some advice that he was given that ultimately improved their marriage and caused Kimberly to choose to convert.

Since you and your wife are one…your own practice of faith (including eucharist, confession, etc) are inclusive of your wife. Continue to practice your faith - in so doing your wife is graced by your acts of praise.

Don’t ever stop praying for her. Pray for the intercessions of Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, who died by lethal injection and Saint Mark Ji Tianxiang, who was an opium addict.

I recently met a very holy priest who spoke with me about the intricacies of marriage and salvation. He said that when God unites two together in marriage, they literally become one flesh (Gen 2:24; Mark 10:7-8). In terms of salvation, that means that usually if one spouse goes to hell, then the other follows. Likewise, if one spouse goes to heaven then the other spouse follows. He said that God does not want to abandon families and will use any act of faith to save ones’ spouse, even a proclaimed non-believer.

He used an account of St. John Vianney as an example. There was a French woman, a faithful Catholic whose husband was an atheist. He spoke openly against the Church. At one point he became depressed and committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. His wife was beyond consolation and considered her husband lost. She traveled to the parish where St. John Vianney resided and was dismayed when she found a line for days to approach him in the confessional. She resorted to kneeling in the church to pray. Suddenly, St. John Vianney came out of the confessional and approached her. He exclaimed, “He’s saved!” She wondered how could that be, St. John Vianney explained, “I tell you he is saved. But he is in purgatory and you must pray for him. Between the parapet of the bridge and the water he had the time to make an act of contrition.” St. John Vianney further explained that God will use any act of faith towards one’s salvation – the fact that her husband didn’t object to a shrine she had in their bedroom and sometimes joined her in prayer, merited him final repentance and pardon in his final moments, a grace that Our Lady had obtained for him.

So GREAT is the mercy of God!

The story can be found in the book entitled: Cur d Ars, Saint John Marie Baptiste Vianney by Abbe Francis Trouchu and starts on page 539.

God Bless,


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