LDS Marriage, RCIA, and Divorce


#1

Hi Everyone,

My first started post. I have quite a complicated story, I have shared some of it in a couple previous posts, and I won’t go into the details too much.

I have been LDS for 12 years, and in the last two years I started the journey to the Catholic church. All the explanations for that belong in another post.

Currently, for the past month, I have been in the RCIA program. It is wonderful. I am spending time in the Adoration Chapel when I can, listening to Catholic Radio, and praying more than I can ever remember praying in my life.

Here is the complication. My husband, whom has grown up LDS, has not been particularly supportive of my decision. When it first came up a few years ago, that I was interested in exploring the Catholic church, he blamed many of my friends at that time, including a good Catholic (male) friend of mine. I let my faith take a spot on the backburner, as I began to realize our problems were MUCH deeper than religion.

I have only brought it up a few times in the past year…it’s difficult for me to talk about it with him, as it is many things. We have trust issues, etc. Again, lots of detail I am leaving out here. Bottom line, we have our own problems, but they are things I WANT to work on with him, but it’s very difficult to talk with him, as he doesn’t always understand what I am trying to explain and/or doesn’t listen. Of course, that is just my side of the story. He of course will have his own.

SO, where I am trying to get is the last month, my return to exploring my faith, I have not shared with ANYBODY, excepting of course the forum here,and the people as part of the RCIA program. I also have not YET shared with my husband. My desire is to be able to talk to him before I go to anybody else…I guess I am a chicken. I am terrified of talking to him, because I am afraid of his reaction. Right now I am enjoying the Holy Spirit, and the strength I have in other aspects of my life, from my current experiences. I am terrified when I go to him, again, about this topic, that the doubts will come back into my life, or that I will be SO afraid of conflict between us, that I will do whatever it takes to appease him, which in the past has meant giving up exploring my faith, cutting friends out of my life he thought were harmful to our marriage (even if I disagreed) etc.

My apologies, I am not certain how well I am explaining everything so far. If you have questions, just ask, I will try to be clear.

I will get to my questions. I had some thoughts today and I wanted to clarify them.

First off, after I am baptized into the Church, I was realizing that my marriage with my husband would not be considered valid within the catholic church. Does this mean I would immediately not be able to take communion? I think I have heard so many different things now that I am a bit confused. I need some clarification.

Is there a time period? I am afraid even if my husband DOES accept my change of Faith, that he will fight getting an official Catholic marriage. Is my question clear? I’m sorry.

On the other side of the coin, my question also is concerned about if my husband does NOT decide to stay with me when I tell him I have definitely made the decision to be baptized. I should state, previous times we have discussed this, he has indicated that if I do decide to become Catholic, we would be going on different paths and would therefore lead us to be pulling apart from each other, therefore we would be done. Perhaps he just needs a little more education in the Catholic church to understand many of the morals of the LDS church and the Catholic church are shared (not Doctrine, I am talking about the belief in the importance of marriage, etc). I am trying to understand what would happen with that divorce, if that is what it were to lead to? Would I still be required to receive annulment? What would be the general requirements? I thought I understood the process for someone in my situation, but suddenly I heard something, and I am now confused. Can someone just explain what the process would be?

I am not trying to jump to any conclusions yet, I guess I am just trying to be prepared, alleviate some of my fears. My apologies for the length of this post. I have really enjoyed this website, reading on so many topics.

God Bless!

Amy


#2

Oh, and I know something I need to do is TALK to my husband. This is at the forefront of my mind, knowing even if I don't talk to him, I still believe the way I do. But the longer it goes, the more frustrated he may be when I do finally go to him.

I need some strength there...anyway, thought I would point out I know this is at the top of the list of things I need to do. :)


#3

[quote="zipperc98, post:1, topic:216867"]
Hi Everyone,
First off, after I am baptized into the Church, I was realizing that my marriage with my husband would not be considered valid within the catholic church. Does this mean I would immediately not be able to take communion? I think I have heard so many different things now that I am a bit confused. I need some clarification.

Is there a time period? I am afraid even if my husband DOES accept my change of Faith, that he will fight getting an official Catholic marriage. Is my question clear? I'm sorry.

Amy

[/quote]

this is not necessarily true, and the question should have been looked into during your initial interview with the pastor and RCIA director. it is not a matter to discuss in class with everyone else, but please make an appointment with the pastor today because you cannot proceed to the sacraments until you get the proper answer. There are many variables, too many to go into here, so that is the only way you will get an answer specific to your own situation. Some of those factors: has either of you been baptized Catholic, has either of you been in a previous marriage, have any of those previous marriages involved CAtholics, and so forth. Short answer, if neither of you is or ever has been Catholic and this is your first marriage for both of you it is considered valid by the Catholic Church unless and until proven otherwise. as I say, there are several other factors, and in any case you deserve pastoral care for the marital conflict itself and for the specific issue of how to deal with your husband regarding your conversion.
Welcome home! any apparent roadblocks in the process are occasions of grace so do not become discouraged.


#4

Thanks! Not a bad plan talking to the Priest…a deacon runs the rcia program, and he knows my circumstances. Perhaps I should ask directly.

That’s actually a comforting answer…and yes, this is our first marriage, and the only church he has belonged to, and me as well (not brought up in any faith).


#5

[quote="zipperc98, post:1, topic:216867"]
First off, after I am baptized into the Church, I was realizing that my marriage with my husband would not be considered valid within the catholic church. Does this mean I would immediately not be able to take communion? I think I have heard so many different things now that I am a bit confused. I need some clarification.

[/quote]

Why are you assuming your marriage would not be valid? The Catholic Church recognizes marriages among people of other faiths or no faith. Non-Catholics are not required to follow Catholic marriage laws, so the fact that the couple wasn't married in a Catholic church doesn't invalidate their marriage.

Is this the first marriage for both of you? Were either of you baptized as Catholics? If neither of you have been married before and if neither of you were baptized Catholic then it's likely that your marriage is valid.

If you have questions about this, talk with your pastor. He will ask whatever questions are needed to clarify your situation and can advise you on any steps that you'll need to take. I'm sure that talking with him will set your mind at ease.


#6

Amy,

First of all welcome home! I know this will be a difficult journey but keep your eye on Our Savior. And that often means drawing closer to the Cross and enduring suffering

Second, although I wasn’t married when I left the LDS Church I am well aware of how difficult it is when one member of a marriage leaves the LDS Church. I have had contact with many and I know it’s devastating. I commend you for realizing that many of the struggles that you and your husband have is much more than just religious affiliation.

3rd) It is important that you talk to your pastor; he will be able to clear up a lot of your confusion when it comes to your questions about the sacraments.

4th) When you do talk to your husband (and you should and I would suggest soon, it’s only fair to the vows you both made) try to emphasized to him that you feel it’s important for your relationship with the Lord to go where He leads, and that in many ways being LDS was a stepping stone in that journey.

(IE I found that for me I took a great deal of the positive fruits of having been LDS and it has made me a better Catholic. I wasn’t “rejecting” everything I was taught as a Mormon but the Lord was wanting to build on the foundation already laid out)

Try not to get into the endless and fruitless debate of Catholicism vs Mormonism. You will drive away the love of the Spirit. That is never helpful.

Yes, your husband will react negatively. Mormonism is his entire background and I would add family tradition. You in many ways are rejecting that.

Did you become LDS because you fell in love with him and he wanted a Temple sealing?

I will pray for you. Going from Mormonism to Catholicism can be very difficult. That is why keeping our eyes on Our Lord while the waves crash around us is of utmost importance.

So glad you do that in Eucharistic Adoration. As you know you will find the strength and graces with Him there at the sacred time.


#7

I’m not sure how I got the idea it was invalid…the divorce aspect has been of particular interest to me, and I guess in studying, what I have heard, I got a bit confused and mixed something up in my head…lol.

I will talk to someone to clarify.


#8

Yeah, one of the struggles for me was trying to answer the question: “I believed the LDS church so strongly once, enough to join despite family who was against it…why can’t I just get that feeling of that I believe it back?” My dh has asked me this before…there is this belief that if God inspired me once, he should be able to do it again?

Truthfully, I have no answer. I just know I don’t anymore…it has been gradual.

Why did I join? Well, I had met my DH, and it was part of a chain of extraordinary circusmtances that had me feeling inspired to join. I had a good friend growing up who was LDS…I actually started to take missionary discussions as a teen, and my mom put a stop to it. Then in college, in one weekend I met a new LDS friend, went to an LDS social event, then went home, called a friend who set me up with my now DH, and then the next day my good LDS friend asked me to church. It was all a sign to me. Then when as dating my DH, things got rocky (trust issues began early on) I threw myself into becoming a memeber of the church. One explanation I have is I wanted so badly to be with him, I did whatever it took. It seems weak, but it makes sense now as I look over our marriage. This same pattern has occured over our 10 years of marriage.

Anywho, yeah…its going to be difficult. Another problem for me, is the last few times I talked about how important it was, he fired what would be described as LDS apologetics,stating many of the typical responses (I want to drink coffee, alcohol, dress imodestly, etc). The problem is that he is good at putting doubts in my head. As far as arguments go, I was never able to argue with his logic. He has always been sure of his thoughts, beliefs, whereas I have sometimes been flitty, more emotional in reaction. You know, what’s typical for men and women? Lol. But seriously, every time this topic has come up, I have always backed away from faith for a time. I don’t want that to happen again!

He has also asked what will we explain to our daughter? I admit the 4 year old makes things so complicated. I have no answers about her…I would love for her to grow up with two parents in one household, if in two religions, her having knowledge of both, respect for both, and be able to make her own decision as to where God directs her life. Free will I suppose. I am also fearful of what a breakup would do for her.

All in all…it’s complicated. Ugh. Thank you all for listening, offering advice. Forgive my ignorance! :slight_smile:


#9

No it sounds like the your marriage would be presumed valid. Now I am assuming that when you say the subject of divorce is on your mind - are you afraid that your dh may leave when go through with this conversion. If this does happen - you should live as if you were still married but seperate unless you receive a decree of nullity - but that is putting the cart before the horse so to speak. Talk to your deacon - who knows maybe your deacon can even help sit down with your dh and talk to him about your conversion and help smooth the waters over. God bless and good luck. Maybe you will even be a beacon of light for your own husband.


#10

[quote="joandarc2008, post:9, topic:216867"]
No it sounds like the your marriage would be presumed valid. Now I am assuming that when you say the subject of divorce is on your mind - are you afraid that your dh may leave when go through with this conversion. If this does happen - you should live as if you were still married but seperate unless you receive a decree of nullity - but that is putting the cart before the horse so to speak. Talk to your deacon - who knows maybe your deacon can even help sit down with your dh and talk to him about your conversion and help smooth the waters over. God bless and good luck. Maybe you will even be a beacon of light for your own husband.

[/quote]

Yeah, mostly fearful he will leave...because he has said as much when it came up before. It's my biggest obstacle right now. And yeah, it is jumping to conclusions....I just sort of want to know what I might expect...

Deacon has offered, and its quite probable this will happen at some point.

Thanks for the input!


#11

Amy,

I can sympathize with your position, being in a somewhat similiar one myself. I am currently in RCIA and also have a mormon background, except I was born and raised LDS (mission, temple marriage, etc). My wife has been devastated by my 'apostasy' from the mormon faith, and for a while divorce or separation seemed very likely. For now we have come to an uneasy truce, but I fear that she is waiting to see if I will really go through with baptism and everything. Jesus' sayings about bringing a sword rather than peace to our families really hits home with me, as well as the call to pick up our cross and follow him. I will be praying for you and your husband.

[quote="zipperc98, post:8, topic:216867"]
Anywho, yeah....its going to be difficult. Another problem for me, is the last few times I talked about how important it was, he fired what would be described as LDS apologetics,stating many of the typical responses (I want to drink coffee, alcohol, dress imodestly, etc). The problem is that he is good at putting doubts in my head. As far as arguments go, I was never able to argue with his logic. He has always been sure of his thoughts, beliefs, whereas I have sometimes been flitty, more emotional in reaction. You know, what's typical for men and women? Lol. But seriously, every time this topic has come up, I have always backed away from faith for a time. I don't want that to happen again!

[/quote]

My wife used many of the same accusations with me (you want to drink, not go to church, pay tithing, desert your family, etc.) Don't take any of these things to heart, its a defensive reaction on your spouse's part. It impossible for some to see any legitimate reason for leaving the LDS church, so they think that there must be some other motivation besides 'truth'. And don't worry about not being able to argue with his 'logic'. Trust me, the logic and proof is all on the Catholics side. At the end of the day mormonism is built on emotion, not reason, so even if you could 'out-reason' your husband so to speak, he would probably just fall back on 'feelings' and 'spiritual witness' anyway. In our marriage I would probably be the more logical one and my wife more emotional, and it doesn't help one iota as far as religious things go. Any appeal to reason or argument on my side is just proof to my wife of my pride and lack of spiritual humility, that I trust more in my own intellect than the Spirit.

He has also asked what will we explain to our daughter? I admit the 4 year old makes things so complicated. I have no answers about her....I would love for her to grow up with two parents in one household, if in two religions, her having knowledge of both, respect for both, and be able to make her own decision as to where God directs her life. Free will I suppose. I am also fearful of what a breakup would do for her.

This is a tough one. I also have children and our separate religious directions is already causing problems for them. I can only entrust them to the care of God and our Holy Mother.

I found the book 'When only one converts' by Lynn Nordhagen very helpful, if you haven't already read it.


#12

[quote="Palaiologos, post:11, topic:216867"]
Amy,

I can sympathize with your position, being in a somewhat similiar one myself. I am currently in RCIA and also have a mormon background, except I was born and raised LDS (mission, temple marriage, etc). My wife has been devastated by my 'apostasy' from the mormon faith, and for a while divorce or separation seemed very likely. For now we have come to an uneasy truce, but I fear that she is waiting to see if I will really go through with baptism and everything. Jesus' sayings about bringing a sword rather than peace to our families really hits home with me, as well as the call to pick up our cross and follow him. I will be praying for you and your husband.

My wife used many of the same accusations with me (you want to drink, not go to church, pay tithing, desert your family, etc.) Don't take any of these things to heart, its a defensive reaction on your spouse's part. It impossible for some to see any legitimate reason for leaving the LDS church, so they think that there must be some other motivation besides 'truth'. And don't worry about not being able to argue with his 'logic'. Trust me, the logic and proof is all on the Catholics side. At the end of the day mormonism is built on emotion, not reason, so even if you could 'out-reason' your husband so to speak, he would probably just fall back on 'feelings' and 'spiritual witness' anyway. In our marriage I would probably be the more logical one and my wife more emotional, and it doesn't help one iota as far as religious things go. Any appeal to reason or argument on my side is just proof to my wife of my pride and lack of spiritual humility, that I trust more in my own intellect than the Spirit.

This is a tough one. I also have children and our separate religious directions is already causing problems for them. I can only entrust them to the care of God and our Holy Mother.

I found the book 'When only one converts' by Lynn Nordhagen very helpful, if you haven't already read it.

[/quote]

Thanks! It's good to know there are others out there struggling with similar issues. Meaning I don't have to feel so alone in it.


#13

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