Hi…I am in great need of some help and advice. My husband and I are deciding whether or not we should stay married, and I really need some input from others who have experience with this.
I am a cradle Catholic. His parents were both raised Catholic, but left the church - he considers himself “nondenominational.” When we married in the Catholic church, I did sign the paper saying I would do all in my power to raise our children Catholic. However, at the time neither of us took it very seriously. I felt that as long as I taught my children about Catholicism and they saw me practicing my faith, that was enough. (By the way, we don’t have kids) My husband will never agree to raise kids exclusively Catholic; he believes that since the goal is to get to heaven, what does it matter how you get there? I know that the Catholic church doesn’t teach that non-Catholics can’t get to heaven, but I can’t explain why it is therefore important to have a clearly defined set of beliefs, much less why those beliefs should be Catholic. However, in the last couple of years of learning about my faith, it has become more and more important to me that my family is united in the Catholic faith! However, I know that faith is a gift, and no amount of logical reasoning on my part is going to convince him of something he doesn’t feel.
So, almost a year ago I went to discuss these things with the priest at the parish I was then attending. We discussed many things, but the biggest thing I came away with was that, although the Church of course wants me to raise my children Catholic, it is also highly interested in preserving the marriage. Therefore, if there is no other option, it would be permissible to allow my children to be raised in another Christian faith, provided I made it clear that 1) I wanted to raise my children Catholic, and 2) I was not going to stop my practice of the faith, which necessarily would mean that the kids would have SOME experience of Catholicism.
After reading the posts today on an earlier thread about mixed marriages, I have become discouraged. They all seemed to involve agreements to raise the children Catholic, which my situation did not, and this seems to often lead to the conversion of the non-Catholic partner!
Unfortunately, this is not our only marital problem. However, I need to get a grip on my desires in this matter before addressing the other major issue between us…which I will not touch here, since this is already too long. Advice from those who have been, if not this position, in a similar one, would be SO appreciated. I want to do God’s will for me, but I can’t figure out what that is!
Thank you so very much.