My husband hates my faith - not sure what to do now

Just a few weeks ago ended a 2 month long marital drama between me and my husband. Many things came up during that period, a lot of hurt and resentment on his side and it will take us both time to heal and move on together. One of the things that he told me at the beginning of it all was that he hates my faith. The same conversation happened again yesterday and I am still recovering from it. The things he told me on both occasions were quite shocking and extremely hurtful. I never knew he felt that way. He deceived me for years.

My husband was raised Protestant but does not have faith. He was always very respectful of my beliefs and extremely supportive. I always felt comfortable talking about it: what happened at church/prayer group, I discussed books, shared the difficulties and joyous moments of my deeper conversion to Christ over the last few years. All the religion talk was always personal - my experiences and thoughts, and not preachy with the aim to convert him. He sometimes asked me questions about the church and seemed genuinely interested in discussing things with me. There were never any issues as far as he was concerned, he was proud of me for wanting to deepen my spiritual life and was always supportive of everything I did. He even agreed to go to mass with me and the kids when I asked him to. I have always been very grateful to him for all of these things and felt very blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive husband.

And now he tells me he hates my faith, that he wishes that **** would just dissappear from his life. He told me he is embarrassed when I tell people I go to church, and that he feels sorry for me. He told me that he feels so ashamed for me when we go to mass together, because of the idiocy I believe in. He said many other awful things. I feel like I need to crawl into a cave a lick my wounds. I can’t even express how much this hurts.

I have no idea what to do now, how to behave, how to proceed. How do I love the husband who hates what is most holy to me? How do I cope?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, especially if you are married to an atheist. Any advice on what to do and what not to do is most welcome, and your prayers are much appreciated.

Holy God, your child is hurting. More than anything we desire to follow you and be Godly wives. We desire peace in our homes and unity with our husbands you graciously provided us. Help us to be strong in our faith. Please bind the evil ones from whispering lies into our husbands’ ears. Please soften our husbands’ hearts to the truth about you. Thank you for giving us this path to walk. Please help us on our way and comfort us when we are overwhelmed. Amen.

Dear heart, I don’t have advise, but I am in a similar boat. Know you’re not alone. I will pray. Keep hope. Maybe this is the struggle before Satan loses his grip on your home. Maybe Satan is just trying to get you to give up, because you both can do mighty things for God. These maybes give me hope when I get yelled at or made fun of by my hubs. I hope for you.

I’m sorry he said such hurtful things.

I first would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart to you for the hurtful things he said against you and your faith. May God have mercy on him for his hurtful words toward his own wife.

Secondly, as for where to proceed; I would say to keep hope, keep praying, and to keep your faith in God and His Will. Have you approached your husband and told him how much he hurt you? How hurt you are that he deceived you in his respect of your faith? I, myself, would do so to see his reasoning for saying what he did. You may or may not choose to do that. Most importantly, however, is to keep your faith in God, and pray for your husband. Pray that he will receive the graces necessary to bring him light to his closed heart and mind.

I am reminded of a similar, personal situation about resentment towards my faith. I will pray for you that you may be able to heal. God bless.

I feel for you very much, pray for him and always be an example don"t talk about god or the church, he"ll resent it, once you are that example where Jesus is reflecting in you, he"ll be drawing to Jesus,

That goes for me aswell. Living ones life as a christian example is so much bettet than using logic or reason, to let people know about Jesua.

I will pray for you.

I will need to think about this, but a few things come to mind.

WHY is he telling you all of this now? Does he want to hurt you? Is he “just being honest?” He’s not in counseling yet, is he? Was he pretending to be supportive before? How does he justify his previous actions - pretending to support your faith?

What is his plan by sharing this information? Does he believe this will draw the two of you closer?

I am sure this further damages your trust in him.

I am thinking that he is still trying to get away, and he’s trying various methods to get you to finally kick him out so he can walk away without ending it himself. What a cowardly and treacherous way to behave.

I agree with Juliane – it’s very odd that he was so supportive before, and has suddenly turned hostile. Something has happened; there’s a reason for this sudden hostility. I think, if it were me, I’d be inclined to just straight-out ask him.

Dear Contra,

I have been there and I know the pain that you feel. You are not alone. I have been married for 17 years and it has been a journey. When I started getting closer to our Faith my husband had a very very difficult time with all the changes that I was making to follow Christ and for the sake of the family.

He was verbally abusive to me many times and contradict me in many ways in front of the family. He didn’t always keep holy The Lord’s Day. The sacraments were not as sacred, etc. He was born catholic and was NOT living the authentic faith.

However, I started to get close to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and continued as I still do to convert my faith. I also cried in the adoration chapel many times! Our Lord’s healing was gradual and I just left it all in his hands. The verbal abuse was sometimes intolerable. I pleaded with him to help me to accept HIS Will in the situation and then I gently asked my husband to make a decision and that I wasn’t going to change to my former ways and that he needed to accept my transformation. I was ready to accept the fact that he would leave the family. In our situation, we had psychological counseling early on and we practically ignored much of the advice.

Looking back we were very immature. When I started to get closer to our Catholic faith, I began to open my eyes and look at my true nature. I started to make changes to my own personality and listen to what my husband complained about. He also started to be open to learning what the church teaches and why. That is the miracle that occurred :slight_smile: Before long, my changes in behavior started to impact him to be a better self. We have grown together spiritually. I attend daily mass as often as possible, pray the rosary as a family, go to adoration, fast on Fridays from meat for the sake of the family.

We are also part of the Cursillo Movement, which makes changes in your whole outlook to our faith. I highly recommend the CD by Bishop Sheen
lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/title/what-every-couple-should-know-about-marriage-and-prayer
What I’m saying is that there is hope in the midst of all the chaos.

Some other tips: Whenever my husband would start to yell/critize, I would tell him that I would NOT listen, unless he could control himself. Many times, I would leave the room and just leave the house if necessary and go to the chapel. The Lord would work miracles. When I would get home later, he was more peaceful and approachable. I also learned NOT to attack, but to take one issue at a time and focus on what we could do to improve that situation. Pray for him constantly and offer up any sacrifice/suffering for the sake of his salvation and unite it to the cross “Redemptive Suffering”.

This is not a perfect world and it is ongoing. We still have situations that are uncomfortable and difficult. We always will, but progress is good. Just take it one day at a time. I will be praying for you tonight during our rosary. May OUr Lord give you the strength and courage to pursue in your faith. May the Lord give you the courage to stand up for him at all times!!

Blessings, Peace and Hope,

Totally understand. You are not alone!

Shortly after my husband and I got married, he told me that he’d be insulted if we put a cross up in our house. :frowning:

Still, I went to church. Then, I didn’t.

Now, I’m going through RCIA and his reaction is :eek:.

Mostly, because he’s a convert too and he hasn’t been faithful. So, he wonders why I need to do it because there isn’t a ‘reason’. (Like wanting to be a full member of the church isn’t good enough! :confused:)

Thankfully, I’m also a friend to DH’s sponsor and made a point of explaining to this person my reasons for converting, since DH isn’t who I go to for spiritual help. His sponsor is really excited that I’m converting and he’s also encouraging DH to go to church/praying, etc. I was also excited to get some feedback on DH, since his sponsor had some insight into his motivations that I didn’t have. Since his sponsor knows both of us and had a close relationship with DH before we got married, he can help guide DH in a way that I can’t. (I love that God figured out how to get this person involved in the process!)

In our relationship, DH and I really don’t talk about faith because he made it clear from the cross comment that the door was shut and I’m not going to open it.

As a wife, be understanding/respectful and listen (you’ll get a great list of things to pray for regarding your husband’s path). Be faithful and be an example. Know that it isn’t your job to fix his issues, but let him have space to work on them and figure things out for himself (or not…it may take a long time to see progress. I’ve only recently been seeing progress and it’s been about 9-10 years and I had to decide that the Catholic church was for me…)

Sadly, we can’t make choices for other people and we can’t make them believe.

Your faith is your business. I’ve been using the ‘wear him down with kindness’ strategy. Love on him. Don’t force him to go to church or participate. Just be a good wife, despite his issues with the church. Be the woman that God would want you to be.

He can be embarrassed for you, just like you are embarrassed and sad for him. It works both ways. Just because church isn’t important to him doesn’t mean that he can be a jerk to you. Call him out on that because you are his wife and you are worthy of his respect, despite your differences in this one area. I’m mad and I’m not even married to the guy. So, I can only imagine how you feel!

Do you even know what prompted this change of attitude? It might be a new friend or person in his life. Also, people don’t like being convicted of sin in their own life, so maybe he’s just rebelling against the fact that he’s realizing that he needs to change his ways.

I’m just guessing. I know that my DH is more of a Believer than you’d suspect if you took him just by his rhetoric.

My husband floats in between Catholic/Agnostic/Atheist, which is why I’ve really just given up trying to talk to him about faith and why I understand the struggle you are going through. Interestingly, he’s okay that I love Jesus - even if he’s confused w/his own status.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m here if he wants to share. I’m going to focus on my spiritual life and that of my son because we need a church home and to grow in our faith.

If DH isn’t interested, then I’m not going to force the issue. Pray - of course, (enlisting help is great too!) but don’t get upset when he sits home instead of going to church.

Wish him a good morning and leave for church w/a smile on your face. Then, ask if he enjoyed his brief time alone in the house when you were out. Invite him to events at church as they come up and don’t make a big deal about it if he says no. Just say “thought I’d ask because it could be fun…no big deal if you don’t want to go. It’s totally up to you. I’m happy if you’re happy.”

(I was totally surprised when DH said that he’d go to the St. Nick party when I asked him this year! And, it turned out that he ran into someone from his community activities, so he had a great time talking to this person while I took my son around to the different crafts/games! I’ll take it for sure! All of us had a great afternoon.)

Anyway - that’s my experience/advice.

Feel free to PM me if you need to!
Jo

I know how you feel. My husband is Protestant and seemed “on board” with leaning about Catholicism. After he was baptized in the Church, he did a 180 and was bashing it every time it would come up. It’s so lonely to have to live with someone you love so much and they are the one person you can’t share such a huge part of who you are. For me, I just continue to practice my faith alone. I don’t discuss it. Maybe that’s the wrong way to go about it, but I’d rather have peace than constant confrontation. In the meantime, I pray for his peaceful conversion. The reason I say peaceful is because I know that many converts fight against conversion, and things can get heated. I can’t deal with the conflict, especially since I don’t feel I’m the kind of person who can win souls over with my words. I’m terrible in religious debates. God knows this and knows my shy, non confrontational personality. Even if this peaceful route takes longer to convert him, I’d rather wait for him to peacefully realize the truth in the Church (if this route is God’s Will, of course). St. Monica is great. She understands our situations. Go to her and pray for patience and perseverance. I’m praying for you, in the meantime. God bless!

I’m not one who sees demons under every bed, but your husband may be getting help. In my experience, when a person develops a strong dislike to the church or Christ it is often that they are being influenced by demons. Pray for him and ask God to shield him from the influence of the enemy (and for you too). Satan enjoys nothing more than corrupting the spiritually weak and making the faithful miserable.

a little history, a friend of mine went to see an Orthodox Saint (still living), and came away from the experience very moved with a newfound dedication to serve Our Lord, when he got home Satan was waiting for him. His wife, who is usually quite reasonable, chewed him out terribly and said quite a few very uncharitable things about the priest (whom she did not know). I found the whole episode quite odd and extraordinary.

I have no idea about how you feel. Still, people are confusing and confused. I would not take his rebellion just as a negative sign. Yes, it would be easier if he converted wholeheartedly and you could share a wonderful family life of faith harmony. The positive maybe that he is confronting the faith seriously; that before this he was just going along and it didn’t matter to him.

Now it suddenly matters and he is confronted with the possibility that he has to change and has responded with rebellion. Pray now more than ever. Hold fast and show him this is real in you not some fake mask that you add, but is fully who you are and can NOT be pulled away from it. At any hint, be the first to insist that he not make the children a battle ground or test of what philosophy of life or faith is better.

I pray you weather this storm and he sees the fruitlessness of continuing it. He may still not be able to take the Lord’s medicine and would rather suffer the wounds of rebellion from God more silently, but hopefully he will repent and make amends more completely if he sees that his surrender to God is actually more freeing than staying in the company of the unrepentant.

If you want to stay married to him, I suggest making it a topic you do not discuss at home or in public unless someone else brings it up. However, he needs to agree not to try and make your kids into atheists. You can be respectful of his position by removing displayed religious items from some rooms, but have a private prayer place for yourself.

Then you pray constantly for him.

I can empathize with your situation. I was not practicing my faith when I married my husband but I returned to the Church 3 years after we married civilly. My husband agreed to have our marriage convalidated in the Church and I thought things were going to be ok.

Several years later he began to tell me how angry he was about the convalidation and how insulted he was that I believed our marriage had to be approved by the Church. He went on about how no intelligent person could possibly believe in such supersitious nonsense.

He asked me to remove my religious items from our bedroom. I had them inside a wardrobe and they were hidden from view but he knew they were there and they offended him. I moved them to a downstairs walk-in closet. He asked me to put a lock on the closet door so I did that, too.

All of this was very hurtful as you can imagine. My husband was hurt by my return to the Church as he felt he had failed me because I needed to look outside our marriage to have my spiritual needs met.

His hurt turned into anger as he saw me consistently going to Mass every Sunday. We tried marriage counseling but that didn’t work for us.

I tried to keep my religion very low key in the house. I stopped discussing it with him because it always turned into an argument, the same argument over and over.

After six years of this we gave up and separated seven months ago. We are both still hurting a great deal and he is still very angry at the Church. He was raised Jewish but does not practice any religion at the present time.

We tried to save our marriage but he said that my religion was a deal breaker for him and that if I had been religious when he met me he never would have married me.

It does sound like something has precipitated his comments and perhaps he is not telling you everything. In my husband’s case he said he kept hoping that I would “snap out of it” and realize that religion is stupid. When he saw that I was making permanent changes in my life, even though he admitted those changes were good, he became angry because he knew I made those changes for God.

Have you changed anything about your religious practices recently? More frequent Mass attendance, more parish involvement? Even though I did not tell my husband when I began attending weekday Mass he sensed the changes in me.

I think the “honeymoon period” in a marriage can last a long time. When we are in love with being in love we can overlook many differences between us. However at some point reality intrudes and people have to accept that neither their spouse or their marriage is perfect. I have come across a few spouses who were supportive of their Catholic other half’s beliefs, relaxed, respectful and often quite interested. When problems in life have come along and they have started to look critically at their spouse in a way they didn’t before they can decide that “religion” is the real problem. (In some ways it is much easier to hang the blame for a problem onto a clearly defined entity such as “the Church” rather than look at the messy, vague and confusing problems we as humans usually find ourselves grappling with. Also it conveniently places all the blame on the Catholic party.)

I agree with previous posters who think something has changed or happened recently. A lot of anger is now being directed at the church - the reality is your husband is angry when he wasn’t previously. What is causing the anger, why is he angry?

Thank you all for your comments, advice and for your prayers. They are very much appreciated. It is a comfort to know that I am not alone, that others are going through the same thing and that there is hope. I will keep you and your unbelieving spouses in my prayers.

Several posters asked what has happened that caused him to get so angry all of a sudden. This is what I think. My husband is the type to bottle it up and not share his true feelings and thoughts. He is a people pleaser and has a way of expressing a negative opinion in a way that can easily be interpreted as positive. He gives an answer to a question without revealing much at all. I always thought he should be a diplomat or a politician. That is why he managed to deceive me for so long. (We have been together for over 7 years now, married for 4.) However, he often expressed an explicitely positive opinion of my faith and what it was doing for me. He often said he noticed good changes in me and to keep it up. He never said a negative thing about the whole business.

I suspect he got tired of pretending. I also think that my deeper conversion freaked him out, although it has been a quiet thing, nothing dramatic. The more I grew closer to Christ the more he started resenting me for it. He told me 2 days ago that I will never love him most because I love God more. I laughed because that is such a childish way to see things, but I guess an atheist sees it as a competition, as an either/or situation, like a love triangle. When the marital drama started 2 and a half months ago he finally opened up about a number of things. I guess religion was one of the things that he needed to address, to get it out of his system. Unfortunately he did it in a nasty way, said ugly things. I understand that he said them because he was upset and angry about some other issues we had. It all came pouring out, like an erruption of a long dormant volcano.

The same happened a couple of days ago - he got angry at the rules surrounding sex. Yes, good old sex, I’m sure you are not surprised. He agrees on NFP but resents the fact that I will not engage in certain acts during the period of abstinence as a replacement for intercourse. This is what prompted the conversation, and it continued deep into the night. He repeated some things he said a couple of months ago and added some new ones. As Juliane suggested, he thought he was ‘just being honest’ in the most brutal way, but it is obvious to me now that he is just angry and lashing out. He wanted to hurt me and humiliate me and punish me.

It seems that the marital drama is not over, it has just entered a new stage. I hope that all of this will end soon, because I am tired.

I find it strange that he is so upset with the fact that I am religious but told me that it will not be an issue if the kids grow up to be devout Catholics. He will happily accept it. That just makes no sense to me, but hey, I’m not going to complain.

The children will be raised in the faith. I will do everything humanly possible as well as rely heavily on God’s grace and all the saints in Heaven to help me. Of course, DH may change his mind in the future, there are no guarantees. I am already prepared for that and praying, just in case. But as I noted in the previous post, he is not the type to engage in open conflict and I doubt that he will ever actively teach the kids against the Christian faith. I doubt that he will want to send them to the Richard Dawkins summer camp. His contribution will mostly be by not participating in our church related activities and watching everything from the side.

I have religious items displayed in our home. A crucifix by the main door, a small one in our bedroom, several statues in the children’s room, books on the bookshelf in the sitting room. He has not said a thing about it and I will leave them where they are. (Just as a side note, I asked him if he was OK with me putting the crucifix by the main door when we moved into this flat. He said ‘no I don’t mind, of course I’m ok with it, why do you even ask?’ I guess that really meant ‘yeah, I do bloody mind and am ashamed of it, can’t you tell?’)

Take this:

Combine with this:

He agrees on NFP but resents the fact that I will not engage in certain acts during the period of abstinence as a replacement for intercourse.

How long have you been doing NFP? Men place a huge value on sex and they feel unloved if they are unlaid. You know, we can have a lot of contact without arousal. You can hardly help the guy on with his coat without him looking around for a bed to throw you on.

OK, maybe that’s a bit of exaggeration, but you took your sexual favors and gave them to God. AND - you put the Church’s ideas of what is sinful and forced it on him. In his mind, he should be having all the sex he wants, he doesn’t think there is a thing sinful about emission outside the vagina. You put some stuff in a book ahead of Him and what he “needs.” And - you made him a sinner in your mind. (In his mind.)

You’ve betrayed him with God.

I think understanding his position is every important and I think laughing when he said you loved God more than him was probably very hurtful to him because it was hard for him to admit that to you. It might have set off the viciousness of his remarks.

I wish we could get some atheist males into the thread to comment.

I’m no expert but it sounds to me like he is reacting exactly as if he found out that while he is being a good husband and cooperating with NFP, you are having an affair. He’s beating up your lover the only way he knows how. And I think you have made it very clear that he needs you more than you need him.

To me with everything else that has been going on with your dh this seems to be an excuse on his part for his recent behavior. I would suggest addressing this issue in counseling.

Lord, Contra has been on my mind all day. Please bring her encouragement. Please comfort her. Please soften her husband’s heart to your truth and silence the enemy from deceiving her husband. Please let him see he’s hurting her by his words and actions, and bring Your peace that passes all understanding into their home. Please bring Contra’s husband to salvation. Please help Contra as she desires to be holy. Help her to become the person you wish her to be. Amen.

If I am not mistaken you are a Catholic in a Muslim country. Are you a national or on long term business in the country. This matters because if you are the latter and if you feel at anytime your safety could be at stake get stateside if it is possible. If you are a national I do not know the general culture of the country enough. If prior to marriage you both agreed on the practice of NFP then he should be honorable. I hope for your sake he is just going through a phase and not someone who was duplicitous with you prior to marriage and now is showing his true colors.

My God protect you and your family…

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