My Husband used to be a catholic and now he's a non-believer


#1

My husband told me recently that he doesnt believe in God. He stated that he has seen too many documentals and literature where science can explain his questions and that’s what makes sense to him. I knew he had been skeptical with organized religion, but never thought he was going to change his beliefs about God. He was raised Catholic, and always was an adolescent going to retreats and catholic activities, but now he is convinced God doesn’t exist. He is a very good husband and father, very self giving and always willing to help people. But we have a 2 year old and that worries me because he told me that I could give her a Catholic education but that he was going to tell him his beliefs because he doesnt want her to be traumatized by what religion can do. I dont know what to do. This is the man that I wanted to have more kids with and now Im very depressed.I would appreciate some advice on how to handle the situation.


#2

=1Hope07;7853108]My husband told me recently that he doesnt believe in God. He stated that he has seen too many documentals and literature where science can explain his questions and that’s what makes sense to him. I knew he had been skeptical with organized religion, but never thought he was going to change his beliefs about God. He was raised Catholic, and always was an adolescent going to retreats and catholic activities, but now he is convinced God doesn’t exist. He is a very good husband and father, very self giving and always willing to help people. But we have a 2 year old and that worries me because he told me that I could give her a Catholic education but that he was going to tell him his beliefs because he doesnt want her to be traumatized by what religion can do. I dont know what to do. This is the man that I wanted to have more kids with and now Im very depressed.I would appreciate some advice on how to handle the situation.

Please ask Him this; if he can’t explain it suggest that HE REALLY needs to talk to a priest:o

There are BILLIONS of plantes, stars, and Galaxay’s BUT even with todays BEST science; ONLY One can support Life FACTUALLY…[Science thinks there may be others w’o a SHRED of evidence to back up thre claim. The odds then are BILLIONS to One that it’s not an accident …

On this One Planet that can support Life [EARTH] of the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVING THINGS; ONLY ONE; HUMANITY CAN ACTUALLY LOVE.

Love requires 1. a mind 2. an Intellect.3. a FREEWILL 4. a soul [animator of life].

ONLY humanity has these SPIRITUAL GIFTS!

We can show they they exist; but they cannot be quantified: size; weight; shape, color Ect. WHY NOT :shrug:

So where do these SPIRITUALTHINGS originate? HAS to be from another Spiritual Source because “Something cannot give what it does itself possess” … So while we have Spiritual Gifts to DIRECT out physical attruibutes we don’t “own them” so we can’t give them to someone else.

Why does humainty ALONE have this potential to love?

IF HE"S SERIOUS; his science ought to be able to explian these…

Also: What is the Source of the “First Cause” of everything? :shrug:

If I can be of further assistance let me know. YOUR BOTH in my prayers!

Gos Bless,
Pat


#3

I think it fair to say that your husband never had much faith in God but was a Catholic due to upbringing.He’s not the only one.Many Catholics are Catholics in name only and never took the time to study the faith.He’s probably spent more time studying modern science.Everyone who wants to know God has to study through the eyes of faith.He must be open to the fact that God exists and try ways to prove it by reading scriptures or other Catholic literature.I had a friend once who I asked the question"do you believe in God?’ and he said yes.And I said well don’t you think you should find out about Him?and his answer was yes,but I just don’t want to think about it.I’m afraid there might be quite a few people like my friend.


#4

Yes, your husband owes it to you to have a good, serious talk with a priest. You need to be present, too, I believe. If your husband listens, and still cannot believe, you need to get the priest's advice on where to go from there. You do have your daughter's needs to consider.


#5

Get your hands on some of C.S. Lewis books… like Mere Christianity, God in the Dock etc. But also I recommend you to invite some people for dinner who you know have a strong testimony of faith… there are SO many miracles and supernatural things going on, and often when we hear about these things from normal and trustworthy friends, we get inspired.
I know at least 6 people who have seen Jesus or Mary or Angels… I know a woman who had a near death experience. I know people who were miraculously saved from fatal accidents.
Man cannot live on rituals alone but must see the power of God manifested in his own life and that of others. Jesus knew that and choose his methods accordingly… At least 35 percent of the Gospels are miracles and healings.
Religion must never be an abstract theory, it must be a living relationship with the God who intervenes into our daily life… yes, daily life, not just 2000 years ago.

I have a sister who recently started to pray more and read more Scripture… well guess what, her faith was strengthened so much so that just two days ago she prayed for a couple who both suffered from such bad, cronic back pain that they couldn’t even lift their own children. My sister prayed over them with faith and used the powerful Name of Jesus… and they got healed instantly.
It shook me (and her too:D ) ! Gosh… there is so much outthere which we just dont use as Catholics… so much which we dont receive while we like to talk about the right theology etc.
Do you ever wonder what would happen if we as Catholics believed just as much in the other promises in the Bible, as we believe in the Eucharist and Confession, that is, the realities which are hidden but powerful in our lives. Lets believe it then with the same zeal when Jesus says: These signs will follow those who believe: “In My Name they will cast out demons, they will lay their hands on the sick and they will get healed… etc”

I know a guy who prayed for a woman whose fetus was dead in her stomach. She would go to the doctor next day to have it operated out… but during the prayer in Jesus name the baby came back to life… Do you think this friend of mine will be able to answer that with science? Never…

youtube.com/watch?v=G3vTykgmrAw&feature=related this is from a Catholic conference. This is all about the name of Jesus.


#6

You could direct him to some first philosophy. Also, having a keen understanding of the Church's teaching on Providence is essential for making sense of scientific data--namely, that the processes of nature, even those which seem to bring about emergent effects, that is, disproportionate effects, are to the Church's mind instrumental causes. That means that a natural process which brings about a greater order must not necessarily be thought to preclude design of a higher order, meaning, or ultimate purpose, especially if the Being we are proposing as Designer would have had to bring about those very processes.

Apologetics, you must remember, can never, ever, ever bring someone to faith by reason alone; faith has its own proofs. Rather, apologetics have as their end to show unbelievers that the faith is a rationally tenable position, that it fits and does not contradict the truths of natural reason and can be believed alongside them.


#7

I'm sorry about your husband, I pray for nonbelievers often! I am a convert, and I have always believed in the Lord and I to thought my husband believed, even though we were never very religious. (Of course I am very devoted now!) Anyway after 20 yrs of marriage I found out he doesn't believe, for about the same reasons your husband gave! It has caused some problems between us but overall I just keep in mind that I need to set the best example for him that I can and love him no matter what! We have 2 kids, an 18 yr. old son and a 15 yr old daughter and they know what he believes. I am just trying to do my best in keeping them in touch with our beautiful Church and I also ask them to pray for him.
I do worry about them moving away from the Church and Christ but there are many things that could cause that besides their dad. I guess I am just trying to say is that all we can do is pray. You may have thought about it already, but St. Monica is a great saint/example to ask to intercede for our husbands, look at St. Augustine!
I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.:)


#8

Remind him about the vows he took when he married to raise any children in the faith. It’s not the kids fault he stopped believing and you still want them to have a Catholic education. He promised that to you.

Can you get a book by an ex-Atheist that is now a Catholic? I heard a woman like that on the radio and she may be able to help.

It would help if you understood why he is changing like he is. What made him stop believing. He used the word traumatized, that is a very strong word. How was he traumatized? Maybe a counselor would help.


#9

[quote="1Hope07, post:1, topic:239503"]
My husband told me recently that he doesnt believe in God. He stated that he has seen too many documentals and literature where science can explain his questions and that's what makes sense to him. I knew he had been skeptical with organized religion, but never thought he was going to change his beliefs about God. He was raised Catholic, and always was an adolescent going to retreats and catholic activities, but now he is convinced God doesn't exist. He is a very good husband and father, very self giving and always willing to help people. But we have a 2 year old and that worries me because he told me that I could give her a Catholic education but that he was going to tell him his beliefs because he doesnt want her to be traumatized by what religion can do. I dont know what to do. This is the man that I wanted to have more kids with and now Im very depressed.I would appreciate some advice on how to handle the situation.

[/quote]

You need to hold his feet to the fire as far as his promises to raise the children Catholic. He must not undermine their faith with his unbelief. This will cause them to have NO faith whatsoever. Explain to him that it is similar to him speaking gibberish to them as they are learning to talk - they would not "choose" between English and gibberish, they would have no language at all. He must "fake it" for the children's sake, at the very least. Put them in Catholic schools and tell him he is going to Mass whether he believes or not. He made the promise before God, whether he believes or not, it is a contract.

Ask him to meet with your priest ASAP.

I have been doing this for 20 years now, so I'm speaking from experience. The difference is that neither my husband nor I were living our faith when we met or when we finally married, and I returned to the Church while he did not. But he has never stood in the way of our sons' education or faith in any way. He has gone to Mass with us over the years and acted as if he is a Catholic. The boys do not know his inner beliefs. Eventually, they may ask some questions. I will then refer them to him for answers. I have never told them that their dad really doesn't consider himself Catholic. I just pray that God opens his heart and he comes "home." There is no negative from him about the Church, but neither is there a positive. They have zero spiritual guidance from him so that will be an ongoing gap in their lives. They will recognize it eventually and since they are 18 and 20, perhaps they already have.

Do not allow your husband to undermine your child's just-beginning belief in God. It is very, VERY destructive for him to want to do that.


#10

I can understand why scientific documentaries and literature can undermine the faith of even a previously strong believer. Some naturally have more critical minds that others, and when combined with a practical nature, the balance comes out on the side of unbelief. That doesn’t mean his faith was weak, it can be the opposite and your husband probably went through inner pain of loss. I have a cousin who is an evangelistic atheist who became so in the seminary. A formerly strong Catholic can become the strongest opponent to what he sees as the illogic of faith.
There is no easy answer. My own husband was a devout convert who lost faith in God because “God did nothing” to help him, who went to Mas each day and prayed several times a day. He knew God didn’t cause his stress breakdown, but he blamed God for doing nothing. He is a practical man, who does nothing to stand in my way, though two of our sons followed his example, rather than “dear old Mum’s” and have no belief.
The youngest, a dear warm man, said:" Mum I talked to God but He never answered. The other spent two years in the seminary…they were good hearted Catholics…and that’s the difficulty…if they were vague Catholics they might have motored along, but they put extra in and were disappointed…so it isn’t a foregone conclusion that the OP’s husband had a weak faith. That makes the issue all the more difficult for the believer in the relationship. A strong, logical unbeliever isn’t a pushover to persuasion or pressure.

If you try to pressure the person you only create frustration and make the person move more strongly against faith. There is actually nothing you can do except pray.


#11

[quote="Trishie, post:10, topic:239503"]
I can understand why scientific documentaries and literature can undermine the faith of even a previously strong believer. Some naturally have more critical minds that others, and when combined with a practical nature, the balance comes out on the side of unbelief. That doesn't mean his faith was weak, it can be the opposite and your husband probably went through inner pain of loss. I have a cousin who is an evangelistic atheist who became so in the seminary.** A formerly strong Catholic can become the strongest opponent to what he sees as the illogic of faith.**
There is no easy answer. My own husband was a devout convert who lost faith in God because "God did nothing" to help him, who went to Mas each day and prayed several times a day. He knew God didn't cause his stress breakdown, but he blamed God for doing nothing. He is a practical man, who does nothing to stand in my way, though two of our sons followed his example, rather than "dear old Mum's" and have no belief.
The youngest, a dear warm man, said:" Mum I talked to God but He never answered. The other spent two years in the seminary...they were good hearted Catholics....and that's the difficulty...if they were vague Catholics they might have motored along, but they put extra in and were disappointed...so it isn't a foregone conclusion that the OP's husband had a weak faith. That makes the issue all the more difficult for the believer in the relationship. A strong, logical unbeliever isn't a pushover to persuasion or pressure.

If you try to pressure the person you only create frustration and make the person move more strongly against faith. There is actually nothing you can do except pray.

[/quote]

Your husband's experience is what happened to mine. His parents divorced in spite of his having prayed that they would not, he feared for their souls (divorce still being sin as a mortal sin at that time) and offered his own in replacement if only God would keep them together somehow. When God did not, my husband turned away. He obviously had no one to explain to him that it was not God's fault that his parents divorced, but that they are human and had made wrong decisions all along. He has "motored along" as you aptly put it, believing that all good fortune in his life has been through his own hard work and striving. He does not believe in sin, believes that if you are a good person, you aren't a sinner. I said before that he does not undermine my faith nor that of his sons, but he has made a few remarks about confession that aren't helpful at all. And criticized the Mass on a fairly constant basis (sad to say that I have joined in but I have stopped doing it now). A bitter heart does not reach out to others in love and charity, either.


#12

To me, the key here is in the last line, when your husband says he doesn’t want the children “traumatized by what religion can do” - this suggests to me that he is hurting from something in his past that someone has done to him in the name of religion, whether that is using excessive guilt and fear to trap him into ‘good’ behaviours, excessive physical discipline, or even sexual abuse.

It sounds to me as though his ‘religious’ upbringing is a cage he felt trapped in. Maybe this is a step forward in his journey of faith, as perverse as that may sound. To quote the Holy Father in his recent visit to Germany, it is better to be a searching agnostic than a false believer. Perhaps feeling free of obligation to God, he is now finally free to explore accepting God’s free invitation into a relationship with Him.

It sounds to me as though the first thing he needs, rather than a stack of literature, which we only read through whichever ‘lens’ our own mindset is currently in, is to be surrounded by the prayers and friendship of good Catholics who are living their faith joyfully. If there are things you can do together that will show him the positive side of your faith, like volunteering together for a soup kitchen run by the Church, or going to fundraising events for a local Catholic school, which will help him to be surrounded by good people, and be brought into a relationship with Christ through the love of Christians in the Church, and of course your own love, understanding, and prayers, that would be more helpful than a bunch of intellectual arguments for the existence of God.


#13

Yes, have your husband speak to your priest. But also direct him to strong Catholic apologists who talk about the questions he needs answers to. (You can start right on this site! :D) I also recommend Peter Kreeft.

Our parish priests are wonderful men, but they don't always have the interest in science to be able to discuss his questions in depth.

As Juliane said, he needs to hold to his promises to raise your children Catholic. Since your child is still young, it is a matter of him continuing to say daily prayers (meals and bedtime at least) and going to Mass with you. As she gets older and you have more children, more will be involved, but hopefully he will have reconverted by then!

Pray for him every day. Offer a daily sacrifice for his conversion and strengthened faith. (Your favorite TV show? That second cup of coffee?) Pray for the intercession of Sts Monica and Rita. I will be praying for you also.


#14

[quote="1Hope07, post:1, topic:239503"]
My husband told me recently that he doesnt believe in God. He stated that he has seen too many documentals and literature where science can explain his questions and that's what makes sense to him. I knew he had been skeptical with organized religion, but never thought he was going to change his beliefs about God. He was raised Catholic, and always was an adolescent going to retreats and catholic activities, but now he is convinced God doesn't exist. He is a very good husband and father, very self giving and always willing to help people. But we have a 2 year old and that worries me because he told me that I could give her a Catholic education but that he was going to tell him his beliefs because he doesnt want her to be traumatized by what religion can do. I dont know what to do. This is the man that I wanted to have more kids with and now Im very depressed.I would appreciate some advice on how to handle the situation.

[/quote]

First, go to youtube and look up Dinnish D'Souza's debate with Danielle Dennitt. Honestly, D'Souza wipes the floor with Dennett on the claim that science is a more rational claim than God.

Second, why does he feel that religion has traumatized him? How has it wronged him that he's so afraid his children will also have to go through it? I think there's a high tendency among militant atheists to assert that religious upbringing somehow stunts a child's growth or does them some abuse... an assertion which is patently laughable.


#15

Remind him even Mother Theresa had doubts but she preserved. We all need to do that in times of spiritual darkness.

I prayed for years about my health and I finally got an answer by finding good people to help me. I prayed a long time ago that I would find a good husband but stopped praying since I thought I would never marry but when I did marry I realized God had answered my prayer. My husband is perfect for me and a very good man.

I don’t know why some people grow in their faith when bad tings happen to them and others lose their faith in the same circumstances. Maybe they think God is there to serve them and they get mad when he does not answer as fast as they want. I don’t know what I would have done if I did not have prayer in my darkness moments.


#16

I guess you will have to wait this one out. we marry people, remember.

forgive your husband and work on increasing your faith, not his. keep in prayer. if you can let go of having to bring him back, it will bring you a lot less grief.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16

God chooses us, so remember God will choose your husband again if it is in His perfect plan.

Remember, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)

So Go, bear fruit and be glad.
:slight_smile:


#17

Here’s another scripture quote to get you through this tough time.

NIV 2 Corinthians 1:5 - 11

Forgiveness for the Sinner
"If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent-- not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive-- I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake. In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."


#18

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