My wife, "I really wish you wouldn't do this!"


#1

This is a gut wrenching problem for me. My wife can’t stand the fact that I’m joining the Catholic Church. This has brought us into numberous fights and conflict. I’m really worried about how this will affet us long term. She’s brought up a couple time that she thought we’d divorce if circumstances were diffrent and if we didn’t have our son. It’s also been said, “This isn’t what I thought I was getting into. I don’t even know if we would’ve married if you’d been Catholic before. I thought we would go to a nice Baptist church where everyone fellowships and has a good time.” Now, she has been going with me to RCIA pretty much since I started going. I’ve never forced her to go either. I told her that I’m not forcing her to do any of this. She just feels that we should always go to church together, so she comes with me. I proposed at the begining of my coming to Catholocism that she could stilll go to a baptist church. She says she doesn’t want her and her husband to go to diffrent churches. Sooooo, this is the problem we’ve had for some time. I need your prayers big time on this. And, if anyone else has been through this please give me some advice. I have been praying constantly for her to have the truth of the Church revealed to her for months, and i will continue to do so. i just try not to bring up Catholicism to directly as not to start more problems. Well, sorry for carrying on so long, and thanks for any replies.

God bless,
Jesse


#2

Welcome to the Catholic Church, Jesse.
Will keep you and your wife and so in prayers so that our Lord works through you’ll.


#3

I think your wife is very perceptive in realizing and being able to articulate that adherence to different faiths does indeed inject disharmony and disunity into the marriage. She seems to have state her objection well, that what she will miss is worshipping together, and has been more than tolerant and accommodating in coming to the RCIA class with you. Do what you can to assure her that your union is strong on all other fronts, and look for ecumenical ways you can be together. If that entails visiting her church with her, as well as Mass on Sunday, do it for her sake. Join her also in fellowship opportunities at her church, if you are still welcome. That may be the root of her fear, that her congregation may reject both of you because of your change in affiliation, and that she will lose something precious and important to her.

Don’t try to convert her, but show her the best example you can of a good Catholic husband and father is has joy and peace in his Catholic faith. Find at least one ministry or apostolate to join in your new parish, something she can join you in when she is ready. Something in the area of social concerns or outreach rather than a specific Catholic prayer for instance. the new Catholic Digest for Dec. addresses this issue very well, especially in relating experiences of couples like yourselves.

read Rome Sweet Home by Kimberly Hahn, which details her struggles when her husband was ready for conversion before her to give you more insight on your wife’s feelings.


#4

Just pray, (pray, pray pray), tell your wife you love her frequently, but also affirm that you’ve discovered the truth of the Catholic Church, and you can’t turn your back on that. Be sure to stress that you do love her, and always will no matter what.

If she does ask specific questions about the faith (she probably will), then just answer them the best you can, with out going too far off on a ledge trying to come up with answers for things you don’t understand yet. Be patient, and have complete faith in Christ to pull you through this.


#5

You changed the deal she bought into. She may follow, she may not. But don’t for one instant think she hasn’t the right to be confused, angry, upset, about this. This is a very serious alteration of the marriage she agreed to be a part of.


#6

Read and/or listen to Scott & Kimberly Hahn’s stories, with your wife if she is willing.

catholicity.com/cds/hahn.html

lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/products/a_pastors_wifes_journey_home


#7

God has a plan, just follow Him to His Church!


#8

I haven’t read any of the responses, but I was your wife about two years ago. I am still not Catholic, but I go to church with my husband and have since he decided to go every week. If she’s anything like me, don’t tell her she should go to her Baptist church. That will hurt her more than anything you can say to her. She wants her family to worship together, even if it is under less than ideal circumstances and if you tell her not to go then you will be shutting her out. Not a good idea if you want to keep an open relationship and have her possibly convert.

I don’t know if you do this, but there is a lot in common between Catholics and Baptists. There is no reason to constantly bring up differences if it just starts a fight (and yes I do know there are major differences, but there are also major similarities). DH and I were commenting to each other just the other day that we hardly ever fight about religion anymore. At some point she’ll just give up and accept what has happened. If you can’t beat them, join them :shrug:

Anyway, I hope that was remotely helpful.

ETA after reading the comments so far: I didn’t like Rome Sweet Home, personally. It doesn’t help everyone.


#9

PRAY PRAY PRAY!

My wife was Southern Baptist but had been going to a Presbyterian Church with me for the past 16 years. When I told her I thought God wanted us to become Catholic she went to RCIA but we had many of the same discussions.

I kept telling her I wanted this to be right for her as well and like you said we could go to different Churches but the boys were already in Catholic School and she wanted to raise them Catholic.

At the first introduction to the Church (the one outside) she made it clear she was still searching for answers. Our RCIA directors, teachers and Deacon were very supportive in anything she asked or needed.

I believe part of it was, once we became Catholic, that was it. Protestant church shop often. Although we had not, it was always an option if we didn’t “fit in” as we knew a lot of people who went to different churches because of the social functions, youth group etc… My point to her was that isn’t why we are going to Church is it? The hard answer to that is no, of course not. But when you have been Protestant your whole life, going to hang out is a big part of it. We have so many friends in different denominations who don’t believe 90% of with their church teaches… but like the Sunday School class or their kids like the youth group… it’s not about God, it’s about their enjoyment.

We go to Mass to Worship God.

After some ups and downs my wife eventually described our Easter Vigil and joining the Church was one of the greatest days of her life that she will cherish forever.

Six months before that she was still unsure at times and there have been times in the last 2 years I have heard the phrase “I even became Catholic for you…” to which I response…“did you really?” the answer is always the same, no I became Catholic because I believe it… with the reminder “it sure was easier being a Protestant” Yea… it was but that’s not what it’s about right?

(Please note for the regular viewers the discussion between my wife and I on this is always for the same reason… no child care at Church. Many other Parishes in the area offer it for the Youngest during Mass. My wife’s reason is that she feels like she has the wonderful opportunity to Worship God and misses out on it wrestling with the kids so it’s not really a theological issue, heh)

As I said… PRAY PRAY PRAY. My wife’s grandfather was a Baptist Minister and her Cousin’s Husband is a Baptist Youth minister at one of those BIG churches. While we expected it and I’ve been ready to test my Apologetic skills… never really had anything negative said in the family… at least not to our face.

Keep praying for her, keep her in RCIA and you guys discuss it. My wife was warned by her mom not to marry a Catholic because they would make her convert. As I was considering becoming a Presbyterian Minister when we were dating, I’m sure she thought her daughter was “safe” hah. But Truth be told, her mother came to the Easter Vigil with us and love it. Talk about it but once again, pray, let God show her what He has shown you.

Joe


#10

Thanks guys for the responses. Much love to all of you. (Time out, let me back track a sec. My wife and I really never were members of a church together. She wasn’t a member of a chuch here and I was, but haven’t been in a long while. We had started church shopping for one we liked; any denomination was game. I started researching the Catholic church. We visited and I really liked it. While I was delving further into Catholicism, my wife just assumed she would join the old big baptist church i was a member of. This is where I think I made a mistake. i should have clued her in more on my deepening intrest in Catholicism. that’s how we came to the point we’re at today pretty much.)

I really have made an effort to find a happy medium on the both churches deal. She was wanting to intially just have me meet her at my old baptist church on Sundays when I got through at Mass. the problem arose when I started attending RCIA. My RCIA class didn’t get out till 1015 and the baptist church service started at 1030. the two churches are 20 min apart! So i would be left coming in 5 min late every sunday. She wouldn’t have that. So, she just started coming to 8am Mass and 915 RCIA with me. I never ment for this to be a problem.

Puzzleannie, i agree with you on how my wife sees the importance of family worshiping together. I want that too, but i jsut didn’t want her to feel like i was forcing her into the Catholic Church if she didn’t want to be there. Oh, and thank you for your suggestions.

Lutheranteach, belive me, she is confused, angry, and upset at me. Probably has a good right to be too, and I’m not blaming her one bit. Only thing is neither one of us attended a church period on a regular basis when dating or after the marriage.

Thanks for the input lil_cat and Joe. i’ll be thinking on it for sure.

God bless,
Jesse


#11

Why don’t you go to baptist services with your wife since it’s so important to her that you go together? It might mean some extra church attendance, but it won’t hurt you to go hang out with baptists and sit through their services for the sake of your wife and your marriage.


#12

I’m in the same boat you are; my husband is against me joining the Church. We’ve had many of the same discussions and arguments that you and your wife have had. It’s not easy that is for sure.

Prayers for you and your wife. :gopray:


#13

Contrary to popular opinion, this is not true. “For better or for worse” is exactly what it means. Everyone’s okay with the for better part, but when, yes, when, not if, for worse comes along, many spouses jump ship. You becoming Catholic shouldn’t change her faith if she is truly committed. I would be more offended by her insistence that you cannot go to separate churches, and rather than allow that, she would allow you to fear a divorce. Sounds like she is more worried about appearances than actual faith. However, your vocation is to your spouse, and your duty is to her and your children. If that means your conversion takes a little longer than you’d like, then for her sake, do not rush it. In the end, it will work itself out. Just be patient. :thumbsup:


#14

Read the book, When Only One Converts, I’ve forgotten the author’s name. You also might try contacting the Coming Home Network (chnetwork.org). They have a lot of experience with this problem – sometimes with clergymen who want to convert, but their wives object, and vice versa.


#15

I have to admit that I was wondering about people “signing on” to a long-term situation like marriage expecting it always to be the same! We “sign on” to a *person *not a short time period.


#16

[quote="Bella85, post:6, topic:176600"]
Read and/or listen to Scott & Kimberly Hahn's stories, with your wife if she is willing.

catholicity.com/cds/hahn.html

lighthousecatholicmedia.org/store/products/a_pastors_wifes_journey_home

[/quote]

I agree. Or read the book "Rome, Sweet Home". They really did have a tough time.

There are underlying problems and I'm sure some of the other references will help you with this. But remember, she likely has a real issue with what "church" is. To her, it's a place to be with people. She'd have to leave her friends. And, as a Baptist, she might not understand Church teachings and I'll tell you RCIA isn't going to communicate it to an "anti-catholic."

I don't say these things because I think she is a bad person or anything just that she has a particular view of the world and she doesn't understand or she doesn't want to understand. It's really hard on her and you need to be patient and loving. Being the only Catholic in my family I can tell you that they don't understand. Some don't want to. Try to slowly bring her to the truth of how you feel and spend particular time attending to her feelings. I'm sure she's a bit "embarrassed" about the situation. There are all sorts of books and websites with information on how to refute the claims about the Catholic Church.

She's probably heard most of her life how "limiting" or "controlling" the Church is and some awful lies about it as well. The Hahn conversion story is a good one. There are many other very religious anti-Catholics that converted because the deeper you go, the more obvious the Truth is.


#17

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