Need advice about a non-Catholic spouse situation


#1

Heres the situation. My wife and I used to be Baptist. We didn't really go to church at all, however.

When we had our first child, we started talking about needing to return to church. Well, in the process of this I had a calling to the Catholic faith. I have since gone through RCIA and entered the Church. My wife has been keeping my daughter at home with her on Sundays while I went to Mass. She would not take my daughter to any church and I would go alone. She also will not allow our daughter to be baptized and refuses to go to Mass with me more than a few times a year.

She has, however, found a Baptist church that she likes and is now taking my daughter there with her on Sunday.

How do I respond to this? She obviously has no plans to even let my daughter know anything about my faith and this hurts me. I guess my question would be whether or not I should go to church with them even though they will not be going with me. Should I just be happy that she is taking my daughter to church?

I have approached her about going with me on Saturday night and I would go with her on Sunday morning so that our family could at least go together and our daughter could see that we are together even though our beliefs may be a little different. My wife will not agree to this. Should I feel left out and hurt that she does not consider my faith important enough to take our family even if I agree to go with her as well?


#2

Her behaviour is a symptom of an underlying dislike or distrust for Catholosism. This is most likely rooted in a misunderstanding; getting to the heart of this is what will enable you to dispel her illusions and show her the truth.

However, in the meantimes it would be good for you to keep going to Mass on a sunday. There is no fruit in going to her church, and if you do you should certainly not take communion; I would also advise speaking to your local priest about it. Face to face is always best.

:thumbsup:


#3

Just out of curiosity, why does your wife have the sole authority to determine where your daughter worships, why can she veto your ability to take your daughter somewhere, and why can she dictate what you teach your daughter?


#4

Since they are going to a Baptist church I'm pretty sure that your daughter has not been baptized. Correct?

If that is the case the most important thing for you to do for her immortal soul is to find a way to have her baptized ASAP!!! A baptism in the Baptist church would be a proper baptism. ("... We believe in one baptism for the remission of sins ...") My guess, though, is that they probably believe in adult baptism only.

Speak to your priest about this soon and God be with you.

Reg.


#5

I've known several families where this was the situation, that one parent became Catholic after marriage and the other did not. There was no agreement ahead of time so the non-Catholic spouse does not respect the new Catholic's position at all and will do anything to keep the children out.

Forcing a faith on anyone never works, I think that's safe to say. Arguing about it will make the friction worse. I think the best course is deepen, and then deepen more your own faith. Seek out a spiritual advisor so that you do deepen. Sometime, and it may not be in your lifetime, your child or even grandchildren will be curious about this faith that has meant so much to you.

Theresa Agnes


#6

How old is your daughter?

If you practice your faith on a daily basis, you daughter will come to know the faith through you. For example; making the sign of the cross when you pray before meals, saying "Catholic" prayers at home (Hail Mary, Acts of Faith,Hope and Love; Rosary); telling her the Christmas story and explaining how Mary was uniquely without sin, telling her what you learned at Mass, etc. Make sure as she gets older that she knows you are going to Mass and to Confession - even Adoration or to "make a visit". If she asks to come along, take her. If she sees how much you love the Church, you may be planting seeds for the future.

Without having the usual Catholic marriage "agreement" to raise the kids Catholic, you can't force this with your wife. She should be able to unilaterally say "no Catholicism" for your daughter either. As your daughter gets older and the question of Religious Ed and Sacraments starts to loom, you may even look to counseling to reach a mutually acceptable agreement.


#7

[quote="CoffeeHound, post:3, topic:203444"]
Just out of curiosity, why does your wife have the sole authority to determine where your daughter worships, why can she veto your ability to take your daughter somewhere, and why can she dictate what you teach your daughter?

[/quote]

Because if we butt heads over this it will only exaggerate the problem. I dont feel that God would rather us fight and let the problem get to the point of no return. I don't believe the issue should be pushed to the point of causing marital problems.

And as far as baptism, she agreed to meet with my priest to get answers to questions. However, when the time came she sat there in his office with her teeth clenched and got agitated to the point where my priest and I glanced at each other knowingly and proceeded to diffuse the situation. She would not ask questions and really made me look foolish in there.


#8

Here's one thing you could try.
Offer up a daily devotion, possibly the Rosary, specifically for your wife.
Ask the Mother of God to intercede on your behalf for your wife's soul and her spiritual life here on earth. This, of course, will help her to help you in leading your daughter to the Truth.

You alone cannot change anything, but God can work in his own way and in his own time frame. He alone knows what is best for each one of us.
He has told his Church the importance of baptism for salvation. Keep praying!!! :thumbsup:


#9

[quote="texasag7599, post:7, topic:203444"]
Because if we butt heads over this it will only exaggerate the problem. I dont feel that God would rather us fight and let the problem get to the point of no return. I don't believe the issue should be pushed to the point of causing marital problems.

[/quote]

My questions were not meant to suggest that you should start a marital war over the issue. It's just that I usually see parenting arrangements where both the father and mother both have an equal vote with regards to their children. When there's disagreement, they work together to resolve them.

What you described is a situation with one dominant parent and one secondary parent. The dominant parent gets his or her way and the secondary parent needs approval to get anything done and the dominant parent has full veto power.

That's why I asked about how decisions are made - to see if that is the case.


#10

[quote="texasag7599, post:1, topic:203444"]
She has, however, found a Baptist church that she likes and is now taking my daughter there with her on Sunday.

[/quote]

She is raising your child in the same religion in which you two were married, which is a huge step in the right direction - and was probably motivated by your conversion to the Catholic faith. At this point, keep doing what you do without putting any pressure on her - she may or may not "come around" to your way of thinking, but at least she has reached the point of raising your daughter with knowledge of Jesus, and for now, that's huge progress. :)


#11

We use to be in your situation... so here is what my Catholic husband did. (Not saying it will work the same, but at least it is an example.

My husband was actually a non-practicing Catholic when we married and we agreed to raise the children Baptist before ever marrying. When he reverted back to his Catholic faith, I was very hurt and felt a bit betrayed, and absolutely dug my heels in in regards to raising any children Catholic. Not a chance! (I even briefly considered not having children in order to avoid any issue.)

He never pressured me and never seemed discouraged. He let me know he would like me to go to Mass or at least examine why I hated the Church so much and never said much else. He went to Mass every Sunday and made an extraordinary effort to go to daily Mass whenever possible. He strategically left reading material in the bathroom and ask me to come with him to a Catholic conference that was in town for the weekend... I believe it was called The Fullness of Truth.

At the time, the conference was terrible, mainly because I met some people there that were horribly insulting; however, looking back I am glad I went.

He also went with me to my church every Sunday, which was very important to me. He asked me to please go with himt on Easter Sunday, because it was important to him. So I honored that. We went to both churches. He was extremely grateful. I realized how important it was to him, so we continued to go to both churches together.

It also helped that I was very convicted of the fact that my husband was the Spiritual leader of our home... and he was now acting like it.

Eventually, I no longer felt at home in my Baptist church and now we only attend Mass.

I will say it took me until my first son was 10 months old before I would agree to have him Baptized. My husband never pushed the issue. I was aware of what his desire was and that was the extent of it. He never said anything else.

Now, all three of our kids are baptized, and I am sure our newest one will be shortly after his birth.

It took me a good three or four years to get to the point I am now. It didn't happen over night. But I will say my husband was nothing but supportive of what I wanted, and he never once pressured me to do anything. Obviously, as I am not yet Catholic, things aren't perfect, but unless we tell them, people don't usually even realize it, so things are going pretty well for us.

I realize every situation is different, just wanted to let you know it isn't hopeless.

(But I will say, if my husband had put his foot down, or tried to pull rank, things probably wouldn't have worked out quite so well, but that's just me.)

Good luck,

RyanL's Wife.


#12

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