Those Who Are Married To A Non-Catholic

I’d love some help and encouragement/ideas.
How do you talk/show your faith to your non-catholic spouse? Do you go to mass by yourself if they refuse? Do you take your children?
What prayers do you pray for them?

Hubby is (Thank God) a Christian, but an evangelical christian - he has no serious “problems” with catholicism, and has encouraged me in my own research/decisions concerning the church.
But I keep hoping this will eventually be something we can do together as a family.

I don’t like to go to church without him - I don’t like being part of a community and making friends without him.
Actually we’ve had some issues and are trying to find more ways in which to share time/interests together. We find that we both are living separate lives, together. And its not making for a healthy relationship.

So even though it’s nice he’s encouraging me to go and “do my thing” - I’d really like him to join me.
Maybe I’m asking/expecting too much?
Which is why I’d love to hear from others in this situation.

Thank you,
~ PetiteFoi

I’ve been going to church by myself for about 3 years and lately my wife and son want to come with. The best way to get someone to not want to go is to keep pushing them to go IMO.

I’ve been married for 37 years to a man who is nominally a member of the United Church.

All our children were baptized Catholic and he was always there for me when they were growing up.

If I was reading or was EMHC on a particular Sunday when he wasn’t working, he was with me to be with the kids.

He learned the Lord’s Prayer and the Hail Mary in French so that he could help the children with their prayers at night, if I couldn’t be there for some reason. So good was he at it that in one parish where we were the priest thought he was Catholic.

In this latest parish he has been a member of our parish choir, participated in the St. Paddy’s Day dinner, etc.

He has no desire to come into full communion but has always supported me in whatever I wanted to do.

Wow. That is beautiful. :thumbsup: You found a very good man, clearly.

I have been married to a non-Catholic for 23 years and raised/raising four girls in the Catholic Church. He is nominally Christian but not practicing any particular religion. He only comes to church functions for special occasions. He attended all the baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations (last Confirmation coming up later this year). On rare occasions he will come to an event such as a parish picnic but I could probably count on one hand the number of those he has attended.

We occasionally talk about religious or spiritual subjects, but not often. It saddens me that there is this whole dimension of who I am (the most important part of me) that I cannot share with him (although I do not hide it).

I practice my faith openly and I pray for my husband. That is all I can do. I think that if I try to push my faith on him, it will just push him away from it. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit.

It is important to me to be firm in my faith and the practice of my faith. It is the most loving thing I can do for my husband.

I’ve only been married for a little over 2 months now, but my wife and I talked (and sometimes argued) about our differences before we even got engaged. She is truly a non-denominational Christian, as she personally doesn’t see any one “denomination” or group as having the entire truth of the Gospel (so it is a bit hard for her when she hears things like that from Catholicism or any other group). After our many talks, we decided that if we were to get married, we would only attend a Catholic church because she prefers the liturgical style of worship (much more peaceful and spiritual than the rock music, in both of our opinions), and because when we have kids, she wouldn’t want them to be confused by two different teachings (and I agree).

Because of some of her disagreements with the Church, I don’t foresee her becoming Catholic, but she helps me be a better Christian and Catholic. I try to be encouraging to her as well in her walk with Christ. She has an interesting outlook on the world that keeps me on her toes. One thing I really love about her is that even though she may disagree with the Church on a particular issue, she will defend that position with whatever she knows against someone (family or friend) who is attacking the Church.

We will talk about theology from time to time, and discuss, and I feel most of the time we come to an agreement. I think we have a good balance, and we also care for one another enough to stop if things are starting to get out of hand (ie. if either of us start getting overly emotional). So, it can be a bit of a roller coaster, but it helps us grow in many different ways.

My husband is ELCA, and I’m a Cradle Catholic. Our kids are also Catholic.

He always attends Mass. In fact, he hasn’t been to a Lutheran service since we married five years ago aside from when we visit with his family.

I told him I would not marry him if we didn’t go to Mass as a family. To me it was important to lay that on the table. He understood. He waivers on conversion to Catholicism, but he certainly respects the faith.

We have some different beliefs regarding a few things (saints, Mary, etc). He tries hard to convey Catholic opinions not his own when the oldest asks questions.

Can you possibly try the Lifeteen Mass together? I find that is a good transitional Mass for Protestants since it rings more to a contemporary service. We did that for a few months when we first married.

I’d also recommend being respectful of his faith. While my husband no longer practices Lutheranism I am sure to never say anything disparaging about it. I don’t want to scare him away from Catholicism.

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I just pray the rosary. I committed for every Tuesday at first then i found myself doing it everything night. Short story, my husband is converting on his own. He knows now without a doubt that the Catholic church is the one.

I am married to a non-Catholic and I know where you are coming from.

We used to fight about religion, but that stopped some years ago. In the past few months, he has even come to church with me and our daughter a number of times. I have asked him to do this for her sake, since I think it is important that she attend church services with her parents as a family, but I try not to push it.

I try to find our points of agreement and emphasize those.

It is so hard because, as the lady above said, there is this part of me that is most important that I cannot share with him. I think maybe it might be hard in a special way for women because the man is supposed to lead his family spiritually, yet our non-Catholic spouses cannot do that in a complete way. I try to encourage him, though – to pray at dinner, for instance, or to read scripture to us. I should really try harder to do this.

Yes! See I completely struggle with that.
I really do want my husband to lead our family spiritually, and although he is Christian he is in a major slump right now in his faith; so there is No One leading, unless I do it. :frowning:
I’m really seeing how I should just go to church anyway, even if he doesn’t come along with me.
I am trying to get very serious about praying for him, and for a softening in his heart towards the Catholic church.

I have a book: The Original Mother’s Manual by A. Francis Coomes, S.J. and it has a prayer for spiritual unity as well as general “for your husband”.
I’m trying to pray those everyday - and I’m seriously considering doing a novena to St. Anne for him as well.

I think I am being “greedy” :frowning: sigh He really has been so great about me wandering back to the RC Church; so I feel bad when I pressure him to come with me to church and play all the dirty guilt cards.
But I know it’s just pushing him away - case in point: I ended up missing a Mass I really wanted to go to today because we got in a fight and I just refused to go in the state I was in.
Total wrong attitude, I know.

Between spats like this, and some financial pressures, not much sleep and a doctors appt I’m extremely nervous about - my patience hasn’t been as sturdy as it should be.
I have apologized to my husband, but I still feel cruddy, especially since I didn’t make it to Mass, due to my own dumb pride. facepalm

One day I’m sure I’ll learn from my own mistakes…

~ PetiteFoi

I think it is normal to want to involve your husband, but you will have to let go and practice on your own, while hoping and praying that he will join you. It is the hardest thing in the world, but it is the only way. You will need great strength for this journey – it is hard to be the only practicing Catholic in your household. So pray and surround yourself with strong friends. And try not to nag (so hard when we know best!). That last one is really hard.

It turns out I’m not above bribery.
I told him if he’d come to Mass sunday morning with me I’d give him a good, proper back massage that evening. :whistle: :wink:
He’s seriously considering it. lol!

So here’s my other question, I have a 1.5 year old girl, and the Catholic church I want to go to has no nursery or quiet room.
She’s too little to get the whole “sitting still thing.” so it’s almost impossible to take her to mass at this age, alone because I’ll spend the entire service chasing after her.
If Hubby’s with me, we tag-team and it works out pretty good - and on the Sundays Hubby doesn’t want to go to church, he’s happy to watch the munchkin at home.

So my question is: How important is it to bring my little girl at this age? Should I try to bring her alone and possibly spend an hour chasing her around, or do I leave her at home with daddy?

~ PetiteFoi

Nothing wrong with a little bribery. The way to a man’s heart is through the muscles of his back and shoulder blades, don’t you know.

You will hear different opinions about whether or not to take a child as small as yours. St. Therese of Liseaux, as I recall, didn’t go to Mass when she was really little, but she did have her own service at home with the servants. Some say there is no point in bringing them when they are that little and that you are being unfair to others by making them put up with the child during Mass (I disagree with this strongly.) My own pastor said that by virtue of the promises you made when you brought the child to be baptized, you are obligated to bring the child. I don’t know if that’s really what the Church teaches or whether that is his own interpretation.

I have been in your position and it was really difficult. I got so tired of spending Mass sitting on the side porch or trying to drag that child back into the pew that I started leaving her with her grandmother or father whenever possible. Now I wonder if I made a mistake, because she is five years old and her behavior in Mass ranges from fairly good to downright horrible. (In fact, right now I’m so humiliated by her behavior at Saturday evening Mass that I’m fighting with the feeling that I can’t face anyone in that parish ever again.) Maybe she would have learned to behave better if she had been brought to Mass regularly.

On the other hand, I’m remembering why I started leaving her with her nana to begin with: I was standing in line for communion at the traditional parish I attended at the time, and she (two years old) started shouting “the brown word” at the top of her lungs to enjoy the acoustics of the high ceiling. (No, she did not learn that word from me!)

Never try to force a non-Catholic (or even a Catholic for that matter) into coming to Mass with you. It will only create resentment and hostility. I ask my husband every week if he will come with me. Sometimes he says yes, sometimes no. It’s lonely, but it is what it is. Those of you who are married to a Catholic who practices their faith along with you-NEVER take what you have for granted. You are blessed beyond measure. (I am blessed too, but you have an amazing blessing that I can only hope and pray for).

My wife is not catholic, and when I started coming back to church she attended with me for a few months regularly. After that she kind of slowed down. I ask her still every week and sometimes she comes with me sometimes she does not. I sucks because I am very involved in the parish and people think I am not married because they never see my wife. I wish she would be more involved with me but she is not. I cannot force her to do things, and don’t try to force her to go to mass. But I do pray for her, and usually dedicate the rosary to her. She has a special relationship with the Holy Mother and feels drawn to Mary, so I think that is working. She wants to learn the rosary so she can pray it on her own. So I think she is slowly warming up to the church. I wish it would be quicker, but I think she will come along eventually.

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