Thinking of Reconciling, But Spouse Thinks Otherwise

I’ve talked openly with my wife about joining the Catholic Church, buy my wife believes I’m misled, and hopes I’ll see the light sometime soon. She said she won’t divorce me, but has said this will could drive a wedge between us. She cannot articulate what she believes is wrong with the Catholic Church, it just goes against every moral fiber of her body since she was raised to believe in her protestant denomination.

I can only worship God with a clear conscience. I’ve stopped attending my fundamentalist anti-Catholic, very protestant church because I don’t buy into thier doctrine anylonger. I will reconcile to the Catholic Church if I feel compelled to do so. The issue that I need help with is my wife. It hurts me to hear her repeat the same anti-Catholic sayings I’ve heard all my life. We love each other very much. Imagine her viewpoint: the man she married is practically changing religions midstreem, after 16 hard-won years of marriage and three kids. I pray the Holy Spirit will work in her life just like He’s worked in mine to soften my heart and take a closer look into God’s truth.

Anyone out there had a similar situation? How did you both reconcile to the Catholic Church, or are you still living under separtate doctrinal beliefs? What about the kids? How do I explain this to them?

I heard it over and over that always it’s so hard to convert our closest ones.
Yes lots and lots of prayer and try to use other methods to help her see the light.
Sometimes a friend, a book (indirect approach).
You know that whatever you say is no good! :rolleyes: the wife is always right :stuck_out_tongue:

So try to use less direct methods :smiley:

I’ll pray for your wife too! :thumbsup:

If you haven’t already read Scott Hahn’s book, Rome Sweet Home. He faced many of the same issues.

Oh boy. I know you are in a tough position, but please go slowly here. You seem to understand the position you’re putting your wife in, so please do not destroy your marriage and your relationship with your children. It’s not going to be easy by any means. And any conflicts between you and your wife will only be magnified by the fact that you are now pursuing a faith she doesn’t share. I wish I could tell you how to convert your family. My husband and I were both lapsed until I got pregnant with our first child. I reverted, and thankfully he allowed me to raise our sons as Catholics, although he hides his own continuing hostility toward the Church. It flares up every now and again, especially on topics such as birth control and abortion. But I was lucky. He could have just divorced me. It definitely wasn’t in HIS plan (nor mine, before the Holy Spirit led me back home!).

I will add you to my prayers.

I cannot really offer much in the way of practical advice as I have not had that experience. But I would recommend checking out the Coming Home Network. They have a lot of resources for people who have walked the path you are on. I am sure you could even contact them to get some more personal advice as well.

I will offer you my prayers.

I was thinking of this too! Scott Hahn had a similar issue (and btw, his wife is Catholic now :slight_smile: ).

I went through a similar situation about 11 years into a marraige. I could not resist the calling of the Holy Spirit which drew me into the Catholic Church. Sadly, my wife divorced me about two years later. It has been a devestating blow, especially since she agreed to have our marraige convalidated. I just wish that she had left before that as I am now facing a life of celibacy unless we were to ever obtain an annulment. I pray that you two will be able to find a way to work together in love and respect.

I was just received into the church yesterday. My husband and kids are still attending our old church.

My first piece of advice is to meet with a priest. Mine helped me tremendously. He was extremely supportive and quite concerned with how to ease my family into this transition in a way that would not alienate them. He made some excellent suggestions about how to involve the kids in the process. I took his advice and it has been fine.

As far as my husband, it is a slightly different situation in that he doesn’t have that much hostility towards the church… I made it clear that if he objected, I would not convert. Thankfully, he came around and has been supportive. It was a gradual process though.

Don’t lose hope. I continue to attend my family’s church on a regular basis. Even though yours is anti-catholic, it might be good to continue going in solidarity with your family. If the pastor says something anti-catholic from the pulpit, it could be an opportunity to open a discussion with your wife and / or kids about how you feel. And invite them to share how THEY feel.


It took my husband nearly 20 years to decide to convert…at times I was impatient but tried to let the Holy Spirit guide him. It worked! He is now very devout. Do lots of praying! !!

For a good many Protestants, being anti-Catholic is a deep-rooted part of their faith, even if they cannot articulate why.

I don’t know that this article, which I also posted in a different thread, will help you to explain your faith to your children, but perhaps it will help you to understand why your wife has such a strong anti-Catholic bias:

Catholicism Under Attack (written in 2000)

I will pray for you and your family.

Thank you Quite52. This article actually does help explain a lot about mine and my wife’s upbringing. Additionally, for those who mentioned Scott Hahn’s book, I will download a sample tonight on my Kindle. These are all very good things to think about, and I plan to handle my wife’s conserns with the utmost care.

These comments bring me to another question: If I attend the Satruday night mass, is it ok for me to attend a protestant church with my wife and kids on Sunday morning? I would not participate in the communion service, and I would not plan on doing this for a long period of time. My goal would be to ease the transition with my family, and hopfully ease my wife’s reservations. I would intend to invite my wife to mass a few times, too, during this period all in an effort to alleviate her anxieties. During this period, I will pray, pray, pray the Holy Spirit works powerfully through her to bring her into a like-minded understanding of what brought me to the Catholic Church.

It would be good to talk to a priest to be sure, but in general, yes, that would be okay. I’ve even known priests to recommend it as it does help “soften the blow”, so to speak.

I know a wonderful convert (former pastor) who did the dual service thing for probably close to 20 years before his wife finally came into the Catholic Church.

I had these same concerns when I began to inquire about being received into the Church. My priest suggested that it would be important for me to continue attending Episcopal services with my children so that they didn’t feel abandoned by my conversion. It has helped them A LOT. It has been a challenge for me, but definitely worth it.

I never even thought of that, but that’s a great point. I can see how it would be hard for a child to understand what is going on and easy to blame the Catholic Church for causing such a change in the family routine.

A hearty ‘Thank You’ goes out to those who suggested Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s book, Rome Sweet Home. I just finished reading this book this morning. I see numerous similarities between the Hahn’s and my experience. I’m will not claim I’m even close to Scott’s level of understanding of the harmony of Catholic theology and the Bible; however, what harmony I have discovered created the same draw to the true Church of Christ that Scott descibes in this book. Additionally, the reluctance of Kimberly and her dogged oposition to even consider the possibility of Catholic teaching is exactly what I’ve experence with my wife.

I praise God that my wife has mellowed, albeit a very tiny bit, after seeing my measured, but unyeilding intention to continue down this path toward reconcilliation with the one true Church established by Christ and His Apostles. She has begun talking with me about the ramifications this decision will have with my parents and her parents in a less combative tone. She even asked the name of this book I just finished! The most surprising shift of circumstances just this week: she agreed to attend mass maybe once or twice only if I would continue to attend a protestant church service with her and the kids.

It would be really cool if I had an occation to write a concusion to this forum thread next Easter, wouldn’t it?


That would be sweet, however I would suggest to be patient and keep praying the Holy Spirit to help you.

Will pray for you :thumbsup:

Whatever you do, don’t preach! A friend spent years trying to convert her husband (lifelong athiest). She finally got the message to shut up & just pray for him. Within a year he was attending Mass regularly with the family & joined the Church.

My dad was another athiest who wouldn’t go to churth. Mom (a Protestant) didn’t bug him. One day as she was leaving for church (this was after I left home) he came running out of the house saying, “Wait for me!” He was baptised within a few months and rarely missed a Sunday until Mom was too ill to go.

Both, before their deaths, were so close to what the Catholic Church teaches. They just couldn’t make that final step.

On prayer: The rosary with the meditation of mystery.

I cannot tell you enough how much Mother Mary has been so wonderful for my family. My husband converted to Catholic. I did also a one week fast.

I started to commit to once a week only and gradually i did this prayer everyday.

Blessings and love

That’s great! Keep praying. :thumbsup:

Well, it appears my story took another turn on this roller coaster of entering the church. Seeing my continued intentions of joining by meeting with someone from our local parish earlier this week, my wife is growing increasingly more vocal about her oposition. Any time the topic is raised, she is the one who brings it up, I do not dare initiate a discussion. I’m praying and waiting as the Holy Spirit works on her. I’ve called up Mary and all the Saints who will hear my plea to pray for her as well.

This morning, her exact words were, “I honestly think the Catholic church is so off base they are going to hell. I know you believe you are right, but I just as much believe you are wrong. I wouldn’t have married had I know this was comming.” We are currently on birth control, and have discussed getting off due to Catholic teaching. She desparately wants more kids, but told me on another occasion that she believes Satan is using her desire to have more kids to get her to be ok with me joining the Catholic church.

I love her very much, and sooo want her to look into what the Catholic church teaches, but she refuses. I’ve told her to lean on me, I won’t let her down, I love her too much to allow anything bad to happen to her our our kids. I’m still confounded by her absolute reluctance. She mentioned this whole idea would be easier if her parents were passed away, which make me think her refusal is rooted in how negatively her parents will react to the news. Our daughter is begining to ask questions about spiritual matters, but my wife will not suggest talking to me about them becuase she feels I’m unstable and lost my right to be the spiritual head of our household.

Oh, I can’t tell you how much this hurts to hear her say these things. I just don’t know what to do. I know these comments will only intensify as I get closer to my first RCIA class. Should I wait until she comes around? Should I wait indefinately? Can God see my desire to join and my wife’s opposition? I don’t think she’s being beligerent; I truely believe she is trying to save my soul. This morning, I am truely at a loss. It seems that both of us are hurting to see the other’s lack in judgement. What a paradox.

I’m not sure what advise to ask other than prayers. I know the Holy Spirit can do mind-blowing things. I also know God allows each to make thier own decisions. Perhaps I should start praying not only for her, but for each of our parents as well.