My now BUDDHIST husband- I need advice

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jcr

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I am Catholic, and my husband has become a Buddhist. He has never been a Catholic. He was agnostic when we married(in the Catholic Church), then became a unitarian, and is now a Buddhist. He is very excited and passionate about his new found faith, and he cannot understand why I am not happy for him. I am trying to accept this situation that I do not like, but I’m don’t know how to be HAPPY about it! My husband says that he doesn’t understand how I can love him, and not be interested in what he is learning. He says that he is happy for me in my religion, and that I should feel the same way for him.

Our religious differences cause HUGE problems in our marriage. He is already away from home alot with his “sangha” friends(men and women that I don’t know whom he calls his family). This is very upsetting to me.

I am very sad that my husband is not Catholic. Like many young people that marry outside of their faith, I did not realize the damage it would do to my marriage and my children. I am learning the hard way.

I have tried my best to raise my children as Catholics. But as all of you in interfaith homes know, it is not an ideal situation.

I need advice because I am afraid that this issue will further weaken(and maybe destroy) my marriage. I do not know how to deal with this-- what I should try to do and what not to do…

Thanks for any advice…
 
One might ask what Buddhism is, what it teaches, and how its adherents behave. The best source of information is Buddhists. Just as one would investigate Catholicism by looking to Catholic rather than Hindu sources, one should investigate Buddhism by looking at Buddhist sources rather than Christian sources.

Some movements are problems because of what they teach. Others are seen as problems because of what they don’t teach. That is an important distinction, and one which a person should determine through their own investigation.

My experience with Buddhists has been very positive.
 
I am sorry this is going on in your life; it is making you very unhappy. Please continue to take your children to mass, and pray for your husband every day. It would be good to say a rosary daily for the intention that he will understand the truth.

It could be worse - Buddhism, as I have seen it practiced, is relatively harmless, consisting primarily of silent meditation. Buddhism is not really a religion, as they take no position on the existence of God, but they do have a moral code which, if followed, would make one a kind and gentle person.
 
I should have mentioned that I do understand that Buddhist practices are not harmful in and of themselves- but how do I deal with a lifestyle that does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God? My husband wants me to read a book titled Living Buddha, Living Christ. Just the order and prominence of the title disturbs me!

I suppose it would be easier without children…
 
My husband says that he doesn’t believe in hell, or heaven. He only believes in living the moment.
 
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jcr:
My husband says that he doesn’t believe in hell, or heaven. He only believes in living the moment.
Then he’s claiming to be Buddhist just because it “looks cool.” Buddhism does believe in Hell, and some rather nasty ones for that matter.
 
I found a review of that book (see below) and it doesn’t sound too bad. I would make a deal with him: I’ll read the book, if you’ll attend mass with me and the children. After all, he claims he’s interested in exploring “the best within Buddhism and Christianity”!

In “Living Buddha, Living Christ” Thich Nhat Hanh, the prolific Buddhist teacher and practitioner of nonviolence, considers the seeds of love, understanding, compassion, and personal transformation which have grown into the flowers of Buddhism and Christianity. He believes that the enlightenment of the Buddha and the lovingkindness of Christ are kept alive when each of us dwells in the moment. “To take good care of yourself and to take good care of living beings and of the environment is the best way to love God.”

Thich Nhat Hanh looks deeply at mindfulness, presence, gratitude, touching our ancestors, and other practices which are the jewels of these two spiritual traditions. Living Buddha, Living Christ is a masterwork that builds bridges by celebrating the best within Buddhism and Christianity.
 
My husband has attended mass with me in the past(in spurts, and always because I persuaded him to do it for me and the children). He even went through RCIA many years ago, and decided it was not for him.

I understand the commonality of Buddhism and Catholicism. My difficulty is in the fact that Buddhism stops short of the truth.

I do not want my children disconnecting from God and the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Therefore, my husband’s disconnection is a major problem for me. He is not quiet about how he feels, and he says that I have no right to ask him to be quiet. He has Buddhist material and symbols in the house. He does yoga, meditates, and goes away(without me of course) to training sessions.

I am trying to find a way to be happy for him. I can’t seem to do that.
 
He is still your husband, and the more you can love him unconditionally, the more chance that he may finally see the value of your faith.

You certainly have a duty to share your faith, but if he has attended Mass and even attended RCIA, at some point you need to hand it over to the Holy Spirit and simply pray. Offer all your Masses to his conversion. St. Monica worked on God for 30 years before Augustine converted. He didn’t turn out too bad!

I would be open to talking with him about his faith, with the understanding that you are not searching anymore. There are kernels of truth in all faiths, and you do not have to be afraid to acknowldege those kernels, as long as he is open to you respectfully addressing areas of disagreement. If any conversation becomes heated in the least, immediately stop it. Blame yourself, not him - even if it’s his fault!

Really ask for his support in raising the kids Catholic, at least in the respect that he will not denounce the faith in front of them. In return, be willing to read some of his books and discuss with him. Like it or not, this is part of who he is at the moment. Again, make it clear that you wish to learn more about what he is doing, but you have no interest in becoming Buddhist yourself. The more you know about it, the more you can discuss with him, and hopefully this will eventually lead you to be able to note things that gets him questioning.

Lean on God always, and just love your husband. To be honest, if he was agnostic and is now Buddhist, it does show that he is searching for something. Encourage the search, and welcome any changes in him that make him a better husband, and find ways to get him to understand that taking that next step of recognizing God will bring him even more peace.
 
My oldest daughter is 19, and she has not been to Mass for almost 2 years. My husband gives her books to read on meditation from a Buddhist perspective. I can’t help but resent this! He has never understood why I believe that his being non-Catholic may weaken their faith. He just thinks they need to know who their father is, and if they leave the church, then that is what is right for them.
 
I recommend daily rosary, and Novena’s are great…

heck, what do you have to loose… 👍
 
To JCR

I have a husband like that. He is a real flake. Has been through multiple religions before finally landing in Buddhism. What I dislike about the “practice” is that it is very self centered. It is all focused on the self, and there is no community outreach, no attempt to engage in social services. He goes on these silent retreats where there is no communication, no support system. It is totally about the EGO.

So are the homeless, diseased and starving supposed to meditate and detach themselves from their suffering? Try telling that to Obama.

Take my advice and get out while you can and take the kids with you.
 
To JCR

I have a husband like that. He is a real flake. Has been through multiple religions before finally landing in Buddhism. What I dislike about the “practice” is that it is very self centered. It is all focused on the self, and there is no community outreach, no attempt to engage in social services. He goes on these silent retreats where there is no communication, no support system. It is totally about the EGO.

So are the homeless, diseased and starving supposed to meditate and detach themselves from their suffering? Try telling that to Obama.

Take my advice and get out while you can and take the kids with you.
Could you make a new thread (I suggest Family Life Forums)? The reason is that as a matter of site policy, older threads like these are locked when revived. This thread appears to be 10 years old.

:thankyou:
 
Could you make a new thread (I suggest Family Life Forums)? The reason is that as a matter of site policy, older threads like these are locked when revived. This thread appears to be 10 years old.

:thankyou:
Wow 10 years! I kinda wish there was a follow up to this. What happened? Did her husband become Catholic? Did she become Buddhist? Did they both become Sikh?

Her last post was in 2005. I need closure! Now I’m gonna be wondering about this all day! :confused:
 
Wow 10 years! I kinda wish there was a follow up to this. What happened? Did her husband become Catholic? Did she become Buddhist? Did they both become Sikh?

Her last post was in 2005. I need closure! Now I’m gonna be wondering about this all day! :confused:
Well, it’s not unusual for this to happen in forum posting.
 
To JCR

I have a husband like that. He is a real flake. Has been through multiple religions before finally landing in Buddhism. What I dislike about the “practice” is that it is very self centered. It is all focused on the self, and there is no community outreach, no attempt to engage in social services. He goes on these silent retreats where there is no communication, no support system. It is totally about the EGO.

So are the homeless, diseased and starving supposed to meditate and detach themselves from their suffering? Try telling that to Obama.

Take my advice and get out while you can and take the kids with you.
It’s pretty much the exact opposite. It’s about loss of the ego.

There are a lot of great Buddhist teachings that help with stress, anxiety, being a better person, being less concerned with material items, acceptance of suffering as a part of life, etc. I’ve been reading some Buddhist texts, and I think they’re making me a better person who is more concerned with the suffering of others. I now try to focus less on my perceived problems and more about what others are experiencing (and also how I can help others.)

I’m not trying to convert anyone, as I’m not even well versed enough to call myself a Buddhist, but I don’t think it’s fair to come in and bash a religion with complete falsehoods.

To the OP: If you want your husband to respect to your religion, then you should respect his. If you take the children to Catholic mass, then he should be able to expose them to his Buddhist beliefs. It’s rather arrogant to feel like Catholicism is so much better that your husbands beliefs shouldn’t be taken seriously.
 
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