Trials in being married to a Non-Catholic

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I am just curious of others that are in my shoes in regards to being married to a non-Catholic. My husband and I have been married for 7 yrs. this fall. We have two beautiful little girls. We have a good solid marriage, but we don’t have that connection of Christ in our marriage. I find this very hard to accept, though I must… There is an unbearable lonelieness that I deal with every day of my life. Does anyone one else expierence this in there marriage?

I know I must be patient and trusting in God’s will on this matter, but there are some days I feel like I can’t cope or carry on by myself anymore… I need some encouragement and hope from others who expierence this in there marriage…

If I could also make a request for prayers on this matter, I would be most greatful for them. Thank you and God Bless…


I, too, have experienced that loneliness, especially when I sit alone and pray. But, I thank God for this cross, and place it at His feet every Sunday. I cuts my heart to watch all others receive communion while I stay in the pew to be by her side, but I give that to Jesus, too. A little poem by St. Teresa de Lisieux helps me when I’m really down:

Everything is grace.
Everything is the direct effect of our Father’s love.
Everything is grace because–everything is God’s gift.
No matter the character of life or its unexpected events
To the heart that loves, all is well.

My fiance gave me a book called “Covenant Marriage” by Gary Chapman. He is a Protestant author, but once you get beyond his Baptist theology in the first five chapters, you really start to get into some profound insights into good communication and how to express your love.

Blessings in Christ,
I am not married yet…but I may be in a similar position someday since I have a (serious) Protestant girlfriend.

I am reading an awesome book right now called “Search and Rescue” by Patrick Madrid. I would strongly recommend giving it a shot…it gives some fantastic insights about how to bring someone to the Catholic faith (opposed to a book that gives you plenty of material to back up Catholic beliefs, but no advice on how to share them).

Otherwise, continue to pray for your spouse to come home to the Church every single day. Remember St. Augustine’s mother and the amazing power of conversion that her prayers had…God answered her prayers and he became one of the greatest saints ever!

I hope this helps. Good luck and God Bless.
Tanya have faith in Jesus, my wife was Lutheran and I was Catholic. We attended Engaged Encounter and the weekend
was the starting point for her eventual conversion. The Catholic
faith has so much to offer. It takes hold day by day by example,
prayer and daily mass.

We just came to the conclusion that for the girls sake one of us had to change. I had an open mind and we tried attending (but not participating) Lutheran activities and ceremonies. Did not work for me, but I tried and was patient. My wife attended Catholic mass with me and began to see that the popular myths she had heard about the Catholic Church were quite wrong.
So she attended RCIA (while she was pregnant with our first child), liked what she heard and converted.
She is a now a strong Catholic.

I hope our story helps and may God Bless,

Hi Tanya,

Another helpful book is When Only One Converts, edited by Lynn Nordhagen. Fifteen couples share their stories.

God bless!

I cuts my heart to watch all others receive communion while I stay in the pew to be by her side, but I give that to Jesus, too.
Excuse me if I’m missing something, but why would you not receive communion by yourself? Perhaps you’re not able to for some reason, but if there’s no barrier to receiving, it would be a good example to your fiance. You know how they say to always put the oxygen mask on yourself first so you can help others . . .if you’re receiving grace from the eucharist, you can help her more.
One thing we who marry outside the faith must remember is that you can’t enter into a marriage with the expectation of religious unity. There are reasons why mixed marriages are discouraged and religious disunity is a definite one. I too realize the full frustration of disunity but the only thing you can do is pray that your spouse know Jesus(even if she nevers becomes Catholic) and live your faith and set a good example.

I have found trying to argue John 6 gets me no where and kneeling on the floor during the consecration when we are not in the pew makes me look like a loony tune to her, it does not inspire or awe her. Others may have different examples. It depends on your spouse and what intrigues or infuriates them.

Practice your faith as strongly as you can but remember that while there is no salvation outside the Church you are an extra link to that Church for her by the nature of your marriage. This is a great example where we hope for those your are not catholic to be saved? If they convert great but what if they don’t? Hopefully the Spirit will bring them home.

I understand what you are going through. My husband of 4 years is not catholic. We are always studying, almost every day, but it is such a trial. It is as though we have a great secular marriage, but of course that is not enough. We are lacking that whole aspect of truly sharing Christ with each other.
A sacramental marriage is a sacramental marriage, but it is difficult to have to “censor” religious things. For example, if the non-catholic spouse is bothered by statues, medals, etc. In my situation, my husband was influenced into less “tolerance” of catholic things by the new church he joined within his religion. His new fellow church members are pretty anti-catholic and it rubs off on my husband.

I’m rambling, just letting you know that you definitely have my prayers!!! Not only to strengthen the marriage, but also to fend off temptations of “what if’s”, for example, “What if I had married a catholic man? Would I be happier? etc” Those temptations, I’ve found, are harmful to say the least.

Also remember that we are not the Holy Spirit, and sometimes, trying to convert the other spouse produces hurt and distrust. Always remember that you have every right to fully practice your faith. With-holding witnessing our faith is not going to help anyone. I encourage you to draw strength from the Rosary and the Eucharist.

When my husband and I married 19 years ago, we were both nominal in our respective faiths - his Lutheran and mine Catholic.

We married in the Catholic Church and raised our sons Catholic. He felt comfortable leaving the teaching role up to me.

When I eventually made my way fully back to the Church about 12 years ago, I invited him to attend with us. Sometimes he would go and sometimes he wouldn’t. I refrained from showing disappointment when he didn’t (not easy for me who wears her heart on her sleeve.)

I would share my desire for him to convert with a few people and everyone told me to pray. Sometimes we are such control freaks, we just want to do something more “useful” (and forget or don’t realize how praying is the most useful). He eventually went along to church more often and then regularly. He was confirmed almost 3 years ago after taking classes with our priest.

Even though he is confirmed and made the decision on his own, he appears to be somewhat lukewarm (from my perspective). He’s not usually very open about such personal subjects and may feel somewhat uncomfortable in his new role as a Catholic along side his cradle Catholic wife. For this reason I try not to go overboard with making our home appear too “Catholic” with pictures and statues, etc. We pray together occasionally but I can tell he feels uncomfortable and would prefer he initiate it. I read lots of Catholic material and pray the rosary silently. I know he prays and has a strong faith but it is more internal and I have to be careful I don’t overwhelm him.

Remember that you can’t convert your husband, but God can. So I will pass on the same advise I received - pray for his conversion. By the way, my mom (who is Catholic) married my dad who is of no religion. They have been happily married for 42 years and I’m sure my mom continues to pray for his conversion. She’s a better example than I am so it’s not the person but how God chooses to answer the prayer.

God bless,
…He felt comfortable leaving the teaching role up to me…

…Even though he is confirmed and made the decision on his own, he appears to be somewhat lukewarm (from my perspective)…For this reason I try not to go overboard with making our home appear too “Catholic” with pictures and statues, etc. We pray together occasionally…and pray the rosary silently. I know he prays and has a strong faith but it is more internal and I have to be careful I don’t overwhelm him…

…Remember that you can’t convert your husband, but God can…pray for his conversion.
DenRat, I have a very similar situation to yours: but the roles are reversed. I have had a very solid Catholic background, so my wife (a former Jehovah Witness) also feels more comfortable leaving the teaching role to me. She also is confirmed and made the decision on her own to join the Catholic faith. I also try not to go overboard, but I have no reservations about making our home look “Catholic” with pictures/statues etc. I underastand every situation is different however. We don’t pray together all that often although we do pray together every night at dinner time. I also pray the rosary silently. I plan to teach my children the benefits of praying the rosary. My wife also has a very strong faith in someways moreso than I. In other ways I am moreso than she. As time goes on, I hope we can grow together in this regard (I’ve seen progress over our seven years of marriage). I am careful not to overwhelm her (she too is internal with her faith). She does come to understand more as I try to explain or get information on various aspects of the faith.

I’ll be praying for you too AHMFan. Take care and God bless you.🙂
Thank you all for sharing you stories and inspiring words of comfort with me. Sarah and Denise, boy… Your stories really hit home with me… Thank you all… I will always continue to pray for his conversion and that I will trust in God completely and give my worries and hopeless feelings to him… There are those days when I need extra encouragement though, especiall after a hard time last Sunday at mass and the kids… (those are times that can push me too hard…)

Thank you all again and God Bless each and everyone of you and your fiance’s and spouses…

You are in my prayers as well,

I’m a little late in posting but I just found this thread. I’ve been married to a wonderful Jewish man for 31 years. At the time we married, neither of us were practicing our faith. I returned to the Church about 15 years ago.

Very long story short - eventually our children were brought into the Church (their choice) - my husband attended RCIA, but only to learn more and decided not to convert. I believe it was because he didn’t want to hurt his parents. Of course I was very disappointed, but didn’t try to lay a guilt trip on him.

One Easter at Mass at the renewal of our baptismal vows, I heard him answer “I do” through it all. What a joy that was…

He attends Mass with me very frequently - I pray my daily rosary for his conversion - but I, too, sometimes wish that we could share the faith and marvel at what an incredible depth it would bring to my marriage. But mostly, I thank God for the gift of my dear husband in my life all these years and trust His plan is perfect for him, as well…

God Bless and keep the faith!
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