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Anyone ever convert without your spouse?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by TKA_TN, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    I've been a lurker and occasional poster here in OBOB. I'm currently a LCMS Lutheran, but the more I study the early church, the more I realize the Catholic Church fits that. I looked East for a little while, but there are growing schisms there.

    All that said, I think I'm ready to take the swim across the Tiber. I've flirted with this in the past and my wife was having none of it. She said she wouldn't go to Mass, our children would not be Catholic, etc. She is a wonderful, Godly woman, but when it comes to matters of theology, she takes the "everything has been corrupted throughout history, I do what Jesus tells us to to in the Scriptures and guess we'll know the answers when we get to heaven," approach.

    Has anybody here converted without their spouse? And yes, I've read Rome Sweet Rome but I just can't see my wife coming around like Kimberly did. I'm thinking of reaching out to the priest at the parish I would attend to seek his guidance, but wanted to know if anyone here has any advice as well.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. Anhelyna

    Anhelyna Handmaid of God CF Senior Ambassador Supporter

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    I did - many many years ago - and for me it wasn't a problem
     
  3. Fenwick

    Fenwick ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    Hey man, I can relate to the tough position you're in. Unfortunately I don't personally have a success story to encourage you with. I'm about your age, and I started searching for the Church back in 2006. I met and married my wife in 2009, and shifted my search into high gear around 2011. After looking East like you did, I turned my attention to Rome around 2012-2013. My wife and I were raised evangelical, my wife in particular was pentecostal. Like your wife, she had no intention of ever being Catholic (or Orthodox), and things reached a peak when I told her I intended to join a liturgical Church. My conviction was that deep. She had been regarding my entire search as some kind of childish phase I was going through (which was insulting to me) and when she realized how committed I was to finding Christ and His Church, she lost it.

    She asked me for a divorce that same day.

    There were other significant issues as well but our inability to agree on church was one of our biggest. The divorce set me back a while in my search and it would be another 18 months after my divorce finalized that I started RCIA, but I got there nonetheless.

    I don't say this to discourage you from seeking the Church, I just want you to understand what kind of water you may wading into. Your experience may turn out completely different from my own, Our Lord may reach into your wife's heart and she may make a complete reversal. I want to say to handle it as delicately as possible but never relent on, or let go of, the truth.
     
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  4. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    Thank you for the response. I'm sorry you've been through what you've been through. My FIL was born and raised Catholic and left the church when they wouldn't let him and my MIL get married in the Catholic church since she wasn't Catholic. Truth be told, he still wants to be Catholic but for the sake of his family, he hasn't gone back. That said, I'd think she'd be more sympathetic since her father has such a fondness.

    There's almost a hostility towards it when I bring it up around her. She doesn't want the kids to be Catholic, fine. I even said I would go to Mass either Saturday night or early Sunday morning, and we can still go to the church we've been attending as a family, but that doesn't fly.
     
  5. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    When I converted my mother and father in law we’re leaving the Church. It did not cause problems though.
     
  6. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    That's great; I'd also have to deal with flack from my own family, too if I convert. I know marriage isn't about doing just what you want to do and we are supposed to be united, but I've honestly never felt the Spirit moving me in a direction so strongly like I do now, and have in the past. I can't get my wife to understand that.
     
  7. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    Well you both have accepted Jesus and believe in God and live the Christian life. That’s your foundation. If you strongly believe God wants you in the Catholic Church, you are going to have to follow that lead. Marriage is give and take. Maybe it’s just time to trust God. I know it’s tough, I’ve been there. I think maybe making an appointment with a priest would help you tremulously.
     
  8. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    I'm not trying to talk you out of anything. But a convert sometimes has a hard time of it. I'm a convert and the only other one in the family is my aunt. Luckily, she converted a while before I did. Otherwise, I would've had an even harder time from some of my immediate family members. But the way that it is right now, those family members can't be too hard on me without stirring up trouble with my aunt too. So I've got some cover there.

    As for my marriage, it's good. My wife is basically okay with me being Catholic and with ME raising our daughter as Catholic. But she's made it pretty clear that she won't be joining me. I don't know how long that will last but she's pretty set on it right now.

    In the end, we're called to follow Our Lord at any cost. The most I have to deal with is an apathetic wife and the occasional passive-aggression from other family members. A lot of people have it much worse when they join the Church. So I'm not complaining.

    To be clear, I love my family and they love me. Some of them don't like the Catholic thing but we're still family. My conversion has been an annoyance to some but it's not a deal-breaker to anybody.

    But converting brings challenges sometimes. It's like anything. Count the cost.

    Because there's always a cost.
     
  9. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    Thank you. Yes, always a cost. And honestly, I've not faced much adversity in the life for our Lord, so if this is a way for me to show my love for Him above all else, then I will take the next step in faith.

    Do you ever attend church with your wife? Does she attend Mass with you and your daughter?
     
  10. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    Not really. She was a good sport about getting married in the Catholic Church. It ended up being more convenient for us anyway. So it worked out.

    When I was welcomed into the Church (before we got married), she attended because none of my other family was there. So the last thing I want is to give the impression that she's a stick in the mud.

    But she has attended exactly one Mass with me (because the Church insisted on it). Otherwise, no.

    My daughter is still a few months away. But when the time comes, I doubt she'll attend Mass with us. I probably won't bring my daughter to Mass until she's closer to toddler age anyway.
     
  11. Fenwick

    Fenwick ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    In my experience, hostility almost always comes from a misunderstanding of what the Church says about something. I'm not sure if her case has to do with her parents marriage in relation to the Church, or if there was something else along the way that she was misinformed about and that just festered into what it is now, but chances are her attitude could likely be due something she thinks is true about the Church but isn't.

    I'd be curious to see what a priest would tell you, because nobody would want your marriage to be harmed but conversion is also important and necessary, and your wife seems kind of out of line here in the way she's trying to control you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2020
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  12. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    Very much this.

    I once talked to somebody who believed that only men could be canonized as saints by the Church. I told this person the truth. And to their credit, they stopped repeating nonsense like this.

    Another time, someone said that the Church is only pro-life because they want women to be "baby factories". I asked "Even if that's true, so what?" and then said "But it's not true because the Church opposes IVF".

    If the Catholic Church truly was what someone wrongly believe it to be, I wouldn't recommend joining it either.
     
  13. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    There is a lot of misunderstanding. However, it's not so much a control thing as it is a fear of being a split church family. When I've mentioned this in the past she's said "you do it, but we aren't going with you."

    I've tried to correct things she's misunderstood, but she won't hear it. She repeats CARM (sorry for mentioning another site) talking points to me about how the RCC is the Antichrist.
     
  14. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    Typically, I have a lot of respect for converts from anything to something else. I respect anybody with the honesty to change their stance in the face of new information.

    But this is one of the bad aspects of being a convert: You're occasionally faced with people who could ask you questions any time they want instead choosing to go on the attack.

    It's unfortunate and completely unnecessary.
     
  15. Fenwick

    Fenwick ☩ Broman Catholic ☩

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    I'm sorry to hear that, it's a very frustrating thing. Especially when the person isn't open to discussion on the subject. If you're able to proceed there may come a time in the future when she relents and her curiosity piques. One of my friends that I met in RCIA was a guy who seemed pretty obstinately against conversion when he married. By the time he joined he had a daughter and another on the way and he just felt that he wanted to share in his family's faith. So maybe your wife could end up as a similar story? We hope and we pray.
     
  16. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    I’m hoping that’s the case.
     
  17. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we were married, we were both Protestant. But I later felt this push to join the Catholic Church. My old Presbyterian pastor predicted I'd become Catholic even before I'd met my future wife if I have the timing right, or around about the same time.

    I don't think she liked it much at the time, but I was sticking to my guns. She accepts it now, and goes with me on Saint Vincent de Paul cases, but doesn't go to mass, except on very rare occasions. I think her mother was more concerned, but she's since died, and would now know first hand whether I made the right decision or not. In fact I think she might have received an unpleasant shock about how God regards the continued disobedient division of HIS church by sinful men, the church the Son of God established at the cost of His own crucifixion.

    I don't think God is as easy going about it as we are with our sinful natures, living in a world of war, murder, rape, domestic violence, theft, corruption, abortion, etc. etc. We shrug it off as "just one more of those things" - I don't think He does.

    I'm convinced I did make the right decision, and I'm right where God wants me to be (even if I'm not always behaving how God wants me to behave).

    The same pastor who predicted I'd become Catholic turned up in a brief vision sometime after I'd converted (he died himself in 1992) and said "The Catholic Church is closest to the truth" with a distinct emphasis on the word "closest". Then he disappeared again.

    He's turned up in visionary form a few times since he died, makes a brief announcement or gives a warning, and then disappears again. He doesn't stick around to chew the fat.

    As far as I'm concerned, I moved "closest" to the truth by becoming Catholic.

    Having two faiths and attending two different churches does make it a bit difficult at times, but them's the breaks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2020
  18. TKA_TN

    TKA_TN Member

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    Great testimony. Dreams are funny like that. I had one about a year ago where I was in a large crowd and Pope Francis sought me out to give me a hug. Have had others where I'm in the Parish I'll be attending and my father (passed away 2010) is there. He doesn't say anything in those dreams, but find it odd he'd be there.

    I've never felt settled at any church I've been a part of. Grew up Presbyterian, went Non-denom for a while and have been Lutheran for the last 2+ years. I never feel unsettled when I'm in a Catholic church. I feel peace.
     
  19. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, if you had a dream or vision in which "Pope Francis sought me out to give me a hug", I'd say you were being given a definite hint about the Catholic Church.

    As for dreams in church, the real thing is also possible. I go to a Catholic psychiatrist once every few months, mainly because we both have similar spiritual experiences. I don't really need to go, although at one stage I was getting treatment for depression.

    I think it would have been about two years ago when he said "Something strange happened in church last week." I asked him what it was.

    He was attending a certain Catholic Church not far from where he lives when they announced that one of the parishioners had died that morning. But she'd also been one of his clients.

    He said "She was in the church." She seemed to be trying to get his attention, but gave up after while and moved across to the other side of the church. He thought she might have had family on that side. He lost track of her after that. The point was the deceased was in the church, spiritually.

    I think the episodes with the pastor were visions and not dreams. For one thing I don't remember dreams. Secondly they were straight to the point. If I do have a dream, it's rubbish, the equivalent of mental gibberish - some weird story line which leads nowhere. But if I have a vision, it is very direct eg. "The Catholic Church is closest to the truth" (and others).
     
  20. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    Who are the ‘others’?
     
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