Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
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16-05-2014, 02:13 AM
Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
Hello,

My name is Matt, I was wondering if anyone had advice for me. I've been married with my wife for about 2 and half years and it's going bad quickly. We have two kids and my unbelief has made it so that she wants to divorce me, I've begged her to stay because of the kids but has told me that she's doing it under hostage. We have been fighting recently and it got out of hand when the topic of religion came up. I got tired of being kicked around emotionally and let her have it because it's so unfair that she won't listen to my opinion but I have to always hear hers. She also wants to raise our kids Catholic and I am not okay with that without teaching them the reasons why I don't believe, hopefully letting them make up their own minds. My oldest has already taken Communion and my 16th month year old has already been baptized, so as you can see I've already lost many battles just to keep the peace. I honestly don't care if she raises them Catholic but without the pretext that they are living with the enemy under their own roof. That my thoughts are that of evil and that logic and science are unfounded. I give rational reasons why I don't believe that doesn't help. I am truly alone because I gave up my home in the states to move out here in Spain to be with them and now that's going to be taken away from me. I have nowhere else to turn to. The people in our circle of friends are all believers and clergy. I fear I am doomed. Please if anyone has some advice to keep me from loosing everything then I am open to suggestion. Thank you in advance.
ExPat_Matt
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16-05-2014, 04:29 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
(16-05-2014 02:13 AM)ExPat_Matt Wrote:  Hello,

I got tired of being kicked around emotionally and let her have it because it's so unfair that she won't listen to my opinion but I have to always hear

Could you please explain that part?


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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16-05-2014, 05:46 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
She was telling me horrible things and I started to say her religion is bullshit. I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that I don't want to imply that there was any violence. I am not a violent person. Jeez I should have made that clear. I was angry and yelled at her that what was wrong with was her faith and that her love for the church outweighs her love for me and her kids. She calls me an enemy sleeping in the same bed. Sorry for any misunderstanding.
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16-05-2014, 06:06 AM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2014 06:10 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
I've not long ago read the thread here about the pregnant lady in Sudan who is facing the death penalty for apostasy!

I couldn't help thinking... why be a martyr for such a ridiculous cause? But then, y'know, if there is something that one so passionately believes in ... ? And I wonder how far I would compromise my atheism?
Would I, for example, if I was in one of the hyper-religious regions where I often do some work, pretend I was a muslim / denounce my atheism? I think I would not. Indeed, I have not. I have openly stated in Indonesia, for example, that I do not believe that twaddle... a few gasps and that's all.
But in a life threatening situation, would I shut up and let them believe I was a muslim, by default? Very possibly.

And there have been many, many conversations here on TTA in the past with young people who want to tell their parents about their lost belief because staying in the closet feels dishonest and lonely and hopeless.

My advice is more often than not... do a risk assessment and if the costs strongly outweigh the benefits stay silent and wait until you are financially independent.

So I think I would have to give the same advice to you...

Faking a Saul/Damascus Road experience to save your marriage at the risk of your integrity / sanity.

Only you can decide if it's a good trade.

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16-05-2014, 06:25 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
Hey Matt. I too am married to a very catholic woman. My situation is a bit different than yours. I am a post marriage catholic deconvert. Things with my wife get tense from time to time, but not the the point where she wants to get divorced. Granted I have not told her I am an athiest, but considering I flat out refuse to participate in any religious stuff and shoot down most catholic doctrine I think she knows.

If there other stuff going on in your marriage? Your religious differences could be an excuse for the real issues. Were you an athiest before you were married? Did she know? If you answer yes to both of those I think sitting down and reminding her of that and that you have not changed (or have you?). Keep it civil if at all possible.
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16-05-2014, 06:45 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
At first she was the one that wasn't religious and I was back and forth on the issue. I was a luke warm Catholic but always had my questions and was always met with you just don't have enough faith. We broke up shortly after visiting her in Spain the first time, she was pregnant at the time and told me she had an abortion and I was done with her. I got angry and lost my faith, but it was all a lie. For five years she kept my daughter from me never saying a word. She called me up one day and told me and I thought I would do the nobel thing and father my child as she was my dream girl. We got back together after a hard process. I move out here and then things were good but it was tough learning how to live together. Then she found faith and when she did I told her this is going to kill our relationship. I needed to work and support my kid and we had to get married so I could work legally. The church was the only solution, and played along hoping that maybe something would click. But it never did. We just came to an agreement that we wouldn't talk about it and it just never lasts.
So as one can see we've had struggled through out our entire relationship. She's got a horrible temper and when she gets angry she tells me everything she hates about me and my family. And it can be for the smallest of things. I begged and pleaded with her to go to therapy with me but she won't because it's not religious and therefore will contradict with her beliefs. I've refused to go to church but some real tragedy in our lives had me sitting on the fence of what was happening. I truly love this woman, when she's not acting irrational she's a loving and caring mother and wife. But she's got a dark side that I thought we could work on together to fix. She's just trying to pray it away and make excuses.
Man I feel horrible for airing out my dirty laundry but I haven't really told anyone the extend of our relationship to total strangers. I feel like I am betraying her and her trust but I have to get this out, like cancer, it needs to go. I can only think of the Hitchens book God is not Great, and the line how religion poisons everything. These words ring so loud in my mind right now.
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16-05-2014, 06:45 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
(16-05-2014 05:46 AM)ExPat_Matt Wrote:  She was telling me horrible things and I started to say her religion is bullshit. I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that I don't want to imply that there was any violence. I am not a violent person. Jeez I should have made that clear. I was angry and yelled at her that what was wrong with was her faith and that her love for the church outweighs her love for me and her kids. She calls me an enemy sleeping in the same bed. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

Glad to hear. I didn't want to jump to any conclusions, figured it was best to ask first.

I agree with DLJ and wazzel- you need to decide how much you are willing to risk and for how long. Wazzel brought up a good point that religion might a problem she is focused on so she doesn't have to deal with other issues that might be happening in the marriage.

I am also married to a believer. I will say, as a parent, its easy to raise a child to doubt religion, especially when one parent does. You teach them the skills of inquiry and looking for evidence in the small things, all those little questions.....what makes a tree grow? how does a worm turn into a butterfly? Give your child a strong science education, teach them to look at the how's, why's, and how to change their mind when presented with new evidence. Also, take advantage of the time you are alone together to voice your views and more importantly why you feel the way you do. You need to provide the evidence and reasoning for your actions as well. It doesn't need to be a battle---seeds of doubt can be easily planted when science education and the search for evidence and inquiry in all things is the nature.

Just knowing their is a 2nd option to believing opens a HUGE path for kids to follow.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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16-05-2014, 06:58 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
(16-05-2014 06:45 AM)ExPat_Matt Wrote:  At first she was the one that wasn't religious and I was back and forth on the issue. I was a luke warm Catholic but always had my questions and was always met with you just don't have enough faith. We broke up shortly after visiting her in Spain the first time, she was pregnant at the time and told me she had an abortion and I was done with her. I got angry and lost my faith, but it was all a lie. For five years she kept my daughter from me never saying a word. She called me up one day and told me and I thought I would do the nobel thing and father my child as she was my dream girl. We got back together after a hard process. I move out here and then things were good but it was tough learning how to live together. Then she found faith and when she did I told her this is going to kill our relationship. I needed to work and support my kid and we had to get married so I could work legally. The church was the only solution, and played along hoping that maybe something would click. But it never did. We just came to an agreement that we wouldn't talk about it and it just never lasts.
So as one can see we've had struggled through out our entire relationship. She's got a horrible temper and when she gets angry she tells me everything she hates about me and my family. And it can be for the smallest of things. I begged and pleaded with her to go to therapy with me but she won't because it's not religious and therefore will contradict with her beliefs. I've refused to go to church but some real tragedy in our lives had me sitting on the fence of what was happening. I truly love this woman, when she's not acting irrational she's a loving and caring mother and wife. But she's got a dark side that I thought we could work on together to fix. She's just trying to pray it away and make excuses.
Man I feel horrible for airing out my dirty laundry but I haven't really told anyone the extend of our relationship to total strangers. I feel like I am betraying her and her trust but I have to get this out, like cancer, it needs to go. I can only think of the Hitchens book God is not Great, and the line how religion poisons everything. These words ring so loud in my mind right now.

From this it looks like you have always been on bumpy ground. Time to get together and see if this relationship is worth fighing for because you have an uphill battle ahead of you. For it to work you are going to both have to climb.
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16-05-2014, 07:32 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
You cannot change another person unless that person wants to change.

From your side of the story, I see loads of emotional blackmail with you coming out on the short end. I haven't heard her side of the story.

How do you want your kids to remember their childhood and their family life?

If you could find a similar woman, but an atheist, would that make you happy? Or are there other things about your wife that contribute to your apparent misery?

I endured 3 years of hell because "I loved him." Turned out I loved what I thought he could/should be, and not what he really was. Leaving turned out to be the best thing I ever did, difficult as it was. Your mileage may vary.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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16-05-2014, 10:11 AM
RE: Issues with my marriage to a Catholic woman
(16-05-2014 06:45 AM)ExPat_Matt Wrote:  For five years she kept my daughter from me never saying a word. She called me up one day ...

How were the 5 years outside of this relationship?

It seems this particular person is able to push certain buttons. With those buttons pushed, you do things and also you think that it is your decision to do those things. In reality, it is the person who pushes the buttons who is in control of the things you do.

This person is not honest with you... and possibly has never been honest with you.


Again, how were the 5 years outside of this relationship?

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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