Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

Hello Everyone!

I have been a long time lurker on these forums and would like some advice.
I grew up Catholic not by choice but Mom made us kids go. I went through the whole process and after my confirmation at age 15 (I'm 35 now) I simply stop going to church. Now 20 years later married for 11 years been together for 13 to a non-church goer, and with 2 beautiful girls I'm considering going back. I have been dabbling little by little by going to Mass with our very close neighbors over the last year taking my children while my wife stays home. I even went by myself once, so I'm on the verge to just continue going.

One main reason I would like to attend church again is for my daughters. I feel as if this will give them a foundation on life besides from what I can teach them. I'm also going for myself to feel refreshed and repent my sins that I have done and ask for forgiveness.

I am worried about my wife though. She grew up not going to church and when her mom passed away 12 years ago at the young age of 44 she lost faith in God. It's also interesting to me that my wife lived a very permiscous lifestyle without having church involved in her life. (I was crazy myself with church so how can I judge )

I also considered leaving Catholic and trying nondenominational, but I feel my roots keep me practicing Catholicism.

On a side note. My friends family and my girls and I attended church this weekend (wife home), but said she would go this weekend.
Anyone know an easy way introduced the Catholic religion to my family. I myself find it confusing at times which is one reason I stopped going at an early age.

Also I'm not putting any pressure on my wife she doesn't have to go I'm not holding it against her I simply say I'm going to church and I ask her if she wants to go and that's it. I also do not want her to hold it against me either for going.

Sorry if I'm all over the place. Early in the morning and on a phone.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-23-2015, 07:17 AM
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Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

I have recently returned to church after a similar time gap, and mostly for our 3 year old. It's nice. Feels almost counter-culture too.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 09:21 PM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

I would continue going, invite her, but do not pressure her to go in any way. And take your kids.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 01:09 PM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

Juice - I grew up in a non-religious household and my husband did not. While he wasn't Catholic, he had a strong christian background. There was always something lacking for me and I never acknowledged that it was God until a few years ago. I always assumed that as the head of the family, my husband would take charge of this and lead both me and the kids to a church. This did not happen. It took complete crisis in our life to bring us to church. We were both just baptized on Easter and completed RCIA.

The fact that your wife is open to going is really good. I was always embarrassed about my lack of knowledge in religion that my views would come off negative to others when in reality it was just a longing to have that same sense of faith that I had always envied in others. I would encourage your wife to attend the RCIA program. She can go through it as many times as she wants to until she decides she is ready to be baptized or confirmed.

My kids are grown now and I missed the boat with them. That is my biggest regret as a parent. I made the decision on where they would go to school, how they would dress, who they hung around with but I falsely thought they should be able to choose what they believed. How could I have been so stupid to not provide a foundation for them! I never let them choose whether or not to go to school, why would I not have provided a strong, christian foundation. I would encourage you to sit down with your wife and ask her to support your decision to raise your children in the Catholic church. Your children will be better for it even if they like you get away from it, they will always have the foundation.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 03:18 PM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

You're changing the established rules of your marriage with your wife, so don't expect too much. Especially since she's never gone to church nor has ever been religious or Catholic. Same for your kids.

I would also encourage you to look into those other non-denominational religions you mentioned because 1) Catholic religion is, um, restrictive when it comes to laying down rules about birth control, sex and many other things related to women's roles and restrictions in society (though often ignored by most Catholics), and 2) it might be more interesting for them to learn about different religions in case they actually want to make an informed choice for themselves one day. Don't expect them to immediately start believing in God or believing in the rules of your religion, either. If they are old enough to think, they are old enough to question, and will.

And most of all, TALK to your wife and make sure you understand her perspective. Don't develop all kinds of hopes that she will become what you want her to be without understanding her view.

As for foundations, well, make sure they learn their science, too.

And fyi, I never went to church nor do I believe in God, yet I wasn't the least bit promiscuous nor have I run around hurting people, and in fact do much to help those less privileged than I, so please understand that not everyone is of the belief that religion magically makes people better people than they would be otherwise.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 04:37 PM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

If your beliefs are leading you back to a congregation then go, and bring along your daughters if they show interest but don't try to foist your religious beliefs on your family members, particularly this far along in your relationship. How old are your daughters? If they are old enough to have formed their own philosophical ideas they may be pretty skeptical of such changes in their understanding of their world. The congregation is only one small aspect of teaching about Christ, have you considered focussing on the bible and Jesus's message and the scriptures at home? My only concern for you and your family is that I hope it is not guilt or fear that is driving this choice, but rather personal growth, your spirit seeking a bigger vessel to fill.

disclaimer: I am not Christian, but was raised in a fairly devout christian family, I have no problem with individuals seeking answer through scripture but I dislike a lot about most organized religion.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for your replies. I believe the sudden urge to go back like I said is for a self check of guidance again. I enjoy how families get together and spend just a little bit of time together as a whole. I ended up going yesterday and I went by myself. The rest of the family was still sleeping and I did not interrupt there sleep.

For the record I do not see how I'm breaking the rules in my marriage. My wife knew I was involved in the church before we were married. Yesterday she asked me how it went and I simply said it was ok. Since I'm still undecided if I want to commit myself. She said she wanted to go but doesn't know what to do or what to say. Also about getting education involved specifically science for my children. I'm guessing your referring to evolution . I have no problem with what theories are out there. I just want them to have a little more of a path to follow to help them through these crazy times in our world today. Maybe they can pick up on something positive that I can't offer.

Also the urge for me to go back can stem from the negatives in my life. I have done drugs and alcohol within those 20 years, lust over women, and other negative set backs that happened in my life. I don't do drugs anymore. I do though tend to drink more than the average person on the weekends ( I like my craft beer). So maybe this is a way to drop the negatives in my life and turn over a new leaf to focus more on the positives.

Also my wife and I just started to go to MC/ST but that's another story which maybe I'll touch upon in the "Sex in Marriage " thread.

Also my girls are in the verge to be 8 and 5.

Last edited by Juice; 07-06-2015 at 01:59 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 01:45 PM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

I also read your other replies and completely agree with you. You are not breaking any rules in your marriage and I find it interesting all of the views on the Catholic church from self proclaimed non-christians that have never attended it. When I was looking for answers, the Catholic church was the only place that I found them. In terms of science, the church is also supportive of that as well.

Also - my husband and I attended MC and it was a fiasco. We ended up walking out. At the complete end of my rope I tried a last ditch effort and went to Retrouvaille. It is Catholic based program for troubled marriages but neither of us was Catholic at the time and the program is why we are married today. All faiths are welcome. There is a deposit required for the weekend but then it is voluntary at the end of it.

Wanted to throw in one last thing about the church. The most overwhelming thing when you're not a cradle catholic is learning the Mass and what you can and can't do. The great thing is that it's all right there for you in the Missal and all you have to do is follow it. You can find many resources to explain it online which helped me out tremendously!
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostDone821 View Post
I also read your other replies and completely agree with you. You are not breaking any rules in your marriage and I find it interesting all of the views on the Catholic church from self proclaimed non-christians that have never attended it. When I was looking for answers, the Catholic church was the only place that I found them. In terms of science, the church is also supportive of that as well.

Also - my husband and I attended MC and it was a fiasco. We ended up walking out. At the complete end of my rope I tried a last ditch effort and went to Retrouvaille. It is Catholic based program for troubled marriages but neither of us was Catholic at the time and the program is why we are married today. All faiths are welcome. There is a deposit required for the weekend but then it is voluntary at the end of it.

Wanted to throw in one last thing about the church. The most overwhelming thing when you're not a cradle catholic is learning the Mass and what you can and can't do. The great thing is that it's all right there for you in the Missal and all you have to do is follow it. You can find many resources to explain it online which helped me out tremendously!
Thanks for your replies and support. I really find it helpful and see if I can take advantage of your recommendations. I'm going to give this MC a shot and it mostly has to do with Sex T within our marriage.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 05:57 AM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
Hello Everyone!

I have been a long time lurker on these forums and would like some advice.

I don't see a single common question in your post, which is fine, so my answer is a ramble of responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
I grew up Catholic not by choice but Mom made us kids go. I went through the whole process and after my confirmation at age 15 (I'm 35 now) I simply stop going to church. Now 20 years later married for 11 years been together for 13 to a non-church goer, and with 2 beautiful girls I'm considering going back. I have been dabbling little by little by going to Mass with our very close neighbors over the last year taking my children while my wife stays home. I even went by myself once, so I'm on the verge to just continue going.

One main reason I would like to attend church again is for my daughters. I feel as if this will give them a foundation on life besides from what I can teach them. I'm also going for myself to feel refreshed and repent my sins that I have done and ask for forgiveness.
This is a pet peeve of mine. I don't think you are falling into this trap. Please don't rely the church to set your daughters foundations. That is your job. The church can help. You are the parent.

I dislike parents who think their work is done when they drop their kids at the Sunday School (or whatever the church calls it). Firstly it is only about 1 hour per week, you have them for far more time. Secondly you should be interested and ask them what they learnt.
I volunteered as a Sunday School helper. Most of the teachers where woman, so they appreciated a male to keep the boys in line. As a helper they didn't expect me to do much. Given it was Sunday School, there was little formality or rules to follow. Helping is an easy introduction to church.
Some other parents would sit in on Sunday School, just to observers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
I am worried about my wife though. She grew up not going to church and when her mom passed away 12 years ago at the young age of 44 she lost faith in God. It's also interesting to me that my wife lived a very permiscous lifestyle without having church involved in her life. (I was crazy myself with church so how can I judge )
After 12 years she may have changed.
Talk to her.
She is your wife, so is probably willing to step out of her comfort zone for you, if asked nicely.

Previous lifestyle is irrelevant. We are all sinners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
I also considered leaving Catholic and trying nondenominational, but I feel my roots keep me practicing Catholicism.
Given your Catholic past that seems a good place to start. Maybe investigate other denominations. And ask your wife what she might like. Even if she didn't go church, maybe she has some influence that she would like to investigate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
On a side note. My friends family and my girls and I attended church this weekend (wife home), but said she would go this weekend.
Anyone know an easy way introduced the Catholic religion to my family. I myself find it confusing at times which is one reason I stopped going at an early age.
Three possibles
Ask your neighbours. This is a good test of the church too. If they have been going for years but can't explain the church then maybe you also wont learn and your daughters wont have any foundation set.
Ask the church. Typically churches give introductory classes.
Google "Catholic introduction"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
Also I'm not putting any pressure on my wife she doesn't have to go I'm not holding it against her I simply say I'm going to church and I ask her if she wants to go and that's it. I also do not want her to hold it against me either for going.
Agreed.
So ask gently. Don't pressure or order. She is your wife, so I expect she will be willing to attend at least a few times if you explain why and ask nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juice View Post
Sorry if I'm all over the place. Early in the morning and on a phone.
Your phone is good at creating long messages. I can barely get a paragraph without a spelling mistake or some silly autocorrect error.


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but take heart, parts of it can be delightful."
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 06:46 AM
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Re: Missed Church For 20 Year. Considering Going Back

If one entertains going back to church solely for "the good of the kids," that's really only a tepid response ~ go to church for "yourself" first, and the family secondarily ~ and in so doing, let them, as well as the entire world witness Christ's love and spirit working in and through you!

In any event, and no matter what denomination that you might belong to or affiliate with, "Welcome home!"

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Last edited by arbitrator; 08-07-2015 at 06:52 AM.
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