DH told the kids...

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Registered: 08-26-2000
DH told the kids...
14
Tue, 02-24-2009 - 11:59pm

I'm giving up complaining about DH for Lent, but I still have an hour and 13 minutes before Lent starts...


We have tomorrow off of school, and I told the kids that Mass (for Ash Wednesday) was at 12:15, and we would be going.

 


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Registered: 06-11-2007
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 12:32am

I can't imagine your frustration. I personally would have said "When you actually PARTICIPATE in the active faith formation of the children, I'll gladly hear your side with fully open ears. Till then I have to take responsibility for it, and it may mean decisions you don't agree with." My husband and I agreed 16 years ago to expose the kids to both faiths and let them decide. When it came time to enroll the kids in religious education, I went ahead without talking to him about it. He balked, and I forget what his argument over it was. But his mother chimed in with "well, if you aren't holding up your end of that agreement, and teaching the kids what you were raised with, you really have no room to complain." He hasn't gotten in the way of any of it since, and I think appreciates that I do what bit I do with the kids. You can take the opportunity to teach your children, that everyone has a different faith experience, and their dad obviously has a vastly different perspective than yours. It might be interesting to get their take on things, and how they see the differences in your own household.

And for your giving up on complaining, perhaps that is precisely the medicine you both need. He surely knows you're openly frustrated with him, and that isn't a nice thing to sense from one's spouse. So perhaps reacting to him in more loving ways is how you can reach him. In turn, he just might react in more loving ways, or at the very least, less frustrating ones.

~Trish

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
--old Irish blessing

Irish siggy courtesy beaches59

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~Trish

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 10:36am

I actually think it was a valuable thing for your husband to point out that it isn't a HDO. So many Catholics don't know that, and now your children do. But just because it isn't a HDO doesn't mean you shouldn't go. I guess I would have confirmed that it wasn't a day of obligation, but that it was the best way to start Lent, and then told the children I wanted them to go with me.


Your children have recognized that it is a good idea, so no harm done -- although you may want to see if you and DH can align goals for this Lent. (Memo to myself -- tell DH about the "less t.v." promise the kids made so he isn't turning it on every time he walks in the room! LOL!) Do they hate going to church? If so, finding a Mass that they like, or finding a hook to get them interested, is a much better way to change that than just having them go less.


Polly


Avatar for mahopac
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Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 10:52am

Karen, I recall that you and your DH have differing attitudes towards what being a practicing Catholic means. Do you have discussions about this away from the kids? I do think it is important that parents agree on what their joint attitude will be in front of the kids, even if they don't agree with each other. Of course, whoever has the stronger belief or the higher ground probably wins any particular battle. ;)

My DH is an agnostic, though he was raised in the Catholic faith. He's learned that it's okay to make small jokes about Catholics, as long as faithful Catholics would also laugh at them. It's okay to joke about a particular priest's idiosyncrasies, as long as it's clear that we still respect them as religious people. It's not okay to suggest that they don't need to do what Mom says they need to do to practice their faith. It's not okay to say he's not going to mass because he just doesn't feel like it (though he does miss it occasionally if his tennis team has a match they need him for), because he promised to raise the kids Catholic. In other words - he has to be respectful of what I am trying to give the kids.

So, what would I do (yeah, I've been babbling here and not answered the question...) - I would want to have a serious talk with him about what religion means: that it's not about following rules, it's about loving the Lord, and if you love the Lord, you WANT to be with Him more than is absolutely *required*. And that that's what you want to give your kids.

I'll pray that you (and all of us) can be faithful to our Lenten observances. Giving up complaining is a tough one!

Kelly

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Registered: 08-26-2000
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 11:38am

Thanks, Polly.

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

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Registered: 02-04-2007
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 1:09pm
Raising your children in the Catholic faith without much support from your husband must be very difficult. I am so blessed to have a DH who is very much the spiritual leader in our family. He once said that evangelical churches are wasting their efforts by trying to win families through children. Children have the least power within a family. They need to instead concentrate on men because men are the natural spiritual leaders of their families. If you win a man, you get the entire family. Women certainly can, and often must, lead their families spiritually, but it is so much easier on the family unit when the man does it. How many men do you know who constantly struggle to get their wives and children to go to church with them?
I think giving up complaining about your husband is an awesome Lenten discipline. Every time a complaint starts to come to your lips, you can turn it into a prayer. I will offer up a prayer for you to my dear Saint Monica. At least your husband goes to church with you most of the time. Mass is certainly the best place for a lukewarm heart to awake to the call of God.
- Mandi
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Registered: 08-26-2000
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 4:33pm

Yep, frustration is a good word.


Part of me thinks that it was a way to take some of the focus/pressure off of him.

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 4:41pm

OK, first off, that just cracked me up Karen! Get it all in while you can, right? LOL ;)

Secondly, you asked honestly: "What would you do in this position?" And I will give you an honest response, but I warn you---it is probably NOT the best way to handle this situation. . . My response would have been something along these lines: "You are undermining my authority since I have told them what we will be doing. You are also giving them ideas about our faith that I don't agree with. Those are your opinions, not mine." But I have a hot Greek temper ;)

I think you've gotten some good responses already. Michael is actually the more devout between the two of us, so I don't have this problem, so my advice would probably not be very good. . . However, I agree with others that it would be a good thing to talk about this with him, and make sure you are both on the same page (Which you are obviously NOT), and work things through until you are.

You may recall that a few years ago, after his mom died, Michael refused to go to Mass for like a year. He just claimed he "couldn't handle it" and nothing I would say would sway him. I used to freak out about it, thinking the foundation of our marriage and family life (our joint spiritual life) was being threatened. I thought he was also being a horrible influence on the kids by not going, although he never said a word about it to them, and helped me get THEM off to Mass each week. It took MUCH patience and prayer on my part, but he eventually worked through his issues and I don't even think the kids remember when he didn't attend. . . I tell you this because even in marriages where both parties are on the same page, sometimes there develops a spiritual "glitch" that needs both prayer and patience.

I'm glad your boys are so willing to go to Mass. At their age, that says much about you as their earthly spiritual guide.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 4:47pm

The few "discussions" we have about religion away from the kids usually quickly turn into arguments or he just walks away.

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 5:21pm

Well, your reply was about the same as mine, so I guess a

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Wed, 02-25-2009 - 5:38pm

I agree that it would be easier if he was the spiritual leader, but honestly - in real life, I don't know many men who are.


I see traditional families (mom, dad and kids)

 


PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

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