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At a loss with DH over DS' baptism / christening

(10 Posts)
TickleToe Tue 12-Jul-11 09:28:54

Brief overview is that I am a RC, I met my husband 4 years ago, he was a single dad with two children, who dont see their mother. He was not married to their mother. I fell in love with all three of them, have taken the children on, and me and DH were married in my local catholic church where I was brought up. Sometimes I take the children to church, and DH used to come with me. He accepted my faith and married me in our church. He now refuses to come, which is his decision. He doesnt particularly like me taking the children but has not yet opposed (I must admit I dont take them every week). 5 months ago we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, and anytime I have mentioned having him baptised, DH hits the roof. WE had briefly discussed having all 3 baptised if we had another child so they are all the same. He also came to the marriage preparation course, and made his vows with me at the altar. But he seems to have forgotten all this. He says he 'doesnt want them brought up catholic'. I feel llike I have scarificed everything for him and the children. Every time I look at my baby boy and think about it I feel broken and trapped. DH has even fallen out with my mum, refuses to speak to her (about something else), he wont come out with my friends anymore. I am mum to the first two children completely in my heart, but now everything has to be just his way, and its not what I signed up for, to sacrifice everything I believe in and who I am. Sometimes I feel like the nanny, I have no say in any of the childrens upbringing. I can't see any solution; is this how my life has to be? I feel like I am letting down DS in so many ways because I am his mum and I am helpless

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 12-Jul-11 19:49:49

Do you think you may be depressed? The DC not being raised Catholic is hardly you having "no say in any of the childrens upbringing", presumably you talk to them about your beliefs, just like any other parent? They'll make their own minds up when they're adults, and can choose to be baptised if that's what they want.

mariamagdalena Tue 12-Jul-11 20:22:04

Oh Tickle, what a horrible situation.

You need to have a chat with your parish priest I think. In all of this, if you can protect your own faith, and get a chance to go to church yourself etc, then it's the best possible insurance for passing it on to the children. The older two will soon be old enough to make their own decision about baptism anyway, so perhaps all 3 as a 'job lot' would rob them of something special. I don't mean to suggest that it isn't really hard; I am sure that God wouldn't leave you to raise them without somehow making sure it would turn out right in the end. And it wounds like your marriage is normally strong and healthy but going through a lot of strain at the moment, which isn't usually the best time for persuading husbands to capitulate on big issues.

FWIW, St Augustine's mum St Monica didn't get him baptised as a child, partly due to her dh's opposition. So if you wanted to light a candle and recruit them for a few prayers ...

mariamagdalena Tue 12-Jul-11 20:25:19

meant sounds, not wounds... bit freudian, I hope the wounds get easier to bear and you get the grace to cope. Won't say any more in case it sounds like an uber-RC great-granny reminding a suffering person to offer it up.

MaryBS Wed 13-Jul-11 08:35:36

I think you need to sit down with your DH and have a discussion with him on this, and find out what is going on. Perhaps he has always been anti-church/RC but felt he loved you too much to let it bother him, but now reality has set in and he feels he can't? You need to get this sorted, for both your sakes, and also for the sake of the children.

I don't think you sound depressed but you do sound unhappy, because he knew what you believed when you married him, and its like he's changed and you don't know what to do (had a similar problem with my exH, we married in church, then he became unhappy about me going. Not that I'm saying thats what'll happen, as our marriage fell apart for diff. reasons)

TickleToe Wed 13-Jul-11 09:55:43

Thanks for your replies. Firstly, no I am absolutely not depressed, I am (mostly) happily getting on with everyday life and love my children and DH and am really enjoying the baby months (overall!) but it is increasingly frustrating not having a say in how they are raised. OldLady, whether my DC is raised catholic or not is one of the decisions about his upbringing, and at the moment I am having no say on this, as well the example I gave about choosing schools. Most mothers are involved in these decisions are they not? What I mean is that these things seem to be fore-gone conclusions to him that it has to be the same as the first to DCs and I wasnt there to be involved in decisions for them when they were babies so I am trapped into decisions already made for my child. These are decisions about his upbringing that I am struggling to have a say in. Maria thank you for your very kind words, they actually made me smile! I almost wondered if you knew me with the uber-RC great granny comment as my DC has one of those! (my own grandmother). The reason I had suggested that the older DCs get christened also is because they keep asking to be christened! And DH's argument is that they should all be the same! Yet despite all this he is very opposed to them being christened RC. He says he would let them be christened CofE yet none of our families are practising CofE and I take them to a Catholic Church!!

MaryBS Wed 13-Jul-11 10:31:20

Maybe that is the compromise, because the RCC accepts a C of E baptism, because you are baptised Christian, not Catholic or C of E. Have them baptised in the C of E, and raise them as Catholics? Would he agree to that? (incidently, that is what a RC friend did, to placate her C of E husband).

LornaGoon Wed 13-Jul-11 10:35:00

Hi Tickletoe,

Just to let you know you're not on your own - my DP feels quite negatively about Christianity (not Jesus, but the religion itself) and I am trying to find my feet with my faith again. I definately recognised that feeling of being trapped and feeling like an unpaid nanny whose views are not taken into account or are undermined!

The only thing I can do at the moment is try and reconcile his (more Eastern) philosphies with my beliefs and try and find a middle ground.

As far as raising DS is concerned, I am trying to pick my battles carefully. So I've bought children's books about taoism but also about Noah's ark etc. If DP wants to talk to DS about meditation when he's older, then I will incorporate it with ideas about praying.

The one thing I have noticed about parents who disagree about how to raise their new baby (be it religion, vaccinations, formula feeding, whatever) that things become less contentious as the child gets older. Your LO is still tiny and hopefully your DH will relax a bit as your DS grows out of the very vulnerable baby stage.

hiddenhome Thu 14-Jul-11 13:13:00

My dcs are baptised CofE, but we have decided to become Catholic and the PP was more than happy to take them on even though they weren't baptised Catholic. They're going to be permitted to prepare for communion and everything. They do attend Catholic schools, so that helps with the prep.

CofE baptism is a Christian baptism and is fully recognised by the Catholic Church.

I hope you find a way through this, and don't forget that your witness of living a Christian life with your children is a very powerful thing for them as they go through their childhood. I admire you for taking your dh's children on as well.


mariamagdalena Thu 14-Jul-11 16:50:12

CoE compromise might work grin

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