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Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:06 PM

Seeking advice: my wife and I are of different religions.


My wife is a devout Catholic. I told her several weeks ago that I was starting to meditate, though I did not tell her specifically tell her that I was following an “Eastern” religion that has elements of Christianity in it. I kept my practice private. Today, as I was watching a YouTube video on TV that that was based on this “Eastern” religion in our living room, she happened to walk in and see the presentation. She became rather upset. She became cold toward me. I do not expect her to change religions, but I would hope that she would at least become tolerant of my choice to practice the teachings of this “Eastern” religion. Do you have any advice for me? I do not wish for this situation to become worse.

Please be respectful and tolerant.

Thank you.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:13 PM

1. Do you have children? Are you planning to have children? These questions make all the difference to

The answer to your dilemma

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Response to Pisces (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:20 PM

5. We neither have children nor plan to do so.

Both of us are past the age of having children.

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Response to Quemado (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:34 PM

6. I think children and the religious influence on them is the biggest hurdle. Without this obstacle it

Is just fear of the unknown and concern that you will grow apart from her. Letting her know that nothing has changed and reassurance you aren’t running away to an Ashram in India like “Eat, Pray, Love” lady (Which was just on rotation on one of the pay channels) will go a long way to easing the cold shoulder.

I agree with the other poster that you should talk to her about it, not let it fester into her own narrative.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:17 PM

2. Give her time.

She loves you. She just probably needs time. I respect your wish to keep your beliefs private. However, your secrecy may be contributing to the wedge between you two. Consider asking her if she'd like to know more about this part of you. Try starting with the beliefs and/or principles you share. Let her know that it's okay if she doesn't wish to learn more about your faith (if that's the case).

Remind her that you love and accept all of her. I hope this helps.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:17 PM

3. I am a recovering Evangelical.

My wife was a devout Catholic. We actually got married by my minister. Later figured out there was more fellowship at the drag strip on a Sunday morning. Been married 56 years. Love has a way of working out these differences.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:20 PM

4. Can you have long talks together about other subjects?

Communication helps. A stimulating hours-long discussion over a couple's favorite drinks has been known to foster a meeting of the mind and body. 🙂

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:40 PM

7. Here's my advice as a Buddhist

Be patient with her. Patience is one of the perfections of a Boddhisattva. She certainly doesn't understand and may feel threatened, or feel that you are rejecting her, because her sense of self is deeply entwined with her religion.

Tell her that you meditate on remaining calm and peaceful and rising above anger, greed, and envy. Tell her that you strive to generate greater compassion and loving kindness towards others. These are beneficial qualities that are taught in all religions. If fact, meditation is not religion-specific. Even Catholics spend time in meditation, prayer, and contemplation of being a better, kinder person. So what if you read widely and watch videos by non-Christians? You have a perfectly fine rational mind and can decide for yourself what is useful on your spiritual path.

Sometimes attend church with her if you can. That would be an act of generosity towards her. There is a lot of wisdom in the actual teachings of Jesus. I'm not referring to the dogma of the established church, but to his Sermon on the Mount, which is well worthy of meditating on.

I hope you find this helpful.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 03:49 PM

8. Opposites may attract,

but similarities endure.

In my experience, when one partner is “devout” (which covers “goes to Church every Sunday” to “supports bombing abortion clinics”) and the other is not, things do not end well.

Going “cold” is a bad sign. Love has been withdrawn. Soon, something will be said that can never be unsaid.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 04:20 PM

9. Meditation need not conflict with any spiritual beliefs

In most cases, it is simply a practice to become less driven by the endless chatter of your thoughts. It does not involve praying or worshiping anything. Actually, quite the opposite. It's about letting your mind rest from so much thinking.

Meditation is being integrated into many other religious practices, as well as health interventions. Perhaps you can reassure her that you are not praying to something foreign, but just sitting with an empty mind. Good luck.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 04:34 PM

10. From the Christian Bible:

I am the resurrection and the light. No one comes to me but through the Father, etc

If she believes that, she must know that God the Father May reach you through another path. You are not worshipping another deity, and meditation is not inconsistent with Christianity.

If the program does involve attesting to other deities, this would be a direct conflict with Christianity and I am unable to help.

Catholic married to Jew here. Catholicism is a profession of rules - other religions (Judaism and Buddhism for example) are not. catholics don’t generally get this.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 05:01 PM

11. I'd go ahead and become a Catholic.

First you have decide which one.
Rome

Latin Rite

Latin (or Roman) Catholic Church
Alexandria

Alexandrian Rite

Coptic Catholic Church
Eritrean Catholic Church
Ethiopian Catholic Church
Antioch

West Syrian (or Antiochene) Rite

Maronite Catholic Church
Syriac Catholic Church
Syro-Malankara Catholic Church
Armenian Rite

Armenian Catholic Church
East Syrian (or Chaldean) Rite

Chaldean Catholic Church
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
Constantinopolitan (or Byzantine) Rite

Albanian Catholic Church
Belarusian Catholic Church
Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church
Byzantine Church of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (or Križevci Catholic Church)
Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
Macedonian Catholic Church
Melkite Greek Catholic Church
Romanian Catholic Church
Russian Catholic Church
Ruthenian Catholic Church (also known as the Byzantine Catholic Church in America)
Slovak Catholic Church
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Or be like me as I do not deny any truths.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 06:38 PM

12. God is beyond religions. Christian scripture uses lots of human/earthly examples to get its points

Across because that's what most people could relate to. However, there are two instances in which a writer was more metaphysical. In one example, we are told to be like God and shine our light on everyone. God is light, energy, not the usual father figure. Our light is the soul. So, if being a Christian means following Jesus's teachings, which is what Jesus said, then you are a Christian from the soul.
The soul loves others, not self, your neighbor, your enemy.

Jesus also said to not hide your light under a basket. So, soul in human body.

I don't know what you're going to do if wifey is hung up on beliefs, a Jesus biography, because that's all from the brain, not soul. The parables, even most of the biography, is about soul and soul development.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Sat Dec 12, 2020, 08:08 PM

13. Many good responses in this thread...7,9 and 10 especially. I grew up Catholic and attended mass

regularly. Then I started a study of Philosophy, and eastern religions and began a practice of meditation also. I no longer needed mass, and in hindsight it was a crutch. Giving it up without something to replace it is very difficult and can be frightening. My wife gave it up decades before and she simply allowed me my time.

There are many different paths to the summit (enlightenment) and no path is better than another. Some just speak to us more clearly. I like the idea of sharing your beliefs. Go to mass with her (pick a 'good' priest, i.e. one who gives good sermons), and ask her to study with you. There are many good courses and books you could read together and discuss. :A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle you could read together, or a real easy and simple book - The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.. There are also online courses in Practical Philosophy you can take together. They are non religious or relate to all religions and are filled with good tools for daily living. Some culminate in the practice of meditation. Good luck on the path.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Thu Dec 24, 2020, 02:33 PM

14. Well

 

She was probably blindsided by it. You've been following it for a while now (I'm guessing) and it hasn't changed you as a person (I'm guessing), so there is probably no worry there. Just giver her some time.
I practice the Norse faith, my wife is a combination of Norse and Celt, and my father-in-law is a Druid, and we get along just fine. Just let the dust settle.

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Response to Quemado (Original post)

Mon May 3, 2021, 01:39 PM

15. An update.

My wife calmed down quite a bit about a week after she got upset. She hasn't said anything since. I would think she would be at least a little curious about my spiritual practices, but, so far, she hasn't shown any signs of interest.

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