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We've been married 40 years and my marriage is disolving due to my wife's obsession with the Catholic church. She gets up every day at 4:30 am to go to 6:30 am mass, bible studies 3 nights a week, watching EWTN when she is home, bought over 40 religious books in the last year. Our house looks like a religious store with religious pictures and statues. This all started 3 years ago and continues today. There is no room for me in her life anymore - just Jesus Christ. I feel emotionaly abandonded and never thought the church would come between us. When I talked with the pastor at OLGC about whats going on , he said "she's caught the spirit". I am retired and basically "home alone" every day. She has also checked out from the day-to-day decisions regarding the house, bills, etc. Can someone tell me what to do?
 

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Wow. She's obsessed. Maybe you should treat her as if she was obsessed with another man (which she is, in a way) and do the 180 on her.
 

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I am sorry for what you're going through, Riccardo. I wish I could tell you what is going on with your wife. See, I am a Christian, and my relationship with God is extremely important to me. I am also married, and my relationship with my husband is also very important to me. I believe in spiritual growth and have plenty of books that I read and study, but I am responsible as a wife and mother for the daily needs of my family. Those are roles in my life that God has given me, and I honor Him when I fulfill them well.
While I don't have any great insight for you, if you would like to talk to a counselor about this concern, I think it might help you understand where your wife is coming from better. Focus on the Family, where I work, has counselors you can speak to by phone for free. Give them a call if you think it might help. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
 

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40 years married? That means you guys are getting up there in your age, (not being snide here, age is number to me but not everyone views it that way) could she be getting scared of death and is doing everything she can conceive of in her head to be a shoo in for heaven?
 

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Why don't you ask her to go to marriage counseling with you? If she refuses maybe she'd go to a counselor through her church (but perhaps not see the person you already talked to) with you.
In the meantime, you sound lonely. Is there some way for you to meet new friends? Is there some hobby you've wanted to take up that you've been putting off? Perhaps she sees your issues with this as an aversion to her religion, when in reality you just miss her.
 

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Have you ever thought of going to 6:30 Bible Study with her? Maybe if you show a little interest in what she is doing it will be easier to approach the subject later. I don’t think your minister’s response was very helpful or appropriate, if you do seek counseling you might not want to seek it from him.
 

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Your wife sounds like she is substituting religiosity for spirituality.

Another thought, does she feel guilty about something?

Is she worried about going to Hell more than getting into heaven?
 

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Maybe you should address your concerns with her and talk with her about what scripture actually says about marriage. Honestly, if she's truly following what the bible says, then she already knows that the two of you are "one flesh". Furthermore, she should understand the biblical command for wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives. This doesn't mean some sort of dominance or that she's not supposed to love you as well. Simply said, spiritual leadership in a home (according to the bible) falls on the shoulders of the man. That said, if the man doesn't lead, she still should develop her faith. However, that doesn't mean she has the right to check out of the marriage. Do you two still do things together? Is she still intimate with you? Would she be willing to cut down on the number of meetings pulling her away from you if you're willing to overlook the books and maybe one meeting a week? If you ask her to give it up, you're taking the wrong approach because that's not really putting her needs before your own. If she refuses to budge then she isn't putting your needs before her own. Does she seem worn down by all of the stuff she's doing? If so, she's missing the "grace" part anyway. Would you ever be interested in going to a meeting with her?
 

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Remind her of St Augustine who said "Dear God make me holy....just not now."
 

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When god is #1 you too should be #1. They go hand in hand spiritually. Seek help for both of you try to get to the root of the obsession. I only wish that this was my issue. I wish you good luck and hope that she sees that in order to be closer to god it has nothing to do with going to church religiously and obsessively.
 
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