When I converted to Orthodox Christianity a year ago, I converted alone. My husband was facing some difficulties at the time, so I did not share my new thinking or my conversion with him at first. Of course, this turned out to be a big mistake. Instead of trusting him with the information, I assumed he wouldn't be able to handle it and I moved on full steam ahead toward joining the church.
How did he find out? My friend Heather gave me a small icon of Christ and I would have it out during my daily prayers. I put it away every day so my husband wouldn't see it- not because I thought he'd make me get rid of it or confront me about it. He was in the throws of a deep depression and I knew that he believed that icons were a violation of the Second Commandment. I didn't want to burden him with it. This is the honest truth. I was trying to protect him.
One day, I left it out on accident. Obviously, he saw it, but he didn't say anything. I bought a few more icons at the Greek Festival and up at St. Sophia's. But I wasn't forthcoming about it. I tried to be Orthodox under the radar. Eventually, we talked about it. It shouldn't surprise anyone that this hurt him deeply. It has caused a real strain in our marriage. I totally see now that I was wrong to be discreet. In trying to do the right thing, I ended up hurting the person I love most in the world.
Over the past year, we've had our struggles. I started going to the inquirer's class at my church. We left our former church because of personal reasons not pertaining to Orthodoxy. Eventually, my husband and I met with my priest to talk about whether or not I would join the catechumenate. My husband gave me his blessing- and not just for me to join the Church, but for the children as well.
In spite of how I hurt him, he has never stood in my way, even if he wanted to and often, at his own personal expense. I now try to be especially sensitive to his needs and feelings when it comes to Church activities. I have never pressured him to become Orthodox, although he does attend Divine services with us. I don't want to write too much about where he is spiritually. Its not my place to write about him in public.
But rejoice with me! He has agreed to come to the inquirer's class at church! Honestly, I was certain that I blew any chance of him coming to the class because of the way I have handled things in the past. But he's coming. I can't believe it. God is so good. Please pray for him and for us. To have this rift in our lives together... to not be one united family is very difficult. To be chrismated apart from my husband was bittersweet. To see him, Lord willing, anointed with holy chrism will be a miracle and possibly my wildest dream come true.
We're not there yet. I don't want to jump the gun but I am hopeful.