Well, I have seen right now that the topics related to relations are not welcomed, so if you think that it is better to delete it, feel free to do this. I am sorry for not checking the rules before.
Dear Tasbeha Community,
I have a question concerning my interfaith marriage. I am Polish and belong to the Roman Catholic Church. 3.5 years ago, I married a Coptic-Orthodox Egyptian. We are both living in Europe (I prefer to not write the details), where the Coptic-Orthodox community is quite strong.
When we met, he had some psychical issues, saying that the life in Europe is different that he imagined; he had also problems to find friends and he felt alone. He was going to psychotherapy (started 1 month before we met). His only friends in Europe were from the Roman Catholic Church, so he was spending most time with them (different community than mine). We started to meet more often and fall in love. I didn't know him when he was depressed - he was used to saying to everyone that I enlightened his world again and that he is happy with me. He said me that if I we will want to marry one day, I should change my faith to Coptic. I answered that I love my church and I want to stay in it. So, we tried to find the solution. I attended the liturgy in the Coptic-Orthodox church, met Abounas, his parents and further family. I felt accepted and welcomed, even if they knew that I will not change my faith. Since he had some bad feelings connected to the Coptic Community, he was regularly attending the Holy Messes (and other meetings) in the Catholic Church. He was also writing a lot on his Fb against Copts, what I did not accept and asked him to stop. I tried to explain him that his identity is Coptic and he should respect the Church, because it is a holy Church. We had a lot fights about this.
Then, he asked me to marry. We were talking already with some Bishops (from both churches) and they said that this marriage is possible. My husband didn't want to marry me in the Catholic church, because His family members (quite a lot of priests...) could not attend the ceremony. I respect his family and his cultural background, so having the acceptance from the catholic bishop, I agreed to marry him in the Coptic church. My husband went with me to my Catholic priest and sign the documents, that he is aware that I should do everything to raise the children as Catholics, and that I do have an obligation to not lose my faith.
The only thing was that I should receive the Myron sacrament, what I was very afraid and I wasn't sure if it is correct for me as I am Catholic (and didn't want to change it). The Coptic bishop made me sure that it is only to let me attend the communion in both churches and that since this time I will be both "Coptic-Catholic".
To make this story a bit more clear, I will write further only the main things in points:
1) Three weeks after the marriage, the depression came back to my husband. He started to lead the life that I was not accepting (discos, messaging girls on dating platforms, pornography, spending money on all of this).
2) The medication from the psychiatry helped a bit (were needed because he had suicidal thoughts). But whatever he did, he was used to saying that I cannot judge him because he is ill - and if I would be a good Christian I would not mention his sins (even if something was happening 1 hour before).
3) The situation was developing - sometimes hi didn't want to go to church at all through months, on other days he was fasting with water and bread only, or without eating whatever (even when taking medicines...). At the same time, I was going to the Catholic church as usual. At that point, we stopped to attend the liturgy together - he was changing the plans all the time, even when I asked to go together, next morning he was saying that he feels tired and so on).
4) We did have the discussion where to baptize our children. I stopped to believe that he will be able to grow up the children in any faith.
5) When I was working one month abroad, he went to the disco and then to the prostitute (before we've met, he was going there several times). Everything what I heard was that it was because of depression. I still tried to save this marriage.
6) One year ago he left me - rent another room and started to live alone. He said that I am the reason of his psychical problems. Didn't want to talk to me at all. Then, after some time he said that if I will agree to baptize the children in Coptic church, he will come back. In my heart all sacraments are equal (the sacrament of marriage and the baptism of children), therefor I said OK - if it will save our marriage, I agreed. I said that at home we can keep all Coptic fasting times (as I did when we were living together), attend the liturgy together, and the children will go to the Sunday School.
7) He did not come back. Currently, he requires that I will leave my church (through the official apostasy act) to prove that I am orthodox. I had the choice - either I will become Coptic only, or he will divorce me. He is saying that if he would be psychically stable before the marriage, he would never chose me as his wife. He thinks that my personality is totally fine, but he is responsible to lead me to heaven and I am refusing to accept the Truth that is written in the Bible.
8) He is preparing the divorce documents. It looks that in the church process, he will motivate the divorce by this that I am heretic.
For me the marriage last forever - I believe in this sacrament and that the Coptic Church is holy. At the same time, I cannot change the faith in my heart. I was talking to the Coptic Bishop and I see his love towards me. Unfortunately, it looks that the consequences of our marriage will be for me only (I do not think that someone can cancel the holy matrimony sacrament as it is written in the Bible...).
There is one guy in my husband's Coptic community who also divorced with the Catholic woman, so I think that my husband just follows him.
Sorry for such a long post, I tried to show you the whole picture. Could you maybe tell me what the Coptic Church thinks about divorces - is it ok to divorce me because I am belonging to another church? Or, do you think that our sacrament should be cancelled, because I did not respect the Myron, which converted me to the Orthodox (as my husband said). I do not have power anymore to solve this problems. I am not sure if I should agree on divorce in the court or not...