Wow! My wife (Evangelical Protestant) and I had exactly that same conversation just last night! She told me how upsetting it is for her to come downstairs in the morning and see me praying in front of my icons (idolatry, of course). I try to be up and finished my prayers before she gets up, for her privacy and mine, but sometimes I'm up a bit later than usual and sometimes she's up a bit earlier than usual.
I tried to explain this to her and did state firmly but as kindly as possible that my prayer time is non-negotiable, and I'm not going to follow her instructions for my prayers, that I've already made compromises such as trying to be up early, and minimizing my evening prayers. I asked her to try to find out why it bothers her so much. I don't know where she's been going for advice on this, but it isn't working.
My priest is aware of my situation overall and understands my dilemma.
I find it so very odd that for the first thirty years of our marriage she constantly whined (yes, that's the right word) that she wanted me to be the spiritual leader in the family. Then, when I finally get my priorities straight she calls foul.
You're not alone.
I think it does help that I have my prayer corner in my office. I do not have much if any Christian anything anywhere else in the house. (As much as I'd like to say this is 'our' house - this home has been in HIS family for four generations - and it is I who was welcomed here, not the opposite way around.)
One of the things that is helping me in my faith-relationship with my husband. . .is that even though he is atheist, I am still called to respect him and honor him - for the sake of His Name. So, tie goes to the runner, and he's (my husband) the runner. My feet are planted. . . (**smiles**) For every concession I'm making - I can trust that He will help me to find a way through this and into His grace.
Yesterday I felt strongly that my prayer rule needed to take the 'MY' out of it. It isn't mine. It's His (Christ Jesus'). I needed to move my brainiac brain out of the way and let Him decide what HE wants from me. . .instead of my deciding what *I* want from Him. . .and place my heart back into servant mode and get it out of the 'tyrant' mode.
So, yesterday was a change. No longer is it an hour or more of prayer at 5am. Now it's when WE (my husband and I) get up TOGETHER - I go to my prayer corner in my office and shut the door - for fifteen minutes. Not one minute longer. But not one minute shorter, either.
In the mail yesterday, I received the St. Philip Prayer Discipline. . .I will read it and take it to my priest and put myself under his direction concerning it. . . but the more I look at my life. . .the more I can see that I'm called to love. . .called to sacrifice my will for the sake of His Will.
In looking at this, I can see how my Lord was using my husband to get me out of my stubborn self centered will concerning what I thought I should do in a situation - in this case, the tried and true. . .I've prayed for decades this way. . .but maybe He didn't want me sold in to my will and the tried and true. . .but be bendable and flexible to do what ever HE wants me to do. I was super stuck. So, I think I've begun to look at my husband in a new light. . . being thankful for all things. . .and knowing that all things that He allows to take place in my life are for my good and will ultimately bring me closer to Him if I don't go kicking and screaming and fighting Him every step of the way. (Which I am oh so prone to do.)
If I consider myself dead to this world and alive to Christ, then my prayer corner, my prayer rule, everything I am or have is in Him and in the Kingdom of God. . . I lose nothing - even if today my house burned down, and I find myself in a prison cell somewhere and only allowed to hold a cup of water or a piece of bread and gaze at brick walls. Whatever I'm attached to in this world will hold me here. . . because what I'm actually attached to is not my prayer corner. . .or my prayer rule. . .but my will. . .and it's stuck here in this world. . .it's not going anywhere. It will die here, and take me with it if I so allow it. If my will is in His Kingdom. . .If I seek His righteousness - which is so very different from MY righteousness. . .then wow. . .the whole world changes. His Kingdom is so very different.