My average suburban parish gets a lot of visitors (we're the only parish that offers services completely in English for many miles in several directions). These folks are beginning to stay, and a decent number are inquirers. We're beginning to get a number from what is called "traditional Orthodoxy." I won't be more specific than that. If you want to know, PM me. I've no problem talking to strangers, so I'm one of the unofficially designated folks who will chat with newcomers. And they often reveal a lot.
Anyway, I've begun seeing something that disturbs me, in the inquirers/catechumens who've come from "traditional Orthodoxy." In families where only one parent/spouse is interested in Orthodoxy (usually the husband/father), this person has been given an excessive prayer rule. We're talking hours a day. As a result, marriages are strained because the Orthodox inquirer is spending a great deal of time shut away from the spouse and small children.
I know my priest (and many others), if dealing with an inquirer/catechumen who has a spouse not interested in Orthodoxy (or actively hostile to it) will be pastorally sensitive to the home situation - a prayer rule that's reasonable (10-15 minutes am/pm), maybe even suggesting things like prayers before meals being said while preparing the meal so as to not aggravate the situation if the spouse is hostile to Orthodoxy.
But in the home situations I'm encountering, the traditional Orthodox priests are not showing any sort of pastoral sensitivity to the home situations at all. The inquirers, when asking if they could reduce the prayer rule, were told no. Period.
For those of you who converted in “traditional Orthodox” parishes, especially if you had a spouse not interested or hostile to Orthodoxy, was your priest sensitive to the situation and give you work arounds (for example, reading part of the prayer rule morning/evening if you took public transit to work) or were you told to just keep with a very long prayer rule and the family would have to deal with it?
This is only about married couples, not single folks. I’m disturbed at the lack of regard for spouses not interested in Orthodoxy, and young children who are seeing a lot less of one parent. The “one size fits all” prayer rule seems to be rather prevalent
I have nothing against “traditional Orthodox parishes.” In fact, if I lived near an English-language ROCOR parish, I might very well consider joining it. However, none is close, and my priest, whom I love, doesn’t do any funky weird stuff, so I’m good.