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What Can I Do? How Can I


mick
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What can I do? How can I

 

make my Christian wife feel loved?

 

I really love my wife and it breaks my heart. She is truly sad that I no longer believe. She cries in the morning. I definitely can be nicer and there for her more. However, when I spend time her she always wants to read scripture out loud, talks bout how god is going to heal my autistic son, etc. This morning she was truly heart broken when I left for work, and I was too. What can I do? All I can think if is to try to be the nicest person/father/husband I can be. Be unselfish as much as possible. However, my heart is sad to think that the only thing that will make her truly happy I cannot do again. That is believe in the whole story of the Bible.

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What can I do? How can I

 

make my Christian wife feel loved?

 

I really love my wife and it breaks my heart. She is truly sad that I no longer believe. She cries in the morning. I definitely can be nicer and there for her more. However, when I spend time her she always wants to read scripture out loud, talks bout how god is going to heal my autistic son, etc. This morning she was truly heart broken when I left for work, and I was too. What can I do? All I can think if is to try to be the nicest person/father/husband I can be. Be unselfish as much as possible. However, my heart is sad to think that the only thing that will make her truly happy I cannot do again. That is believe in the whole story of the Bible.

 

Mick... do you think she hangs on so tightly to her beliefs becuase she wants so much to see your son healed?

 

I mean - the reason I'm asking - is that if you can get to the core of WHY she hangs on so tightly to the theology she's been taught, you may be in a better position to connect with her.

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To put it bluntly...

 

You can't.

 

You could treat your wife like a princess, like a queen, treat her like she's the most wonderful woman in the world, means everything to you, and so on... but if her priorities are tangled up in her religious belief instead of her relationship with you, none of it will get through to her.

 

People who place their "relationship" with God before their relationship with the real, living, breathing human beings around them are hard to reach, because they aren't grounded completely in reality.

 

I'd guess that your wife may not be able to understand that whether or not you believe in the same deity she does has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you love her. I suppose if I were in your shoes I'd probably just let her know that, and probably make the demand to get to know her again as an individual human being, and cut the religious crap. I dunno tho.

 

Good luck in any case.

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Mick,

 

You have my sympathies. I imagine this must be very difficult.

 

I think the first thing you should consider is that there may be several stages to you and your wife making an adjustment to your new views.

 

Your wife may be mourning for the life she thought she had the same way you likely strted a mourning process when you left the fath and mourned over losing the life you thought you had.

 

As to being a good husband / father, this is a good plan regardless of faith.

 

In responding to your wife on religious discussions, I think the best advice I've read came from Dan Barker. http://ffrf.org/fttoday/back/evangel.php Take note of a couple points he makes.

 

Agree with as much of what she says as you can without violating your views and lure her into your world with the bait of thinking for herself. It may well be the only thing we have to offer of true value

 

Consider counselling. I would not suggest this to your wife until you have a firm strategy in your own mind on how you might deal with her wanting to see a Christian counsellor. I cannot believe a Christian counsellor be able to state any legitemacy to your views. One thought would be to ask for a jewish counsellor as a compromise. They love science and believe in evolution which speaks to their ability to reason and be objective. I would take leadership on this and do all the research myself. Even if you don't suggest this to her, she may suggest it to you. Have a response prepared because the last thing you need is a fundy counsellor validating your wife's views and telling her to just pray for you.

 

If your wife was raised fundy, keep in mind the enormous fear she might have of leaving herself. She will never abandon her stance if she does not respect you. Be respectful.

 

You may need to negotiate an open dialogue that you may notice, fundies who come here don't give to us. You want her to begin to acknowledge some of the points you make as legitemate so that you can have an intellegent and reasoned discussion. If you can get there, you might be able to get her to question her faith. Dan Barker says it better than me. See the link.

 

Dr. Phil talks about renegotiating a new relationship with your spouse in his relationship book. The library has it. Essentially that is what you want... a new deal. You want her to accept and respect your views and you'll do the same in exchange. There is no net-gain for her is there? It will take time for her to accept this and mourn that it will ever be different.

 

I hope some of this helps.

 

Mongo

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Oh... Gwen made me think of something.

 

Keep in mind that some people use tears and anger to manipulate others to give in.

 

Your desire to "kiss up" suggests that this is the dynamic.

 

This may be something you need to work on yourself and learn not to respond to manipulation.

 

Now, regarding your son...

 

I have a high-functioning autistic (aspurgers) child.

 

For comparison, my wife for a long time believed he could be helped with diet. To me, this was "faith" in holisitc bullshit not fact based reasoning.

 

It took my wife about 3 years to "get over" this. My son is no different in behaviour but he is happier now that he doesn't have a diet that is different than other kids. It can be really difficult reasoning with people who don't like to reason. My wife got her way because that is what she wanted and would hear nothing else.

 

As time has passed, she is coming to respect me as she sees that her "hail Mary" attempts are not helping and that the diet "made him even more different than he already was and that made him unhappier. I think she sees that but I'm not pushing for a verbal acknowledgment of this mistake.

 

I am now the one voice of reaon in her life and her family that believe in holistic crap and her flaky friends don't have enduring soultions or very deep understanding of my son.

 

By the way - I'm still not certain that it necesarily be viewed as a "condition" as if being on the ASD spectrum is so bad. I have some aspurgers tendancies and when I first heard of the condition I thought, "that's me". I like who I am period. I'm quite confident several adult aspurgers people would say "F*&^-you to those who would characterize them as inadequate.

 

I would never trade my skill set for that of my socially astute brother who lacks common sense. I like who I am, alot, and I don't get bored like social people because there is so much around to interest me.

 

Mongo

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My wife is doing the exact same diet thing. AND she is convinced that God has told her and all her friends that my son will completely and perfectly healed. (no trace of autism whatsoever.)

 

And he is worse than an ASberger child. He is not toilet trained at all at age 6, barely talks (talking has improved, but it is still mostly echoing things and parroting things. He goes into his whole world and will actually act out an entire movie by heart using his hands as puppets. He "says" the dialogue of the characters, but it not exact at all. In other words he makes sounds that are similar to the words. The only way you would know what most of the words are, is by knowing the show he is acting out.)

 

He uses some words in context, but not many. Wife believes he is going to be completly healed, and that we should not bother with the ABA type autistic training and intervention. One thing that really helped me kick my faith out the door (other than the Bible itself) is watching her suffer, and watching the WAY her faith is practiced.) She once told me that my son became sick be of sin in MY life!!! She also is afraid that if we don't tithe he won't get healed. She also thinks that if he is nothealed it could be because we did not have enough faith. I'm screwed no matter what. If she ever accepts his sickness, she may always be able to blame me or us in some way with the shitty belief system she has.

 

GAWD!!!!

 

Oh... Gwen made me think of something.

 

Keep in mind that some people use tears and anger to manipulate others to give in.

 

Your desire to "kiss up" suggests that this is the dynamic.

 

This may be something you need to work on yourself and learn not to respond to manipulation.

 

Now, regarding your son...

 

I have a high-functioning autistic (aspurgers) child.

 

For comparison, my wife for a long time believed he could be helped with diet. To me, this was "faith" in holisitc bullshit not fact based reasoning.

 

It took my wife about 3 years to "get over" this. My son is no different in behaviour but he is happier now that he doesn't have a diet that is different than other kids. It can be really difficult reasoning with people who don't like to reason. My wife got her way because that is what she wanted and would hear nothing else.

 

As time has passed, she is coming to respect me as she sees that her "hail Mary" attempts are not helping and that the diet "made him even more different than he already was and that made him unhappier. I think she sees that but I'm not pushing for a verbal acknowledgment of this mistake.

 

I am now the one voice of reaon in her life and her family that believe in holistic crap and her flaky friends don't have enduring soultions or very deep understanding of my son.

 

By the way - I'm still not certain that it necesarily be viewed as a "condition" as if being on the ASD spectrum is so bad. I have some aspurgers tendancies and when I first heard of the condition I thought, "that's me". I like who I am period. I'm quite confident several adult aspurgers people would say "F*&^-you to those who would characterize them as inadequate.

 

I would never trade my skill set for that of my socially astute brother who lacks common sense. I like who I am, alot, and I don't get bored like social people because there is so much around to interest me.

 

Mongo

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She once told me that my son became sick be of sin in MY life!!! She also is afraid that if we don't tithe he won't get healed. She also thinks that if he is nothealed it could be because we did not have enough faith. I'm screwed no matter what. If she ever accepts his sickness, she may always be able to blame me or us in some way with the shitty belief system she has.

 

GAWD!!!!

Man, that is terrible. That tears me up. I don't know what to say. If I was near by we could go for a bear and rage a bit.

 

Hang in there

 

regards

 

Stew

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I think the best thing you can do is just be there for her and focus on the times when she's being your wife and detach yourself from the godly rants. I know that's a LOT easier said than done, but it might save your sanity. It's something you'll have to wait out.

 

Your wife is going to have to decide on her own feelings and come to her own conclusions, but keep stating your position patiently about the fact you love her dearly and nothing is going to change that, but you are done discussing god.

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I feel for you, dude. While my son was incorrectly suspected of having autism (at 3 1/2 my son is saying about what yours is at 6) I sure know the nightmare of trying to figure out what works. What has worked for us (recasting and other speech methods) wouldn't work for yours because he sounds truly autistic. (Mine is more just a late talker) And ABA therapy doesn't work for non-autistic late talkers! More the reason to get a really solid diagnosis. You are correct that ABA is the big therapy available for the autistic child.

 

Best of luck, I wish I had some real advice.

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She once told me that my son became sick be of sin in MY life!!! She also is afraid that if we don't tithe he won't get healed. She also thinks that if he is nothealed it could be because we did not have enough faith. I'm screwed no matter what. If she ever accepts his sickness, she may always be able to blame me or us in some way with the shitty belief system she has.

 

I'm sure you're well aware of this - but she is parrotting what she hears at church.

 

The best thing you can do - Mick - is keep taking her back to the foundation of your relationship. You're love for each other. Every single time she starts in about her religion, the Bible, her strong feelings about your son and what he is dealing with - every single time turn the conversation around to WHY you got married in the first place.

 

I mean you have to do this to the point of exhaustion and then some. You have to continuously turn the conversation around to your love for her, her love for you, the love you both have for your son. You may be angry and hurt and turning it to this - the foundation - may come out in angry and hurtful words. Or it may come out in compassionate words. Over the years it will probably be a lot of both. But - over time - you may stand a chance of getting through all the brainwashing.

 

I'm sorry - I wish I had more for you than that. :shrug:

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>>She once told me that my son became sick be of sin in MY life!!!

 

OUt of fairness to her, she did apologize later for this comment.

 

My wife is doing the exact same diet thing. AND she is convinced that God has told her and all her friends that my son will completely and perfectly healed. (no trace of autism whatsoever.)

 

And he is worse than an ASberger child. He is not toilet trained at all at age 6, barely talks (talking has improved, but it is still mostly echoing things and parroting things. He goes into his whole world and will actually act out an entire movie by heart using his hands as puppets. He "says" the dialogue of the characters, but it not exact at all. In other words he makes sounds that are similar to the words. The only way you would know what most of the words are, is by knowing the show he is acting out.)

 

He uses some words in context, but not many. Wife believes he is going to be completly healed, and that we should not bother with the ABA type autistic training and intervention. One thing that really helped me kick my faith out the door (other than the Bible itself) is watching her suffer, and watching the WAY her faith is practiced.) She once told me that my son became sick be of sin in MY life!!! She also is afraid that if we don't tithe he won't get healed. She also thinks that if he is nothealed it could be because we did not have enough faith. I'm screwed no matter what. If she ever accepts his sickness, she may always be able to blame me or us in some way with the shitty belief system she has.

 

GAWD!!!!

 

Oh... Gwen made me think of something.

 

Keep in mind that some people use tears and anger to manipulate others to give in.

 

Your desire to "kiss up" suggests that this is the dynamic.

 

This may be something you need to work on yourself and learn not to respond to manipulation.

 

Now, regarding your son...

 

I have a high-functioning autistic (aspurgers) child.

 

For comparison, my wife for a long time believed he could be helped with diet. To me, this was "faith" in holisitc bullshit not fact based reasoning.

 

It took my wife about 3 years to "get over" this. My son is no different in behaviour but he is happier now that he doesn't have a diet that is different than other kids. It can be really difficult reasoning with people who don't like to reason. My wife got her way because that is what she wanted and would hear nothing else.

 

As time has passed, she is coming to respect me as she sees that her "hail Mary" attempts are not helping and that the diet "made him even more different than he already was and that made him unhappier. I think she sees that but I'm not pushing for a verbal acknowledgment of this mistake.

 

I am now the one voice of reaon in her life and her family that believe in holistic crap and her flaky friends don't have enduring soultions or very deep understanding of my son.

 

By the way - I'm still not certain that it necesarily be viewed as a "condition" as if being on the ASD spectrum is so bad. I have some aspurgers tendancies and when I first heard of the condition I thought, "that's me". I like who I am period. I'm quite confident several adult aspurgers people would say "F*&^-you to those who would characterize them as inadequate.

 

I would never trade my skill set for that of my socially astute brother who lacks common sense. I like who I am, alot, and I don't get bored like social people because there is so much around to interest me.

 

Mongo

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I'm on beer number four and it's only Monday. What the Fawk????

Anytime you are in Massachusetts I'll go for a beer.

 

My ONLY Ex-Christain friend doesn't even drink! What the FAWK!!!!!!!!! I haven't been cocked in like 18 years. Nice.

 

She once told me that my son became sick be of sin in MY life!!! She also is afraid that if we don't tithe he won't get healed. She also thinks that if he is nothealed it could be because we did not have enough faith. I'm screwed no matter what. If she ever accepts his sickness, she may always be able to blame me or us in some way with the shitty belief system she has.

 

GAWD!!!!

Man, that is terrible. That tears me up. I don't know what to say. If I was near by we could go for a bear and rage a bit.

 

Hang in there

 

regards

 

Stew

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This is really a tough situation. I feel for you, even though I don't have a child with a health problem. My husband is the one who is still faithful at church and insists our children go to services. It was hard at first when I started doubting all I'd been brought up to believe. I was raised extreme fundamentalist Baptist, and my dad is now a Baptist pastor, but wasn't when I was growing up. Anyway, I just try to be the loving wife that I've been for years, and don't get into too many theological discussions with him. He isn't very interested in debating it with me, but we did do that some several months ago when this really got started. He does wonder what happened to the woman he married (a very spiritual Baptist and concientious and all that, spouting all I was brought up to believe), but our relationship has actually gotten better because I stand up for myself and make more decisions on my own now. He can appreciate that. Strange it took me that long to realize it.

sparkyone

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I'm thinking that when someone makes the decision to marry, it has something to do with believing that they've found a person with as many of the personally desired qualities they are likely to find. One can't expect to not have one of those qualities all of a sudden, of which there are probably not many that a partner really wants them to have, without causing some distress. It is after all, one of the main reasons they chose them. It stands to reason that since christians are generally proscribed from being with non-christians, that being christian is one of the major requirements for marriage, and one of the most desired traits to boot.

 

I'm guessing (having never been married, and thankfully not planning to be) that it's going to come down to a decision: can I live without this aspect of my spouse? One can love someone, but something makes you in love with them, perhaps a combination of somethings.

 

Well, that's just my take on things.

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Mick,

 

Your son definitely has autism worse than my son.

 

You know, one of the things that makes my son difficult is how close to normal he is which people, including his parents, sometimes have trouble knowing when he is being a child pain in the ass or an autistic pain in the ass. So sometimes we ask too much of him.

 

That's one of the things about dealing with autistic kids is that they are hard to read too. It is not just that they have a hard time reading you.

 

I think if we didn't give him a lot of genuine attention and love he could become screwed up.

 

You know Mick, no matter what version of child you have, if you love your kids, you will always wonder whether you did this right or that wrong. You and your wife will make mistakes - that's life. Everybody does it.

 

You and your wife love your son deeply. You differ on how to best help him.

 

I trust your son has been diagnosed by a competent professional. If not, I highly recommend it. My wife found a psychologist who I believe did a good job assessing our son. It really helped both of us get a grip on what is going through our son's mind. Doing something like that would help your wife if you can get her to participate.

 

The best advice I can give you is to take the road you took out of christianity - education. Read up on autism and even go to seminars. I suggest that you will have to take the lead on this and become an expert. The reason I suggest this is so that you can eventually demonstrate to your wife that the best advice on your son comes from you and not her church friends. This may take time and you will need to stay "on message" (i.e. you are trying to do the very best for your son).

 

Practical approaches I would use...

 

Firstly... support your wife physically. This means doing housework, allowing her time to get out of the house, helping with groceries, cleaning toilets and floors or whatever. If she is tired she will not be able to think straight and you are nowhere. You need to be her most important ally and she won't listen to you if you don't look like you are pitching in. It is tiring and hard work and some women don't appreciate that you have a full time job. Fairness is what you find at the lawyer's office. You're married. There's a difference!

 

Support the diet thing. It won't hurt your son and resisting will unnecessarily make you look like a dork. Help cook his meals or whatever.

 

Find an autism support group. I can relate to you but I think you'd benefit from contact with parents with similar kids to yours. You may also be able to find a way for her to make contact with other parents with autistic kids. If/when that happens, a shift will occur in her thinking. Doo what you can to encourage this or even make friends and invite some to come over to visit to meet your wife and son.

 

Keep remembering... your wife will one day, as sure as shootin', she will one day accept that it will never change. When that happens, your relationship with your wife will improve providing she can look back and see that you were supportive by helping get daily work done and by providing insight into your son.

 

This process may take a while to evolve and change. It will take some time but it will change for the better.

 

Another thought... although this is very frustrating, you can be there to help your son and compromise or you can be divorced and leave your son to a woman who is not seeing the big picture.

 

Your kids need you and you need your kids. Don't let this cut up your relationship with your wife.

 

You and your son will benefit from searching for the best compromise you can negotiate. By looking at these issues from a right/wrong perespective you set yourself up to fail.

 

Hang in there, it will get better eventually.

 

Feel free to PM me anytime. If you want my regular email, I'll send it to you.

 

Mongo

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Practical approaches I would use...

 

Firstly... support your wife physically. This means doing housework, allowing her time to get out of the house, helping with groceries, cleaning toilets and floors or whatever. If she is tired she will not be able to think straight and you are nowhere. You need to be her most important ally and she won't listen to you if you don't look like you are pitching in. It is tiring and hard work and some women don't appreciate that you have a full time job. Fairness is what you find at the lawyer's office. You're married. There's a difference!

 

 

This is the most fantastic marriage advice I've read anywhere.

 

Mongo - you said in an earlier post that you personally are somehwere on the autism spectrum/ kinda Aspergers.

 

I don't buy that, you're a natural empath!

 

 

Top posts! good advice, thank you mick for sharing your pain, I wish I could help, Thank you mongo for some A1 advice for us all..

 

regards

 

Stew

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