Jump to content

Getting Desperate...spouse Is A Christian


junkpoet
 Share

Recommended Posts

well i should probably be talking to a marriage counselor or something. i have been married for 13 years and have three kids age 12, 10 and 8. we were both raised in the church of christ, her father was a missionary and mine a preacher. we met at a christian university. it took me 15 years of study but i have read my way out of thiesm. now what the hell am i going to do. i have not told my parents or hers. probably wont. i am not close to my family anyway. i have good friends that are fellow upbelivers, but none with the same issues i have to deal with. one athiest friend is single, two others are married (to each other). i have taken the advice of one friend and just tried to let the topic alone with my spouse. is so hard though. chrisitianity is so much a part of her life. she resents me for my slips (sense of humor about jesus stuff) she is worried i will send the kids to hell becasue i dont go to church with her. i dont want to indoctrinate the kids but i dont want them brainwashed. i really love her...she is a really cool person and so much fun. i said that christianity is so much a part of her life, but really it is just something to do on sunday. there are so many ways that it hurts though to be so close to someone, knowing the attitiude that we both have about each other's beliefs. any advice?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm Junkpoet. I feel for you. Does your wife know of the conclusion that you have reached?

Have you had a heart to heart about this?

 

The only thing I can suggest is that you just be open, as you have been already, listen and offer your love rather than your beliefs (it may flow naturally to express them if she asks, or the situation warrants).

As for the kids, they will already be aware that you don,t go to church. So you may say something to them...you know them so you will have to decide what to say

 

Another thing that may be helpful is to start having your friends around for dinner etc and just hang out with your wife , without discussing religion initially. Remember , she believes they are Satan's children. One thing that really helped me to deconvert was to mix with lots of different people and realise that they weren,t depraved, devil worshippers. Just people like me.

 

The horrible thing is that it sounds like you have plenty of people who will stick their oar in, so beware of that.

 

She may say something like, "You,ve changed!" Just remind her that your beliefs have changed, but not you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i should probably be talking to a marriage counselor or something. i have been married for 13 years and have three kids age 12, 10 and 8. we were both raised in the church of christ, her father was a missionary and mine a preacher. we met at a christian university. it took me 15 years of study but i have read my way out of thiesm. now what the hell am i going to do. i have not told my parents or hers. probably wont. i am not close to my family anyway. i have good friends that are fellow upbelivers, but none with the same issues i have to deal with. one athiest friend is single, two others are married (to each other). i have taken the advice of one friend and just tried to let the topic alone with my spouse. is so hard though. chrisitianity is so much a part of her life. she resents me for my slips (sense of humor about jesus stuff) she is worried i will send the kids to hell becasue i dont go to church with her. i dont want to indoctrinate the kids but i dont want them brainwashed. i really love her...she is a really cool person and so much fun. i said that christianity is so much a part of her life, but really it is just something to do on sunday. there are so many ways that it hurts though to be so close to someone, knowing the attitiude that we both have about each other's beliefs. any advice?

 

Wow. You're in a tight spot Poet. I was in a similar situation about 3 to 4 years ago, only my now ex-wife was NOT a cool person and was absolutely no fun. Sure, she was a great mom and tried to mother me, but that's not what I wanted OR needed. Anyway, my advice is this. If you truly love this woman and can live with her religious beliefs then I say stick it out. Your children will pay heavily if you leave now. I was lucky in that mine were really too young to know what was going on at the time. My son still has some issues with it and he was only 4 then. It will NOT be easy to stay if you both can't decide to accept each other as you are and if you CAN'T, then maybe it would be best (even for the kids) if you didn't.

 

But honestly, I suggest going to a counselor. You hit the nail on the head in your first sentence. All I can offer is my life experience which is probably not more than yours AND I'm bitter. :HaHa:

 

So take the time and visit a marriage counselor. Get your wife to go too if she will. Mine wouldn't. If she won't, then maybe that should tell you something right there.

 

Good luck, Poet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my families experience (uncles an atheist, aunty is a church deacon/assistant preacher), they were able to avoid worrying about the subject with each other, it was the kids that caused all of the arguements. Mum thought they must go to church for their own good, while Dad thought it was a waste of time and was happy to let them do other things.

One arguement was based around my uncle saying "Your school work is more important, with exams coming up I'd rather have you concentrate on those and get your assignments done", while my aunt said "The church is as necassary as school, its only a few hours, the assignments can wait".

 

I would definately recommend discussing such things in advance. Get an understanding of where you both stand and potential areas of conflict, and sit down and work out how you will handle those situations. If you can stay level headed and agree to let your children understand both sides and make their own call, hopefully you can find that mid ground where it can work for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your in a jam no doubt about it. Only you can decide what to do. Many of us on here have been through this. There is no easy answer and it is different for everybody. There are so many variables like the minister, the church, friends and family. I would say from what you have told us your best bet might be to chill out and start to show her things you have learned and read. Basically try to pull her away from religion, find other things for the family to do on sundays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is tough and there is no sure fix for it. It will take a lot of work to overcome. As others have suggested, marriage counseling may be the answer; however, be sure you both are comfortable with the counselor. One other suggestion make sure that it isn't counseling through her church.

 

The church provides all kinds of counseling; however, the ministers and lay people who provide it are licensed and haven't gone to medical school, going to them is like going to your car mechanic for a heart transplant. Personally I would be very happy if the states would charge these ministers and lay people for practicing medicine without a license, they screw up so many lives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just re-reading the replies. she hasnt been to church for weeks now. i am worried about her actually. i dont know what is the motive for her skipping. maybe just she is tired, she is working 6 days a week right now. (post office gets busy near xmas) she has been buying apologists books and printing off christian vs. atheist stuff. that material is so repulsive. their artufments so ridiculous. i have to bite my tongue. but she is not talking about it. still have not gone to any counseling.

 

thanks again for your comments and thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm an Ex-Church of Christ minister ex-christian. If that could be a resource for you feel free to pm me.

 

I almost dis-recommend a councilor. Would she agree to a neutral councilor? If she wanted a minister to do it, you are probably screwed. However, it should be possible to find a trained secular councilor that is a Christian so that she doesn't feel so threatened by it.

 

I think it is a good thing that she is looking at apologetics. If she really thinks about what they say, she will find problems. However, people are Christians for emotional reasons, not logical reasons. I think the opposite is true as well. I used to think that I read my way out too, but when I analyze the process that which made me give up the faith completely was disgust. I explored more liberal ways of being Christian, but by the time I got around to it, I just didn't care anymore. No feeling attached me anymore. I mention this because her not attending will help her distance herself emotionally. That is one of the main reasons that church insists on attendance. (That and Money) You might be able to encourage her absence by planning fun stuff on Sundays. That way maybe she will look forward to Sunday as something other than a guilt trip for not going to church.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in a similar boat when I became an atheist a few years back. I found the thing to do was to turn the tables on her: I told her that I loved her so much, I could look past her ridiculous beliefs in ancient myths and love her for who she really was. I'm fortunate enough that she is quite intelligent and very scientifically-minded, and she is in agreement with me that the bible cannot possibly be entirely true when challenged. She understands why I cannot believe, as I sufficiently explained it to her. She still sort of believes today, but I think she's more of an agnostic now.

 

Whatever you do, don't give her religious beliefs any credit whatsoever; otherwise, you may appear as though you may have made a mistake. Respect her choice to believe, but make it very clear that it's something YOU will tolerate out of love and respect for her as a person, and not because the religion itself deserves any respect. Hopefully, she will recognize this sacrifice you are willing to make and come half way as my wife did. Always build her up and encourage her accomplishments as things she did on her own without divine intervention. Praise your spouse, belittle the religion. Let her know you'll always be there for her for support, because that is precisely what she will need if you ever expect her to abandon her religion as you have done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DigitalQuirk, thanks for a good post. I'm single but my sisters (who are also single) have presumed the responsibility to warn me of the eternal consequences of my decisions. I've already started two different threads on that issue so I won't go into it here. I am thinking your answers might also work for my sisters if they challenge me again. For them, religious belief is definitely more important than family relationships. Since there is scripture for this (Jesus said if you don't hate your family--including spouse--you're not worthy of him), I don't have too much hope that this will change. Suggesting it, however, won't hurt.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Poet,

 

I was pondering my own lack of wisdom, not having any magic answers, but I guess it's because as others have said, you are in a difficult position.

 

I would think that a counselor would be good provided you have a decent neutral/secular counselor that is a good fit, if your wife would agree to that--a christian oriented counselor would most certainly have an agenda.

 

Perhaps there is hope that your wife is moderating or may moderate. I don't know the best way to handle something like this, but I'd probably approach it delicately, providing her with food for thought, without forcing her into a defensive posture.

 

If worse were to come to worse, you'd need to be there as much as possible as a positive influence for your kids, which is difficult if you're the man. Best wishes--I hope your wife will be able to more and more find common ground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm single but my sisters (who are also single) have presumed the responsibility to warn me of the eternal consequences of my decisions. I've already started two different threads on that issue so I won't go into it here. I am thinking your answers might also work for my sisters if they challenge me again. For them, religious belief is definitely more important than family relationships. Since there is scripture for this (Jesus said if you don't hate your family--including spouse--you're not worthy of him), I don't have too much hope that this will change. Suggesting it, however, won't hurt.

 

I think in your case, taking the moral higher ground is definitely the way to go. You would need to position yourself as a moral authority as you respond to them; belittling their religion and scriptures, while at the same time building them and their accomplishments up. I often take this position to diffuse the religious preachings of my mostly Christian family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.