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Choosing Family First


dB-Paradox
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This evening, my wife and I talked about my belief, or lack thereof and how it impacts us and our girls. The subject was mainly about attending church. I have been taking the family to church, as my wife is still a fundie, but I do not sit and listen to the brainwashing messages. I just visit with people out in the foyer or sit on a couch doing nothing. Once, I actually dropped the family off and then went back home and had some nice quiet time alone. Jesus isn't peace...being home alone is!

 

Anyway, it's been weighing on my wife. She really wants me to sit in the service with her, just to be with the rest of the family. And after a long talk, I've decided I'll do it. She and my girls are more important to me than anything else. I'm not doing this for some guy named Jesus, and my wife knows it. (Oh, she knows it!!!) Personally, I can't help but feel the real motive for her wanting me to join her is the wish that I'll return to the faith and not just to be together on Sunday morning. I feel I'm doing the right thing, honoring her above myself, but at the same time, I'm kinda worried that the brainwashing process will start all over again. It's been several months since I've sat in a church service. I'm still a relatively new X-xian. I'm also easily influenced...quite a passive person. I want to honor myself in this, but I just feel family should be honored first. Probably from a Christian upbringing -- "deny yourself". I'm in a tight spot here. What would you do (or maybe have done) in this type of situation?

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My personal opinion is to get yourself the hell out of Dodge, but I guess your wife isn't the abusive bitch mine was and you're not as damaged as I was. I had to get out to get healthy, happy, and sane.

 

Still, I can't help but feel that this is an emotional ploy by your wife. Something in her can't handle the fact that you don't believe. It's an insecurity issue. She needs you to be a certain way for her life to be okay.

 

I just don't see how that's "love"...

 

...I think I have insecurity with other peoples' insecurity issues because they upset me a fair bit.

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My personal opinion is to get yourself the hell out of Dodge

Sorry for sounding dumb, but...Dodge? Leave the relationship? Or ignore the request?

but I guess your wife isn't the abusive bitch mine was and you're not as damaged as I was. I had to get out to get healthy, happy, and sane.

She's not abusive, but quite controlling...might actually be the same thing. But I love her just the same. And I love my girls even more!

Still, I can't help but feel that this is an emotional ploy by your wife. Something in her can't handle the fact that you don't believe. It's an insecurity issue. She needs you to be a certain way for her life to be okay.

Now, there's a true statement! While I wouldn't call it a "ploy", I would say she is insecure and is having a hard time with my relatively new way of life. And something she can't handle? Absolutely! I also think she wants to maintain a good image in the church..."Look, here's my perfect Christian family". I'm still torn. But thanks for the input! Much appreciated!

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This evening, my wife and I talked about my belief, or lack thereof and how it impacts us and our girls. The subject was mainly about attending church. I have been taking the family to church, as my wife is still a fundie, but I do not sit and listen to the brainwashing messages. I just visit with people out in the foyer or sit on a couch doing nothing. Once, I actually dropped the family off and then went back home and had some nice quiet time alone. Jesus isn't peace...being home alone is!

 

Anyway, it's been weighing on my wife. She really wants me to sit in the service with her, just to be with the rest of the family. And after a long talk, I've decided I'll do it. She and my girls are more important to me than anything else. I'm not doing this for some guy named Jesus, and my wife knows it. (Oh, she knows it!!!) Personally, I can't help but feel the real motive for her wanting me to join her is the wish that I'll return to the faith and not just to be together on Sunday morning. I feel I'm doing the right thing, honoring her above myself, but at the same time, I'm kinda worried that the brainwashing process will start all over again. It's been several months since I've sat in a church service. I'm still a relatively new X-xian. I'm also easily influenced...quite a passive person. I want to honor myself in this, but I just feel family should be honored first. Probably from a Christian upbringing -- "deny yourself". I'm in a tight spot here. What would you do (or maybe have done) in this type of situation?

 

 

 

What you are doing seems very admirable. At the same time I think your wife should respect your beliefs and shows you are important to her as well. Do you mind having your kids going to church and being indoctrinated? If so you should be honest with your wife and express that to her. Maybe she could show her love to you by figuring out exactly why you don't believe anymore (maybe she has done this already).

 

I'm just saying that because you don't believe doesn't mean you are in the wrong and have to conform to her ways and her ignore your needs. I'm all for making a marriage work and choosing to to do things for your spouse but I hope it goes both ways and you are able to have a voice.

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This evening, my wife and I talked about my belief, or lack thereof and how it impacts us and our girls. The subject was mainly about attending church.

 

I'm in a tight spot here. What would you do (or maybe have done) in this type of situation?

Rough spot indeed.

 

On the one hand, making you do something you don't want to do, or that you even find repulsive, can really grate on a relationship.

 

On the other hand, she's your wife and the mother of your children, and major disputes over such issues can destroy a relationship.

 

But on the other hand, Your children are being indoctrinated, but that is something you have already accepted.

 

So the only issue remaining is whether you can stand being in church during the service, bowing, confessing your "sins", and doing what everyone else is doing - like a robot.

 

How about taking a gameboy with you and playing games while the service is going on. No, scratch that.

 

I would probably go, but strive to keep my mind thinking. Analyze the people, the priest, the liturgy, the architecture, etc. It's a tight package designed to wash brains. Keep yours intact while in the den of the lions.

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I think you are honestly the only one that will know how to make the right decision about this since you know your wife and your situation better than any of us.

 

I do have some advice about the brain washing. I've had to sit through quite a few services since my deconversion and it's a crazy struggle to resist the brain washing. I know that getting myself into an extremely critical and scoffing attitude helps negate most of what is said for me. I think you could do it, it just takes a lot of wrestling with yourself during services.

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It sounds like you attend a church where the kids sit with their parents through the sermon. Boooooring. If that's the case, maybe you could find a church where the kids attend Sunday School while the parents listen to the Pastor drone on about gawd? That way, you could sit quietly and read if you wife still insists you show up for appearance's sake.

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One word. IPOD.

----------------

And yes, I've done it.

:wicked:

 

I don't go to church with DH anymore....and he rarely asks me to.

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I think you are honestly the only one that will know how to make the right decision about this since you know your wife and your situation better than any of us.

 

I do have some advice about the brain washing. I've had to sit through quite a few services since my deconversion and it's a crazy struggle to resist the brain washing. I know that getting myself into an extremely critical and scoffing attitude helps negate most of what is said for me. I think you could do it, it just takes a lot of wrestling with yourself during services.

I just had a picture of Joe Wilson sitting in a sermon, scoffing attitude at full throttle, and in the middle of the sermon, an outburst, "You Lie!"

 

Oops, where did that come from...?

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When I have to attend services with my parents (when I'm visiting them on vacation), I spend the service looking through the Bible. It amuses me to find contradictions and ridiculous passages while it looks to others like I'm devoutly studying God's word. :)

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Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions! As far as my children being indoctrinated...my oldest is 3 years old, almost 4. There is a sunday school for her, but I think it only runs the same time the sermon does during the summer. During the regular school year, the kids have to sit during the sermon. Yes, BOOOORRRRIIIINNGGGG!!!! Anyway, one day after sunday school, I went to pick up my daughter and they had done crafts. I don't remember what bible story they had been taught, but it made me almost throw up to see her with a coloring page of cartoon biblical characters. Of course, Jesus is almost always portrayed as a caucasian man (which I believe is an image of control...but that's another thing). They make these biblical stories look so fun.

 

Well anyway, I have already told my wife that if the kids have questions growing up, such as "did the snake really talk to Eve?" I'll encourage them to use their brain. "Do you think snakes can talk?" My wife "jokingly" said, if they have any questions, not to ask me for answers. (She believes that the serpent actually spoke to Eve, by the way...I see this as a great example of mythology.)

 

And today is Sunday, but my wife was too tired to go to church. Hooray! We see a counsellor tomorrow, and this is one of the things we will be addressing. As of now, I don't know what I'll do next Sunday, but maybe this counselling will help us both understand each other. Oh, and it's NOT a Christian counsellor!

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My wife "jokingly" said, if they have any questions, not to ask me for answers.

 

Jokingly or not, this really shows where your wife is in her mind, she thinks you are wrong and that her way is the right way and that is how the children are going to be taught.

 

And today is Sunday, but my wife was too tired to go to church. Hooray! We see a counsellor tomorrow, and this is one of the things we will be addressing. As of now, I don't know what I'll do next Sunday, but maybe this counselling will help us both understand each other. Oh, and it's NOT a Christian counsellor!

 

I think it is sad that your relaxation and contentment is dependent upon whether your wife and/or you goes to church or not. I know how it must be difficult with this division going on between you and you probably want to keep the peace but I hope soon that you do not feel obligated to do something that you clearly are uncomfortable with. And you can feel relaxed and guilt free whether your wife goes to church or not.

 

This reminds me of when around the holiday times, there is that obligation to visit in-laws that perhaps you would rather miss out on but you visit and go for your spouse. But you know it is short lived and you can grin and bear it once a year. But going to church is different, it is long term, when will it stop?

 

All I can think is if you agree to attend the services with your wife, that secretly she is praising god and perhaps the other church members are too, believing that 'god is speaking to your heart' or at the least believe that once you are at church you are going to succumb to the power of god eventually.

 

You know that is what they will be praying and hoping for.

 

I just want to say that when I decided I no longer wanted to attend church, I made it clear I in no way was expecting my husband to stop going either. If he wanted to go then that was his choice and he agreed not to pressure me into going with him. So surely this approach should work the other way round too. Your wife can continue attending whether you go or not. It is her "hobby" not yours and really needs to be confident and secure enough in her belief to not have to have you by her side. I use to attend church on my own often as my husband was away overseas, there were other women there also who had no spousal support.

By the way my husband no longer attends church either, he wasn't into it as much as I thought. LOL

 

 

I hope the non christian counselling session goes well for you, and this subject will get addressed. In fact make sure it does for your benefit.

 

I wish you well

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Very, very tough situation there. I'm divorced, and even though I realize that it was the right decision, I miss my daughter every day. I'm not saying you are heading for divorce, but be sure to exhaust every oppotunity to compromise (if that is possible). I have an ex that doesn't even understand the concept of "compromise". If I had deconverted during our marriage, it would have been even worse.

 

Only you know what is best for your family. Maybe you play along for the sake of your children. And I mean this in the sense of if there is brainwashing going on (and we know there is), you will be there to question and challenge them to think. My 6 year old does not know my beliefs for various reasons. But at every opportunity, I challenge her when she says something about gawd/jeebus.

 

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

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Well, I have an opinion, but it is just that since for me my hubby no longer regularly attends church, and kids were never in the mix.

 

That being said, while I agree that keeping the peace is important, I also do not think you should be compromising yourself, either. You stated that your wife is rather controlling - it's a different situation, but my mother is as well. I've found the only way to deal with things that really matter is to put my foot down, compromise is often nearly impossible. Therefore, you have to pick and choose.

 

If you do choose to sit with your wife, set up some boundries - for example, ones I would include would be: a) I won't sing the songs - that would be lieing, and I won't lie. I will stand, sit, etc as needed, but will not sing. b ) I will not bow my head during prayer - bowing is an outward sign of placing one's self below (in this case) god, whom I no longer believe exsists, therefore, I will sit quietly, but will not bow my head or close my eyes. c) I will have other reading material to keep me occupied during the service - this will be of MY choice, and you may not like it, but at least I'll be sitting there with you. d) I will not pretend to be a christian - that's worse than lieing. I won't start things, but if someone asks, I will simply state that my faith is mine, and I'd rather not discuss it. d) We will not linger at church. I'm not going to place myself in a position of needing to pretend, so therefore if you want me there, we won't be hanging out afterwards - of if you do, I will be waiting in the car/at McDonald's/on a walk, whatever.

 

These are only how I would handle it- perhaps some of it seems kinda strong, but the way I see it, she's not respecting you, your beliefs, or even you as a person by making your marriage happiness contingent on you having your butt in a pew at a certain time. You already went out of your way by going to church with the family, and by allowing her to continue to take the children. Seriously, what makes her beliefs so much more important than your own?

 

Hopefully the counselor can help, just be sure it's NOT a christian counselor, as they already would be coming into it on your wife's side rather than being able to be objective.

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I would only agree to that if we did it every other week. On her Sunday the family goes to church. On my Sunday the kids would watch Nova with me, and then we discuss other religions and ideas about the universe. That is family first in my book...celebrating both of you, not just one of you.

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