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Church Is Stealing My Spouse...


hohol
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Hello,

 

 

The question is in the topic. The church that we both attended (my wife still attends it) is stealing my wife from me. Unfortunately, she spends more time with church ladies that she is willing to spend with me. She goes to prayer meetings, Bible studies, mid-week leadership meetings, conferences and so on... It appears that the needs of the church and its crowd (with it own problems that my wife feels an obligation to resolve) as well as saving the rest of the world is more important than a family with its peace. It very hard to compete with it.

 

She openly admits that those "people" are more interesting to her than I am. It is after 12 years of being married and having a few wonderful children. I cannot leave her, I just would not make it without kids. It just seems that the more pressure the church applies to shape you into what they want to see you the less desire I have be there. Negative reinforcement just does not work.

 

It seems that having own revelation or own opinion that is different from "the herd" is sinful or not fitting to a believing Christian. I still read Bible and pray by myself but the people in church just avert me. It seems that they stole her love from me. I just reject to comply with those in my point Pharisees rules.

 

What to do? Are anyone else in similar situation? Why there is no balance?

Andrew from Madison, WI

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Hohol

 

I suggest you see the pastor and voice your concern. Hell I would even address the congregation and forcibly remove her afterwards.

 

This is totally fucked up and you have ample cause to claim custody if you should split. Weigh your options, get legal council and see if you can give her the boot, take her and drop her off at the pastor's house and say here you take care of her.

 

Go to the papers.

 

You have the bible on your side, she should shaddup and be your bitch literally speaking and you should have the right to put your foot down.

 

You do not sound like that type of person but maybe as a man you are not being assertive enough.

 

You may be denied nookie for awhile but if it saves your marriage and sanity do it, Scare the shits out of her.

 

Her family should come first and not the frigging church.

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Your Jesus' sacrificed his life for you, why should your wife sacrifice her marriage?

 

Anyway, I think you can see where I'm going with this :shrug:

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Women can be a bit pig headed when we have our minds set to something but you might try just voicing your concerns to her--but word it in such a way as to not disparage the church or its members and still play on her Christians duties as a wife. Maybe as a couple you should try something new and adventurous (it doesn't have to be sexual).

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With all due respect to you, Andrew, it isn't the church that is stealing your wife. It is your wife who has chosen the church and she is a willing participant. These words you wrote tell the whole story:

 

She openly admits that those "people" are more interesting to her than I am.

 

If you want to keep your marriage, and it sounds like you do, then maybe you need to explore ways to make yourself more interesting to her. That doesn't mean going back to church with her necessarily, but it sounds like the spark has left your marriage. Figure out how to reignite it.

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The church that we both attended (my wife still attends it) is stealing my wife from me.

I think that is a bit of a stretch to say that it rises to the level of theft. It puts you in the role of helpless victim when, in fact, you have a role in this issue -- and that role is the only part of it you have ANY control over.

 

Put another way, I very much doubt the church is saying to itself, metaphorically, "let's steal people's spouses from them." Indeed, I'm sure that you can find plenty of couples who feel drawn together by serving together in the church.

 

All that is actually happening here is that you and your wife are growing apart; your level of mutual interest in church involvement and activities happens to be a significant component of that, but in all honesty, if it wasn't the church, it'd be something else.

 

Rather than stew about the injustice of it all, you need to speak openly with your wife about how you feel and why, and don't make it about the church -- because that's just the form it happens to have taken. She needs to recommit herself to her marriage and that means working on the relationship, not escaping from that necessity. She happens to escape via church involvements; it could just as well be parenting, bar-hopping, or bungee jumping.

 

You're also expressing fear that if you can't work it out with your wife you'll lose your children. You might not have them full time and you might have to fight for the level of involvement you want to maintain, but do your children want a defeatist, weak excuse for a father or do they want someone who knows himself and maintains his boundaries? Maybe more to the point, wouldn't the latter be more attractive to your wife, too? Maybe the very fact that you're not fighting for your marriage is what's allowing it to fade away.

 

Look, I don't know your whole situation and I could be all wet about some or all of this, but my intuition based on how you presented things is that the church is not the villain here. I'm just trying to present some other possibilities to consider. I'm sure you're a great guy and your wife is a fool to neglect you but at the same time, don't just let her do it. Take her back, and if she won't be taken, let her go. It's not true that you have no choice. Maybe all your choices are shitty, but you do have choices, and inaction and whining are not your best ones.

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  • Super Moderator

Considering that you are BOTH CHRISTIANS, perhaps you should seek counsel amongst people who share your beliefs rather than EX-CHRISTIANS.

 

Hint: since you are a Christian husband, you are the HEAD of the family - not the tail that gets wagged. Assert yourself and show her the Biblical basis. We're not even Christians here and we have to explain this???

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Andrew,

 

I sure hope you were up for the EX-CHRISTIAN soft spoken, indirect, approach!

 

You will have to excuse us for "beating around the bush!" Sometimes it takes us a while to "warm-up" to the issue!

 

It seems, although, that everyone is in agreement!

 

It is unanimous, at least so far, that this "ain't" the church's problem!

 

A good stiff dose of individual and marriage counseling might be your best move!

 

If it were me I would deliberately choose the EX-CHRISTIAN type! That way you can expect a rather direct and hard approach!

 

Seems "fuzzy love" has landed you in an undesirable but resolvable quagmire!

 

I wouldn't anticipate "divine" deliverance!

 

If your fortunate, or even lucky you will find out

Why there is no balance?

 

Man, I really do know the general plot line of this type story first hand!

 

Much Peace

saner

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Hi Andrew,

 

I have also been in the same predicament. Mine was totally caught up in helping get the set ready for dramas and that sort of thing. I know what it is to feel like your wife is more married to the church than to me. My wife finally had a little "collision" with the assistant pastor who headed this up and that slowed it up quite a bit. Then a new pastor came and he doesn't do dramas so that is over now. But my wife has always been one to not want to sit at home. I have just learned to make adjustment to this. I somewhat have my own life and she has her own life. I rather enjoy the peace and quiet now.

 

I'll go slightly farther than Saner and will say that there is no divine intervention. I'll also suggest that clubbing her with the Apostle Paul will likely get you no where good either. Maybe I'm too passive but I just rode it out and became accustomed to it. I had absolutely no desire to turn it into an issue to get a separation or divorce over. I will suggest that if she won't be reasoned with and you don't want a divorce, to just get a hobby or something to take your mind off it and eventually she will be something of a nuisance at times when she is around because she will be an interference to your new life.

 

Best wishes,

Eugene

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Hohol,

 

Sorry you are going through this. There is probably not much you can do. I think if you view this as somewhat of a sickness in your marriage it may help. For example, if your wife had diabetes or cancer, it wouldn't be fun but you would do what you have to do. What makes this hard is it seems voluntary, what she is doing, but that is not necessarily the case. Somehow, she got sucked in. Some people get sucked in and stay and some people eventually come out. Hopefully, you can love her through it.

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Don't do anything rash, but have you thought about having her read your post here? You both pray and read the Bible, and that's fine.

Does she know how you feel about this?

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  • Super Moderator

About 25 years ago, after 12 years of marriage and two kids, by formerly agnostic husband became a diehard bornagainer. So, like you, there was a time in my life when I said "The church is stealing my spouse." Then I realized that in reality, my DH decided to let his self true be stolen.

Now I second everything Eugene39 said.

Other than time spent at work, DH spends the most time with his church fiends and obligations. It was an adjustment for me, but being a hermit at heart, I rather enjoy the peace and quiet. I also HATE drama which seems to be what church is all about. Plus it frees me up to spend more time doing what I like to do -- like being here on Ex-C. wink.gif

While this approach seems to be working for Eugene39 and me, only you can figure out where to draw your line.

 

Peace.

 

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I agree that pulling out some Apostle Paul scriptures is not a good idea. She'll just resent you for it. My suggestion is perhaps try and be supportive of your wife with her church activities. Be "blameless" as the bible says, so she can't accuse you of anything. Maybe she thinks you're 'lukewarm' or not as committed to church as she think you should be? Actually I just re-read your post and you said you're no longer going to that church. So it sounds like that's an issue.

One problem is if she is always hanging out with the church women, she will be gossiping about you. So of course, the women blab about it to each other and to their husbands and you end up with the cold shoulder when you go to church.

Anyway, perhaps after some time of supporting her and attending church with her, try to make a move either for counseling or discussion, or perhaps have the both of you speak to your pastor.

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