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LostinParis

My husband says I am going to hell

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I feel like this is a deal-breaker for me. How can I continue to stay married to someone who thinks I am deserving of hell? Has anyone else found themselves in this same position?

 

We have three kids and he is terrified that they will end up in hell too.

 

hellp

 

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33 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

If he can't love you for who you are, then one of you will end up in hell on earth, maybe both of you.

This is the key here. Your husband in all likelihood loves you but his indoctrination is giving him major hell (yes I've been there too, where he is now) about you ending up in hell. My fears about my family ending up in hell were the major catalyst for me questioning my beliefs. It pays to tread softly, to see if he is at all open to questioning what he believes and why. If he is, and is currently anguished because he loves you, there's a lot of hope for you.

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1 hour ago, LostinParis said:

I feel like this is a deal-breaker for me. How can I continue to stay married to someone who thinks I am deserving of hell? Has anyone else found themselves in this same position?

 

We have three kids and he is terrified that they will end up in hell too.

 

hellp

 

Your husband unfortunately is the victim of his fears, which is something I would tell him at this point. I can't help thinking this would likely be a deal breaker for me as well because it would feel like they're just not willing to put in the effort into thinking through what they believe and why, which is something I value very highly in a person. However, I'd tell him how all this makes you feel, just be honest, tell him you understand his fears as well. And if it's important for you that rational logical thinking be a quality in your partner, the ability to do that, you should let him know.

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Damn, I have never been in this position and feel for you.

 

I guess what you do will depend on the situation. How fundy is your husband? Do you think you can reason with him, try and talk things through to where you have a happy medium? (I.e. he quits his hell talk) How far you are willing to go here might depend on how much you love him. As far as deserving of hell, does he think you deserve it, or that just happens to be his indoctrinated doctrinal stance? A few years ago I would have said ya'll going to hell and will burn and good job to you. Sounds horrible now, but back then it was just a statement of fact based on what I believed.

 

Hopefully some of our unequally yoked members can help more. @MOHO?

 

 

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If he can't love you for who you are, then one of you will end up in hell on earth, maybe both of you.

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2 hours ago, LostinParis said:

I feel like this is a deal-breaker for me. How can I continue to stay married to someone who thinks I am deserving of hell? Has anyone else found themselves in this same position?

 

We have three kids and he is terrified that they will end up in hell too.

 

hellp

 

 

This is a tough situation.

 

I can only suggest you try to get your husband to join you in secular couples therapy, i.e., put a rational and non-judgmental adult in the room.

 

As to his God Virus infection, it's hard to tell but it seems he is deeply infected.  He needs to find out why and needs to learn to understand the harm that infection can cause (and has already caused).  On the bright side, he is infected with superstition, lies, nonsense and narcissistic indoctrination, among other things.  These things will fall away IF he chooses to use his rational skills and reality-based abilities instead of pretending a fantasy.  Some recover from this.  Some don't.

 

In the meantime, consult privately with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.  I am not familiar with domestic relation laws in Australia or its six States and two Territories.  It's perhaps best to prepare for the worst.

 

Good luck!

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One other angle to think about, if you are considering leaving him, how might he react? How might he think he has to protect the kids from damnation? How will his church react (as in, would they gang up on you, help him hide the kids, etc)?

 

I'm raising the issue because a fundy mindset isn't a rational one. You may want to lawyer-up (with a non-believer attorney) well before breaking any news of leaving.

 

(As a side-note, this could be a fascinating area of law where an ex-C could have some great insights.)

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1 minute ago, Fuego said:

One other angle to think about, if you are considering leaving him, how might he react? How might he think he has to protect the kids from damnation? How will his church react (as in, would they gang up on you, help him hide the kids, etc)?

 

I'm raising the issue because a fundy mindset isn't a rational one. You may want to lawyer-up (with a non-believer attorney) well before breaking any news of leaving.

 

(As a side-note, this could be a fascinating area of law where an ex-C could have some great insights.)

I agree, those who have lost reason in the area of religion aka fairyland are capable of going to any lengths to protect people from "the devil." If it turns into a war zone it's better to be prepared.

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4 hours ago, LostinParis said:

I feel like this is a deal-breaker for me. How can I continue to stay married to someone who thinks I am deserving of hell? Has anyone else found themselves in this same position?

 

We have three kids and he is terrified that they will end up in hell too.

 

hellp

Have you told him how you feel? Might be a good start. If you have and he wants to hold on to a belief rather than whats standing beside him, then whatever you decide to do will be right. 

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3 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Damn, I have never been in this position and feel for you.

 

I guess what you do will depend on the situation. How fundy is your husband? Do you think you can reason with him, try and talk things through to where you have a happy medium? (I.e. he quits his hell talk) How far you are willing to go here might depend on how much you love him. As far as deserving of hell, does he think you deserve it, or that just happens to be his indoctrinated doctrinal stance? A few years ago I would have said ya'll going to hell and will burn and good job to you. Sounds horrible now, but back then it was just a statement of fact based on what I believed.

 

Hopefully some of our unequally yoked members can help more. @MOHO?

 

 

 

Yep he is a fundy, more so in recent years as the kids have become older and began forming opinions of their own. 

I doubt he thinks I actually deserve hell, but he is far too scared to question the doctrine. He thinks Satan is manipulating me.

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2 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

This is the key here. Your husband in all likelihood loves you but his indoctrination is giving him major hell (yes I've been there too, where he is now) about you ending up in hell. My fears about my family ending up in hell were the major catalyst for me questioning my beliefs. It pays to tread softly, to see if he is at all open to questioning what he believes and why. If he is, and is currently anguished because he loves you, there's a lot of hope for you.

 

I hadn’t considered this, thank-you. You have given me hope where I could find none.

 

Were you ever too afraid to question your religion? How did you ignore the fear?

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33 minutes ago, Tripqing said:

Have you told him how you feel? Might be a good start. If you have and he wants to hold on to a belief rather than whats standing beside him, then whatever you decide to do will be right. 

If I were to give him an ultimatum then he would most definitely choose his belief.

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1 hour ago, Fuego said:

One other angle to think about, if you are considering leaving him, how might he react? How might he think he has to protect the kids from damnation? How will his church react (as in, would they gang up on you, help him hide the kids, etc)?

 

I'm raising the issue because a fundy mindset isn't a rational one. You may want to lawyer-up (with a non-believer attorney) well before breaking any news of leaving.

 

(As a side-note, this could be a fascinating area of law where an ex-C could have some great insights.)

Good advice, thank-you. I have thought about this endlessly, all the possible consequences of leaving the marriage. It will be ugly.

 

Apart from the religious bullshit, ours is a good marriage. Too good to leave, too bad to stay...

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8 minutes ago, LostinParis said:

If I were to give him an ultimatum then he would most definitely choose his belief.

Then if you did leave he'd really think you were hell bound.

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11 minutes ago, LostinParis said:

Apart from the religious bullshit, ours is a good marriage. Too good to leave, too bad to stay...

 

Have you tried saying that if his god is a good one he/it will judge you based on what you did in your life — if you led an honest, honorable one; made positive contributions to society; and raised intelligent, thoughtful children?

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34 minutes ago, LostinParis said:

 

I hadn’t considered this, thank-you. You have given me hope where I could find none.

 

Were you ever too afraid to question your religion? How did you ignore the fear?

The fear controlled me, to the point that it became extremely unhealthy for me. Then I developed major health issues, ones that made me directly face my own mortality, and that's when I really starting thinking, to hell with this, I have nothing to lose. I went to a therapist, who was luckily secular. After talking about the issues he obviously figured out where I was, and recommended that I read Dawkins (quite a thing, considering he knew I was a fundamentalist, but he didn't push it, just suggested). That's when I decided the hell with it I am going to "sin" and start reading. And that's exactly what I did, I couldn't handle the cognitive dissonance and pain anymore. I read a critique of my own religion, a lot of other books by people who have left religion (Ehrman, Tarico, Held Evans, Barker, Pagels, Winell). I was ready to let go, when all the evidence piled up (who doesn't want to let go of pain, if they can, that's an important motivator). I cared a lot for the social and familial consequences of letting go, but I was ready to pay the price. You have to be ready to pay the price in leaving. I think, if you're husband loves you, and he can get to a place where he is willing to read with an open mind, if he has any motivation in letting go of the fear such as I had, it's certainly possible.

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29 minutes ago, LostinParis said:

If I were to give him an ultimatum then he would most definitely choose his belief.

Do not do this, is my advice. What you could do is write him a letter explaining your own journey. Explain why you began to have doubts, and about what. Also state that you're aware of his fear as you used to have the same ones, but that you want to support him if he is willing to be open-minded and honest about where he is. I would tell him gently that his religion controls him by controlling his emotions (through fear of hell). Ask him if he wants to get to a healthy place of mind where your marriage is healthier. Ask if he's willing to see a therapist together, and explain why a religious therapist will not work for you. Be honest if it hurts you that he thinks the devil is controlling you. People are a lot more likely to see things from the other side when they're aware of the amount of pain and damage they are causing.

The best chance I've found with actual growth is being able to be vulnerable and honest with people instead of choosing sides and attacking each other. It's way too easy to do that particularly in a high stakes situation and it does nothing to help.

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17 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

Hopefully some of our unequally yoked members can help more. @MOHO?

 

Issuing an ultimatum is an approach that is likely the quickest path to divorce.

 

Mrs. MOHO went through the "my husband is going to Hell" emotion. Apparently it was a phaze with her and I hope, for the sake of your marriage and your happiness that it is for Mr. LostInParis as well. Surprisingly to me this phase only lasted a couple of months - or less - and I'm thinking that the reason may be two fold. 

 

1. She already had a very strong inkling of my disbelief even before I came out. 

2. Due to her extensive law experience she possesses the ability and willingness to use a modicum of logic and reason even in the face of a religion that frowns on such "worldly"       concepts. 

 

What has transpired over the past year is that I have shown that I am not evil, I am not controlled by anything other than my own reason (good or bad), and I am not leaving. By simply being the loving, attentive, helpful, and doting husband that I have always been she has come to doubt the horrible doctrine which holds that good, kind, decent people are damned just because they don't simply go along with a crowed that wraps itself in a belief system that is fortified by a very very thin set of evidence and logic. Either that or she asked god to give me a by and, if you prey, god will grant your wish. RIGHT!? :)

 

Going forward there will be good and bad times, just like any other marriage. I socialize with her fundy friends and I have made it very clear what my position is and there have not been any attempts to yank me back into the fold in several months. She studies her Bible and does not engage me - she knows what that will result in. I'm hoping some day said studiousness will bring about an enlightenment that I can nurture - but I'm not holding my breath. 

 

All that mushy stuff aside if there is abuse or if abuse rears its ugly head then lawyer up and get out.  I get a little of the lording over now and then but I can stand up to it and they almost alway slink away. Hell I even enjoy the exchange in my own sick and twisted little way. I would not, however, suggest that anyone else endure any kind of abuse for any reason. 

 

I hope I helped a little, @LostinParis and I hope I stayed reasonably on track with the original question/topic. The unequally yoked gig can have so many facets and properties that discussing one aspect of it can be challenging and frequently not the best approach. 

 

Keep us posted and...where is your skating helmut young lady!? 

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I agree with the abuse bit which MOHO discussed. If there is any emotional abuse ie "you're going to hell you must repent" or worse, it gets to be intolerable really quickly. If there's attempts to get other people involved and try interventions on you or your kids that's also no good. Much of it depends on where the line is with what you can tolerate. I drew my line at emotional abuse, so the people stepping past it get told off really quickly, I let them know their behavior isn't love in any form and they are mistaken. 

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1 hour ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

I drew my line at emotional abuse, so the people stepping past it get told off really quickly

You GO, Girl! :clap:

 

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Wow LostinParis you are getting a ton of info and brain storming of possible responses here! Good for you. I totally have to add my two cents. I think you do need to say something in the near future to stick up for yourself and also to give your husband a chance by letting him know how what he says and feels affects you. So in my view the question is just regarding what you should say and how you say it. I’m not partial about whether you start with a letter or a conversation but I think (as I nearly always advise lately) you should stay away from specific reasons for why Christianity comes up short of it’s promises. Just be clear you’ve made a considered opinion that is not very likely to change and maybe say he can look at a book that explains some of your concerns (pick your favorite) or that if he really wants to hear specifically from you that you will be willing to respond to his specific questions as long as the conversation remains low keyed. I just think these discussions of what’s wrong with Christianity head into a never ending circle of conflict and bruised egos. Especially in your case because what needs to be discussed is whether or not Mr LostinParis is willing to venture into an unequally yoked relationship with you. You are both committed to your religious/non religious positions and you want to continue with the marriage even with the difficulties inherent in the situation, but does he? It can’t work if he has absolutely nothing to offer (as for example Mrs HOHO did offer a bit) regarding letting you make your own decisions impacting your own soul. And this goes into my last item. I know you say you have a good husband and i’m sure that is true in very many areas but I can’t help but suspect that he is also very patriarchal because of his inability after all these years of living with you to show absolutely any respect whatever for your judgment. No doubt it is easiest and probably hasn’t seemed like that big of a deal to subjugate your own feelings and thoughts to your husband’s over the years but you may one day come to discover that you have given too much of yourself away and have a very big price to pay when you have to go in search of your true self. If this is possibly the case your need to start sticking up for and making much more accommodation for your own thoughts and feelings. You didn’t really disclose a lot so there is necessarily a lot of guessing going on but just throw away the stuff that doesn’t make any sense. Good luck and good for you for wanting to take up for yourself in this instance. Who knows? Maybe this will turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened in you marriage as well as in your parenting. Patriarchy is damaging to children both directly and through the roll modeling of harmful relationships. So glad you came to this site LostinParis where we really do want the best for you.

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33 minutes ago, DanForsman said:

 I can’t help but suspect that he is also very patriarchal because of his inability after all these years of living with you to show absolutely any respect whatever for your judgment. No doubt it is easiest and probably hasn’t seemed like that big of a deal to subjugate your own feelings and thoughts to your husband’s over the years but you may one day come to discover that you have given too much of yourself away and have a very big price to pay when you have to go in search of your true self. If this is possibly the case your need to start sticking up for and making much more accommodation for your own thoughts and feelings. You didn’t really disclose a lot so there is necessarily a lot of guessing going on but just throw away the stuff that doesn’t make any sense. Good luck and good for you for wanting to take up for yourself in this instance. Who knows? Maybe this will turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened in you marriage as well as in your parenting. Patriarchy is damaging to children both directly and through the roll modeling of harmful relationships. So glad you came to this site LostinParis where we really do want the best for you.

This is a very important point. Important because sometimes men leave religion and the patriarchal attitude stays with them, and they aren't even aware of it in a lot of ways because it's so ingrained into how they were raised themselves and what kind of role modeling they had. If they also socialize in a patriarchal religious structure it's so built in that it's accepted without question, and to many of them, independent, opinionated women who are able to make their own judgements seem abnormal and threatening to their masculinity.

I get the feeling you are looking for a relationship with true equality and respect for yourself as an individual @LostinParis If this is the case, you need to have a discussion about how patriarchy is damaging, what affect it has on you and your kids and your husband as well, and how your life could be so much better without it.

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18 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

The fear controlled me, to the point that it became extremely unhealthy for me. Then I developed major health issues, ones that made me directly face my own mortality, and that's when I really starting thinking, to hell with this, I have nothing to lose. I went to a therapist, who was luckily secular. After talking about the issues he obviously figured out where I was, and recommended that I read Dawkins (quite a thing, considering he knew I was a fundamentalist, but he didn't push it, just suggested). That's when I decided the hell with it I am going to "sin" and start reading. And that's exactly what I did, I couldn't handle the cognitive dissonance and pain anymore. I read a critique of my own religion, a lot of other books by people who have left religion (Ehrman, Tarico, Held Evans, Barker, Pagels, Winell). I was ready to let go, when all the evidence piled up (who doesn't want to let go of pain, if they can, that's an important motivator). I cared a lot for the social and familial consequences of letting go, but I was ready to pay the price. You have to be ready to pay the price in leaving. I think, if you're husband loves you, and he can get to a place where he is willing to read with an open mind, if he has any motivation in letting go of the fear such as I had, it's certainly possible.

Wow I’m impressed by your strength. My husband has declared that he will NOT see a secular therapist. One time I dragged him along to a secular marriage councellor but he kept his mouth shut and denied everything. He says he felt ambushed. 🙄

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5 minutes ago, LostinParis said:

Wow I’m impressed by your strength. My husband has declared that he will NOT see a secular therapist. One time I dragged him along to a secular marriage councellor but he kept his mouth shut and denied everything. He says he felt ambushed. 🙄

He likely has a very us vs them approach to religious and non-religious people, ie "this therapist will never be on my side" or even "this therapist is also led by the devil." It's difficult to make progress in that scenario. The key is getting him to see your perspective.

 

Edit: also, religion often goes hand in hand with denying or repressing problems in your life.

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18 hours ago, TruthSeeker0 said:

Do not do this, is my advice. What you could do is write him a letter explaining your own journey. Explain why you began to have doubts, and about what. Also state that you're aware of his fear as you used to have the same ones, but that you want to support him if he is willing to be open-minded and honest about where he is. I would tell him gently that his religion controls him by controlling his emotions (through fear of hell). Ask him if he wants to get to a healthy place of mind where your marriage is healthier. Ask if he's willing to see a therapist together, and explain why a religious therapist will not work for you. Be honest if it hurts you that he thinks the devil is controlling you. People are a lot more likely to see things from the other side when they're aware of the amount of pain and damage they are causing.

The best chance I've found with actual growth is being able to be vulnerable and honest with people instead of choosing sides and attacking each other. It's way too easy to do that particularly in a high stakes situation and it does nothing to help.

Writing a letter is a great idea. When I try to discuss any topic involving religion it inevitably ends up in a yelling match. If I question him about his religion he views it as a personal attack. I will focus on discussing my feelings only.

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1 minute ago, LostinParis said:

Writing a letter is a great idea. When I try to discuss any topic involving religion it inevitably ends up in a yelling match. If I question him about his religion he views it as a personal attack. I will focus on discussing my feelings only.

Good idea. My limit personally would be with someone who isn't willing to consider the impact of their actions on my feelings, and aside from that, my feelings and thoughts in general (men in patriarchal systems are much less able to do this imo, it's almost as if the patriarchy gives them an out because their opinions and decisions have more value). That is where I would start planning the divorce route.

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