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Relationship abruptly ended due to religion


Brianna

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My ex boyfriend and I had been in a serious relationship for 3 years and it was great despite us being 2 different religions. He is Christian while I am a non-Christian. I helped him move ahead in life and he was my strength. We brought out the best in each other. It was agreed that I would convert to Christianity in due time. Upon having the conversation again 3 months ago, he flipped the script and said he would not be able to ask me to marry him until I become a Christian. He became adamant and basically started forcing me. I was in shock as this was never discussed in the last 3 years. He then went on to say that he wants to become more religiously inclined and get involved in the local church. He also stated that he wants to live his life for Jesus only going forward and will now dedicate his life to Jesus and serving his people. He wants to donate all his savings to the needy, and maybe even become a pastor if Jesus wants him to. He has stopped watching tv, listening to any music that is not gospel and wants to spend most of his time in church. He said if I wanted to be with him, I would have to live the same as well. He believes that Jesus is talking to him and wants him to live in such a manner. He says he will give up absolutely anyone or anything for his religion and to live like that. He lives in fear that if he does a single thing that is not Christian inclined, Jesus will punish him. I knew I wanted a different kind of life. I believe in God and I pray every single day but I want to do other things in life as well. Like work, live a good life, travel, have a family. And he wanted that too. He broke up with me because I did not want to live this new version of life that he decided within a few days. He basically gave me an ultimatum. It's either that life that HE wants or we cannot be together. I feel betrayed because he threw away 3 years of love and future plans for a decision he made over a few days. He refused to understand my logical points or even try to compromise to meet my needs and wants. Its basically his way or no way to put it bluntly. He believes that if he compromises even a little, he will be hurting Jesus. I am so shocked and confused by all of this. This change and the break up was so sudden. I never saw it coming. Prior to 3 months, he was a fun loving man but still loved his religion. Now he is basically like an extremist. He speaks like someone who is brainwashed. He has become so cold hearted towards me. He does not even take my calls or respond to my texts messages anymore. Yet he was so in love with me. Prior to this, our relationship was beyond amazing and we were at such a good place as a couple. This is not the man I fell in love with or was in a relationship with for 3 years. I am gutted and heart broken because I am so in love with the man that I was with for 3 years who is nothing like this. How do I move on or even understand what is happening? Can someone please help me try make sense of this. It's been 3 months yet I am still so miserable and heart broken. I do not want to be without him but I know I cannot give him what he is asking. He is asking me to change myself to meet his needs and that is so unfair. I know that but how do I move on when I know what kind of person he really is?

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2 hours ago, Brianna said:

I feel betrayed because he threw away 3 years of love and future plans for a decision he made over a few days. He refused to understand my logical points or even try to compromise to meet my needs and wants.

 

To answer your question this IS what kind of person he really is.

Consider yourself fortunate to have found this out now.

I am of the opinion that controlling abusive individuals can be drawn to extremism of any kind but, at least in America, to Christianity (fundamentalist) as it is acceptable in certain circles to abuse your spouse. They don't call it abuse but it is.

 

I am sorry for your loss and feel your pain to a certain extent. I've been with a fundy for 23 years and understand the pain of a spouse who uses religion to justify abusive behavior. I truly believe that there is something in the DNA for these types as Mrs. MOHO's son is the same way and was out of the house long before my wife turned fundy so I doubt is up-bringing. This guy treats his family like carp and even pistol-whipped a teenage boy who was treating his daughter in an un-christian like manor.

 

I am telling you this, @Brianna, so you have a full understanding of just how close you came to being in a dangerous situation. Take it seriously.

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I'm sorry to hear about the break-up and life upheaval. Any idea why he went extremist? I wonder if he suffers from scrupulosity: https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/IOCDF-Scrupulosity-Fact-Sheet.pdf

 

You should not have to change your belief system to accommodate someone else. Someone should love you for who you are, not what they want you to become.  

 

 

I think you have a balanced outlook about life. You want to do a variety of things and that's healthy. Take care of yourself.

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Hi Brianna, 

 

I’m sorry you’ve had your heart broken by religious fundamentalism / fanaticism.   I’ve seen it happen too many times, where a couple who seemed made for each other are driven apart when one of them falls under the influence of extreme religion.   We Ex-Christians sometimes half-jokingly refer to religious faith as a brain-virus and in the case of your ex it seems like an appropriate analogy, unfortunately.  He has become a different person now and sadly for you, he is not likely to emerge from this for a very long time, if ever.  Even if you could somehow share his faith, and to that same extent, you would always come second to his lord and savior at best, and at worst might be treated like his personal property.  If it’s any consolation, be glad that this emerged before you got married...

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I agree with @midniterider, I think this is a form of OCD. I recognize the symptoms because I used to think like that. Everything has to be extreme, Jesus demands everything and you better be willing to give it up or Jesus is going to punish you. It was this kind of extreme thinking that actually drove me out of religion. I was so obsessed with it, I ended up studying my way out of it when I realized that I couldn't really determine how extreme I had to be. It is a bit more nuanced than that, but it was a factor.

 

I am sorry you have to deal with this, but I can tell you, it is unlikely he is going to move from this position any time soon. He is going to have to through this phase where he tries on this hardcore version of Christianity and where that path leads him.

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was that guy many years ago; and I consider it to have been one of my worst mistakes.  It is said that time heals all wounds.  I'm not so sure about that.  But I do know that time wounds all heels.  Trust me, I'm a heel.

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I've seen the cult turn average people that just wanted to be good into raving fundamentalists because they start taking the Bible seriously. It can have some nice things to say about being kind, but it is chock full of extreme behaviors like cutting off parts of the body to please god; god blessing mass rape and genocide; slaughtering those that aren't strictly faithful to the bible god; extreme punishments for everything, lots of bloodshed for the "god of love", and very black and white beliefs that demand strict obedience even from Jesus. Once someone gets the fervor, they will usually stay with it. I've seen a few burn out, and a lot of casualties from churches that were based on extreme fundamentalism (and there are several kinds, even within Christianity).

 

The pain of a broken heart is real, and there are no quick fixes. You'll have to be on your own for a while, but that is far better than the insanity of fundamentalism. Better to find an actual kindred spirit. 

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19 hours ago, Brianna said:

Can someone please help me try make sense of this. It's been 3 months yet I am still so miserable and heart broken. I do not want to be without him but I know I cannot give him what he is asking. He is asking me to change myself to meet his needs and that is so unfair. I know that but how do I move on when I know what kind of person he really is?

 

Well, Brianna, welcome to ex-C! 

 

First of all, he's completely wrong. About the whole thing. Jesus, the bible, christianity, and his fundamentalist cult-like beliefs. The last thing you need is to be dragged into any of it. Because it's wrong in the first place. We can walk you through all that's wrong about it starting from the beginning and following through to the end. There are countless threads cataloging the details.

 

You don't need to go down the path of alternative reality that he's going down. It's like on Back to the Future II when they split off into an alternative reality. That's what he's done in his own mind. What he thinks is jesus talking, is his own inner dialogue, his sub conscious mind, and rationally understood psychological factors which are very explainable. His problem is primarily a mental health problem and what he really needs is professional help. We have people coming here all the time who need professional help in order to get over the problems they encountered in various sects of christianity. We're here for support and light conversion, though, so we often refer people who need more serious help to seek it professionally. 

 

 

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Your experience really strikes a cord with me Brianna, and brought back a lot of memories of my own experience with religious fanatiscm.

 

Stay strong and be thankful you found this out now. Although i know that is of little comfort to your broken heart right now

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On 8/11/2020 at 11:49 AM, Brianna said:

It's either that life that HE wants or we cannot be together. I feel betrayed because he threw away 3 years of love and future plans for a decision he made over a few days.

It sounds like he wants a relationship where he will always get the last say and that he won't have to compromise or hold himself accountable for anything. You should feel betrayed, because what he did is in fact betray your reasonable assumption that you were pursuing a mutual and respectful relationship, not an absolute, domineering one.

 

I'm sorry you had to go through this. Please respect your boundaries and expectations - they are very reasonable and he will try to make you think they're not.

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@Brianna

 

Time, reflection and moving on will resolve the surprise, grief, and pain you are now experiencing.

 

I strongly suspect you will eventually conclude your former boyfriend was not the one.

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Hi @Brianna

 

I’m so very sorry you have to go through this. I am familiar with the pain of being in love with someone who puts Jesus before you. Was your ex raised fundamentalist?

 

It was courageous of you to create boundaries for yourself. It was absolutely the right decision. Now you just need to wait for your feelings to catch up. They always do.

 

What hurts the most? That he doesn’t love you for who you are but what you believe? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone who loves you conditionally? You are worth more than that. He is asserting hardline control instead of building love, trust and respect.

 

My ex morphed into a fundamentalist in the last few years of our marriage. Be grateful you discovered this now rather than after having three children. That is a special kind of nightmare. Our relationship was not strong enough to survive it.

 

Living with a fundy is like living in a prision. Every discussion becomes an argument. You are talking with a religion not a person.

 

I agree, your ex could be experiencing scrupulosity (religious OCD). My ex developed a need to control everything and everyone in order to have a personal sense of peace. He was living in a warped reality where Satan was lurking around every corner. He had some extreme views, combined with black and white, inflexible thinking. It was all or nothing, no middle ground.

 

Your ex is also showing signs of narcissistic behaviour; expecting you to adopt his preferences, disregarding your needs - his needs are more important, not respecting your boundaries, being controlling and uncompromising.

 

In reality you had no choice, this situation is out of your hands. You can’t fix him. He can’t be the man you need him to be. You are both heading in different directions.

 

Try to focus on your long-term happiness. Big changes are never without pain. Trust the boundaries you made. Trust yourself and your inner guidance system. Best of luck x

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Sorry for everything that happened to you Brianna...there are a great many religious people in the world who put their church above all else, including family, and that's just not right. The important thing for you now is to stay on your own path and find your way. You will be ok. :)

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Thank you to all of you for these honest replies. It has helped me so much in seeing that my decision was not an incorrect one. It hurts a whole lot but I do understand that it is for the best. I've had a hard time accepting and understanding how a person can changes so drastically so soon. But again, he believes that Jesus is speaking to him and wants him to live such a life. I wished him the best in his journey to whatever it is and I am now focusing on myself and moving on from this. We all love God to some extent but it does not mean that we have to give up everything else for that. How do you find your true purpose in life then? I'm glad I did not let my ex hold me back from finding my purpose in my life and achieving my goals. I have decided to take time out and just embrace the single life. What's meant for me, will find me in due time.

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On 8/14/2020 at 5:44 PM, Brianna said:

Thank you to all of you for these honest replies. It has helped me so much in seeing that my decision was not an incorrect one. It hurts a whole lot but I do understand that it is for the best. I've had a hard time accepting and understanding how a person can changes so drastically so soon. But again, he believes that Jesus is speaking to him and wants him to live such a life. I wished him the best in his journey to whatever it is and I am now focusing on myself and moving on from this. We all love God to some extent but it does not mean that we have to give up everything else for that. How do you find your true purpose in life then? I'm glad I did not let my ex hold me back from finding my purpose in my life and achieving my goals. I have decided to take time out and just embrace the single life. What's meant for me, will find me in due time.

I have had two relationships with people I would now call fanatics. In one of them I, as a man, was physically abused in a fit of religiously framed hysteria by a woman. I suffered massively from that and other things in the religion. If you take the Bible word for word like that you may start to have trance induced psychosis, bipolar disorder and other mental ilnesses brought on by extreme beliefs and practices. It can literally drive you certifiably insane in a very short period. And even if that is just normal religious behaviour for him which it could be, that much difference in values makes a relationship very hard , close to impossible.Sorry for your pain, it will get better. If you feel the need, try some good therapy to process your emotions.

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