I recently found a conservative Baptist church in town that I enjoy going to. (My husband and I didn’t go to church before this together other than to get married). The church’s philosophy is that church isn’t just on Sundays, they have other shorter events during the week. My husband and I have been married for 5 years. We live in my husband’s hometown and I was originally from another state. Since we’ve been together, I have mainly been working (an hour commute away from where I am) and just doing family functions.
Now that I have found something that makes me happy outside of the house and making friends, he tells me today that I’m spending too much time at church (today was service and a meeting – like a couple hours). I think that compared to other things I could be doing that going to church is pretty reasonable.
I suppose that I could back off from the church a bit but going there and helping others makes me happy plus technically the family can get involved. I brought this up to him and he said he doesn’t want to get involved. I’m afraid he’ll want a divorce and we have 2 kids. I really don’t want to do that.
I feel like I’m finally at a point in my life where I feel happy and now I feel like I have to pick between God and my husband.
Anyone have any experience with a similar situation? I’m praying for an answer as well.
I told my fiance (now wife) before we got married that if she ever tried to convert me, our marriage would end. seven years later, we are happily married. She is allowed to go to church, we spend time at home hanging out with friends who are also members of the congregation. Does religion come up in our conversations? Not really. They accept my stance on religion. I believe you can figure it out and faith isn’t worth fucking up your marriage if it’s good. If it’s not good, well then move on…
What’s happening is he is feeling a little threatened by the “pull” of the Group. ESPECIALLY if there are Men present in ANY Social Capacity. IF that IS the case you are attending functions that YOU KNOW are making him FEEL threatened, because in a very REAL WAY he IS. Whether you care to admit it or NOT…. “Good Christian Men” are Notorious Horn Dogs. Whether he “comes off” as demanding or NOT, he is telegraphing a SERIOUS Issue with him. IF your “Church Group” is pulling APART your Marraige YOU need to say nothing, take Three Steps Back and ask YOUR SELF “What are my REAL Priorities?” I WILL SAY THIS after having had a rather lengthy Southern Baptist Experience. Don’t trust ’em. Don’t turn your back on ’em and if one opens with an “I’m a Good Christian Businessman”; remember he figures he can screw ya for 5 Days Straight, devote Saturday to the Family, and on Sunday he Pays off God with a $50 and he’s good to go.
I do understand your need for social interaction, and I’ll tell ya that YOU will buy a LOT of Mileage if you lavish the affection on him when YOU CAN… While you can… He’ll be a LOT LESS surely if when ya come home you’re all Happy to see him and can’t wait to spend time with him, rather than dumping your keys and purse and plopping down and ignoring him. I get the impression that you’ve let a LOT of distance grow between you, and because of that you’re BOTH losing Interest. THAT IS NATURAL AND TO BE EXPECTED. Assuming of course the object is to eventually go your own ways. He’s Struggling with IT and isn’t sure of the Ground he’s on BECAUSE IT IS Church Related. NOT a GOOD position for you to have him in. If he FEELS LIKE He Can’t win, he’ll give up and start lookin’ at options. Depending on where ya are in the Marraige cycle it’ll be up to YOU to determine where ya want to END UP. Ya KNOW what it took to reel him in… Have ya forgotten the power of a little Feminine Glamour, or just don’t care enough to bother? After ALL… No matter WHAT you are DOING, or Whom you ARE doing IT WITH… YOU are “Going Out” on him… Now aint’cha Darlin’?
I have had a very similar experience just flipped around. I was raised with the church, heavily, wenesday bible study, sunday service, volunteer every week, and mission trip every month. \
Along this time I met my soulmate. One thing I was reading was how nonchalantly you brought up divorce. Do you still believe this man is your soulmate? That is very important to acknowledge. When meeting my soulmate I found he believed in god but didn’t attend church.
Over the course of our relationship I ventured into the study of Taoism and felt like I found my missing piece. Our problem was I suddenly became a non believer of the bible and god for that matter. Where as my boyfriend did not feel the same. It cause us to feel very disconnected for awhile almost like one of us was weird to the other.
So what I did to solve my problem. I established rules. We sat down in a positive setting and just said “Hey look we have different beliefs but we have strong love and our qualities together are perfect we gotta figure this shit out” and we did. I wouldn’t bash his views if he didn’t to mine. As far as the kids, allow that to be their decision at all cost. I was unhappy being forced to go to church and I think that’s why I wanted the steer away so heavily. If dad doesn’t want them to go to church then there should be a question like “johnny do you want to go to church with mom or to the store with dad?”
There is always a happy medium that can be found.
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Wow… What you just said really left me speechless for a few seconds. The first thing that crossed my mind was that the idea of divorce was way too radical for a problem that is simple to solve if both you and your husband accept certain things and find balance between them…
Is your husband unsatisfied with the idea that you’re going to church? Is he afraid that you’ll put pressure on him to go with you as well? Are you putting pressure on him or are you just going there trying to find your own peace?
Because the way I see the situation, it actually involves two matters: One would be the fact that you’re absent from home to do your new habit and the other one would be the habit itself – going to church. If your husband is bothered by the fact that you spend more time in church than at home, I would say that’s a pity because if you found, say, a hobby and subscribed to a, say, group of photographers, you would be away from home at least the same number of hours. If your husband is bothered by the idea of that church itself… Well, you would have to work hard for that, both of you.
You would have to accept the fact that the church only makes you happy and it doesn’t necessarily have to make him happy too. You will probably have some sort of inner fight when you see happy couples coming to church and how they share beliefs. You may even get asked by the members of the church why doesn’t your husband come and why don’t you try to convince him. If you talk to him just once to see if he’s interested in joining you only one time, just for the sake of the experience, and he says no, then you should take ‘no’ for an answer and go do your thing. And you don’t have to choose between God and your husband. That again is too radical. You have to accept the fact that there are all sorts of people in this world and God himself would like us to get along with each other, to love each other and to not judge each other. And, of course, so will your husband have to accept your beliefs.
Now, to be blunt, I know the situation isn’t easy and I’ll say something that I’m hoping will not offend you. I don’t know how baptists in your country are, but in ours they try to really persuade people into joining them. I’ve had a friend once who wasn’t a religious person and suddenly he joined a religious group of some sort, I don’t remember which one. After a few months, he stopped talking to us – his other friends – and he isolated himself with his own new religious friends and his new beliefs. He didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he didn’t go to parties but the rest of us did. It wouldn’t have been a problem if he wouldn’t have come after 6 months to tell us that we’re human trash and we’re going to hell with our devilish habits. He gave up on us because he felt like he had to choose between his friends and God. He endlessly judged us and tried to persuade us to do things and to pursue God but you can’t force anyone into things like that too abruptly.
No matter religion, no matter church and no matter beliefs, in a relationship between two people it is most important to cultivate love, acceptance and care for your children and work together for those. The rest is what you alone choose to do and I’m sure that you can figure out a way to sort things. It may seem hard but it’s definitely not impossible :)
I hope things have gotten better in this situation it’s been a couple of weeks. Some of the answers are so far off. Calling going to church a ‘hobby’ to being afraid you will fall under some mind control thing. One going as far to say Cristian men are notorious horn dogs!! I had to respond to their reply being a load of crap. I don’t even see with a two hour commute every day you have energy to do anything. I envy your energy. I can see where people panicked when you used divorce over this issue. It would seem you’re fighting for your identity in this marriage and it’s been building. He has been used to playing the lead in you guys social life and when you went out on your own he wasn’t happy. This is assumption, I know, but it’s based on a few things you wrote. You are from another state and I surmised it’s his family functions you’re attending. If I’m wrong well like some of the other replies you can ignore this one. Lol. He’s acting like a spoilt child. Thinking only of his needs instead of what is best for the both of you. Does the children go with you? If so maybe suggest he find something to do with that time you’re away instead of stewing in his own juices. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what you’re doing. It’s just seem to other’s reply it’s ok man go hunting, fishing and golfing but heaven forbid a woman goes to church! Best wishes