1. Standard memberthesonofsaul
    King of the Ashes
    Trying to rise ....
    16 Jun '04
    11 May '05 13:54
    Many of the participants of this forum are aware that I hold somewhat unique and what some would call liberal views on God and religion. Now, I am married to a woman who was raised in a religious tradition that is very strict on the literal interpratation of the Bible: WELS Lutheran. When we were dating and when we got married, she claimed to understand that I, at the time, claimed to be agnostic and did not believe in the Christian faith. She said it didn't bother her. In exchange I said it wouldn't bother me if she went to church and practiced her beliefs. (Side note: she did not follow any religion when we started dating. ) As time went on, so told me that she would like me to go to church with her. I said fine, it's just an hour of my day, of course after reaffirming that I had no intention of following the service or joining the religion.

    As it turned out, that one hour of the week has become a brick in our relationship. She has become incresingling attached to attending this church, while my own theology has formed and strenthened mostly in responce to this immersion in a religion that I think is so far off track it becomes ridiculous. I have tried broaching the subject several times gently. We even began attending a more liberal thinking church for a while, but she said she "missed" her WELS churches, and I suddenly became afraid that she is much more indoctrinated than I previously thought.

    Now we are back to attending WELS services every week, and it is driving me batty. We have a beautiful daughter together, and I fear not only that she will grow up confused, but also that the growing gulf between her mother and I will alienate her emotionally (an area in which she already seems fragile in).

    One more catch: my wife suffers from fibromyalgia, and also has several annoying heath problems on top of all that. She is in constant discomfort; she has to take a handful of pills just so she can sleep a fitful sleep before our child wakes us both up (several times a night).

    I truly love my wife, my child, and my family. What should I do? Should I continue to suffer as I have been? Should a drop an ultimatum and say that I refuse to attend her church, causing her more stress and probably more pain, both emotionally and physically? Should I just continually make my opinions known, which is probaly worse than the second choice? Is there another option?

    One thing is for sure, I don't like the situation in which whenever I think of God, I think of harm to my family and marriage.

    I do not want any Biblical quotes, please. Any such posts will me summarily ignored. I only wish to know what each of you would do in this situation. Christians, imagine the wife is atheist or an extreme liberal. All opinions welcome.

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  2. Standard memberPhlabibit
    Mystic Meg
    27 Mar '03
    11 May '05 14:01
    You're gonna need to find an interest of yours that she hates... and make her participate. Sign her up here, and make her use the forums for at least one hour a week.

  3. Joined
    17 Mar '04
    11 May '05 14:14
    Let me preface this by saying I hope you'll soon be able to find a solution that works for your entire family. It must be very troubling for you and yours.

    I think all it hinges on what your wife is willing to allow for. Will she let you off the hook for attending her church while at the same time coming to understand and appreciate your differing viewpoint? If she is not willing to let you go your own way within your marriage, I'd say it's a foregone conclusion that everyone's discontent will reach a point where some split would be necessary. I doubt your wife wants that, but by the same token she is justifiably (in her mind, at least) concerned about your spiritual well-being. She needs to respect that her way may not be your way and that that is alright.

    I don't have any good advice. You just need to be as honest as possible with her in helping her understand that the present situation is untenable. She needs to clarify what is most important to her in your relationship - having a partner who must share her views or one that is free to pursue their own spiritual nature. Continue to let her know just how much she and your daughter mean in your life; I've no doubt you do that frequently.

    I wish you the best.