When my husband I first met. we were both atheist. now he has reconnected with people from his past and has decided that he believes in a higher power. he doesn't force his religion on me but he has made it known he would like me to participate. I don't know why but it makes me think less of him and makes me jealous of his religion. as if he cares more for it than me..
This is not the end of the world. Your concern is valid, and it can be upsetting. This has happened to multitudes of marriages, and they are able to make it work. In contrast to your situation, in religious marriages one spouse can become a non-believer, and they still can make it work. It takes communication, patience, understanding and did I say work? I know some of these couples, and they remained devoted and loving, without abuse or a loss of self.
There will be people here though who think it is the end of the world and will advise you to leave or divorce him, just because he is a believer. I think such advice is wrong and intolerant. It is just as ill-advised as a believing spouse divorcing a spouse for becoming an atheist. Divorce is a very serious matter with lasting emotional and financial consequences. You have children involved, and you and your husband will need to reconcile this new dynamic in your marriage so that your loving family and security remains for them. Also, what if this turns out to be temporary? What if he is only religious for 5 or 6 years then decides it is wrong for him? A loving marriage can last a lifetime, and the benefits of that security for your children will last their lifetime also.
You said he does not force his religion upon you. That is good. I hope he continues to respect your conscience. Now is not the time to borrow trouble and worry that he will become spiritually abusive, if he is not. You said he would like you to participate. This is normal and to be expected. He will believe that it is his 'calling' to 'witness' to you so that you will also follow a higher power. Will you be able to respect his conscience in kind?
You said that you think less of him. Why? Does he treat you and your children worse than when he was an atheist? Is he less of a provider for his family? Is he less honest in his dealings with you, your children and others? Does he not take better care of himself? Or is it because you may feel he has betrayed the atheist and secular cause? Is he somehow less intelligent now?
You said that you are now jealous of his religion and that he cares more for it than you. Your displacement is understandable, and the closest situation that I can relate to is when my son was born. After that, my ex's love and attention was first for him and then for me. Depending upon the religion and the sect, it will at the least appear this way. A religious person will put their higher power first before family. However, how this translates to time spent with your family can change. He may spend less time with you because he feels he has to do religious work as a priority. On the other hand, his religion may teach and inspire him that family is a great priority and he will spend more time with you. It can go either way, or not change. One way to view it is that as a couple, you may have developed other interests that require your own space and 'down time'. For example, if the solo time he may have previously spent on a hobby is now replaced with religious study and devotion, you have lost nothing. If he spends less time with family, that will need to be addressed.
Money - this will be a problem if he decides that he needs to donate beyond what your personal expense allowance as a couple is now. Every couple should have an agreement of 'Our money, Your money, My money' in place. When there are dependents involved, 'Our money' obviously takes a greater priority. This will likely be the greatest challenge for you as a couple, to prioritize and settle this before it becomes an issue.
This is in no way even scratching the surface, what I have presented here as advice. There have been numerous books written about this situation by both secular and religious psychologists and therapists. There is a wealth of information and help in your community for both of you to navigate this, I am sure.
To summarize, if your husband remains loving and responsible to you and your family, without hurt, abuse and neglect, you will be OK.
I believe a positive relationship should be based on mutual respect and honesty. As an atheist, I can not respect a person who bases their belief system on the dishonest premise that faith (belief without evidence) is a methodology to determine (Truth) things that are testable and demonstrated to be correct with evidence.
I would feel much less respect for a partner (don't have one) if she transitioned from a world view based on reality to a world based on superstition.
I hope you find the best method to reconcile your situation.
By your participation, you are giving him brownie points with g-d whether or not you are going through the motions,.for your husband's sake. He is taking away from you in order to progress on a religious path that you don't care to share. He is more self-involved in his "salvation" than he is with you or your relationship.He does care more for his religion than he does you. Your intuition is spot-on. You must make a difficult decision here. "Alienation of Affection" can take on more forms than just physical adultery.Taking away time, affirmation and, sometimes, money is a form of alienation of affection, To save yourself, you must get a good lawyer, and then have a difficult discussion with your husband, In his new beliefs, he may not believe in divorce. Be prepared for that. You must save yourself, no matter what!
Some atheists are pretty hard core. They believe in what they believe absolutely. There is no room for doubt. No doubt that there's no god but also no room for those that do believe. That is not a very honest response to the situation. Most people believe in some sort of god. It is like they think in binary or black and white. Theism is like a sickness, a mental illness. It might be difficult but sticking with your beliefs and helping him with his fluctuations are a part of marriage. Even with religion. If he's the man you fell in love with, it'll work out in the end.
Wow, that's a tough one. I would think you aren't jealous of the religion, necessarily. You're probably saddened by the thought of losing a part of him you felt a special connection with. That really sucks. But you can't cave on your beliefs. I mean the only higher power there might be is something that created the universe. But if it was a higher power, where did that come from? And why has he completely ignored the universe ever since? Maybe it's just a phase. Help you by helping him deal with this uncertain time in his life... maybe. Best of luck to you.
well thats a fairly big change and not for the better by the sound of it from my past experiences as a counselor you sound like most people who have started to question the partner they are with due to them changing something fundamental within the relationship that leave them either feeling leftout or suddenly in a state of conflict that appears to have no happy ending that either person can see. personally i would suggest some sort of couples counselling which would offer a safe place to talk through the issue with someone who can help negotiate a difficult topic whilst helping you both try and find a common and useul way of dealing with what is/could become a real battle ground dependent on how he sees his faith developing and the effect this is going to have on everyone in the family unit good luck
I once told to my wife when was still married:
“I can drop you off at church , but I cannot celebrate Easter there and will not join service. If you want a man by your side, choose any you know — I’m not jealous ...
All it takes is confidence to take desired position of mind
I've always said that it's a powerful and enticing fantasy... It would be more than comforting to think that some entity has a plan for you, or that you're being protected, or that there's a consciousness which allows one to maintain themselves even after death... Not to mention the idea that you might spend eternity with all you've ever loved... There are times I wish it was true... But I look around and I see nothing to suggest it does aside from some people REALLY wanting it to be true...
I don't think it's a right or wrong/ black or white/ up or down issue... I think it's something you need to discuss and understand... Maybe at some point you'll find out that you can't make it work, but I would suggest trying to understand the reasoning and see if you still have common ground before suggesting just to end it immediately because he lost his way.
If I were in a similar position I don't think that I would think less of my wife - I think that I'd try to understand why she made the shift towards faith. As we age, we lose more and more people. Back in 2016 and 2017 when I lost my grand aunt, my brother, my father and my best man - all within a 6-month time frame - it shook me up. In addition to that I was diagnosed with 40% heart blockage and came one day away from dying because I didn't know that the pain I felt was diverticulitis and refused to go to the hospital. Today I wear a colostomy bag - much better than dying. Unlike what other arrogant atheists have suggested - your husband has not lost his ability to reason or think. He is demonstrating fear - I would try to understand what he's afraid of. I wouldn't participate in his church activities, but I'd try to understand what has caused his fear. Is his hair line receding, is there ED, does he now require glasses, has he recently lost his job, has he gained weight where he can't see his toes much less anything else, have the kids moved creating an eerie silence, has he recently lost someone that he was close to, does he make less than you, did he recently have a health issue, did a sibling recently have a health issue and so on. I won't pretend to understand how women think - it wouldn't be fair - but I can say (as a male) that if any of the examples I listed are true that to some men - it can screw with our minds. It did mine and it took a while to work through. I did, but that doesn't mean that all can or will.
He's not getting a certain form of satisfaction out of being an atheist. As if it is supposed to be something that a person would get some sort of reward for. So now he's looking in another place for it. Either that, or he's growing tired of not being accepted by the majority of people in society, so he's looking to be wishy washy about it now in order to receive some sort of validation from his so called "friends". Or it could be something completely different. Who knows?
You disagree on something, you must decide together (& as individuals) that your relationship is more important than this disagreement. After that you work on how you can allow each of you to incorporate your individual needs into your life together without imposing on each other's happiness.
As far as your view of him, that's another story altogether as your view of him and his view of you will affect your desire to continue your life together. People change and sometimes it's too much for their partner to handle.
Regarding your jealousy, you're not jealous of religion but either the community he's found or the time he spends or the feelings he has towards it. You need to figure out what you're truly jealous of and discuss that with him and find a way to work past that.
There can be a huge difference between believing in or wanting to believe in the vague concept of a ' higher power ' and believing in the biblical god .
One of those , perhaps an inability to understand that Noah didnt really exist is likely more concerning than believing that some higher power might be out there somewhere !