I'm curious to see if anyone feels the way I feel. I'm a married man. I'm agnostic and my wife is Christian. In the beginning, my lack of religion was an issue. I let her believe in her Good and she didn't try to tell me I'm wrong for believing the way I do. Now, the longer we spend together, the less tolerant she seems to be of me. When the topic of religion comes up around her friends, she has asked me not to tell them about my beliefs. She has even asked me not to tell my not to discuss the reasons behind my beliefs to our daughter, her family, and even jahovah's witnesses. It kind of seems like she has become ashamed of the man she married. Anyone else find themselves in a similar situation? If so, how do you deal with it?
Honestly, She married you thinking she would change you. There is no way that a christian would just be ok with their spouse being unsaved. She would actually think that she is a bad wife if she doesn't convert you. Before my enlightenment, I was in your wife's shoes and tried to do same thing to my wife. I tried to force her to see the way. I became very frustrated and tried harder. I'm sure your wife is doing the same. The whole experience made me rethink my position on God and look deep inside. I divorced my wife after 10 years. I had thought that this was the woman that god wanted me to marry and 10 years later i was like WTH was i thinking. It made me rethink everything in life including God. After much research and being completely open minded i realized that i had self-hypnotized myself into believing in the christian god and that any religion that uses fear tactics that tell you someone loves you so much that they are going to send you to hell if you don't do exactly what they want you to do has to be false.
I was married to a Christian in my early 20's . After 8 years she began attending Church .. I attended with her ... she was changing and I wanted to know what they were feeding her mind.
She got baptised without consulting me ... I started to feel like a 3rd wheel. I made sure all her Church friends knew I was an Atheist ... but in your case your wife is suppressing you. This can only end badly.
Kids complicate things. If someone should ask you about your beliefs, I would be tempted to say "My wife doesn't like me discussing my religious beliefs " ... a bit of passive aggression ... and adding to her pressure.
.... it is going to explode one day. You need to prepare. " Sure I'll give up my agnosticism and you give up your faith ... that sound like a Brilliant idea , then we can just like we were before "
Perhaps she was expecting you to have changed by now and is running out of patience for you to "see the light."
If this is what's happened, things might get progressively worse.
I broke that off when it happened to me. We didn't have children, which made the decision much easier.
What you should do depends on how much you're willing to put up with. She has you censoring yourself around your friends, in-laws and your kid. If you can live with that and it doesn't get worse,it might be best to do nothing.
Counselors aren't going to fix it. You know what the problem is. They're going to get you to compromise, and you can save money and do that on your own. Counseling is like 100 bucks for less than an hour, and the assumption is that they know more about navigating life than you do.
Book a counseling session and invite her. If she doesn’t go, you go by yourself and get good, educated advise someone who is skilled with these matters and can help you. Tell her about your session and invite her to the next.
I don’t pretend to be any kind of therapist but what you’ve said I just feel that she’s allowing social pressure to stop you sharing your real, genuine, authentic self with her. Not an excuse but its at least an understandable thing to do on her part...social pressure is a powerful, powerful force, and acceptance family/friends is important...but I wonder if she’s fully aware of the consequences and roadblocks this is causing to your relationship where you both are supposed to bring out the best in one another, not to mention the suffering this is causing you.
I really hope things improve. Please let us know how it goes.
I feel for you in this. I also married someone and figured things would be fine if we just got over the little differences. Unfortunately I think people tend to make the decisions with their hearts instead of their heads. If I had any advice to offer oh, it would be to try to have open dialogue with her away her family. And explain to her how important your beliefs are. I wish you luck
My first thought was if James Carville and Mary Matalin can make it work so can you. My second thought to recommend counseling, but it would be difficult for a religious marital counselor to negotiate the issue fairly so you would need to screen your choice carefully. The older I get the less I want to deny who I am and what I believe. I think that it is very counter to the culture and it sounds like your wife is extremely reluctant to accept your views. I wish you luck in your search for middle ground but the only way to sort it out is to have a honest dialog with her and it doesn't sound like the two of you can manage it alone or you wouldn't be reaching out to this community.
Sounds as if you're veering towards the "you're going to hell" phase. Good luck, but her attitude reeks of 0% compromise and 0% mutual respect. There's little you can work with if that's where she's going. At the very least, do see a couple's counselor so you can sort out what's going on and be heard. If she insists on a "Christian-therapist" or seeing a clergyman, explain that isn't acceptable to you.
Your wife has decided that the religious difference is "right & wrong". I have found that the successfully married couples that have such different view points chose to keep their differences in a "just a different POV" bag and not a "someone's right & someone's wrong" bag.
With religion, this is usually instigated by the religious group pressuring the religious partner to bring the other back into the fold. It begins with the "right/wrong" idea and over time develops into micro-ways to pressure the non-religious one to change. She may even be bing coached by the religious group on how to do this. Requesting the NR one to be quiet about their POV is the first step. Psychologically this is to make the NR feel shame about their POV. Shame is a powerful motivator for change and the religious have used it forever.
I'm afraid it gets worse from here if you cannot nip it in the bud and insist she respect your differences. That she is trying to interfere with you and your child's relationship is disturbing and shows she's willing to power play and sacrifice her in order to get you to come around. I recommend counseling with a secular therapist. One who has no agenda.
Hopefully the therapist can help her understand your POV is just as valid to you as hers is to her and the two differing POV can work together to benefit your child. I would like to say the outlook is good but unfortunately religion hasn't survived all these years because reason prevailed. You may have a long struggle and it may not turn out well but hold your ground. Your POV IS just as valid and you should not have to give it up to make peace.
If you're a progressive don't marry a Republican no matter how moderate either.
As the years go by the TV spends more and more time on Fox News and when you follow your conscious and vote as I did for Obama you may loose your house and custody of your children.
Never ever trust the faithful or the conservative.
I am sorry to hear you’re going through this. It’s unfortunate that she is so closed minded that she can’t have an open discussion about it nor allow you to share your mindset with others. Not mention, your own daughter! I was married once to a man who converted to a religion after we married. That was the beginning of the end as he became hostile over the fact I wouldn’t blindly follow his new belief. All I can say is that as a couple you should seek counseling to work on your communication. Someone who can hopefully open her mind to the idea that it’s ok to be a non believer and that she shouldn’t try to control you/what you say. If you can’t properly communicate with her, it’ll be a long miserable life.
Unfortunately, I was in a similar marriage that ended in divorce. If you have to hide who you are as a human being, while being guilt-tripped into changing, it becomes an issue in which resentment builds. I wish you better luck in dealing with this issue than I had. Sorry I have no helpful advice. I lived with ever increasing guilt trips mixed with hipocracy, until it all came to an end,