(Closed) Nervous about my husband's newfound spirituality

posted 7 years ago in Relationships
Post # 152
Member
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I want to just restate that watching that one X-Files episode, all things, could truly be helpful.  S

Post # 154
Member
1004 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@peasantsong:  You’re welcome. I can also relate to your feeling of being the one who is skeptical. When we got together, DH was the type of person who only went to church with his parents when he was visiting. We both identified agnostic with a christian background. However, I was heavily jaded with and tired of church/chrisitanity. After we got engaged, DH told me he wanted to look for a church to belong to, and I was like…. WHY??? Can’t we just find a few volunteer organizations to join instead? But it was important to him to have some spiritual connection regularly as well.

 

But, having a religious background, I can appreciate the comfort that going to church brings, so I go with him. I made sure we ended up in a church that doesn’t make me uncomfortable to walk into every Sunday, and that is focused on actually helping the community in a non-judgemental way. There are good people there. The pastor married us without batting an eye that we lived together, and the people are not the type that want to put religion into government, and they aren’t scared of people who believe differetly than them. In fact, they often hold services and events with other religious, and non-religious, groups in the area.

Post # 155
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

This would not be a deal-breaker for me, personally. Both Fiance and I are agnostic in the sense that we do not reject the concept of God, but we are not necessarily 100% convinced of his existence either. We both love to travel and learn about other cultures (and I have been studying various religions for the past 14 years out of interest), and therefore we both have the ability to admire and respect other cultures and other people’s faith. For this reason, I could never bring myself to think that people who are convinced that God exists are “child-like” or delusional in any way.

If my Fiance became more religious and wanted to go to church (or some other place of worship), I would respect that and would probably also join him to see what it’s all about (unless it was some crazy suicide sect or something similarly extreme). Fiance and I are both quite open-minded when it comes to faith and spirituality, so him to decide that he believes in God without a shadow of a doubt would not change how I see him, and I doubt it would change our relationship (certainly not in a bad way, anyway). He would still be the intelligent, kind-hearted, sweet man I fell in love with.

I’m quite surprised by how many people find this to be such a big deal.

Post # 156
Member
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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@peasantsong:  look, inter-faith relationships can work but only if there is mutual respect. I am a Christian and the Christian belief if a person converts and their spouse does not, they are to stay with and love their spouse. But if their spouse wants to leave due to their conversion, they are to let them do so. 

The problem here is you do not respect your husband anymore. You have stated and indicated several times that you now think he has become a gullible idiot living in a fantasy world and that he is creepy. No marriage I have ever seen work did so based off one person thinking the other is stupid and creepy. So if you cannot reconcile his beliefs better than you now do, I think it would be better and less painful in the long run for both of you if you thought about leaving.

Post # 157
Member
11528 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

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@turnanewleaf:  and
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@likewoah:  I definitely do not wish to sidetrack the OP’s thread, but I wanted to clarify that I’m not at all  saying that people of faith have not and do not have signficant influence on American public policy, because we absolutely have and do. What I am taking issue with is your incorrect assertion that people who oppose faith-based beliefs and values  do not have a similar — and increasingly growing — influence.

Post # 158
Member
9124 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

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@Rachel631:  I love Pope Francis too, despite being an atheist 🙂  Putting the focus back on helping the poor is A-OK in my book.

Post # 159
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@peasantsong:  I am extremely confused that you find your husband’s beliefs to be creepy. What specifically about it creeps you out?

Post # 160
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I don’t know how to say this without sounding offensive… so I apologize in advance. I am just trying to put myself in the OP’s shoes and take on her perspectives about religion, so that I could be as helpful to her as possible.

My husband and I are firmly established in our nonreligious ways. Over the years, we have taken that journey together – exploring faith, and subsequently rejecting faith. So if he were to suddenly become religious, I would feel so shocked and confused. It’s not that I don’t understand how people can be religious – I have many friends who are, and I both respect and love them dearly. I have celebrated their religious weddings, their kids’ baptism, and other religious holidays. I believe that intelligent people can be deeply religious and yet rational (in the worldly way that I define it) in all other ways. I still think their religious belief itself is irrational and unfounded, but I don’t think any less of them for it.

But I can’t do that with my husband. Because here is the person I thought I knew inside and out, whom I have shared the most intimate thoughts and experiences with, and who has shared those with me. I wouldn’t understand how he, from the experiences of our life, could come away with that belief.  I would want to ask, “Do you not see what I see???” And here is the person I thought I was going to travel through life with in a particular manner, based on certain worldviews, and I would wonder how we go forward now.

With that said, my advice to you is to support him in anyway he can. Throughout a marriage that spans a lifetime, there are bound to be occasions in which you have to change gear as a couple. I wouldn’t become religious myself, but I would probably celebrate holidays and occasionally go to church. I would try and read what he reads, though I would give my thoughts honestly and true to myself. I would tell him I don’t understand his faith but I would support him anyway.

I would, in all honestly, consider him a little lost in his ways. I wouldn’t be able to think of his faith as anything other than a mistake of rationality (I am sorry… people).  But I would still embrace it. Because there have been, and are bound to be, other times in our marriage where I feel lost and act in ways that appear irrational to him. Because in those times, I would want him to be patient with me and accept me anyway. Because there is no principle about god or man that could be more important to me than my marriage. Because the love I feel for my husband is stronger than the negativity I harbor towards religions.

 

Post # 161
Member
5217 posts
Bee Keeper

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@Jupster:  Because the love I feel for my husband is stronger than the negativity I harbor towards religions

Wow, what a really great way to phrase that– I think that makes a lot of sense for couples who may be struggling with this!

Post # 163
Member
4844 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Maybe give him some time. He might just be “trying this on” if you get what I mean. Talk to him about what this really means for him. If he believes that there’s something else out there and that’s a source of something positive for him, it may not be that big of a deal. If he’s not pushing it on you and this is something he feels, let him. If he’s gone full tilt, trying to convert you, bible thumping, never stops talking about it then I would be more concerned. 

Post # 164
Member
2865 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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@peasantsong:  You know it happens but it doesn’t mean that he needs to be bound to a particular religion. Belief in God doesn’t need to result in deciding to follow one particular religion

Post # 165
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@peasantsong:  Specifically what creeps me out are his statements that he suddenly “felt” god and that he can now see the light of god in all living things. 

 

Honestly, that sounds pretty harmless to me, I guess I don’t really see what’s so weird about that.

 

What puzzles me as well is your statement that you do not respect religious people. Does that mean that you have no respect for the billions of people in the world who are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Shinto etc? I don’t really see how you can draw such a blanket statement over the majority of the world’s population.

 

Yeah, respect is important in a relationship. But perhaps you need to examine your “criteria” for respecting other people?

 

Post # 166
Member
566 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I think you’ve definitely figured out the root of the problem: you can’t understand or respect the concept of a belief in God. That’s fine, but you’re right that it’s a problem if the person you love and respect the most holds a belief that you just can’t understand.

I think you could figure out the everyday things, like whether you go to church or how often he can read the Bible without it annoying you. You can probably still have great conversations about many things that you have in common, or find some common groung in the things that you don’t. But if you just fundamentally disagree about something that’s so core to who you are and how you see the world, i think it could be really difficult. Even if you respect his calmer, nicer behavior now, or can appreciate some aspects of religion, if that basic respect or understanding for core beliefs isn’t there I do think it can be really hard. I don’t think it’s always possible to stay in a relationship with someone who is fundamentally a different person than the one you married. You have to choose whether you want to be with THAT person.

If you marriage is otherwise strong and you want things to work (and it sounds to me like that’s the case), I’d suggest opening up a little first. No need to ever agree, but just try to understand. Read some of the stuff he’s reading. Listen to what other believers have to say. Really, truly try to understand it, even if you never agree. If you can get to a more understanding place, I think it’d be good not only for your relationship but also for everyone. We all could use more understanding of each other. But if after reading and listening and opening your heart you really, really can’t understand or see how an intelligent, rational person can believe in God, then yeah, you might want to reconsider your marriage. And that wouldn’t make you or him a bad person. It would just mean that you guys have a fundamental disagreement about something core to your relationship.

This would be really, really hard for me. My husband and I have very similar views about religion and if one of us suddenly changed it would fundamentally alter our relationship. Out of love and respect and trust in my husband I’d try my darndest to understand, but if it made me lose respect for him, I don’t see how I could continue to be married to him.

 

 

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