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Hello everyone, first post here. To put it succinctly, my wife and I have been married barely a year, I feel my beliefs beginning to change and I'm not sure how to discuss them with her.

We dated off and on for a little over 2 years, long distance, before getting married. We are both in our mid 20s. Our worldviews were always a little different, although they grew more and more similar during the 2+ years, but I thought hers were different in a way that would help make me a better person. For instance, she originally wanted to wait until marriage to kiss (she had kissed before) and she believed that Jesus only drank grape juice. These are certainly not huge issues to build a relationship around, or destroy one for disagreement, but I feel like they best give an example of who we were. I consistently asked if we could push our physical boundaries and I convinced her that they drank real wine in the Bible and that it was ok.

Now a year into our marriage I've started becoming curious about evolution. I grew up in a conservative Christian household, so I've read books like "Case for a Creator," "In Six Days," and had my parents read excerpts to me from "Darwin's Black Box" but I never looked at the other side other than the shoddy explanations you get in school. Recently I picked up "The Greatest Show on Earth," by Richard Dawkins, and it makes so much sense.

Furthermore, for many different reasons over the past 3 years, I feel myself becoming a Democrat. This would shock my family, but not my wife (I have mentioned it) because she is not registered to vote and I'm not sure how much she understands the differences between the 2 parties, politics, etc. This is all part of a larger issue where I feel somewhat disconnected to her because of different levels of education and interests. I'm interested in politics, science, world events etc. while she's not and has stated that she wouldn't understand if she tried.

I'm honestly not sure how to bring this up to my wife. I'm honestly afraid that everything would go to hell if I mentioned that I was starting to believe in evolution and I was doubting the full accuracy of the Bible. Two weeks into our marriage she broke down in tears because I wasn't being the spiritual leader our family needed and wasn't reading the Bible to her every morning. Things were very rocky our first year and have just now started to get healthy and normal between us. I don't want to mess that up, but at the same time I feel like I'm faking it by pretending to be satisfied with things the way they currently are and by not opening up to her about this.
 

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I think you didn't give it enough time before you got married. 2 years of long distance relationship can be equivalent to month or 2 being together on daily basis......NOT EVEN.

Clearly not enough time. You also didn't even live with her prior to marriage (IMO, that's a mistake).

Anyways, as far as your religious views and political views go. You are in your 20s, you are still figuring yourself out and probably won't actually do it for another 5-10 years (at least).

Does any of this HAS to come out and be stated though? What issues does it cause in your relationships? I don't understand.

You guys are 2 different people, you SHOULD have different views on things.

I don't want to offend you or anything but I think Politics is just whole bunch of BS and religion = magic (and I don't believe in magic).

Just me though.
 

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You're completely right. I don't have to talk to her about it at all. I could just keep on pretending and hoping everything turns out alright.

In fact, my one quip with Richard Dawkins' book revolves around this very subject. In the book he criticizes the American public over and over for being skeptical of evolution and to a certain extent for believing in God. What he clearly does not understand, or what he conveniently covers up in order to make his argument more salient, is that humans are an incredibly complex social species. Evolution may be true, but if stating you believe in it jeopardizes your social and familial relationships you are going to be much less likely to openly admit it. Would it not be more advantageous to merely go with the flow than to face social ostracism?

On the flip side, however, is the issue of deep interpersonal connection with your spouse. I may sweep my new beliefs under the rug in order to keep my wife happy, but will I really be happy feeling disconnected and unable to talk about my worldview? And by worldview I don't just mean evolution, for that would be merely a slice of the greater pie.

In regards to living together, I'm still not sure if I would have gone that far, though most of my hesitancy comes from not wanting to upset family. I do agree that we should have spent more time together in person. In fact, whenever we made out, etc. there was never really any chemistry, but we both chalked it up to her feeling guilty about it, so I just went with it. There's still great friendship, companionship, and even possibly a little dependency, but very little physical chemistry.
 

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Religious and political agreement is pretty helpful in a marriage, I imagine. I don't know for sure, because I've never had it.

I'm religious, and if you use the term loosely enough, probably even a Christian. My political views are fairly eclectic, and range from liberal to conservative, populist to libertarian, depending on the topic.

My wife is more of your classic Baptist Republican, and a believer in creationism. I'm an evolutionist, but will grant that maybe God had a hand in said evolution.

And you know what? It doesn't matter. I don't see that the problems which brought me here in the first place has anything to do with divergent religious-political views. We both give each other the right and freedom to believe as we wish, and our disagreements when expressed are respectful.

I know people on all sides of various debates who can't imagine being with someone with different views. I on the other hand can't imagine being with someone who shares all of mine, in the unlikely event such a person exists.

I guess you have to figure out how important it is to you and your wife to be with someone who has closely-aligned views.
 

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The longer you go without talking to your wife about this the more it can damage your relationship. This will be a difficult talk but it needs to be had.

Is there a friend you can share with? One that won't judge you?
 
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Perhaps this thread would be better in the religion section, but since it's here, I'll give my opinion. I applaud your curiosity and willingness to look at both sides of these issues. Unfortunately, being honest and being yourself will surely create some issues in your marriage, which seems to me to be extraordinarily conservative even for devout Christians - at least on her side of things.

She wants you to be the spiritual leader of the family. Do so. That happens to mean questioning religious assumptions and exposing her to these other ideas. Even the Catholic Church accepts evolution, scientific principles, and the metaphorical nature of the Bible, but no doubt that is not the faith you follow.

Who knows how she will react to this, though. Your own self-certainty and personal integrity will be the key to getting through this, whatever the outcome.
 

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My wife is the type that would probably question my salvation if I told her what I was really thinking.
And that, my friend, is her problem to with as she will.

Look at it this way: in a sense you're trying to control her, in that you're trying to manage her perception of you. We all do that to a point, but after that point is reached it starts to become unhealthy. You can't successfully manage her perception of you by pretending to be someone you're not.
 

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This is a simple solution....

It is God who is quite capable of being questioned.

Your relationship with Him is yours alone

You have every right to explore your beliefs

You could even take her to church knowing you are questioning.

Just be up front. I am in the process of exploring my beliefs. I will take you and spend that time with you for you because I love you, just know I am absorbing for my exploration purposes.

I've seen many non believers through the years show up just to learn, question, explore their own beliefs.

If your wife wanted an already established mature Christian, then from the story it sounds like you were not "put through your paces" to find out if that were you.

She is not putting her eyes on her own relationship with God. She has an over simplified view of who you should be in your relationship to her and to God. It is way more complex than the little house on the prarie version. Most men I've seen take decades to achieve that authentic maturity and usually have had to walk through hell before they get there. Dying to self is VERY painful.

It takes time to research, absorb, and critically think your way through all of those issues. Differences in opinion does not have to be a deal breaker in your love relationships because love is a universal language right?

You can have your voice... just learn some boundaries if she treats you bad when you voice them. Very simple... ;) just not easy to implement because it takes time to learn. Don't fret too much is what I am trying to say... there are ways to peacefully coexist with different opinions.. let her have her breakdowns.. she'll figure it out. Just love her through it and keep standing in seeking truth..

This coming from a staunch believer in Jesus... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
And that, my friend, is her problem to with as she will.

Look at it this way: in a sense you're trying to control her, in that you're trying to manage her perception of you. We all do that to a point, but after that point is reached it starts to become unhealthy. You can't successfully manage her perception of you by pretending to be someone you're not.
Thanks, that's a really good point. Actually pretty much every post on here is really good.

I am going to talk to her about it tonight. If I'm being honest here, there are other issues that have bothered me, and this possibly just seems the easiest to define; and thus it's the one being brought to light. Other issues being intellectual and sexual in nature; and to an extent we have discussed these. I've even read several marriage books and we went to counseling a few times last year. I know my wife is by far the happiest she's been in our marriage to date, but you're right; I can't give her a false impression of me and pretend to be something I'm not just to keep her happy.


If your wife wanted an already established mature Christian, then from the story it sounds like you were not "put through your paces" to find out if that were you.
I have to respectfully disagree. She asked me lots of theological questions while we were dating, and I was often the one to have points that she did not understand. One reason she was attracted to me is that I was able to keep up with her brother, who is an associate pastor, in discussing the Bible. Also, if you take the faith route, then I'll present you with the story that one night she prayed to God that if she was supposed to be ok with a relationship with me I'd talk in depth about my faith that night, which I did. She always tells that story as an example of how she knew. I'm not disagreeing with you about whether I'm a mature Christian or not, I'm just saying she checked me out very thoroughly.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree. She asked me lots of theological questions while we were dating, and I was often the one to have points that she did not understand. One reason she was attracted to me is that I was able to keep up with her brother, who is an associate pastor, in discussing the Bible. Also, if you take the faith route, then I'll present you with the story that one night she prayed to God that if she was supposed to be ok with a relationship with me I'd talk in depth about my faith that night, which I did. She always tells that story as an example of how she knew. I'm not disagreeing with you about whether I'm a mature Christian or not, I'm just saying she checked me out very thoroughly.
Excellent... then she needs to rest that God knows what he is doing regardless of your quest to explore.... that's on her, not you.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree. She asked me lots of theological questions while we were dating, and I was often the one to have points that she did not understand. One reason she was attracted to me is that I was able to keep up with her brother, who is an associate pastor, in discussing the Bible. Also, if you take the faith route, then I'll present you with the story that one night she prayed to God that if she was supposed to be ok with a relationship with me I'd talk in depth about my faith that night, which I did. She always tells that story as an example of how she knew. I'm not disagreeing with you about whether I'm a mature Christian or not, I'm just saying she checked me out very thoroughly.
Excellent... then she needs to rest that God knows what he is doing regardless of your quest to explore.... that's on her, not you.

You examining your own heart with the Lord you claim is on you.
 
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Thanks for posting your information. Your journey is a little different than mine, in that, I came to God in my late teen years primarily because the idea of evolution was such a hard intellectual pill to swallow. The concept that everything came from nothing and that there is no real purpose in human experience, brought me to the place in my heart where I believed that there had to be a God. This was not the result of any teaching I received at home because we never ever attended church nor did my parents ever discuss anything about God or religion.

Unlike many believers, I am not concerned when someone has legitimate questions and doubts. I do not believe that God is afraid of them either. If we honestly and openly seek truth, I believe that we will always end up with the same conclusion - God IS and He holds all things together. You must be prepared, however, for this revelation to shock your wife and cause her anxiety. If she feels like you are heading down the path of rejecting the faith, then the foundation upon which she thought the two of you were building your lives upon has suddenly become fragile and unstable. You do understand that don't you?

You can help alleviate her fears by assuring her that you are not rejecting the faith just searching to satisfy your own intellectual curiosity. If that is indeed your purpose, then I want to recommend a DVD series titled The Truth Project. You can learn more about it by going to this website. There is a large FAQ section there as well as a tool for you to locate a small group in your area that is studying the material.

I hope something I have said is a help to you. Keep seeking the truth and keep loving your wife. In the end, I believe, everything will turn out fine! My prayers are with you.
 

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Thanks for posting your information. Your journey is a little different than mine, in that, I came to God in my late teen years primarily because the idea of evolution was such a hard intellectual pill to swallow. The concept that everything came from nothing and that there is no real purpose in human experience, brought me to the place in my heart where I believed that there had to be a God. This was not the result of any teaching I received at home because we never ever attended church nor did my parents ever discuss anything about God or religion.

Unlike many believers, I am not concerned when someone has legitimate questions and doubts. I do not believe that God is afraid of them either. If we honestly and openly seek truth, I believe that we will always end up with the same conclusion - God IS and He holds all things together. You must be prepared, however, for this revelation to shock your wife and cause her anxiety. If she feels like you are heading down the path of rejecting the faith, then the foundation upon which she thought the two of you were building your lives upon has suddenly become fragile and unstable. You do understand that don't you?

You can help alleviate her fears by assuring her that you are not rejecting the faith just searching to satisfy your own intellectual curiosity. If that is indeed your purpose, then I want to recommend a DVD series titled The Truth Project. You can learn more about it by going to this website. There is a large FAQ section there as well as a tool for you to locate a small group in your area that is studying the material.

I hope something I have said is a help to you. Keep seeking the truth and keep loving your wife. In the end, I believe, everything will turn out fine! My prayers are with you.
Excellent Wolverine...

I too explored a lot, though coming to Christ when I was 9. Not because of my family, but in spite of my abusive family. When I grew older, I explored my beliefs of old and I too gravitated back to Christ making the only sense to me.
 

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I think it's great that you are trying to look at both sides. Good for you.

I love science, but I am also religious. Yes, the two can coexist together easily. You can have a difference of opinion and it doesn't have to be a deal breaker. My husband is very much "by the book" in his views on religion, but respects my beliefs and followings of science. We talk about it and share things to have both of us keep an open mind. Keep the communication open.
 

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she sounds a bit nutty to me. Jesus only drank grape juice? I have never heard that one.

Most extremely religious people twist what their religion has to say and use it for selfish purposes.

The problem you have is you have a wife who puts religion ahead of marriage. Your marriage can only be successful if it is more important to her than virtually anything else. Religion defines and supports marriage. It is the thread of marriage. Marriage is a crucial component of religion. But, what you have is a wife who views you as a piece of her religious experience, and that religious experience is her whole life. What you should have is a life where you love your marital partner for who they are, and the marriage itself is central, and your religious beliefs are the basis of it.

The bottom line is, you are afraid of your wife. That is not good. She's calling the shots. She's wearing the pants. Her views are the only views. She even alluded to why this can't work. Even the bible says the man has to be the spiritual leader. Note, it does not say to the man, "ask your wife what her beliefs are, completely agree with them, and then use her beliefs to lead her". It says YOU be the spiritual leader. You define the marriage.

And by the way, political parties are not religions and don't own religions. They use religions to attain votes and power.
 

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I am puzzled why people think that evolution and God are incompatible. I have long seen evolution as the way God created the existing universe.

Likewise, though a devout Christian myself, I do not regard every word in the Bible as divinely inspired. Do we still think we should be stoning adulterers to death (Christ clearly did not think so)? If so, why are we not going out there and doing just that?

Given you both sound to be serious Christians, you have a lot going for you. Remember the commandment 'love one another'. Keep doing that and all will come good.

Dawkins is a brilliant scientist but a pretty duff theologian. I find he has nothing to say about faith that has not been said before. Ultimately, metaphysical questions are not susceptible to the scientific method.

Pray together. Good luck.
 

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OP, be prepared for this to cause continuing strife in your marriage as you attempt to navigate this situation with your wife. She has most likely been raised from birth to never question the absolute infallibility of either the Bible itself or of her church's teachings. Her beliefs are not simply a religious faith for her, they are a lifestyle and a worldview. You married an extremely conservative Christian woman from a background that not only didn't foster, but actively repressed, curiosity and open-mindedness in her. The reason she has no intellectual or sexual curiosity is because it's not her place to have those things. This is, at a very deep level, a cultural issue. She may see even mild questioning of the "truths" of her upbringing as sin, and find herself not only in fear for your salvation, but for her own.

So just be very aware that you will be shaking the very foundations of your marriage and that it may be very hard, even impossible, for her to follow you on this path. In her eyes, you are about to perform a very severe bait-and-switch. Can you find a church leader or elder who might be able to provide guidance and assistance for you and both of you as a couple as you tackle this challenge?
 
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