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When I met my husband, he said he was a Christian. If he had said otherwise, we probably never would have gotten together. For about 2 years, as long as we had a church, he went with me (there was a period when we left our church and didn't have one for a while). Then in like May, we had MAJOR problams and the fight lasted about a week.

At that point, he stopped going to church and he refuses to go. He said that he didn't want to go because my mom went to that church, but there are 3 services and it would be easier to go to a different service than her (He wants nothing to do with her at this point). I have asked a million times, I have stopped asking for a while and then just asked a couple times occasionally, I have suggested watching the live stream of the service from home or at least going to events for the young adult group, but he absolutely refuses.

We've been separated for over a month, closer to a month and a half. A LOT of stuff happened and he was planning on filing for divorce. FINALLY, he agreed to work on things and we start counseling on Tuesday. But there are the past issues and now the separation has caused added problems. And from my side, the biggest current problems are 1. He now won't say "I love you" EVER and 2. He STILL won't go to church.

I don't know what to do. Obviously I can't force him and asking every week obviously won't help. So what am I supposed to do? And it's not even just the specific issue of him going to church. His refusal to go to church is affecting other things. Like we're supposed to go to the state fair tomorrow. Since he has some kind of sleep issue where it's REALLY hard to wake himself up or for anyone to wake him up, he said that it would be easiest if I slept over tonight and we went to the fair in the morning, so I'd be there to wake him up. But I already missed curch last week and I don't want to miss it again, so I said I'd go to the early service and then we could go to the fair. But he said he might not wake up in time. So I suggested I come over tonight, then we BOTH go to the early service and then go to the fair. His response was "I'm not going to church." So now we may not get to go to the fair because of this.

And it's not even just like a matter of me respecting his wishes or whatever. He knew how important Christianity and God were to me when we met and I was led to believe it was important to him too. Now he wants to change his mind and that's not fair to me because I was promised a loving, Christian husband. Now what do I do? I can't even talk to him about it because it'll just cause a fight or I'll just get upset and it won't change what he does. I already tried talking to him about the "I love you" thing last night and that didn't go well. I can't wait until we go to counseling, but I don't know if even that will help. I just don't know what to do.
 

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What are the other issues?

What was the fight about?

What led to the separation?
 
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People change. This is the new version of him, and it seems he is happy with it, even if you are not. You can't change him, so you have to decide what you can accept.
 
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People change. This is the new version of him, and it seems he is happy with it, even if you are not. You can't change him, so you have to decide what you can accept.
It may not be a change at all. OP stated her husband said he was a Christian but did he show he was a Christian? Please, OP, don't say he use to go to church because I know a lot of drug dealers that go to church. Church attendance in itself doesn't prove one is Christian.

You can't force him. He will go when he is ready. You can pray that God will change his heart and he will be saved (because he doesn't sound like he is) and he will congregate with other believers.
 

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I've been to church a few times in my life. I never did like it. If somebody drug me along as a child I'd spend the time mentally undressing the girls there.

I came into this world an unbaptized bastard child. An OC from the summer of love. If there is a God, he hates me. :wink2: The thing is, even being on the outs spiritually, I live by a code of honor. I don't cheat anyone, steal from anyone, or make my living at someone else's expense. The point being, church has nothing to do with what kind of man your hubby is.
 

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There are many kinds of Christians. Some are very sincere and devout, and some are very casual and laid-back and may not attend church. All are still Christians, even if not your particular "brand."
 
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What are the other issues?

What was the fight about?

What led to the separation?
Start here with what farside posted.



Try not to blame yourself for his seeming change of mind. You can't read anyone's mind.

He may have thought God was going to intercede for him on something and it didn't happen.

However...He's acting like an angry child.
 

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There is only one type of Christian according to the bible.
Would you get the Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc., etc., etc. to all agree on that? If not, who's supposedly "right"?
 
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Would you get the Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc., etc., etc. to all agree on that? If not, who's supposedly "right"?
Interpretations all coming from similar sources. Yes, you are correct, but the Bible...and so on and so forth.

Let's let her tell her story?
 

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The ones that follow the bible. You figure out which ones those are.
I don't really care. IMO, they're all wrong, along with the bible. Not that that's relevant to the OP's problem ...
 
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Let's save theological discussions for a separate thread, please.
 

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So what your husband changed his mind and he no longer embraces the concept of God and religion.

LOTS of people eventually figure it out.

I give him a lot of credit it takes a lot of guts to denounce a false belief that has been ingrained in his head for his entire life.

Maybe instead of whining you can follow his lead and have your Sundays free to do something productive and fun.
 

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I identified as an atheist for a couple of years, and then came back to faith last year, OP. Nothing anyone in my life could have said, would have caused me to attend church. It's a very personal thing, and while you're disappointed, faith is a personal thing. Or the desire to leave it altogether. I'd recommend just continuing to attend by yourself, and see where things end up with your marriage. If he is indifferent towards God, or just doesn't believe in the idea of a god anymore, so be it. I hope things get better in your marriage, anyway. :eek:

The other factor to think about though is, if your faith is an important part of YOUR life, then that can be hard to not be able to share that with one's partner. So, there's that, too. However, it doesn't have to be a dealbreaker, many marriages do great when one partner follows faith, and the other doesn't.
 

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@Jsigler20, I've had your thread on my mind all day.

So much of what I listened to in your brief paragraphs never addressed your husband's spirituality, it was mostly an attendance conflict, even if it was lastly attending over a "live stream". One learns that the two teachings (Christ vs. church) are quite different and the focus of being Christian vs. "Churchian" takes a bit more than faith acceptance, it take an evaluation of your relationship both in and out of dogma comforts.

What are you supposed to do? As the famous bumper sticker said "What Would Jesus Do"? Kneel with him and pray... when present, your spirituality will knock the foundations of those church buildings to their base. If he won't pray with you, then you have clarity of where his faith and spiritually lie and can better decide your path.

Most Christians I have known live by their church's teachings, which funnily enough does at times conflict with Christ's teachings... where is your husband in his faith in Christ's teachings as that might be a better measure than to worry about him going into a building to worship, and that may be any building of faith for that matter.

If it simply comes down to your basic doctrines of Christianity, and your fundamentals are sound together, then walk your faith as closely as you can as Jesus would and encourage him with patience and love, not lambast him... fire and brimstone, whether heavenly or earthly, is a fickle motivator and drives away desire as a whip would.

As you struggle with your marriage and faith's impact therein... which do you represent, Christ or Church? Some see them as the same, I do not.

I do know and have lived Christianity, I was raised and baptized Southern Baptist to my late teens, I converted for a fiancé and was baptized Mormon and progressed in the church, then Lutheran, then free-lance, and now grow spiritually as my account name. It was not Christ who drove me away, it was the church... every time... even as a Buddhist I think Jesus was brilliant and love to read about him and learn to be a better person from his love and wisdom.

I do not share my thoughts to argue faith with you, that would take away from your important concern and your marriage, which I hope can be strengthened in growth... if you do not find value in my post then please simply cast my input aside.

Be with peace
 

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Emerging Buddhist, I actually find your post to be probably the most helpful, or one of them. The issue is far more than him just refusing to go to church, although that is very important to me. I don't even know if he believes anymore and I think that is why he refuses to go. It's nothing the church did. He won't do anything related to the faith anymore and flat out refuses to go to church and when I ask to do something at home, he says "Doubt it." I don't know what is wrong with him. But then again, it's not like things are great with us, which he thinks absolutely necessary to make sure I remember, which is why he won't say "I love you." So I don't even know what the biggest problem in our marriage is, but there are a lot. It's just so exhausting and depressing and part of me can't wait to start marriage counseling Tuesday and part of me is scared that it won't fix the problems and will only force us to talk about highly upsetting things.
But also, I do not appreciate the theological debates in previous comments. That was not the point of my post. And to the person who told me to "stop whining," if you're not going to help and are only going to be rude, you have no place here. I don't know why you decided to comment on my post. You don't just "change" something like this. Either you're saved or not. That doesn't change. And it matters because, as I said, my faith is a HUGE part of my life and I never would have dated or married him if he had said he wasn't a Christian when I met him. So the fact that he's now moving towards rejecting it is a HUGE deal to me. I plan on raising kids with this man and having one Christian parent and one nonChristian parent isn't going to work for anyone. And he has ALWAYS known how important this was to me because I told him from the start.
 

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JSigler, your view of your responsibility as a Christian wife is rather skewed as far as the Christian faith goes
What you are doing is actually chasing him away further from the faith

1. you married him in good faith and therefore were not 'unequally yoked'
2. his walk and relationship with God is his alone, he is accountable to God, not you. You focus on your own relationship with God and pray for your H, that is all you can do.
3. It sounds like there are many problems other than faith issues, maybe those are the ones you should be dealing with
4. if you are pushing and nagging him you are not reflecting the 'gentle and quiet spirit' called for in 1 Peter 3:3, leave him to God and stop nagging him to go to church, this is not your battle
5. i understand your concerns about bringing up children. I live in a part of the world where there are many newly converted Christians in marriages with unbelievers, they make it work because God is merciful and allows it to work out well too. As a mother you will have tremenduous influence in this department
6. You are now married to a man who you might consider to be an unbeliever but just because that is the case it does not allow you to divorce. 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 is very clear, if your H wants to still be with you then you must allow it. it is not grounds for divorce. God can work on your H, all things are possible
7. If you truly believed in the God of the bible, you would know that you are responsible for your own behaviour, how you treat your H and not your H's behaviour, leave it at that.

I would therefore suggest, you spend less time worrying about what others think, what your church thinks, what procedures to follow, what rules there are and spend more time reflecting on who you represent as a Christian to your H. Have you always been kind, respectful and non judgmental in all your dealings with your H? It helps to remember the words of Paul

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres".

I am not writing this to upset you as i have often grappled with this myself. How can be call our spouses to a higher standard than we impose on ourselves? As you are a Christian the bible is clear on how you must love your H, i think if you reflect on your past behaviour you will discover you are perhaps not loving him God's way. Look inwards not outwards.
 

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You need to have a theological discussion within yourself and with your H. Not one word what actions your H took to appear not christian except he does not want to go to church. Why this need to show off "faith" in public? What theological conflicts do you have with your H, do your morals differ, how do you want to raise your children, what defines a christian for you? Just someone who goes to church, no matter what he thinks?

You come across to me (atheist) as someone who just wants to appear as a devout person by attending service of your denomination of christianity and you appear as someone who only believes out of fear of not being saved. You basically believe in a god that will save bad people because they believe in him and that will condemn good people because they do not believe in him. Does not really sound like a nice god worthy of worship.
 

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Emerging Buddhist, I actually find your post to be probably the most helpful, or one of them. The issue is far more than him just refusing to go to church, although that is very important to me. I don't even know if he believes anymore and I think that is why he refuses to go. It's nothing the church did. He won't do anything related to the faith anymore and flat out refuses to go to church and when I ask to do something at home, he says "Doubt it." I don't know what is wrong with him. But then again, it's not like things are great with us, which he thinks absolutely necessary to make sure I remember, which is why he won't say "I love you." So I don't even know what the biggest problem in our marriage is, but there are a lot. It's just so exhausting and depressing and part of me can't wait to start marriage counseling Tuesday and part of me is scared that it won't fix the problems and will only force us to talk about highly upsetting things.
But also, I do not appreciate the theological debates in previous comments. That was not the point of my post. And to the person who told me to "stop whining," if you're not going to help and are only going to be rude, you have no place here. I don't know why you decided to comment on my post. You don't just "change" something like this. Either you're saved or not. That doesn't change. And it matters because, as I said, my faith is a HUGE part of my life and I never would have dated or married him if he had said he wasn't a Christian when I met him. So the fact that he's now moving towards rejecting it is a HUGE deal to me. I plan on raising kids with this man and having one Christian parent and one nonChristian parent isn't going to work for anyone. And he has ALWAYS known how important this was to me because I told him from the start.

@Jsigler20,

What I see as the issue, and I don't actually know, but am willing to guess, is there is no communication in your marriage. What little there is, is terribly disrespectful and filled with covert contracts on both sides.

Neither one of you trusts the other. You can't open up on an anonymous forum. Yeah, I know it's tough, even for those who have learned how to open up and take the chance that their feelings will not be stepped on.

No questions were answered. You haven't revealed much more than he won't do as you ask. Guess what? If he is a believer, he should be telling you what to do. You should be following all that is in line with the bible's teachings on married couples.

Now, I know he has moved away from his beliefs, or so it seems. Guess what? You don't even know that. You haven't talked with him, or haven't posted what was said or that you did.

You ask for help with what?

My guess is that you want some support.

I'm going to give it to you.

You are correct! He is wrong for treating you as he does. Not saying I love you is rotten and hurtful. Why would anyone want to follow a man that does not love them. It would be so frightening since you have no clue if he is leading you to destruction.

At the same time, telling him what to do and complaining about how he acts will not help him see the light. They will strengthen his resolve.

You absolutely need the counseling for your marriage. And, yes, they will expect you to open up as you have stated you are concerned about in your post, or they are not worth their weight in salt.

You've got a long struggle ahead. Please consider your thoughts.

I'll give you the benefit of doubt and believe you...for now.

For some reason my troldar screen is blinking.
 
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