Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some advice.

My wife and I both belonged to the same church when we were married and have continued so for the past 6 years. I recently have done a lot of digging and soul searching and decided that I no longer believe in that religion.

My wife, for the most part, has been understanding and ok with it. However, now that I want to do some of the things that were against the "rules" in my old religion, she is understandably having a hard time with it. Specifically, what really bothers her is that I have started drinking which was very much looked down upon.

There have been a lot of long drawn-out arguments about it. She won't budge in her opinion that I should completely stop. In fact, she has given me an ultimatum that it's her or beer. I won't budge in my opinion that it's ok for me to have an occasional beer as long as it doesn't affect time with family, etc.

I think what it boils down to is our fundamental difference in how we view our marriage. She feels that there were expectations based on the values each of us had when we were married and that we made a promise to eachother that we would keep those values. My view is that when we married we formed a partnership to go through life together understanding that we would learn, grow, and change but that we would be there to support eachother.

I completely understand her point of view and don't think it's an outrageous position, but I would like my point of view to be validated as well. And I feel like I'm getting more of a "my way or the highway" type of attitude from her which is evident by her ultimatum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, I think she's pretty open minded that way. Her main complaint is that she didn't marry a drinker and doesn't want to be married to a drinker. She thinks it's gross, makes her uncomfortable, doesn't like how it changes people, etc.

There also has been some alcoholism in her family in the past, and so she's grown up with this idea that anyone who drinks can very easily become an alcoholic. So I think she's worried that if I start having a couple beers with dinner while I'm out at a work meeting, soon I'm going to want to be drinking all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,372 Posts
So this really isn't about religion or religious beliefs, it's about her not wanting you to drink because SHE thinks drinking is a bad idea.

I say hold your ground, respectfully, and drink responsibly. "I'm sorry you don't approve of alcohol, and I promise to be responsible about it on the occasions that I drink alcohol."

She's not your mommy.

Off topic, but I find it strange to refer to people who do drink alcohol as "drinkers." I've never heard that. Maybe it's because most people I know don't stigmatize alcohol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,967 Posts
I can relate to changing your beliefs I can see how it's a bit hard for her. I think she will adjust time if this is recent. Are you going out drinking? Or having a few beers at home?

It's also not unheard of in your situation that you can go over the top as now you are living a new life without the old boundaries, then you bounce back and find middle ground.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,967 Posts
"Off topic, but I find it strange to refer to people who do drink alcohol as "drinkers." I've never heard that. Maybe it's because most people I know don't stigmatize alcohol."

Yeah it's a thing with certain religions my old church calls others "people of the world" or worst, "sinners"
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think its rooted in the change of religious beliefs, but yeah, I guess a better description is that its acting on those belief changes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
mablenc, I try to be very aware of that. I know a lot of others who went through exactly what you're talking about and they took it too far because they were not used did not set proper boundaries for themselves once their values changed.

When I drink, it is usually at a work function or when I'm traveling for work. That is one of the concessions I'm trying to make. I know she's not happy about it so I'm trying to strike a deal that I will not let drinking interfere with spending time with her or our kids.

Thats a big part of the problem. I feel that as long as I am not substituting drinking for my responsibilities as a husband and father, it shouldn't affect her like this. But the reality is that it does affect her. Whether it should or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,592 Posts
I won't budge in my opinion that it's ok for me to have an occasional beer as long as it doesn't affect time with family, etc.

Thats a big part of the problem. I feel that as long as I am not substituting drinking for my responsibilities as a husband and father, it shouldn't affect her like this. But the reality is that it does affect her. Whether it should or not.
Your description of your “drinking” above seems to be very reasonable. An alcoholic does not have an “occasional beer”. When they drink they usually get high or drunk. For me someone taking a stance as your wife is taking is maybe caught up in church legalism? How does she explain that Jesus turned water into wine for the party?

Perhaps your wife is very concerned about drinking because she has some alcoholics in her family. I have a family member that is like that but it has nothing to do with religion. She just is so afraid that her husband will wind up an alcoholic like her father. All her arguments with him on this subject just drove him to drink more. When she stopped to some degree he very rarely drinks now. He is very responsible and a good husband and family man.



Blunt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,700 Posts
Looking for some advice.

My wife and I both belonged to the same church when we were married and have continued so for the past 6 years. I recently have done a lot of digging and soul searching and decided that I no longer believe in that religion.

My wife, for the most part, has been understanding and ok with it. However, now that I want to do some of the things that were against the "rules" in my old religion, she is understandably having a hard time with it. Specifically, what really bothers her is that I have started drinking which was very much looked down upon.

There have been a lot of long drawn-out arguments about it. She won't budge in her opinion that I should completely stop. In fact, she has given me an ultimatum that it's her or beer. I won't budge in my opinion that it's ok for me to have an occasional beer as long as it doesn't affect time with family, etc.

I think what it boils down to is our fundamental difference in how we view our marriage. She feels that there were expectations based on the values each of us had when we were married and that we made a promise to eachother that we would keep those values. My view is that when we married we formed a partnership to go through life together understanding that we would learn, grow, and change but that we would be there to support eachother.

I completely understand her point of view and don't think it's an outrageous position, but I would like my point of view to be validated as well. And I feel like I'm getting more of a "my way or the highway" type of attitude from her which is evident by her ultimatum.
Oh boy...

Before we decide to marry, (I hope) we look at the character of our partner. We look at the consistency in his/her values to see if they're aligned with our own. I mean, I'm sure that if she told you that SHE was changing religions, and that her new religion allowed her to date other people while married, you would probably have a hard time with that! In fact, you'd probably feel very betrayed. After all, you married her with the understanding that she wouldn't change that value...right?

So, first of all, she may feel betrayed by you. I'm not saying that definitely betrayed her; I'm saying that her feelings about your change may resemble a betrayal of sorts.

Also, she has some legitimate concerns about your decision to drink. Having been around drinkers before, she has seen the effects that alcohol can have on people. While you say that you're not going to go overboard, she's probably feeling afraid because one can easily become chemically dependent on alcohol, over which the drinker literally has NO CONTROL. Right now, you're choosing to utilize LESS self-control. What if it no longer becomes a choice? Don't know if either one of you smoke cigarettes, but if HER new religion allowed it, would how would YOU feel about it?

You have already made a major change regarding religion. Now you're making another major change for her. She may be thinking, "What ELSE is he going to change?"

Not making a suggestion either way. All I'm trying to do is to encourage you to explore your decision with a little more sensitivity for your wife's feelings.

Self-control is a 'muscle' like the muscles in our body. The less we 'exercise' it, the flabbier and 'weaker' it becomes.

Vega
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
Your description of your “drinking” above seems to be very reasonable. An alcoholic does not have an “occasional beer”. When they drink they usually get high or drunk. For me someone taking a stance as your wife is taking is maybe caught up in church legalism? How does she explain that Jesus turned water into wine for the party?

Perhaps your wife is very concerned about drinking because she has some alcoholics in her family. I have a family member that is like that but it has nothing to do with religion. She just is so afraid that her husband will wind up an alcoholic like her father. All her arguments with him on this subject just drove him to drink more. When she stopped to some degree he very rarely drinks now. He is very responsible and a good husband and family man.

I'm with Blunt. It's not about religion here- it's about how SHE views alcohol. If she has an alcoholic in the family, my take is she fears your occasional bears can turn into a heavy addiction.

My father was an alcoholic. He was a kind person when sober, but drunk, he would seek arguments, verbally abuse my mom, even heard of some physical fights between them. Next day she would threaten divorce, he would apologize, swear he's change..they ended up divorced.
As a grown up, I'm certainly wary of alcohol. But I don't mind an occasional beer, or even one-two beers or one-two glasses of wine with the meal. It's normal, and even healthy. I frown at quantities that exceed common sense, and at drinking until falling under the table. If this is not your case, your wife has to stop projecting her issues from the past on you.

Anyway, a better title for this thread may be " One spouse Changes Habits - Starts Drinking Alcohol".



Blunt
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
Sounds to me that you never had a relationship with God to begin with, but you were just going through the motions and have reached the conclusion that you never really believed in God. So your wife married a non-Christian if that is the case -- thinking that she married a Christian. Tough stuff. This is the sort of thing divorces are made of. I've seen this movie before:

Wife continues to go to church and pray for backslidden hubby, often with kids in tow. He becomes more "worldly" (starts drinking, listening to non-Christian music, watching shows and movies not "glorifying to God", hanging with others who aren't Christians, etc. -- and she worries about the kids in the whole mix. His conscience gets more and more "free" and he starts feeling resentment that his wife isn't more supportive of the things important to him. He also begins to resent her beliefs and wish she would quit trying to constantly "pray for him" and try to get him to "come back home" as a prodigal son.

I'm a Christian. So is my wife. For me, there is no such thing as just not believing anymore. I can't even fathom that scenario, as God is so much a part of my life it is literally Christ who lives in me daily. I don't know what I would do if my wife came to me one day and said she no longer has faith in Jesus. I can't even imagine it, as Jesus is such a part of her that He is living in her and through her in so many ways.

This is a blunt post. Maybe I overstepped here, but this is just how I see things based on a short post and not knowing your story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
IMO, your wife is completely unreasonable. People change and grow, which you have done. She is locked in one narrow view on something that barely registers for most people's consciousness, and you aren't even close to being irresponsible in your use of alcohol.

I like norajane's advice as a good way to handle things and see if that works.

For me, there is also a philosophical issue. I own my body and mind, and I am the only one who can decide what's best for me. Yes, I will consider the opinion of loved ones and heed their input, but the final decision is mine alone, and marriage is a partnership (but NOT an ownership of one by the other). My decisions must be respected even if you don't agree with them. If I cave and let your choices for me override my own, I give up responsibility for myself and could no longer respect myself or expect respect from you. Of course, HOW I handle these choices and HOW I communicate my decisions can make all the difference in how they are perceived and accepted (or not).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
256 Posts
IMO, your wife is completely unreasonable. People change and grow, which you have done. She is locked in one narrow view on something that barely registers for most people's consciousness, and you aren't even close to being irresponsible in your use of alcohol.
There is a huge difference between "changing and growing" and switching to an entirely different belief and value system. What the OP said has nothing to do with simply change and growth. This doesn't have anything to do with alcohol, either. His wife is seeing his change to "non-believer" and his use of alcohol (if she has convictions against the use of it) is simply confirmation of that change. The Bible states that if your spouse decides no longer to follow Jesus in the faith, he/she is free to leave the marriage and it is not counted against the believing spouse. That is how serious this is to Christians.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,287 Posts
Cite exactly where this is written in the Bible please.
1 Corinthians 7:14-16, emphasis, specifically on verse 14 for what you asked above:

14For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. 16For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?


ETA: this is specifically about an unbelieving spouse, not one who used to believe, but doesn't anymore. However, it still applies to an unbeliever, which is what eyuop is saying may be what the wife sees regarding her husband.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,287 Posts
Of course, just was curious.



Thanks for finding this. BTW, if the unbelieving spouse does NOT want to leave, then the grounds for divorce is not the same, correct?
Correct. Well, as far as I understand, yes, that is correct. I am not a theologian, so I don't speak with authority, obviously. ;)

If the unbelieving spouse chooses to stay, then that's a totally different scenario. It ties in with the whole "unequally yoked with unbelievers". If someone was an unbeliever, and married another unbeliever, but then converted, the new believer is admonished to STAY with the spouse, as evidenced in verse 14.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
There is a huge difference between "changing and growing" and switching to an entirely different belief and value system. What the OP said has nothing to do with simply change and growth. This doesn't have anything to do with alcohol, either. His wife is seeing his change to "non-believer" and his use of alcohol (if she has convictions against the use of it) is simply confirmation of that change. The Bible states that if your spouse decides no longer to follow Jesus in the faith, he/she is free to leave the marriage and it is not counted against the believing spouse. That is how serious this is to Christians.
I doubt that his fundamental value system has changed even if his beliefs have. It's not clear whether he changed from belief to non-belief, or simply to another Christian religion more in tune with his views.

As for other point, I've heard the "unequally yoked" perspective. Compatibility is important, and of course each person has to decide for themselves how to take this. As an atheist with Buddhist leanings, it's important to me as well to be with someone who shares my views.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I was raised that drinking was bad. As was dancing. My husband does not believe that. But my mother does.

My grandpa was an alcoholic. I grew up seeing that. He was not willing, or maybe able to give up the beer for his family. While I don’t disagree with you that an occasional beer is not a big deal. If your wife feels so very very adamantly about it. Why don’t you just not?

while I get that you sometimes have to fight for your beliefs, It almost sounds like you want validation that its okay to cause a war in your marriage over a beer?

If its “not a big deal” to you and it is to her.. could this just be a thing you let her win?

I mean I don’t think it’s WRONG religiously to dance, but I still don’t.. not because I think its wrong but just because I don’t think it’s that big a deal to learn how to do an all that.

we have used a scale system well over the years. One of us will stop in the middle of a tiff and go “1-10?” the other will respond, sometimes my husband will say “I don’t want to say, you say first” and I do.

You might try introducing that.. maybe even every time. At a restaurant “hun, I’m thinking of getting a beer 1-10?” see if it ever drops from a 10 for her?

Maybe compromise odules are not horrible beers and they are alcohol free. If its just the taste you want go for a none alcoholic beer and see if you can live with it?



My husband is military, often times military men come back from deployments as smokers. While it is not morally wrong to smoke I would be VERY anti smoking. My dad smoked, he was not a good man. The idea of him smoking would turn me off, it would be gross, it would change how he behaved, how he interacted with the world, how he smelled!

Again I get that you don’t like being “told what to do” But you where essentially, if not diplomatically asked to choose between a beer and a wife.. You can respect her and make that choice. Or you can continue to try to get your cake and eat it too. You are asking her to give up a core belief what’s more is how is this going to play? Most states do not approve of drinking and driving. The military base I live on is one drink no drive. That means If I go out and my husband has a beer I have to drive home. I get nervous driving at night on the interstate.. That would really annoy me if he put me in that position. Next, I do have a husband who drinks.. I have picked him up, at night, thankfully not interstate driving, He threw up the WHOLE way home while I sang twinkle twinkle little star at the top of my lungs with our kid so he wouldn’t hear daddy. I had to get the kid in bed then haul the husband upstairs and finally just let him sleep it off in the bath tub sans water… He had THREE beers.. just three.. of course he was around 130lbs and 6”4 and has never been good with beer.. But still his decisions caused my night to BITE! Are you asking her to do that for you?

Or is this merely so small as “I just want to drink a beer?” . Because chances are, if she is like any other woman I know. The train of “and then, and what if” has already left the station. She is five years down the road in her jump to assumption bus having to take you to aa or something.. idk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
I believe most religions allow drinking, although CULTURE shifts in those religions interpret it as "no drinking"

As in.. most scripture cautions against losing control and getting "addicted" to alcohol and becoming a slave it it... not having a beer once in awhile. It's the same with gambling.

I have mentioned this before, as have others. The Bible or any other religious scripture is often interpreted too literally.. which is a new phenomenon. You need an understanding of context, history and language to really interpret scripture... plus you can't just read ONE verse and not the whole paragraph etc.

But as others have said.. her issue with this may just be the drinking not religion... due to how she was raised (with an alcoholic)

That is something you should discuss with her
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top