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Discussion Starter #61
And the bit about closing her eyes during sex because she couldn't stop thinking about what he viewed her as, comparisons to the porn, whatever... why doesn't that greatly sadden him? Why doesn't he realize he is not the man she likely courted and married and what that means to her? He goes to church weekly out of duty but he doesn't believe. Think about the two of them, hearing the same message, with her knowing that he no longer thinks what she is hearing is relevant. It would be better, I think, if he weren't even there. Plenty of families manage where one is devout and the other not. They do it by not trying to pretend. They do it with some manner of respect.

But we don't know anything about their earlier days. We don't know if he was an alpha-male leader guy who made promises of being a biblically-inspired husband and father. We're kind of making assumptions of that, but what if she saw him as a work-in-progress and accepted him thinking he would grow into the role? That's not what he says though; he says during dating and early marriage he shared the same theology as her.

Hmm. Also taken aback by his claim "We have a healthy sex life" and then the later reveal that she has to close her eyes. I don't think he can say anything beyond "we have sex" as being something in common about their sex life. It's certainly not healthy.
Yes, it saddens me that she closes her eyes during sex. I have not mentioned it to her since she brought it up, other than noticing it. She explained to me that she can't look at me because I have looked at porn.

I still go to church because it seems like the right thing to do - to participate in our family's outings, to teach morality to our kids, to be there.

I never claimed to be a super Christian leader who was going to save our family from damnation and save the world too. I am not an alpha personality type. I elaborated more about my faith in my post earlier this morning, so that should help clear things up.

We have sex 2-3 times per week, and we both climax, so there is some "health" to to this sex life.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
Very good point. Instead, he views it as just another complaint from her nagging mouth.



Including the ones of different faiths. They work it out, like you say. I remember my grandfather and (step) grandmother always attended different churches of different religions. They were a great couple and set a great example.

Great perspective on you.



You might have read my many mentions of "the man in our heads." We women have a tendency to conjure the perfect husband and then get disappointed when we realize the man in our heads and the man we married are two different people. One is real imagination and the other is just real, meaning imperfect as we all are.

So I know you're probably right, but I don't think I jumped the gun in feeling she has reasons beyond that to be disappointed. It seems like, whatever her expectations were, she ended up with very little and what she might consider to be little of nothing.



LOL That's where I get the clear and present notion that his objective was to secure himself regular and convenient coochie. He has that so it's the all-important aspect of his marriage - so important to him that regular and convenient = healthy and nothing else matters since he's getting it. I'm actually surprised this guy is not abusive. He has so many hallmarks of the typical narcissist or borderline. But again, if he is autistic, it could 'splain some of this. Not all but some, and I bet she could find some comfort in that explanation, as opposed to feeling duped and neglected.
Wow - no, I have never abused my wife. No, I'm not autistic either. My idea with marriage was to have a deep bond with my soulmate. You are making me out to be a monster when I am not. I am also not "very little." I earn good money, provide a nice life for her and the kids, am tall, dark, and handsome, always meeting her sexual needs. I did not come here to be belittled, but to see if this is a normal relationship, if others experience this same thing, or how to cope or improve myself.

As for the religious claims against me, please see my earlier posts from this morning.
 

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Religious beliefs, or non beliefs are, very personal. I feel like while its ok for her to express her disappointment that your views changed, she should at least respect your right to it, just as you respect her right to continue HER beliefs. You still attend services, so that to me does show effort on your part to respect how she feels. She isnt returning that respect. She feels duped, which is making her angry and resentful. You two probably need counseling to learn to come to an understanding with each other about this matter.

It does sound like you two need to spend child free time together, date nights every week, at least. While I dont personally think normal porn use is a big deal, your wife obviously does, so I think you really need to just give it up. It doesnt sound like you use it heavily, so would it really be such an issue for you to stop? I was glad to read that you have been easing up over controlling the money, it sounds like she should be able to treat herself sometimes. You both seem to be fighting for control over everything. So there is something else you can work on in counseling, compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Religious beliefs, or non beliefs are, very personal. I feel like while its ok for her to express her disappointment that your views changed, she should at least respect your right to it, just as you respect her right to continue HER beliefs. You still attend services, so that to me does show effort on your part to respect how she feels. She isnt returning that respect. She feels duped, which is making her angry and resentful. You two probably need counseling to learn to come to an understanding with each other about this matter.

It does sound like you two need to spend child free time together, date nights every week, at least. While I dont personally think normal porn use is a big deal, your wife obviously does, so I think you really need to just give it up. It doesnt sound like you use it heavily, so would it really be such an issue for you to stop? I was glad to read that you have been easing up over controlling the money, it sounds like she should be able to treat herself sometimes. You both seem to be fighting for control over everything. So there is something else you can work on in counseling, compromise.
I agree. My changing theology is likely the root cause of her making little annoyances huge problems between us. I respect her faith and even attend services, but I think that she condemns my lack of faith (agnosticism). I am going to try to spend more one-on-one time with her and quit the porn.
 

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I listed her complaints against me to paint a picture of my reality and to ask if this is normal. I put much effort into my marriage, so please do not accuse me of doing nothing. I want to stay married, but I want our relationship to improve. I never touched alcohol after she got mad at me. I stopped wearing boxers after she got mad at me. I now ask her what toppings she wants on the pizza every time, after she got mad at me. I still go to church to please her. I am simply wondering about what needs to happen in order for her to turn down the arguments. I attend our children's sporting events. Please do not accuse me of only wanting sex, for I want many other things including good relationships with my wife and children.
Maybe your problem is you are inauthentic. You probably are not going to have a good life if that is your MO marriage or not. Even the bible says not to be luke warm.
 

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So to translate, it was too hard to live according to The Bible, which means you probably found some of its commands and restrictions to be cramping your style, so your answer was to just Chuck it all together. Surely you can understand why that might be troubling to the wife who thought she married a godly Christian husband.

As for the rest, the sheer length and structure of your opening post leads me to believe that you tend to be somewhat obsessive and controlling, that what your wife does is never good enough, and that there are a myriad of issues in your marriage besides just the religious aspect. I am also suspicious that you probably have trouble taking responsibility for any of those issues, preferring to think that it's all your wife just like you preferred to think God was wrong when Christianity got to hard.
I don't think he is the only one who is obsessive and controlling in that relationship. I don't know about you but my love and good treatment of my wife is not dependent upon if she lives up to my definition of if she is a good christian or not. And last time I looked it's a sin for it to be. I think his wife should stop casting the first stone.
 

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It sounds like you both view Christianity as a set of rules to be followed rather than building a relationship with your creator and savior.

You also seem to feel that you don't measure up in general. You put on a facade for the world rather than living and authentic life. You go to porn rather than working through the issues with your flesh and blood wife. Porn objectifies people and is a form of escape from reality.

If you are having trouble staying away from porn, you have probably developed a dependence on it to fill a void. It's important to find out what that void is and find healthier ways to resolve whatever you feel you are missing.
 

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Wow - no, I have never abused my wife. No, I'm not autistic either. My idea with marriage was to have a deep bond with my soulmate. You are making me out to be a monster when I am not. I am also not "very little." I earn good money, provide a nice life for her and the kids, am tall, dark, and handsome, always meeting her sexual needs. I did not come here to be belittled, but to see if this is a normal relationship, if others experience this same thing, or how to cope or improve myself.

As for the religious claims against me, please see my earlier posts from this morning.
I don't know where "I have never abused my wife" came from because I neither stated nor suggested any such thing, so I didn't make you out to be a monster. That's actually you falsely accusing me. I submitted you are neglectful, which is clear to me from your wife's many complaints but is also far from monstrous. If you wanted a deep bond with your soulmate, your actions or inactions don't support that and are not conducive to forming and nurturing a close relationship. Providing for your family isn't all that is required of a husband and father. If you told us your wife is a nag and then gave 3 or 4 of her complaints, I would have only those to consider and form my opinion about. But her complaints are numerous, which makes it appear you do very little as a husband coming from someone who says they want a deep bond. It doesn't occur just because you said "I do." It requires effort and your daily input. But reading all that made me feel awful for your wife's sake because it doesn't seem like you respect her, don't want her to make any requests or requirements of you at all because you would rather not do anything except what you want to do, like initiate sex and walk around in your boxers. Just the things that you want to do and very few of the things she needs you to do. Yet, you said you are unhappy, but it seems like you're unhappy that you are expected to act like a husband and would prefer to be defiant.

So no, it really isn't normal for a wife to have so many complaints about her husband, but the abnormality is not that she complains. It's that her husband gave her all that to complain and be unhappy about, so unhappy, in fact, that she wants to die. You should be concerned about that. It should give you pause to learn your "soulmate" is that miserable in her marriage.

And I just remembered your ADD diagnosis. I initially thought you may be ADD because I recognize the symptoms. But then I thought the autism suggestion was probably more likely since you miss the emotional cues, whereas people with ADD are usually more capable of sympathy and empathy. Nevertheless, you might try a different ADD medication since you didn't like the previous one, and there are therapies you can also look into. It explains a lot to know you had that diagnosis, so you might need to get your wife educated on the topic. A lot of people might read some things about the disorder and think they understand, but it's hard to obtain a full understanding without talking with a health professional about it. There are some things she expects without realizing you aren't capable in the way that she makes the requests. She will probably have to learn how to communicate differently, and that can help your relationship a lot in terms of her expectations and your input. Once she fully understands your tendencies, it will likely come as quite a relief to her to know she's not a neglected wife intentionally but that you are misunderstood.

Look into this for both your sakes. You need to know you didn't marry a nag, and she needs to know to recognize your inclinations. It could make a world of difference in your marriage. And if you haven't told her lately that you love her, tell her now. If you're at work right now, then call her. You and she need to talk. Remind her that she's your soulmate. She's had a hard time of it.
 

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I have never been diagnosed with autism. I was diagnosed with ADD and depression when I was a teenager, but I only took medication for a year or so back then. The drugs messed with my mind powerfully, so I stopped taking them.
Your ways of writing seem that you are someone that is extremely analytical and at the same time struggling to communicate your emotions. Even if you don't have autism, I would encourage you to read about it, particularly the various forms of high functioning autism. It will give you a model of people that feel completely misunderstood and struggle to communicate and what it takes to overcome that (people with autism do not take medication for it, they deal with it by helping others better understand them).

An example of someone with autsim would be Albert Einstein.
 

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I don't think he is the only one who is obsessive and controlling in that relationship. I don't know about you but my love and good treatment of my wife is not dependent upon if she lives up to my definition of if she is a good christian or not. And last time I looked it's a sin for it to be. I think his wife should stop casting the first stone.
I don't think he said her love is contingent. I'm not sure why you said that. Maybe I missed it.

She's legitimately disappointed with a lot of things and miserable from a culmination of them all. But to separate the religion issue between them, she thought she was marrying a spiritual leader for her family. Her husband changed his mind about that very important aspect of her selection process, but she can't very well change her mind and send her children back to where they came from so she can start over in the selection process to find a believer for her children. I think I understand how she feels. She might also feel she could overlook some things (her discretion) but she's weighted and worn out by there being so many.

I have always had some questions about various things in the Bible (where did Cain find a wife for starters), but not being able to explain everything didn't make my faith waver one bit. I could never say I no longer believe in God just because I don't have all the answers to my questions surrounding the Bible. That seems capricious to me. If it were rules of the religion or particular doctrine I disagreed with, then I would find another church to attend.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Starfires - you said, "I'm actually surprised this guy is not abusive. He has so many hallmarks of the typical narcissist or borderline." That is why I shared that I have never abused her. I was answering your implication that I was violent. I do quite a bit for my wife and family, so please don't say that all I do is "initiate sex and walk around in your boxers." I am very concerned for my wife, and that is why I am seeking advice. I will tell her that I love her as soon as I see her tonight.
 

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Starfires - you said, "I'm actually surprised this guy is not abusive. He has so many hallmarks of the typical narcissist or borderline." That is why I shared that I have never abused her. I was answering your implication that I was violent. I do quite a bit for my wife and family, so please don't say that all I do is "initiate sex and walk around in your boxers." I am very concerned for my wife, and that is why I am seeking advice. I will tell her that I love her as soon as I see her tonight.

We have another communication gap here. I made no implication whatsoever. To say "I'm surprised he's not abusive" is acknowledging that you're not abusive. Really now. It's possible you came here and expected everyone to tell you what a nag or witch or crazy or your wife is. Has learning that the problems mainly stem from you made you defensive? Would you calm down and get a grip? I'm actually really happy, for the sake of your marriage, that you told us about your diagnosis because it explains so much and can be treated, but you've already proven yourself more intelligent than twice misconstruing my statement, so I can't help thinking you're just being defensive because I don't recognize that as an ADD symptom or tendency. Or is it? You tell me.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Starfires - I came here to share what is going on in my world and try to make sense of it, to try to improve my lot in life, to hear the perspectives of others, to change if needed. I agree with another poster who said that my wife and I struggle with control issues. I think we both share some of the blame for the current, poor state of the marriage, but I feel like you are putting the blame 100% on me. Please stop suggesting that I am mentally or emotionally damaged goods, who needs to be "treated." By the way, your suggestion to tell my wife that I love her was a good one, and she appreciated it.
 

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From what you've stated, the marriage problems are certainly not all your fault, but the only person you have control over is yourself. You can't control what your wife does or doesn't do, but you can control your attitude and how you treat her.

I think it's important that you begin to discover who you are as a person and walk in integrity as that person. It's also important that you and your wife form an identity as a couple who loves each other and has each other's backs. You can't control this, but your wife needs to forgive you. You might start that process by apologizing for changing your mind about your faith and specifically asking your wife to forgive you, even though you cannot in good conscience go back to how you believed before. That is part of walking in integrity. You own up to what you have done to hurt people and apologize, but that doesn't mean going back to what you were before. It means staying true to who you are as a person. You don't have to apologize for who you are. You apologize for changing your mind on something that is of great value to your wife and not in good conscience being able to pretend. That may be a good place to start in resolving the marriage problems.

She also needs to know that she is all you want and that you think she is beautiful and wonderful and that you're sorry for using porn. She needs you to rebuild the intimate trust that you destroyed.
 

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I have apologized to her numerous time about my change in theology, and I realize this has a huge impact on her life. Having said that, I can't just fake being a good Christian, if I don't believe it. I agree, we have something worth salvaging, especially with the kids involved.


Can you be a good Christian without believing in the literal translation of the bible?

Or what others tell you the bible means? Is there no middle ground here whatsoever?
 

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Please stop suggesting that I am mentally or emotionally damaged goods, who needs to be "treated."
There you go again. Now I know you're being defensive.

You and another member really made my day, as she posted with some very delightful news, and you posted about your diagnosis. I'm happy and hopeful for you and for her. But you're too busy accusing me of incredibly stupid amd erroneous crap to recognize that I think your diagnosis is good news for the sake of your marriage. It's your diagnosis and "mentally or emotionally damaged goods" must be what you think of it because I never implied any such thing. There are people I know with the same diagnosis, and that's why I recognized it in your post right away, but I love them too much to think so little of them as you seem to think of yourself. And yes, it's a diagnosis. And yes, it can and should be treated. There isn't one thing offensive about me saying it because I'm simply stating a fact, a positive and optimistic fact, but you insist on being offended. As you wish since you must insist. But sure hope you don't act so defensively like this with your wife or she'd probably want to dump her own head down the toilet to have to live with this kind of defensive silliness. ADD and ADHD are nothing to be ashamed of.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Can you be a good Christian without believing in the literal translation of the bible?

Or what others tell you the bible means? Is there no middle ground here whatsoever?
It depends on what denomination of Christianity. Our denomination believes in a literal translation of the Bible as the perfect Word of God. Accordingly, God created the earth in 7 periods of 24 hours, the flood covered the earth for 40 days and killed everyone not on the ark, and Jesus was God in person, etc. No, there is no middle ground there; you either believe it all perfectly or you are wrong and probably an apostate. I had so many questions building over the years that it simply reached a point that I could not longer accept as truth. I'm basically an agnostic now, so it might be true or it might be bogus.
 

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It depends on what denomination of Christianity. Our denomination believes in a literal translation of the Bible as the perfect Word of God. Accordingly, God created the earth in 7 periods of 24 hours, the flood covered the earth for 40 days and killed everyone not on the ark, and Jesus was God in person, etc. No, there is no middle ground there; you either believe it all perfectly or you are wrong and probably an apostate. I had so many questions building over the years that it simply reached a point that I could not longer accept as truth. I'm basically an agnostic now, so it might be true or it might be bogus.
And is there no fluidity at all to this for your wife?

It's literally believe it all or you're an apostate? If she's 100% bought in and that was a condition of marriage, then that's the elephant in the room. If there's some space to move there, perhaps you can work within or around it.

She must have doubts herself, and perhaps you acting on your doubts is making her double down on overcompensating for hers.
 

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The Biblical definition of Christian is a follower of Christ. Denominations are about different perspectives on scripture.

Most Christians believe in a literal interpretation of scripture, as do I, but the Bible isn't a simple document. For example, many people believe that the earth was created in six 24 hour periods, but they don't take into account other factors that may call this into question. I believe in the literal creation story. I just don't believe that a day means an actual 24 period, when compared to other parts of scripture and observation of the earth. There is also the issue of the Bible not being written in English, which can lead to misunderstanding as well. I think a lot of Christians are too rigid in their perceptions, which leads to much misunderstanding. Most Christians view scripture through a cultural lens that is not accurate to what the scripture means. For example, there are a lot of Christians who still believe that the husband is the head of the home, because they have no idea what the scriptures they refer to actually mean.

One of the main reasons for this is that Christians do not read the Bible for themselves. They rely on pastors and teaches to preach and that's all they rely on rather than reading the Bible for themselves and studying what it actually teaches. Going to church doesn't make a person a Christian. Surrendering oneself to Jesus Christ and recognizing him as God and savior does.
 

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She must have doubts herself, and perhaps you acting on your doubts is making her double down on overcompensating for hers.
I wouldn't count on it. This is how she lives her life. She considers herself to be one flesh with her husband who has turned from their faith. That could create a lot of anxiety and pain for her.

Don't assume someone has doubts about their faith. I don't. When I have questions, I dig deeper. This only strengthens my faith.
 
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