Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

At odds about church

Home Forums Advice & Chat At odds about church

Viewing 12 posts - 13 through 24 (of 67 total)
  • Author
  • #690972 Reply

    If your partner being at religious events is important to you, then you shouldn’t marry an atheist. The statement that nonbelievers should set aside their own feelings to accommodate Christian ceremonies is what’s atrocious here, not the LW being very clear in what she would/would not do. I attend Christian things on occasion with family but there is a big difference between attending and sitting in the back vs bring the focal point. For example I won’t make the sign of the cross. No big deal sitting in the back, but if you are up front it feels awkward and draws notice. I absolutely would be uncomfortable in that scenario. Even had she been involved in the planning to remove the religious affirmation part, there’s no getting around all the expectations of being in a church setting. If The husband felt very strongly the LW should attend, that’s the discussion that should have happened months ago. Not to flip and decide the night before it really matters, and oh btw now you have to go to church as a family in future. I would ignore the MIL for now. That’s your husband’s problem, not yours. But some sort of marriage counselling to discuss this new found religious fervor and how to navigate your differences is in order.

    #690973 Reply

    So they were using your baby as bait to get you to church and publicly pressure you into taking some sort of vow to adhere to a religion you don’t believe in? Wow is an understatement.

    Get your surgery, get better physically, and then take your husband and yourself to counseling as soon as you can. Do not let him talk you into seeing his clergy person for counseling – get a real, licensed, unbiased professional.

    And as for your MIL – yikes. I’d be tempted to cut her off completely and refuse her access to the grandchild but I’m vindictive like that. At the very least keep your distance and do not leave her alone with your baby.

    #690974 Reply

    I think that the manipulative way he has handled this is a separate problem from how you guys want to handle religion going forward. You guys need, either through counselling or some other mechanism, to work out better ways of solving problems together.

    As for the substantive question, regardless of what you agreed to beforehand, people’s views and expectations change when they actually have a kid. You see a lot more new parents at synagogues/churches than single thirty year olds. And what he said about your not supporting things that matter to him….it’s not a BS complaint. There are things that BOF* cares about vis-a-vis SOF** that I otherwise couldn’t give two sh*ts about that she reasonably expects my backing on. For religion particularly, I know plenty of atheist parents who go to church/synagogue because it matters to their spouse to set an example for the kid by going as a family. Whether you want to do that is ultimately up to you, but it is not a crazy or fundamentally unreasonable request.

    *BOF=Bride of Fyodor
    **SOF=Spawn of Fyodor

    #690975 Reply
    Avatar photoPortia

    Your past experience with therapy actually makes me more concerned – why did you stop going to counseling if nothing changed? Therapy isn’t about going through the motions, which is what it sounds like he did. When you look for a new marriage counselor, make sure it’s one that’ll actually hold you and your husband accountable.

    I also agree with FannyPrice, don’t leave your MIL alone with the baby! That’s how my friend got secretly baptized as a kid…

    #690976 Reply

    I 100% agree with Kate and everyone else who said counseling is in order. There is a major communication breakdown at play and a total disregard for you and your feelings. On top of that, your MIL is apparently calling the shots.

    Let’s forget about the religious dedication ceremony thing for a second… which alone is disturbing. What’s more disturbing… YOUR HUSBAND AND MIL PLANNED A 1ST BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR YOUR SON WITHOUT YOU AND HAD A PARTY WITHOUT YOU THERE.

    IMO, that’s beyond the pale.


    #690979 Reply

    Ya but if you had participated instead of sulked you would have known what it was and could have altered it. Introduction, dedication, etc what mother doesn’t attend these events! That is nutso.

    Tai? No idea what that means. You clearly have communication issues with your husband, that isn’t harsh that is a fact. You two need counseling.

    #690980 Reply

    “Way harsh Tai” is a quote from the movie Clueless. Cher says it to Tai after Tai tells her “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”

    I may have seen that movie one too many times.

    #690981 Reply

    @Janelle if she’s made her feelings clear about the introduction ceremony then that is that. It should have been explained more in depth for what it really was. It was just a beard to get that kid in church against her wishes.

    I’d be more worried about the birthday party. Not cool. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t even be talking to my husband at that point until I cooled off.

    #690982 Reply
    Avatar photoTaraMonster

    I really, truly fail to see how it is “nutso” that Jessibel5 did not want to attend a religious event she doesn’t believe in, particularly when she’d be expected to vow to raise her child as a Christian. As an agnostic/atheist who was raised Catholic, I would NOT be okay with standing in front of a church and making an oath that I do not believe in. It would be “nutso” for me to lie in public like that.

    Like everyone else, I agree there is a communication issue and a respect issue at play here. Jessibel, you also mentioned that your husband has planned events on dates when you’ve asked him not to in the past. I think this is significant as well, particularly that you didn’t put your foot down right then. He’s steamrolling you, but you are also letting him do it a bit. Definitely counseling is in order to get to the bottom of this.

    #690984 Reply

    We stopped going to counseling because I got pregnant and got too sick. I had hyperemisis gravidarium and then preeclampsia, and then once the baby was here, there was no time because I had to go back to work during my maternity leave because my assistant quit. I also had PPD. He…wasn’t very nice to me throughout the pregnancy or the PPD. He wasn’t supportive, complained to my friends that I was “milking it” or getting annoyed at me for being sad. He was also very angry at me that I didn’t want to break the “no sex for six weeks” rule after my emergency c-section and came home and screamed at me one day while I was on maternity leave because he’s unhappy with our sex life. He says the frequency, or lack thereof, of us having sex has made him feel like a monster for wanting sex ever. I’m usually pretty tired because I’m the “default parent” meaning that whenever I’m in the house, the kid is with me and he goes off and does whatever in the house. I usually have to ask him to watch the kid to get a break.

    Now, all this being said, he’s a good father, and he tries really hard to be supportive when it’s brought to his attention that he’s not. When I talked to him about the “default parent” thing, he recognized it was an issue and started taking care of the kid more, but now it’s back down to him checking with me if I need a break/asking me what I need, which isn’t exactly helpful either because it just adds more to my brain that has to be figured out. I told him this weekend that instead of asking me what I need, he needs to just take over for a while sometimes, without asking. He wants us to have a happy marriage, but I have this sneaking suspicion he’s emotionally abusive and I’m not sure where that line is.

    #690985 Reply

    Also, before I get harshed on for procreating with someone I shouldn’t have, the baby was a (happy) accident. We were using birth control and I had just been told I couldn’t have kids after doing rounds of fertility testing. Testing was apparently wrong. I was shocked as hell to be pregnant, and my son is the absolute best thing I have in my life.

    #690989 Reply



    First – you’re totally right to be upset.

    Second – you’re on track with wanting to get counseling.

    Third – sorry this all blows.

Viewing 12 posts - 13 through 24 (of 67 total)
Reply To: Reply #690975 in At odds about church
Your information: