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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

At odds about church

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Viewing 12 posts - 25 through 36 (of 67 total)
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  • #690990 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    It sounds like a lot of stuff cropped up Or came to the surface *after* your pregnancy and the birth, but I have to say this sounds very serious. You’ve mentioned a couple of times how you both seem to take issues outside the marriage, to friends, like a “who’s wrong?” kind of thing, and that’s bad. His behavior during your depression is disturbing, and yelling at you for not ignoring the medical advice re: sex after your C-section, that’s just… so bad. Please call your EAP and talk to someone. With mine, the person who picks up the phone is a trained counselor and you can just tell them everything that’s going on and they listen and then give you some names to call. You need help.

    #690991 Reply
    ele4phant
    Guest

    Hmm this is hard.

    Did you and your husband have a discussion about what the role of religion would be in childrens’ lives? Or did you assume since he wasn’t that ardent of a believer when you meet him he would stay that way? Because if so, that’s kind of on (both) of you. Its super common for people to “refind” their faith after they have kids.

    Regardless of whether you had the initial conversation or not, you clearly need to have it again. Perhaps you both did originally agree that religion wasn’t going to be part of your theoretical children’s lives, but now that you have a real kid its clear your husband has changed his mind, and you guys are going to need to talk about it and how you in particular will fit in. I don’t think its right for you to be forced to practice, but also, I think if its important to your husband you shouldn’t bar him from exposing his kids to his faith.

    And I also don’t think its unreasonable for him to ask you, on occasion, to be present. Church every week, definitely not. Ask you to be present for a one time event, to me that’s not unreasonable to ask you to come. If you don’t believe in it, what’s it to you to go one time, say a few things that are meaningless to you, and daydream the whole time, if it means something to your partner.

    So, I can empathize that he wanted you there, if just this one time. But, it sounds he and his mother (particularly his mother – sounds like you have boundary issues to work on their), have been atrocious to you. Not being upfront about his expectations, terrible. Pressuring you while you are sick was awful. Planning your child’s birthday party without you was a pretty big betrayal.

    Tl:dr, you guys need to have a conversation ASAP about how your husband wants to incorporate faith into his parenting, and how much you are willing to accommodate it. Hopefully he’s the good partner he’s always been and this has just been a series of miscommunications and poor handling that you two can work through it together. Hopefully its not an irreconcilable difference that should’ve been discovered before you had the kid. But have this conversation sooner rather than later.

    #690992 Reply
    ele4phant
    Guest

    Oh, read some more of your updates.

    You two need to get to counseling ASAP. This christening/dedication or whatever is just the tip of the iceberg.

    #690993 Reply
    Portia
    Participant

    Get thee to counseling (either as a couple or by yourself) ASAP. Berating you for not healing far enough after a major medical event, complaining to your friends about your depression, the lack of support before, during, and after pregnancy, and now letting his mom steamroll over your marriage? These are not small problems, and they’re only going to get worse with time unless you actually address them.

    Counseling, now.

    #690994 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Woah, your husband sounds emotionally abusive. I’m very concerned for you. To get mad at your for not breaking the no-sex for the first six weeks after labor rule? Absolutely disgusting. Abusive. Everything you say about him is really alarming. All of it. I know you said he’s a good father, but he’s not. He’s not a good father, and he is most certainly not a good partner. A good father wouldn’t have planned a first birthday party that his child’s mother didn’t even know about. What else is he going to plan without your knowledge? This is really serious!

    If a friend of mine were telling me the things you’ve shared here, I would be doing everything I could to get her out of that home and in a safe place. This is not some minor issue where you’re feeling frustrated that your husband is oblivious to the invisible work you do. This is much, much worse than that. He is manipulating you, lying to you, and making unilateral decisions about your child, that greatly affect his well-being now and in the future.

    Please, please get professional help. Get thee to a therapist. And it wouldn’t hurt to speak to a family attorney to learn about your rights as a mother, and how to get your ducks in a row should you decide to pursue a divorce.

    #690995 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Your EAP could help you with a legal referral too.

    I know you’re probably tired and stressed and beyond busy, but you’ve got to take action here. This is very, very concerning and it’s not going to get better by itself.

    #690996 Reply

    Oh babes, you have bigger problems in your marriage than a religious ceremony for your child.

    #690997 Reply
    Jessibel5
    Guest

    Ok guys, now that I know I’m not overblowing the situation, I already called a counselor that I’ve seen before. I appreciate the sanity check. I was worried that I was getting mad for something I shouldn’t be, or that I was being a massive b*tch and should have gone against my beliefs just to make him happy.

    I try really hard to communicate with him, but a lot of the time I don’t really feel like he listens to me. Other times, I do. So it’s hard to know when you’re in the situation where the line is. He tells me that I get my way all the time and every once in a while he’d like things to be about him, and it’s hard to see on the inside whether or not he’s got a valid point, or if I’m a selfish a-hole. If it’s the latter, I obviously want to make changes so that things are more balanced.

    #690998 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    If it were just the church thing, I’d say, again, it’s something you two need to talk out… it’s not a matter of “he’s right, I’m a huge bitch for not going against my beliefs to make him happy,” or “I’m right, he’s being super manipulative.” It’s like, oh, clearly we are not on the same page here and need to get to the bottom of this and renegotiate the terms of how we raise our child wrt religion.

    But there’s so much more than that going on here. The whole communication system and division of labor and the power dynamic are way off kilter.

    #690999 Reply
    MaterialsGirl
    Participant

    One word for you: Gaslighting

    I’m really sorry, Jessibel. If he does have any of that “good father/partner” at all in him, then counseling could help, but if he’s not, you’ll see if pretty quickly and at least be in counseling for support.

    1) congrats on becoming a mother and getting to the one year mark
    2) you have every right to fight for you health. Your partner should also be fighting for your health and safety.
    3) you should not have to do this in a vacuum. Given that your husband has been not reliable.. DW and a counselor and some trusted friends will be your sounding board.
    4) DW has been there for a lot of us during times were we’ve questioned sanity. Believe me, we would call you on it if you were being unreasonable. Instead, all this has done is thrown up giant red flags. As Wendy stated, we are all VERY concerned for you right now.

    #691001 Reply
    veritek33
    Participant

    @Jessibel – I’m so sorry this is all happening. I agree that you were manipulated and should not be made to feel guilty about this. Your husband SHOULD NOT have done a party behind your back in addition to all the religious stuff. My mind is blown.

    Unfortunately he does sound emotionally abusive (he kind of sounds like my ex who was catholic (I’m not and don’t ever intend to be) and I would not have put it past him to secretly do some sort of catholic baptism or something if we’d had children despite any protest I might have had. The other thing that struck me was the sex thing after the c-section. I have a bad back and refused sex sometimes because I was genuinely in pain because of my back and was made to feel guilty for not having sex often enough. That’s definitely abusive territory.

    I’m glad you called a counselor and I hope you can start to sort through these things and get some clarity or get yourself in a better situation.

    P.S. I know not everyone has access to an employee assistance program (EAP). Lot’s of smaller companies don’t offer anything like that (my current employer does not but my previous employer did). That being said, I’ve used an EAP to find a therapist before and it was an invaluable resource that I also recommend IF you have it available to you.

    #691006 Reply
    Ron
    Guest

    Janelle —
    Apparently you think of yourself as a very ‘good Christian’, but your two posts are among the very nastiest I have read on this site and way beyond presumptuous. No — you do not Christen a child ‘for family’. LW and her husband discussed religion and children before marriage. She is an atheist and he is the closest thing one can get to non-practicing. You don’t go against your own religious values/beliefs in raising your child just to keep your MIL happy. And given how LW’s clearly stated wishes on this issue were utterly ignored and how she was given a totally incorrect description of the event, which conveniently totally minimized the religious component and what was expected of LW, I don’t for one second believe that ‘if she had just not sulked and participated’ she would have been able to influence the event to her liking. MIL didn’t give a crap what LW’s thoughts and feelings were, she wanted what she wanted and badgered her son to get her way. Husband can’t stand up to his mother. That is a very bad sign.

    There will likely be some counseling, some apology and negotiation, some shouting, but I think that just delays the inevitable: this marriage is over. Husband disrespects and tries to manipulate his wife. He has no consideration for her illness. He had little consideration during her pregnancy and post-birth problems. His mother raised him to want what he wants and do whatever is necessary to get it. LW may love him, but he is a selfish crap husband.

    If husband is going to allow his mother to foist her religion on his wife, he should at least have the common decency to actively practice that religion himself. He is too much the hypocrite for that.

    So much bad behavior. I just don’t think there is any recovery from this. It’s sad, but I think that’s the way it is. LW has been abused by her husband and MIL.

    If there is any hope for this marriage, it is to move far away from MIL and basically cut her out of their lives.

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