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To not know how to end this bloody difficult situation?

(223 Posts)
TickingTimeBombx3 Wed 24-May-17 23:13:48

Been meaning to write this post for some time now but it really hurts me to think of it and there's no easy solution to this. I have to make a decision about what to do and would like to know what people's advice would be. To cut a long story short DH and I met about 15 years ago and he chased after me for some time before we finally got together. Our different religious denominations has always been a sore point mainly due to family/tradition and what was expected of us actually, rather than our own beliefs as persons. I am more religious than he is but nevertheless we both thought we could rise above it and work through it. Wedding happened by having two separate services at the two different churches but there was some tension between our families at the time. Then the first child came and within days of her birth DH and I were arguing about how she cannot be baptised at my church it has to be his church as this is how he will retain the respect of his family/community. He said I should know when I married him this was the "done thing" and he also stated that could be a point that leads to divorce. I was very upset with him about this but didn't want to contemplate a divorce when we just had a baby. I could see that neither did he, he just said a lot of hurtful things as a reaction to the pressure he felt. I was broken. I really did want my DC to be baptised and never expected that it would come to this. After a lot of arguing without coming to a solution that would be acceptable to both of us he suggested that we shouldn't baptise her and stopped wanting to discuss it further. I was so sick and tired that I decided to keep quiet about this issue and work at getting the relationship back on track. I then did a terrible thing as I had my DC baptised at my church without DH knowing. I thought I would tell DH down the line when I had time to think if it and cleared my head.

Fast forward 5 years and we now have a lovely family, a stable relationship and another DC2 together who is a baby. I still have not told him the truth about DC1's baptism and not a day goes by without thinking of how he might react and how this could all brake our family/ happiness. I absolutely love our family and never wanted to put our happiness at risk. Now I would like nothing more than to baptise DC2 at my church but it would mean the same happening again as DH has reiterated he would not consent to having his children baptized. I know I made my own bed, but he also has never considered if I was happy with his decision not to baptise the DC and never tried to solve the problem with any of the solutions I proposed. When do you think I should tell him? I am so sad that I am faced with this awful situation and feel stupid that I didn't make sure we agreed on this issue before we got married.

TheOriginalChatelaine Wed 24-May-17 23:35:29

Well if your husband is a Christian he will forgive you. You need to tell him because you have deceived him. Infant baptism is non biblical by the way so this all sounds so unnecessary when you could be united in the one thing that really matters & that is your commitment to each other.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 24-May-17 23:38:17

Isn't baptism just welcome the child to the church? It surely can't be a commitment on their part because they're too little. Where do you worship as a family, shouldn't that decide the issue of baptism?

LilQueenie Wed 24-May-17 23:43:17

why not let the kids decide when old enough.

LauraMoon Wed 24-May-17 23:46:28

He's probably had your dc baptised at his church already...

Tapandgo Wed 24-May-17 23:53:10

I'm amazed this wasn't discussed before you married, given religion was such a hot potato for you both.
I'd not mention first Baptism - why bother? As for the second child......(hard to imagine this is still an issue in a happy marriage) ................no advice sorry

LauraMoon Wed 24-May-17 23:53:56

Can't you have one each? Fairsies and all that.

MangosAndPapayas Thu 25-May-17 00:02:21

and he chased after me for some time before we finally got together.

Serious question (I think the answer may reveal something about your interrelationship dynamic) and not being snarky but why did you include the above in your OP?

Do you think it's relevant? If so why?

Why do you feel the need to mention this after 15 years?

Huldra Thu 25-May-17 00:11:54

Was he an active practising church goer, or was it more social & family pressure from his side?

If he was using words like "the done thing", focussing on retaining respect of the family and preferring on no ceremony rather than the wrong one, dunno, doesn't sound like it's the actual belief that's the problem.

Maybe if you didn't have a baptism with the first then his family won't even consider you'd have one with the next. What did your religious leader say when you turned up for a baptism without the father? Were you offered any advice?

LadySalmakia Thu 25-May-17 00:13:43

So I'm an atheist and so probably don't fully appreciate the religious meaning behind baptism.

But... if it means a lot to you and it's not actually harming the child at all (which infant baptism usually doesn't, bar a bit of water?) - eh. Do it. It means something to you and yet doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of human life - so many different religions, etc.

And if you've had it done with your eldest in secret, and he's not discussing it any more but yet it meant so much to him - you've probably both done secret baptisms. Neither of which cancel the other out. Have at it.

GaelicSiog Thu 25-May-17 00:21:38

Oh gosh, I feel for you. I am waiting for ex to start on the whole first communion thing with DD, who is nearly 8. He and family are Catholic, he was off the scene until she was nearly 3.

His family will make a huge deal of first communion. Except she's been taking communion for years, because there is no minimum age in my church. I don't think he knows this. I have no idea whether to tell him or play along. I don't know which is worse.

Sorry OP, I know that's not helpful, and I do feel for you. However. You are married. Going behind his back like that isn't right. But I do understand why you did it.

mikesh909 Thu 25-May-17 00:22:21

Good questions above, such as

What did your religious leader say when you turned up for a baptism without the father?

and the one poised by Mangos.

What denominations are involved? My understanding is that some / most contend that infants are unable to make the serious commitments to a faith that a true baptism entails. Where do your denominations stand on this?

WomblingThree Thu 25-May-17 00:25:44

Can't you just do it in both churches. Invite your family to yours and his to his. Get your oldest done in his church at the same time as the baby. I'm sure God won't mind either way.

GaelicSiog Thu 25-May-17 00:27:15

The trouble with that wombling is baptism is an unrepeatable sacrament. You can't do it more than once.

HawthornLantern Thu 25-May-17 00:28:46

OP if your husband is religious I am a bit surprised that he is content for his child not to be baptized at all.

But...you can baptize your child yourself. It is not a sacrament you need a priest/minister for (at least that is what I was taught as an RC). If you want the peace of mind of knowing your child is baptized and can live without it being in either of your two churches, then perhaps that might be a resolution for you - have a home baptism for both children. If your DH still disagrees, then you could baptize your second child yourself, on your own.

Decades ago, I was told that nurses often used to baptize babies in hospital when there were fears that the child would not live long enough to see a priest. In those days it gave comfort.

Your situation is different, because your husband has such strong views, but if you are anxious that your child needs baptism for his immortal soul then you have a very immediate solution. Whether either child grows up in a religious environment or develops faith is a different issue.

Misstic Thu 25-May-17 00:37:44

The main issue here is that you deceived your husband over something that was very important to the both of you. You want to come clean but you are worried about the consequences.

I'm afraid that there is much choice here. Either you tell him and face the consequences or you don't and live with that constantly on your mind.

Is he a forgiving person? Do you think he would forgive you for this? Normally, I would say own up to your lies. However, I'm leaning towards saying that you shouldn't say anything because apart from maintaining family respect, on religious grounds he does seem to care that much. As a religious person, I don't know how that will sit with your conscience.

It's a difficult situation to be in. Best of luck in whatever decision you make.

zzzzz Thu 25-May-17 00:38:07

If you are confirmed, just baptise them yourself.

And tell him about the first time. What a silly secret to keep from your husband.

Misstic Thu 25-May-17 00:39:35

I also suspect that your husband has done the same as you. Sounds like his family would have made him do it on the sly.

WomblingThree Thu 25-May-17 00:44:41

Oh I know GaelicSiog, but the situation is already screwed up, so I figured the priest/vicar/minister wouldn't know if they didn't tell him or her. No real harm done in the long term.

GaelicSiog Thu 25-May-17 00:48:37

I doubt the father would accept it though, wombling. assuming he didn't have the same idea as the OP with DC1, he gets the baptism that isn't a baptism with them. Then there's the issue of who gets a real baptism for DC2 and who gets the physical service on its own. Speaking from personal experience, I would no way have settled for a second baptism with DD, and ex is still livid I got in there first- because he was denying she was his at the time, I might add. Our two branches of Christianity hate each other, I'm assuming the op has at least one of our two.

WomblingThree Thu 25-May-17 00:59:55

Yeah I'm probably assuming the same as you. It's just sad that two denominations of the same faith can't just sort it out.

GaelicSiog Thu 25-May-17 01:05:32

If it's the two I'm thinking, it's a 1000 year old feud. One recognises the baptisms of the other, but not vice versa. It's a mess really, we come from the same route, but we insist that the other must accept that we are right and they are wrong.

I would never convert and I believe mine is the "true" branch, but even I can see at the end of the day we all believe in the same thing. More or less. The Holy Spirit part can get nasty.

NotISaidTheWalrus Thu 25-May-17 01:21:21

How can people with such obvious known differences of religion NOT have a discussion about baptism before they had children?
I find it hard to summon any sympathy.

Just tell him. He's probably done the same thing.

Smitff Thu 25-May-17 01:36:50

I think you've done something shameful in going behind your spouse's back to do something that you KNEW would hurt him. His proposed solution left neither of you happy. Your sneaky solution probably left you thinking at the time you were happy in doing (what you thought was) the right thing....and look where it's left you. Guilty as sin. You've made a difficult situation infitely worse. No amount of hand wringing about wanting to keep the peace/ not ruin the relationship/ feeling family pressure will get you off the hook for something this flagrant.

I don't consider either your behaviour or his to be particularly Christian. I suggest you go to your priest/vicar/other and seek their counsel. Then go to his and do the same. Work it out from there.

I'm afraid that if my DH did something like this to me, that'd be the end. Not because of the child being baptised into the 'wrong' faith, but because you lied, deceived me and broke my trust.

GoodDayToYou Thu 25-May-17 01:40:58

I can't see anything to be gained from telling him.

I'm also not convinced you've done anything worth feeling guilty about. You meant well and chn can't have enough blessings so maybe give yourself a break.

As for dc2... What about having a naming ceremony instead?

Or let them choose for themselves when they're older?

Or do the same again and keep quiet?

Whatever you decide, maybe work on freeing yourself from all that guilt - it's not healthy or helpful.

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