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I am a Christian, but desperately unhappy in my marriage.

(21 Posts)
McBounty Fri 03-Nov-17 22:36:34

Hi everyone.

Writing this is difficult for me, but certainly necessary.

I am so unhappy in my marriage. I just don't really know what to do.

I married at 19, we had our first and only child when I was 17.

I am a born again Christian. DH is an atheist. He hates anything to do with God, which is difficult. He continuously quizzes and disrespects me regarding my beliefs. I respect his choice, regarding his non belief, but he can't mine.

We have both been stuck in a rut for some time. I'm unhappy, he is too. I've told him, he won't admit he is unhappy with me.

I want a divorce, but as a (recent may I add) born again Christian, I just don't want to disappoint God.

This hasn't left me for months now and I just needed to tell someone.
Please give me your best advice.

Thank you.

64BooLane Fri 03-Nov-17 22:42:27

Counselling? I mean for you alone, not couple counselling - more as a way of working out what your next step should be?

I’m not a believer so I find it a bit puzzling that God would be “disappointed” in you for ending a marriage that makes you miserable. Are you just meant to stick it out regardless?

catbas Fri 03-Nov-17 22:42:35

Oh bloody hell, you're not going to be smited because you didn't want to stay with someone who makes you really unhappy, if god is so lovely etc he would want you to be miserable. If he isn't that lovely then why are you worshiping himSzx

Disclaimer: massive atheist.

chinalass Fri 03-Nov-17 23:01:42

I don’t think God would want you to be unhappy or suffer

What about some counselling for yourself? Not faith based counselling - maybe try somewhere like the charity Mind?

ToothTrauma Fri 03-Nov-17 23:06:10

Oh darling flowers God doesn’t want you to stay in a miserable marriage. He loves you. Don’t reject His grace in favour of dogma enforced by man.

MoseShrute Fri 03-Nov-17 23:08:09

I know divorced christians. If your particular church frowns on divorce, find another one. By all means try as much as you like to repair the marriage, but if it doesnt work and you are unhappy, then get a divorce. Why would god want you to be unhappy really?

Hauntedlobster Fri 03-Nov-17 23:08:50

Do you have a pastor/pastors wife/trusted believing friend you can talk to?

I do not believe God wants us to be miserable, I do think you need to talk things through with someone you trust though.

Mishappening Fri 03-Nov-17 23:15:55

I do not believe that any divine being is remotely interested in you spending the rest of your life being unhappy. Why would he/she want that? How perverse would that be?

Try and remember that the rules that have been superimposed on the idea of god by humans are rules made by men for their convenience. These rules are not the word of god; they are the whims of powerful men.

Do you honestly believe that god is so petty as to want you to suffer? - I don't think so.

Get out of this unhappy life with a clear conscience.

specialsubject Sun 05-Nov-17 10:09:58

If that child is still at home then you are bringing it up in an unhappy household and damaging it. I hope your god doesnt want that.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Sun 05-Nov-17 12:28:10

There are plenty of divorced Christians so getting a divorce is not an issue. All relationships go through tough times so it might be helpful to talk to a someone as a couple such as relate. It sounds like there has been a change in your relationship with your new faith. That needs talking about but if your husband is being unpleasant about it then it might need a third party to disentangle what is really going on. There are plenty of mixed faith and no faith marriages around so if you both want to make it work then a third party may be able to help you do that.

If your church tells you you must stay with your husband no matter what, and some conservative churches do, then find another church.

Movablefeast Thu 09-Nov-17 18:42:50

I am a Catholic and within our faith tradition there would be a very high probability that your marriage would not be considered valid. You have to be free to give your consent and understand the gravity and lifelong commitment you are making. At such a young age you were probably too immature and had little life experience to understand the meaning of what you were undertaking.

It would mean you could apply for an annulment and the marriage would be declared never a true marriage. There would also be concerns that having already had a child you may have felt pressured or compelled to get married which would have meant your choice was not a completely free one.

I say this to show that older faith traditions that are often considered conservative can also have a lot of wisdom.

I agree that you should seek counseling and maybe discuss with some Christians their different conceptions of marriage. As a pretty orthodox Christian I would say there are plenty of very legitimate reasons, Christian reasons, for this marriage to not be a true marriage and you can probably end it with a clear conscience.

VanGoghsLeftEar Thu 09-Nov-17 19:24:24

Disclaimer: ardent atheist.

I think your mental health is much more important than your spiritual health, though I understand, for you, the two are probably very much linked.

You need counselling. If there is no hope in that regard, just separate. You aren't disappointing anyone, really.

jollyjester Thu 09-Nov-17 19:31:34

My minister was divorced 3 times and I attend what would be viewed as a very traditional church.

You married very young and as a consequence have grown into different people.

I second what previous posters have said and seek counselling both individual and as a couple.

McBounty Sat 11-Nov-17 12:38:28

Thank you all so much for replying.

We have tried councilling before. It hasn't worked. The truth is, I have lived like a zombie for years. I have finally just started to get some life in to me. I am happier. I see things clearer than ever before. I know that this isn't what I want. I feel so scared that I am disappointing God.

purpleangel17 Mon 20-Nov-17 12:55:12

I am a Christian too and I am separated, soon to be divorced. It is very easy to give you platitudes to reassure you but my advice is to seek guidance from God in prayer. The Bible's position on ending a marriage has been interpreted different ways by different churches and people. But God and Jesus are available to us through prayer, we have a hotline! We don't have to suffer anything alone. My experience is that if I clear my mind and hand a problem to God for His advice, the situation gradually crystallises in my mind and over a few days or weeks, I find I know in my heart the right thing to do and it just feels right. Your personal relationship with God holds the answer for you because all our situations are different. I don't think God would want you to remain in an unhappy marriage but I think prayer is the way forward. Do PM me if you would like me to pray for you too.

Dixeychick Mon 20-Nov-17 13:14:03

I'm a Christian, and married to a man (also a Christian) who is divorced after a spectacularly unhappy dysfunctional relationship / marriage that went on for 10 years - they had 2 kids before they got married, were always on / off (largely because she kept chucking him out), then got married because he wanted to do the right thing by her and the kids - and God - but she then chucked him out again, and ended up having another child with someone else. He stayed married to her for another 5 years, worried about whether divorce was wrong, despite her having behaved so badly and there being no chance of them ever having a functional relationship. In the end when we started dating, he realised that God wanted him to live a happy, fulfilled life, and that meant divorce and in the end, marrying me. I think that marriage is sacred and to be fought for - but sometimes it just can't be redeemed, and becomes so destructive. I believe that God loves us & wants good things for us. Talk to someone in your church who you trust, & hope you manage to find a positive way forwards xx

pamelastone Tue 21-Nov-17 21:00:23

I suggest you go for counselling. But if you have already made up your mind to go for divorce, then go for it. Sometimes its best to listen to your soul. If you both are meant to be together, things will change and you will stay. Remember, we are all actors on the stage of earth and God is the director. Only difference is we don't know the next scene, just trust and keep doing what you feel as right smile

Gaolbird Mon 27-Nov-17 03:31:01

How long have you been a Christian? What were you before?
He may be finding it difficult to accept the new you, if you are substantially different from before.
How long have you given him to adjust?

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 21:09:59

Do you believe the bible is the word of God and must be taken literally? Or do you consider it symbolic, and open to interpretation or modified to suit the modern era?
That is the crux of your dilemma, as the bible is explicitly clear on this matter:

1 Corithians 7: 13-15
"And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."

If he initiates the divorce, as a non-believer, this is permitted in scripture.

You must consider carefully and pray for guidance on what you truly believe God wants of you, and what you consider to be truth.
PP's have come from the perspective of a symbolic rather than literal reading of the bible.
What do you believe?

Many marriages end up in a rut. If counselling isn't working, are there any changes that you personally could make to improve things?
Are there ways you could show love and kindness, or rekindle a spark, even if this may not reciprocated straight away?
Remind yourself, and him, of all the reasons you loved him to begin with. It will be hard to him to be unloving towards you when being showered with love.

Regardless of your decision regarding reading the bible literally or not, you made vows to persevere for better or for worse. This, it seems, is the "worse". You owe it to yourself (if just for the reassurance you have done the right thing) as much as anybody to give it your absolute best shot.
Leaving may be easier, but what is right isn't always easy.
Christianity is all about looking at the bigger picture beyond your own current desires - if your child is still at home I believe some personal sacrifices are necessary to give that child the best possible chances in life.

Of course if there has been adultery or abuse you should get out ASAP.

What you should not do, however, is decide you believe the bible should be followed literally, and then find ways to twist it to justify your decision - this is disingenuous and against scripture, and will only lead to turmoil later in life if you think you have made a decision counter to your beliefs. God is, however, forgiving.

TLDR - you need to decide whether you believe in a literal reading of the bible or not, and go from there.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 21:10:26

* or modification to suit

1DAD2KIDS Thu 07-Dec-17 21:18:06

Your continued unhappy marriage to what end does that futher the work of god on earth? Imagine the things that you could do free of a spiritual handicap of a husband or what you could to with someone who trully believes in you and brings out the best in you?

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