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i dont share my husband's commitment to religion/church

(15 Posts)
llllll Mon 15-Apr-13 15:02:01

My husband is a recovering alcoholic and has not had a drink for 10 years. He has gone through the 12 steps and this involves a strong believe in god. We go to church as a family once a week but if I dont go husband gets a bit annoyed with me and makes comments as in "you wont get any blessing".

The children have to say a blessing before dinner and if he doesn't think the blessing is long enough he gets the children to start again. He walks around the house holding rosary beads and prays before bed every night.

DH has an obsessive personality and this has taken over this life. If I say anything he shouts at me "would you rather I was drinking". Of course i dont.

He has meet a few people along the way but there is one friend (who I have never meet) who is very religious. This friend travels to a shrine every year in Poland and this friend wants us to go in August.

I have had some terrible rows with husband this week as i really dont fancy it and the money it will cost. DH said he will take the children then.

I had just got home a long drive seeing a friend and DH started talking about going to this shrine, when I said to him can you let me have a cup of tea then we can have a chat. He stopped for about a minute then started again that is when I really did shout at him about not listening to me I was tired from a long drive.

He really does not consider my feelings.

sorry a bit long

hermioneweasley Mon 15-Apr-13 15:10:04

He sounds selfish. His latest obsession dominates the family, whether drinking or religion. If he won't change, is this what you want for a) you and b) your kids?

Thistledew Mon 15-Apr-13 15:11:17

Your DH is being a bully. It doesn't matter that he thinks he has a justification for it (your salvation or whatever), it is his own decision to behave in the way he is to you and your children. He is choosing to place his own feelings and wishes above those of you and your children.

Sadly, there are many people who have religious belief hold that belief to be a 'higher truth', and that may mean that he would not have regard to what a counsellor might suggest is reasonable. Is there an elder within your Church who you think might be able to say to him that he needs to tone down his expectations, and that your and your children's beliefs are just as important as his? Or does everyone in your church give primacy to beliefs based on religious justifications?

expatinscotland Mon 15-Apr-13 15:11:58

He doesn't consider anyone's feelings, and he can't take your kids out of the country if you don't permit it.

I think you need to have a chat about your future together.

paulapantsdown Mon 15-Apr-13 15:12:50

This is the problem with AA, it replaces one addiction for another one. Not sure what to say to you, but I know that I wold not be able to tolerate this. While trying to be a good Christian, he is infact being selfish and uncaring about your needs.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Apr-13 15:14:09

If he's swapped an alcohol addiction that made you miserable for religious mania that makes you equally miserable, I don't see that as any kind of improvement. Bullying is unpleasant and unacceptable.

Squitten Mon 15-Apr-13 15:14:48

Sounds like he has exchanged one addiction for another. Since shared values are an integral part of a relationship, I would be very unhappy in your situation as he has essentially moved the goalposts and now expects you all to keep up.

Are you happy to be with someone with this level of religious conviction? Are you happy for your children to be raised in that way? If the answer to either of those things is no, I can't see how you continue on TBH.

randomtask Mon 15-Apr-13 15:23:29

Firstly, you're right he is obsessive and he is being selfish/bullying. It doesn't sound like he's thinking of anyone but himself which is basically just alcohol replaced with religion. How long has he been religious? Is he in the early days of everything being amazing?!

What faith? If he's carrying rosary beads to my mind he's Catholic or Anglo-Catholic, both of those should mean you can talk to the Vicar and see if he can help by speaking to your DH.

Secondly, the religious stuff/behaviour.
-No-one should go to church to receive God's blessing, you should go to honour God not to 'buy points' for later on.
-God doesn't care how long prayers are, especially from children (we take it in turns to say Grace before dinner each night and my 2 year old DS does the best 'umm, errr, umm, Amen'. God knows what he means and loves him trying.
-Praying before bed and rosary beads aren't a problem but should only include/involve him (DH prays every night whilst I'm getting ready for bed and it doesn't bother me one bit. I tend to pray whilst lying in bed so in my head and doesn't bother him IYSWIM).
-There are closer (and I'd imagine cheaper) Shrines, in fact there is one in Norfolk. God also doesn't want you in debt on pilgrimage thinking 'please Lord help me find the money to pay for this'.
-Let him take the children if you trust him with them and enjoy the break! But IME pilgrimage and children with only one parent means no religion time.
-Most importantly, God wants him to be a good husband and father as well as believer. God would not be so happy about the shouting/inconsideration etc.

Oh and I say this as someone who has gone to church all her life and who's DH is about to train to be a priest...

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 15-Apr-13 15:27:06

He's a 'dry drunk'. Same behaviours, selfishness and obsession, just a different target. As with all addictions, you can't change his behaviour, only yours. What do you want? Assuming he will not change.

llllll Mon 15-Apr-13 20:02:01

Thanks for advice. He was not brought up in a religious household it has been a gradual thing.

I dont think he will change I have chatted to him about it so many times.

I may try and have a chat with someone at the church about it or someone from his AA group as I am concerned that this friend who wants to go to the shrine is feeding his obsession. This friend is divorced and has no partner and his children are grown up.

AgathaF Tue 16-Apr-13 09:36:44

It doesn't really matter who is feeding his obsession though. It is for your H to be strong enough and logical enough to recognise what is good and sensible, and what is not. There will always be people who will feed his current obsession if he is open to those people's influence, which it sounds like he is.

Can you live like this long term?

springyhappychick Tue 16-Apr-13 10:16:09

some say that a dry drunk is worse than a wet one.

He has exchanged one addiction for another. How tiresome for you. I'd seriously consider your future together as I suspect you'll be in for a rough time for years (sorry, I could be wrong...).

I don't know if it is appropriate to speak to his sponsor about his behaviour. Have you been to al-anon and/or CoDA?

he is being a dick btw. imo.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 16-Apr-13 14:18:27

He has chosen this friend.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 16-Apr-13 14:28:09

BTW... you realise this has very little to do with actual faith or adherence to a religious way of life? What you're describing includes bullying, selfishness, obsession. i.e. using religious themes as an excuse to behave badly. If you did get someone from the church involved I'm not sure it would make a lot of difference. Like all extremists he'll just think the people talking to him are 'not as committed' as he is.

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 16-Apr-13 14:29:58

The fact that you don't share your DH's commitment to the church is irrelevant. You understandably don't want to be controlled and bullied by him and you shouldn't have to make allowances for his behaviour like this.

He is still in the grip of addiction. He wants you to enable him by agreeing to his every whim. He is basically asserting that he is more important than you and your DC.

It's not ok and it's nothing to do with God or belief.

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