When Religious Beliefs Tear A Marriage Apart
Jaden and Maria’s marriage is about to turn ugly. They’ve started fighting about their religious beliefs and differences. Maria grew up in a Catholic family where attending church was an important part of her life.
Maria feels very sad and hurt that Jaden doesn’t want to go to Sunday mass and won’t even help get the children get ready for it. They really are in need of some online need marriage counseling.
Recently they found out that apriest had to resign because he was allegedly abusing children. Initially, the church didn’t tell them about it.
And all they said was that he was on medical leave. When it was finally revealed, they were upset.
Now Jaden has no tolerance for anything that’s church related and he refuses to let the kids anywhere near it.This has triggered some terrible arguments between them.
Maria still wants to be involved with the church. She feels that it’s more than attending church service, it’s about her personal relationship with God. In addition, there are the children to consider.
Before they had kids, Jaden used to go to church every now and then and that didn’t bother her much. But now, as a parent, she wants to raise them in a spiritual home. Right now, they are scared to even talk about church on Sunday. This issue is having a major impact on Jaden and Maria’s relationship.
When Jaden was young, he used to go to church. He was an altar boy. We discovered that his entire view on the church changed when his sister died at age 12 in a terrible car accident. From that day on, everything changed for him and his family.
They refused to go to church. He could not reconcile his sister’s death. Jaden does not feel that religion is meaningful anymore, and does not see the value in the experience for his children, especially given the current scandal with the priest.
In addition to the disagreements over religion, Jaden and Maria have been fighting about Jaden’s lack of help at home. When Jaden gets home in the evening he rarely spends any time with the family.
He expects Maria to take care of the children and household chores, prepare dinner and manage all the activities. This is also becoming a source of tension. Whenever Maria asks him to do anything, he either doesn’t do it or he does it half-heartedly, and she ends up doing more work to finish the job.
Religious issue can caused conflict
As you can see, the religious issue has caused conflict and is pushing this couple apart. And because this issue is the big sticking point that they can’t seem to move past, it fosters other disagreements in the marriage.
We laid out a strategy to help them get their relationship back in order with a little online need marriage counseling. Before tackling the religious issues,we needed to focus on the simple rones.
Maria had accused Jaden of not helping at home. But she later admitted that she had not been clear with Jaden as to exactly what she wanted him to do.Jaden had felt that he needed to become a mind reader because he really didn’t know what Maria wanted.
She agreed to be more direct on the condition that he take full responsibility in helping her and paying more attention to what needed to get done.
Then, there is the religious beliefs issue. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with religious differences. And it’s difficult to force someone to have a definitive religious belief. You cannot change what has happened in your past. But you can decide where you can go from here.
In Jaden and Maria’s case,they need to sit down and discuss what would be good for them from a religious perspective. If that specific church is a source of conflict and tension then maybe they should compromise and look for a new church.
Maybe they could find a church that he’d be willing to attend with Maria a few times a month or a few times every quarter.Also, Jaden needs to understand his role. Even though he may not like it, he needs to realize that,asa dad, he should see to it that his children are involved in a church, and should be exposed to religion in their lives.
Perhaps he could talk to them about his spiritual ideas or ideology, perspectives that may not be related to a specific church.These steps would be important to Maria, and also important in influencing the children.
Religious differences can present a sticky situation in a marriage, but with love and respect for each other,it is possible to come to a mutual understanding and agreement to meet all parties’ needs, and keep your marriage strong. Just use the ways to improve your marriage.
By Dr. Ellen Kreidman, Ph.D
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