I'm with Aposphet. . .this is incredibly immature behavior.
My husband is an atheist. He is grown up enough and RESPECTS ME enough to know that he is he and I am me, and while we are married and 'one' we are also two completely different people. In fact, exact opposites. It is a fairly new lesson for him, however. He too was very "my way or the highway".
For us, my going to the Orthodox Church was not the issue (though that's where the issue presented itself) the issue was his respect for me, or actually the lack of respect for me. If it weren't my becoming active in church again, something else. Actually, come to think of it, it was something else. . .it was many many smaller less noticeable things. It was not about whether or not we were of the same faith (or lack thereof) - it was whether or not I was HIM. An exact mirror image.
His narcissistic behaviors / views were and are based out of fear. He knows him. He can predict him. . .and therefore can support the delusion that life is controllable. Or at least reasonably so. (Heh. . .ever tried to nail jello to a tree??!! **laughs**) Once he realized his whole world wasn't going to crumble to nothing if I was different from him, and he realized he could love someone who wasn't a mirror image of him and oh my goodness, different can be FUN! Then he relaxed and now is very supportive. . . .but it wasn't over night.
Realizing that he was / is AFRAID, helped me to have compassion for him and RESPOND to him instead of REACT to him. Responding in patience, love and reassurance goes a lot further than reacting to him in hyper defenses. I kept reassuring him that I love him, that I will not shove my faith down his throat (I NEVER do that.) I would never try to push him into ANYTHING, though I would invite him every once in a while to church functions. . .he would always have the ability to say NO, and I would RESPECT that. . .completely. Totally completely. . .no wavering.
This weekend is a retreat for the women at my church. I asked if we could have one of the women stay here over night - (wow. . .that's so out of the norm for us! Change is hard hard for him.) He immediately said NO. Absolutely NOT. Then all the things he was afraid of came falling out of his mouth. . . it would set a president, they would take advantage, things would disappear (see what I mean about fear?) I said, "OK" gave him a kiss and a hug, then went on about what I needed to do next.
Not twenty seconds later he chased me down in the house (old big house) and said, "She can come, we can have her here. . .after all, she's coming from out of town, right? And this is just a once a year thing, right? And we won't have to do it all the time, right?"
She'll be here tonight.
But it started with my learning how to assert that I am not him, a LOT of prayer, and respecting him. I also had to learn to set some good boundaries. We did fight once - a really good heavy duty fight over whether I would give to the poor or not. I stood my ground. It is too important. . .and we worked out a compromise.
He too used to threaten divorce . . .until I called his bluff and made arrangements to leave. He quickly apologized - I told him that those arrangements stand that threatening me with divorce every time he can't 'make me BE what he wants me to BE' isn't going to fly with me. I will not be manipulated. If he threatens it again, I'm gone. He has not threatened it since. It's a manipulation game, and a very harmful one. It's abusive. It's a victim's game. He was not a victim.
Something I was taught that is true and helps him break out of the denial of disrespect: "My going to church and believing in God is just as important to me as your not going to church and not believing in God is important to you. It's not less important, it's not more important - but it IS AS IMPORTANT. I respect your beliefs and views, I'm asking you to respect mine."
People grow and change. . .life is change. People who can accept change easily are less stressed, grieve less and are more emotionally
mature than people who cannot.
The Holy Spirit has been making changes in my husband through this last year in such wonderful ways. . .pray. . .pray for her daily - every single day only asking for His mercy on her. You'll see change in time that you never ever thought you'd see.
He's so good. He's so very good.
Lord have mercy!!