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steve101
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« on: February 18, 2011, 03:50:26 AM »

So I have been looking into the Orthodox Christian faith for a while now.  I visited an Orthodox church a couple weeks ago and I fell in love with the faith.  I totally felt at home.  It just feels so right.
The only hang up is that my wife can't stand the idea.  She is an atheist.  When we were married a while back neither of us were religious and she liked it that way.  I was able to talk her into going to the church this sunday.  But she said if she doesnt like it then she wont ever go back and that she expects me to not go also.  She says it would cause problems if I went without her and she could not be with me anymore.
So this has got me really depressed.  I have been a "seeker" for so long and i think I finally found what I was looking for.  But this could put it off for even longer..... She is really stuck in her ways at times and I am not sure what to do.     
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 08:41:04 AM »

Why does she have this "It's my way or the highway" approach? Where's the compromise?
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 09:00:01 AM »

So I have been looking into the Orthodox Christian faith for a while now.  I visited an Orthodox church a couple weeks ago and I fell in love with the faith.  I totally felt at home.  It just feels so right.
The only hang up is that my wife can't stand the idea.  She is an atheist.  When we were married a while back neither of us were religious and she liked it that way.  I was able to talk her into going to the church this sunday.  But she said if she doesnt like it then she wont ever go back and that she expects me to not go also.  She says it would cause problems if I went without her and she could not be with me anymore.
So this has got me really depressed.  I have been a "seeker" for so long and i think I finally found what I was looking for.  But this could put it off for even longer..... She is really stuck in her ways at times and I am not sure what to do.     

Tough break.  But your marriage has to come first, don't you think?  I'd stay away from church, read the Sermon on the Mount every day and quietly set about putting into practice as much of it as you can, and patiently wait for your wife to change her attitude.
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2011, 09:26:26 AM »

**scrunches eyebrows**

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?" 

Smiley 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.  Smiley  He's so good.  He's so very good. 

Lord have mercy!!
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2011, 11:40:41 AM »

So I have been looking into the Orthodox Christian faith for a while now.  I visited an Orthodox church a couple weeks ago and I fell in love with the faith.  I totally felt at home.  It just feels so right.
The only hang up is that my wife can't stand the idea.  She is an atheist.  When we were married a while back neither of us were religious and she liked it that way.  I was able to talk her into going to the church this sunday.  But she said if she doesnt like it then she wont ever go back and that she expects me to not go also.  She says it would cause problems if I went without her and she could not be with me anymore.
So this has got me really depressed.  I have been a "seeker" for so long and i think I finally found what I was looking for.  But this could put it off for even longer..... She is really stuck in her ways at times and I am not sure what to do.     

I'm so sorry you have been given such an ultimatum. I pray she does not mean what she says and is simply confused and angry.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 01:36:41 PM »

I am sorry, but if these are her true feelings, you have no marriage.  Your salvation comes first, contrary to what was said above.  "What good does it do if you gain the whole world but loose your soul?"  Also, Paul tells us that we should not put away an unbelieving spouse, but if one wants to leave let them go.  You are free.  Also, Christ tells us that if we love family more than Him, we are not worthy of Him. 

I believe that you should fervantly pray to God to soften her heart.  But it is important that you find Salvation in the Ark of Salvation, the Church.  Perhaps by making this move she will also one day come to faith.  But in the end, the only soul that you are fully responsible for is your own.  I shall pray for you and your wife, and I hope others do, too.

So I have been looking into the Orthodox Christian faith for a while now.  I visited an Orthodox church a couple weeks ago and I fell in love with the faith.  I totally felt at home.  It just feels so right.
The only hang up is that my wife can't stand the idea.  She is an atheist.  When we were married a while back neither of us were religious and she liked it that way.  I was able to talk her into going to the church this sunday.  But she said if she doesnt like it then she wont ever go back and that she expects me to not go also.  She says it would cause problems if I went without her and she could not be with me anymore.
So this has got me really depressed.  I have been a "seeker" for so long and i think I finally found what I was looking for.  But this could put it off for even longer..... She is really stuck in her ways at times and I am not sure what to do.     
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 03:13:11 PM »

The priest there would have some advice and may surprise you.
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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 12:37:57 AM »

This sort of thing usually has plenty of other issues of trust surrounding it. From what I've learned with my own wife, it's never just one single thing that's bothering her, it's usually a multiplicity of issues with a common theme. I highly recommend seeing a marriage counselor. Threatening divorce is very serious even if she's bluffing on it. It's extremely immature and unfair of her to do that.

Above all, pray for her. She needs it especially since she's an unbeliever.
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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 12:48:20 AM »

Your spouse can not control your faith or lack thereof. She needs to find a compromise with you. Possibly she is concerned that you will have an entire social circle outside her and that she will be excluded. If you can compromise with ever 1-2 liturgies a month and 1-2 vespers, then that is a start. Love her and evaluate why she feels this way. Either she wants to control you or she feels threatened and insecure. (there are other possibilities, but they would seem connected to one of those two in all likelihood).
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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 08:35:46 AM »

**scrunches eyebrows**

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?" 

Smiley 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.  Smiley  He's so good.  He's so very good. 

Lord have mercy!!


A lot of great wisdom here, sister!  Thank you for sharing this with us (though it seems to have fallen on deaf ears- no disrespect to anyone).

For the OP- Steve101,

The only hang up is that my wife can't stand the idea.
Given that she's an atheist, that's understandable.

But she said if she doesnt like it then she wont ever go back and that she expects me to not go also.
I think it's both fair and reasonable for her not to be forced to go back if she doesn't want to, but just as it's not fair to force her to attend, it's not fair for her to force you NOT to attend. 

She says it would cause problems if I went without her and she could not be with me anymore.
There needs to be a lot of follow-up questions to this sentence, though I think you should bring it up to the priest.  As is the case with quietmorning's husband, it sounds as if there's a lot of fear- fear that you'll change (you will), fear that the status quo will change (it might), and fear that she'll lose you (she won't).  These fears are understandable and you should consider doing all you can to reassure her, but I don't think it's a good idea to be manipulated like this. 
   
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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 11:02:07 PM »

Steve101, how did it go? Was she interested even just a little bit? I prayed for you guys during the Divine Liturgy today; hope to hear good news.
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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 11:26:50 PM »

Hi Steve,

If it's any consolation at all, you and I are in a similar boat. The difference is, after a couple years of seeing how going to church and doing my daily prayers makes me a better, happier, more patient and more tolerant person, my wife has become more supportive of my spiritual pursuits and will even occasionally attend church with me. In fact, when I start to get scattered or bitter, or show a lack of faith, she encourages me to go to church now! If you show her you're serious about Orthodoxy for some time, she will probably come around. Any way, I can certainly empathize. Things were especially hard at first when I'd found Orthodoxy following so many years of searching, only to experience opposition from my life partner. Feel free to pm me if you want to ask any questions about what has worked for me and what hasn't in regards to warming my agnostic wife to Orthodoxy (even though all women are different... and complicated, too!)  laugh.

I wish you all the best.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 06:13:39 PM »

So Sunday morning came and she decided she would not go with me.  She decided to read up more on the Orthodox Church an hour before we were supposed to leave to go to the Divine Liturgy and she determined that it was to creepy.... I tried to explain the kissing of the icons and doing the sign of the cross to her but she would not budge.  BUt she did allow me to go by myself.  Which I was thankful for.  When I arrived home after she didn't want to talk about church at all.
So at least she eased up a little but I am will see how it goes next week.  All I can do right now is pray that she has a change of heart....  I did not get a chance to talk to the priest about the situation but I plan on it next week if possible.

She did tell me her idea of a compromise is going to a type of Universalist Unitarian type of church but I don't think I can do that.  Should I be open to that?
I really dont want to attend any church without her but if she allows me to go by myself I will.

Thank you everyone for the replies and prayers.
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 06:31:59 PM »

So Sunday morning came and she decided she would not go with me.  She decided to read up more on the Orthodox Church an hour before we were supposed to leave to go to the Divine Liturgy and she determined that it was to creepy.... I tried to explain the kissing of the icons and doing the sign of the cross to her but she would not budge.  BUt she did allow me to go by myself.  Which I was thankful for.  When I arrived home after she didn't want to talk about church at all.
So at least she eased up a little but I am will see how it goes next week.  All I can do right now is pray that she has a change of heart....  I did not get a chance to talk to the priest about the situation but I plan on it next week if possible.

Well, that's good news!

Quote
She did tell me her idea of a compromise is going to a type of Universalist Unitarian type of church but I don't think I can do that.  Should I be open to that?
I really dont want to attend any church without her but if she allows me to go by myself I will.

No.  You may as well not go.  One, it's nothing like Orthodoxy, two, it's not Christian (they range from those who merely follow the Universalist heresy to outright atheists who are trying to get in touch with nature), and three, I doubt she'll find much there that sustains her, so you may as well attend where you want.

JMHO.
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 07:04:20 PM »

She did tell me her idea of a compromise is going to a type of Universalist Unitarian type of church but I don't think I can do that.  Should I be open to that?

I don’t see why not.  If you’re seeking the truth it seems unlikely that you’d make God mad if you checked out a Universalist Unitarian church during your search.
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2011, 07:26:11 PM »

Universalistguy-  i am pretty sure that my search is over.  Sunday morning before Divine Liturgy I was still searching.  A few minutes into my first Divine Liturgy I knew it was the way:)

Davidgarner- I thought maybe just going with her to the church she wanted to go to on time would show her I am open to compromise and maybe it would get her to be open to try an Orthodox church.
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« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2011, 07:33:02 PM »

Universalistguy-  i am pretty sure that my search is over.  Sunday morning before Divine Liturgy I was still searching.  A few minutes into my first Divine Liturgy I knew it was the way:)

Davidgarner- I thought maybe just going with her to the church she wanted to go to on time would show her I am open to compromise and maybe it would get her to be open to try an Orthodox church.

Not to go too touchy-feely, I'm going to echo quietmorning (whose post was magnificent), Ninjaly Awesome, and GabrielTheCelt and say that there is more to the story than what meets the eye, and it will take excellent communication and crossing a few emotional thresholds to discover the root issue, which could be anything (bad encounters she may have had with "believing Christians" in the past, parent issues - which almost always affect our relationship with God, etc.).  Tread lightly, keeping your eye on the prize (the true faith that you have found) while being cognizant that her misgivings may have a deeper and unrelated source.
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« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2011, 07:34:26 PM »

Any searcher is obviously welcome to, and if he feels a pull should, attend any church, but to be clear, a UU church is not an exclusively christian church, let alone an Orthodox Church. In the beginning of Mere Christianity, CS Lewis describes many modern spiritualists who like to think of some cozy uniting life-force, but don't want to accept any of the trials and sacrifices that inherently come with a moral code and an interventionist God. This kind of sums up the UU to me; I'm sure there are wonderful people there (and Lord knows, some fairly significant and bright thinkers, particularly in 19th Century New England, came from there), but in it's modern incarnation, it won't teach you much about historical Christianity.

It sounds like she may be warming a bit, but be firm in your own convictions, and above all try to speak with that priest. He can help you more than anyone here can, probably.

Lord, have mercy!
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« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 07:36:04 PM »

Davidgarner- I thought maybe just going with her to the church she wanted to go to on time would show her I am open to compromise and maybe it would get her to be open to try an Orthodox church.

I may have misunderstood.  I thought she was viewing this as some kind of compromise.  If she really, really wants to be Unitarian Universalist, then by all means you should go with her if for no other reason than you are asking the same of her.

But if she's saying "I won't become Orthodox with you, but if you want to go to a Unitarian Church I might do that," then my answer remains the same.  You won't find what you're looking for, and she certainly won't.
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« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 07:55:47 PM »

Universalistguy-  i am pretty sure that my search is over.  Sunday morning before Divine Liturgy I was still searching.  A few minutes into my first Divine Liturgy I knew it was the way:)

I sure hope everything works out for you and for your wife.
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 07:59:09 PM »

So Sunday morning came and she decided she would not go with me.  She decided to read up more on the Orthodox Church an hour before we were supposed to leave to go to the Divine Liturgy and she determined that it was to creepy.... I tried to explain the kissing of the icons and doing the sign of the cross to her but she would not budge.  BUt she did allow me to go by myself.  Which I was thankful for.  When I arrived home after she didn't want to talk about church at all.
So at least she eased up a little but I am will see how it goes next week.  All I can do right now is pray that she has a change of heart....  I did not get a chance to talk to the priest about the situation but I plan on it next week if possible.

She did tell me her idea of a compromise is going to a type of Universalist Unitarian type of church but I don't think I can do that.  Should I be open to that?
I really dont want to attend any church without her but if she allows me to go by myself I will.

Thank you everyone for the replies and prayers.

Based on my own experience, your best bet is to slow down, attend the Liturgy, and show her over time that you are serious about being Orthodox and that you don't intend to try to convert her. Any kind of sudden and fanatical charge towards Orthodoxy will probably cause strife in your home. Part of the reason for my wife's initial aversion to my interest in Orthodoxy was that she was afraid I would try to push her into it (which, in her case, would be foolhardy and likely have disastrous results). When I first became Orthodox, I talked to my priest about how to manage my marriage and Orthodoxy. Based on my circumstances, he gave me some splendid advice. He told me to serve her with Christian love, be attentive to her needs, listen to her, and to be very sensitive about bringing up Orthodoxy with her. In my case, I had to stop talking to her about it because it drove her crazy. So I learned to be quiet about it (on a good day Wink). Not every situation is going to be the same, but it seems that the best approach is a slow, quiet, cautious one, and if she loves you and sees your involvement with the faith gradually making you a better, happier husband, it'll be in her best interest to be supportive. It's taken me years, and my wife has just started to offer to attend services with me occasionally (mind you, I just moved across the country for her, so I think it gained me some leverage  Smiley).

If you feel you have to attend a Univeralist service once in awhile to keep the peace, I would go ahead for awhile... so long as she doesn't try to prevent you from attending Orthodox services when you want to.
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« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 08:02:57 PM »

Davidgarner- I thought maybe just going with her to the church she wanted to go to on time would show her I am open to compromise and maybe it would get her to be open to try an Orthodox church.

I may have misunderstood.  I thought she was viewing this as some kind of compromise.  If she really, really wants to be Unitarian Universalist, then by all means you should go with her if for no other reason than you are asking the same of her.

But if she's saying "I won't become Orthodox with you, but if you want to go to a Unitarian Church I might do that," then my answer remains the same.  You won't find what you're looking for, and she certainly won't.

I also took it this way; if she actually has a strong feeling about Unitarian Universalism, then of course that has to be respected, but I took it that she was trying to get you to just go somewhere a little less churchy.

Either way, however this ends up, as one who only recently got to a point where his marriage is of one faith, I pray that this all ends up very well for both of you and your marriage, and of course that it ends up in the Orthodox Church  Wink
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« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 08:05:06 PM »

Universalistguy-  i am pretty sure that my search is over.  Sunday morning before Divine Liturgy I was still searching.  A few minutes into my first Divine Liturgy I knew it was the way

The universe kind of comes to a standstill, don't it?
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« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2011, 08:14:39 PM »

Universalistguy-  i am pretty sure that my search is over.  Sunday morning before Divine Liturgy I was still searching.  A few minutes into my first Divine Liturgy I knew it was the way:)

Davidgarner- I thought maybe just going with her to the church she wanted to go to on time would show her I am open to compromise and maybe it would get her to be open to try an Orthodox church.
I'm happy to hear this.  never go to a UU Church.  you might as well be going to a neo-pagan "circle" or something like that.  I would never step foot in a place like that.  you'd be far batter off staying home and reading the Bible. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wezp1W2HKlU

but try your hardest to go to liturgy.  not that it is at all like being there in person, but an Antiochian Orthodox Church I'm fond of puts whole videos of their services online.  all you need is windows media player. 

http://www.onlineliturgy.com/Site/Divine_Liturgy.html
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« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2011, 02:47:26 AM »

Dear Steve,
I am sorry to read of your troubles and I will pray for you.  I too, was rather surprised by what you describe.

My parents have been married for 50 years.  My father has always been an atheist.  My mother was a Lutheran, then later a "born again", and now, many years later, became Orthodox.  My dad has never had any problem with any of it, and has never given such an ultimatum.  Of course, it was always sort of understood in our house, that there were certain things we just didn't talk about "in front of Dad", but it was never because he was hostile.  It was just because we knew it made him uncomfortable and we didn't want to make him sad or feel left out.

I guess I approach these things a little differently.  I see no reason for you to write off your wife, or your marriage.  Simply ask your wife if it would be allright with her, if you went to church privately, by yourself, for a couple hours on Sundays.  You don't have to go every Sunday without fail, or every evening for Vespers. 
In your conversation just say that you would like to go "once in a while".  And then literally stick to that.  Once in awhile, means literally, "once in a while".  And every couple weeks, wander off to church while she is sleeping in. 

Someone above said, "Why can't she compromise" or something like that...well, while I agree with that sentiment, maybe she just ...well..."can't".  So, if that's the case, maybe you could show her how YOU can compromise, and just go "once in a while" when you absolutely need to. 

I have found that when secular people fight with us, it's because we are not modeling some Christian virtue that they need to see in action in order to understand.  Once they see it in US, they are willing to give it.

God bless you and my prayers are with you.
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« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2011, 06:16:34 AM »

I am sorry, but if these are her true feelings, you have no marriage.  Your salvation comes first, contrary to what was said above.  "What good does it do if you gain the whole world but loose your soul?"  Also, Paul tells us that we should not put away an unbelieving spouse, but if one wants to leave let them go.  You are free.  Also, Christ tells us that if we love family more than Him, we are not worthy of Him. 

I believe that you should fervantly pray to God to soften her heart.  But it is important that you find Salvation in the Ark of Salvation, the Church.  Perhaps by making this move she will also one day come to faith.  But in the end, the only soul that you are fully responsible for is your own.  I shall pray for you and your wife, and I hope others do, too.

So I have been looking into the Orthodox Christian faith for a while now.  I visited an Orthodox church a couple weeks ago and I fell in love with the faith.  I totally felt at home.  It just feels so right.
The only hang up is that my wife can't stand the idea.  She is an atheist.  When we were married a while back neither of us were religious and she liked it that way.  I was able to talk her into going to the church this sunday.  But she said if she doesnt like it then she wont ever go back and that she expects me to not go also.  She says it would cause problems if I went without her and she could not be with me anymore.
So this has got me really depressed.  I have been a "seeker" for so long and i think I finally found what I was looking for.  But this could put it off for even longer..... She is really stuck in her ways at times and I am not sure what to do.     

Great post!
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« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2011, 09:24:56 AM »

This thread is filled with so much good advice for me.  I'm in a somewhat similar situation.  My wife is Mormon and I used to be.  It's very challenging.  I know for a fact her resistance to doing anything other than Mormonism is rooted in fear, fear of the unknown but also her fear that if she were to leave the church with me that bad things just might happen to our sons (her words) - they'll go wild, get into drugs, etc. etc.  In keeping with the great advice in this thread, I hope and pray I can be patient, loving, and kind as I support my wife and quietly live my Orthodox faith.  I know that's the answer, but it's very hard as Mormonism drives me crazy.

Lord have mercy!

Andrew
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« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2011, 10:09:44 AM »

So Sunday morning came and she decided she would not go with me.  She decided to read up more on the Orthodox Church an hour before we were supposed to leave to go to the Divine Liturgy and she determined that it was to creepy.... I tried to explain the kissing of the icons and doing the sign of the cross to her but she would not budge.  BUt she did allow me to go by myself.  Which I was thankful for.  When I arrived home after she didn't want to talk about church at all.
So at least she eased up a little but I am will see how it goes next week.  All I can do right now is pray that she has a change of heart....  I did not get a chance to talk to the priest about the situation but I plan on it next week if possible.

She did tell me her idea of a compromise is going to a type of Universalist Unitarian type of church but I don't think I can do that.  Should I be open to that?
I really dont want to attend any church without her but if she allows me to go by myself I will.

Thank you everyone for the replies and prayers.

What book or article did she read about Orthodoxy? Maybe you could give her some good books and articles to read. As well as some good audios and DVD's./mp4's

Continue to pray for her as well!


Oh, do you know why she wants to go to a Universalist Unitarian (a descendant of the New England puritans. They split from the modern united church of christ......the denomination that President Obama use to go to in Chicago.......back in the 19th century. However, I think the Universalist Unitarians kept Havard University.....I forgot what the united church of christ was able to keep) church? Was she raised that way? How did she find out about it if she's an atheist?
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