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Author Topic: Marriage Issues when one of a marriage partner becomes orthodox  (Read 584 times) Average Rating: 0
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Pne123
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« on: May 27, 2014, 01:06:53 PM »

Hello. I hadi. My marriage is failing after my wife became orthodox and I cannot cope with seeing it all. Private meetjngs with priests, icons I dont agree with (idols but I know you all say different) fasting constant church attendance. It all turns me away from wanting to try or understand, it just is not for me. Along with the regular put down of the protestant church (where my history was etc). 

So it had created enormous distance. We were once close and loving till I felt walked out on in favor of a church and priest. I have tried to ask for a way forward that says "it is (the O church) is good for both or good for neither" as far as beibg marriied goes. Anyway long story short, we are headed for a poor outcome.

I am not sure I expect much supoort or understanding as I am in the outside if this church place, and those who write here have a different perspective than I do.  I just don't hnderstand how a church can be more important than a life time marriage, and. I cannot conceive doing something similar to my wife.  As in making a life changing decision unilateraaly, for example living a lifetime in one citybwith friends and family then I come home one day and say I am moving across the continent, come if you want. Inwould not donthat but thats what its like for one oartner to make a jnilateral decision like this church nits not for me and its tearing us apart.
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Joha
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« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 01:33:38 PM »

hey there pne123/Hadi,

first of all, I will pray for you your wife and your marriage.

I do not believe God want's any brokenness, I do believe God is All-mighty.
Thus far I hope we agree.

Convincing one an other isn't going to work, resulting in divorce. So don't, neither of you.
You don't want that brokenness I figure, and as "we" stated: God does not want brokenness either.

Now it's up to what "we" do want.

In my experience, the best way to go is the way God wants me to go, whether I like it or not, the end result is always best when I follow His will.

So my humble advice would be: Both stop looking at your own and her own convictions, and ask God Himself to guide you the way He want you both to go.

I pray for Gods mercy and for the guide of God Almighty.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2014, 01:34:10 PM by Joha » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 02:02:04 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 02:05:36 PM »

Have you tried professional counseling?  Just a thought.
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hecma925
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 02:08:29 PM »

Lord, have mercy.  I was on the other side of that equation.  I'm going into the Orthodox Church; my wife is not.  I tried doing the convincing and arguments.  It didn't work and created a rift between us almost to the point of having divorce discussions.  After that, I have been leaving it totally in God's hands.  Before, I would never read any Orthodox related books or even mention praying before icons or even suggest going to Church.  Now, she knows I have prayer time, she reads or discusses my books with me, and she feels fine about me going to my parish's catechumen class.  We may have strong discussions about any random thing, but we are more ready to forgive each other.  I would have never expected any of that even six months ago, but it was not through my efforts or power, but God's.  My wife still feels that the Church is not for her and she once thought that she and I were totally united in our protestant beliefs.  But I had to lay it all out for her.  My marriage is so important to me and I will never leave her.  My faith is also important to me and I can not abandon it.  To my wife, the doors of the Church are always open.  I long for the day she says, "I want to come to Church with you", even if it's only for a short while.  I think that I have grown and our marriage is stronger now, because we are willing to work for it and never have the feeling of not giving up, even in our worst days.  Never give up and never have divorce as an option!

It's painful when a couple is going through this, but know your wife is in pain as you are.

My prayers for you and your marriage!
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Columcille33
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2014, 05:48:48 PM »

Christ is Risen!
Thank you, hecma925, for the above reply to what is undoubtedly a truly heart-felt and even anguished post from the OP.  I am a new catechumen as well and my wife has absolutely no interest in the Church for herself, but she loves me and so she supports my need to serve God in this way. She shows me what devotion and love really is in that way and yet she will not budge on her own spiritual beliefs that are definitely not Christian. It humbles me and so I know God has a plan and will not let us suffer needlessly. We forget or sometimes take a lifetime to come to this- but, loving God is the greatest way we can show our love for our spouses, family and friends in our lives. We are no longer taught this in our secular lives and so the dawning of this discovery in our spiritual journey can come with great discomfort and even much confusion and pain. I have wrestled with this and I still do, but that is because I forget to leave it to The Lord. As mentioned in a previous reply, we all would do well to allow God to do His good work through us and have faith and patience that He will not lead us astray. Not mine, but God’s Will be done. It’s more than a bumper sticker, you know.

May God bless you, Pne123, and all of us in this world of so much distraction and illusion. We all have our own journey to walk, but we are not alone. We need only remember The Lord and comfort will follow. The greatest service we can provide to our beloved spouses and family is to honor and support their goodness and light and truly trust in God.

In Christ.
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Ferd Berfel
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 06:50:51 AM »

I’m sort of on the other side of this coin myself. I converted to the Orthodox Church, and my wife wants absolutely nothing to do with it. To her, it’s “weird”. She doesn’t like it and she’s not even remotely interested in attending a single service. She’s only been to one service: my chrismation.

That being said, I certainly don’t feel like we’ve grown apart. Actually, I think that all things considered, she and I have become much closer since I joined the church.  

Quote
So it had created enormous distance. We were once close and loving till I felt walked out on in favor of a church and priest. I have tried to ask for a way forward that says "it is (the O church) is good for both or good for neither" as far as beibg marriied goes. Anyway long story short, we are headed for a poor outcome.


This quote is what really concerns me. What do you mean you “feel walked out on”? Certainly your wife isn’t cheating on you with the priest. Are you saying that you feel cheated because your wife doesn’t agree with you on certain questions of faith?

From your post, it seems like you and your wife are playing tug-o-war with each other. You want her to stop all this stuff, and she wants you to join her. You’re both forgetting the most important thing of all: despite everything that happens in a marriage, you’re both supposed to be on the same team. People change throughout their lives, they learn new things, pick up different hobbies, change their appearance, and take different jobs. Sometimes, they can change religions too. All things considered, converting to different branch of Christianity is hardly a tremendous conversion event (say when compared to something like converting to Islam). You and your wife are both different people now then you were when you got married, and in fifteen years you’ll both be dramatically different than you are now. Marriage isn’t about agreeing on every single thing that you encounter in your lives it’s about how you disagree.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 06:51:24 AM by Ferd Berfel » Logged
katherineofdixie
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 08:16:24 AM »

From the perspective of almost 40 year of marriage, the one sure thing I can tell you is that you cannot change or control another person - you can only do that for yourself.
 Your wife has not "left" you. I'd be willing to bet that she prays constantly that you will accept her conversion, and come to church with her and with an open heart and mind. You are the only one who can do that. True love is wanting the other person to be happy.
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Anna.T
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 12:24:08 PM »

I am coming from the other side as well - (of course I guess you will see more converts here, whose husbands/wives are not) - but it is not so long ago for me, and my husband is very committed to his own beliefs and it IS hard.

Some of what has been said here is good, so I will try not to repeat. The very first time I spoke with a priest, he told me to be gentle with my husband. As much as I might be excited about the Church, it is not in my husband's best interest to make him feel pushed, or abandoned, or judged, or separate. But I wonder if your wife has made it plain to the priest what her position at home is? Honestly, if I were you, I would make an appointment to speak with your wife's priest. Let him know honestly how you feel. I doubt he will try to convince you or say anything that will upset you, but knowing how you feel, he can probably counsel your wife on how she might be a better wife to you.

God is not in favor of divorce, certainly. And most especially if you are both Christian, just having found a different expression of that love of Christ ought not come between you. It is rare, I think, that couples convert together. So there is often this problem. Sometimes the other will convert later, sometimes never. But imo it ought not be a reason for divorce.

The Orthodox position, that I have heard, is that each of us should dedicate ourselves in marriage to the best good for our spouse, sacrifice for their sake, and do what is best for their salvation. If your wife understands that, and understands that she ought to be gentle and patient with you, and most importantly that you are both on the same team, it may make a difference.

It has in my marriage, and mine is difficult for many reasons.

And I'm not telling you this for the sake of converting or convincing you, but really, if you have concerns (I noticed you called the icons idols, and that is EXACTLY what I thought when I first saw them!) ... you might be reassured by asking your questions. Maybe the priest would be better to ask (or here) than your wife, since if she can't answer easily it might cause tension. But as I came to understand the thinking behind various things, and what was really going on, and I prayed about it and God helped me reach certain understandings, things have smoothed out in my mind. I'm not saying you need to believe exactly as she does or I do, but if you just understand some of the thought, you might be less disturbed by the idea than you probably are where you are coming from.

I try to put myself in my husband's position, and if I saw all of this going on, and had no understanding of it except my Protestant assumptions, I would be absolutely horrified. So I understand.

And my husband does not ask. He thinks I am in a "cult" and it makes it much harder for him, I think. If he would understand, he might have some relief from his worry, at least. But I don't push him, and I won't.

Just treating him as I mentioned above has made things much better between us - really even better than they were before this added stress of a new Church for me came into the mix, because we've had problems for a while. So ... just the Orthodox way of approaching marriage has helped, even with no acceptance or understanding from him. That is why I am saying it would be good, maybe, for you to speak with your wife's priest, and let him explain it to her, if she does not know.

I hope this can help. My prayers are with you. And I hope you will ask here, whatever you feel or think. Hopefully being able to express to someone who understands at least partially may help you, and maybe we can say something helpful for you. And we can pray for you.

Lord have mercy on all of us.
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My replies should not be taken as representing Orthodox teaching - I am only just learning myself.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
biro
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 12:52:00 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 03:19:38 PM »

Lord have mercy.
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