Author Topic: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?  (Read 697 times)

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Offline Richmond

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Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« on: February 22, 2017, 08:51:02 PM »
Maybe not for you, but I can't seem to shake this thought.

Right now I am about as lonely as it gets. Stuck in a marriage to a hostile atheist who hates everything about me.

I would simply pack up and leave, but I'm not sure if even this would help me break free of my loneliness. Say I meet someone (not that it's likely) - I'm already damaged goods.

And how am I supposed to meet other people if all my time is supposed to be spent at church or just being weird (fasting and all)?

Not even sure if there is a point to getting out and trying to meet anybody. For some reason, I find that people appear to go out of their way to be repulsed by me.

If the Church goes to Heaven as a group and people go to Hell alone, maybe I'm just screwed?

Feel free to ask any clarifying questions

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 09:38:24 PM »
Maybe not for you, but I can't seem to shake this thought.

Entering the Church is never a mistake.

Right now I am about as lonely as it gets. Stuck in a marriage to a hostile atheist who hates everything about me. 

How did you come to this point?  Was the person you married always an atheist, or is this a recent development?  What is it that your significant other hates about you so much?

I would simply pack up and leave, but I'm not sure if even this would help me break free of my loneliness. Say I meet someone (not that it's likely) - I'm already damaged goods.

All of us are damaged goods.  But your mind shouldn't be on meeting someone else.  Your mind should be on saving your marriage, which is good and holy and a gift from God.

And how am I supposed to meet other people

You're not.  Maybe you should try reconnecting with your husband/wife?

if all my time is supposed to be spent at church or just being weird (fasting and all)?

You sure have a warped view of what the life of an Orthodox Christian is supposed to be like.  How did you come to think this way?

Not even sure if there is a point to getting out and trying to meet anybody. For some reason, I find that people appear to go out of their way to be repulsed by me.

You're not supposed to go out and meet (date) other people.  You're supposed to work on your marriage.

If the Church goes to Heaven as a group and people go to Hell alone, maybe I'm just screwed?

Only if you willfully exclude yourself from the communion of the Church.

Feel free to ask any clarifying questions

It seems like you feel your marriage was a mistake.  I'm not sure how you're tying this in to your Orthodox Faith.  Some clarification on this point would be helpful.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2017, 11:56:55 PM »
Maybe not for you, but I can't seem to shake this thought.

Entering the Church is never a mistake.

Right now I am about as lonely as it gets. Stuck in a marriage to a hostile atheist who hates everything about me. 

How did you come to this point?  Was the person you married always an atheist, or is this a recent development?  What is it that your significant other hates about you so much?

I would simply pack up and leave, but I'm not sure if even this would help me break free of my loneliness. Say I meet someone (not that it's likely) - I'm already damaged goods.

All of us are damaged goods.  But your mind shouldn't be on meeting someone else.  Your mind should be on saving your marriage, which is good and holy and a gift from God.

And how am I supposed to meet other people

You're not.  Maybe you should try reconnecting with your husband/wife?

if all my time is supposed to be spent at church or just being weird (fasting and all)?

You sure have a warped view of what the life of an Orthodox Christian is supposed to be like.  How did you come to think this way?

Not even sure if there is a point to getting out and trying to meet anybody. For some reason, I find that people appear to go out of their way to be repulsed by me.

You're not supposed to go out and meet (date) other people.  You're supposed to work on your marriage.

If the Church goes to Heaven as a group and people go to Hell alone, maybe I'm just screwed?

Only if you willfully exclude yourself from the communion of the Church.

Feel free to ask any clarifying questions

It seems like you feel your marriage was a mistake.  I'm not sure how you're tying this in to your Orthodox Faith.  Some clarification on this point would be helpful.



At this point, the marriage is beyond repair. Not much chance of reconciliation if every time I say or do anything, she has to contradict me and fight me to her dying breath (even if I'm agreeing with her). She has also made it her life's mission to see that my participation in Orthodoxy is as small as possible. It is nearly impossible to maintain a decent life of faith while staying, and given the Church's stand on divorce, I may have to choose faith or my sanity.

Everything may be jumbling together simply because I've been re-evaluating most parts of my life to find the source of my loneliness. Orthodoxy is a very small world in America.

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 12:32:27 AM »
Have the two of you sought counseling?
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

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Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 12:41:51 AM »
Have the two of you sought counseling?

I have suggested it before, and because I suggested it, she was vehemently opposed.
You would be ready to leave too after a decade+ of defending Stalingrad every time you have an independent thought.

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 12:58:29 AM »
I've tried to write something a few times on this thread, but hit 'back' on my browser because what I wrote seemed either unhelpful or patronizing in tone. But fwiw, I'll try to comment on at least this...

At this point, the marriage is beyond repair. Not much chance of reconciliation if every time I say or do anything, she has to contradict me and fight me to her dying breath (even if I'm agreeing with her). She has also made it her life's mission to see that my participation in Orthodoxy is as small as possible. It is nearly impossible to maintain a decent life of faith while staying, and given the Church's stand on divorce, I may have to choose faith or my sanity.

The Russians (Moscow Patriarchate) would seem to have allowances for a divorce in an estrangement situation that, if not exactly like this, are similar. (Link)  And I'd very much doubt the OCA would be more conservative or rigorous than Moscow. I'm not encouraging you to do anything (or not), just suggesting that there may be more room for optimism, or at least less need for pessimism and worry about lacking a way out of a nightmarish situation. You'd have to talk to your priest and/or bishop to know how they usually handle those sorts of things though.

Quote
Everything may be jumbling together simply because I've been re-evaluating most parts of my life to find the source of my loneliness. Orthodoxy is a very small world in America.

Certainly the last part is true and a problem. I've heard there are Orthodox social type sites, which may also be not very big, or not very interesting/helpful, I don't know. There's also mainstream ones like twitter, where people seem to interact. I'm not suggesting go off looking for the love of your life,  but making friends or at least acquaintances that you could interact with might be of some help. I've heard that helps anyway.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 01:16:33 AM »
I'm not suggesting go off looking for the love of your life,  but making friends or at least acquaintances that you could interact with might be of some help. I've heard that helps anyway.
It really does, and, as unexperienced as I am, I must emphasise it. Things really changed for better after I started talking to more Orthodox Christians (both on the internet and IRL) and had some friends join me in my journey. In the very beginning my only contacts were my then girlfriend, a then colleague, and some guy I found on Facebook, it was extremely frightening and confusing.
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Offline tcolon90

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2017, 01:27:50 AM »
If she hates you so much why hasn't she sought divorce? Are there kids involved?
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Offline Gamliel

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2017, 01:32:32 AM »
Did you speak with your priest about this?

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2017, 01:39:08 AM »
Are you baptized? Do you have a home parish you attend?
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Offline Diego

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 02:09:24 AM »
First off, allow me to second the motion that joining Holy Mother Church is NEVER a mistake. Please don't EVER give up on our Holy Mother the Church, no matter what.

I know you are going to read this and think, "what the the heck does this crazy Lutheran know!?" Suffice it to say that my view of the Church is every bit as High as my Orthodox friends here.

As for your marriage: Man, I feel your pain, Brother! Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt and the hat. I know that Orthodoxy does allow for divorce more than Rome does, and for that matter, I thought even more than LCMS did. But you would have to check.

I admit, I am in my 2nd marriage. NO ONE likes divorce. They suck, let's be honest, Man. I am NOT going to give you marital advice. You NEED to talk to your Priest. DON'T let your spouse prevent you from practicing your Faith. Remember, it's YOUR Eternity, NOT hers.

Good luck. If I can help I am here.

Offline biro

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2017, 10:38:40 AM »
I do not think being Orthodox is a mistake.

I'm sorry for what you've been through.
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Offline benjohn146

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2017, 10:56:45 AM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.
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Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2017, 06:43:48 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2017, 06:45:28 PM »
Are you baptized? Do you have a home parish you attend?

Baptized, yes
Parish, yes, when she's not coming up with yet some more crazy drama to try to keep me away.

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2017, 06:48:24 PM »
If she hates you so much why hasn't she sought divorce? Are there kids involved?

I've pondered that question often, and the best I can come up with is that I may be some sort of "normalcy prop" for her. As long as she has the appearance of a "normal" life, she can deflect attention away from her issues. Image is everything to her, even if the image is false. Hope that makes sense

Offline tcolon90

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2017, 06:58:44 PM »
If she hates you so much why hasn't she sought divorce? Are there kids involved?

I've pondered that question often, and the best I can come up with is that I may be some sort of "normalcy prop" for her. As long as she has the appearance of a "normal" life, she can deflect attention away from her issues. Image is everything to her, even if the image is false. Hope that makes sense

I've gotten scolded several times for giving large sums of money to strangers, so I understand. What we need to realize is that doing these things may help heal the rift even though the other person gets angry in the short term. I really feel bad for people going through this. My wife was not positive about my conversion at first but she eventually converted. There truly is a special crown for people who deal with this which I will never get.
"For where the body is, the eagles will gather."

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2017, 07:13:49 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Keeping the peace at home should be your top priority.  Do the loving thing.  Comfort her.  Act like all of her criticisms about you are true and valid and try to genuinely improve yourself and be a better husband.  Show her how an Orthodox Christian acts and live sacrificially for her.  That is the best way to win to win her for Christ and save your precious marriage, which is a gift from God, whether you can recognize it from your funk right now or not.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2017, 07:29:31 PM »
Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin
A person can pray silently. You can do that.
With Fasting, it could be different- if one's parents are Protestant and feed meat during Lent as part of a family dinner, I was told to accept the meat when it's delivered to me. There is a tradition in Orthodoxy where if it's Lent and non-EOs give you non-Lenten food, then the hospitable thing as a guest is to accept the food.

So if your wife is making dinner, you can accept the dinner.
If it's just you eating on your own, you can fast.
Different contexts + flexibility can be helpful.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 07:31:10 PM by rakovsky »

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2017, 08:23:07 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


I understand that marriage involves MUTUAL sacrifice, but I've run out of sacrifices, and still she demands more and more. It's just reached the point that all I can pray for is death.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Keeping the peace at home should be your top priority.  Do the loving thing.  Comfort her.  Act like all of her criticisms about you are true and valid and try to genuinely improve yourself and be a better husband.  Show her how an Orthodox Christian acts and live sacrificially for her.  That is the best way to win to win her for Christ and save your precious marriage, which is a gift from God, whether you can recognize it from your funk right now or not.

I have tried to comfort her. It just gave her license to turn her anxieties into full-blown paranoias.
As for the criticisms, there aren't enough hours in the day to just listen to them, much less respond.
So an Orthodox Christian is just a doormat for the insane?
I used to think my marriage was a gift, now I just see it as evidence that God hates me.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:31:02 PM by Richmond »

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2017, 08:27:31 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


I understand that marriage involves MUTUAL sacrifice, but I've run out of sacrifices, and still she demands more and more. It's just reached the point that all I can pray for is death.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Keeping the peace at home should be your top priority.  Do the loving thing.  Comfort her.  Act like all of her criticisms about you are true and valid and try to genuinely improve yourself and be a better husband.  Show her how an Orthodox Christian acts and live sacrificially for her.  That is the best way to win to win her for Christ and save your precious marriage, which is a gift from God, whether you can recognize it from your funk right now or not.

The only way to keep the peace at home would be to bow down and worship her all the day long. That's called apostacy, isn't it?

I understand that there are sacrifices but should it be that one partner sacrifices everything while the other demands more and more. It's reached the point that all I can pray for is death.

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2017, 08:33:58 PM »
Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin
A person can pray silently. You can do that.
With Fasting, it could be different- if one's parents are Protestant and feed meat during Lent as part of a family dinner, I was told to accept the meat when it's delivered to me. There is a tradition in Orthodoxy where if it's Lent and non-EOs give you non-Lenten food, then the hospitable thing as a guest is to accept the food.

So if your wife is making dinner, you can accept the dinner.
If it's just you eating on your own, you can fast.
Different contexts + flexibility can be helpful.

She has even found ways to twist this for her sick entertainment. Now she says "it's hospitality" while trying to bury me in meat during Lent. Damned if I do, damned if I don't

Again, everything is sin in Orthodoxy.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 08:37:33 PM by Richmond »

Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2017, 08:48:25 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


I understand that marriage involves MUTUAL sacrifice, but I've run out of sacrifices, and still she demands more and more. It's just reached the point that all I can pray for is death.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Keeping the peace at home should be your top priority.  Do the loving thing.  Comfort her.  Act like all of her criticisms about you are true and valid and try to genuinely improve yourself and be a better husband.  Show her how an Orthodox Christian acts and live sacrificially for her.  That is the best way to win to win her for Christ and save your precious marriage, which is a gift from God, whether you can recognize it from your funk right now or not.

The only way to keep the peace at home would be to bow down and worship her all the day long. That's called apostacy, isn't it?

I understand that there are sacrifices but should it be that one partner sacrifices everything while the other demands more and more. It's reached the point that all I can pray for is death.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her". Ephesians 5:25

Consider what rakovsky said.  The fast was made for man, not the other way around.  Keep the fast as much as you can without offending her.  Please consider that she might be in just as much pain as you are.  Pray to God, and ask the intercession of St. Joachim and St. Anna.  I'll be praying for you and my brother benjohn's marriages.  You guys know best what kind of situations you both are in, but I urge you not to throw something so precious away until you've exhausted every sacrifice you can possibly make and done everything you can do to soften her heart with true humility and love.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2017, 09:00:33 PM »
What do you suppose is God's plan for your wife? How do you think he will heal her?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:00:52 PM by Porter ODoran »
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2017, 09:02:14 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


I understand that marriage involves MUTUAL sacrifice, but I've run out of sacrifices, and still she demands more and more. It's just reached the point that all I can pray for is death.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Keeping the peace at home should be your top priority.  Do the loving thing.  Comfort her.  Act like all of her criticisms about you are true and valid and try to genuinely improve yourself and be a better husband.  Show her how an Orthodox Christian acts and live sacrificially for her.  That is the best way to win to win her for Christ and save your precious marriage, which is a gift from God, whether you can recognize it from your funk right now or not.

The only way to keep the peace at home would be to bow down and worship her all the day long. That's called apostacy, isn't it?

I understand that there are sacrifices but should it be that one partner sacrifices everything while the other demands more and more. It's reached the point that all I can pray for is death.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her". Ephesians 5:25

Consider what rakovsky said.  The fast was made for man, not the other way around.  Keep the fast as much as you can without offending her.  Please consider that she might be in just as much pain as you are.  Pray to God, and ask the intercession of St. Joachim and St. Anna.  I'll be praying for you and my brother benjohn's marriages.  You guys know best what kind of situations you both are in, but I urge you not to throw something so precious away until you've exhausted every sacrifice you can possibly make and done everything you can do to soften her heart with true humility and love.

Fair enough about trying every option. I just have one question for you: How much of my sanity and health and relationship with God do I need to sacrifice before I know it's hopeless?

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #25 on: February 23, 2017, 09:04:47 PM »
What do you suppose is God's plan for your wife? How do you think he will heal her?

I have no expectation that God would heal her, since she has to want to be healed, and she seems to be convinced that she is perfect and should be worshipped.

For her to be healed, she would have to recognize that there is something worthy of worship other than herself.

Offline tcolon90

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #26 on: February 23, 2017, 09:12:28 PM »
Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin
A person can pray silently. You can do that.
With Fasting, it could be different- if one's parents are Protestant and feed meat during Lent as part of a family dinner, I was told to accept the meat when it's delivered to me. There is a tradition in Orthodoxy where if it's Lent and non-EOs give you non-Lenten food, then the hospitable thing as a guest is to accept the food.

So if your wife is making dinner, you can accept the dinner.
If it's just you eating on your own, you can fast.
Different contexts + flexibility can be helpful.

She has even found ways to twist this for her sick entertainment. Now she says "it's hospitality" while trying to bury me in meat during Lent. Damned if I do, damned if I don't

Again, everything is sin in Orthodoxy.

It's not a sin. In terms of pastoral discernment I've found the Orthodox Church much more lenient in cases such as these. You're not judged a sinner for making concessions for your wife. There are some that go too far, but if she forces you to eat meat I would say eat till you're satisfied and keep the fast as best as you can whenever you can. You're spousal abuse is a greater fast than abstaining from meat. I'd much rather starve myself to death than have to deal with a lunatic believe me. If only someone else were able to speak with her to let her know you care about her maybe she will understand. Have you informed your Bishop of this situation?

Any particular reason why your wife is against your conversion? Seems odd that she's behaving like this simply because she's an atheist.

You might think I'm crazy, but I wouldn't rule out demonic possession of some level or another. Seriously. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:22:23 PM by tcolon90 »
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Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #27 on: February 23, 2017, 09:20:56 PM »
Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin
A person can pray silently. You can do that.
With Fasting, it could be different- if one's parents are Protestant and feed meat during Lent as part of a family dinner, I was told to accept the meat when it's delivered to me. There is a tradition in Orthodoxy where if it's Lent and non-EOs give you non-Lenten food, then the hospitable thing as a guest is to accept the food.

So if your wife is making dinner, you can accept the dinner.
If it's just you eating on your own, you can fast.
Different contexts + flexibility can be helpful.

She has even found ways to twist this for her sick entertainment. Now she says "it's hospitality" while trying to bury me in meat during Lent. Damned if I do, damned if I don't

Again, everything is sin in Orthodoxy.

It's not a sin. In terms of pastoral discernment I've found the Orthodox Church much more lenient in cases such as these. You're not judged a sinner for making concessions for your wife. There are some that go too far, but if she forces you to eat meat I would say eat till you're satisfied and keep the fast as best as you can whenever you can. You're spousal abuse is a greater fast than abstaining from meat. I'd much rather stuff my face with meat than have to deal with a lunatic believe me. If only someone else were able to speak with her to let her know you care about her maybe she will understand. Have you informed your Bishop of this situation?

Any particular reason why your wife is against your conversion? Seems odd that she's behaving like this simply because she's an atheist.

You might think I'm crazy, but I wouldn't rule out demonic possession of some level or another. Seriously.


Demonic possession? What might the signs be for that?
I thought she was just a control freak and/or insane. I would have no idea how to rule in/out demonic possession.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2017, 09:25:06 PM »
What do you suppose is God's plan for your wife? How do you think he will heal her?

I have no expectation that God would heal her, since she has to want to be healed, and she seems to be convinced that she is perfect and should be worshipped.

For her to be healed, she would have to recognize that there is something worthy of worship other than herself.

So God has no plan for her?
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are

Offline tcolon90

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2017, 09:26:12 PM »
Well was she like this before you converted? I'm not saying it is. I do not have the proper judgment to make this kind of call, but  I will say that demons are known to push our buttons to get us to break fasts and break our vows.

All I'm saying is, she's behaving so irrationally that I find it hard to believe that it's spite, but then again places like Communist Russia proves me wrong a lot.
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Offline Antonious Nikolas

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2017, 09:27:45 PM »
For me, becoming Orthodox was the greatest thing that happened to me.

It just give meaning to everything, that our lives are not in vain and that when we will fall asleep for eternity that it will be indeed for eternity and not a meaningless end to a miserable existence (I am speaking for myself here).

I am going through similar struggles as you right now, which will most probably end up in a divorce.
I know how it is my friend, don't despair and I will pray for you.


I understand that marriage involves MUTUAL sacrifice, but I've run out of sacrifices, and still she demands more and more. It's just reached the point that all I can pray for is death.


Having a really hard time finding options that are not sins. It's like now that I'm Orthodox, everything has become wrong. I don't need a Church to tell me I'm always wrong no matter what, I have a wife doing that already.

If I try to keep the peace at home, that means no praying, no fasting, and defintely NO ALMS!
If I make an effort to keep Lent, that just means I've broken the rule about not being a jerk about Lent
If I leave, that's a sin

Keeping the peace at home should be your top priority.  Do the loving thing.  Comfort her.  Act like all of her criticisms about you are true and valid and try to genuinely improve yourself and be a better husband.  Show her how an Orthodox Christian acts and live sacrificially for her.  That is the best way to win to win her for Christ and save your precious marriage, which is a gift from God, whether you can recognize it from your funk right now or not.

The only way to keep the peace at home would be to bow down and worship her all the day long. That's called apostacy, isn't it?

I understand that there are sacrifices but should it be that one partner sacrifices everything while the other demands more and more. It's reached the point that all I can pray for is death.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her". Ephesians 5:25

Consider what rakovsky said.  The fast was made for man, not the other way around.  Keep the fast as much as you can without offending her.  Please consider that she might be in just as much pain as you are.  Pray to God, and ask the intercession of St. Joachim and St. Anna.  I'll be praying for you and my brother benjohn's marriages.  You guys know best what kind of situations you both are in, but I urge you not to throw something so precious away until you've exhausted every sacrifice you can possibly make and done everything you can do to soften her heart with true humility and love.

Fair enough about trying every option. I just have one question for you: How much of my sanity and health and relationship with God do I need to sacrifice before I know it's hopeless?

It seems to me that you aren't asking the right questions.  Try asking yourself, "Where is God in this?  What does He want me to learn here?  What does He want me to do here?"

Also, you've given us a litany of her faults.  Maybe try examining some of yours.  You can't control what she does, but you can control what you do.
Worship is theology, so a church which brings Evangelical and Charismatic "praise & worship" into its corporate life is no longer Orthodox.  It is, by definition, heterodox.  Those "Orthodox" leaders who make theological arguments for the incorporation of heteropraxis into the life of the Church are heretics.

http://returntoorthodoxy.com/

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2017, 09:29:06 PM »
Right now I am about as lonely as it gets. Stuck in a marriage to a hostile atheist who hates everything about me.
It's not likely that Orthodoxy did that.

Say I meet someone (not that it's likely) - I'm already damaged goods.
That you would say this seems to confirm the above: Orthodoxy isn't really a factor here. Because that's not how healthy or at least well adjusted people think about other people.

And how am I supposed to meet other people if all my time is supposed to be spent at church or just being weird (fasting and all)?
Parish services do not take up that much time.

For some reason, I find that people appear to go out of their way to be repulsed by me.
Sounds like something else is going on here.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 09:32:32 PM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2017, 09:33:26 PM »
What do you suppose is God's plan for your wife? How do you think he will heal her?

I have no expectation that God would heal her, since she has to want to be healed, and she seems to be convinced that she is perfect and should be worshipped.

For her to be healed, she would have to recognize that there is something worthy of worship other than herself.

So God has no plan for her?
God killed plans on the Cross. Make no provision for the lust of the flesh.
Quote from: Pope Francis
Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'Animal politicus.' So at least I am a human person.

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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #33 on: February 23, 2017, 09:38:34 PM »
A person can pray silently. You can do that.
With Fasting, it could be different- if one's parents are Protestant and feed meat during Lent as part of a family dinner, I was told to accept the meat when it's delivered to me. There is a tradition in Orthodoxy where if it's Lent and non-EOs give you non-Lenten food, then the hospitable thing as a guest is to accept the food.

So if your wife is making dinner, you can accept the dinner.
If it's just you eating on your own, you can fast.
Different contexts + flexibility can be helpful.

She has even found ways to twist this for her sick entertainment. Now she says "it's hospitality" while trying to bury me in meat during Lent. Damned if I do, damned if I don't

Again, everything is sin in Orthodoxy.
Everything is not sin in Orthodoxy. It is also not sin to eat meat in Lent, depending on the circumstance.
So if in her case she she's it's hospitality and gives you meat, then it's OK. That is part of being someone's guest.
Point of Lenten Fast is not to have conflict with people.

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2017, 09:46:45 PM »
What do you suppose is God's plan for your wife? How do you think he will heal her?

I have no expectation that God would heal her, since she has to want to be healed, and she seems to be convinced that she is perfect and should be worshipped.

For her to be healed, she would have to recognize that there is something worthy of worship other than herself.

So God has no plan for her?
God killed plans on the Cross. Make no provision for the lust of the flesh.

Not quite following.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2017, 12:29:40 AM »
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. My wife is not atheist, she is United Methodist, but her vehemence against Orthodoxy was just as firm as you are describing. When I first told her I wanted to join the Church, she accused me of calling her a heretic, and I got a shoe thrown at my head. For over a year, there was open hostility to anything I said or did that was related to religion. I wondered if we were going to survive as couple, and she said a number of time that I seemed like a stranger that she didn't even know. Eventually, her wrath has cooled, and while she is not receptive, she has finally learned to accept that this is a part of who I am. I think for her, the big thing was that she felt betrayed. We had always gone to church together and generally been on the same page, and suddenly, I own icons and I'm saying weird prayers. Whether or not it makes sense is besides the point. I do very little fasting, and other than Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings, I go to almost no services. I do what I can, and that is all God asks for. It isn't a sin to forgo some of the traditional Orthodox practices out of love for your wife. I sense great bitterness towards her in your posts. Please resist that temptation. She is a frail human, subject to all the same weaknesses that we all have. She probably feels hurt and is lashing out. This is an opportunity for you to learn patience. I have many people tell me that I should be pushing harder on my wife for her to accept Orthodoxy or to do this or that. I smile and politely nod, but they have no idea the dynamics of my marriage and what it takes to make it work. I know that God has called me to love her as Christ loves the Church. That means I need to give up some of the things that I would love to participate in for the sake of her soul. I'm not going to tell you to divorce her or not divorce her, but just remember, that you may be the one strand that brings her salvation, so be very careful before cutting that. Don't let bitterness or anger be the reason that this bond is severed.

May God bless you in your journey.
The term planet earth is an innovation which has arisen in recent centuries with the error of heliocentrism.

If one wants to confess a pure doctrine of Orthodoxy, they should be careful not to refer to the earth as a planet, unlike the current Pope as well as Patriarch Kirill and Patriarch Bartholomew, who regularly speak in error when they refer to our planet earth.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2017, 12:43:22 AM »
Read about the Book of Hosea for some intense exegesis on getting along in marriage.

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2017, 01:29:50 AM »
What do you suppose is God's plan for your wife? How do you think he will heal her?

I have no expectation that God would heal her, since she has to want to be healed, and she seems to be convinced that she is perfect and should be worshipped.

For her to be healed, she would have to recognize that there is something worthy of worship other than herself.

So God has no plan for her?
God killed plans on the Cross. Make no provision for the lust of the flesh.

Not quite following.
Plans, intentions, self-help, best practices, discernment, vocation, purpose-drivenness, deliberateness, "making the faith your own" and all the other aliases it goes by.

Put to death, but it has be re-drowned fairly often as it doesn't seem to know its place in Sheol.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 01:32:45 AM by NicholasMyra »
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Offline JTLoganville

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2017, 02:46:22 AM »
Read about the Book of Hosea for some intense exegesis on getting along in marriage.
Aye.

Richmond,, "white martyrdom" comes in many forms.

It is entirely possible that such martyrdom is your calling via your marriage.

Offline Richmond

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2017, 09:05:42 PM »
Read about the Book of Hosea for some intense exegesis on getting along in marriage.
Aye.

Richmond,, "white martyrdom" comes in many forms.

It is entirely possible that such martyrdom is your calling via your marriage.

"White martyrdom" - I've heard the term but could you elaborate a little? I want to make sure I fully grok the concept.

Offline Nephi

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Re: Was Orthodoxy a mistake?
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2017, 09:39:39 PM »
I've been in a mixed marriage for several years now myself. Early on she was atheist, but later shifted into an unaffiliated theism. That said, I notice a few things in your posts:

First of all, you seem to be expecting way too much of her in terms of your religious practice. Remember - your fasts are your fasts and not hers. I.E. while you are ideally supposed to fast from meat and stuff, she is under no such compulsion (not being Orthodox and all) and it would be improper to force her to fast. Therefore, you need to address this pastorally with your priest to where you fast in a nontraditional way that accommodates your wife. Even if this means you don't really fast from food, and merely control portions.

Further, you need to learn to tone things down. I understand you're excited and passionate about your newfound faith, but your wife does not need to be convinced to share in this aspect of your life. Thus you need to keep it separate - pray alone, read alone, don't discuss it unless she brings it up herself, don't argue, and don't let it cut into relationship time. This is really important as every incident will just make them dig their heels in more. Let your Orthodox faith manifest itself in your love for her and have that alone be your witness to her. That will break down more walls than any argument or comment you could ever make to her.

Again, speak to your priest about accommodations. You don't have to behave, live, and practice stereotypically in order to be a good Orthodox Christian.