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Joined: Oct 2007
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rs123 Offline OP
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My husband & I have been married for 10 years. When we married, we enjoyed recreational activities together & I was given the impression that my husband believed in God but didn't ever want to attend church. 5 - 10 years later, while we still enjoy some recreational activities together, the activities we're passionate about have changed. My husband suddenly decided 2 years ago that he wanted to attend church regularly. After reading Marriage Builders books, I decided I should attend with him. We tried this for a year and still, I hated attending. He wanted to become even more involved and make it the centre of his life. This to me, would go completely against what I want out of life. How could I agree to center my world around the church when I don't have a belief in God. Even worse to me, would be extending our social activities with people in the church or helping out the church with my time.

This doesn't seem to be something we can get past. He insists that church is necessary. He recently agreed to stop attending the church and find another venue that I would like more but I know I will not be happy attending any church. With the policy of joint agreement, I know he shouldn't be pressuring me to attend but justifies to himself that it's a higher good. To try to compensate myself, I counter propose with a recreational activity that I love and he dislikes. I know this is not the path to a happy marriage but am having difficulty negotiating with something as sensitive as core religious beliefs.

I should mention we do most things in life together. We run a business together & spend almost all of our time together. I feel we are mostly on track but this is something we haven't been able to get past.

Advice appreciated. When it comes to religion, the beliefs are so strong it seems near impossible to apply the POJA.

RS

Joined: Aug 2005
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We settled this issue early in our marriage.

One can have "strong beliefs" over just about anything...not just religion.

H and I take turns. For example, when buying a new car, if we POJA, it would take too long to agree on a car and when we finally did neither of us gets exactly what we want. So it makes more sense to take turns picking the new car.

We also do this with recreational activities. I like the beach, he wants the mountains. So we go to the beach one weekend and the mountains the other.

We bought a new fridge recently. We narrowed it down to a few we both liked but then we couldn't agree. Since we do not buy appliances often, I said "I had the final say on the stove last year, so you pick the fridge." He did. We would still be in the show room if I hadn't said that.

So you add up the time you have to spend together. Spend half of it at Church with him and the other half doing something you really want. For example if church service is every Sunday, then on alternate Sundays you two go antiquing or bike riding, or explore the museums in your state. It can be what ever YOU PICK! And you get to pick because HE ALWAYS PICKS CHURCH.

I believe that this taking turns is the primary reason why I have a very happy marriage. It started when we were young and, as a joke, started taking turns being in charge of sex. It spread to other things. This way neither one of us "judges" the other's likes and beliefs. I also came to realize that sometimes, when you try things your thought your would never enjoy, you realize you were wrong. This gives pleasure to your spouse.


Me: 56
H: 61
DD: 13 and hormonal
DS: 20

Oldest son died 1994 @ age 8

Happily married 30+ years
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rs123 Offline OP
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I can see this working except in a scenario where each partner chose the same activity every time that the other partner immensely disliked. For example, my husband chooses church every second sunday and I choose to go to the same place every other Sunday. We each dislike eachother's choice as much as the other and so aren't following the policy of enthusiastic agreement.

I can only see this working where there is excessive recreational time and the Sunday only made up a small portion of the time. Eg. 2 or 3 other outings per week are all doing something we both enjoy. Is this how you see it?

Joined: Jan 2008
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Is there anything that he agrees to do with you that he likes. Maybe you can figure out his interests and suggest that you do that. That way he will feel like you may be reaching out to some of his EN's.
Wife goes to church, but I don't. She takes my youngest son with her and I have no problem with that either. I believe in God, but choose to worship privately.
Scott


Me-39 Wife-38 Son-13 Son-11 Aniv-3-26-94

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