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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 07:58 AM
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Did you marry in the Church or with dispensation? If so, you were made aware before marriage that your wife was obligated by her faith to raise her children in the Church. Now, after the marriage and when the kids are in their rebellious phases, you side against your wife and her religious obligations? You have to understand that your wife is so militant about this because, to her, it's a battle for the very immortal souls of her children. If you think Momma Bears are difficult to deal with when their cubs are in physical danger, imagine how Momma Bear feels when her kids eternal souls are in danger. For your wife, this is very real.


Now, on to something more helpful.

Have you spoken with her priest and/or the DRE? Priests and DRE's have dealt with stubborn tweens and teens before. They may have some suggestions. I'd also like to echo another poster who suggested allowing the kids to choose their Church activities.

My DD is religious. My DS is not. I required Mass attendance, religious ed attendance, andd volunteer activities. DD was not a fan of the required religious ed classes, but she was quite happy to go on day retreats and volunteer to babysit the younger kids during events. DS, being not religious at all, had no desire to do ANYTHING, but I did require he at least volunteer. He got to choose how. He felt a passion for helping those less fortunate and found he enjoyed volunteering at the food bank. Maybe finding or creating a Church related activity the kids feel passionate about would help.


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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 10:06 AM
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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I am not very religious but I do know this - when I look at my life and the decisions/mistakes I've made, if I had followed the 10 commandments and the other things Christianity (and I assume Judaism) teach, things would have gone MUCH more smoothly and turned out MUCH better.

Religion manipulates, but so does lack of religion - the belief only in one's self. That definitely tends to lead one astray. There are worse fates a person can suffer than being manipulated into being a good, decent person.

@Sillyputty, I know you and your wife are not on good terms, but have you ever expressed your concern to her in the way you did here -- that as wonderful as church may be, her insistence is driving the kids away from church, and putting a wedge between them and her?

I don't know how overboard she is with this religion thing, but from the outside I could see her perspective being that there are so many bad influences in the world, especially for teens, that she wants to keep them busy with church people and church activities so they are more likely to be surrounded by people with shared values and less likely to be around bad influences.

If you get at the heart of exactly what is driving her desire, there might be something else that the kids would like that accomplishes the same goal. (Unless she is just fanatically religious.) For example, my H and I go to college ball games and we know a lot of families that are really into them. I think it's so great because it's something a family can do together, that the teens like too.

It's very hard with teens. At some point you really can't make them do anything. Her controlling behavior is just going to drive them away.
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

I agree with much of what you say here, including I'm okay with with her pursuing her Holy "ism" but there is no need to force feed it to your kids... as someone else mentioned she is driving them away from her church tradition, if not faith in general. I feel I need to stay in the marriage a while longer (2-3 years maybe), unless I feel like I can get primary custody of my kids... thanks for the reply.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

We married in the church and I was aware of *some* of the teachings but like many/most who understand that Romanism is an imperial-based, self-serving trap, I honestly didn't think people took the teachings so seriously... my bad there I guess. I understand that she fears for her kids' immortal souls, that was Rome's intention when it made itself the arbiter of truth and the only agency to heal original sin. Sadly she can't be reasoned with due to the effective brainwashing.

"Have you spoken with her priest and/or the DRE? Priests and DRE's have dealt with stubborn tweens and teens before. They may have some suggestions. I'd also like to echo another poster who suggested allowing the kids to choose their Church activities."

Agreed, I am putting my foot down on letting the older kids choose... whether she likes it or not, sadly, that is where we are at.

There are some church activities the kids enjoy, and I support them going unless it appears to be some brainwashing event, which is rare but still happens from time to time. Pope Francis is not a fan of Taliban Catholicism so the tide is turning... ever so slowly of course, we are talking about RC here. Thanks for your reply.
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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Originally Posted by MJJEAN View Post
Did you marry in the Church or with dispensation? If so, you were made aware before marriage that your wife was obligated by her faith to raise her children in the Church. Now, after the marriage and when the kids are in their rebellious phases, you side against your wife and her religious obligations? You have to understand that your wife is so militant about this because, to her, it's a battle for the very immortal souls of her children. If you think Momma Bears are difficult to deal with when their cubs are in physical danger, imagine how Momma Bear feels when her kids eternal souls are in danger. For your wife, this is very real.


Now, on to something more helpful.

Have you spoken with her priest and/or the DRE? Priests and DRE's have dealt with stubborn tweens and teens before. They may have some suggestions. I'd also like to echo another poster who suggested allowing the kids to choose their Church activities.

My DD is religious. My DS is not. I required Mass attendance, religious ed attendance, andd volunteer activities. DD was not a fan of the required religious ed classes, but she was quite happy to go on day retreats and volunteer to babysit the younger kids during events. DS, being not religious at all, had no desire to do ANYTHING, but I did require he at least volunteer. He got to choose how. He felt a passion for helping those less fortunate and found he enjoyed volunteering at the food bank. Maybe finding or creating a Church related activity the kids feel passionate about would help.
I replied to you below but I'm having a hard time figuring out how/what/where to post replies, has this forum grown more complicated since last time of is it just me?
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post #21 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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I am not very religious but I do know this - when I look at my life and the decisions/mistakes I've made, if I had followed the 10 commandments and the other things Christianity (and I assume Judaism) teach, things would have gone MUCH more smoothly and turned out MUCH better.

Religion manipulates, but so does lack of religion - the belief only in one's self. That definitely tends to lead one astray. There are worse fates a person can suffer than being manipulated into being a good, decent person.

@Sillyputty, I know you and your wife are not on good terms, but have you ever expressed your concern to her in the way you did here -- that as wonderful as church may be, her insistence is driving the kids away from church, and putting a wedge between them and her?

Yes I have, it doesn't work... we are in therapy and just tonight she defended abusive-type behavior toward our kids in order to "pass along the faith."

I don't know how overboard she is with this religion thing, but from the outside I could see her perspective being that there are so many bad influences in the world, especially for teens, that she wants to keep them busy with church people and church activities so they are more likely to be surrounded by people with shared values and less likely to be around bad influences.

I get that and that is the upside, but they also have sports and studies (and me) so I'm not too worried about drugs and bad influences, although I fully realize the potential for this.

If you get at the heart of exactly what is driving her desire, there might be something else that the kids would like that accomplishes the same goal. (Unless she is just fanatically religious.) For example, my H and I go to college ball games and we know a lot of families that are really into them. I think it's so great because it's something a family can do together, that the teens like too.

There is NOTHING else in her view that can compete with the infallible teachings of "Holy Mother Church." LOL However, I am here to balance that out, I have coached all of my kids in youth sports, help with homework and will remain active in their lives as long as they want/need me.


It's very hard with teens. At some point you really can't make them do anything. Her controlling behavior is just going to drive them away.
Correct, it already has to some degree and will continue to spiral downhill... I have warned her repeatedly to no avail... (other replies are in the above, I can't figure out this strange formatting!)
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post #22 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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Keeping preteens and teens involved in as many church activities as possible will help to keep them out of trouble.

If they (the kids) are wanting to pick and choose which church programs they want to be involved in - that's great and she should be less rigid.

YOU NEED TO BE A UNITED FRONT - trust me on this.

Why do the children NOT want to attend? Identify and explore THOSE reasons - not yours.

If they aren't going to be involved in the church activities then perhaps get them involved in something else, charitable causes important to them, sports, cultural activities (music/theater/dance/martial arts etc)

The busier they are the more likely they are NOT to get involved in drugs and other things that detour a young life.


I am confused because your first post talked of Roman Catholic Church and then your last post spoke of "Jesus invites us" which is more of a fundamentalist Christian speak.

Are you involved in the Church? Are the kids biased because of your dislike or disdain for it? If so, then check your own motivations.

Might also seek council from your Priest or Reverand.
Roman Catholic... have done all that, doesn't help... please see my other replies for additional details... thanks!
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post #23 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 09:20 PM
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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Originally Posted by Sillyputty View Post
We married in the church and I was aware of *some* of the teachings but like many/most who understand that Romanism is an imperial-based, self-serving trap, I honestly didn't think people took the teachings so seriously... my bad there I guess. I understand that she fears for her kids' immortal souls, that was Rome's intention when it made itself the arbiter of truth and the only agency to heal original sin. Sadly she can't be reasoned with due to the effective brainwashing.

"Have you spoken with her priest and/or the DRE? Priests and DRE's have dealt with stubborn tweens and teens before. They may have some suggestions. I'd also like to echo another poster who suggested allowing the kids to choose their Church activities."

Agreed, I am putting my foot down on letting the older kids choose... whether she likes it or not, sadly, that is where we are at.

There are some church activities the kids enjoy, and I support them going unless it appears to be some brainwashing event, which is rare but still happens from time to time. Pope Francis is not a fan of Taliban Catholicism so the tide is turning... ever so slowly of course, we are talking about RC here. Thanks for your reply.
You really need to learn to see your wife's faith in a better light. Tolerance, man. You love(d) this woman. You chose her to be mother to your children. You respected her faith enough to marry in her church. Her faith is part of who she is and it helped shape her into the woman you married and who raised your children with you. Try being a tad less hostile. If she perceives you as hostile toward her faith, she will be defensive and you'll just fight. If you are less hostile, more tolerant and understanding, you might be able to navigate this with a lot less hostility between you. Parents in peaceful agreement is better for the kids.

Catholicism is a lifestyle for some. Those people tend to be devout and they follow the Church's teachings and traditions as closely as possible. Others, known as "cafeteria Catholics" tend to pick and choose which teachings they follow and Catholicism is less a part of their day to day lifestyle. Sounds like you married a devout woman and thought you were marrying someone more casual in her faith practice. Yeah, your bad there unless she suddenly became devout around the time the kids were coming along. It's not unheard of for people to fall away from the faith of their youth and then feel the need to return to their faith once they have children of their own. That sudden return seems impossible to predict. If that's what happened, you couldn't have known.

Our schools require 20 hours of volunteer work per semester. For students in the National Honor Society the requirement is an additional 20 hours. Even though DS isn't interested in joining the Church, he is interested in getting his required volunteer hours and he likes the way helping people makes him feel, so... If your kids schools have something similar then having the kids volunteer at the parish seems like a way to get everyone to agree on participation. Sure, the kids aren't going "for the right reason", but thats ok so long as they go. It's up to them and God after that.

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I replied to you below but I'm having a hard time figuring out how/what/where to post replies, has this forum grown more complicated since last time of is it just me?
Hit the quote button to quote a single post and the multiquote buttom to quote more than one post. Add your replies between tthe quoted bits.

I can't operate the forum in mobile view, so if you're on a droid or something I can't help.

Follow the evidence where it leads and question everything.
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post #24 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 03:00 PM
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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There is NOTHING else in her view that can compete with the infallible teachings of "Holy Mother Church." LOL
Yikes.

She sounds like the type of person I hear anti-religious people complain about as if they are the majority of religious people and I always think ...those people mostly exist just in movies and books. But every once in awhile you do meet one. Glad your kids have you. It must be so frustrating to see someone use the importance of religion to justify abusive behavior. Hello???

I think you need to wake up all excited and tell her you have been praying so hard about this, and the Holy Spirit visited you and told you to convince her to use gentler methods, like Jesus did.
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post #25 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 03:09 PM
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Catholicism is crazy. I don't know anyone that came to that religion 100% on their own without being brain washed since they were 10 days old being baptized. Ha.

I'd say do you and your wife a favor, go have an affair and she can get the marriage annulled. Otherwise, she'll never divorce you because she'll fear she'll never see the pearly gates of heaven.

How often do you two have sex?

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post #26 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 03:20 PM
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

I do enjoy reading @MJJEAN's understanding to the RC Dogma... very easy to understand and place perspective.

My first thought was "what would Jesus say in this situation"?

Tolerance is a great lesson... as is respect.

One day soon they will be able to make their own choices, share with your wife that with patience comes wisdom... and mercy.

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post #27 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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You really need to learn to see your wife's faith in a better light. Tolerance, man. You love(d) this woman. You chose her to be mother to your children. You respected her faith enough to marry in her church. Her faith is part of who she is and it helped shape her into the woman you married and who raised your children with you. Try being a tad less hostile. If she perceives you as hostile toward her faith, she will be defensive and you'll just fight. If you are less hostile, more tolerant and understanding, you might be able to navigate this with a lot less hostility between you. Parents in peaceful agreement is better for the kids.

Catholicism is a lifestyle for some. Those people tend to be devout and they follow the Church's teachings and traditions as closely as possible. Others, known as "cafeteria Catholics" tend to pick and choose which teachings they follow and Catholicism is less a part of their day to day lifestyle. Sounds like you married a devout woman and thought you were marrying someone more casual in her faith practice. Yeah, your bad there unless she suddenly became devout around the time the kids were coming along. It's not unheard of for people to fall away from the faith of their youth and then feel the need to return to their faith once they have children of their own. That sudden return seems impossible to predict. If that's what happened, you couldn't have known.

Our schools require 20 hours of volunteer work per semester. For students in the National Honor Society the requirement is an additional 20 hours. Even though DS isn't interested in joining the Church, he is interested in getting his required volunteer hours and he likes the way helping people makes him feel, so... If your kids schools have something similar then having the kids volunteer at the parish seems like a way to get everyone to agree on participation. Sure, the kids aren't going "for the right reason", but thats ok so long as they go. It's up to them and God after that.


Hit the quote button to quote a single post and the multiquote buttom to quote more than one post. Add your replies between tthe quoted bits.

I can't operate the forum in mobile view, so if you're on a droid or something I can't help.
Listen... I went to mass with her and kids for about 12 years. It was reasonable "okay" until the kids came along and she felt the need to attend every event, read every book and defend every behavior that had the word "Catholic" attached to it. She was fairly devout before kids but OMG, after kids her immortal soul now at stake as necessitated by the imperial-style "rule" of raising your kids "in the <Roman> faith." In her view (and as any good RC will tell you), that means shaming, insulting, degrading and even using physical force to coerce them to adhere to all aspects of canon law. I understand that is part of RCC "tradition" but you have to admit it all that is pretty far adrift from the teachings of Christ.

You are correct, RC is a lifestyle for some and if done correctly is akin to physical/emotional/spiritual child abuse. Jesus invites he doesn't manipulate/coerce/abuse... I have studied RC church history for a solid 5 years and it is clear to me that many of the rules/doctrine enacted by Rome are to keep their subjects in order (or risk eternal damnation), and the conveniently ordered 7 sacraments is nothing short of a theo-political system of human bondage from cradle to grave.

Now let me apologize, it appears you are RC and I don't mean to offend you... I understand you are trying to help here but if you have witnessed what I have, you might be ashamed to be associated with the RC "faith." I can tell you that 2 of 3 of my kids have expressed they want nothing to do with it, they are literally afraid of her tyranny is their only reason for going at this point in time. Francis' call for a jubilee year of mercy was apparently lost on her, although she does claim to be a supporter... she just has to ratchet it up a bit where the pope evidently falls short, with all his silly talk of love/mercy/compassion and "who am I to judge" crap (sarcasm in case you missed it). If I seem a little hostile you might want to step back and ask yourself what behaviors you are willing to defend in order to protect Holy Mother Church from its constant companion known as scandal... giving knew meaning to the verse "Jesus wept" for sure.
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post #28 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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Yikes.

She sounds like the type of person I hear anti-religious people complain about as if they are the majority of religious people and I always think ...those people mostly exist just in movies and books. But every once in awhile you do meet one. Glad your kids have you. It must be so frustrating to see someone use the importance of religion to justify abusive behavior. Hello???

I think you need to wake up all excited and tell her you have been praying so hard about this, and the Holy Spirit visited you and told you to convince her to use gentler methods, like Jesus did.
Thanks... I have said as much and I have been firm, gentle and every shade in between... nothing "gentle" ever really works so the kids (now that they are a little older) and I have recently been steamrolling over her tyrannical rules and she basically doesn't know how to handle it. After she realizes the sky hasn't fallen (for missing mass, for example), she seems to lighten up but that only lasts as long as the next "occasion of sin" comes along. Sadly, you really have to witness it first hand to understand the toxic power of religious indoctrination.
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post #29 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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Catholicism is crazy. I don't know anyone that came to that religion 100% on their own without being brain washed since they were 10 days old being baptized. Ha.

I'd say do you and your wife a favor, go have an affair and she can get the marriage annulled. Otherwise, she'll never divorce you because she'll fear she'll never see the pearly gates of heaven.

How often do you two have sex?
You are right, short of physical abuse and/or having an affair she is not permitted to divorce me (ahem, I mean seek a "decree of nullity"). That is the silver lining, I suppose, but I would much rather have an amicable, love-filled marriage with the mother of my children with all the time we have invested.

Sex has gone from once every couple weeks to basically non existent over the last 12 months. That is a whole other story/problem, I believe is also tied in with her devotion to Holy Mother Church.
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post #30 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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I do enjoy reading @MJJEAN's understanding to the RC Dogma... very easy to understand and place perspective.

My first thought was "what would Jesus say in this situation"?

Tolerance is a great lesson... as is respect.

One day soon they will be able to make their own choices, share with your wife that with patience comes wisdom... and mercy.
Tolerance and respect are great but they only work if it is a reciprocal arrangement. RC is not structured that way, unfortunately, although they make claims to the contrary. Jesus would be very ashamed of the self-serving power structures created by imperial Rome which remain to this very day, albeit to a lesser degree.
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