Wife forces kids into religious programs... - Talk About Marriage
The Family & Parenting Forums Family dynamics can be exactly that - dynamic! Post here about family related issues such as parenting, blended families, step-families, new relationships with children involved, family of origin issues, in-laws or sibling issues.

User Tag List

 73Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 89
Wife forces kids into religious programs...

I've posted here in the past, it's been a while so will try again for a new perspective... my wife is devout Roman Catholic, we have raised all 3 kids "in the faith" as *required* by the RCC. Now that the kids are older 16, 13, 10, I feel they should have more of a say in churchy things, such as if they want to sign up for this retreat, or that program, etc. They still attend mass every week but it has gotten to be way over the top IMO... in fact, after a long fight with my wife, my oldest has already dropped out of the teen group and now my middle child (13) wants out but my wife threatens to make her life hell if she stops going. I find myself taking my daughter's side here as attending these extra-curricular events is not (or should not, at least) be a condition of her love and respect. When my oldest dropped out (about 6 mos ago), my wife actually said "Ok then don't expect me to go out of my way for you." Is that a horrible thing to say to your teen daughter, or what? My wife comes from a devout RCC family so it is very deep seated with her, but I don't understand how she can be so blind to what's happening. She is literally driving our kids AWAY from the church, God and (perhaps) any faith altogether... anyone have any experience or advice in these matters?

Sillyputty is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 07:24 PM
Member
 
Married but Happy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,574
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

IMO, forced religious indoctrination is a form of child abuse. Do stick up for your kids and their rights to choose their own path.

My ex went back to the religion of her childhood, and tried to indoctrinate our son. In fairness, I let her do some and take him to church occasionally, but vigorously expressed my own opinions to him. Reason prevailed, eventually.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
Married but Happy is offline  
post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 07:33 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 172
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Religion is mental abuse, pure and simple.
DepressedHusband is offline  
 
post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 89
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Married but Happy View Post
IMO, forced religious indoctrination is a form of child abuse. Do stick up for your kids and their rights to choose their own path.

My ex went back to the religion of her childhood, and tried to indoctrinate our son. In fairness, I let her do some and take him to church occasionally, but vigorously expressed my own opinions to him. Reason prevailed, eventually.
I have been standing up for them, it is part of the reason my oldest found the courage to drop out and now my middle one is following suit... due to my opposition to her forced religion over the years, we are mortal enemies at heart although we are cordial to each other most of the time. I can't leave the marriage until the kids are a little older because she could still do some damage if I am not here to defend them. It totally sucks, I have learned a lot but feel like I have wasted the best years of married life with someone who views her entire existence thru the lens of her holy Roman "ism."
Sillyputty is offline  
post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 89
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DepressedHusband View Post
Religion is mental abuse, pure and simple.
I wouldn't go that far, you are entitled to your opinion of course but it is really only a problem when someone insists that their religion has a lock on the "truth" and attempts to force his/her beliefs on all family members.
Sillyputty is offline  
post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 08:28 PM
Moderator
 
EleGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 33,747
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

So you live in a divided home. That's the lesson you are teaching your children.

I'm not sure that having your children attend some church activities is horrible.

I do know that having two parents who are at war with each other and who do not first come to agreement instead of openly fighting in front of the children is a very bad way to raise children.

Do you work a full time job? How many hours a day do are you at home parenting your children?

How many hours a day is your wife at home parenting? Does she have a full time job?

Honestly, your children would be better off were you divorce. At least that way it's clear that the two of you are not in agreement.

Surviving An Affair -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To Create A Passionate Marriage -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by EleGirl; 03-28-2017 at 01:10 AM.
EleGirl is online now  
post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:12 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 172
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillyputty View Post
I wouldn't go that far, you are entitled to your opinion of course but it is really only a problem when someone insists that their religion has a lock on the "truth" and attempts to force his/her beliefs on all family members.

Religion asserts truth, that in itself is a manipulation.
DepressedHusband is offline  
post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:34 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 1,389
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DepressedHusband View Post
Religion asserts truth, that in itself is a manipulation.
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.
WorkingWife is offline  
post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 89
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by EleGirl View Post
So you live in a divided home. That's the lesson you are teaching your children.

I'm not sure that having your children attend some church activities is horrible.

I do know that having two parents who are at war with each other and how do not first come to agreement instead of openly fighting in front of the children is a very bad way to raise children.

Do you work a full time job? How many hours a day do are you at home parenting your children?

How many hours a day is your wife at home parenting? Does she have a full time job?

Honestly, your children would be better off were you divorce. At least that way it's clear that the two are your do not agree of you are not in agreement.
Ha, if only it were "some" church activities... she is involved in youth ministry so she feels she needs to coerce our kids to many/most retreats/activities/programs to avoid the fact that kids no longer go for Imperial Romanism... a/k/a dominion theology.

I work full time, my wife part time. We parent equally, although she has more time to do so. I am youth coach and am involved in all aspects of their lives... my wife's sole contribution is espousing her RC beliefs, it is really toxic, I would say bordering on abusive--mental & emotional, even physical a few times but I put an end to that.

Divorce is an option when my youngest is about 13-14, right now she is still too impressionable to leave to a tyrant so I will stick it out for a while longer... the selfish part of me wants to leave now but my kids need me to balance out the toxicity.
Sillyputty is offline  
post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 89
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Thanks WW, see my post below to EleGirl... I have been very frank with her and have tried firm, gentle and in between on numerous occasions. Nothing seems to work and you are right, she is clearly driving them away but she can't see it. I keep telling her that Jesus invites us, he doesn't coerce but she clearly prefers the Taliban approach... I am at my wits end, I try to be supportive of church/religion but I cannot sit back and watch my kids cry hysterically when forced to attend "another" function or face her never-ending wrath.

Sillyputty is offline  
post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:10 AM
Member
 
Unique Username's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 14,534
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

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.
Unique Username is offline  
post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:42 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 845
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WorkingWife View Post
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............

.
IME being non religious in no way manipulates people or leads them astray. Actually those people that can self monitor and that have innate moral values are far less able to be led astray. If a person needs a crutch like religion in order to be a decent person then they will always be at risk of becoming an indecent person when that crutch is removed or used as an excuse.
A good, decent, moral person does not need to be told to be this way. I would never trust or have any faith in a person that is only behaving decently because they are told to behave that way.
MrsHolland is online now  
post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:48 AM
Forum Supporter
 
arbitrator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Central Texas/Brazos Valley
Posts: 11,692
Cool Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

No child needs to be subjected to the autocratic desires of anyone who unreasonably tries to subject them to their own selfish desires! Plain and simple!

"To love another person is to see the face of God!" - Jean Valjean from Les Miserables

My Story!
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
arbitrator is online now  
post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 07:11 AM
Member
 
Lloyd Dobler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Somewhere in the Northeast
Posts: 557
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillyputty View Post
I've posted here in the past, it's been a while so will try again for a new perspective... my wife is devout Roman Catholic, we have raised all 3 kids "in the faith" as *required* by the RCC. Now that the kids are older 16, 13, 10, I feel they should have more of a say in churchy things, such as if they want to sign up for this retreat, or that program, etc. They still attend mass every week but it has gotten to be way over the top IMO... in fact, after a long fight with my wife, my oldest has already dropped out of the teen group and now my middle child (13) wants out but my wife threatens to make her life hell if she stops going. I find myself taking my daughter's side here as attending these extra-curricular events is not (or should not, at least) be a condition of her love and respect. When my oldest dropped out (about 6 mos ago), my wife actually said "Ok then don't expect me to go out of my way for you." Is that a horrible thing to say to your teen daughter, or what? My wife comes from a devout RCC family so it is very deep seated with her, but I don't understand how she can be so blind to what's happening. She is literally driving our kids AWAY from the church, God and (perhaps) any faith altogether... anyone have any experience or advice in these matters?
Sounds almost like my life when I was growing up. My parents were both Roman Catholic, with my Dad being the one who was more militant about us 4 kids going to church and being involved with the extra church stuff. When I was about 14-15, I knew that I wanted no part of the religious experience so I started going to church by myself - although I didn't really go. I'd walk down near where the church was and there was a big beautiful old New England cemetery that I would wander through and just spend the "church time" thinking about life.

All 3 of my siblings and I rebelled against the forced nature of our religious experience, and even now in my 50s I've had little contact and less desire for anything religious in my life. I'm OK with others wanting and needing that, but it's just not for me.

One other thing I'll add here is that I'm pretty sure religion played a significant role in my parent's eventual divorce. Sillyputty, you remind me of how I remember my mother dealing with religion while my Dad was similar to your wife. If you want to remain with your wife rather than divorce, it's going to be a difficult road for you. I'll leave it at that.

Last edited by Lloyd Dobler; 03-28-2017 at 07:12 AM. Reason: misspelling
Lloyd Dobler is offline  
post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 07:39 AM
Member
 
C3156's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 457
Re: Wife forces kids into religious programs...

My parents made us go to church because they thought it was good for us. I never got a lot out of it and still don't.

My only tidbit to add to this conversation has to do with your daughters. In my experience, the girls who were raised in highly religious homes tended to be some of the wildest ones out there. The sometimes suffocating blanket of the church caused them to rebel through sex and drugs. If your daughters are not into the church, let them have a say and talk with them about it. Don't allow your wife to force them to find validation elsewhere.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the wildness of church rebellion when I was younger (I dated a few, best sex ever). But now as a parent of two girls, I look and think about how my actions with respect to my kids may affect them. I'm not saying your kids will end up on a Girls gone Wild video, but consider their feelings & desires moving forward.

And for your kids sake, don't stay in a marriage that you all are openly fighting and unhappy. What exactly are you teaching them? Time to have a serious heart to heart with your wife and see if you two can find some common ground to work with and can reach some balance between life and the RCC.
C3156 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wife is choosing other man Clemson Coping with Infidelity 512 06-23-2017 10:55 AM
Unwillngly separated wife took kids need adv Ronald Lane Going Through Divorce or Separation 33 03-20-2017 06:00 PM
Burnt out, hopeless, thinking of leaving everything behind romeo Considering Divorce or Separation 23 03-04-2017 06:49 PM
Need to leave my wife, but worried about kids SteveSeverin General Relationship Discussion 42 09-05-2016 07:51 PM
Wife doesn't want more kids... I do knobcreek The Men's Clubhouse 60 06-08-2016 06:40 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome