Hi everyone, I'm here because I'm looking for some insight, advice and hopefully answers to my particular situation.

I'm a 32 year old married father of 2, I became a Christian back 2004 after a supposed 'word from God' but perhaps largely because my wife and all her family are members of the Anglican/Charasmatic movement and maybe felt some sort of affinity to them. I even went so far as to join the worship team of an extremely large and popular charasmatic church in Oxford which  have been involved with since 2005.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I've recently started to seriously question my belief structure. I've never felt entirely 'comfortable' with being a Christian in the way I always thought I should be, I never really prayed in public, I couldn't quote you specific scripture like a pro and always thought that the Church I am a part of uses emotional manipulation through 'sad and songs' and the pastors alter call to invoke a sense of vulnerability, surely not something I should be thinking if I truly 'get it'

In the last few years she has become more and more extreme in her views, dare I say fundamentalist. Don't get me wrong, she is a very kind, polite and caring woman, but I can no longer stomach some of the things she passionately believes and I'm seriously considering de conversion. She has been a Christian since she was born lived, breathed and evangelised the Christian doctrine and for the longest time we were very happy, having two gorgeous sons

However I've recently had cause to come clean to my wife of 7 years, who is what I would call a 'born' Christian of a string of indiscrections since before we were married, this understandably has caused her great pain for which I am truly sorry, however she has now told me that the ONLY way of saving our marriage is through Christian channels/the grace and love of God or not at all.

Now fair enough, hands up I should take what is coming, but I love my boys and would be prepared to do anything to stay with them, I feel a great affection for my wife as my best friend and indeed all the friends I have made through the Church, but knowing that I feel the way I do about my (lack of) faith I am torn as to weather I should take the step and tell her I can't pursue Christian channels with a clear conscience for the sake of staying in our marriage.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I appreciate your comments

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I caught it too Kara, though I don't think it was intentional - was that what they call a Freudian slip? (I heard he used to wear one --)

hahahaha...I do believe it was!! I think you may be right...:-P

Jaret -  "I have ADD and dyslexia and I am not nearly as bad as almost every christian I talk to. I think it is because the only reading they do is in 14th century old English."

Anal retentive too? 

"Miguel, I noticed you just joined. It looks like you just joined to specifically comment on this post."

So what?

"People do not come here to hear the christian opinion. They get that every day in the world."

Why close down half the debate?  Why close your eyes to half the situation?  If we can't be free-ranging, then we're just hobbled. 

Do you still love her?  Do you still find it a beautiful moment to have her by your side while you sleep together?  Is she still beautiful to you?  Do you wish to be with her for the rest of your life?  If yes, then I think you need to do everything you can to remain a positive influence in the church that she is with - still give to charity and still attend services with her and still bring up your boys around the church.  Just make it known that you personally can't believe some of the doctrines that the church might preach but perhaps you still respect Jesus as a good moral teacher and suggest to her that God aside, you still find value in many of the things that christianity observes - such as loving thy neighbor or doing good / charitable things.  

Now if you can't admit those things I listed as being part of your philosophy then it appears you may not be at all even closely related to a christian philosophy.  

I don't think you need to believe in virgin births and transubstantiation and hellfire to still be a part of a church.  If she thinks you need to believe these things or if she feels that you are going to hell or leading your children to hell by going against what she believes is the 'true' christian theology - then I am afraid this might not help in keeping your relationship together.  Good Luck and keep us updated.  

By the way , what is this string of indiscretions you speak of?  Did you cheat on your wife and were you an alcoholic or are these things other posters have conjured out of thin air?  

I asked that too, Dustin, and I've yet to get a response. This was as close as anyone has yet come:

"So because I've had a few instances over the last 10 years where I've been a little weak in part due to the influence of alcohol (and I'm not even talking about sleeping around) that automatically disqualifies me from the right to bring up my kids?"

that's pretty much what it boils down to, over the last 10 years I've been unfaithful in the form of a few drunken kisses, only the last time I'd taken it much further with a colleague at work.. not easy admitting to anyone you're a cheating scumbag. Needless to say I recognise it's not right and don't want to be this sort of person anymore, hence coming clean.

only the last time I'd taken it much further with a colleague at work.. not easy admitting to anyone

Your hand hurt from all the high-fives?

Richard -

I've just been reading the Dhammapada.  

"He who overcomes the evil he has done with the good he afterwards does, he sheds a light over the world like that of the moon when free from clouds."  

You know how Christians love a repentant sinner.  You know how it's good to BE a repentant sinner.  

If you truly adopt the core Christian virtues, then perhaps this is something your wife can work with.  You don't even have to believe in God - but she needs to be satisfied that she can approve of you and respect you (and of course, trust you).  Outside of the core virtues, all the rest is just detail in my opinion, and open to taste and freedom of choice.  

Jaret said that one of his parents is an atheist and the other is a devout Christian, and it works fine. 

You can't be born christian. I can't imagine an infant/newborn has the mental capacity to even understand surroundings let alone believing in a deity.  This wife of yours got tricked into believing in her youth. (the most vulnerable years).

So the only way to save your marriage is to believe in hate and violence is what I'm getting here. You can't stay with this women. You'd be doing it for all the wrong reasons. You can have custody of the kids saying that if they stay with her, they'd be heavily brainwashed which is pretty much child abuse.

Well I thought I'd better update you as to the currant situation. After choosing to still go on what turned out to be a very strained and turbulent family holiday which we had booked for some time, my wife an I mutually agreed that some time apart to reflect on the situation was what was needed.
During that time I had persuaded her to come to some counselling sessions provided by Relate which I personally thought was a positive step, my wife less so in being she felt ganged up on. I'd made the decision to try and work things out and told her i was prepared to do whatever it took to save our marriage.
Needless to say, after various trips to spend time with her family accross the country with my boys she has now decided to file for divorce on grounds of adultery which I won't be contesting.

The worst feeling I have right now is that I've failed through my own actions to provide a stable and normal family environment for my kids, but I made my proverbial bed and now i have to lie in it, although I stand by and feel very good about my decision to leave the church. I can honestly say I have never looked back...although so much for the seventy times seven rule...

Adultery is like betrayal of trust. Isn't that what christians are good at though? Betrayal...She should be rewarding you, or is it only a virtue when they do it to someone else...


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