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A Couple’s Marriage Was Perfect Until His Father’s Death, But the Event Triggered a Return to His Childhood Faith Which She Never Expected.

The Original Poster (OP) recounts her escalating conflict with her husband, who, in his grief after losing his father, falls back into the strict evangelical faith he once abandoned, labeling their harmless pastimes as ‘addictions.’ As he pushes her to comply with his new lifestyle, their relationship teeters on the brink of collapse.

The Founding Years

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OP, a 28-year-old female, and her husband, a 29-year-old male, found each other in college, establishing a bond that led to a marriage of 6 years. Having grown up in a stringent evangelical setting, the husband managed to disconnect from these religious doctrines around the time they met.

Change Of Plans

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Despite this detachment, the husband maintained a deep affection for his father, a tie that remained unbroken until the father’s untimely demise in early 2021 due to cancer. Sadly, he only survived a few weeks after his diagnosis, which made OP’s husband reevaluate his life.

Sorrow’s Path

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After his father’s death, the husband was utterly shattered, his world tinted by overwhelming grief. To honor his father’s memory, he made the decision to return to his former church. The impact of this decision was immediately felt by OP, as this church was known for its rigid doctrine and classification of many harmless activities as vices.

An Unexpected Addiction

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After rejoining the church, the husband labeled himself an alcoholic and drug addict, changing his perspective on their occasional indulgence in wine and legal weed or edibles. Their shared use of pornography for added excitement in their relationship was also deemed as an addiction. OP, who didn’t want to abandon these activities, was labeled an addict by her husband.

The Middle Ground

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OP attempted to reconcile by giving up weed and agreeing not to drink at home but maintained that she would occasionally indulge when out with friends. She felt like this was a good compromise and didn’t feel so extreme.

Another Hobby

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She also held on to her liking for written erotica, something her husband never found problematic until his religious awakening. This compromise, however, didn’t sit well with her husband, who ended up discarding her vibrator, claiming it to be a tool of Satan.

Gaming: The Unexpected Sin

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Taking another unexpected turn, the husband’s pastor labeled all video games as sinful. In response, the husband began insisting that OP, who spent about 8-10 hours gaming weekly, had a video game addiction and needed treatment.

Differing Thoughts

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OP, who saw her gaming hobby as nothing more than a pleasurable pastime, found herself at odds with her husband’s sudden labeling. After much reflection, all of this felt like more of the workings of an extremist group rather than a religious group.

Church: The Unwanted Proposition

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The husband proposed that OP should accompany him to the church services. Although he agreed to the idea of couples counseling, he insisted it be conducted within the church rather than with a secular counselor. This proposition, on top of the mounting pressure, only added to OP’s resistance against her husband’s evolving beliefs.

Resistance and Understanding

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Attempting to maintain a balance, OP acknowledged her husband’s grief and expressed her willingness to support him by keeping alcohol and weed out of their house. However, she made it clear that she would not convert to evangelicalism nor restrict her activities to those that his faith deemed acceptable.

The Old You

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She pleaded for him to stop labeling her habits as ‘addictions,’ pushing back against the narrative that was slowly taking over their relationship. She could feel him losing sight of what their relationship looked like before this change of heart.

The Accusation

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The husband, consumed by his newfound religiosity and grief, accused OP of being insensitive during his time of bereavement. Despite her attempts at compromise and understanding, she was viewed as being unsupportive, causing further strain in their relationship. Their friends and family also started to believe that she should follow her husband’s wishes and be supportive.

Left To Ponder

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OP is left unsure of how to move forward. She has been as accommodating as she can be. She doesn’t want to lose her husband over a faith she thinks will be temporary.

Was Not Converting To Her Husband’s Religion Appropriate?

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The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “It’s great you are trying to compromise and giving these things up, hopefully for just a while. You sound like a great partner and seem to be communicating. Sadly you can’t communicate with someone who isn’t mentally there.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote: “If your husband doesn’t get back to himself, then sadly, I don’t know if your marriage will last. I am very sorry.”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person states, “You are being supportive, but that doesn’t mean you have to drink the kool-aid. There is nothing wrong with any of the things you mentioned, as long as it’s in moderation, and from what you described, you are not addicted to any of them.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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Another viewpoint on the story: “You’ve already made far more concessions to him than I feel like you need to. I appreciate he is grieving, but you shouldn’t have to change your entire life to be supportive.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.

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