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Sharing church with soon-to-be ex-wife

Reddit View
November 6, 2019
4 upvotes

I'm struggling with an issue on how to maneuver a relationship with my wife during/after divorce.

Long story short, I half-assed (to put it mildly) RP for close to a year now, never escaping my wife's frame. This led to consistent fighting, and culminated in an argument in which after she filed for divorce yesterday.

I'm now going to be locked in a custody battle and divvying up assets, finding a place to live, continuing therapy to control my anger, etc. because I didn't keep my cool. I don't agree with her leaving, but, from her perspective as a non-believer, I can understand her justification.

She's not a believer, and I am. However, we discussed before marriage that we would raise our child as Christian. She has stuck to this faithfully, regularly attending church and small group. We are both very close to our small group and rely on them, now more than ever.

She texted today and asked that we speak with our pastor on how we can both attend these functions, but indicated that we would likely need to attend separate small groups. We have two services on Sunday, and are a big congregation, so that is less of an issue. However, the small group issue is a struggle for me.

Am I an asshole in that my first reaction is that my support and salvation shouldn't be hindered by her choice to leave?


Post Information
Title Sharing church with soon-to-be ex-wife
Author FatRPNewbie
Upvotes 4
Comments 15
Date 06 November 2019 02:32 PM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit askRPC
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/304601
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askRPC/comments/dsh3g7/sharing_church_with_soontobe_exwife/
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Comments

[–]helaughsinhidden6 points7 points  (7 children) | Copy

Ya know, this doesn't add up.....

She is not a believer, wants divorce, wants you out of the house, yet wants to keep going to the same church and even the same small groups? Did I miss anything?

Seems like either her desire for divorce is simply a massive S# test or perhaps she's more of a believer now than you give her credit for? If she really wants a divorce and isn't a believer, I'd expect her to at the very least immediately quit the "charade" as it would be to her and unplug from the church. Perhaps she's watching to see if you get her "wake up call" and pull yourself together? Maybe not, perhaps she is already monkey branching to another guy in the same church. Either way, the math here is off.

Since you will still be a man after a divorce and likely find yourself around women again, couple thoughts.

  1. Don't partner with a non-believer no matter what. Every time you sin, you are seen not simply as a fallen human, but as a hypocrite.
  2. A christian man or even, red pilled man, or any high quality man of any kind doesn't fight with people. If you are right, the conversation is over. If you aren't, you humble yourself, own you mess, and make the correction. One of the core improvements from RP is knowing that you never respond to a fitness test with being defensive, explaining, arguing, or fighting.
  3. Laying your hands on someone, especially your wife, is the ultimate break in frame. It's literally the least manly thing you can possibly do. It is just about the only thing that gets a perfect 10 out of 10 for being a weak thing to do.
  4. Read the sidebar. I once read a book helping with my anger called "Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson. It was a good read, I recommend it highly and it probably only takes 2-3 hours total to get through. That said, you need to realize there isn't anything worth becoming anxious or angry about. You have a desire to control the world in which you live in that is viewed through the lenses of irrational expectations and a drive to make everyone match them. Let it go. Everything that will happen is gonna happen and reacting angry not only does not change that, but it will only cause all your relationships to deteriorate so that your future will only be filled with an increase in disappointment.

[–]FatRPNewbie[S] 4 points5 points  (5 children) | Copy

Seems like either her desire for divorce is simply a massive S# test or perhaps she's more of a believer now than you give her credit for?

She's taken sufficient action, moving out, splitting up bank accounts, filing a petition. She's also stated in recent days, to me and others, that she isn't a believer.

If she really wants a divorce and isn't a believer, I'd expect her to at the very least immediately quit the "charade" as it would be to her and unplug from the church.

I'm a bit surprised as well, but you're understanding it correctly. I think the crux of it is, our social life is largely centered around church and, if she cuts ties there, she's all alone. My family is religious as well, she'd like to keep connections there, as her family is clear across the country.

Perhaps she's watching to see if you get her "wake up call" and pull yourself together? Maybe not, perhaps she is already monkey branching to another guy in the same church. Either way, the math here is off.

I wish I could say this was true, but she filed a couple of days ago, split up our bank account, moved out because I wouldn't, took my kid with her, and is likely, according to my lawyer, working on a motion to have me kicked out so she can return.

The four points, all true. I messed up, big time. I've learned from this experience. Thanks for the read recommendation.

[–]redwall921 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy

My wife split bank accounts, filed for separation, moved in with a friend for a couple weeks, and told the kids we were getting a divorce. And she left the church. I never left our bed in our bedroom. She was always welcome. I never left our house. She was always welcome.

Stay plan/Go plan. Same plan, man. If you want to leave the church, then fine. Find another church or small group or whatever.

I don't call what my wife did a massive S-test. I call it she was effed up for a while after being married for 15 years to a beta dupe and also not being able to own her own metal state and happiness.

Either way ... call it whatever you want. I let my wife know she was welcome in our house. I let her know she was welcome in our bed. But I also let her know where the door was and that I wanted her to be happy. I couldn't make her happy ... that was her choice. This was late 2017.

That said ... we're on the up and up at this point. It's been a long road. Many days I wish I had followed my lawyer's advice and made my own filing for divorce. Life would be "easier" now ... I think. But that's the past. She still does not go to church. She calls herself an unbeliever. Life is hard. But there are moments where we are growing together (for lack of a better term). She has admitted that she has stopped trying to actively destroy. And some days it seems like she's trying to actively relate.

Cool story I just typed out, bro. There's a ton more to it. But in the end.

You do you. Mantra of my life right now. Followed closely by "For what purpose?" Why would you change churches or small groups? Answer that question, and then act.

[–]rocknrollchuck1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

You should post your story as an FR on the main sub, I'm sure it would benefit others who may be going through the same thing.

[–]redwall920 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Pretty sure most things in life like this require both praying and cussing. It'd probably get shot down...

[–]rocknrollchuck0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Well it's up to you. I can approve it if it gets caught in the AutoMod.

[–]redwall921 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Well it's up to you.

Yeah ... I know.

I've tried to type it up on more than one occasion. The only time I've pushed through all the way was for my lawyer after I'd been served. I figured he needed all the info, and it was in my best interest to show everything to him.

But it's not something I'm going to dig into and post. The work is too great, honestly. Writing the story of the past 3 years up ... even as a statistic/logic presentation for the group ... nope ... no-can-do.

I'll share over a bottle and a cigar with another guy or a gal who's neck-deep in the muck if I'm in person with them and I think it'll benefit them. And one day I'll share with my boys and maybe my girls.

But until then ... I don't turn the pages back to that time often.

[–]Red-Curious1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Solid.

[–]rocknrollchuck2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

"Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace."

1 Corinthians 7:10-15

So Scripture is clear that we are to let the unbeliever go in peace if that's what she wants. Could this still be worked out? Maybe. But it sounds like she's already made her decision.

She texted today and asked that we speak with our pastor on how we can both attend these functions, but indicated that we would likely need to attend separate small groups. We have two services on Sunday, and are a big congregation, so that is less of an issue. However, the small group issue is a struggle for me.

Am I an asshole in that my first reaction is that my support and salvation shouldn't be hindered by her choice to leave?

Well, as a Christian you should ask yourself what would be best for your child here? If you leave, will they continue to attend? If you stay, will it cause problems? This is not something you can really figure out on your own, that's what your pastor is for. Go to him yourself, explain the situation, tell him that your wife wants to sit down with you and him and figure out how to move forward, and then the 3 of you meet together and get it done. Pastors have to deal with stuff like this all the time, just make sure his advice is based on Scripture. Don't hesitate to ask for the verse if you're not sure.

OTOH, there's always the chance that this could be a veiled attempt to get some last minute counseling that could lead to reconciliation. Maybe she's just wanting to see if you'll make the effort. And since you're not divorced yet I'm sure the pastor will ask - if not, you should ask him yourself if there's any chance of him being able to help reconcile the two of you (if that's what you want, of course). I don't want to hold out false hope so take my advice for whatever you think it's worth, but it's always a possibility, although a small one.

The rest of the advice you've already been given in the other comments is solid as well. Whatever you do, make sure you're continuing your anger therapy stuff until you've either reconciled or divorced, because the courts will look favorably on that.

[–]ride_the_thunder2801 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy

u/Red-Curious (founder of RPC) is also a divorce attorney. Over at MRP they have put several of his posts about divorce on the sidebar. Here's one that seems applicable: https://www.reddit.com/r/marriedredpill/comments/9j5cus/better_beta_divorce_strategy/

He advises, "If you want to save your marriage, maintaining frame and being attractive would be the goal. If you want to win at divorce, be the best beta suck-up you can be" because "[y]our goal in a divorce isn't to make your ex have the hots for you. It's to be on good terms with everyone involved so you're more likely to settle or win at trial."

So what you should do depends on the outcome you want. Letting your wife have the small group would be consistent with the goal of getting the best outcome in a divorce. If she's serious about divorce, that seems like the thing to do.

Another reason to let her have the small group is that you want your child to continue to be raised as a Christian. Your wife is probably still attending church and going to small group, even though she is a non-believer, because of the relationships she's made in your small group. The fact that she wants to stay involved in your church is great for your child. If she stops feeling connected to the church and stops going, your child's exposure to church is going to significantly decrease.

Also, putting your hands on a woman is one of most taboo things a man can do. You know your small group and its dynamics, but there's a decent chance that you're about to become something of a pariah once people (especially the other wives) learn what happened. If you're going to be forced out anyway, why not just go ahead and let her have it? That makes you look better to your wife, your small group, and to a judge.

There are some major downsides to leaving your small group. It's a more beta move (per the post above, it would seem to be bad for attraction but good in terms of achieving a better outcome in the divorce). Also, you're going to need support if you get divorced. Are there other good churches in your area? Do you have friends outside your small group? Are you close enough with the guys in your small group that they would continue hanging out with you even if you're not formally part of it? What about starting over in another small group? If the people in a different small group don't know your wife, they might be more welcoming to you despite what you've done.

No matter what happens, get serious about making changes. On your askmrp post, those guys told you to hit the gym and read the sidebar. It's good advice. If you make serious positive changes in your life - including physical changes that can't be faked - then you're in a better position whether you get divorced or reconcile (although that outcome is ultimately outside of your control). It's why MRP/RPC says that "the stay plan is the same as the go plan."

I will say a prayer for you and your family.

[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (4 children) | Copy

Objectively speaking studies suggest that children are MORE likely to attend church if their father is a believer and their mother is a non-attender than if both parents attend. However I forget if that was with separated or together parents.

I forget where I read that but I'm willing to dig it up if anyones interested.

[–]FatRPNewbie[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Looks like this one is it:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/fathers-key-to-their-childrens-faith.html

It doesn't specify, but reads as if the family is intact.

[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

Take from it what you will. If they are spending a lot of time around your ex remember this - even if you've done nothing wrong it doesn't mean she won't twist the narrative into you being the bad guy.

Ex-spousal sabotage is not uncommon and can really screw up the authority you have with your kids. Even worse is if you try to push the validity of your authority and your ex undermines it. Unfortunately when I was growing up if my mom gave a harsh correction (that was warranted) my dad would quickly undo it (by not enforcing it).

There was no unity between them after they divorced and as a result my brother got into heavy drugs and I was a latch-key kid for a long long time. (Think home alone from 3:30pm to 9:00pm every night after school since I was 5 y/o.)

There isn't really a point to this other than to watch for it because it might benefit you in custody hearings if she is spouting toxicity about you. I'd defer to u/red-curious if that's happening because he likely has better insight into the legalise than I. This is all just my take from the childs side.

[–]Red-Curious0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

The legal/psychological term is parental alienation. Also ...

even if you've done nothing wrong it doesn't mean she won't twist the narrative into you being the bad guy

No matter the situation, there's always some contribution to the problem, even if it's unknowing or unintentional. And an ex will always spin it against you in court.

[–]Praexology0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Your honor I rest my case. Lol

My parents tried to poison me against the other for a long time. Fortunately I saw through what was truth or lies mostly.



You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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