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Author Topic: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution  (Read 5841 times)

oldbefana

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Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« on: October 15, 2011, 10:09:05 pm »
Please advise and share your experiences with becoming pagan and a non pagan spouse who belittles, argues and refuses to engage in rational discussion about what paganism even is and persists in engaging in dismissive belittling of ideas .  Should I just be silent and continue observing and learning in silence?  While he was discussing his friend's divorce he stated well my wife reads tarot cards, what are you going to do?  Sadly, their divorce is over the wife's concealment of thousands of dollars worth of aid to her adult daughter.  I am beyond shocked that my husband would even care what I did as he is a non observant Jewish person barely even culturally Jewish. I suspect it is a control issue as well.  It is very sad and hurtful that someone lying and stealing from their spouse was even equated with reading tarot as a gee we all have to put up with some trouble in life type of statement.  Thanks for listening.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 12:58:32 am by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 01:06:42 am »
Quote from: oldbefana;25597

oldbefana,

I changed your font back to the normal style.  I know the one you chose wasn't that far off, but I found it difficult to read and we prefer that fonts not be messed with because of difficulties some of our members (including me) have.  I believe this is covered in our guidelines, but if not please consider this a nudge without prejudice.

As to your question, I am a Pagan who has been married to a Mennonite for 17 years.  I always figure that if he can accept and endorse my religious choices then I don't understand how people from less strict cultures can have a problem.  Then again, my father was a Christian married to a Pagan as well and I developed my expectations of 'proper behaviour' from him.  

Did this attitude only show up after you converted, or were you pagan when you married him?  It may be that he feels betrayed that you changed something fundamental about yourself after your relationship was established.  I don't understand why it matters to him if he is not very religious to begin with, and I don't think the comparison between tarot reading and financial malfeasance is even slightly reasonable, but perhaps he was just searching for something to say in the discussion and that was all he could come up with?

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« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 01:08:10 am by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Asch

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2011, 03:30:15 am »
Quote from: oldbefana;25597
Please advise and share your experiences with becoming pagan and a non pagan spouse who belittles, argues and refuses to engage in rational discussion about what paganism even is and persists in engaging in dismissive belittling of ideas .  Should I just be silent and continue observing and learning in silence?  While he was discussing his friend's divorce he stated well my wife reads tarot cards, what are you going to do?  Sadly, their divorce is over the wife's concealment of thousands of dollars worth of aid to her adult daughter.  I am beyond shocked that my husband would even care what I did as he is a non observant Jewish person barely even culturally Jewish. I suspect it is a control issue as well.  It is very sad and hurtful that someone lying and stealing from their spouse was even equated with reading tarot as a gee we all have to put up with some trouble in life type of statement.  Thanks for listening.

 
Honestly this sounds more like a communication issue than a strictly pagan/non-pagan issue.

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 10:13:46 am »
Quote from: oldbefana;25597
Please advise and share your experiences with becoming pagan and a non pagan spouse who belittles, argues and refuses to engage in rational discussion about what paganism even is and persists in engaging in dismissive belittling of ideas .


Well, belittling going on is generally not a great thing in a relationship - no matter what the topic is. So, being silent is probably not the best long-term solution. (Taking your time to figure out what you want to do about it, though, might be sensible.)

One thing to think about carefully is - as others have said - was this a one-time thing (everyone says something stupid sometimes), or is there a pattern of responses or comments along these lines? Because how you'd want to handle those two things is probably a bit different.

Quote
I am beyond shocked that my husband would even care what I did as he is a non observant Jewish person barely even culturally Jewish. I suspect it is a control issue as well.  It is very sad and hurtful that someone lying and stealing from their spouse was even equated with reading tarot as a gee we all have to put up with some trouble in life type of statement.  Thanks for listening.

 
Here's the thing though: just because someone is non-religious themselves doesn't mean that they don't have opinions about religion - or divination, or magical practice. And sometimes, people who aren't religious themselves have some very strong opinions. (In fact, I tend to get along better with people who are significantly religious - even if their practices or beliefs are nothing like mine - than people who are not religious at all, in some ways, as long as they're open to other beliefs/practices being valid - because we have a shared sense of the numinous.)

Where I'd start in this case is something like sitting down (at a time both people were relaxed and in a decent mood) and saying "Hey: when you said X when we were talking about Y's divorce, I felt really surprised and hurt. Can we talk about what you think about my practice of [whatever] in more detail?"

And then figure out if he's got concerns, if he just dislikes anything in whatever category, etc. And how you feel about that. Some people are okay keeping quiet about what they're doing with a spouse who doesn't agree. Other people work out a "Well, you think X is silly, I think your hobby Y is silly, we'll support each other because that's what you care about, just don't ask me to talk about it a lot." (which means usually agreeing on some parameters about time/money type stuff, and not dissing the other topic in public).

And some people get to that point and decide it's a relationship-breaking issue for them. There's all sorts of other options - but really, you probably need some more  information and conversation with *him* to figure that out.
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oldbefana

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2011, 09:07:35 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;25618


Did this attitude only show up after you converted, or were you pagan when you married him?  It may be that he feels betrayed that you changed something fundamental about yourself after your relationship was established.  I don't understand why it matters to him if he is not very religious to begin with, and I don't think the comparison between tarot reading and financial malfeasance is even slightly reasonable, but perhaps he was just searching for something to say in the discussion and that was all he could come up with?

Absent

 
You are onto something here.  I was not pagan when we married and was catholic.  However, he admits he was trying to say something to his friend to show that no marriage is perfect.  It seems that at some level I know it is a pretext for other issues.  I deeply appreciate your thoughtful response and must say that yes I have changed.  I am not a doormat, I did not seek approval, I did not discuss, nothing.  There are other issues and this one seems easy for him to focus on.  Funny thing we are both attorneys and have always defended civil rights and freedom of speech along with the establishment clause.  When gay marriage came to Iowa we were delighted that it seemed as if civil rights for all persons had finally become a reality.  I have tried to share some reading material with him that explains the what and why of my path.  I certainly do not ever expect him to celebrate with myself and our daughter but am thrown off by his previous outward behaviour on these issues.  Thank you for listening.
“The idea that any one of our religions represents the infallible word of the One True God requires an encyclopedic ignorance of history, mythology, and art even to be entertained.” Sam Harris

oldbefana

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 09:09:51 pm »
Quote from: Asch;25629
Honestly this sounds more like a communication issue than a strictly pagan/non-pagan issue.

 
You are correct in that his manner of speech tends to be dismissive in general.  It is easier for me to hone in on the issue of religious difference as the other is global and much harder to deal with.
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oldbefana

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 09:27:44 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;25656


And then figure out if he's got concerns, if he just dislikes anything in whatever category, etc. And how you feel about that. Some people are okay keeping quiet about what they're doing with a spouse who doesn't agree. Other people work out a "Well, you think X is silly, I think your hobby Y is silly, we'll support each other because that's what you care about, just don't ask me to talk about it a lot." (which means usually agreeing on some parameters about time/money type stuff, and not dissing the other topic in public).

And some people get to that point and decide it's a relationship-breaking issue for them. There's all sorts of other options - but really, you probably need some more  information and conversation with *him* to figure that out.

 
We will see.  At this point it might be that his unwillingness to discuss anything whatsoever regarding this is a deal breaker.  I have been through worse and frankly, I have been very open, honest and fair about my moving away from catholicism .  I think he never put two and two together when I left Penczack and Bonewits books out on the kitchen table where I was reading and taking notes for weeks.  I actually think it is not a religious issue but more of a "people in our socioeconomic group do not do that," type of thing. This attitude is utter bs of course but he does run with people who can afford to play golf all over the world and do. I have always marched to a different drummer than he and I am ok with that. I have not criticized nor cajoled him to give up travel even though I am not able to do so due to the fact that I am educating our daughter.  That is a full time commitment albeit one I embrace and enjoy as a lifelong learner myself.  She is a highly able learner and likely will surpass both of us in terms of formal education.  But this religious difference seems to be something that he cannot control, dictate or brag to his friends about. And that I am sad to admit is likely the problem. There is abundant evidence for that.  He sings my praises endlessly regarding my educational devotion to our gifted child as that makes him a better fit for the high muckety mucks he socializes with.  I , on the other hand am a solitary person with few friends but those I have have been there forever and will continue to do so regardless of religious orientation.  Heck, two of them are Buddhist and the other a conservative Jew. Lots to consider and I thank you sincerely for your input.
“The idea that any one of our religions represents the infallible word of the One True God requires an encyclopedic ignorance of history, mythology, and art even to be entertained.” Sam Harris

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 09:41:34 pm »
Quote from: oldbefana;25843
We will see.  At this point it might be that his unwillingness to discuss anything whatsoever regarding this is a deal breaker.  I have been through worse and frankly, I have been very open, honest and fair about my moving away from catholicism .  I think he never put two and two together when I left Penczack and Bonewits books out on the kitchen table where I was reading and taking notes for weeks.  I actually think it is not a religious issue but more of a "people in our socioeconomic group do not do that," type of thing. This attitude is utter bs of course but he does run with people who can afford to play golf all over the world and do. I have always marched to a different drummer than he and I am ok with that. I have not criticized nor cajoled him to give up travel even though I am not able to do so due to the fact that I am educating our daughter.  That is a full time commitment albeit one I embrace and enjoy as a lifelong learner myself.  She is a highly able learner and likely will surpass both of us in terms of formal education.  But this religious difference seems to be something that he cannot control, dictate or brag to his friends about. And that I am sad to admit is likely the problem. There is abundant evidence for that.  He sings my praises endlessly regarding my educational devotion to our gifted child as that makes him a better fit for the high muckety mucks he socializes with.  I , on the other hand am a solitary person with few friends but those I have have been there forever and will continue to do so regardless of religious orientation.  Heck, two of them are Buddhist and the other a conservative Jew. Lots to consider and I thank you sincerely for your input.

 
You sound unhappy. Like a bird in a cage. You're probably better off raising your daughter on your own. (Sounds like that's what you're doing anyway. You might as well live your own life in the meantime.)

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 06:03:07 pm »
Quote from: oldbefana;25843
We will see.  At this point it might be that his unwillingness to discuss anything whatsoever regarding this is a deal breaker.  I have been through worse and frankly, I have been very open, honest and fair about my moving away from catholicism .  I think he never put two and two together when I left Penczack and Bonewits books out on the kitchen table where I was reading and taking notes for weeks.  I actually think it is not a religious issue but more of a "people in our socioeconomic group do not do that," type of thing. This attitude is utter bs of course but he does run with people who can afford to play golf all over the world and do. I have always marched to a different drummer than he and I am ok with that. I have not criticized nor cajoled him to give up travel even though I am not able to do so due to the fact that I am educating our daughter.  That is a full time commitment albeit one I embrace and enjoy as a lifelong learner myself.  She is a highly able learner and likely will surpass both of us in terms of formal education.  But this religious difference seems to be something that he cannot control, dictate or brag to his friends about. And that I am sad to admit is likely the problem. There is abundant evidence for that.  He sings my praises endlessly regarding my educational devotion to our gifted child as that makes him a better fit for the high muckety mucks he socializes with.  I , on the other hand am a solitary person with few friends but those I have have been there forever and will continue to do so regardless of religious orientation.  Heck, two of them are Buddhist and the other a conservative Jew. Lots to consider and I thank you sincerely for your input.

 
My husband works with a pretty big company and I'm delving into paganism and religious witchcraft. Pagans are in all sorts of walks of life and incomes. From the sound of it, and correct me if I'm wrong, but your husband sounds like his ego is blinding him from this fact. I don't think it's wrong to request the details of your religious views be hidden from certain people's view. My husband doesn't want his co-workers and friends knowing, because it's frankly none of their business anyways. You wish he'd brag about something other than your motherly skills? How do you think his "mucky" friends would react to knowing of your faith? Do you think this could harm your husband friendly business connections?

Some "friendships" are just about business networking, and we keep up a certain act to maintain them.

I second the don't say silent part. It's a marriage, and communication is a huge part of any successful relationship. I've only been wed for 2 years, but communication issues were the number one reason for the majority of our fights in the dating phase. I communicated as a woman differently than he communicated as a man. There's an old book called "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" and while the material is mostly fluff (imo), the concepts have a lot of truth in them.

When I first started dating my husband he made it clear he thought the possibilities of god/gods was silly. He still does. However, he doesn't pester me about it. When I first told him I was interested in all of this instead of bringing up what he doesn't like about it, he brought up points of religious witchcraft he agreed with. Such things as energy, and psychic phenomena. So there came about a mutual respect for our different beliefs.

If he belittled me about it all the time, I don't think we'd be anywhere good. I think some signs of this kind of behavior would have presented itself well before we married,though. One of the things we discussed before we considered marriage was the plain and simple fact that I'm quite younger than him and I was going to go through many waves of change. We both had to be prepared for that.

Does perhaps some of your upset feelings from this stem about from not being able to connect with many people on a spiritual level? Not all of your needs can be met by your husband.

This advice is coming from a 21 year old(My husband is,uh, a bit older), mind you. So I can only relate so much to your situation and i hope you don't mind this coming from someone so young. I also write too much. :p

oldbefana

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 10:11:29 pm »
Quote from: Malkin;25848
You sound unhappy. Like a bird in a cage. You're probably better off raising your daughter on your own. (Sounds like that's what you're doing anyway. You might as well live your own life in the meantime.)

 
I thank you for being blunt.  You are correct in every respect.  I am not angry just sad and disappointed that he has diminished our friendship by being so firm in refusing to even hear what I have to say.
“The idea that any one of our religions represents the infallible word of the One True God requires an encyclopedic ignorance of history, mythology, and art even to be entertained.” Sam Harris

oldbefana

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 10:17:35 pm »
Quote from: Miss;26006

Does perhaps some of your upset feelings from this stem about from not being able to connect with many people on a spiritual level? Not all of your needs can be met by your husband.


 
No I really do have great resources at the local pagan/witchcraft supply shop and my husband's paralegal is pagan and very gracious.  I just hoped he would at least not be ashamed and dismissive.  It seems odd to say but I think he is so ignorant that he is actually frightened of me as if I would intentionally harm him.  Naturally had he been willing to have a discussion I could have shared my belief in the ethics of the rede "An it harm none , do as ye will."  But we seem at an impasse .  He is two decades my senior and stubborn as a bull.  Yes, Taurus.   Thank you for your thoughtful reply .
“The idea that any one of our religions represents the infallible word of the One True God requires an encyclopedic ignorance of history, mythology, and art even to be entertained.” Sam Harris

yewberry

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 06:37:21 pm »
Quote from: oldbefana;26072
No I really do have great resources at the local pagan/witchcraft supply shop and my husband's paralegal is pagan and very gracious.  I just hoped he would at least not be ashamed and dismissive.  It seems odd to say but I think he is so ignorant that he is actually frightened of me as if I would intentionally harm him.  Naturally had he been willing to have a discussion I could have shared my belief in the ethics of the rede "An it harm none , do as ye will."  But we seem at an impasse .  He is two decades my senior and stubborn as a bull.  Yes, Taurus.   Thank you for your thoughtful reply .


Sounds like (assuming you hope to salvage the relationship) you need some outside help.  Outside help that's not an Internet message board.

Have you looked into counseling?

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2011, 12:27:34 am »
Quote from: oldbefana;26070
I thank you for being blunt.  You are correct in every respect.  I am not angry just sad and disappointed that he has diminished our friendship by being so firm in refusing to even hear what I have to say.

 
It sounds to me like you might have answered your own question.

I'm married to an atheist...well, I don't quite think he knows what he is, I've tried to pick up ques & suggest paths to him, but he's uninterested in following up on anything, so I just let him be :rolleye::
He has however never belittled my religion, or anything else for that matter. No matter what I believe or how I live my life, I would never show him any disrespect & would never expect him to show me any either.
Pagan/Christian/Catholic/Atheist/Agnostic/Mormon, it doesn't really matter WHAT you choose to believe, you are still a human, his wife & the mother of his child. You deserve respect, love & equality. It sounds like he is showing you very little of all of the above. I wouldn't keep silent, I would want to know WHY he has a problem & then help him work threw it. If he doesn't want to change his belittling ways, he would be finding himself someone else to look down on. :whis:

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2014, 06:49:13 pm »
Quote from: oldbefana;26070
I thank you for being blunt.  You are correct in every respect.  I am not angry just sad and disappointed that he has diminished our friendship by being so firm in refusing to even hear what I have to say.

 
My dear,

I may not be the best person to advise you on how to deal with this trouble, but, I would like to add my 2 cents on this conversation, if you don't mind.

As a human being, your situation is not easy to solve, but isn't impossible either. As a woman, I say what I have learned about men: they are childish, whimsical and cruel at times, and, when it happens to be the case, all we can do is to wait. In some given day he is going to wake up in a great mood and will stop acting as a spoiled child and listen to every word you have to say about your choice.
In the meantime, keep on learning, practicing, and giving your daughter full attention. Also, connect with other pagans in your area, exchange ideas, see if you can find someone reliable to teach you your craft, explain to you in full detail whatever doubt you may have. Make friends.
You are right, you are not a doormat, you are a fully grown woman and must be respected in every possible way. If he cannot show such respect, show yourself how wonderful you are, empower yourself, be happy, sing, dance, clap, smile, because you deserve it!
When he notices how happy you are, and how far you have blossomed, he'll have no doubt on how incredibly right was your choice and will ask you to educate him in detail about it.

Catherine

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Re: Pagan married to non pagan and conflict resolution
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2014, 10:25:20 am »
Quote from: ccardinot;145577

As a woman, I say what I have learned about men: they are childish, whimsical and cruel at times, and, when it happens to be the case, all we can do is to wait.

 
Wow. You're painting with a pretty broad brush, here. Perhaps you meant to say, the men in your life? Or, the men you know personally? Unless, of course, you've actually met every person on this planet who identifies as a man and you've found them all to be all of these things...

In other words, bullshit.

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