Anonymous asked: My husband and I have been married for 2 years. I am saved and he is not. He feels that being a believer was pushed on him from youth and is resentful about it. I have extreme social anxiety and have a hard time meeting people. I don’t have a church or nearby family… When an argument arises, my husband voices his hurt with an “if you don’t like something in our marriage, divorce me” mentality. Despite my efforts, he feels attacked and shuts down, refusing to listen. Please advise.
Unka Glen answered: I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, and I’m sorry for your struggles with it. Let’s face it, this isn’t something you can put up with forever. Having good quality fellowship is essential to your walk, and it’s important just for basic mental health.
The best way to get over an anxiety of meeting people is to start meeting people, and to keep meeting people until you don’t have any more anxiety. That is, giving in to anxiety FEEDS anxiety and makes it stronger. And since you need to make personal connections to strengthen your walk anyway, it’s time to find some fellowship.
Your husband’s position in this situation needs to be understood as well. On one hand, it’s unreasonable to say “if you don’t like something, divorce me”, because everyone in a marriage relationship knows they’re meant to improve and learn and grow and change for the better.
But on the other hand, if you knew he was unsaved when you married him, and that he had religion pushed on him as a kid, and you’re, well, maybe not pushing this on him, but urgently insisting that he go with you to church because you have anxiety about going alone, then you can kind of see his point.
The famous baseball coach Tommy Lasorda used to gather his players at the beginning of every season and tell them the same thing: “if we fight among ourselves, then it’s like a tug-of-war, we’ll pull against each other and get nowhere. But if we all pull together, it doesn’t matter who picks up the other end of that rope, we’re gonna win.”
What we have here is a need for everyone to get on the same end of the rope. Let’s try to figure out what we can all agree on. Having a spiritual life is a good thing, having it forced on you or suddenly required of you is not a good thing. He should pursue a spiritual journey that fits him, and you should make your spiritual needs your priority, not his. And so on.
If we pull together, we might just find ourselves on the same page and heading in the same direction. Hopefully his attitude will change dramatically once you adopt a more cooperative attitude. So often people are pulling on their end of the rope simply because someone else is pulling on the other end.