This will be a long post, but please read the whole thing if you wish to comment:
My Fiancee (Who I will refer to as J) and I have been together for 3.5 years and just recently got engaged. We actually broke up about 2 months ago and got back together 2 weeks later. It was a trying time for us, but a lot of stuff came out of it that ended up making our relationship stronger. It was especially hard on her, since she had been divorced once and has always had a deep fear of being alone. So when we broke up she was very torn up emotionally.
Right before we broke up, when we were drifting apart, she made friends with a christian guy (we will call him E). And when we broke up she started going to church with him, reading these nonsense christian books he gave her, and listening to christian music. I am an Atheist, have been since I was a young boy, even though I was brought up lutheran. She was raised strict catholic, but had a mostly emotional rejection to it when she was a teenager. Our whole relationship she always said that she believed in some higher power, but thought religion didn’t make sense. And I could respect that, but I would never consider marrying a christian (or any religious person).
When we got back together she said she was interested in exploring her spirituality, and thinking of learning about eastern philosophies, like Buddhism and such. I was not happy about it, but it didn’t bother me too much. I even went and bought some books on meditation so that we could do it together. But as soon as we got back together she started getting into the christian thing.
I want to say that I don’t think there is anything going on with her and E, that is not what this is about. It is about that he is super religious, and she is in a weak state right now, and she is being sucked into the empty promises of religion. And I am afraid that if this goes too far she will never come to her senses.
So E was actually her personal trainer, and then they became friends. She has gone to church with him several times, it is a little non-denominational one with like 50 people, I think it is the kind of crazy kind from what I can gather. She has been reading these books that tell her (from what I gather from reading the back covers) to look for god for comfort and answers in your life. And he has been getting her into christian music, and christian movies.
Other than this our relationship is really good, hence the recent engagement. Anytime I bring up this subject she gets really defensive. She doesn’t like to talk about it at all. WHen I ask her why she goes, she only says “because it makes me feel good”. I ask her if she really believes the stuff they are saying, and she says, not literally.And I have never even met E. She says she is anxious for me to meet him because she thinks I will be mean. I have never been mean to anyone she know who is religious (most of her family is), and on top of that I am not a mean person at all, but I am very critical of religion. I have told her that I am very uncomfortable with her going to church at all, especially with some other guy who I have never met.
So I have been trying to take it slow and easy. I suggested a couple weeks ago that I wanted to meet him and go with her to this church, just to see what it was all about since it was so important to her. She got really defensive and said she didn’t want me there becuase she would not feel “open to the experience” with me there, because I am an Atheist. That made me feel even more suspicious about this place. Once I convinced her to let me go she said that I should meet E before I go to his church, but now she seems to be delaying having us meet, and still not wanting me to go to this church with her. I know it is because I have always been the voice of reason in the relationship, and I think she will feel embarrassed or uncomfortable with me being there, because I think even she knows deep down that most of it is BS.
So I was wondering if anybody else has gone though something similar, how they dealt with it, what advice they might have. Right now I am sticking to my “kill them with kindness” approach. But I have also considered telling her that no children of mine will ever go to church, which is true, and since we want to have kids, would be kind of an ultimatum. I have even considered going to E and telling him I will get him fired for his relationship with her (which he would be if his work found out)if he doesn’t break off the friendship.
NOTE: THIS IS NOT A DEBATE ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF CHRISTIANITY, ANY POST TO THAT MATTER WILL BE IGNORED COMPLETELY.