Q: My husband refuses to go to any religious services with me, especially during the holidays. After so many years of marriage, I didn't realize how much it would bother me. It makes me feel lonely, especially around this time of year. My religion is important to me and I worry how his lack of participation in religion will affect our children.
A: I do always tell people that marriages need to be fair, mutual at core levels, so the 50/50 is not an ideal but something couples must work on together.
One way you could handle the situation with your husband would be to make a compromise: He agrees to go to services with you around the holidays, and you agree to take part in an activity that’s important to him. You could also try creating a holiday ritual/tradition at home that holds meaning for all of you.
Religion can be a highly personal and emotions can run high around the holidays, mostly because we associate so much of this time of year with our own childhoods. You probably want to pass on the values of your religion to your children, and want your husband’s support in this.
In the end, we all have to respect each other’s individual values, even if it means respecting his decision to not join you for church at Christmas. Maybe try focusing on your support system outside of your marriage--meaning healthy and caring family members and friends to share this time of year with. Those relationships are very important and can offer you the support and companionship you have a right to and need—just like we all need.
- Answer from Rafael M.T. Therapist, a licensed Psychotherapist on JustAnswer
Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided from a Expert on JustAnswer.