Only Two Problems With My Marriage...Unfortunately, they're pretty big ones.
I don't believe in god and she doesn't believe in sex.
This time I'll talk a little more about the god part.
I grew up in a conservative Lutheran household (Dad was a pastor). Attended Lutheran grade school, high school and college and married a nice Christian girl from a similar background. I was heavily involved in the church for 30 years. I eventually started allowing myself to ask questions that I had suppressed most of my life in my sheltered religious cocoon and dug even deeper into sc
Now I am no longer pretending to believe, but I am going through the motions and attending church with my wife and kids every week. It is almost painful to sit through the illogical, contradictory, hypocritical, pious messages. What's more, most times after attending, my wife resents me more. She hears about how the husband should be the spiritual head of the household and it makes her sad, angry and resentful that I am not fulfilling my duties in this area. She sees other men teaching and setting good examples and is frustrated that I am not doing the same. Her faith appears to be very childlike. She is apparently insecure in her faith and does not allow herself to ask questions for fear that she won't like the answers. She refuses to talk about it at all because she feels like, by my questions, I am trying to lead her to join me in unbelief. This not only applies to religion, but politics, parenting and many other things. There's not much she will talk to me about because she feels like she can't trust me or open up to me since I "no longer share her morals and values." From my perspective, my morals haven't changed. At the risk of sounding arrogant, my morals and values are more consistent than most Christians I know.
I feel so alone! We live in a community that is extremely religious and conservative. I have no one to talk to. My wife won't talk to me about anything besides day-to-day activities with the kids. Speaking of kids, since they were born, our relationship has dropped off the bottom of her priority list.
I am doing my best to be supportive. I read bible stories to the kids and participate in family prayers (even though it eats me up inside to lie to my kids--don't know how much longer I can fake it as they get older and start to ask more questions). I am a very good provider financially. I devote all my free time to my family. I take care of myself physically.
I don't know how much longer I can continue like this. I'd be able to manage much easier if she wasn't rejecting me physically as well. Granted, our physical relationship was never good to begin with. We were good Christian young people so I didn't find out until after we were married that she had no interest in sex, but she at least used to make a slight effort occasionally for my sake. But now that we don't have a "spiritual connection" she doesn't feel like she can open herself up to me in that way. I still find her very attractive. Between her trust issues and self esteem issues, it is killing me. There's even more to it than that, she's got some legitimate physical issues. I crave intimacy, passion and physical contact.
We are still compatible in most ways and she is an excellent mother, but I have been struggling like this for at least 6 years. If not for our kids I imagine we probably would have ended it by now, but there's no easy answer. We've been married for 16 years and have built a life, house, home and family together.
She refuses to go to any kind of counseling because she says that no counseling can fix my unbelief, and as long as I'm an atheist, nothing else can fix our relationship. She thinks I should just try harder to "regain" my faith and that would fix everything. Believe me I have tried. If I could just "believe," I would. I have done more reading and studying than anyone I know, but the more I read (and attend church), the more certain I am about my lack of belief. I don't think there's something that I missed in the bible the first 5 times I read it or something a pastor can tell me that will make me see the light.
The thing is, she's not getting what she needs (a spiritual leader) from me out of this relationship either. I don't know if I can hang on for another 10-15 years until the kids are out of the house and I am no longer marketable to anyone.
I am lonely and dying inside but I don't see any way out.
Sorry for being so long-winded. I don't have many opportunities to vent.