Case of the Week
I work from Monday to Friday from 5:00 AM until 6:00 or 8:00 PM. My wife is an independent salesperson who leaves the house to charge her accounts two nights a week.... But she also goes to church two days a week, and that bothers me and makes me angry because it leaves very little time for us to spend together.
Every morning, when I go to work, she gets my lunch ready and starts reading her Bible. That bothers me, because she could instead be talking with about some subject during that time. So I always leave the house feeling angry, and start having many bad thoughts about God....
I don’t know how to control those thoughts. I am filled with anger that my wife would dedicate that much time to go to church and to read the Bible, but not to me. I know these thoughts are bad, but I can’t control them, and I’m having an internal battle in my mind. Am I crazy, or what is wrong with me? I feel like all of this is paving my way to hell. I think about God and insult Him, and then ask Him to forgive me. I want to change my way of thinking. Please, I’m on the verge of insanity!
We are glad you are asking for our advice regarding your anger and your negative thoughts. Obviously your thoughts and your wife’s devotion to God are causing stress on your marriage. We congratulate you for wanting the two of you to communicate more as a couple and for wanting to spend quality time with your wife. Many women would love to have husbands who want to communicate with them.
The problem you describe is in some ways similar to women who complain that their husbands spend all their time watching television or doing hobbies, not leaving enough time to spend with them. But your problem is different because you have come to blame God for the problem instead of just blaming your wife.
You might have guessed that we think going to church and reading the Bible are good things. However, we also believe that strong marriages and good communication are good things. In other words, we believe that you can have both.
Just as in the case of men who watch too much television, compromise is needed. Why not tell your wife that if she will read the Bible while you are at work, you will accompany her to church once a week? Possibly you can go out to eat in a restaurant afterward, or go for a long walk together. If you don’t like your wife’s church, agree to go to her church one week, and have her accompany you to a different church the next week.
Those who have a close personal relationship with God understand that it is a friendship. The important thing is not what time I see my friend or even where I meet my friend, but rather that my friend and I communicate regularly and see each other often. As you and your wife work out the details, be assured that God loves you in spite of your negative thoughts and that He wants to help strengthen your marriage, not tear it apart.
We wish you well,