Mom Of Twins + 6 - posted on 08/11/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )
I am new to this board and this forum, so I hope that my post is appropriate for a newbie. Please pardon my long story, but I am need of guidance. Please feel free to be completely honest with me.
I am struggling. My husband and I are raising a large, complicated blended family. I love my husband and I love ALL my children (his, mine and ours) unconditionally. We have been together for 5 years, married for 4.
I am Jewish. I was raised in a Conservative congregation as a young child and then shifted to a Reconstructionist congregation as a young teen. I keep a kosher home and have always been observant; considering my Jewish identity to be a central part of who I am.
When I met my husband 5 years ago he was a single dad raising his young kids alone without help from family or ex-wife. I had been divorced a few years and also raising a fairly large brood alone without support. We hit it off immediately. My (now) husband came from a fairly religious Christian family and had been very religious as a young man, but when we met he considered himself Agnostic and was fairly negative about religion of any kind. After many discussions, we decided that we would raise all the kids together as Jewish since he no longer practiced or believed in Christianity. We felt this would help to unify our family. We had a Jewish wedding, all the kids attending Religious School, and then he decided he would convert to Judaism to further unify the family.
He completed the year long conversion class through our Conservative Temple and he, along with "his" (but really our) children converted. That was over 2 years ago. Last year, while I was struggling with a very difficult and precarious pregnancy with twins, he had a "reawakening" of his Christian faith. I will skip the long version, but the short side of it is I was very hurt, sad, and confused as I stumbled upon the information as he didn't tell me initially until confronted.
I don't feel as though I truly know him anymore. We have not yet told our children and I have no idea how on earth to do so without creating turmoil and uncertainty within them. I don't want them to think that religion or beliefs are something that just flip flops in a person. I also don't want to create this choice/conflict in the children between mom and dad.
I haven't said this to my husband: but I feel cheated and like I am grieving the lose of "our" Jewish Family. Is that selfish of me? Intolerant? I know that inter-faith families make it work all the time, but I feel this is really different since we didn't enter into a marriage under that understanding. It feels "unfair" to me and I am having a very hard time coming to grips with it.
I also don't understand it. It makes me feel very insecure with my marriage as I don't feel I know him as fully as I thought I did, and that I don't trust who he might become. He is immersing himself in Christian readings and visiting/reconnecting with his religious friends that he lost touch with during his agnostics time. I feel jealous and insecure because he doesn't talk with me about his feelings of faith. I am not typically jealous and insecure and I know it is damaging our relationship. Sometimes I feel like divorce is the solution, but then I tell myself that I am being petty and selfish and need to allow him to express his own faith.
If I had known when we met that he had these strong Christian beliefs, I am fairly certain we wouldn't have dated very long.
I went briefly to see a counselor, but all she kept focusing on was my lack of sleep (I have twin babies...that's a given) and trying to get me to focus on improving my daily functioning.
I am so sorry this is such a long post. I am just really struggling with how to get past my feelings and fears....can I even?...whether I am being unreasonable....and what can I do? When I try to talk with him about my fears he accuses me of being intolerant. I feel deeply saddened and it has been a year already.
Thank you for reading this lengthy post and letting me express my feelings openly.