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askcounselor, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 102
Experience:  I am a licensed clinical mental health therapist.
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I was considering somebody for marriage who had different beliefs

Customer Question

I was considering somebody for marriage who had different beliefs than I. He was of the opinion that it'll work out and we don't need to worry about "small" differences. It won't be an issue. However, every time we would come to discuss that very issue and how we would resolve it and raise kids etc. we would fight because it was a touchy subject for both of us. I was the only one acknowledging the reality that this was a problem for us (it doesn't have to be a problem for many couples, but it seemed that way for us). He wasn't acknowledging it, rather just telling me it's my fault I am not open-minded and accepting of differences. However, in fights, he was never neutral about the subject and kept reiterating his points/ideas on me, and how he was not ok if I told kids xyz. We would also discuss our differences and he became interested in exploring this subject further. He asked me questions and I would either answer or obtain answers for him, which he liked.

After a while, it was not working due to the differences, so I told him that I cannot go on. He was devastated and after a few weeks came back to me and said he changed his belief and now he beliefs in what I believe. Before I said anything, he started reassuring me that I know what you might be thinking, that I "changed" because of you and that I'll go back to my previous belief, but that was not the case. He didn't change because of me and there was no going back. We then rekindled our relationship. I felt peaceful that the issues we were having before are resolved now.

Well, after almost a year, he came back to me out of the blue and told me he went back to his previous belief. Then he said he had gone back a few months ago but was just "preparing" himself that I would probably leave him finding out, and he was making his choice that whether he wanted to pick his belief or me, and even if it meant hurting me he would pick his belief. When he told me, he was harsh on me that I made him "tell" too soon and he was not prepared at that moment. And went back to telling me "we can make this work and whats the big deal in this difference."

I felt extremely violated on many levels. I felt he only thought about his own feelings and wanted to make sure he would be ok in any situation. I felt he didn't respect any of my personal boundaries.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  askcounselor replied 1 year ago.

askcounselor :

Hi, I believe that you are right in having the feelings that you do, and it seems as though you are looking for some validation of them. Does this sound right?

Customer:

Yes.

Customer:

i dont know if this chat is working

askcounselor :

May I ask if you have a question?

Customer:

I want somebody to talk to me about what i wrote

Customer:

i don't have a direct question

askcounselor :

It sounds as though those 'small' differences were really big ones...

Customer:

yes... people are killing each other over them across the world lol

Customer:

so calling them small is just immature behavior

askcounselor :

It also seems that he was 'small' minded...

Customer:

what do u mean by that?

askcounselor :

Yes, especially when it comes to how a woman views raising her own children in the belief and traditions that she was raised and is accustomed to.

Customer:

i mean i m open to reconsidering my beliefs and seeing if there could be a middle ground

Customer:

but i felt disrespected when he kept putting me down that this difference is small and i m not accepting of differences, close-minded

askcounselor :

What do you mean by "middle" ground? Does that mean accepting his belief instead of your own?

Customer:

like a compromise. I was willing to look into that, if it could be reached. But we were not getting anywhere with it. I seemed to acknowledge that it was because both of us felt strongly about our stance and it was too touchy-feely of an issue to let slide. He on the other hand kept putting me down that it's not working out because of me

Customer:

since i m making it a big deal

Customer:

i felt disrespected because of it

askcounselor :

Maybe his harshness in the way that he told you he was holding on to his own views really hurt more than the difference of opinion.

Customer:

ya i felt violated

Customer:

i don't think it's wrong if he re-considered

Customer:

what his beliefs are

Customer:

everyone has freedom of thought

Customer:

i just felt violated because of how he was reassuring me

askcounselor :

You have a right to feel violated, I mean, I think I would feel the same. It's what you do with it that matters.

Customer:

that he would not go back

Customer:

adn he didn't seem to ever acknowledge my hurt due to it

askcounselor :

In other words, don't let it get you down or stop you from finding true happiness!

askcounselor :

He may have not even been aware of the hurt he inflicted upon you, but you cannot let it continue to fester.

Customer:

yes he was....

Customer:

he told me

Customer:

that he was choosing between hurting me and his belief

Customer:

and preparing himself to lose me if it came to that for few months

askcounselor :

Then maybe he really didn't care...

askcounselor :

about your psychological health.

Customer:

ya it seemed to knew it well

Customer:

and then decided to go with that change

Customer:

even if it meant it hurt me

Customer:

i didn't like the way he thought of it

Customer:

the whole choosing belief over me

askcounselor :

Relationships involve emotional, physical, psychological and even spiritual elements.

Customer:

he could have been sensitive to my feelings and said perahps tht he knows he would hurt me but there is oemthing he has to tell me

Customer:

something of that nature

askcounselor :

Sure...

askcounselor :

I hope that you can 'let go' in order to free yourself from hurt!

Customer:

actually, this happened about 2.5 years ago

Customer:

i broke up with this guy over a year ago

Customer:

i m pretty happy in my current relationship

askcounselor :

That's o.k. but if you need to share about it, then do so!

Customer:

ya that's all i want to do

Customer:

because i took lots of crap and nonsense

Customer:

and no understanding towards me

Customer:

he was always into his own feelings and his own situation

Customer:

when i broke up with him

askcounselor :

You might even wish to keep what you wrote and look at it from time to time to re-release your emotions!

Customer:

it was a whole drama there too

Customer:

great!

Customer:

thanks for letting me share

Customer:

i m sure it'll be helpful

askcounselor :

And I am here again if need arises...Thanks, Kathleen

askcounselor :

Please take 1 moment to rate me so that I can know I've been helpful. Thank you.

Customer:

yes sue

askcounselor :

Thank you!

askcounselor :

Please rate my answer as good to excellent since it is also the way in which I am compensated for my time. Many thanks!

askcounselor, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 102
Experience: I am a licensed clinical mental health therapist.
askcounselor and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  askcounselor replied 1 year ago.
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