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Reform Magazine | June 25, 2019

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Commitment-Phobe: My husband feels alone

Commitment-Phobe: My husband feels alone

My husband tells me church isn’t working for him

What is it like to be married to a church obsessive when it isn’t really your thing? This month, my husband opened up to me.

I have doubts, struggles and regular periods of scepticism, and the privilege to write about them here – things I don’t always express to people at church. My husband doesn’t have this outlet. It seems the only people getting into chats about faith are super devout, or atheists wanting to disprove what you believe; everyone else just gets on with their lives. I find that being part of a regular small group keeps me grounded, because of the real challenge of rubbing along together in faith and expressing the love of God to other group members. I have encouraged my husband to join a group or try an Alpha course, and every time he has politely declined. He has always resisted anyone who pushes an idea on him. He is a pragmatist. He is into history, politics and theatre. He is used to seeing many sides to the truth. He was put off by a Christian group pursuing him at university, which in the end felt like harassment.

Very few people at church seem to know this about him. Or maybe it is not a problem for them, but it is increasingly a problem for him. The clergy adore him – they call him godly, kind, wise and generous. They see him as very much a part of the life of our church and would love him to join the PCC. He is clearly a supportive husband and loving father. He shows up, quietly helps out with hospitality and readings and never draws attention to himself.

But increasingly, he feels like a sham…

Commitment-Phobe is a Christian

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the June 2019 edition of Reform

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