How to deal with a spouse who 'hates' God

It can be difficult to see someone you love so much have feelings towards God that don’t match your own.

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  • There are different ways that a spouse may "hate" God. Perhaps they think it is naïve to believe in God. Perhaps a personal tragedy has provoked anger towards God. A difficult trial may have caused feelings of abandonment. Whatever the case, you and your spouse have vastly different beliefs.

  • Faith is something that is incredibly personal; it can be easy to see anger towards God as anger or indifference towards you. This is not the case. Though difficult, it is crucial that you handle the situation with patience, understanding, and commitment.

  • First,

  • know that it's doubtful that your spouse truly hates God. It may appear to be like that to you, but their feelings might not be that severe. Your partner may be upset with God, or just not believe in a Creator. While you don't agree with their belief, anger and doubt are not the same as hate. It is important to truly understand what they are feeling; projecting harsher emotions than are actually being felt only causes problems.

  • If your spouse is angry towards God because of a tragedy they've experienced, convincing them to stop being angry will do no good. Instead, acknowledge your loved one's pain. Acknowledge that you understand how they might feel this way. Let them know —and feel—how much you love them.

  • Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman said that anger towards God means "that they have a strong belief in God and that they have been disappointed." Their level of pain means that there must have once been a great love for God. Remembering this may be comforting in this difficult situation.

  • Disappointment hurts, and your spouse has been disappointed by a Divine Being that they trusted more than anyone. Give them time. Be understanding. Be an example of faith. Don't chastise or preach to them. They need a spouse to love them and sympathize with them, not a preacher to tell them they are wrong.

  • Secondly,

  • know that their belief is valid. You wouldn't want your spouse to change your beliefs, so offer the same courtesy. Have a mutual respect for each other.

  • Although your spouse may not be willing to discuss religion, this doesn't mean that you can't. Find comfort in God. Go to your religious leaders for inspired advice. Go to them to help yourself, not with the intent to find out how to change your spouse.

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  • This can be a difficult trial in your relationship, but it shouldn't ruin the love you have for each other. Remember why you fell in love. Remember what it was about this person that made you want to marry them. Focus on the things you do agree with, and decide together to accept each other's religious differences.

  • Finally,

  • trust in God. It is not your job to change your spouse's relationship with the Divine. That relationship is between them and God. Pray for your spouse, pray that their heart may be touched and softened. Pray for yourself; pray for help to focus on the good in your spouse, and don't forget the things that you both agree on.

  • And most of all, remember to be an example and leave the rest in God's very capable hands.

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Boanerges Lewis is a student at the University of Utah, a lover of reading, and in search of all that is entertaining and interesting in our world. His email is .

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