My wife has recently found God. She has started going to church every Sunday and favours spending time with her co-believers rather than the friends we have made together. I feel very isolated as I don’t share her faith and I feel that her new interest is creating a wedge between us.
You are right. The two of you are growing apart. Your wife has emotionally abandoned you and your friends. She feels more connected to people who share her new values.
For a few people, finding God is just an interest like sewing or playing netball. The church provides a social network and something to do on Sundays. But most churchgoers are searching for more than just social interaction. They want meaning and fulfilment in their life.
In fact, most people are searching for this. And they look for it in all sorts of places. They try increasing their material possessions, throwing themselves into their work, being self-sacrificing, helping others or becoming famous. Most people die before they realise that fulfilment is not found in any of these places. It’s a feeling we find within.
A feeling of true fulfilment is a sense of completeness, an expansive feeling of connection with everything, often described as bliss or ecstasy. Once experienced, no one will be diverted from finding it again.
There is a path one has to take to find meaning and fulfilment. Some people, like your wife, look for it from their church or religion. Churches claim that they have the answer but many churches are weighed down with dogma or limiting beliefs that can get in the way. Church doesn’t seem to work for most people these days but it appears to be working for your wife. She may not remain with this church, she may move on. But if she does, she’s not going to return to where she has come from. She’s changed and she will continue to change. You need to accept that she is never going to be the person she was when you married.
Now she is on her path to fulfilment, you will find it very difficult to compete. So don’t bother. Rather than beg for attention from your wife, begin your own search for meaning and fulfilment in your life. Feeling isolated and abandoned is the perfect place to begin on this path. These feelings will propel you.
Allow yourself to fully feel all the emotions connected with your wife’s abandonment—the sadness, loneliness and anger. Once you have released all of these emotions, forgive her. Now look at yourself. What other grief do you harbour? Express it safely and let it go. What disappointments do you have in yourself? Feel these and absolve yourself.
Once you have accepted your wife as she is now, share your feelings with her. You might be surprised to find you grow closer.
If this approach doesn’t sound right for you, then accept that the wedge between will grow greater. As you look for new interests to fill your time, you will soon find someone else who is more compatible.