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The Christian Way

Dear Sugar
I have been with my boyfriend for two years and have always thought we would get married. We are religious Christians and have planned to live a Christian life. He graduated college and started working for a large law firm this September and we have since grown distant.

His company demands extensive hours, sometimes up to 70 hours a week, and he has training for exams almost every weekend. In addition to not getting to spend time with my boyfriend as much anymore, his co-workers promote an unchristian lifestyle by going out after work partying and drinking.

He says going out helps him release the stress but I am having a hard time accepting his new way of life. I have expressed my feelings to him three times since November, but nothing seems to help and he refused to change. Do you have any advice for me? Homebody Helen

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Homebody Helen
Growing distant from your partner can be heartbreaking and extremely confusing, but you can't stop people from evolving into themselves. When you bring up your concerns, is your boyfriend understanding? Have you come to the table with any suggestions to help with his time management?

It sounds like you are struggling with the fundamental problem of your boyfriend straying from his Christian ways. Have you considered that he could he be giving into peer pressure in order to fit in at work and that this phase might pass? Do you still believe you can build a future with him even though he is deviating from your beliefs?

Try taking a step back and find out if your boyfriend is willing to work on making time for both his job and his personal life. If you are still feeling left out in the cold, perhaps this relationship has changed too much for you to mend. Hang in there and good luck.

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Join The Conversation
Tempest84 Tempest84 9 years
Wow, I signed up just so I could respond to this thread. Everyone seemed to ignore what Valeri said, and I think she was right on. Why is everyone trying to tell her that her belief system is wrong? That's not the issue, and I think its extremely judgmental to act like you know better than she does. Her values are important and valid to her, and it doesn't matter if you agree with them or not. She is simply saying that her boyfriend has started changing his behavior and it makes her uncomfortable, and asking for advice. I think you need to seriously think about how important it is to you that you share the same values. If you can deal with the differences, then great. However, it sounds like it is important to you. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
starvingidol starvingidol 9 years
Homebody Helen, Seriously? I encourage my husband to go out. It does him good to hang out with his friends, drink a little and watch a game. I trust my husband totally. It sounds to me, that all of this is more of trust and possibly codependecy issues you're dealing with. If your form of Christianity dictates that all alcohol is bad, and it's something you truly believe, then you need to move on. It hurts, but you shouldn't expect him to conform any of his values to you. (Side note, I'm not Christian I'm Jewish. There are a few holidays that the Jews are mandated to drink and 1 that you MUST get drunk on. I'm pretty sure those parts are in the Christian Bible too.) Don't blame his company for 'encouraging an UnChristian lifestyle'. His values are changing. You either need to reconsider your values or reconsider your future husband. Also, I can kill you with my brain.
E-Dubs E-Dubs 9 years
My boyfriend and I are both in professions that are often helped by socializing and networking in and out of the office. I never really understood why he felt the need to go out with co-workers and other attorneys so often until I started doing so within my own group. When I do go out I definitely don't get drunk or do anything wild because 1) I wouldn't want to hurt my boyfriend and 2) I'm with the people I want to impress and over doing things at a bar after work could ruin my chances of furthering my career. I think you should have an honest discussion with him about his nights out and why he feels they are important. I doubt he's getting trashed if he's out with people from his firm. He's also probably building important contacts who could help him in the future. I don't know what type of firm he works for but I doubt they're going to the type of bars that home wreckers hang out.
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 9 years
i think its ok to have fun and drink.. as long as its not extreme.. drinking i mean.. partying can be as extreme as u want ;)
fashion_doll24 fashion_doll24 9 years
These comments can't possibly be representing the 'average' Christian, can they?
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
Since when don't Christians drink!?!?
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
why are you people trying to tell her that she isn't entitled to her feelings? she posted that her man is living an "unchristian lifestyle" and she is uncomfortable with it. that's the issue, not her belief system. okay helen, it looks as if you and bf are at a crossroads. if socializing in this manner is part of his job description perhaps it's time he look for a new job. if he is happy with the "new him" you have a bigger issue. if you are active in your church there should be a minister that can speak with him (and you). i would be very upset if my dh started going out with the boys to bars. let's face it, they don't go there for piano lessons. trust your gut.
Surabhi Surabhi 9 years
I just have to jump in here...a little late, & really mention how much the book ~ Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin ~ really, really turned things around in my marriage! It's totally Christian & Bible based, and just a beautiful beautiful, fully practicle, Christian book about marriage & you'll be readily able to start to apply the information within the first chapter. Women have a lot, & I mean A LOT of power in these situations. We usually use it TOTALLY wrong though, because the society we live in teaches us soooo backwards in so many ways! We were having such a hard time, but now my husband is sooooo thankful that he has me in his life, now he really does just adore me (because I now know exactly what to do to help him through...to my satisfaction as well.....whatever it is he is going through). And I know this all sounds to good to be true...we do have our rare moments of having a hard time understanding each other, but really we totally agree on everything steadily (& sincerely) for a couple of years now. I completely understand him now, & that is no easy feat when it involves a man, when you don't have the correct info to work with! It really has been amazing for me to have come accross such an awesome book & such awesome training it provides, which our modern society just does not know about! And something I was able to put into practice & then watch everything turn around so beautifully & deeply to both of our satisfaction. The author really really brings out what the Bible tells us about making a marriage work....no matter what! If you can put her Bible based teaching into practice, not only will you be deeply satisfied, but so will your husband! Anyway, PLEASE! If you can pick up this book like TODAY & read it quick cover to cover (& then a few more times), it will give you soooooooooooooooooooooooo much more insight into being a married women & what men need from us & what fullfills us deeply, as women, as well. I'm not even Christian (not neccessarily), & neither are any of my friends, but I've had to buy several copies because whenever I lend my copy out.... the friend will ABSOLUTELY refuse to give it back. I had a couple of friends who just threw money at me, & the rest didn't even bother to do that...it's just such a good book! Anyway I can always get a copy off the shelves of any major bookstore! Get the modern version, she originally wrote the book in the 60's, but it's been updated wonderfully, by the author, more recently. Okay thanks for reading all that...lol..I do get really long winded in my comments around here. Love! I know with the right information you can make this work for the betterment of both of you! I absolutely love being married now! And that is saying a lot.
angelbaby2 angelbaby2 9 years
wow-lots of good debate here-first-escape, I am really sorry that your situation has happened to you-my sister had the same thing with 2 husbands also-but there are good men who don't cheat-if it doesn't work with your husband at least you know you tried. As for the poster-good advice to talk to the boyfriend and maybe see what goes on with his work friends and his social outings for yourself. Keep an open mind-then decide. My nephew is very religious-christian and doesn;'t drink and he goes to clubs sometimes with his friends to listen to music and dance. Good luck
Kratsina Kratsina 9 years
Being a lawyer is very much a socializing profession. Continually turning down his coworkers invitations to join them for an after work drink can change an entire offices opinion about someone. People who don't drink can run into the same problem and it looks like your boyfriend is running into that wall. Stop stomping your feet and quietly condemning him. Just because he's gone doesn't mean he's done anything un-Christian. How about sitting down with him and talking rationally. Offer to go with him a few nights, meet his co-workers, join in on what he finds relaxing. Experiance what he does before you jump to the conclusion he's turned into a deviant. Give him a chance before your martyr yourself on your high moral convictions. If the relationship really means something to you, other than something you can hold up as a perfect Christian example, then talk to him about it in a way other than to demand he quick or accuse him of something.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 9 years
Homebody Helen, I can see why this situation is bothering you, but urge you to have more faith in your boyfriend. It sounds like his life is extremely stressful and difficult right now and that he is going out with friends to relax. If he is really a trustworthy man and you two have had honest conversations about your expectations for a future together, then maybe he deserves more credit than he's getting from you. Not everyone goes to the bar to get trashed and go home with someone. He's probably listening to the music, having conversations with people who understand the stress at work, and maybe having a drink or two to relax (the Bible does not forbid alcohol). You should see if the two of you could plan some activities together that you can both enjoy, such as going for a hike, swimming, or to a museum. Ask him honestly what he does at the bar and if it sounds like fun, why not join him occasionally? The key is honesty and trust, and if you have that then you probably don't have much to worry about. If you think you have grown too far apart then maybe it is time to end things and look for someone who's beliefs are more in-line with your own.
Escape Escape 9 years
Don't think he got out of it without being guilty. To this day if he looks at another woman I threaten him. I am sorry I posted Single women are homewreckers. I am talking about SOME women. Most married men that want to cheat don't wear their ring or show they are hooked up with someone. So how are you to know that they are with someone, that secret comes out much later after the damage is done. ~~~ Niki ~~~
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 9 years
Nikki I'm so sorry you've gone through so much. I just hope that you don't feel like you're stuck in a marriage with a man who cheats on you because all men want is sex anyway. I think good men are hard to find but its not impossible. There are family oriented men out there who are committed to their significant other. If you love your husband and want to forgive him and give him another chance that's your right as long as you don't lose yourself or forget how valuable you are.
fashion_doll24 fashion_doll24 9 years
We're not meaning to be deffensive, we're just explaining our point of view. And considering what you had to deal with in previous relationships, I totally understand that you don't trust him completely Escape. I just wanted to say what Whip said: it takes two to tango. But I oppose against all single women being called home wreckers AND I'm sorry for you that so far, you've only met men who tried hitting on you.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
You're the one who made the blanket statement, Escape. If I'm being "too defensive," it's because your statement was too offensive. If you didn't mean it that way, then fine. It's cool.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
i've been having the internal server errors all day. boooo-urns.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
:MOB: I thought it was OUR server here! Whip... :FROGGY:
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
Damn these Internal Server 500 Errors! They made me post twice! :mob:
Escape Escape 9 years
When I said homewrecker I am calling women that look for married men. Not every woman at a bar. I am just warning this girl that there are home wreckers out there. You guys are just too defensive. ~~~ Niki ~~~
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I'm not being catty. I'm just defending myself and other single women from your unjust generalizations. And, to me, it sounds like you don't like ANYONE. All women are catty homewreckers. All men are untrustworthy sex-crazed pigs. :?
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
escape~ my best friends are single women, they don't go looking for married men. a married man makes a poor boyfriend, lol. i don't think whip sounded catty, she didn't call anyone a homewrecker.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I'm not being catty. I'm just defending myself and all single women I know from your unjest generalization. And it sounds to me like you don't like ANYONE. All women are catty homewreckers. All men are untrustworthy, sex-crazed perverts. So be it, then. Good luck to you.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
Doesn't sound catty to me :?
Escape Escape 9 years
Wow you guys are really catty here. That is why I don't like women! ~~~ Niki ~~~
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
Escape, as a single woman, I take offense to your generalization. It takes two to tango. A single woman who hooks up with a married man, is wrong, no doubt, but the man is even more guilty. He's the one who's breaking the commitment to his wife. He's the one wrecking the marriage.
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