The Ethical Dilemma: Will My Husband Ever Evolve?

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Will My Husband Ever Evolve? I am not easily persuaded when there’s no science or logic involved, and I’ve been an evolution enthusiast all my life. My husband is strongly against it—he does not listen when we have debates and turns a blind eye to any evidence. But he is also the one who pushes on these arguments and talks continually and defensively. He says god doesn’t need science to create and that he made us perfect so we don’t need to evolve. Not only on the topic of evolution, but on basically any religious topic, we end up arguing and fighting. It turns out nasty. No matter how much we try avoiding the matter, it shows up.

We have been married for three months now. I love him, but his one problem is his stubbornness and unwillingness to change. He doesn’t even allow me to wear anything above the knee or tank tops. His whole family is like this and it drives me nuts. I come from an educated and easygoing family who, despite their limited grasp on religion, are more moral than they are.

We just had another fight and we just can’t come to a conclusion. I knew before getting married this would be a problem, but I thought we would respect each other’s views and compromise. I am worried about what will happen when we have children and how we will raise them. I don’t know what to do or how to deal with the situation.

Can’t (Dar)Win

Dear (Dar)Win,

Run, don’t walk, to the nearest secular couples counseling professional, whether it’s a marriage counselor, psychologist, social worker, whatever—as long as it’s faith-neutral. If you can’t get your husband to go with you, go on your own. You need support for your ideas and how to communicate them to him while standing your ground—before you lose any more.

Right now, not only is he unwilling to change or compromise himself, he demands that you undergo a makeover (I’ll bet the sight of your knees and tank tops wasn’t a problem before he married you). He demonstrates that he does not respect your views—and even though you just want to ignore when you don’t agree, the feeling is mutual, isn’t it? These are serious, deal-breaking issues that are likely to get worse over time and will eat away at your “strong” love for your husband and your own self-respect. If counseling and pushback from you can’t convince him at least to steer clear of these unresolvable arguments—and to stop forcing you to literally hide yourself—you must ask yourself how you can possibly stay with this man, let alone start a family with him. He and his relatives already have no compunctions about trampling your views and style, and they will undoubtedly escalate their domineering if children arrive. Although it sounds as though your family is on your side, Family Feud is not an ideal model for a marriage.

If he really won’t change—and stays on the track of digging in further—it’s better to get out now, while you might still be able to have your marriage annulled or at least obtain an uncomplicated divorce. Don’t hang on until you’re totally demoralized, hate his guts, and face child support and custody battles.

Readers, please don’t expect your faith-full sweethearts to change their stripes or that love will conquer all. If your significant other dismisses your views (regarding religion or anything else that is important to you) and pushes to convert you to theirs, cut your losses and seek a different other—before children make your predicament and a clean break nearly impossible.