Growing up, I lived with a Christian father and a nonreligious mother. They would constantly fight over religion and I would find that the circle of "Christian" friends that my dad kept would use the religion for the wrong reasons. My dad was very "old school" and used his religion as a way of controlling the household. Some of their arguments would get violent, and once I was old enough to ask difficult questions myself (mostly out of curiosity), some of this angry energy was directed at me. I also had a pastor who made advances toward me and touched me when I was in confirmation class. When I left home for college, I stopped going to church (although I wanted to stop much earlier). I became nonreligious and have put all of that torment in my past.
Fast forward 7 years and I'm months away from marrying the man of my dreams. He and I are like two halves of the same brain- we can communicate without saying anything. I would do anything for him, and we adore each other. He was brought up in a loving Christian home, but religion doesn't play a huge part in his life. In our 3 years together (2 of which living together), we've only discussed the topic twice. He doesn't even own a Bible. From his end, it was more of a "this is what I believe, take it or leave it but I'm not going to force it on you", and I reciprocated. Our spiritual paths are parallel in many ways anyway, and as far as raising kids, we're good with what spiritual base we have. I don't mind if my fiance tells our kids about religion (it's not that I'm an atheist- I guess I'm just "religiously apathetic"), but it came with the understanding that he would be the "God-expert", that teaching about that would come from him.
The complication: we wanted his stepfather to marry us, since he is an ordained minister. But, we've just started our counseling sessions and I think I was caught off guard by all of the God-speak. I suppose I thought the classes would help us resolve issues as a couple and grow together, but with all of the Bible reading and discussions of "the role of a Christian wife/husband", I'm seriously freaked out. I cried nearly all of last night, and my fiance and I both had to call in sick today because neither of us slept at all. I feel like I'm reliving all of the torment that I had put away. I feel like I'm back in confirmation class again. Also, the language used in the course materials seemed very condescending and disrespectful toward "nonbelievers". I didn't say anything just to avoid it being uncomfortable, but I was extremely offended at the end of the first session. It felt like I had been told that our marriage would be a sham because God isn't the focus of my life.
Part of me wants a secular wedding just so we don't have to have these classes, but I don't want to disappoint my fiance. I also don't want to create friction between my dad and I because he doesn't know about me being nonreligious, or my future in-laws since they seemed excited about marrying us. I'm ok with going through a Christian ceremony, but I really don't want the months of religion-based classes leading up to it. I'm not sure how I will work through it.
What should I do? Should I go along with it just to avoid friction? Should we go with a secular wedding? There are 4 more classes, each 2 hours long spread out over the next 6 weeks. If I just suck it up, I know it'll be a long, difficult, painful process. I talked to my fiance and he agrees that the ideal would still to have his stepdad marry us, without having the classes. He's going to talk to them about it, but I'm just really concerned that it may be a case of "take the classes or I don't marry you"
TLDNR version: He's Christian, his family is, my dad and his side of the family is too. My dad and my pastor damaged my idea of Christianity, so I'm nonreligious now. His stepdad, a minister, is marrying us. Premarital counseling classes are very religious-based and bringing back memories of childhood abuse. How do I work around that without disappointing anyone?