A conversation with my wife goes like this...
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29-05-2015, 08:44 AM
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
(29-05-2015 07:47 AM)jennybee Wrote:  I am not married and don't have kids, but I was in a long-term relationship with someone when I was a Christian and he was a non-believer. It created a lot of problems, not just from the pressure I put on myself for feeling I was doing something "wrong" in God eyes, but also due to the pressure put on me by other Christians and the church community. Not being equally yolked was a big deal to them and in my belief system at the time.

I struggled with his non-belief for a long time and struggled with whether or not I should stay in the rship since really that was the only sticking point and everything else was good. I constantly second guessed myself in that rship because of God/doing right by Him. I wanted him to go to church with me and share in all of that with me and he refused. I took it as a personal shot--that he wasn't even remotely interested in sharing in something that was so clearly important to me.

We talked about getting married, raising children--and that always ended in arguments because of course I wanted any kids we would have to be raised Christian and he did not. I also worried for his soul, worried he wouldn't be with me in heaven. I was so brainwashed by Christianity--I just couldn't get why he wanted nothing to do with God. It was simply incomprehensible to me.

Fast forward to a few years later in our rship, and I started having major doubts about religion after reading The *entire* Bible. I was also disgusted by the hate within the church for others who chose to live differently than they did. I slowly made the switch to atheism. During this time, my ex was having an epiphany of his own and decided to become more spiritual--which as you can imagine--completely turned our rship on its head.

The point to my ramblings lol--I can understand your wife's desire to have you with her in church and desire to raise kids Christian and not understanding why you don't believe in God anymore. I think when you are so far down the rabbit hole, it is really hard to see things clearly and rationally because everything that happens seems to be of God. Get a raise--God did it. Buy a new house in the neighborhood you wanted--God did it. The list goes on and on. It's really hard to separate God from your life when you are a believer, your family/friends are a group of believers, the members of your community are believers....everyone keeps reinforcing your belief system. Additionally, the idea of being shunned from all of that is enough to keep you in the fold. Then you add the threat of hell and it is like the perfect storm.

It is certainly a tough situation for you and your wife to be in. I am sure she felt like this was something out of left field--and I am sure being a Christian--it really scares her. I think it's just going to take some time and patience on both parts in dealing with all of this.

Very well stated and thanks for sharing. Your story is extremely unique and I hope that you feel comfortable where you're at. I think she probably shares some of the same fears that you mentioned. However, one difference I can note *and hopefully this identifies as a good difference* is that she is very shallow in her belief. I don't mean that condescendingly either. She believes in god, she believes that jesus died for her sins, she believes she is going to heaven because she has accepted this information. Any knowledge above and beyond that is nebulous to her. But, since her faith is very stern it still causes problems but maybe not as many as would be caused if she knew more about her belief system to see the chasm that truly is between us in that area.

**Crickets** -- God
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29-05-2015, 09:02 AM
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
(29-05-2015 08:22 AM)Nurse Wrote:  Confused Been there. I hope it works out better for you than it did me. Hug

Venting here has helped me keep my wits about me. I'm in the closet with my family. I don't regret coming out to my husband - I'd rather live without him than have to live a lie with the person I vowed to share my life with. I gave it my all, and it still failed. Life goes on.

There are members here that make it work with their spouses, and there are those as myself where it didn't. I'm sure everyone here is about tired of my divorce drama. Good thing is, there's not much drama left to be had. Once I decide where I'm living I'll sign the damn papers.

Just something for you to ponder - how do you feel about your wife never leaving Christianity? Because that is a very real possibility. Her urging you to pray with the boys - in front of them - has got to stop. That undermining, manipulative behavior is unacceptable. Compare her actions to something similar "Mommy won't mind if we go to Disney World - Mommy, Disney World would be great to celebrate little Tommy's birthday, wouldn't it?"

My ex used to get pissed at me when my son would ask a question and he'd answer "cause God" and then I'd say "well actually...rainbows are..." He felt like I was undermining him - I made it clear it was unacceptable to me for him to give a "cause god" answer when we have science to explain how things work. I want a child that thinks, not a sheep. He agreed to give proper answers to science questions, but I was to keep my mouth shut about matters of faith Rolleyes

Nurse ________, I don't believe i have read your entire story. Is it posted somewhere? If not, PM me. We share some similarities about family. I have not once thought that my wife will deconvert. She lacks the drive to put in the hard work intellectually. For her, faith is her Occam's Razor so to speak. It's like Jenny said, some people are just so far down the rabbit hole they may never come back.
For now, I'm okay with that. But I'll have to see how it plays out over the years.

Here are my personal battling points with myself (although dubious):

1.) I do not want to get divorced because my parents divorced when I was 3. I never had a father who cared. I can count on both hands how many times I have seen him in 37 years. If I can pin point it, I probably feel that divorce would lead me down this same path. Of course, this is a slippery slope attitude. But it's much more difficult to overcome for me.

2.) I do not want to get a divorce because my life is comfortable. It would feel like starting over from square one. I still fear the unknown at times. *Ahem*, well tough shit. People change and you have to ebb and flow with life. My outlook needs to focus more on moving with the tides and enjoying where life takes me. Again easier said than done.

I agree with the manipulative passive-aggressive behavior about praying with the kids. That is exactly how I see it too. She doesn't know, to her ignorance, that is what it is but we will need to have that discussion in the very near future. Smile

**Crickets** -- God
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29-05-2015, 10:56 PM
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
(29-05-2015 08:22 AM)Nurse Wrote:  I'm sure everyone here is about tired of my divorce drama.

Nope. Hug


One for you too Tone. Hug

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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30-05-2015, 01:02 AM
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
(29-05-2015 08:44 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  Very well stated and thanks for sharing. Your story is extremely unique and I hope that you feel comfortable where you're at. I think she probably shares some of the same fears that you mentioned. However, one difference I can note *and hopefully this identifies as a good difference* is that she is very shallow in her belief. I don't mean that condescendingly either. She believes in god, she believes that jesus died for her sins, she believes she is going to heaven because she has accepted this information. Any knowledge above and beyond that is nebulous to her. But, since her faith is very stern it still causes problems but maybe not as many as would be caused if she knew more about her belief system to see the chasm that truly is between us in that area.

It may be, then, that with your deeper knowledge of Christian doctrine and writings, you can lead her to understand your own apostasy, although I don't think you should pressure her to join you in it. But simply stating why you don't believe this or that aspect of Christian theology, and being able to back it up with chapter and verse, might at least cause her to understand that your lack of faith is not baseless.
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30-05-2015, 01:16 AM (This post was last modified: 30-05-2015 01:21 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
(29-05-2015 09:02 AM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  1.) I do not want to get divorced because my parents divorced when I was 3. I never had a father who cared. I can count on both hands how many times I have seen him in 37 years. If I can pin point it, I probably feel that divorce would lead me down this same path. Of course, this is a slippery slope attitude. But it's much more difficult to overcome for me.

Let me tell you something straight, then. My parents divorced when I was young -- 2 1/2. My biological father visited for a year or two after that, my mom remarried, and I didn't see him again for another 12 years. It was me, in my adolescence, who took the effort to restart our relationship, and then when I was 18 the sonofabitch left me standing in the rain, quite literally, as the last time we were to meet he refused to pick me up.

When my son was born I swore to myself that I would give him what I never had, a father who cared. At the time I interpreted it as my fatherhood in the context of his intact family ... so when his mother and I broke up when he was -- you guessed it -- about 2 1/2, I felt like I was failing him.

But I worked at being his father, and in the aftermath of a bitter breakup successfully defended my paternal rights in a court of law without a lawyer. His mother and I repaired our relationship so that while we knew we could never be the lovers we once were, we are best of friends now. And my son and I are as close as we can be. I had him 42% of the week, every week, for 12 years, until I moved back to Texas. And he still spends about 3 months a year here. I'll be posting pictures next week from his graduation. And I think if you asked him, he'd be happy to note my faults, and still give the nod to the fact that he knows his family loves him.

You are not bound by the past. You know what your father did wrong. Simply because some of your actions might seem to mirror his does not mean that you will mirror his failures. It wasn't the divorce that made your father a bad father. It was your father that made your father a bad father.

Forgive me my plain speech, but you should not be ploughing yourself under in a relationship because you're trying to repair the faults of a man who couldn't bear his own burdens. You are not him. You cannot fix his mistakes. You love your children, that is obvious. You care, that is obvious.

You can be a good father even if you're unable to resolve matters with their mother, and I have no doubt that you're a good father no matter the circumstances, in no small part because you know how much hurt a bad father can deliver.
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30-05-2015, 01:19 AM
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
<dbl post>
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30-05-2015, 06:15 PM
RE: A conversation with my wife goes like this...
I'm sorry you are going through this. It might be a good idea to have an open conversation, one on one, with your wife where the two of you set a few ground rules, especially involving how the two of you are going to handle things in front of your kids. Maybe tell her straight out that all of the subtle things she is doing in this area are driving the two of you apart, and that's not a good thing for the family. Perhaps also reassure her that your doubts and decisions are yours, not hers, and that you won't try to pressure her into leaving her faith, if that's something you feel is doable from your end. It might help if you two can make a kind of mutual non-aggression pact and (re)focus your relationship on the things you have in common.
I've been married for 20 years, both of us atheists, but have had a similar situation of sorts lately come up where my husband decided to give up and become rather hostile to one of the common interests that had originally brought us together…It is not easy when both partners are walking on eggshells, as that breeds hostility.
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