Advice on this situation with my wife...
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
08-07-2015, 03:13 PM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
Tomasia: that is the internal question I've been trying to figure out the last few months. Why does it bother me? I guess because her baptism is still so fresh and I see people using faith to make decisions (especially as adults) as a faulty way of going about things. Maybe that's something I just need to get over. She's also expressed dissapointment in me that I discarded Christianity because it is something we could've shared and grown into together. There's also the issue of how to deal with raising our 1 year old when he gets old enough to start talking and asking questions. I go through waves where one day I'm fine with her newfound faith and view it as a positive if she's enjoying it and making new friends. Other days I worry about the future, she's now spending more time out at church, life groups, etc...though I realize worrying about 5-10 years down the road is kinda silly. also because this still new I think I'm still reacting emotionally and the logical part of me hasn't quite caught up yet. I appreciate all of your words on here and especially those of you who have shared experiences. I realize my situation is very tame when compared to some things others on this forum have gone through.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Rkane819's post
08-07-2015, 06:14 PM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
(08-07-2015 03:13 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  Tomasia: that is the internal question I've been trying to figure out the last few months. Why does it bother me? I guess because her baptism is still so fresh and I see people using faith to make decisions (especially as adults) as a faulty way of going about things. Maybe that's something I just need to get over. She's also expressed dissapointment in me that I discarded Christianity because it is something we could've shared and grown into together. There's also the issue of how to deal with raising our 1 year old when he gets old enough to start talking and asking questions. I go through waves where one day I'm fine with her newfound faith and view it as a positive if she's enjoying it and making new friends. Other days I worry about the future, she's now spending more time out at church, life groups, etc...though I realize worrying about 5-10 years down the road is kinda silly. also because this still new I think I'm still reacting emotionally and the logical part of me hasn't quite caught up yet. I appreciate all of your words on here and especially those of you who have shared experiences. I realize my situation is very tame when compared to some things others on this forum have gone through.

My wife and I have 3 kids and this has been weighing heavily on me for years. Our oldest one is almost 8 and I don't oppose her bringing them to church. He has asked me why in the past and I told him that it is important to learn what they think so he can make a more informed decision. A decision that few of our friends would grant their young children.

A couple of questions:
1) have you talked about this at all in terms of how you are going to raise the kids?
2) have you talked to her in terms of sharing what you think with the kids should they ask?

"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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like The Organic Chemist's post
08-07-2015, 07:04 PM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
A couple of questions:
1) have you talked about this at all in terms of how you are going to raise the kids?
2) have you talked to her in terms of sharing what you think with the kids should they ask?
[/quote]

We haven't had any discussions at length of what exactly we should do with our son and/or future children. She has mentioned that she will let them make their own decisions but we have not discussed any specifics yet. As of right now she knows I don't believe but not why I don't believe. It was only this past Saturday that I asked her to share her newfound spiritual journey with me. Side note: I found it interesting that when exploring other religions she discarded Hinduism because it was too complicated, didn't trust Buddhism because her friend's dad was a Buddhist and wasn't very nice and didn't look into Islam at all. So we are just beginning to dip our toes into the water on this subject.

I've listened to a few podcasts including Seth Andrews of course, who have had on people giving secular parenting advice.

Any insight you or anyone else have into how to handle situations with kids or how to best phrase questions is very welcome.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Rkane819's post
09-07-2015, 06:39 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
(08-07-2015 03:13 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  Tomasia: that is the internal question I've been trying to figure out the last few months. Why does it bother me? I guess because her baptism is still so fresh and I see people using faith to make decisions (especially as adults) as a faulty way of going about things. Maybe that's something I just need to get over. She's also expressed dissapointment in me that I discarded Christianity because it is something we could've shared and grown into together. There's also the issue of how to deal with raising our 1 year old when he gets old enough to start talking and asking questions. I go through waves where one day I'm fine with her newfound faith and view it as a positive if she's enjoying it and making new friends. Other days I worry about the future, she's now spending more time out at church, life groups, etc...though I realize worrying about 5-10 years down the road is kinda silly. also because this still new I think I'm still reacting emotionally and the logical part of me hasn't quite caught up yet. I appreciate all of your words on here and especially those of you who have shared experiences. I realize my situation is very tame when compared to some things others on this forum have gone through.

In our a community there's a few families in a similar situation, though they're likely much older than you are at this point. My wife's aunt is a christian, and her husband renounced the faith along time ago, and is an atheist. They're still married, and their kids are in the mid to late twenties at this point. I don't think they'll describe themselves as atheists like their father, but would likely label themselves as non-religious. Their mom took them to church and stuff when they were kids, and when they were a bit older they just grew out of it I guess, and don't really attend church now.

I think the Dad took a more handoffs approach to the religious question. I don't think he imagined his disbelief as something important to evangelize. The father perhaps had some conflicts with family member over his disbelief a long time ago, but now they all just accept it. Leave it as topic not to be discussed.

I think it's important to really consider what the issues here are. Is it particularly because you'd feel you'd constantly be judged on the basis of your disbelief by your wife, and her friends, and perhaps even one day by your children? That you'd worry they'd look down on you or something?

Are you worried your kids are gonna one day bomb abortion clinics or something, refuse to bake a gay couple a cake? What are the things you really dread here. Are these even rational concerns?

I think resentment, one that might exists for you, just as much as it might exist for her, is more likely to destroy your family and marriage, than purely the religious question.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Tomasia's post
09-07-2015, 07:33 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
(08-07-2015 07:04 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  We haven't had any discussions at length of what exactly we should do with our son and/or future children. She has mentioned that she will let them make their own decisions but we have not discussed any specifics yet. As of right now she knows I don't believe but not why I don't believe. It was only this past Saturday that I asked her to share her newfound spiritual journey with me. Side note: I found it interesting that when exploring other religions she discarded Hinduism because it was too complicated, didn't trust Buddhism because her friend's dad was a Buddhist and wasn't very nice and didn't look into Islam at all. So we are just beginning to dip our toes into the water on this subject.

I've listened to a few podcasts including Seth Andrews of course, who have had on people giving secular parenting advice.

Any insight you or anyone else have into how to handle situations with kids or how to best phrase questions is very welcome.

Unfortunately my wife and I really didn't discuss it too much before kids because I was still a deist back then and I had a different outlook tan I do now. You sound a bit like me in one regard, I was an atheist for a while before I actually said the word out loud, for me, that was about a year ago (I am almost 36). I think it rather blindsided my wife when she heard about it probably through someone else (I identified as an atheist to a person who was trying apologetics on me at a church get together and that was the first time I said the word out loud.) She is a lifelong believer and has never really examined the bible outside of the spoon-fed stuff in church bible studies and basic apologetics. I know she does not get why I don't believe it in spite of my efforts to get her to at least see where I am coming from. Just don't stop talking about it but I would tread lightly as many, many believers attach their personal identity to their faith and any disagreeing position can be viewed as a personal attack. You know her best, use your best judgement.

I really couldn't care less what my wife believes but for me the kids are the most important thing. I do not oppose them going to church and learning about it because education is important. I feel the key is to not hide who you are. My wife asked me several years ago to basically lie to the kids and go to church but I refused. I was actually a little pissed that she would ask me to do that seeing as I would never ask that of her. I want to avoid indoctrination so they can know that that christianity is a option but it isn't the only option. I also talk to them about any question they may have from what they hear at church. For example, my 7 and 5 YO came home from church and enthusiastically talked about the story of Jericho and literally said "Joshua slew the people of Jericho" almost as if they had scored a touchdown. I then asked them why they were so excited about it considering they killed everyone in the city including the children like them. I asked them to put themselves in the shoes of the children in the city and said that I would have been trying to protect them and these people kill me and then come for them. The enthusiasm evaporated. Just talking about the bible stories from a different perspective I think is important because it helps them to see that there is more than 1 side to this. They also know that they get a watered-down version of the story that is spun in a very dishonest way at times (i.e. Sampson, Abraham, Moses, etc) I have even read them some parts of the real bible to show them that I am not lying to them and that it really does say that stuff. I have only done this a couple of times though as the real bible would give them nightmares.

I also have set the boundary with my wife that the day they come home and tell me that I am going to hell is the last day they will ever set foot in a church and that is not negotiable. There is no way a 10-12 YO kid has any concept of this and I think it is despicable that they teach children this stuff at such a young age as if it were fact. It is akin to teaching the holocaust to them as far as I am concerned.

Hope that helps.

"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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 4 users Like The Organic Chemist's post
09-07-2015, 08:20 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
Bravo, OC. Smile Most bible stories are not suitable for children. I remember being seven and going to a happening for bible studies which was for children. A man stood up and told the story about God coming and killing all the first born of Egypt. Granted it was the first born son that God was going to kill but this scared the bejeebus out of me anyway. I remember going home and crying to my mom and worrying that God was going to come and kill me because I was the first born in my family. I had pretty bad nightmares after that. It really did scare me into believing in God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like jennybee's post
09-07-2015, 08:25 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
(Off topic)

So very lovely to have a visit from Jenny. Smile

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Banjo's post
09-07-2015, 08:39 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
I think that you might have some interesting discussions with your wife about what she feels religion provides her, and share on your side how you get the same benefits without religion.

If she shares what she's learning with you, you can raise doubts or expose reasoning or moral flaws (Christianity has such a nasty god, that is easy to do), but I feel this is a tactic that only works if the nonbeliever can be sure of making a case without being condescending or implying that the believer is stupid.

Also, you know your wife best--is she someone who gets interested in something for a while, then moves to something else? In that case, it might work to wait it out. If it's simply a social thing, maybe it's worth the work to find some more secular social groups for the two of you to hang out with. Or maybe encourage your wife to seek out a denomination where your being a nonbeliever is not so much an issue (Episcopalian, Unitarian, etc.), where you would feel more comfortable joining her for the social aspect and people wouldn't be trying to convert you all the time.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like julep's post
09-07-2015, 08:40 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
Hi Banjo Smile. I came on to say a proper goodbye to the last few heathens I had on my buddy list Smile.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like jennybee's post
09-07-2015, 09:42 AM
RE: Advice on this situation with my wife...
Hiya Jen, good to see you're around. Smile

To the OP -- if she isn't hectoring me about going to church with her, or sharing her faith in other ways, I wouldn't bother her with my skepticism.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: