Brink of collapse
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16-01-2015, 08:55 AM (This post was last modified: 16-01-2015 08:59 AM by Hafnof.)
RE: Brink of collapse
I've told parts of my story before, but the highlight would probably still be my wife calling up my sister and saying something along the lines of "It would have been better if he had told me is gay than atheist".

"Atheist" is a term with a lot of baggage attached. Often the information you mean to convey is not the same as the information received. When a religious person hears "atheist" you might as well be saying "boogeyman". An atheist is supposed to hate god. An atheist is supposed to be immoral, untrustworthy. You might actually be working for the devil, like - the real devil. You might be deceived or possessed. You might contaminate her and her family. What if your daughter ever finds out? What if you drag your daughter down to hell with you? What if you drag her down also? She thinks that to go from Christian to Atheist you must become a whole new person, someone she doesn't know. She's in a turmoil. I think it's the fear and the panic talking.

It's also about rejection. When a religious person thinks of god or what god would do they are really thinking about themselves and what their "best self" might do. When you tell someone like that you reject their god I think what they hear is that you are rejecting them and rejecting their best self. She asked who you should be thankful for. I wonder if she thinks now that you aren't grateful to her, that you have rejected her, and that you no longer truly love her? After all, if God is the source of love then can an atheist really feel or express true love ever again?

I think the most important thing for you to do right now is to be yourself, your same self. Show her you are the same. Show her you haven't changed. Defy her expectation that you'll slide into an immoral abyss. Defy her expectation that you'll reject her and fail to feel or express love. Defy her expectation that you'll try to convert her. Let her come to terms with your expression of atheism at her own pace. She has a lot of processing to do. She has a lot of religious programming about what an atheist is to unwind. It could take years before the psychological landmines installed in her mind by religion are diffused to the point where you can have a rational conversation about it. So don't try to have rational conversations about it, and don't expect her to follow you on your path either now or ever. Show her you love her. Show her you are willing to compromise. Show her that you are still you. Those are the messages she needs from you. Break her atheist stereotypes.

You mentioned you have a daughter so I'll mention her too: I think you have plenty of time to work through the relationship between you and your wife before your child is of an age where they take an interest in religious questions beyond the "Santa Claus" level. I would say don't make it a sticking point in your marriage. My son is five and he still isn't ready to have serious conversations about religion yet. By the time your child is ready to have those conversations you will have had time with your wife to work through what these changes mean for you and her and your relationship. Don't rush it. Agree to her terms. They can always be renegotiated when your child is old enough for the terms to matter and when your relationship is strong enough again to take the strain.

Boundaries and commitments are also worth thinking about. Above you say you have to embrace Christianity to keep your marriage together. When I first came out to my wife I made a particular effort to manage my public persona. If she wanted me to go to church I went to church. I was still going to church after she had pretty much given the whole thing up in fact. Don't be too quick to give up your church family. Let her know that you aren't expecting her to be the only one who is doing the compromising. In fact, recognise that this is a change in yourself that she did not buy into and did not ask for. Work from a starting point that you don't expect her to compromise. My children for a long time didn't know I was an atheist. My parents didn't know, and I never really wanted my mother to know. Over time as she learns to trust you you can start to move the agreed boundaries. You can start to express your nonconformity with religion in way she is comfortable with and at a time when is comfortable.

Finally, venting: You don't need to vent to the people around you. Vent here. That's what the internet is for. We can take whatever you need to get off your chest. Dish it out as hard as you like. You will need an outlet while you don't have anyone in your life you can speak honestly about your thoughts and feelings to. You are going through a time of change and we as human beings need to express our ideas during those times. Express them here or wherever else you find semi-anonymous community online. Listen to podcasts or videos like Seth's "the thinking atheist" podcast that are moderate and loving towards people of faith. Listen to podcasts or videos like "the atheist experience" to hear what other people are thinking, and to hear both sides of debates you care about.

Welcome to the forum.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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16-01-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: Brink of collapse
^^^ Thinking that we should have a multi-like function. Yes

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16-01-2015, 11:56 AM
RE: Brink of collapse
(16-01-2015 10:08 AM)DLJ Wrote:  ^^^ Thinking that we should have a multi-like function. Yes

...and why long posts in of themselves are not inherently bad.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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16-01-2015, 12:25 PM
RE: Brink of collapse
Quote:So I have to give in, just to save our marriage.

Only you can decide if what you have saved is worth saving.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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16-01-2015, 05:59 PM
RE: Brink of collapse
(16-01-2015 02:17 AM)darkmatter Wrote:  In the end, I gave in, she thinks atheist is satanic. Our marriage would crumble if I wont embrace the belief on god, I tried to have our seperate beliefs but it didnt worked. So I have to give in, just to save our marriage. With everything I have seen, I dont think I can go back to christian. I simpy embrace the religion just so I can satisfy her condition, but under that facade I am a free thinker and I base everything on logic and reasoning that has proof.

Sounds like a good enough reason to me. That's what I'd do. We all got all sorta different facades, what's one more.

(16-01-2015 08:55 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  I've told parts of my story before, but the highlight would probably still be my wife calling up my sister and saying something along the lines of "It would have been better if he had told me is gay than atheist".

"No no dear, you heard me wrong. I said I was a gay atheist."

#sigh
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18-01-2015, 06:17 AM
RE: Brink of collapse
Great advice here. There is hope. My wife absolutely panicked initially. But only a few months later she saw the truth. In my case, she saw that I actually became a much BETTER person, with no judgment, and empathy for all. Best wishes.
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