Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
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31-07-2014, 07:07 AM
Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
Hello All,

I am in search of some insight and perhaps some help. I am rather deep into Learning about all things non religious and spent countless hours daily listening to debates, podcasts, and lectures on all things skeptic. This has become an issue in my home life. As I listen and learn, conversations inevitably develop between My partner and I.

She is a believer. In What, I am not sure. She has been raised Christian and just recently left an abusive marriage that she stayed in only because God might have fixed it if she was just submissive enough.

We have had regular conversation about Faith, Belief, and the Spiritual. What once was an open minded conversation about faith has now turned into a rather large road block for us.

She has come to the conclusion that Religion is the Problem Not God. She doesn't believe in the God of the Bible or of any Religion. She isn't sure that God helps or that he Cares. But he is real. She says that I am trying to destroy her belief. She wants to know what it matters to me that God is Comforting; she can't let go of her faith because of all the "experiences" that have shown her that God exists.

I am not sure that I even need to be involved in this debate with her and I am more than willingly to have differences of opinion. Unfortunately, this has become a sticking point for our relationship because she believes that its important that her partner share her beliefs. She can't even describe what her beliefs are. She doesn't even know.

I wonder if this is part of the deconversion process. Is there another way to frame the question that may help her to think more critically or am I overstepping my bounds.
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31-07-2014, 08:24 AM (This post was last modified: 31-07-2014 10:30 AM by Adrianime.)
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
A relationship...in my opinion...is not a journey to change the other person.

If her theism bothers you, maybe you just can't handle dating a theist at this point? Discussing each other's beliefs is great! Explaining your point of view is also great. But telling somebody that they are wrong, or that they must be mistaken about their own experiences does not come across well (not sure if you are doing this, but your post made me feel you might be).

My girlfriend is similar, she feels religion is usually stupid, and the god in the bible is definitely not real, but believes "something" is out there. I've labeled her an agnostic deist. She knows that I am hugely anti-theist and my reasons for it because we talk openly. But when we talk, I only talk about my point of view, my experiences, and the things I read. I never try to hijack her thoughts and tell her how to think/feel. My goal isn't to "deconvert" her, and if it was she would probably get annoyed, just like I would be annoyed if her goal was to make me believe.

So I'd say.....keep your statements as "I" statements. E.g. "I think there isn't any evidence that there is a god." Rather than, "There is absolutely NO evidence that there is a god." The message is more or less the same, but the tone is a lot less abrasive when you speak only for yourself, rather than as an authority.

Just my thoughts..

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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31-07-2014, 09:20 AM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
I agree with Adrianime. If you are dating someone who has different beliefs such as this, you need to decide if having the same beliefs is important or not to you. You've stated that it is important to her, and you maybe could care less since she really doesn't know what she believes. If someone slams down the wall that your beliefs must be the same, then that relationship is not going to go very far because that person has already demonstrated their lack of care for compromise. Don't think you can change her, just share your opinion and why it is yours, then leave it at that.

And yet another interesting topic I am not interested in.
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31-07-2014, 09:27 AM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
Every time I dated theists, we had one rule about that: don't talk about it. They had their religion, I did not. If she believes that you sharing her beliefs (that she can't even define) is more important than actually being with you, well...

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
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31-07-2014, 09:44 AM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
I think your partner feels the need to believe in god because she was in an abusive marriage and she needs some comforting, some 'God-will-punish-that-bastard' comforting and if she stops believing she'll know that her ex would never be punished and he'll get away with whatever he did to her. She'll be shattered. Besides, why is religion a sticking point? She doesn't love you because GOD commanded her to do so and you didnt fall for her because you believed she will be an atheist one day, because if that's the case then you don't love her, you love 'your idea' of her.
You people can exchange ideas, like have a debate, make it fun so that she doesn't get hurt and still learn the things that made you an atheist and maybe she'll understand and you guys can have a truce. Don't change people you love. If you two hold different opinions about god then don't bring it up, unless she becomes a fanatic and forces you to believe in god, in which case, by all means, dump her.

All great truths begin as blasphemy - George Bernard Shaw
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31-07-2014, 10:44 AM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
You may be interested in the posts from this thread:

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...t-find-god

You're not the only one in this situation.

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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31-07-2014, 10:53 AM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
Seems to me that she is the one who is making the decision here. If it's important to her that her partner shares her beliefs, then you need to make it clear that you are not the partner she wants. She has to decide whether this ephemeral God concept she is clinging to is more important than her relationship with you. And if she decides it is, then respect her decision and go find a proper heathen girl who will call out your name during sex instead of a nonexistent invisible man's.

Religion is proof that invisible men can obscure your vision.
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31-07-2014, 11:15 AM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
(31-07-2014 07:07 AM)LeftHandedLeft Wrote:  Hello All,

I am in search of some insight and perhaps some help. I am rather deep into Learning about all things non religious and spent countless hours daily listening to debates, podcasts, and lectures on all things skeptic. This has become an issue in my home life. As I listen and learn, conversations inevitably develop between My partner and I.

She is a believer. In What, I am not sure. She has been raised Christian and just recently left an abusive marriage that she stayed in only because God might have fixed it if she was just submissive enough.

We have had regular conversation about Faith, Belief, and the Spiritual. What once was an open minded conversation about faith has now turned into a rather large road block for us.

She has come to the conclusion that Religion is the Problem Not God. She doesn't believe in the God of the Bible or of any Religion. She isn't sure that God helps or that he Cares. But he is real. She says that I am trying to destroy her belief. She wants to know what it matters to me that God is Comforting; she can't let go of her faith because of all the "experiences" that have shown her that God exists.

I am not sure that I even need to be involved in this debate with her and I am more than willingly to have differences of opinion. Unfortunately, this has become a sticking point for our relationship because she believes that its important that her partner share her beliefs. She can't even describe what her beliefs are. She doesn't even know.

I wonder if this is part of the deconversion process. Is there another way to frame the question that may help her to think more critically or am I overstepping my bounds.

All this was very much part of my deconversion process. The final straw was to give up praying and I quickly noticed, no difference in the outcome.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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31-07-2014, 02:05 PM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
Some clarification:

We have an interesting dynamic here. We have two children together. We have been in and out of each others lives for years. I was a theist until approximately two years ago. We have since rekindled our relationship.

It's hard to let her go. I believe, had we not had children, we would have gone our own way years ago.

This relationship tends to make sense in all other categories. We love each other, we are empathetic toward one another, we communicate effectively, we have many of the same values, code of ethics, and similar intelligence.

She feels as if I am encroaching on her beliefs and that I am wrong in doing so. I am told I come across as pompous, arrogant and smug
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31-07-2014, 02:21 PM
RE: Having an issue Discussing My Atheism With my Partner
Some clarification:

We have an interesting dynamic here. We have two children together. We have been in and out of each others lives for years. I was a theist until approximately two years ago. We have since rekindled our relationship. Our relationship in the past was based deeply on the idea of liberal Christian values.

It's hard to let her go. I believe, had we not had children, we would have gone our own way years ago.

This relationship tends to make sense in all other categories. We love each other, we are empathetic toward one another, we communicate effectively, we have many of the same values, code of ethics, and similar intelligence.

She feels as if I am encroaching on her beliefs and that I am wrong in doing so. I am told I come across as pompous, arrogant and smug. This could, in fact, be the case though I make every effort to not insert my belief but to genuinely question hers.

I assume this is quite common, though I know what assuming does. I am curious to know if there is anything that could be said, or any line of questioning that makes sense here.

She has made it clear to me that she wants our relationship to work but she also wants to share her beliefs with her partner.

However, as stated before when I ask what her beliefs are her response is
-God is energy
-God is love
-I don't know if God intervenes
-God is real in my experience
-God is Nature
God is what I call this feeling
-I've tried to let go of God but when I do I feel guilty and life gets harder.
-why do my beliefs matter if they aren't affecting you.
-to this one I reply because it's important to you to share this belief with your partner. . But if we can't define this belief how am I to agree?

Thanks for all the replies thus far folks. This is my first post on any forum anywhere and I am quite intrigued at the willingness and kindness of people taking time out of their day to communicate their ideas and opinions with me.
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