How to come out of closet to religious wife
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11-12-2013, 07:54 AM
How to come out of closet to religious wife
Hey everyone.I'm new to the forum so let me jump right in with my dilemma. I'm married now 14 years and have an 11 year old girl. My wife is very religious and I was kinda religious when I met her . But for last 5 years I've seen the light and the BS of religion.I'm 41 yrs old and has come to the point where I need to be true to myself and stop pretending for my family's sake . My family and my wife's family is all religious . So atm I'm the only atheist I know in my whole circle of friends and family.

Like I said before I'm tired of the pretense and respect I have to give to religion and religiose people around me . I'm already a kind of a loner guy so the prospect of isolation does not cause fear in me . What does cause fear in me is that my relationship with my wife wud be irrevocably damaged when I do come out of the closet . She is the kinda person that takes things personally and attacks on a personal level .

Thanks for providing me with a platform where I can vent since these are the first time I'm publically announcing my free thinking and for lack of a better word , belief.I know I have to take baby steps but any experience or help wud be appreciated.
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11-12-2013, 08:11 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
do you both attend church regularly?
how often are religious topics discussed in your home?

do you have an otherwise good relationship? supportive of each other in hard times? open and easy to talk to about difficult subjects? how does she treat people that are very different from her?

are you ok with her being christian?

I am married to a christian. We are respectful towards each others beliefs. I walk my path, he walks his. We don't feel the need to debate each other on it. Its just not that important to us. Other people come to atheism and find they have no respect for those that believe in fairytales as truth. Their relationships usually crumble because the respect for the other person is gone.

I would also suggest giving your wife time to wrap her around it when you do come out. Most people need time to sort thru doubting their beliefs, seeking other points of view before finally rejecting those beliefs…..give your wife the benefit of some time to work it thru in her mind as well.

welcome to TTA.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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11-12-2013, 08:18 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
After re-reading your post some more, I wanted to add that for me, there is a difference between respecting our loved ones and respecting religion.

for example: when I'm with my in-laws and they want to say a prayer before a meal, I will hold hands (I like holding loved ones hands), and I will shut my mouth while they speak. (I do that when other people speak too--not just in prayer). I do those things not because I feel christianity deserves that us heathens to shut up and listen when christians pray. I do it because they are loved ones and this moment in time is important to them.


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11-12-2013, 08:40 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
I'm in my 40's and have been married 14 years. We both considered ourselves to be Christians when we were married. I've always been honest with my wife, and I think she saw the changes over time. About 8 months ago I told here I was an agnostic, because that's what I thought of myself at the time, now I'm just calling myself an atheist.

While I grew up in a fundamentalist home and church, she grew up in more of a mainstream evangelical home and church and I think people with that type of background just don't question things as much. There are no extraordinary claims made. It's just assumed that God exists. She seems okay with my coming out.

Anyway.... I don't have any real advice. I don't think there is any one good way to come out.
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11-12-2013, 08:47 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
(11-12-2013 07:54 AM)Thurdok Wrote:  Hey everyone.I'm new to the forum so let me jump right in with my dilemma. I'm married now 14 years and have an 11 year old girl. My wife is very religious and I was kinda religious when I met her . But for last 5 years I've seen the light and the BS of religion.I'm 41 yrs old and has come to the point where I need to be true to myself and stop pretending for my family's sake . My family and my wife's family is all religious . So atm I'm the only atheist I know in my whole circle of friends and family.

Like I said before I'm tired of the pretense and respect I have to give to religion and religiose people around me . I'm already a kind of a loner guy so the prospect of isolation does not cause fear in me . What does cause fear in me is that my relationship with my wife wud be irrevocably damaged when I do come out of the closet . She is the kinda person that takes things personally and attacks on a personal level .

Thanks for providing me with a platform where I can vent since these are the first time I'm publically announcing my free thinking and for lack of a better word , belief.I know I have to take baby steps but any experience or help wud be appreciated.


I helped my husband question religion by talking and sharing history. The more I questioned and provided data the more he began to question as well. I'm sure this doesn't work for everyone as it's likely some may be threatened. But I was lucky that he wasn't threatened by information.
Education is the enemy of faith.

If you start reading certain books in Front of your spouse - she may ask "why" and you can say you are not sure you *believe* anymore. Then go from there.

It's the best suggestion I have. and I wish you luck. Everyone is different so my ideas and what worked with my husband might not work for you.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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11-12-2013, 08:47 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
Do those who are religious in your circle shove it down your throat so that it is almost unbearable, or do they just do the average religious stuff like go to church and only give thanks during holidays? If it's somewhat tame and totally bearable then why come out? When I came out to my family as a 42-year-old it was because my born again relatives just wouldn't stop blabbering about all of the miracles they were witnessing and how god was the greatest and they kept looking for my approval of these atrocities. Every day was another excerpt recited from their bible study, etc. "Praise Jesus!" for opening a bottle of pickles. So I had enough and let them know. But if it's not something that is THAT important or THAT impossible to live with then I would recommend waiting. Is it being dishonest? Probably, but I would say it's minor enough and the good certainly outweighs the bad.

Check out my atheism blog. It's just a blog, no ads, no revenue, no gods.
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11-12-2013, 08:58 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
(11-12-2013 08:47 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 07:54 AM)Thurdok Wrote:  Hey everyone.I'm new to the forum so let me jump right in with my dilemma. I'm married now 14 years and have an 11 year old girl. My wife is very religious and I was kinda religious when I met her . But for last 5 years I've seen the light and the BS of religion.I'm 41 yrs old and has come to the point where I need to be true to myself and stop pretending for my family's sake . My family and my wife's family is all religious . So atm I'm the only atheist I know in my whole circle of friends and family.

Like I said before I'm tired of the pretense and respect I have to give to religion and religiose people around me . I'm already a kind of a loner guy so the prospect of isolation does not cause fear in me . What does cause fear in me is that my relationship with my wife wud be irrevocably damaged when I do come out of the closet . She is the kinda person that takes things personally and attacks on a personal level .

Thanks for providing me with a platform where I can vent since these are the first time I'm publically announcing my free thinking and for lack of a better word , belief.I know I have to take baby steps but any experience or help wud be appreciated.


I helped my husband question religion by talking and sharing history. The more I questioned and provided data the more he began to question as well. I'm sure this doesn't work for everyone as it's likely some may be threatened. But I was lucky that he wasn't threatened by information.
Education is the enemy of faith.

If you start reading certain books in Front of your spouse - she may ask "why" and you can say you are not sure you *believe* anymore. Then go from there.

It's the best suggestion I have. and I wish you luck. Everyone is different so my ideas and what worked with my husband might not work for you.

I agree. I think a gentle approach with our spouses is always the best course of action…they are, after all, the person we chose to spend our lives with. I feel we should give them our kindness and best sides ourselves in all sorts of difficulties.

let her catch you exploring a book or website or youtube, tell her you are doubting, that you have questions, that you are searching for answers. open the conversation to her but I would also bring the point that this is YOUR journey. Something that you need to understand for your own well being. Her thoughts are hers and yours are yours. You need to walk your own spiritual path to be true to yourself and that you are ok with her walking whatever she feels is right. (hopefully you actually do feel that way).

Some spouses have trouble giving the other permission to be different. They shouldn't need permission, but that is the crux of the problem.

As far as kids, find the youtube from Dale McGowan from FreeThought OK. There is so much information in there. Don't worry about the indoctrination of your child, just teach her to question, just be that one person that is decent in her life that thinks differently than everyone else, share your ideas with her. With just that….religion won't stick as long as she knows there are other options.


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11-12-2013, 09:04 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
(11-12-2013 08:58 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  
(11-12-2013 08:47 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  I helped my husband question religion by talking and sharing history. The more I questioned and provided data the more he began to question as well. I'm sure this doesn't work for everyone as it's likely some may be threatened. But I was lucky that he wasn't threatened by information.
Education is the enemy of faith.

If you start reading certain books in Front of your spouse - she may ask "why" and you can say you are not sure you *believe* anymore. Then go from there.

It's the best suggestion I have. and I wish you luck. Everyone is different so my ideas and what worked with my husband might not work for you.

I agree. I think a gentle approach with our spouses is always the best course of action…they are, after all, the person we chose to spend our lives with. I feel we should give them our kindness and best sides ourselves in all sorts of difficulties.

let her catch you exploring a book or website or youtube, tell her you are doubting, that you have questions, that you are searching for answers. open the conversation to her but I would also bring the point that this is YOUR journey. Something that you need to understand for your own well being. Her thoughts are hers and yours are yours. You need to walk your own spiritual path to be true to yourself and that you are ok with her walking whatever she feels is right. (hopefully you actually do feel that way).

Some spouses have trouble giving the other permission to be different. They shouldn't need permission, but that is the crux of the problem.

As far as kids, find the youtube from Dale McGowan from FreeThought OK. There is so much information in there. Don't worry about the indoctrination of your child, just teach her to question, just be that one person that is decent in her life that thinks differently than everyone else, share your ideas with her. With just that….religion won't stick as long as she knows there are other options.


Yeah I didn't really make some sort of announcement - I was just reading certain books (anyway) and he noticed what I was reading. Said "I have sooo many questions" and that wasn't a danger yanno? Having questions doesn't have to threaten............. Unless the person is very devout - then it might be threatening.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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11-12-2013, 10:53 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
Thanks all for the advice so far . To Bows and Arrows : I havent been in church since my fathers funeral 4 years ago.My wife mentions she needs to go to church more often with my daughter but she has been to church like 5 times this year .Religious topics are discussed not very often and when it comes up I usually don't comment ( but I want to change that ) Our relationship is not good tbh we have drifted apart and our daughter is the only clingfilm holding it together imo , dunno what her's is , but I think this "coming out" will be used against me as another of my failings in the marriage . My wife thinks the fact that I dont talk about church or attend is one of the reasons why our marriage is so bad anyway .I'm ok with her being christian although I do not respect christianity anymore .I think I'm gonna be a militant when I come out 100% (I'm just being held back lol) I would like to join the atheist community in my home city of Cape Town albeit very small , I wanna speak up against christianity and its evils .I'm actually quite scared of what I might become because I'm becomin quite passionately atheist. And thanks for the advice about taking it slow - i also spoke to a colleague today about that and his suggestion is to be a like a bullfighter fighting a bull with the red tabard - allowing the bull to storm and me just giving way and not fighting the bull. Allowing the bull to get mad again and again and me just submissively keeping quiet until the rage period is over .
@WillHopp - at every whatsoever gathering I have to bear the religious BS and keeping quiet is so hard . One of my aunties is especially religious and she and my wife has a good relationship and talk about religion all the time .
I feel if I come out I will be isolated and frowned upon ,even prayed for .But I'm not scared of that.I will be the hot topic on every dinner table of all my friends lol.Christianity is really all encompassing in SA. We are but small minority of atheists in whole of SA I predict.
My daughter is quite witty and already she has debunked Santa , ghosts because theres no evidence for it . I am not indoctrinating her I'm just telling her to question everything and she is doing it . My wife does not know of these talks I'm having with my daughter .
The advice about getting noticed when reading some books sounds like an excellent idea - might try that .
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11-12-2013, 11:02 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
there are a few other members here from SA. Start a thread, they'll speak up. who knows….maybe they live down the street from you. Smile


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