How to come out of closet to religious wife
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11-12-2013, 12:39 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
Ok, then you need to be honest with yourself and your family, just be gentle with the wife. No sense throwing away a marriage and hurting your daughter if you can live as a "mixed" couple.

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Atheism promotes critical thinking; theism promotes hypocritical thinking. -- Me
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11-12-2013, 04:20 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
(11-12-2013 10:53 AM)Thurdok Wrote:  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 .

I hope this doesn't come across in the wrong way, but if I can give a bit of advice, it would be best to free some time up, sit down with your wife and talk about this. I don't know, it just seems like 'accidentally, deliberately being seen reading a book' is a little bit manipulative and dishonest. If I was married and my husband decided to be atheist, I wouldn't want to find out at the end of his decision, it would feel like a part of him- an important part- was being kept from me all this time. If you're both going to persist in your beliefs then it should be on a level that shows respect and understanding. There's no point being either an angry, passionate Christian or atheist if you don't have a full understanding of your own and the other's positions on which to build on.

Also it's good to teach your (obviously smart) daughter to not take things on face value- to test, and to question. But I have two thoughts.
First, make sure you're not just teaching her to question her mother's beliefs. You'll know she's doing well when you suggest something to her and she disagrees with you and can say why.
Second, make sure you're not setting up a 'dad and daughter vs mum's beliefs' dynamic. As someone who has come to faith using reason and questioning I feel a bit insulted when people try to say 'teach children to think and they'll reject faith.' Blind and unreasoned atheism is as dangerous as blind and unreasoned faith- that's important to teach her. And finally try and put yourself in your wife's shoes. How would you feel if the daughter who was raised in an atheist household was having talks you didn't know about with a Christian relative? There might be some anger and resentment there, so be prepared to be gentle.

Honesty, openness and mutual respect is the way to. As my dad once told me 'I'll never be angry at you for saying what you need to say, I'll only be angry if you felt you couldn't tell me in the first place.'
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25-12-2013, 09:49 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
You make it sound like you want to clear your conscience like someone who's had an affair. Atheism isn't about joining a group or telling everyone, it's just part of who you are. You need to respect other people's choices. If you try to tell them of the error of their ways with religion you will come off as a "holier than thou snot".
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25-12-2013, 10:40 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
Quote: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 .


If she loves her invisible friend more than you your marriage is already irrevocably damaged.

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27-12-2013, 06:39 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
Who said you have to come out in one big bound?
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27-12-2013, 07:36 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
Religious wife, religious life...
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27-12-2013, 07:54 PM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
I've been there.

Start reading and taking an interest in science. Discuss it. Go slowly, don't rush it. Be tactful. Eventually she'll begin to figure it out. Then the real conversations will begin. Don't expect to convert her. Remember, it took you a long time to see the light so give her the time too and keep in mind that she may never see things the way you do. You must respect her and her views if you expect her to respect you and yours. You CAN coexist if everything else is right. My wife and I do. (But she's coming around Wink)

"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"- David Hume
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28-12-2013, 10:15 AM
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
I don't think it has occurred to her that when God sacrificed his son so we would live without sin, this was a horrific act. What if your neighbor murdered your daughter, the reason being so the neighbors wouldn't sin. There's not a court in the country would buy into that, yet it is readily accepted when it's "God". Who's to say your neighbor isn't God in disguise and opted to sacrifice a female this time. This is what makes religion ridiculous.
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28-12-2013, 05:57 PM (This post was last modified: 28-12-2013 06:04 PM by Vipa.)
RE: How to come out of closet to religious wife
I feel like your daughter is being ignored too much in this discussion so far. Until she's relatively mature a divorce could bring unnecessary harm to her mental stability. If your wife's the taking-things-personal type, you should ask yourself if there's a realistic chance for a divorce over this topic. If so, maybe holding out another 2-3 years for your daughter's sake should imo be considered.

Also if you think that's unlikely or you would still take the risk: If your wife knows you're an atheist there is the possibility of an overreaction on her side e.g. with regular church visits with your daughter from then on or similar things. Instead of the here discussed battle you+daughter vs. wife there could be a "war" you vs. everyone else over your daughter's mind. This could be way worse than her mother showing her how unimportant church really is to her (by not attending and just talking about it).

However, I understand staying silent could proof difficult. Maybe you could be more open towards your daughter without shoving atheism down her throat, if your talks worked up until now without your wife's knowledge there's no reason to think this couldn't continue. But the backlash could be pretty bad too if your wife ever finds out what you were doing behind her back.

Obviously I'm just presenting some worst case scenarios to consider, you know your wife and your kid best to assess the likelyhood of these events and whether this is of any concern to you.
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