How to tell someone...
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21-01-2014, 05:39 PM
How to tell someone...
Hey all,

I'm looking for some guidance on a subject that I'm sure a lot (if not most) of you have had to deal with at some point. How to tell someone (significant) that you don't believe in god?

All my life, I followed friends and family in religion...why? (cuz i was told thats the way it was). I never questioned it and even at times faked some religious experience just to fit in with my religious peers. I met my wife in 2009 (i was still religious), she was and still is a devout christian, though she has kinda cut back on the whole religious thing in a past couple years. We used to go to church and all that stuff but not so much any more.

In the past year or so, it's been tough, I have lost a lot of close family (some unexpectedly). I started to question everything (as my username suggests), not just god but just my life in general. But god was the biggest proponent, through my i have concluded that there is no god, and am (for lack of a better term) a devout atheist. But my question is, if somehow the topic of my beliefs comes up with my wife or close friends, whats the best way to handle that? How have you handled that?

Thanks,
IQuestionEverything
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21-01-2014, 05:54 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
There are plenty of threads about this. It's different for every person/situation.
Generally you either avoid the question, lie or tell the truth. Only you will know the right answer for the right person.

For example, I'm open about my atheism with my friends, and parents. The rest of my family I either avoid the question or lie.

Atir aissom atir imon
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21-01-2014, 05:59 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
With my friends i'm sure it won't really come up... but with my wife, I always want to be honest, but won't willingly bring it up and just out of the blue be like "hey, i don't believe in god" and just go about my day. so i guess my question is more how to talk about it with my wife if it comes up?

I'm new to this whole forum thing and dont really know how to navigate through to find a thread

And Always,
QuestionEverything
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21-01-2014, 06:00 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
I'd say you'll need to tell your wife for sure. Do you think it will be an issue for her, do you have kids together? I can't give much advice on how to do it. You'll know best based on how you normally deal with things between the two of you.

As far as family and friends, again totally up to you. With both my family and friends, I mentioned it casually when he topic of belief was brought up, not before. "eh, I don't worry about that stuff much, I'm an atheist" ... Just a no big deal statement. Of course, I'm not a confrontational person, and don't enjoy discussing my atheism with friends and family. Usually just leads to arguments, and hurt feelings that don't get anyone anywhere.

Best of luck, let us know how it goes, and WELCOME!!! Big Grin
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21-01-2014, 06:02 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
Hug I'm thoroughly back in the closet for now, so I haven't any advice.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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21-01-2014, 06:10 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
(21-01-2014 06:00 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  I'd say you'll need to tell your wife for sure. Do you think it will be an issue for her, do you have kids together? I can't give much advice on how to do it. You'll know best based on how you normally deal with things between the two of you.

As far as family and friends, again totally up to you. With both my family and friends, I mentioned it casually when he topic of belief was brought up, not before. "eh, I don't worry about that stuff much, I'm an atheist" ... Just a no big deal statement. Of course, I'm not a confrontational person, and don't enjoy discussing my atheism with friends and family. Usually just leads to arguments, and hurt feelings that don't get anyone anywhere.

Best of luck, let us know how it goes, and WELCOME!!! Big Grin

No kids yet, so that takes a level of difficulty out of it, its just me and her and our 2 dogs. Knowing how devout my wife is/was, I know it's NOT gonna be nothing, I just don't know how she'll react.

And thanks for the warm welcome. You people (atheists) are a group of nice folks. not just on this forum, but facebook, twitter, etc.. Much nicer than a lot of christians i know.

And Always,
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21-01-2014, 06:23 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
I can't say anything from experience (I've never lived in an area where atheists are publicly defamed). But I think it is a necessary conversation with your wife for sure. Do you attend church with her? does she attend church? If she does, and you don't, then has she ever asked why? It might be worth it to have a "serious" conversation over dinner. "I have been thinking and there is something I really want to talk to you about." The less long you hold it in, the less likely she will feel that her trust is broken when you tell her (I'd imagine).

For everybody else...
I *personally* would tell the truth under the right conditions.
1. The conversation came up naturally, I wouldn't start it.
2. I trust the person OR the person is relatively insignificant in my life.
3. Telling this person won't cause me harm professionally or financially (I'm pretty open, and I still don't even tell co-workers).

I usually only bring it up when asked, unless I'm really close to the person I'm talking to.

Good luck.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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21-01-2014, 06:36 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
(21-01-2014 06:23 PM)Adrianime Wrote:  I can't say anything from experience (I've never lived in an area where atheists are publicly defamed). But I think it is a necessary conversation with your wife for sure. Do you attend church with her? does she attend church? If she does, and you don't, then has she ever asked why? It might be worth it to have a "serious" conversation over dinner. "I have been thinking and there is something I really want to talk to you about." The less long you hold it in, the less likely she will feel that her trust is broken when you tell her (I'd imagine).

For everybody else...
I *personally* would tell the truth under the right conditions.
1. The conversation came up naturally, I wouldn't start it.
2. I trust the person OR the person is relatively insignificant in my life.
3. Telling this person won't cause me harm professionally or financially (I'm pretty open, and I still don't even tell co-workers).

I usually only bring it up when asked, unless I'm really close to the person I'm talking to.

Good luck.

We used to attend church regularly, but for the past 18+ months, its been rare that she goes, and when she does, I've stayed home with the excuse that football is on (Go Raiders btw!!). She has yet to ask about it, but now that football is about to end, I'm thinking its gonna come up.

And Always,
QuestionEverything
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21-01-2014, 06:44 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
Take this as just a suggestion:

Think about a 'phased' approach rather than a 'big bang'.

Let her come to the realisation that you are 'unfaithful'.

Let her observe that you (the person she cares for) have changed belief rather than that a belief has changed you.

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21-01-2014, 06:51 PM
RE: How to tell someone...
(21-01-2014 06:44 PM)DLJ Wrote:  Take this as just a suggestion:

Think about a 'phased' approach rather than a 'big bang'.

Let her come to the realisation that you are 'unfaithful'.

Let her observe that you (the person she cares for) have changed belief rather than that a belief has changed you.

WOW! Thank you. That makes so much sense.

And Always,
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