Husband all of a sudden a theist
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27-06-2017, 07:16 AM
Husband all of a sudden a theist
I am so down right now. I always thought my husband was an atheist. Every time I would talk about my beliefs as a Christian he would always counter it with something logical. He never went to church with me. He never read the Bible.

Now that I have told him I am an atheist he all of a sudden believes in a deity. We've had a lot of stuff happen all of a sudden recently and he's trying to tell me it's a deity punishing us for my lack of belief.

He also said he doesn't want our 7 year old saying there is no god. If it wasn't for me she wouldn't even know about the Christian myths in the first place. He's also baiting me into arguments. He'll want to talk about his beliefs (which is news to me) and ask me "Do you think god is punishing us?" When I say "I don't believe in a god, so no." He'll then say "Why do you always try to shut down the conversation like that?" As someone who went to a Christian school and a Bible college I know this tactic.

I just have no clue where any of this is coming from. When I ask him he says "You were always the optimistic one." Honestly, I think I am more optimistic. Without God testing us or allowing Satan to test us, tomorrow may actually be a better day because no one is causing this to happen.

I cannot talk to my family because they are all Christian and the one person I thought I could talk to because he NEVER had a belief in anything decides he wants to be a deist ALL OF A SUDDEN!

Thanks for letting me rant. I just have no where else to go.
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27-06-2017, 07:26 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
You're always welcome to come here to let it out. I'm sorry that you were blindsided by his belief. That's an awful feeling to think you were on the same page and then you're suddenly not. Have you talked to him about how you thought he never believed before?

What sort of beliefs does he hold now? Is he a Christian? Or does he just think that that's a god of some sort, and not have any real definition for it? What happened to his skeptical side?
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27-06-2017, 07:41 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
(27-06-2017 07:16 AM)qpmomma Wrote:  I am so down right now. I always thought my husband was an atheist. Every time I would talk about my beliefs as a Christian he would always counter it with something logical. He never went to church with me. He never read the Bible.

Now that I have told him I am an atheist he all of a sudden believes in a deity. We've had a lot of stuff happen all of a sudden recently and he's trying to tell me it's a deity punishing us for my lack of belief.

He also said he doesn't want our 7 year old saying there is no god. If it wasn't for me she wouldn't even know about the Christian myths in the first place. He's also baiting me into arguments. He'll want to talk about his beliefs (which is news to me) and ask me "Do you think god is punishing us?" When I say "I don't believe in a god, so no." He'll then say "Why do you always try to shut down the conversation like that?" As someone who went to a Christian school and a Bible college I know this tactic.

I just have no clue where any of this is coming from. When I ask him he says "You were always the optimistic one." Honestly, I think I am more optimistic. Without God testing us or allowing Satan to test us, tomorrow may actually be a better day because no one is causing this to happen.

I cannot talk to my family because they are all Christian and the one person I thought I could talk to because he NEVER had a belief in anything decides he wants to be a deist ALL OF A SUDDEN!

Thanks for letting me rant. I just have no where else to go.

This sucks. With brothers and sisters it is far easier as an adult to deal with. But when you are married and have kids, it becomes tougher.

The most important thing now is that neither of you use the kid against each other, not saying you will. Unfortunately even outside religion, couples can get very bitter about kids and battle over them to the point the kid gets hurt emotionally.

I wish I had some good advice, but the only thing I have is just don't put the kid in the middle of it. At best simply calmly explain that you both love your kid and that you simply have a difference of positions.

You don't have to be a doormat either. You also have the right to tell your kid your position. If he cannot handle that then he is the one with the problem. But no matter what, don't get into loud fights in front of the kid, over any issue.

Maybe if he'd be willing, you could seek family therapy from a professional secular source.

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27-06-2017, 07:43 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
Time to have a long talk with him I think, mainly over where this has all come from. It might just be something he's always done, and kept it hidden from you, and now you've "converted" he's free to practice whatever he feels is right.

Re the kids, don't worry about it too much. Give them any/all information you can, for this and all religions, and also your own view point on it, and they will make their own mind up on it.

Just ask him why the sudden change? Maybe he's having a bit of a "mid life" or maybe he's had a health scare, and is falling back on the only thing he knows.

Have a talk, then report back Smile

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27-06-2017, 07:58 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
(27-06-2017 07:43 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  Just ask him why the sudden change? Maybe he's having a bit of a "mid life" or maybe he's had a health scare, and is falling back on the only thing he knows.

I think OakTree pretty much nailed it.

There's very likely more going on here than just a sudden conversion. Something triggered it. My guess would be a health scare, or a temptation to infidelity. Just guesses.

Regardless, the reason for the change is probably worth exploring.
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27-06-2017, 08:07 AM (This post was last modified: 27-06-2017 08:22 AM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
I know this is one of those, "shoulda done this," types of advice but the time to discuss matters of faith, belief, and spirituality (and their importance for each of you) with your husband was really before you got married and certainly before you had a child.

But here you are, so what do you do now?

In terms of raising your daughter you mentioned that back in your Christian days your husband would often turn your religious comments around and respond with something logic-based as opposed to spiritual. That would lead me to believe he's a person who at least values evidence, science, logic, etc. even if he also has some manner of spiritual philosophy/worldview too. Work with him there. You said he mentioned he doesn't want your daughter saying there is no god. But does he value her learning science, math, i.e. an evidence-based view of reality? If so, do your best to make sure she gets a good education in all these concepts, take her to museums - when she's older she'll ultimately make up her own mind. The best you can do is lay a solid foundation.

My wife and I had the "belief" talk before we got married - and again when we found out she was pregnant with our first. It's interesting how some people (not my wife, but just people in general) can be pretty much fine with a weak position on theism for themselves but still want to inculcate their kids with a specific theology or faith system. Some folks seem insistent on raising their kids in the same tradition they ultimately mostly gave up, so the kid can have the chance to become an adult who mostly gives it up too, lol. To a degree I actually understand that. Many believers look at their faith as the building blocks of their moral core, and even if their piety and devoutness varies in their adult life many people who aren't exactly "believers" will still say they're glad they were raised in a certain faith because of the "values" they took from it. It may be that this is your husband's primary issue. Maybe he's not all that strong a believer but still thinks your daughter will be missing something fundamental in her moral and ethical development without some religious instruction. That's not a view I cleave to, but I sort of understand those that do. Personally, I think any priest or pastor out there in the world could learn far more about morality and fairness if they spent 20 minutes with my naturally atheistic 2-year-old than he could learn from them over years of Sunday school.

My wife is Jewish, at least ethnically. And she believes there is something "more" to the universe than just matter, physics, and human consciousness. But she doesn't define it. She would never go so far as to say the "it" is the god of the Abrahamic religions. Maybe it's something more like just the human spirit. Suffice it to say my atheism isn't a problem for her. We respect each other's views. It's very important for her, having had relatives who were killed under the Russian pogroms and the holocaust, that our kids know what it means to be Jewish, in terms of the culture and the traditions. Whether either of our sons ever set foot in a temple or not isn't really her concern. We do the most secular versions imaginable of the holidays, but we also do Christmas and Easter - also without going to church. Our boys are not circumcised and my wife doesn't care if they ever get bar mitzvahed or not. She just wants to make sure their heritage is not alien to them. And I totally get that.
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27-06-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
(27-06-2017 08:07 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  I know this is one of those, "shoulda done this," types of advice but the time to discuss matters of faith, belief, and spirituality (and their importance for each of you) with your husband was really before you got married and certainly before you had a child.

We did. He wasn't a Christian when we got married and had a child. I wasn't an atheist either. We had the discussion of our beliefs when we got married and had a kid. My beliefs changed over the span of 11 years, apparently so did his. Sorry to get defensive on you here, but we did have these conversations before we got married.
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27-06-2017, 08:25 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
I'm sorry you're going through this.

Certainly your husband owes you a long, honest conversation about his personal religious views and how they've come to change so radically--and also, maybe, how he can want you to go back to believing in a god who is so petty that he's rained plagues down on your family despite the ratio of believers to nonbelievers in the family being unchanged. I think you need to understand what's going on with him before you can even start to talk about how to handle religion with your daughter.

I'm wondering if the stressors you've gone through recently have been so hard on your husband that he's looking for someone to blame, and he's chosen you. If you'd still been a Christian, probably he'd have used a different rationale, but the blame would still be set on your shoulders. That's a horrendous situation for you and your marriage, if it turns out to be the case, and one that would probably require secular marriage counseling.
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27-06-2017, 08:36 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
We have been going through a lot (health, finances, stuff breaking down) so I know that has something to do with it. I just hate that we have kind of flipped our beliefs. I thought we would be on the same page. Hearing him talk he's not a Christian, more of a deist. He thinks there is a deity, just not the Christian one. He says it gives him comfort to know someone is ultimately in control of things. I have no issue with him being a Christian, deist, or anything else. I have an issue when he starts blaming me for what's going on right now.

He did drop the whole thing with our daughter once I pointed out to him the only reason she has a belief in God is because of me and I have never shut her down when she talks about God. I am teaching her about other religions and the possibility of there not being a god at all. I do want her to make up her own mind and as long as she isn't dismissing science or treating people badly because of her beliefs I don't have an issue with her having a belief in a deity.

I just don't like the blame and guilt.
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27-06-2017, 08:40 AM
RE: Husband all of a sudden a theist
(27-06-2017 08:25 AM)julep Wrote:  I'm sorry you're going through this.

Certainly your husband owes you a long, honest conversation about his personal religious views and how they've come to change so radically--and also, maybe, how he can want you to go back to believing in a god who is so petty that he's rained plagues down on your family despite the ratio of believers to nonbelievers in the family being unchanged. I think you need to understand what's going on with him before you can even start to talk about how to handle religion with your daughter.

I'm wondering if the stressors you've gone through recently have been so hard on your husband that he's looking for someone to blame, and he's chosen you. If you'd still been a Christian, probably he'd have used a different rationale, but the blame would still be set on your shoulders. That's a horrendous situation for you and your marriage, if it turns out to be the case, and one that would probably require secular marriage counseling.

When we were talking last night I got the feeling that God was protecting us because of my "strong belief" in God. Since his faith isn't strong and I am an atheist, God has chosen to not protect us anymore. It sounds absolutely insane now that I am no longer a Christian, but would have made perfect sense to me when I was one.
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