I don't want to lose the love of my life.
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06-01-2017, 10:45 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(06-01-2017 10:22 AM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  Your story is very similar to mine in many ways. I lived with and tried to ignore serious doubts for many years. I finally read the bible cover-to-cover and that killed any remnants of faith that might have existed. My ex-wife, who was my high school "sweetheart", was also experiencing a simultaneous growth in faith and involvement in church. For us, even though I tried to be very non-confrontational about it, it was the death nail for our marriage. However, there were lots of extenuating circumstances. Our marriage was already troubled by a variety of other issues and open and honest communication was not easy. My ex used my loss of faith as her own personal scapegoat. She blamed any negative emotion I had on the fact that I had forsaken god and she refused to accept any responsibility for her part in the decline of our marriage. I obviously needed to be fixed, and god was the only way that could happen.

With that said, I would just be honest with her about your beliefs and try to be understanding of the way the news will affect her. If the foundation for a good marriage (trust, honesty and communication) is there, I feel like it is workable.

Thank you TurkeyBurner. I am sorry to hear your story. I do find it funny how many devout Christians have not read the bible. I am almost done with the bible, and I noticed that 1 Corinthians 7:13 states that if a woman, who is a believer, has a non-believing husband she should not divorce him. I will have to be honest with her about my beliefs at some point. I will absolutely be understanding and sympathetic with how it will impact her mentally and emotionally. I really hope it will work out.
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06-01-2017, 11:04 PM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
Wow, your situation describes my own current situation VERY CLOSELY. I am 33, my wife and I met in our pentacostal youth church at 18 and married at the age of 20. We are very close, literally never argue, have 3 kids (8,6 and 2) and really do have a close marriage. We were both raised in bible believing, bible inerrancy, perfect word of God, fundamentalist households. Both of our sets of parents still are believers along with her two older sisters, their husbands and kids...well...you get the picture. My own brother went to a fundamentalist bible college 15 years ago and got his degree in theology and we just recently (within last year) both realized we have gone down the same path of deconversion without either of us knowing about the other. I have always had little doubts and was always plagued by 1 Peter 3:15 stating I should always have an answer for the hope that was within me. I believed it all; but like so many, I actually didn't even *know* or understand what I even claimed. Finally, I was tired of the doubts (expressed some non threatening ones to my wife) and committed to finding the truth that I knew was there, in the Bible, that everyone else I knew claimed to know, but somehow I missed. Well, since a year ago, I can say I have faithfully spent 2-3 hours 5-6 days a week studying and researching. I came to the realization that my doubts were grounded in reality and considered myself an agnostic by about March 2016. It has been intensely freeing to myself. Bart Ehrman's scholarship has been one of the biggest stepping stones from me, as have been countless hours of debates from Bart, Sam Harris and so many others along with tons of books. So, I have had several conversations with my wife (respectfully) over the last year, but of course I have never told her I am no longer a believer. Some convos have been easier and some very hard. She straight out asked me if I believed in God any more at the beginning of 2016, and at the time I was being honest by answering yes, that I did. We have no point blank had that conversation again, but she notices that I never pray at dinner, before bed or before the kids go to school. I literally do nothing that would make her think I am a believer, but I have not said I am not. My bible is absolutely FULL of color-codes sticky notes, I have read countless books, watches hundreds of hours of debates and discussions and I know more about the realities of the early church, philosophy and science than I ever have.

I now have an outline for a book I want to write. I have truly narrowed down what were the main causes for my deconversion; Scripture, Suffering and Science (3 S's...sounds like a sermon). My wife (and I) are both extremely committed to each other, our kids and our marriage. My wife is a natural born follower (her own words) and I am very much a leader type personality. I feel that over time, if the lines of communication are open, I will get through to her. She truly doesn't know much of anything at all if she were really being honest, about her own faith, what it is and is not. I truly don't believe she has ever heard of, known or thought about many of the things that have led so many to deconvert.

However, not a singe day goes by where I don't think extensively about how/when I will "come out" to her. I guess I wrote all this so you know you aren't alone. In fact, shoot me a Message or something and let's chat.

Trev
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07-01-2017, 04:51 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
Sean,

I have some experience of relationship counselling, from back in the teaching career.

The situation is a bit worrying, so I would recommend letting things lay for the moment. In dealing with genuine believers over the years, I've found that change is unlikely unless some internal crisis happens. Talking doubt to a believer is almost always fruitless.

However, you have the advantage of an open mind. A thought is - If you had a way of letting things be as they are in the relationship and yet being free within yourself, would that be enough? You might think of the religion as a comforter for her, but not needed for you.

Hope it works out for both of you.

D.
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07-01-2017, 06:05 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(06-01-2017 07:35 AM)Sean Jacobs Wrote:  I got married in my early 20’s to a woman, who wasn’t particularly religious. However she was just a mess of a person, but I didn’t discover this until after we were married. It really wasn’t her fault, as she had been horribly sexually abused as a child. But, we ended up divorced because she was unwilling to seek help and her behaviors were just not conducive to a happy marriage (example: Cheating often).

It's really good that you don't blame her.

Quote: My wife and her father have tried hard to push me to get involved in the “men’s ministry” and go on “men’s outings.”

Men's groups are one of the things I miss actually.

Quote: Do I just pretend I believe (go along to get along), or do I (eventually) tell her the truth and hope it doesn’t end our marriage.

I feel that you've missed something here. Your wife's faith is important to her, and you certainly shouldn't make it a point of division. I'd suggest you reassure her by letting her know that you respect many of the Christian ideals, such as parable Jesus taught about the Good Samaritan (of course use your own examples), but that you don't believe in heaven or hell.

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07-01-2017, 11:30 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
I just wanted to say hi from another MA resident Smile

I am sure you will get some helpful advice from the wonderful people here. My husband and I are both atheist, so I can't really advise.

It sounds like a difficult situation, I hope you can find a solution that will make you happy. In the meantime, you can find support here!

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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07-01-2017, 12:47 PM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(07-01-2017 04:51 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Sean,

I have some experience of relationship counselling, from back in the teaching career.

The situation is a bit worrying, so I would recommend letting things lay for the moment. In dealing with genuine believers over the years, I've found that change is unlikely unless some internal crisis happens. Talking doubt to a believer is almost always fruitless.

However, you have the advantage of an open mind. A thought is - If you had a way of letting things be as they are in the relationship and yet being free within yourself, would that be enough? You might think of the religion as a comforter for her, but not needed for you.

Hope it works out for both of you.

D.


Hi Sean.

I am not one to offer any advice, being a lifelong atheist and bachelor.

Of all the many great replies thus far, I feel both Chas and Dworkin hit the nail on the head.

What you think in your mind is your business. There is no need to thrust it upon your wife. If faith gives her strength, fine. Perhaps simply let it lie.

There are many excuses for not wanting to go to church, both true and false. I hope you find some.

Oh and yes, the bible is a very bad book and the doctrine it teaches is IMO anti life, xenophobic, hateful and elitist.

Best cure for xian belief? Read the bible.

I actually studied and worked from it for 6 years. Did my head in.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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10-01-2017, 08:28 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(06-01-2017 11:04 PM)twiskus Wrote:  Wow, your situation describes my own current situation VERY CLOSELY. I am 33, my wife and I met in our pentacostal youth church at 18 and married at the age of 20. We are very close, literally never argue, have 3 kids (8,6 and 2) and really do have a close marriage. We were both raised in bible believing, bible inerrancy, perfect word of God, fundamentalist households. Both of our sets of parents still are believers along with her two older sisters, their husbands and kids...well...you get the picture. My own brother went to a fundamentalist bible college 15 years ago and got his degree in theology and we just recently (within last year) both realized we have gone down the same path of deconversion without either of us knowing about the other. I have always had little doubts and was always plagued by 1 Peter 3:15 stating I should always have an answer for the hope that was within me. I believed it all; but like so many, I actually didn't even *know* or understand what I even claimed. Finally, I was tired of the doubts (expressed some non threatening ones to my wife) and committed to finding the truth that I knew was there, in the Bible, that everyone else I knew claimed to know, but somehow I missed. Well, since a year ago, I can say I have faithfully spent 2-3 hours 5-6 days a week studying and researching. I came to the realization that my doubts were grounded in reality and considered myself an agnostic by about March 2016. It has been intensely freeing to myself. Bart Ehrman's scholarship has been one of the biggest stepping stones from me, as have been countless hours of debates from Bart, Sam Harris and so many others along with tons of books. So, I have had several conversations with my wife (respectfully) over the last year, but of course I have never told her I am no longer a believer. Some convos have been easier and some very hard. She straight out asked me if I believed in God any more at the beginning of 2016, and at the time I was being honest by answering yes, that I did. We have no point blank had that conversation again, but she notices that I never pray at dinner, before bed or before the kids go to school. I literally do nothing that would make her think I am a believer, but I have not said I am not. My bible is absolutely FULL of color-codes sticky notes, I have read countless books, watches hundreds of hours of debates and discussions and I know more about the realities of the early church, philosophy and science than I ever have.

I now have an outline for a book I want to write. I have truly narrowed down what were the main causes for my deconversion; Scripture, Suffering and Science (3 S's...sounds like a sermon). My wife (and I) are both extremely committed to each other, our kids and our marriage. My wife is a natural born follower (her own words) and I am very much a leader type personality. I feel that over time, if the lines of communication are open, I will get through to her. She truly doesn't know much of anything at all if she were really being honest, about her own faith, what it is and is not. I truly don't believe she has ever heard of, known or thought about many of the things that have led so many to deconvert.

However, not a singe day goes by where I don't think extensively about how/when I will "come out" to her. I guess I wrote all this so you know you aren't alone. In fact, shoot me a Message or something and let's chat.

Trev

Wow Trev! I agree. Our stories are very similar. I have been doing a massive about of research online and reading the bible and making ongoing notes (I’m up to 237 pages of scripture with associated notes it small font.). I’m doing this because it helps me to clarify my thoughts on the subject. I’ve also been watching debates, scientific discussions, and “the atheist experience” show. I too am a leader, and I am someone who seeks truth. When I am interested in a subject, I will do thorough research before I decide if what I’m being told is valid. My wife it a follower. She decisions are based on how she feels.

For my deconversion, scriptures played a huge role; the conflict between an ominbenevolent God and hell is huge for me. Definitely science; it just makes more sense and some is undeniably correct. Then there is the convoluted message of how god condemns the entire human race for the sins of 2 people, than he selects a small group of people to be his "chosen people' and proceeds to bean the crap out of them for not following his rules, then he decides the only way he can forgive these horrible creations of his is to send himself to earth to suffer and die as a blood sacrifice to himself to save us from his wrath. Ultimately, this makes absolutely no sense what so ever. The sign of intelligence is simplicity. Making things less complicated is what we do to achieve success. The god of the bible is obviously not intelligent.

Thank you very much for your post. It is very helpful to see that there are other in my same position.
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10-01-2017, 08:32 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(07-01-2017 04:51 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  Sean,

I have some experience of relationship counselling, from back in the teaching career.

The situation is a bit worrying, so I would recommend letting things lay for the moment. In dealing with genuine believers over the years, I've found that change is unlikely unless some internal crisis happens. Talking doubt to a believer is almost always fruitless.

However, you have the advantage of an open mind. A thought is - If you had a way of letting things be as they are in the relationship and yet being free within yourself, would that be enough? You might think of the religion as a comforter for her, but not needed for you.

Hope it works out for both of you.

D.

Thank you D. Unfortunately, the subject has been breached. i agree. My wife takes comfort in her religion. I just hope we can find a way to make it work.
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10-01-2017, 09:00 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
Well, I had the initial conversation with my wife. It came about due to an overall argument:

To start with; in church this Sunday my pastor just started a new sermon series about “Who Needs God.” This an apologetics series on “proving” that God exists. The first sermon was horribly in accurate, one sided (which is exactly how I would expect it to be), and it outright bashed scientists and atheist and sad & angry people with no direction in their lives.

Yesterday my wife and I were catching up on 5 days worth of a “5 love languages” devotional book. We were discussing some things in the devotional which had to do with communication. We began to argue a bit, due to some current issues in our marriage (lack of intimacy due to physiological issue with my wife has been having for several year and which may never go away, which causes her to have not sex drive; the fact that she pays more attention to Facebook and her phone than to me; the fact that I tent to go “overboard” on researching things in which I’m interested).

After arguing about several things, I finally admitted that I am struggling with my faith. She said “I know. I can tell by some of the things you’ve been saying lately.” I explained that one of the reasons is the issue she has been having with her libido (which began 8 years ago). I told her that, up until recently, I have prayed over and over again for god to heal this issue and have received nothing. I further explained that that when the healing has not been forthcoming I pray for a reason why God, who (supposedly) can heal any ailment, would not heal her from this condition which is negatively impacting her, me and our relationship. I explained that God has given me absolutely nothing, just silence. I told her how upsetting this is to me as I would assume an all loving god would help us with this situation or at the very least give us some reason as to why it not his will why it won’t happen. She replied by saying, “Maybe this is just life. Plenty of people have issues that are not healed with no explanation.” I asked her if what she was saying is that there are things, that God can change but doesn’t because he has decided that he is just going to get involved and will just let nature take its course. Basically, she said yes. So I replied, “Then why would I believe in, follow, and worship god?” She had not answer, but was getting frustrate. We continued to talk about the fact that there are no more miracles in the world like they were described in the bible; how if god truly loves us and wants us to love and believe in him he would demonstrate his presents to all of us instead of hiding and expecting us to base our belief in faith along. She then said, “This is how we are so different. One of my ‘gifts’ is that I just take it on faith. I don’t need to think about it, I just accept it. You expect too much. You over analyses it.” I was just done at this point. I couldn’t see any point in arguing any more. At least I got my point my faith in a god is dead and unless a god actually decides to demonstrate itself to me, I just can’t believe any longer. All of this is just superstition. My wife can see that horror movies are fake, ghosts are fake, alien abduction stories are fake, bigfoot sightings are fake, other gods/religions (Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Hindus, Muslims, ect.) are fake; yet she accepts Jesus/Yahweh/Holy Spirit as being 100% undeniable fact even though there is no more proof of her believe than for the aforementioned fairy tales.

The good news is that I don’t believe she is considering leaving at this point, and being the good Christian she is I don’t know if she will considerate the sin of divorce. However, I don’t know how this will impact our relationship downstream. I have a bad feeling that when her parents find out, I may become Satan.

I'm not going to push my beliefs on her. I don't want to hurt her in any way. I just hope we can find a way to have a great life together even if we disagree on this subject. My main concern is people's tendency to "worry" about me burning in hell. That can drive people to push their beliefs.
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11-01-2017, 03:01 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
Mate, sorry. I know this is PIAS, but you're fucked.

Get ready for the aftermath. Contact good lawyers NOW.

I know it when I see it.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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