I don't want to lose the love of my life.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
24-01-2017, 08:52 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(24-01-2017 08:17 AM)Sean Jacobs Wrote:  
(18-01-2017 07:30 AM)mordant Wrote:  This is her way of just wanting to be allowed to slumber undisturbed. A lot of people are incurious and/or cope with life by avoiding full engagement with it. Perhaps your most fundamental question is going to end up being, whether your own style of engagement can accept her style.

Personally I have always been attracted to intelligent, curious women, so this would be a real turnoff. Combined with the lack of physical intimacy, particularly if there are no kids in the picture, I would be thinking about this independently of our increasing differences over religious faith, as a basic compatibility issue. On the other hand, I sense that you are, like me, all about loyalty and devotion, and would have difficulty living with yourself if you broke a pair bond in which there was any reciprocity at all -- and that this is not because of your religious beliefs so much as a basic feature of your personality. I would not pretend to tell you how to navigate this and arguably you don't want to complicate your deconversion just now by amplifying your marital difficulties.

So I guess my thought is that if you really love your wife and want to keep working through this, that is what you should do for the present as long as she is willing. In that case the inflection point may be whether she can gradually accept your religious differences and not use them as an excuse to complain endlessly or scapegoat you. If your marriage ends up just being a means of telling you every day why everything would be okay if you would just return to the fold, then I think you have your answer. If on the other hand mutual respect remains and you end up growing together (rather than apart) in other ways, that can work too.

I am ignoring the sexual issues here of course because you appear to have accepted that handicap and when you are pushing 60 like me someday you'll see that is's overrated anyway. There are other forms of intimacy. But the fact remains that some people need it and its a sticking point. That is for you to decide.


Thanks mordant. I agree. She just wants to accept. She is a follower, and has been all of her life. I'm a bit more of rebel, and always have been.

Yes, I love my wife dearly and I want to stay with her. I'm hoping we can find a way to make this work.

Last night she was watching some show on TV and they showed this bible based theme park where they have built a replica of Noah's ark. I had read something about that replica and said, "I heard that it took over 1000 workers, using modern construction equipment and using steel reinforcements, over a year to complete the ark." She looks at me and asks, "Do you believe the story of Noah's ark?"
At that moment I realized I probably should have kept my mouth shut. I respond, "No I don't."
She replies, "You know that you can't pick and choose what parts of the bible you believe."
I take a deep breath and respond, "Do you really think that 8 guys with primitive equipment could have built the ark?"
She responds, "They had help from God."
I reply, "The bible never mentions God assisting with the building of the ark. Besides, there is no evidence of a global flood which covered all the land on earth under 5 miles of water between 4000-6000 years ago. That type of event would have to leave enormous amounts of evidence. Unless God is just hiding the evidence."
She just sat there looking at me and I changed the subject. I went to bed shortly after and was reading. She came in and acted like nothing happened. I'm wondering if this is going to be a "Don't ask, don't tell" situation. I can "Play along" and go to church, not mention my beliefs around her church friends, not argue about anything related to Christianity. But, I strongly suspect that sooner or later someone is going to corner me (Like her ultra-Christian parent, or some of the women from her bible study) and I will respond in a way that will clearly demonstrate how I feel.

I think you should just tell her how much you love her, tell her about your fears of losing her, and have a conversation with her about your lack of belief. In my own life this crops up from time to time, if religious members of her family come over and religion comes up, I just remove myself from the situation and return when a more appropriate topic of conversation comes up.
There is nothing wrong with having differing opinions on this, but she needs to know what your opinion is, then at least you can be honest with each other, and move forward.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Manic's post
25-01-2017, 06:17 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(24-01-2017 08:52 AM)Manic Wrote:  
(24-01-2017 08:17 AM)Sean Jacobs Wrote:  Thanks mordant. I agree. She just wants to accept. She is a follower, and has been all of her life. I'm a bit more of rebel, and always have been.

Yes, I love my wife dearly and I want to stay with her. I'm hoping we can find a way to make this work.

Last night she was watching some show on TV and they showed this bible based theme park where they have built a replica of Noah's ark. I had read something about that replica and said, "I heard that it took over 1000 workers, using modern construction equipment and using steel reinforcements, over a year to complete the ark." She looks at me and asks, "Do you believe the story of Noah's ark?"
At that moment I realized I probably should have kept my mouth shut. I respond, "No I don't."
She replies, "You know that you can't pick and choose what parts of the bible you believe."
I take a deep breath and respond, "Do you really think that 8 guys with primitive equipment could have built the ark?"
She responds, "They had help from God."
I reply, "The bible never mentions God assisting with the building of the ark. Besides, there is no evidence of a global flood which covered all the land on earth under 5 miles of water between 4000-6000 years ago. That type of event would have to leave enormous amounts of evidence. Unless God is just hiding the evidence."
She just sat there looking at me and I changed the subject. I went to bed shortly after and was reading. She came in and acted like nothing happened. I'm wondering if this is going to be a "Don't ask, don't tell" situation. I can "Play along" and go to church, not mention my beliefs around her church friends, not argue about anything related to Christianity. But, I strongly suspect that sooner or later someone is going to corner me (Like her ultra-Christian parent, or some of the women from her bible study) and I will respond in a way that will clearly demonstrate how I feel.

I think you should just tell her how much you love her, tell her about your fears of losing her, and have a conversation with her about your lack of belief. In my own life this crops up from time to time, if religious members of her family come over and religion comes up, I just remove myself from the situation and return when a more appropriate topic of conversation comes up.
There is nothing wrong with having differing opinions on this, but she needs to know what your opinion is, then at least you can be honest with each other, and move forward.

Thank you Manic. I agree that this conversation must take place. But, I am dreading it. I am fairly confident that she will not leave the relationship for many reasons. But, she will take my no longer being a Christian very hard. Somehow, she feels this "strengthens our relationship." But in reality, we don't need a god to do that. We can choose to do it ourselves...which is exactly what we've been doing all along. I'm not sure if the conversation will happen all at once or it will be a series of smaller conversations. I will definitely keep this post updated with how it goes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-01-2017, 07:59 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
I'm going to piss some people off but personally,,,, after a person has been "shown the light" and still believes in Santa, I lose respect. Aren't we talking about they way we both view the world here? It's like a KKK leader married to a NAACP leader. The two views are incompatible. The atheist spouse thinks the other is brainwashed (at best) and the religious spouse thinks the other is blind. It's a superficial relationship. "Honey what's for dinner" and such. If it wasn't important, you wouldn't be asking.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Toney's post
29-01-2017, 10:44 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(26-01-2017 07:59 AM)Toney Wrote:  I'm going to piss some people off but personally,,,, after a person has been "shown the light" and still believes in Santa, I lose respect. Aren't we talking about they way we both view the world here? It's like a KKK leader married to a NAACP leader. The two views are incompatible. The atheist spouse thinks the other is brainwashed (at best) and the religious spouse thinks the other is blind. It's a superficial relationship. "Honey what's for dinner" and such. If it wasn't important, you wouldn't be asking.
It is a function of what the primary relationship basis is.

My late 2nd wife remained a theist while I deconverted. This did not bother either one of us with respect to our relationship. The main reason for both of us was that our relationship was based on things besides the faith we initially shared, in fact it was based MOSTLY on other things -- our admiration and trust for each other as persons, common interests not tangled up in religion, etc. As a practical matter she had been unable to attend church with any regularity even by the time we met, so our shared religious experience was not direct, it was just in terms of mutual past experiences.

The secondary reason for her was that she was fighting for her life and had no time to have a pointless ass-kicking contest about my fading religious faith, particularly since she very well understood the reason for it had a lot to do with her unremitted suffering despite dozens of people actively praying for healing, or failing that, simple relief.

The secondary reason for me was that, simply, put, I loved her and was committed to her, and, honestly, as her sole care-giver she was completely dependent on me. You don't abandon someone in that situation.

As to "losing respect", yes and no. One must understand that religious faith is often quite compartmentalized. Highly educated and accomplished people, including scientists (though admittedly not usually paleontologists) can be very devout fundamentalist believers. My late wife had a beautiful mind, was well-read, had diverse interests, and I still had plenty of reason to respect her. We just agreed to disagree about certain things that weren't central to our actual shared daily life.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like mordant's post
06-02-2017, 07:59 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
It is starting. Yesterday, we are getting ready to go to church (I am still attending) and my wife starts in on a conversation about believing. She says, "You know that Christine (a woman from her bible study) has the same doubts as you. But she realized that she just needs to believe with her heart and not her head." I respond that we don't think about anything with our heart, only our mind even if it is an emotional thing. We go back and forth and she hit me with the typical argument, "You just have to have faith.". I respond by saying that making decisions based on faith is a foolish decision in all other areas of life. She then responds by saying "But this is God, you just need to believe." I then said to her, "I don't think we should have this conversation. I don't want to drive a wedge in our relationship."

I am prepared for any form of debate, but she is not. She can only view this through an emotional lens and I can only view it through a rational lens. I am prepared with many facts and evidence, she only has her feelings. This is not a fight either of us can win at this time because we are playing by different sets of rules.

She did suggest I speak with our pastor or another guy who is the head of college ministry. I am open to the idea, but it will just become a debate and will boil down to the exact same thing, facts against feelings. Religion just doesn't have any actual proof to back up their claims.

To make things worse, and older couple was speaking with my wife and I go pulled into the conversation. The husband says to me that one of his sons is a "non believer" and that his wife prays for him constantly and she is suffering with worry for his soul. She desperately doesn't want him to go to hell. My wife is hearing all of this and I am wondering if she will start pushing me more and more out of worry for my soul.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-02-2017, 12:26 PM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
I like the idea of a professional counselor that is independent from your church. Let her pick one that is (as suggested above) a believer. She'll feel like it is a safe environment and the basic issues that make a marriage work can be worked on. The differing beliefs can be a "stretch goal" to be worked on but it sounds like there are more immediate issues.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored- Aldous Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes devilsadvoc8's post
08-02-2017, 10:15 PM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(06-02-2017 07:59 AM)Sean Jacobs Wrote:  To make things worse, and older couple was speaking with my wife and I go pulled into the conversation. The husband says to me that one of his sons is a "non believer" and that his wife prays for him constantly and she is suffering with worry for his soul. She desperately doesn't want him to go to hell. My wife is hearing all of this and I am wondering if she will start pushing me more and more out of worry for my soul.
I have always found my extended family unconcerned about this issue on my behalf because of their belief in "once saved, always saved" / "the eternal security of the believer". I realize that some sects consider atheism / apostasy to be so vile that it is some sort of exception, and others will equate it with the vaguely-described "unpardonable sin". But really if you believe in salvation through faith alone, and the efficacy of that salvation, you cannot dishonor it by suggesting that it can be un-done. You can quote the verse that says "nothing shall separate us from the love of god", which is actually a rather beautiful bit of prose in its totality. A wise man once told me, "god has broad shoulders. he can handle your questions." You have SO much to appeal to in a devout fundamentalist Christian on this topic, that I don't really consider it a problem.

All things being equal if becoming an unbeliever doesn't change how you treat her (other than maybe for the better) then she has to accept it as not that big of a deal to her personally, unless this is in fact all about HER and HER needs and fears and social standing, etc. and not actually about you at all.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes mordant's post
22-02-2017, 06:07 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
Well last night the “conversation” finally happened. On Sunday night she had her weekly group bible study (and she has a Thursday night women’s bible study at our house every week as well). On Monday morning I see a 3 DVD pack of Lee Strobel’s “A Case For…” series. Now I know I was a topic of conversation during that bible study and one of the folks gave her this DVD pack so I could watch it and come back to the fold. But, I went into work and spent some time researching the series and they are nothing more than one sided Christian propaganda which is not based in science or rationality. Monday night she asked me if I want to watch the DVDs, BUT I had to watch them with an open mind. I replied, if you don’t mind me questioning things as we go along. She rolled her eyes and we didn’t watch them. Last night I got home from work, ate dinner and sat with my wife on the couch. She asked again about watching the DVD. Finally I just took a deep breath and said,, “Remember last night how you said I had to have an open mind?” She said yes. I replied, “I do have an open mind, that is why I started to question my Christian belief when I found so many things in the bible that didn’t make sense. I question things. When anyone accepts something on faith they no longer have an open mind because they are accepting their believe without evidence and will not even consider any evidence that conflicts with their beliefs.”

We continued to talk and I explained why I don’t believe the story of Noah’s ark, how Pope John Paul II stated in 1996 (Not that we are Catholic) that the evolution and the bible do not conflict and the book of Genesis are metaphorical teaching stories not history. I also explained the issue I have with an “All loving God” and the concept of an eternity of suffering for making the wrong decision. She stated what she believes in response to my explanation as to why I no longer believe (everyone is given a chance to believe in Jesus so if they go to hell it is their own fault…God protected Noah and used his “power” to put the world back to normal after the flood…blah blah blah). Reason and facts are going to do absolutely nothing for my wife. Then she got mad and said, “You better not mention anything about how you feel to our daughter! I am trying to raise her with faith and I won’t let you ruin that!” I told her I won’t say a word. I further explained that I like people at church and don’t mind continuing to attend, nor will I mind volunteering for some of the charitable things the church does in the community. However, I will not become a member of the church, will not attend bible studies, and I most certainly will not join the “men’s group.”

She cried a bit, was angry for a bit. I told her that I love her and that I am not going to become a different person (our pastor has made it clear that atheist only live for “pleasure” thereby are “sinful”). I talked about how wonderful our life together will be, and that our plans for the future will not change. She expressed her frustration because she felt that “we were on the same page and now we are not”. I stated that we are on the same page about everything but our religious beliefs. She seemed calmer just prior to going to bed.

I know this is just the beginning. There is going to be a mental and emotion process for her. I’m sure she is going to be talking to a lot of her church friends and her parents about this situation, because she will need to vent and have support. I will just have to wait and see how it goes from here.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Sean Jacobs's post
22-02-2017, 06:21 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
On the plus side, at least its fully out in the open now, and she knows where you stand. Just try to be patient with her and give her time to come to terms with it.

Sent from my ALE-L21 using Tapatalk
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like ukatheist's post
22-02-2017, 08:23 AM
RE: I don't want to lose the love of my life.
(22-02-2017 06:21 AM)ukatheist Wrote:  On the plus side, at least its fully out in the open now, and she knows where you stand.

This... Thumbsup

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes SYZ's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: