I was outed!
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24-02-2015, 04:10 PM
RE: I was outed!
(24-02-2015 02:36 PM)smitthom624 Wrote:  So on Friday, I get an interesting call from my wife while I was at work. First words Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?
My late wife was basically unperturbed when she became aware of my budding atheism. It didn't threaten her at all. In all honesty it was't an issue in our marriage.

She was a fairly conservative rural Methodist. It's fair to say she was an evangelical like myself when we married, if a bit more liberal-leaning.

We continued to have the utmost respect for each other, despite not agreeing in our conclusions. It probably helped that a lot of my initial impetus away from my faith was related to personal suffering and unanswered prayer; she understood that her illness took its toll on me too. Also, the fact that she had bigger fish to fry than to argue with me over theology (namely, just day to day survival) also doubtless helped. What bound us together was our shared struggle more than our formerly shared religion, devout though we both were, it had become largely irrelevant. She wasn't well enough to attend or participate in or contribute to church anyway.

I mention this to point out that growing apart in terms of god-beliefs doesn't have to be a death-knell for a marriage, nor even particularly a speed bump.

On the flip side, our faiths were personal between each individual and god, and the "falling away" of any one family member doesn't really rain on anyone's eternal destiny or supposed divine perks. It sounds like Mormonism, at least as your wife interprets it, requires the whole family on the same page or it's somehow unfair or inconsiderate to others. Either that or she's one of those "you're with me or you're against me" types.

Ultimately she loves and cares about you for who you are, or not. Your metaphysics shouldn't enter into it IMO. You're just going to have to let this be as it is. You can't control what other people think, or what they take offense at. The best you can do is reassure her that your actual commitment to her, love for her, devotion to her, is unaffected by any change in your religious beliefs. I would urge her to see if her fears are actually founded, that she has somehow lost you or you have somehow abandoned her, simply because you seek freedom of inquiry and thought. If she will simply calm down and not panic, I think she'll find that nothing has actually changed other than perhaps some of your shared activities and interests, and that needn't be a big deal. If she chooses to MAKE a big deal out of it, or to blame your imperfections on your loss of faith, of course, there's nothing you can do about that.
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24-02-2015, 04:19 PM (This post was last modified: 24-02-2015 05:01 PM by Reltzik.)
RE: I was outed!
I suggest engaging this discussion on two levels.

The first level is the emotional and relationship side. You still love her. You still want to be a family. You are still a compassionate person who cares for people. You're still the same man she married.

The second level is the rational, thinking level which determines what you believe and whether you believe. It is founded on the first level. It does not change the first level at all. At most, it will change the context in which the first level operates.

Emphasize, time and again, the first level. That's what's important. Go to the second level only to help her understand what has changed at what has not.

For example, she asked whether you want to be an eternal family. Your answer should primarily be on the first level. You want to be a family. You want to be a family for as long as possible. Lifelong or eternal or whatever's available, you want that. Your commitment's still there. What's changed is that you no longer believe that eternity is on offer, or that it ever was. Or at the very least, you have strong doubts about it. That's the second level. That's what's changed. But back on the first level, you want to be with her for as long as you can, however long that is.

EDIT-SPOILER:
You might want to take this to the Personal Support forum, where there are rules and moderation preventing people from using your moment of crisis as an opportunity to attack you, belittle you, or proselytize to you. Here, some troll is likely to take your worry and concern and take a huge steaming crap on them.

I would also suggest that if and/or when someone does that (which will probably be 2/3rds of the way through the OR, if you know what I mean), then all the rest of us should simply ignore that troll (with maybe one or two early replies simply saying we won't engage), and focus on Smitthom, rather than letting that guy derail the thread like we normally do. Engaging him means losing sight of the task of supporting Smitthom. Think long and hard about which is more important.
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24-02-2015, 10:15 PM
RE: I was outed!
From the eternal family idea that the Mormon church holds sacred, it is an all or nothing proposition. Both spouses have to believe in order for it to work. It is an "either you're with me or you're against me" mentality, yet the basic foundation of the Church is promotion of the family. So long as the family believes in the same higher power.
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24-02-2015, 10:29 PM
RE: I was outed!
(24-02-2015 10:15 PM)smitthom624 Wrote:  From the eternal family idea that the Mormon church holds sacred, it is an all or nothing proposition. Both spouses have to believe in order for it to work. It is an "either you're with me or you're against me" mentality, yet the basic foundation of the Church is promotion of the family. So long as the family believes in the same higher power.

Do the two of you have children?

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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24-02-2015, 11:04 PM
RE: I was outed!
This is going to sound massively callous...but if she's not okay with you being an atheist, she's not worth holding onto. It's pretty clear she's the one with the problem with the other's beliefs (or lack there of) here, not you, if anyone's being selfish it's her.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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25-02-2015, 12:10 AM
RE: I was outed!
Amazing post by bows and arrows, do that. Remember she is brainwashed like you were. Doesn't make her unlovable, even if she can't accept your choices initially. You do owe her time to work on it.

My wife also discovered my books. Within a week I came clean. She panicked. Within a month she was deist, three months atheist. Mormons are a real tough case as you know. Ultimately, if she is unable to adapt, you will likely both find it unreconcilable. Until then, sympathy and love are due.
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25-02-2015, 02:11 AM
RE: I was outed!
(24-02-2015 10:15 PM)smitthom624 Wrote:  From the eternal family idea that the Mormon church holds sacred, it is an all or nothing proposition. Both spouses have to believe in order for it to work. It is an "either you're with me or you're against me" mentality, yet the basic foundation of the Church is promotion of the family. So long as the family believes in the same higher power.

Re "Both spouses have to believe in order for it to work."

What a coincidence! Both spouses have to believe in order for the church to get their 10% too. Both spouses have to believe so the kiddies turn up to church too.

This is typical church behaviour. Promise the plebs heaven after death, because they don't have to deliver it. Control the people and fleece them in the meantime.
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25-02-2015, 03:20 AM
RE: I was outed!
If you don't want to travel down the path of truth and probably divorce, I can offer some lies that might help.

Reassure her that your family is all going to heaven together despite your beliefs. If you didn't believe in gravity would you suddenly fly off into the air away from your family ? No of course not and just because you no longer believe in god doesn't mean you'll be separated from them. Tell her god is like gravity and no matter your beliefs, god will hold you all together in the afterlife, just like gravity holds us all on earth.

You can use the same analogy with everything.
"I may not believe in rain, but when our family steps out in a rainstorm, everyone gets wet."

Tell her that your beliefs don't alter reality.
Tell her that your soul will always be Mormon even if you don't believe.

I know the truth can set you free, but sometimes a lie can hold things together

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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25-02-2015, 05:22 AM
RE: I was outed!
(25-02-2015 03:20 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  If you don't want to travel down the path of truth and probably divorce, I can offer some lies that might help.

Reassure her that your family is all going to heaven together despite your beliefs. If you didn't believe in gravity would you suddenly fly off into the air away from your family ? No of course not and just because you no longer believe in god doesn't mean you'll be separated from them. Tell her god is like gravity and no matter your beliefs, god will hold you all together in the afterlife, just like gravity holds us all on earth.

You can use the same analogy with everything.
"I may not believe in rain, but when our family steps out in a rainstorm, everyone gets wet."

Tell her that your beliefs don't alter reality.
Tell her that your soul will always be Mormon even if you don't believe.

I know the truth can set you free, but sometimes a lie can hold things together

Er... "I don't believe this at all, but my soul will always be Mormon even if I don't believe... right?"

I see that going down like a lead balloon... Tongue

I don't think it's all doom & gloom. She cared enough to phone the bugger and ask. OP, I think just be straight up with her since she's found out anyway. Don't lie, tell her that you still love her... talk to her calmly - if you can get her to talk to you calmly so much the better. Maybe she'll get over it and things'll turn out fine. Can't know until you try.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-02-2015, 06:16 AM
RE: I was outed!
If people could calmly and rationally talk to religious people, that would be awesome, but you are dealing with irrational gullible people who believe lies more than they believe truth.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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