In need of advice
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11-09-2017, 07:50 AM
RE: In need of advice
This sounds terribly difficult, especially if your husband's feelings about you converting came as a total surprise.

I agree with other posters that this requires an honest conversation in which you are clear with your husband that you aren't planning to convert and that it is morally indefensible for him to try to force you to do so. If he won't agree to back off and support you just as you are as you adjust to life in a different country...I'm not sure what to advise. (In that case I'd be seriously considering a separation)

I really hope he was just intending his comments as a joke. Maybe the job search in the States will go poorly and the one in the UK will go better.

There are challenges to being an atheist, especially an out atheist, in the states where he's searching for jobs. First conversations often revolve around "So, what church do you go to?" Another question you'll encounter is along the lines of "have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?" Thinking through how you'll respond to a tsunami of conversion attempts should help you survive. Maybe the British thing will help...maybe you can say that you consider those questions too personal on such short acquaintance, etc., and people won't pester you so much.
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11-09-2017, 08:16 AM
RE: In need of advice
(11-09-2017 06:17 AM)Hannah1710 Wrote:  The other day he decided to drop the bombshell and told me "you know when we move to the US, we'll be in the south so you'll have to believe"
I told him that I do not believe and that he knew that about me from the beginning, he answered with "you will, I do, so you will"

You can see my predicament.

Welcome fellow Brit!

Don't be distracted by the details of being a British atheist or your husband being Texan christian. I'd say that your predicament is being married to someone who doesn't value you as you.

One side telling the other not only how to live their life, how to think and act, but what they should actually be is no basis for a marriage.

First and foremost in this life you need to be free to be yourself. People who don't tend to suffer untold misery and depression (e.g. because they are gay, trans or even subject to racist stereotypes assuming them to be something else).

You need to make it explicitly clear to him right now before it goes any further that he is asking the impossible of you and that the fact that he is even asking this of you is ringing serious alarm bells.
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11-09-2017, 08:18 AM
RE: In need of advice
Thank you guys
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11-09-2017, 08:21 AM
RE: In need of advice
I think divorce is overkill

I recommend making it clear you don't believe and you won't pretend to believe

Quote:you will, I do, so you will

In my marriage, my wife and I consider language like that, that assumes dominance, to be a form of abuse. It's not allowed in our discourse with one another. I'm not going to say what sort of boundaries you need to set because it's up to you to decide. I will say, I was raised by patriarchal parents and the equalitarian approach of my marriage has worked far better.

I live deep in the bowels of Jesusland. My wife is foreign. We both think Christianity is stupid.



Maybe it would be socially advantageous if we pretended to be Christian but maybe not. People become ostracized in their congregations and for some, even believers, it's more socially destructive than just staying out of it.

My advice is to be firm that you don't believe. You're not going to fake it and he promised to live with that. If he can, cool, if he can't he knows where the door is. If he harasses you about your beliefs with the intent to manipulate you... well, in my marriage that would be considered domestic abuse.

(Sorry for repeating myself- I reread it and decided to keep it)
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11-09-2017, 08:41 AM
RE: In need of advice
(11-09-2017 08:21 AM)ImFred Wrote:  
Quote:you will, I do, so you will

In my marriage, my wife and I consider language like that, that assumes dominance, to be a form of abuse. It's not allowed in our discourse with one another. I'm not going to say what sort of boundaries you need to set because it's up to you to decide. I will say, I was raised by patriarchal parents and the equalitarian approach of my marriage has worked far better.
RE this: and this is probably completely off topic but in a similar vain, I recently had an "issue" with my wife where she attempted to TELL me, that I couldn't do something. (This something was having a Sunday beer with my dad, which is something we've been doing for YEARS). I politely informed her of the fact that I have NEVER, and never will, tell her what to do and that this was a form of control she presumes she has over me. I left it with her for a few hours, and when she was still adamant that her word was final, I openly said "you know what, fuck that, I'm going out anyway". All of that over a Sunday night (and only once every two weeks as well) beer with my father, it was baffling to say the least.

It caused a massive amount of stress/arguments between us for a week or so, but at the end of the day my point was valid: You can't TELL you're spouse/partner to do anything, and out right expect them to obey, as it's batshit insane. Sure you can put forward a case for something like "I don't think X is a good idea because...[insert evidence here]" , but when it's something that essentially a person saying "You WILL do the thing I say, because I'm your husband/wife" is just nuts in my opinion.

Marriage is very much an important thing in my life, and my marriage is something I value very highly, although regardless of the "union between two people", that's exactly what you are....two different people. So for one person to say "THIS is how it is" and they expect you just to do it, it's criminal to say the least.

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11-09-2017, 08:53 AM
RE: In need of advice
Personally I don't understand how moving to a different country is supposed to induce you to believe in a god. Or, for that matter, if you step across the street, or into the next county or across a border into another country. Location is irrevelant.

But it sounds like it's more of a social thing with your husband. It's part of the culture of living in the South and he wants you to be part of that.

Funny thing is, I've traveled through the U.S South and I tend to become more strident and rebellious about my nonbelief than when I'm home in the relatively less religious Northwest of the US. I really don't like having religion shoved down my throat.

My husband is from South Carolina and we met during a theatre production in Los Angeles. When we were first married he talked about us moving back there to be with his family but I said that I couldn't live there. I just couldn't. And I was being honest. I can visit, yeah, sure, but I couldn't live there. It's too conservative and religious and I told him that. I would have turned into a raving maniac if we had moved to South Carolina. I'm very happy to live on the West coast. The West Coast is the Best Coast. Thumbsup

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He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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11-09-2017, 09:16 AM
RE: In need of advice
Not something I'd thought of earlier, but also just in general the 'you must convert' thing aside; would you feel comfortable moving to the U.S. is something that shouldn't be underconsidered, if his job hunt did go well. It would mean leaving family, leaving friends, moving across an ocean, filling out an avalanche of paperwork, having to deal with culture shock to a portion of the country that often causes culture shock for other Americans who move there, dealing with a for-profit American health care system in place of the NHS, and (I'm not sure about British tax laws) possibly paying taxes in both nations. Really, do you want to move?

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11-09-2017, 09:23 AM
RE: In need of advice
The immigration process for my wife cost about $10,000 in total. That plus the time spent running through an almost endless maze of bureaucracy.
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11-09-2017, 09:26 AM
RE: In need of advice
This scenario is troubling on many levels.

If he's joking about you having to believe, it simply isn't funny.

If he's serious, this is a major red flag and personally I'd be weighing my options (including separation and divorce).

In either case, if he gets one of these jobs you may find yourself isolated on another continent with no family, friends or other social supports to draw upon. Do you have a close friend or family member you can discuss this with?

I'm sorry, but your beliefs are much too silly to take seriously. Got anything else we can discuss?
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11-09-2017, 10:39 AM
RE: In need of advice
I'm not sure if he was joking. If he was, like you say, it's not bloody funny.

I have spent lots of time in the US and have family in CA ( the best coast heehee!). We have talked often about a move and I've always been comfortable with the idea until this whole stupid religion thing came up.

I think for the most part I could cope with Houston. South Carolina may be too conservative for me though, coming from a very liberal background (my parents are wonderful hippie types who never spanked us and let us choose our beliefs and form our opinions, my siblings and I turned out just fine!)
I'm not sure how well a liberal Brit with 2 gay siblings (i told you it keeps getting better!) would go down in SC.

I'm definitely going to talk with him some more about this. I very much appreciate all of your input though. Thought I would ask some people that may have a bit more experience with it than me!!
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