Married to a Christian
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29-07-2015, 12:14 PM
RE: Married to a Christian
(29-07-2015 11:51 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  I suspect there is something deeper going on and the religion thing is just a convenient way for her to express it.

This may or may not be the case, and it's hard to tell. It's possible there are some other problems and they are exacerbating the religious issues and/or the other way around.


(29-07-2015 11:51 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  Marriage counseling seems in order and certainly not with some fucking holy joe.

We did that around eight years ago. That was largely a "growing apart" thing. Of course, me not being Christian is causing that to happen again, even if everything else is going fine. If we end up getting counseling again, it certainly won't be from a religious councilor.
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29-07-2015, 02:55 PM
RE: Married to a Christian
It's a very difficult situation. It is hard to compete with the magic man and his pie-in-the-sky bullshit when all you have to offer is reality.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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29-07-2015, 03:09 PM
RE: Married to a Christian
(29-07-2015 05:53 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I've been married for almost twelve years. I stopped believing in God somewhere between four and six years ago, depending on how you want to count it. It's one of those things my wife didn't like, but she's largely "lived with it". It's something we don't talk about often.

She's been visibly stressed for a while. Because she quit teaching to start writing full time, we don't have money to put the girls in day care during the summer. They stay home with my wife while she tries to write during the day. As you can expect, that only works so well. She got super stressed a couple of days ago and says that she doesn't really want to "be a mom". We spent some time talking yesterday, and she started explaining how she feels.

So, a bit before we had our first kid, she tells me I talked her back into having kids. Around the time our first kid was born was when I first started having serious doubt issues with Christianity. She wanted to raise the girls Christian and I didn't object. Luckily, my wife is a fairly liberal Christian, so she doesn't believe in stuff like hell or Satan and agrees with me on most ethics. She even believes I'm going to end up in heaven, with maybe a bit of egg on my face for having been wrong. Still, she wants me to go to church with them to "help out with the kids". I think this also includes a side of "hoping I'll come back into the fold", but we'll see what she says once the girls are old enough that she doesn't need help with them for one specific hour a week.

She tells me that prayer at dinner is hard because while I sit there quietly each time, our youngest asks why I'm not praying. Apparently this semi-frequent reminder is tough on her. Also, she started saying something about not having an "easy" way to teach our kids morality, which I think she back peddled from as soon as I started pushing her on that. Her initial argument was something like "because you don't pray at dinner, I can't tell our kids killing is wrong" or some bullshit. This quickly got amended to "you not praying reminds me that you're not Christian".

My wife describes this as I chose to be atheist now that she's trapped with kids.

This is the shitty position I'm in now. I get my wife's frustration. We get married as Christians and I stop believing and she feels "trapped" because this happened after kids. That being said, we've been compromising for years on how to handle this. I don't think she realizes that she's getting most of her way on this one, too. Really, the only two things she isn't getting are:
1) I'm not Christian.
2) I don't pray at dinner.

That's it. I go to church with her, she raises the kids Christian, and I don't fight her on this. I wish I could get her to realize how unfair she is being.

I am in a very similar situation. I really do KNOW how you feel. The only difference I see, is that my wife is a fundamentalist to the core. In fact, just last friday she brought up the fact again that she couldn't understand how I could not believe in god and how broken I was and how much the devil had a hold of my life. This is all she knows. So when I finally (and I have never done this) started pressing her with lots of questions, of course she got belligerent, starting screaming, literally screaming at me and ended up sobbing in tears. When people are pressed against a wall they lash out. If my questions weren't hitting home to her she wouldn't have gotten upset. Fortunately for me, I am a very mild-mannered person and I mirrored the reactions that I would expect her to have (mirroring behavior) which was extremely calm and logical. Nevertheless, this comes up about once a month now or so. It's always her bringing it up and then getting upset when I try to explain myself.

Our kids are 6 and 3 and her polemics are the same to me.
1.) I am not a christian anymore (even though when pressed she can't describe how I have changed at all, other than this core belief)
2.) I do not pray with our kids because I refuse.

I still attend church with them at least 3 weekends per month merely because I love dissecting the message afterwards so that I can identify the good / bad with it. It's a challenge I give to myself since I have become more enlightened.

All I can say is, take it a day at a time. That's what I do. Most days are fine. A few here and there are not. If the road that your marriage is on must come to an end, I'm sure that will be very hard but you can and will recover. I have to face that same fact. It's daunting but having a community like TTA to vent to sure does help.

All the best to you sir!

**Crickets** -- God
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29-07-2015, 03:26 PM
RE: Married to a Christian
(29-07-2015 10:04 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(29-07-2015 08:06 AM)Iñigo Wrote:  In our house, instead of prayer before supper, we all take turns in saying what we are grateful for that day. If you did something like this, it would involve all of you and maybe your wife wouldn't feel like it was she and the kids...

We actually did that for a while, and it was her idea, not mine. I'm not sure exactly why we stopped. I think we just slipped out of the habit. That vacuum has now been filled with prayer.

It's sort of axiomatic.

Nature abhors a vacuum..... That is - it's natural for an empty space to be filled. That's why if you clean the kitchen table off and leave the room -- by the time you come back SOMETHING will have been left there on the table. (If you live alone - this is a real danger signal.... if you've got a significant other - relax... Smile )

Bearing that in mind - it's easy to see why religious types find the rituals and trappings so comforting. These things (prayer included) fill some perceived void -- when in actuality all you really have is a clean kitchen table......

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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30-07-2015, 05:52 AM
RE: Married to a Christian
(29-07-2015 03:09 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  I am in a very similar situation. I really do KNOW how you feel. The only difference I see, is that my wife is a fundamentalist to the core. In fact, just last friday she brought up the fact again that she couldn't understand how I could not believe in god and how broken I was and how much the devil had a hold of my life. This is all she knows. So when I finally (and I have never done this) started pressing her with lots of questions, of course she got belligerent, starting screaming, literally screaming at me and ended up sobbing in tears.

That is something I cannot relate to. One comfort I've had in all of this is that my wife doesn't believe that I'm ultimately going to be tortured for infinity years. That has to be rough to reconcile on any level. That, and the outright condescension must be hard to deal with.

I've only gotten into any type of debate on the matter with my wife once, several years ago. I should have probably taken a lighter approach on my stance. I think we've since both learned our lesson, because we don't do that, anymore.

I have asked her a few questions here and there. A few months ago, I asked her about her views on the Trinity. Not only did I find out that she doesn't really care about that concept, but she said a literal belief in Jesus isn't even necessary for her (although she does still believe in Jesus). If this is all accurate, she may be a very liberal Christian-themed theist.


(29-07-2015 03:09 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  When people are pressed against a wall they lash out. If my questions weren't hitting home to her she wouldn't have gotten upset.

I can relate to that. When I was in college, I was still Christian. My roommate and my best friend were not. I got into a lot of discussions with them on religion. I don't remember actually shouting at them, but I was definitely the more emotional of the two.
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02-08-2015, 06:32 AM
RE: Married to a Christian
Update: Well, things got worse.

She just told me that it's super important to her that the girls be raised Christian and that they are too young to understand abstract concepts. She wants me to wait until they have been confirmed (so, eight and eleven years from now for the two girls) to tell them that I don't believe. She told me this is a deal breaker for her and that if I can't do this then we can't be together.

Also, irony time: it's our twelve year anniversary today.



I'm pretty pissed about this, both because of the obvious, but also that she even admits this isn't particularly fair or symmetrical. This is something I really can't do. Fuck. I'm beginning to think this is the beginning of the end.
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02-08-2015, 06:39 AM
RE: Married to a Christian
I guess one thing that might make her do a bit of rethinking her stance.

Ask her what she'll do if - independent of you - if one of your girls decides to become an atheist.

That is -- if you do NOTHING to influence your daughter -- what would your wife do? Abandon her daughter?

I have to wonder - is your wife's obsession with this a possible indicator that she has her own doubts???

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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02-08-2015, 06:52 AM
RE: Married to a Christian
(02-08-2015 06:32 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Update: Well, things got worse.

She just told me that it's super important to her that the girls be raised Christian and that they are too young to understand abstract concepts. She wants me to wait until they have been confirmed (so, eight and eleven years from now for the two girls) to tell them that I don't believe. She told me this is a deal breaker for her and that if I can't do this then we can't be together.

Also, irony time: it's our twelve year anniversary today.



I'm pretty pissed about this, both because of the obvious, but also that she even admits this isn't particularly fair or symmetrical. This is something I really can't do. Fuck. I'm beginning to think this is the beginning of the end.

She... would rather you *lie* to your kids? What does Jesus think of that idea?

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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02-08-2015, 07:04 AM
RE: Married to a Christian
(02-08-2015 06:32 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Update: Well, things got worse.

She just told me that it's super important to her that the girls be raised Christian and that they are too young to understand abstract concepts. She wants me to wait until they have been confirmed (so, eight and eleven years from now for the two girls) to tell them that I don't believe. She told me this is a deal breaker for her and that if I can't do this then we can't be together.

Also, irony time: it's our twelve year anniversary today.



I'm pretty pissed about this, both because of the obvious, but also that she even admits this isn't particularly fair or symmetrical. This is something I really can't do. Fuck. I'm beginning to think this is the beginning of the end.

Wow. I feel her stance is completely unfair. It sounds like all of the compromises you've made have convinced her that she can have her way completely rather than compromise in return. I just couldn't agree to those terms and feel I could respect myself.

I don't have a clue what to recommend, but if my husband had backed me into the corner this way I might very well call the family together and announce my atheism outright to the kids and see what happened after that. That's probably not the most marriage-saving thing to do, but it would completely get things out into the open and force her to break the deal or get through it and see that the issue is something else entirely. But it's hard for me to give any good advice, as I haven't been in a similar situation. I've been married for almost 20 years and never had a disagreement at this level with my husband (not to say it's been all peachy keen, just we have not ever gotten to a my-way-or-the-highway moment).

A less oppositional tactic to try first would be for you to talk to your wife's pastor and ask him or her whether her position seems reasonable. If the pastor agrees with you, then perhaps that could be conveyed to your wife.
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02-08-2015, 07:45 AM
RE: Married to a Christian
(02-08-2015 06:32 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Update: Well, things got worse.

She just told me that it's super important to her that the girls be raised Christian and that they are too young to understand abstract concepts. She wants me to wait until they have been confirmed (so, eight and eleven years from now for the two girls) to tell them that I don't believe. She told me this is a deal breaker for her and that if I can't do this then we can't be together.

Also, irony time: it's our twelve year anniversary today.



I'm pretty pissed about this, both because of the obvious, but also that she even admits this isn't particularly fair or symmetrical. This is something I really can't do. Fuck. I'm beginning to think this is the beginning of the end.

Is she being pressured from the outside? Like her parents or members of the church to make this ultimatum?

I really hate that you are going through this. You seem to be good guy and the things you post that your kids say/do show that they are bright and quite comfortable with themselves.

I don't know how you can lie about this for another decade...if it was something you wanted to hide I could maybe see.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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