Married to a Theist?
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03-09-2012, 04:47 AM
Married to a Theist?
I'm sure they're out there because I'm one.

Who is married to a theist? Do you have kids? How do you interact (or not interact) with eachother about your obvious differences? Does the other half even know?

Just some starter questions. I'm a recent (in the past two weeks) Atheist and I'm married to a fundamentalist Christian and am just wondering how we go forward at this point.

Thoughts? Advice? Questions?

Give to every human being every right that you claim for yourself. - Robert Ingersoll
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03-09-2012, 05:15 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
Hi, glad to hear, you are out of religion.

Hm, i am married to a evangelical christan, but like most of the time im germany, religion is a privat matter and didn't interfere with our daily routin.
We have a dauhter, she is 15 and she tend to be more boring about religion ruther then be an atheist.
My wife insists on her baptizing, i told her my opinion about it, but she pushed through her sake.
Having children, i think, in the most cases, the starter to the problems with mix-couple theist/atheist.
As long you are a loving couple, you can make compromises and thats how it work's out for me.

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03-09-2012, 03:25 PM
RE: Married to a Theist?
There's a few threads around here discussing this. Here's one.

Personally I got married to a devout Catholic in a Catholic Church by a Catholic Priest some 26 years ago now and everyone knew I was an atheist. Nobody seemed to give much of a shit as long as I promised not to interfere with any demon offspring's indoctrination into Catholicism. I was like "Sure, no problem." Attended all 4 of the demon offspring's Baptisms, attended Church with them on religious holidays (I kinda enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance), made sure they were exposed to plenty of logic since hey, many of the founding fathers of logic and reason were highly religious individuals so that didn't feel like I was interfering, and stayed out of their metaphysics until they asked and I responded, "You realize that any promise of a postmortem preservation of identity is utter and complete bullshit, right?" None of them even made it to Confirmation. And the wife is now a Don'tGiveAShitist.

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03-09-2012, 10:08 PM
RE: Married to a Theist?
Thanks for sharing and good luck with the transition. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need help or guidance or just some emotional support (seriously).

I'm fortunate in that while my wife is a theist she is far from a fundamentalist.

We have a two-year-old son and so far he's been raised in a strictly secular manner (though his grandmothers are hard at work trying to inject Christianity into his life).

One tip I can give you is use illustrations to potentially convince your wife to avoid indoctrination into her religion of choice. For example, when my wife argued a bit over my unwillingness to allow him to attend a Christian preschool I explained that I am totally cool with exposing him too all religious doctrines (e.g myths) equally and in context and that this would be better than just showing one and asserting that it's the only one.

I actually went out and bought him books on Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Greek Mythology, Daoism, and Christianity as a token of "good faith" to prove that I wasn't trying to "indoctrinate him into atheism." (whatever that means).

This seems to work well with theists because it proves that you're not trying to play their game (e.g. indoctrinate into one belief doctrine over others).

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04-09-2012, 09:18 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
(03-09-2012 04:47 AM)TheDoctorPhil Wrote:  I'm sure they're out there because I'm one.

Who is married to a theist? Do you have kids? How do you interact (or not interact) with eachother about your obvious differences? Does the other half even know?

Just some starter questions. I'm a recent (in the past two weeks) Atheist and I'm married to a fundamentalist Christian and am just wondering how we go forward at this point.

Thoughts? Advice? Questions?

I am an atheist and my wife is a true-believing Mormon. Needless to say, there is quite a bit of tension.

We try to avoid interaction on the religious issue, but sometimes it is inevitable.

It is a difficult road. If your marriage is otherwise strong, you should get through it. The important thing is not to push her toward atheism. I tried that with disastrous results.

www.Theofrak.com - because traditional religion is so frakked up

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04-09-2012, 09:32 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
I am not married to a theist, but earlier this year I was engaged to one. She was the most open-minded Mormon I have ever met, and living in Salt Lake City I have met a lot of them. For example, her only son is half-Indian and almost all of his relatives on his father's side are Hindu so she takes him to a Hindu church from time to time, when he wants to go. That's pretty way-out-there for a religious mom to take her only child to a church of a wildly different religion.

While she's very devoted to her LDS beliefs, she's not judgmental about it and never pushed it on me at all. We agreed that she would teach her son the Mormon faith but that if he ever asks me what I believe (or don't) that I was to answer him with total honesty, not try to protect his religious views (also a way-out-there concept for most religious moms to allow their children to be counter-indoctrinated by atheists or to actively encourage atheists to do so).

When we started dating I broached the subject many times, over and over, about whether she could really see herself dating or eventually marrying an atheist. We talked about it at very great length and she was OK with it. We both agreed to disagree on this point and still found lots in common, mutual attraction, and love.

Then we were engaged from February til May this year.

Until she broke it off, three weeks before the wedding date.

The straw that broke her LDS camel's back was when we were talking about what we would do if we had a child, would he go to a Mormon church or not? I told her that if we had any children, I would want to keep them out of church until they were old enough to apply critical thinking and to make decisions for themselves. This also applies to my two daughters, 18 and 15 and both atheists, who are living with me and could make up their own minds bout going to church with her - I would want our future children to be free from the pomp and ceremony and ritual until they were old enough to actually make informed, rational decisions about such things as religion.

That was when she realized that our viewpoints on this subject were far to diverse for us to have any real future together.

On a side note, I also think she caved to pressure from her family. Nice people, but many of them are very active Mormons and very opinionated, and she's their younger sibling so they push her around a lot. And her father was a Mormon bishop and a state senator most of his life, a very strong, opinionated, and outspoken man used to telling everyone what to do. I think they "helped her to see the error of her ways" more than she admits to.

So, I guess I don't quite qualify for this thread, but I came within 3 weeks of being qualified.

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04-09-2012, 10:58 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
(03-09-2012 04:47 AM)TheDoctorPhil Wrote:  I'm sure they're out there because I'm one.

Who is married to a theist? Do you have kids? How do you interact (or not interact) with eachother about your obvious differences? Does the other half even know?

Just some starter questions. I'm a recent (in the past two weeks) Atheist and I'm married to a fundamentalist Christian and am just wondering how we go forward at this point.

Thoughts? Advice? Questions?
A Unitarian Universalist Church might be something to consider. People can believe whatever they want and attend that church and be accepted - including atheists. The main reason I think it is worth considering is it can give your kids exposure to people from different backgrounds - Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or whatever happens to be in the population at your local church. From you wife's perspective, it has the advantage of not dismissing religion outright. From your perspective, it has the advantage of not pushing a particular viewpoint and leaving your children in a position to make up their own minds. And an added benefit is they do teach good moral values. It is, however, a liberal church accepting of gays, abortion, etc. so you would have to consider how that will sit with your wife's and your own personal values.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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04-09-2012, 11:02 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
(04-09-2012 09:32 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I am not married to a theist, but earlier this year I was engaged to one. She was the most open-minded Mormon I have ever met, and living in Salt Lake City I have met a lot of them. For example, her only son is half-Indian and almost all of his relatives on his father's side are Hindu so she takes him to a Hindu church from time to time, when he wants to go. That's pretty way-out-there for a religious mom to take her only child to a church of a wildly different religion.

While she's very devoted to her LDS beliefs, she's not judgmental about it and never pushed it on me at all. We agreed that she would teach her son the Mormon faith but that if he ever asks me what I believe (or don't) that I was to answer him with total honesty, not try to protect his religious views (also a way-out-there concept for most religious moms to allow their children to be counter-indoctrinated by atheists or to actively encourage atheists to do so).

When we started dating I broached the subject many times, over and over, about whether she could really see herself dating or eventually marrying an atheist. We talked about it at very great length and she was OK with it. We both agreed to disagree on this point and still found lots in common, mutual attraction, and love.

Then we were engaged from February til May this year.

Until she broke it off, three weeks before the wedding date.

The straw that broke her LDS camel's back was when we were talking about what we would do if we had a child, would he go to a Mormon church or not? I told her that if we had any children, I would want to keep them out of church until they were old enough to apply critical thinking and to make decisions for themselves. This also applies to my two daughters, 18 and 15 and both atheists, who are living with me and could make up their own minds bout going to church with her - I would want our future children to be free from the pomp and ceremony and ritual until they were old enough to actually make informed, rational decisions about such things as religion.

That was when she realized that our viewpoints on this subject were far to diverse for us to have any real future together.

On a side note, I also think she caved to pressure from her family. Nice people, but many of them are very active Mormons and very opinionated, and she's their younger sibling so they push her around a lot. And her father was a Mormon bishop and a state senator most of his life, a very strong, opinionated, and outspoken man used to telling everyone what to do. I think they "helped her to see the error of her ways" more than she admits to.

So, I guess I don't quite qualify for this thread, but I came within 3 weeks of being qualified.

Narrow escape. I'm sure it was painful, but less painful than had you married, I suspect.

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05-09-2012, 07:31 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
(04-09-2012 09:18 AM)Theofrak Wrote:  I am an atheist and my wife is a true-believing Mormon. Needless to say, there is quite a bit of tension.

We try to avoid interaction on the religious issue, but sometimes it is inevitable.

It is a difficult road. If your marriage is otherwise strong, you should get through it. The important thing is not to push her toward atheism. I tried that with disastrous results.

Yeah, I've never really actively tried to get her to see my point of view on things. I try explaining them and even that gets poor results. I would love to get her to see but I have realized that pushing is a bad idea and I've told myself that I'm not out to "deconvert" anyone.

(04-09-2012 09:32 AM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I am not married to a theist, but earlier this year I was engaged to one. She was the most open-minded Mormon I have ever met, and living in Salt Lake City I have met a lot of them. For example, her only son is half-Indian and almost all of his relatives on his father's side are Hindu so she takes him to a Hindu church from time to time, when he wants to go. That's pretty way-out-there for a religious mom to take her only child to a church of a wildly different religion.

While she's very devoted to her LDS beliefs, she's not judgmental about it and never pushed it on me at all. We agreed that she would teach her son the Mormon faith but that if he ever asks me what I believe (or don't) that I was to answer him with total honesty, not try to protect his religious views (also a way-out-there concept for most religious moms to allow their children to be counter-indoctrinated by atheists or to actively encourage atheists to do so).

When we started dating I broached the subject many times, over and over, about whether she could really see herself dating or eventually marrying an atheist. We talked about it at very great length and she was OK with it. We both agreed to disagree on this point and still found lots in common, mutual attraction, and love.

Then we were engaged from February til May this year.

Until she broke it off, three weeks before the wedding date.

The straw that broke her LDS camel's back was when we were talking about what we would do if we had a child, would he go to a Mormon church or not? I told her that if we had any children, I would want to keep them out of church until they were old enough to apply critical thinking and to make decisions for themselves. This also applies to my two daughters, 18 and 15 and both atheists, who are living with me and could make up their own minds bout going to church with her - I would want our future children to be free from the pomp and ceremony and ritual until they were old enough to actually make informed, rational decisions about such things as religion.

That was when she realized that our viewpoints on this subject were far to diverse for us to have any real future together.

On a side note, I also think she caved to pressure from her family. Nice people, but many of them are very active Mormons and very opinionated, and she's their younger sibling so they push her around a lot. And her father was a Mormon bishop and a state senator most of his life, a very strong, opinionated, and outspoken man used to telling everyone what to do. I think they "helped her to see the error of her ways" more than she admits to.

So, I guess I don't quite qualify for this thread, but I came within 3 weeks of being qualified.

Wow... That is unfortunate but maybe for the best. I think about stuff like this all the time. I mean, I know she loves me and I love her but she literally thinks I'm going to "hell" when I die if I don't accept blah blah blah, you know where that's going.

like PP said it had to have hurt but it could have been a lot worse.

Thanks for your feedback!

(04-09-2012 10:58 AM)Impulse Wrote:  A Unitarian Universalist Church might be something to consider. People can believe whatever they want and attend that church and be accepted - including atheists. The main reason I think it is worth considering is it can give your kids exposure to people from different backgrounds - Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, or whatever happens to be in the population at your local church. From you wife's perspective, it has the advantage of not dismissing religion outright. From your perspective, it has the advantage of not pushing a particular viewpoint and leaving your children in a position to make up their own minds. And an added benefit is they do teach good moral values. It is, however, a liberal church accepting of gays, abortion, etc. so you would have to consider how that will sit with your wife's and your own personal values.

Is it weird that the thought of going to a building labeled "Church" almost scares me? I don't know if that would even be good. How are the services like?

I am very liberal my wife, not so much. I just can't believe that a "Church" could be accepting. Huh

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05-09-2012, 07:43 AM
RE: Married to a Theist?
My father is a Christian whereas my mother is apatheistic (aka "I don't give a damn") and they've been married for over 20 years. Why? Probably because my dad's religious belief does not have too much of an influence on his everyday life, even less on that of my mother.

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