Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
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22-04-2014, 10:26 AM
Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
Hopefully this is in the right area of the forum...


Church Background:
I was Catholic until I was 7 years old when my parents started attending an Assembly of God church. In my teen years, my youth group went to the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship, where the “Toronto Blessing” started many years before. It is from there that I started following the teachings of Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, and others in that similar hyper-charismatic version of Christianity.

Deconverting:
I was fresh out of college and started working at a bank. This put more of an emphasis on budgeting and started to raise questions about the way that these mega churches approached money and were always asking for funds.
That is where my journey began. I didn’t know what to do or where to start, I just knew that their “version” of Christianity wasn’t the right one, so I stopped going to church. This lasted for a year or two. I then got reeled in by some hardcore Lutheran fundamentalist teachings about the bible being literal and the exact way to get to god (check out the “Fighting for the Faith” podcast to see how much hate is spewed within Christianity). I decided that I was supposed to be an apologist. I intended on learning biblical Greek. I thought about going to seminary to study theology. I started studying the bible in a way that I never had before.
And here I am now – an agnostic atheist. I am still studying, learning, and reading about the bible and religion (and now – SCIENCE!) but I no longer hold to the beliefs that I was raised with. It has been liberating. I don’t have an invisible crutch when things go wrong or if I make a bad decision – I am responsible for my actions and I am responsible for being the best person that I can for my family, for those around me, and for me. Life is so much more enjoyable!

Coming Out – sort of:
This journey has been tough, since it has mostly been on my own. I am married to the most amazing woman – we met in our church youth group when we were 15 years old, dated on and off and will be married now for 5 years this year. My not attending church and going from charismatic to fundamental to nonbeliever has been difficult because I was only able to share in the first two steps of this process with my wife. She knew that I was “dealing with things” but I wasn’t able to fully talk about it with her and she was hoping that I would work things out on my own. I have been in the closet but still vocal about certain things (since I have a tendency to be antagonistic) – I would hint at my unbelief when I mentioned people thanking god instead of doctors, for god getting credit for people in our family getting promoted at their jobs, when someone would post some silly bible verse on Facebook and I would respond with a sarcastic tone while being completely serious… it was evident that my beliefs had changed, it’s just that no one wanted to talk about it
Two weeks ago I had enough of staying silent – it was causing a lot of negative stress and impacting me physically as well as at work. My wife got home from work and over dinner I told her that I don’t believe anymore. She said that she knew already. We discussed things and it was really productive. I didn't whip out the term “atheist” since there are such heavy negative connotations with it, but I did tell her that I am agnostic.

She is pregnant, so I told her this will affect how we raise our child and that I will not lie and say that I believe things that I don’t know to be true. I told her that I would be respectful when we are with her family (they are all charismatic – to the point of someone in her family doing dream interpretations and lots of other wacky shit) and she was happy with that. I even said a prayer over a meal with her family over the Easter weekend and she smiled at me while I did because she knew that I didn't believe. I told her that I would go to church with her if that would make her happy, just as long as she isn't trying to do it to re-convert me and that it can be something we do together. I do not intent on letting everyone know in our family – if it comes up I will not sidestep the topic and I won’t lie, but I plan on trying to “keep the peace” as much as possible. I do worry that once the family knows they may start shit by talking about how I am a heathen – but I will deal with that if it happens.

Overall, I am reminded of Dale McGowan (on one of the TTA podcasts) mentioning negotiables and non-negotiables and I am hopeful that we are on our way to making a “mixed marriage” work despite what may have seemed like an impossible situation. I believe it all comes down to communication – my wife and I have worked on our communication over the years and it has (so far) contributed to a successful situation.

I know that every situation is different, but when this first started I was seriously worried about losing my marriage -- I wanted to share that sometimes there is hope.

[Image: slaininthespirit-3.jpg]
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22-04-2014, 11:32 AM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
(22-04-2014 10:26 AM)zachzachzachzach Wrote:  I know that every situation is different, but when this first started I was seriously worried about losing my marriage -- I wanted to share that sometimes there is hope.

I hope it keeps working out. I am in a similar situation. I was Christian for the first seven years or so of my marriage. My wife did not deconvert with me.
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[+] 1 user Likes RobbyPants's post
22-04-2014, 11:50 AM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
My husband is a believer as well, we make it work.

welcome to TTA.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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22-04-2014, 11:50 AM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
I am in a similar situation also. I have not come out to my wife, but me not going to mass with them for easter was a big sign if you ask me. I told her I will support and accept her decisions (and the kids) on religion if she does the same for mine. That actually seemd to go over well.

Glad it went well for you.
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22-04-2014, 01:36 PM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
It's good to see that I am not alone. From what I read before hand I was scared about losing a wonderful relationship over something that has little to no real impact on our lives together.

I hope that things can continue like this long term, for me and for you guys Smile

[Image: slaininthespirit-3.jpg]
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22-04-2014, 02:20 PM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
So do you live in Toronto then.

I'm homophobic in the same way that I'm arachnophobic. I'm not scared of gay people but I'm going to scream if I find one in my bath.

I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
- my friend Marc
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22-04-2014, 10:41 PM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
When I told my wife it was emotional at first. I had the same conditions. But then we were able to have some rational discussions and within a few weeks she was deist, then atheist, though she still doesn't use the word.

If you have a good relationship, don't worry. I do think it's good to explain your unwillingness to take things on faith, but I wouldn't go pressing all the evidence against belief just yet.
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22-04-2014, 10:52 PM
RE: Mixed Marriage - My Coming Out Story
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am that my wife and I both coverted to atheism together. We're both stubborn and butt heads sometimes over dumb things. Im glad religion isnt one of them.

Good luck to you man, thanks for sharing the story.

The religion of one age, is the literary entertainment of the next.
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