Near the edge of divorce
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04-10-2013, 11:28 PM
Near the edge of divorce
Recently came out of the atheist closet in June...much to the surprise of everyone in my family.
My wife is a believer, not a fundie, but kindof set in her ways.
She thinks I'm going through a mid-life crisis of all things...as she can't imagine my recent revelation.
Since then...I've been very active with posting religious memes, watching the youtube atheists, as many videos the four horseman have out there...so this is now my passion. I love the intellectual debates, discussions, the research and reading...but my wife of 20 years hates it.
We've had several huge fights...the kinds that really can shake a good 20 year foundation.
I'm at that age where yelling and screaming don't appeal to me...so I'm trying to keep her calm...but she is flying off the handle.
So I'm trying to explain the finer aspects of atheism...she doesn't want to listen...as it only fuels her rage.

Could I have broke the news to her better? Heck ya...hind sight is 20/20...but how can I explain to her my views...and that most importantly I HAVE NOT CHANGED?
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04-10-2013, 11:42 PM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
There really ought to be a label for that phase of passionate learning that comes after the dawning of realisation.

Many here have experienced that storm and come out the other side into calmer waters.

Also, there are others here who have felt the resistance from loved ones and have handled that in different ways.

You are not alone.

Hug

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05-10-2013, 01:14 AM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
Part of the reason I hold back from telling certain loved ones how I feel is because to me not believing in something is freedom but to them it could have a negative impact for all of eternity. A lot of the time what seems like anger is fear lashing out. Anger is more closely linked to love than apathy because anger still cares. Though this doesn't change the fact we are entitled to our own feelings and freedom to think and feel how we do, knowing the other persons perspective is helpful.


Sorry to hear of your recent struggle, relationships can be trying at any time. This is a good community for sorting through things and bouncing ideas off of. Welcome!
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05-10-2013, 12:02 PM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
I do think that the anger I'm experiencing is probably deep rooted in fear. I'm now trying to figure out how to approach the topic without arguing about it on her part.
Another factor is we are currently living apart, not due to a marriage separation, but I'm getting ready to retire...and she transferred her job to our retirement location where we bought a house. So when we argue over this...it via facetime...not good...as I cannot clam her down remotely. We will be reunited in 4 monhs...but I truely fear this is driving her away from me. I might have to surpress my public feelings about religion until we're together again.

Now that I'm "out" a huge weight has been lifted, but now I must censor myself to save our marriage. FFS
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05-10-2013, 01:00 PM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
(05-10-2013 12:02 PM)½îñ§ÅÑΣ Wrote:  I do think that the anger I'm experiencing is probably deep rooted in fear. I'm now trying to figure out how to approach the topic without arguing about it on her part.
Another factor is we are currently living apart, not due to a marriage separation, but I'm getting ready to retire...and she transferred her job to our retirement location where we bought a house. So when we argue over this...it via facetime...not good...as I cannot clam her down remotely. We will be reunited in 4 monhs...but I truely fear this is driving her away from me. I might have to surpress my public feelings about religion until we're together again.

Now that I'm "out" a huge weight has been lifted, but now I must censor myself to save our marriage. FFS

Hmm... Consider if she's not opposed to reading just one thing, maybe she could give Seth's book a try.

De-conversion is a chronicle of Seth's own de-conversion and he does talk about the exact things you refer to; the weight being lifted; the passion for all atheist media and discussion; the effect and repercussions his newly realized understanding had on his own relationships. It's a quick read and it might provide her another positive perspective of the similar situation you are both going through.

You aren't alone... I suspect others here have either gone through this or are going through it. It takes time.

Then too... she is probably vulnerable right now. You aren't together and she's feeling this separation.

The separation is compounded by this new "thing" in your life. She might see this as an interloper, interfering with the dynamic of the relationship she is comfortable with. She may feel as if she has been forced into some kind of "competition" and she doesn't know how to hold her own with something she doesn't understand.

It will take a lot of patience and reassurance on your part, if this is the case. Let her know she can still believe whatever she wants - this is about your own inner life - not hers. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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05-10-2013, 01:12 PM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
Do you really need to talk to her about why you disbelieve?
Just tell her that you can't believe even if you try really hard. But that you are still a trust worthy person with "good" values. You still believe that you ought to treat others with respect, kindness and love and that this ought to be compatible with the message of the Christian Jesus.
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05-10-2013, 01:54 PM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
Why fight? Why not let her digest this for a while? Why the pushing?

The first reaction to such news is almost always negative. Let it be and do some nice things for her and don't bring it up anymore, let her be the one to bring it up.

Middle aged - she may even be menopausal or premenopausal - which means you are listening mostly to hormones speaking.

I know, it's new to you too and you are bubbling over with it, but as far as your relationship with your wife is concerned, it ought to have no impact. She is who she always was (if she is not menopausal) and you are too.

Your atheism does not affect your love for her - show her that!

She has a right to be who she is and so do you. Neither has the right to try to change the other. You told her, now let it rest.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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07-10-2013, 05:07 AM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
Dom has the best approaches with the female gender that I have read. From now on I just see if she has posted and then just like what she says. +1 again. Just cool the whole thing down and find some FUN - stop talking about religion for as long as you can until she has digested it some. Show her the love.....

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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07-10-2013, 08:45 AM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
(04-10-2013 11:28 PM)½îñ§ÅÑΣ Wrote:  Recently came out of the atheist closet in June...much to the surprise of everyone in my family.
My wife is a believer, not a fundie, but kindof set in her ways.
She thinks I'm going through a mid-life crisis of all things...as she can't imagine my recent revelation.
Since then...I've been very active with posting religious memes, watching the youtube atheists, as many videos the four horseman have out there...so this is now my passion. I love the intellectual debates, discussions, the research and reading...but my wife of 20 years hates it.
We've had several huge fights...the kinds that really can shake a good 20 year foundation.
I'm at that age where yelling and screaming don't appeal to me...so I'm trying to keep her calm...but she is flying off the handle.
So I'm trying to explain the finer aspects of atheism...she doesn't want to listen...as it only fuels her rage.

Could I have broke the news to her better? Heck ya...hind sight is 20/20...but how can I explain to her my views...and that most importantly I HAVE NOT CHANGED?

Before your recent "change of mind"; what did you and your spouse do for fun that was not centered on faith or religion? Find these again and try some of them now. I agree with most posters here....at this point, your atheism and her theism should not be a topic for discussion. As most of us know, in any arguement, where the person opposite you says something to the effect that "it's what I believe"; the arguement is over because thinking has ceased. You cannot argue with that....so don't.
Instead, stress to her <only if you really mean it> that while your belief systems may differ, that you fully support her actions and rights unless they are illegal.
See how it goes.
I've been married for 44 years to the same woman who, for the last six years, has become a rock ribbed, steely eyes, red-necked, bible thumpin', "true believer". To argue with her about anything religious is a waste of time and builds bad blood. It serves no purpose and has only negative results. So....I don't. I'll listen patiently when she espouses her faith based belief system; but I refuse to argue with her about it.
We live....maybe not in the best of situations....but we live.

"People don't go to heaven when they die; they're taken to a special room and burned!" Evil_monster
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09-10-2013, 04:10 PM
RE: Near the edge of divorce
My girlfriend had the same problem with me, eventhough she knows I am an athiest. what annoys me is that she thinks (as well as my mother) that Im just angry and the I still believe. So she disapproved of me watching and listening to "that stuff"

Anyway what I did was keep my watching and thinkingathiest podcast restricted to my iphone, and waiting till she is out of the house to watch documentaries on tv.

It would be annoying though if she blast her religious media around the house, thankfully she really isn't a church goer she just believes.

Think about the big picture and whats more important to you right now. If you don't want to end up in a divorce then don't be in her face with your stuff, go to another room.
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