So I came out....
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09-09-2014, 09:29 AM
So I came out....
to my wife and admitted to her openly that I am an Atheist. We had an argument, she accused me (falsely) of some things and I just blew up. Told her she had no idea who I really was anymore. We've been married for almost 18 years now, there have been some changes. So, she admitted I was right and we said some stuff we'd been holding in and I told her. I felt so relieved... but it's gone about as well as I expected. Now I'm a liar, she wanted to marry a "Christian" man and blah, blah, blah.

We've had a lot of conversations about it since then, but I can't argue with her without using terms like stupid, illogical, blind. I can't believe she won't even listen to reason.

I've accepted that I'm not going to convert her, and I try to avoid the conversation, but she won't drop it now. I need to be able to talk to her about this in a manner that is not only informative, but not hurtful.

Any pointers, any good reads any one can recommend?

RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. - Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
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09-09-2014, 10:00 AM
RE: So I came out....
Sorry to hear that, she might believe for mostly emotional reasons, nothing rational. Perhaps you could get her to respect your reasons from an emotional standpoint if she relates to her religion like that.
Sometimes people go through stages of acceptance, after the initial shock wears off, perhaps they'll resign themselves to the reality of the situation.
Do you have kids? This could be an ongoing problem with how they're raised.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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09-09-2014, 10:26 AM
RE: So I came out....
(09-09-2014 10:00 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  Sorry to hear that, she might believe for mostly emotional reasons, nothing rational. Perhaps you could get her to respect your reasons from an emotional standpoint if she relates to her religion like that.
Sometimes people go through stages of acceptance, after the initial shock wears off, perhaps they'll resign themselves to the reality of the situation.
Do you have kids? This could be an ongoing problem with how they're raised.

Yes we have 2 girls (11 and 15). I told her they can continue going to church with her, but if they ask me questions I am going to be honest with them. I promised to not try to convert them.

She has also asked that I still attend church with them occasionally (can't have the rest of the congregation thinking she's married to a heathen!). I told her I would, if it will keep the peace between us.

She also had me watch a video of this Josh Feuerstein (sp?) guy, where he "proves the existence of god". I couldn't even talk to her afterwards, if that's the drivel she accepts then maybe I'm wrong about her intelligence!

RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. - Ambrose Bierce (The Devil's Dictionary)
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09-09-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: So I came out....
I don't believe in marriage for this very reason. No one owns you. Having said that, religious people believe that they need to save everyone around them. Your wife probably feels a bit of that. I would just keep communicating and staying truthful.

You can't undo what you feel. And what you know to be truth. I hope things work out but only if you are both happy. Hug

Be true to yourself. Heart
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09-09-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: So I came out....
I'm atheist and my wife is Christian. I was Christian when we got married 11 years ago, but I stopped believing a few years ago. We also have two daughters (just under six and three).

That being said, we don't talk about it, much. I'm not trying to deconvert her, but I know it bothers her. She felt betrayed and doesn't like the fact that all of the girl's spiritual upbringing is now on her. She has finally come to accept it more, but we still seldom talk about it. Even then, she never really asks me anything as to why I feel the way that I do. She'll occasionally ask me stuff like if the Christmas season is hard on me.

I'm fairly lucky in that my wife is quite liberal. She doesn't believe in hell, so she doesn't feel like she has some countdown to try and fix me before I get the bad ending. She believes I'll end up in heaven with some egg on my face for having been wrong, then we'll all move on from there and that will be that.


As far as advice goes, I would strongly suggest maintaining your calm. If your wife works you up to the point where you feel angry, tell her it's not a good time to talk about it. If you get mad and call her "illogical" or "stupid", you're pretty much killing all changes at an amicable end to the situation. If she leaves the issue alone, I'd do the same. If she insists on bringing you "evidence" of God, calmly explain why it's presuppositional and why you don't find it compelling. Don't get insulting, and if she appears to be getting angry, tell her you'll discuss it with her later.
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09-09-2014, 02:07 PM
RE: So I came out....
Silo,
I'm in the same boat as you are. I was a devout Christian when I got married and became an atheist several years later. My wife remains a Christian. This has caused some significant issues between my wife and me. I still cannot understand how a 2000 year old book can cause problems in the modern day world, but there you have it.

My wife and I get along very well if we avoid discussing religion. I have 3 children and I have avoided trying to convert them. I do make sure that they have access to and are exposed to science. That way they can make up their own minds. If the topic comes up, I will, in a non-confrontational way, point out the errors, fallacies and discrepancies in the Bible. It does help that I know the Bible better than anyone else that we know, including the pastor of the church we attend.

Going to church with your wife and children is a good idea. It keeps you together as a family and it will show your wife that you still care about her. It will reassure her that you don't mean to run out on her and the kids now that your beliefs have diverged. I assume that you deconverted precisely because you read the Bible for yourself. If that is the case, you will be in a strong position to answer any questions your children may have. I would avoid being a disruption in church as I feel it serves no purpose. Bite your tongue, if you have to.

As Robby pointed out, do not antagonize your wife with hurtful words. They are hard to call back once spoken. You can take the moral high ground despite being an atheist (I should say because you are an atheist).

You know, just because you're an atheist, you don't have to ignore Biblical advice. When I got married, the preacher exhorted me "to love your wife as Christ loved the church" (Eph. 5:25). In other words, love her to the point of self-sacrifice, even unto death, if necessary. That may be the best advice I ever heard when it came to marriage.

Good luck. You are not alone.

Doc
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09-09-2014, 02:18 PM
RE: So I came out....
So...the advice is basically for the OP to walk on eggshells, in order to live as an atheist and remain in a peaceful marriage?

Consider

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09-09-2014, 02:27 PM
RE: So I came out....
(09-09-2014 02:18 PM)Deidre32 Wrote:  So...the advice is basically for the OP to walk on eggshells, in order to live as an atheist and remain in a peaceful marriage?

Consider

Yes.
Either that or WWIII

Doc
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09-09-2014, 02:30 PM
RE: So I came out....
(09-09-2014 02:27 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  
(09-09-2014 02:18 PM)Deidre32 Wrote:  So...the advice is basically for the OP to walk on eggshells, in order to live as an atheist and remain in a peaceful marriage?

Consider

Yes.
Either that or WWIII

Doc

Sounds more like a prison, not a marriage.
Just sayin Undecided

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09-09-2014, 02:35 PM
RE: So I came out....
If you can't be who you are, always...what are you holding onto? A marriage you used to have?

Both partners need to grow with the change. Not, the person who is now the atheist is still feigning faith and putting on a front. For what?

So the other spouse doesn't leave? That's not a marriage worth having if I have to still go through the motions of a religious person to please my spouse.

A relationship isn't just about one person getting his/her way.

Be true to yourself. Heart
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