Talking to my significant other....
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15-11-2013, 01:27 PM
Talking to my significant other....
OK. I just give up. I have been married to my beautiful wife for 5 years now. I can't see myself being with anyone else. She truly is my soulmate.

However,

Religion is one very sticky issue between us. She is a believer and I am not. I have tried, on many occasions, to talk to her about religion and why she believes. She says she believes in god, just because. I can't seem to get anywhere in conversation or debating with her. I'm not looking to convert her in anyway. I respect that she has the right to believe what she wants to believe, however think the reasons why make no sense to me whatsoever.

I find it frustrating not being able to understand her reasons why she believes and she makes no effort to see my side of things. How can we open the lines of communication in this area, or am I just beating a dead horse so to speak?

Is anyone in the same situation as I am? Can someone offer some advice please?
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15-11-2013, 01:56 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
As long as its not a negative factor in your relationship then let her have it, treat it no different to Horoscopes/Astrology, past lives and Ouija boards.

Theists/Deists mostly can't be converted From Belief to Atheism,
Atheism is a personal rite of passage with ones own consciousness.
Peer pressure Atheism is just as abhorrent as religious indoctrination.

That said, dropping the truth around for Atheism by osmosis is a public service.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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15-11-2013, 02:25 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
Yeah. Kids. Thats another story. She has 4 children with her ex, who happens to have studied to be a pastor. I try to teach my step kids how to think for themselves, but how do you correct them when mom says the earth is 6000 years old?????
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15-11-2013, 02:44 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
(15-11-2013 02:25 PM)Inspgadget Wrote:  Yeah. Kids. Thats another story. She has 4 children with her ex, who happens to have studied to be a pastor. I try to teach my step kids how to think for themselves, but how do you correct them when mom says the earth is 6000 years old?????

Documentaries, are about the only things my daughters and i watch together.
nature, science, reality and the absence of "God of the gaps arguments".
Evolution just has to present true facts, its near effortless.

Religion has to apologise for centuries of crimes , and word weasel out of hundreds
of disgusting immoral acts committed by God in the bible.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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15-11-2013, 04:13 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
Me and my wife have a very openly communicated relationship. She would usually classify herself as "apatheist" which is her nice way of saying, "I don't really give a damn about religion, no religion, lack of religion, god, no god, or otherwise."

Although she never refers to herself as "an atheist" - she accepts that I am an atheist and she's cool with it. Sometimes though, I sort of get the impression that she still might hold onto a "belief of something" but she just doesn't talk about it. She doesn't care much about it and her and I are widely on the same page of, "If there is a god, he'd probably give a shit as to whether or not we're good people, not whether or not we believe in said god, unless he's a total dick." At the end of the day we don't worry about talking it too much because it isn't really what defines us. Her and I both agree that it is important to teach our kids of someday to think critically, not force things upon them and to teach them to think for themselves. We agree on topics of human rights, that sort of thing.

If someone believes and they don't use it to be a dick, I don't see why it's all that important of a topic. It really just comes down to, "I believe in a deity because xyz and I'm not a dick." so if that's the case, why fret it? There are far more important things in a relationship.

What I'm getting at here is perhaps discussing with your significant other as to where stuff lies and your boundaries on this stuff.

- Is it really that important as to whether or not they believe in a god and you don't?
- Does it bother you because perhaps you have a bias and you want them to have the same stance as you?
- Is there a reason that it's an important matter in your relationship if you both see eye to eye on things?

My wife enjoys ghost shows and stuff. One day I made a comment along the lines of, "oh that stuff is such bullshit, you don't really believe in ghosts do you?" and she said she wasn't sure, but maybe. My critical thinking alarm went off and she got mad at me. I felt kind of bad and apologized and tried to open a line of discussion on them and maybe discuss it a bit. She was cool with discussing it but really was actually neutral on the matter. I guess what I'm saying it, it is your significant other. So don't stomp on their feelings, be aware that comments you might think are serious if they contain any underlying notes of criticism may offend the other if they are sensitive on those matters. The subject of a god or belief in a god can be very personal for some people, so keep that in mind.

At the end of the day it is your significant other Wink I hope your line of discussion goes well with them!

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
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15-11-2013, 04:55 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
Well, the kids, that's a touchy subject that I won't speak to (as my current strategy is more pre-emptive than anything else).

As for open communication on the topic of religion, I think it comes down to these questions.

Does she accept your non-belief as part of you (sounds weird, I know)?
If she does, does she understand your reasons for non belief, or attempt to understand them?
Do you accept her belief as part of her?
Do you understand or attempt to understand the reasons that she believes?

For me, I would address these questions bluntly, and the nice thing is it only has to happen once. It only is a matter of being OPEN and HONEST with each other. For instance, "Hunnybabysweetiecakeshotasssugarlips, it's really important to me that you understand the reasons I don't believe, I would really love to have a conversation about that. Is that something that we can find time to do please?" Or, "Sexyllamacutiemama, it's really important to me to understand why you believe what you do, can we just have a time to have a discussion about this? I want to understand you as best I can." (Side note, while trying to understand, I wouldn't challenge her unless it's for clarification (or for explaining your own point of view), but don't actually try to deconvert her).

Good luck. And yes, I do make up a new random term of endearment for my gf nearly every week. Haha.

Just my thoughts!
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15-11-2013, 04:59 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
I see no reason to push this at all.

She comes from a relationship with a very religious person to one with an atheist.

Let her digest things, don't make her defensive, that only ruins things.

She knows about you, she isn't pushing you, let her take her time to think things through on her own.

Just enjoy the relationship, don't let some freaking nonexistent skydaddy mess it up for you.

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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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15-11-2013, 05:48 PM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
I feel your pain! This is my relationship with my husband exactly. I learned that I'm not going to change his mind, I'll never understand why he refuses to examine his belief. Luckily he doesn't insist in going to church, doesn't take the bible literally, and is ok with raising our kids as free-thinkers who will make their own decisions about religion.

I suppose he is actually more of a diest it anything.

But I love him like crazy. He is my world, my partner in crime, the one who can always make me laugh. Because of this I've made religion a topic to avoid if possible. I'm always open to discussing it when he offers though, and we are pretty good at respecting how the other feels on the topic. No raised voices, no anger, no pointing out that something he believes is.... silly. Just state facts, and let facts speak for themselves. Above all else, know when it is time for the conversation to be over.

Now, this doesn't always happen, but we try hard to follow those rules if the topic comes up.

Best of luck! Hug

I hope that the world turns, and things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you. - V for Vendetta
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15-11-2013, 06:02 PM (This post was last modified: 16-11-2013 06:24 AM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Talking to my significant other....
(15-11-2013 01:27 PM)Inspgadget Wrote:  Is anyone in the same situation as I am?

There are a few of us here in similar situations. Girly married a good Catholic girl some 27 years ago now. Never been an issue for us. Wasn't even (much) of an issue for the Catholic Church which married us. We don't dick with each other's metaphysics, she gets to think what she likes and so do I.

(15-11-2013 02:25 PM)Inspgadget Wrote:  I try to teach my step kids how to think for themselves, but how do you correct them when mom says the earth is 6000 years old?????

With a wink and a nod. Momma be talking crazy shit again. Wink

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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20-11-2013, 09:31 AM
RE: Talking to my significant other....
Same here, been married for 17 years now. I was on my path to becoming a non-believer when we met and married.

We've talked about our beliefs, but I think she is in denial of my decision. So I attend church with her and our kids about once a month (mostly because I remember how the men of our church when I was a kid targeted my mom after her divorce).

She still tells me I should "just pray for an answer" from time to time, and I just shake my head. She doesn't try to cram her beliefs down my throat and I just try to keep our kids open minded. It's a fair balance and has never really been an issue in our marriage.

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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