Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
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09-03-2015, 03:06 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
Thanks everyone so much for your responses! The things I'm seeing in common are:
  • Love my wife like crazy - Check
  • Be united with my wife about how to raise the kids - Check
  • Teach my kids to be critical thinkers - Check

My wife and I are stronger now than ever, and I'm very thankful for that. After reading so many stories I see how different it can be.

We're also on the same page regarding the kids; Teach them to be critical thinkers and ease them into Daddy's doubts as they mature enough to be able to understand them. My 8yr old daughter is almost there now. I'd be interested in hearing any advice from people who have gone through this process; sharing your doubts with your kids who have grown up without questioning the existence of God.

I'm still on the fence regarding my Dad. I don't know if the pain it would cause him is worth the freedom it would give me. I think it might be selfish on my part to tell him. It would literally be telling him that I'm going to hell and will never see him again after he dies.
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09-03-2015, 03:14 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
(09-03-2015 09:32 AM)NutraSteve Wrote:  I would try to learn to be a little less guilty with your father. I'm in the same boat, and my Father will go to his grave believing that we're all Christian. I'm fine with that.

I know I sound a little contradictory between how I feel about my wife knowing and my parents knowing... But it is what it is.

As far as your kids go, I'm sure they'll make their own minds up later on in life. I wouldn't try to influence one way or the other. I would present the facts on both sides and let them decide for themselves later on down the line. More than likely, they'll understand the difference between fact and fiction.

Good luck!


NutraSteve: Regarding your Father; Do you find it difficult to have a genuine relationship with him? How deeply does religion affect your daily life with him? Do you have kids and if so, how do you navigate the fact that you don't have any control over what they say? If I stopped going to church, my Dad will find out through my kids. My Dad also regularly asks me "How's your spiritual life" and it's pretty difficult to be convincing. We're close and he can tell when something's up. Right now he's asking me if I'm depressed, and I'm only able to deflect this by talking about parenting issues with my kids. I don't know if keeping up the charade is even possible, but your post made me question that.
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09-03-2015, 03:24 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
(09-03-2015 09:57 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  Check out videos on you tube by Dale McGowan, specifically from the Free OK event. it runs about 45 minutes. Its about giving kids all the info and trusting that they will figure out the answers. He also just put out a book ....the title is slipping me....but its about 'mixed' marriages.

Here's the book for everyone else: In Faith and Doubt (2014)

This looks great! Thanks BAA for the tip.
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09-03-2015, 03:41 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
You don't have to piss on a bible in the town square. That would draw quite a bit of attention.

You're married, have 3 kids, a wife and a job I assume. That's quite a bit to have on your plate and if something has to give let it be religion. Drift away. You don't have to jump off the ledge.

Your wife sounds reasonable and supportive even if she may have drank too much of the Kool Aid. If she understands as you say then she has at least stuck a toe in the water to see what the temperature is.

Kids are tougher. They will ask questions and almost always at the wrong time. Be as honest as their ages permit.

[Image: Atheismreality_zps62a2c96a.jpg]
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09-03-2015, 04:35 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
(09-03-2015 03:14 PM)microTree Wrote:  NutraSteve: Regarding your Father; Do you find it difficult to have a genuine relationship with him? How deeply does religion affect your daily life with him? Do you have kids and if so, how do you navigate the fact that you don't have any control over what they say? If I stopped going to church, my Dad will find out through my kids. My Dad also regularly asks me "How's your spiritual life" and it's pretty difficult to be convincing. We're close and he can tell when something's up. Right now he's asking me if I'm depressed, and I'm only able to deflect this by talking about parenting issues with my kids. I don't know if keeping up the charade is even possible, but your post made me question that.

Fortunately in my situation, he's never really brought up religion around me, other than the usual "This world is going to hell in a handbasket, we need Jesus to return fast", etc... I usually just nod my head in agreement and go about my business or change the subject. I have a great relationship with my father, I'd like to think. We love each other very much, but at the same time, we kind of respect each other's space. Me flat out telling him "I'm atheist" would have to come out of no where and would be a complete shock to him. I really have no reason to bring it up.

You and I might handle certain situations differently. Personally for me, I have no problem "living a lie" so to speak, because my Dad usually doesn't question me about anything. I never went to church regularly, other than about a period of 2 or 3 years when I went with my wife's family to church. So that's never been an issue. Hell, my Dad doesn't even go to church.

Unfortunately, it sounds like your Dad might be a little more pushy than mine is when it comes to what my religious beliefs are, so I might not be much help. I saw a post earlier where someone said it's be best to tell him that "I'm questioning a few things about Christianity" before you break the news to him. If he ever got to the point where he was hounding you about it, I think that would be an excellent response. It opens up the topic, but not in a crushing way.

Let me know if I can be of any help. I'm fairly new to this whole atheist thing myself, so if you need anyone to talk too, I'm here for you!
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13-03-2015, 02:28 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
(09-03-2015 04:35 PM)NutraSteve Wrote:  Unfortunately, it sounds like your Dad might be a little more pushy than mine is when it comes to what my religious beliefs are, so I might not be much help. I saw a post earlier where someone said it's be best to tell him that "I'm questioning a few things about Christianity" before you break the news to him. If he ever got to the point where he was hounding you about it, I think that would be an excellent response. It opens up the topic, but not in a crushing way.

Let me know if I can be of any help. I'm fairly new to this whole atheist thing myself, so if you need anyone to talk too, I'm here for you!

Thanks a lot, Steve. My Dad is definitely a lot pushier. He asks me all the time "So how is your spiritual life going?" which is a pretty difficult question to answer if you don't have one. Plus I am a pretty bad liar. I think for now I'll just keep going like this until I have to do something different.

Unfortunately I've already expressed doubts about Christianity (years ago when I initially encountered the evolution problem), and when I did, he acted like the sky was falling, and I became a project. He saw me going through the same things he did at my age, and freaked. At the time it was a bit overwhelming because I was the "project" of several people simultaneously, and was genuinely questioning things. Now there are a lot less questions, and I don't care to be anyone's project. But maybe that's unavoidable.

Thanks again, Steve for your kind words. Same to you: I'm here if you need to talk!
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16-03-2015, 05:27 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
(05-03-2015 09:07 PM)microTree Wrote:  -How to handle my kids, considering my differences with my wife.
-How to handle my Dad. Don't want to hurt him, and don't want to be his project.
-How to navigate this with my wife. She's very supportive and open and understands.

Thanks in advance!

As for your children, I am not really sure. Never had any or nothing. But, I would just let them be. Keep pushing school, studying, science, math and all the other stuff on them. Maybe stop taking them to any church if you are. Let them go by themselves when they are old enough to walk aboot on their own when they are old enough if they really want too. If they ask questions, just tell them the truth. They will ask a lot of questions and you can't shred or leave out any words with them. At least that is what I would do if I had youngins.

As for your dad. I don't know. Ya just gotta figure it out on yo own and do what ya think might be best I guess?

As for the wife. If she understands than what the plucky duck is the problem? Seems like your both working things out fine on your own. Just leave it be and go with the flow and stop worrying about it for a while.


Keeping religion immune from criticism is both unwarranted and dangerous. - Lawrence M. Krauss
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29-04-2015, 07:03 PM
RE: Terrified to "come out"... Looking for advice.
Boy! Do I know how you feel. I have been very religious in different periods of my life. I would be very hot for a bit, and then I would be very cold for a bit. I wavered back and forth. I came out for a bit and had to witness the wrath of my cradled Catholic mother-n-law that never attends mass. Two Christmases ago, she said... Merry Christmas, and I replied happy holidays back! I got a Happy holidays? Happy holidays? You mean Merry Christmas! Oh Gosh!, the Sh*@ hit the fan! Gosh, I have struggled too. I am joining a secular group at college in the Fall. At one time... I sought to become a deacon in the Episcopal church for a bit, years ago, after I left the Catholic Church.Moreover, I suppose I wanted to believe in an afterlife, one true god, and all that, but I cannot find the evidence I need. Further, I believed by the Mitochondrial Eve theory for a bit. I have been through similar to what you are going through. I have not told all my family, because I will be a huge Evil_monster to them if I do. You are in my thoughts and I do hope that you find all the answers that you need. My advice is search hard and listen to some of the very educated/wise people on here.Smile I have and the post have helped me. Take care! Kelly ~*

If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.

Abigail Adams


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