When your spouse finds out...
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03-04-2017, 08:22 AM
When your spouse finds out...
I'll make this short. I've been an atheist for a little less than a year. Previously, I was rather devout in both charismatic and catholic churches (my wife is a cradle catholic). However, I have made the same realization most of you have about religion, and have abandoned those beliefs in favor of reason, free thought, and science.

However, my wife didn't take that de-conversion so well. In fact, when she found out, she mentioned that she would have rather learned that I was having an affair than to discover my unbelief. It nearly cost us our marriage last summer. Since then, I rarely talk about atheism (unless she brings it up), and for now, I have agreed not to talk about it with our kids, as they are very young anyways.

Today is our 13th anniversary, and I mentioned on social media that I was an atheist, which caused her to say that it cut her deeply that I was still a nonbeliever, and that she saw the post on our anniversary.

I am so lost here. It seems like the divorce conversation is heading my way again, and it is not something I'm enthusiastic about. But I just can't keep living in the "closet" just to keep my family intact. I feel like a complete and utter outsider in my own home. I work 50-60 hours a week as the sole provider, while my wife stays home with our four kids and homeschools them. So, they are already much more close to her than they are with me, despite my efforts.

So it comes down to this: what kind of pain do I want? The loss of my family, or the loss of myself?
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03-04-2017, 08:34 AM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
Sorry to see this sort of trouble for you. I'd suggest seeing a professional (counselor in both meanings of the word- marital and legal). The one can help you (both) explore your options, and the legal one will be needed if those options don't work.
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03-04-2017, 11:11 AM (This post was last modified: 03-04-2017 11:17 AM by Deidre32.)
RE: When your spouse finds out...
You have to be who you are, that is the only way to live. You can’t live a lie, and if you identify as an atheist, then your wife can either accept it or not. I think this is one of those things, that maybe divorce would make sense, if she can’t see herself being with an atheist, now. Maybe separate, and you both can figure things out then? I’m sorry you find yourself at this place in your marriage. I left faith for a few years and identified as an atheist, and then returned to faith a little over a year ago, and what I’ve found is that atheists really don’t care as much when these things happen, as compared to Christians. I lost some Christian friends when I left the faith, but all of my atheist friends have always been here for me during my own journey. Not sure why that is but it's been an observation of mine. I’m sorry you find yourself at this place in your marriage, but you have to stay true to you.

Be true to yourself. Heart
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03-04-2017, 11:19 AM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
(03-04-2017 08:22 AM)melliott79 Wrote:  In fact, when she found out, she mentioned that she would have rather learned that I was having an affair than to discover my unbelief.

Shocking. If she leaves you I hope you are able to find someone who has their priorities right and appreciates you for who you are.
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03-04-2017, 11:25 AM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
(03-04-2017 11:11 AM)Deidre32 Wrote:  You have to be who you are, that is the only way to live. You can’t live a lie, and if you identify as an atheist, then your wife can either accept it or not. I think this is one of those things, that maybe divorce would make sense, if she can’t see herself being with an atheist, now. Maybe separate, and you both can figure things out then? I’m sorry you find yourself at this place in your marriage. I left faith for a few years and identified as an atheist, and then returned to faith a little over a year ago, and what I’ve found is that atheists really don’t care as much when these things happen, as compared to Christians. I lost some Christian friends when I left the faith, but all of my atheist friends have always been here for me during my own journey. Not sure why that is but it's been an observation of mine. I’m sorry you find yourself at this place in your marriage, but you have to stay true to you.

Isn't that funny how that works? Atheists get treated brutally by christians, yet they show more compassion and kindness even to christians. I actually do know why this happens, to an extent. I would recommend checking out Darkmatter2525, he's got a number of video's on why chrisitans hate Atheists so much. Why chrisitians are personally offended when people don't accept their god.


OP, you are in one of the most horrible situations I could imagine. I'm terrified of having children with a person only to have my children stolen from me. To be a stranger in their lives. Or to give my heart to someone only to have them turn their backs on me. I agree ultimately you're prolly going to have to be true to you. You can try to lie or hide, but you'll only end up creating more suffering and greater problems down the road.

Hugs dude.

DLJ Wrote:And, yes, the principle of freedom of expression works both ways... if someone starts shit, better shit is the best counter-argument.
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03-04-2017, 11:31 AM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
On the plus side if you do get divorced you don't have to kowtow to her attempts to raise the kids in the faith any more. You may end up "saving" more than just yourself.
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03-04-2017, 12:11 PM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
It seems clear to me that part of her love for you was not about who you are. She seems concerned about appearances and has no problem demanding that you kowtow to her feelings on the matter without regard to your own.

I'd suggest a compromise: you won't mention your atheism if she won't mention her faith. You and I both know how she'll take that, and it's the perfect way to show her to herself how she's demeaning you.

Sorry you've got it so rough, bud.
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04-04-2017, 07:40 AM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
Sorry to hear about that, it sucks when this sort of thing comes out of the works.

My personal input on this is: when you love somebody, you love the person they are, not what religion they are. I'm an Atheist and my wife is a christian. She isn't overly devout but it's not my call whether she believes or not.

I suppose if you think about it this way: you love you wife, despite her being catholic. Why is that? It's because you love the person she is, and I presume her being catholic isn't probably that much of a big deal at all? If she doesn't return the same feelings, then maybe it was never really "right" in the first place.

A lot of people see marriage as "something you do" or sometimes a social status of some degree, and in this case it sounds like she's more bothered that others will know she's married to an atheist, which is beyond stupid. If she loves you, she wouldn't care at all, and she'd tell anybody who said otherwise to go F themselves.

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04-04-2017, 01:10 PM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
I think counseling may be in order if you want to work at it.

I would agree with her that announcing your atheism publicly on your wedding anniversary is a bit in her face if you know how she feels about it. Just my two cents on that topic.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored- Aldous Huxley
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04-04-2017, 01:32 PM
RE: When your spouse finds out...
(04-04-2017 01:10 PM)devilsadvoc8 Wrote:  I think counseling may be in order if you want to work at it.

I would agree with her that announcing your atheism publicly on your wedding anniversary is a bit in her face if you know how she feels about it. Just my two cents on that topic.

Yeah, I should have mentioned that I thought I was posting to a closed group, so it was unintentional. On another note, she doesn't want to do counseling, so it looks like I have some things to think about.
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