Wife is believe, I am not...
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11-03-2015, 10:10 AM
Wife is believe, I am not...
Hey gang. First post and excited to be here.

My wife is a pharmacist and very smart, educated woman. That being said, she clings to the archaic belief in a god of the universe. I am a nurse and have worked in research and regulatory at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. I am an atheist. Needless to say, this has caused issues.

From the get go, conversations about this have resulted in her crying and saying something to the effect of "I'm sad because I you will be in hell and I'll be in heaven and I can't deal with that". Whatever.

I reluctantly agreed to start attending church to placate her and ease her fears. I think she thinks that I'm not at least open to the idea (to be clear...I am not), but at this point I'm just happy that she's not pestering me.

I would love nothing more than to tell her my true feelings about this. On one hand, I am optimistic that I can use the year of attending church in my favor and say that I at least tried to understand. My fear is that she is going to 1.) ignore all arguments to support the case for atheism, 2.) start spouting logical fallacies that I'll be forced to point out, and 3.) threaten me with leaving b/c she needs someone that can support her in her faith and be the "spiritual head of the household" or some bullshit.

Any thoughts?
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11-03-2015, 11:10 AM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
Welcome to TTA.

I confess I'm curious as to how someone so well educated and working in a science-based field can still hold to belief in the supernatural.

Is this a case of compartmentalism or does she use faith-based reasoning for all decisions in her life?

Consider

I think that success would either involve agreeing to disagree or to slowly and carefully chip away at the 'faith' aspect of her thinking processes.

i.e. challenge the way she thinks not what she thinks.

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11-03-2015, 11:16 AM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
(11-03-2015 10:10 AM)ShocKNursE Wrote:  Hey gang. First post and excited to be here.

My wife is a pharmacist and very smart, educated woman. That being said, she clings to the archaic belief in a god of the universe. I am a nurse and have worked in research and regulatory at a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. I am an atheist. Needless to say, this has caused issues.

From the get go, conversations about this have resulted in her crying and saying something to the effect of "I'm sad because I you will be in hell and I'll be in heaven and I can't deal with that". Whatever.

I reluctantly agreed to start attending church to placate her and ease her fears. I think she thinks that I'm not at least open to the idea (to be clear...I am not), but at this point I'm just happy that she's not pestering me.

I would love nothing more than to tell her my true feelings about this. On one hand, I am optimistic that I can use the year of attending church in my favor and say that I at least tried to understand. My fear is that she is going to 1.) ignore all arguments to support the case for atheism, 2.) start spouting logical fallacies that I'll be forced to point out, and 3.) threaten me with leaving b/c she needs someone that can support her in her faith and be the "spiritual head of the household" or some bullshit.

Any thoughts?

Go to amazon and order Manual for creating atheists by Peter Boghossian. It costs $8 for kindle and $13 for paperback. Outstanding book, it lays out how to ask innocent thought provoking questions in such a manner as to potentially cause the theist to actually think WHY they have faith, and the seeds of doubt begin to bloom. One of my favorite books, in fact I need to reread it.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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11-03-2015, 11:18 AM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
The only thing I can suggest is just avoiding the topic all together. Let her believe whatever she wants, and just keep your disagreements quiet.

If she keeps bringing it up however, you're going to have to confront it. The heaven and hell argument is basically just Pascal's Wager... The sort of god who would send you to hell for believing the wrong thing, or being skeptical, would be evil. An eternity spent in such a being's idea of paradise would be nothing short of a nightmare.

That's how I'd approach it... A god who was benevolent and loving wouldn't cast your into a lake of fire for being skeptical, or going to the wrong church. One who would do such a thing only promises eternal slavery for an afterlife.

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11-03-2015, 11:30 AM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
Cost benefit. Even outside the issue of religion, most people don't talk about multiple issues before they get married and find out they are not on the same page. It isn't that differences should not exist, couples are not one person, they are still two individuals. It is a matter of what you are both willing to live with. If you can get along and manage, great. But if you cant, that doesn't have to become a war either, you can part company without animosity. NOT just on religion, but any conflict.

Both of you are entitled to be yourselves, but if it becomes so emotionally draining to the point you cant function, then you seek help if you want to fix it, or you accept that it isn't working out. I didn't have a religious problem with my x-wife. But we were not on the same page about our future and it got to the point for her, that it was not worth it. It would have been selfish for me to expect her to say in it over a utopia idea of "forever". It only would have made things worse and more of a war.

No one can tell you to stay in it or leave your relationship, only you can judge that. Conflict resolution isn't about right or wrong on ANY ISSUE. Conflict resolution is about good communication and listening and problem solving. But husban/wife or co worker or family or friend issues, it should never get to the point of being so emotionally draining you cant function. If you can resolve this issue without the blame game or name calling, and you can put up with the differences then work it out.

My mom and I are polar opposites on politics and neatness. Her solution to problem solving is "JUST DO IT" and was raised herself in a authoritarian upbringing and gender rolls and image. It wasn't fun growing up being sensitive because boys don't do that. My parents loved me, my mom who is still alive I've always known she loves me. Even with her own hangups, the differences between us are not so bad to think there is a lack of love. I love her as much as she loves me.

So again, my advice is simply to not think of either or, but problem solving. Neither of you should make a war out of it though. It becomes a problem for both of you when it becomes so emotionally draining that one or the other or both of you cant communicate.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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11-03-2015, 01:26 PM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
(11-03-2015 10:10 AM)ShocKNursE Wrote:  Any thoughts?

Start shopping for a lawyer? Consider

Did this not come up before you were married?

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-03-2015, 04:54 PM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
I have a couple of questions. As Chas pointed out, did this come up before you were married? More info would be nice. Were you always not religious or were you in the beginning and evolved into an atheist? That does matter. I was really a deist when my wife and i got married so fortunately, out relationship was never based on religion. I think we are better for it after almost 12 years. If you based your relationship on faith, I could see that as a problem for her. This is how I approach it with my wife, I try to make it absolutely clear that I am not out to change her beliefs, but she can't fully understand me without her realizing that I just see her beliefs as unfounded and at times silly (which they frankly are). You love her, then don't make fun of her faith, avoid stuff like "sky daddy" and whatnot. My wife used to always take it so damn personally as well. Ironically, we are reading an apologetics book together and she has come so far in not shutting down when we talk about it and it is nice. The content is purely trash that has been overwhelmingly shown to be nonsense but I digress. I think that if she loves you and wants to know you better, she needs to listen to you. Maybe going to church will provide you with some discussion topics and you can voice your skepticism there. Sort of a shoe in the door that hopefully will show her that you can talk about it without bringing her to tears. Good luck.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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11-03-2015, 04:58 PM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
Wear at least two condoms at all times....................................

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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11-03-2015, 05:30 PM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
So far you've given in to her wants for a year.
She seems inflexible, and you will be making all the conssesions forever unless you get her to change her beliefs.
Do you think it's possible for her to drop, or even relax her beliefs?
Are you willing to continue to cave-in whenever she cries about your eternal damnation?
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11-03-2015, 06:27 PM
RE: Wife is believe, I am not...
do you want to hash out who is right and wrong? theologically speaking.

or

do you want to just want to be happy with your wife?

based on your OP I doubt you will ever be on the same page in terms of faith. And even if you did--its going to be a loooong process. So you have to reach an agreement that its ok for each of you to follow your own path, make your own choices, freedom of conscience, and be ok with your partner thinking things you consider wrong. And it has to be on both of you to be accepting of the other.

I am married to a believer, he makes it easy because it really doesnt come up much in our daily lives, but he has his ideas, I have mine and its ok for us to disagree with each other. We don't debate though - its not worth the hassle and. at the end of the day it doesnt contribute to our household.

me being atheist, him being a christian has nothing to do with who walked the dog, who is making dinner, or who is helping the kids with their homework. Its only as big of a deal as you and your wife make it.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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