expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
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28-07-2013, 11:50 AM
expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
I really could use some advice. I'm going to try to be as concise as I can.
I've been dating my girlfriend, who I met in college, for the past three years and we are now expecting a little one. Her family has been very supportive of me throughout this time as my immediate family is basically out of the picture. Her family lives in the dead center of bible belt, Texas. When I first met her and she told me that she didn't believe in evolution I was definitely baffled. At the time I had doubts about my faith, which she wasn't too fond of. I really liked this girl, and eventually I found myself a full fledged believer once again.
About a year into our relationship I changed my major to microbiologist/biochemistry. Learning about science amazed me, but my gf and her family couldn't share that enthusiasm as they all have been indoctrinated by the Christian church and believe Jesus is the answer to everything. However this didn't bother me all that much. And my faith withstood my new gained knowledge about evolution among other things.
About 4 months ago I came across matt dillahunty`s videos and basically my worldview became so much clearer and vivid. I knew without a doubt that I no longer believed. Around that same time I found out that my gf was 4 months pregnant.

So.... I have one year of school left, and the baby is going to be living with my gf (who just graduated this past December) and her mom 3 hours away from me. I've already heard a lot of nonsense about how our little girl needs to be brought up to know Jesus so she knows right from wrong.... she has little kid bible books in her nursery, along with crosses, Angel pictures, etc. This all bothers the he'll out of me.

My issue is I don't know how to tell her.
I recently saw the movie, " this is the end" with her and her brother. I found it a good opportunity to spark a conversation about the book of revelation, and the bible in general. What I came to realize is that my gf, who is very intelligent, had been brainwashed to believe nonsense. She was very defensive and upset that I was questioning the bible. I eventually told her how I don't understand God's plan and prayer and that I didn't want our daughter to fear hell. She told me that our daughter WILL be raised in the church.

She doesn't like these conversations.
I know if I told her I was an athiest she wouldn't look at me the same way. Her mom and brother would also areak out and definitely not see me the same. They have all helped me out a lot, and I care a lot about them.
I just don't want my daughter to be indoctrinated and fear he'll like I did as a child.

I don't know how to confront my gf. I just know from the few talks we had that she won't take this news lightly, it could destroy our relationship. I just want to take care of my daughter, and I don't know what to do about this.

Any suggestions would be awesome.
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28-07-2013, 09:04 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
Whew... this is a tough one.
My heart goes out to you...

I am far from qualified to answer, having no experience, but I am certain someone more qualified will pop up with a few words of wisdom....
Know that I am in your corner.

“Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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28-07-2013, 09:09 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
It seems like whenever one person is atheist and the other isn't...religion is treated like it shouldn't matter. Like the default should be religion since you don't have one.

The only thing tho you can do is be a good parent. Teach the child from the time they're old enough to understand not everyone believes that and it's ok to question.

As for all the religious crap hanging in the kid's room -- I'd allow ONE thing and insist the rest be puppies or kitties or whatever you like.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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28-07-2013, 09:45 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
First things first...STAY CALM...do not stress. Stress will cause anger and resentment. Take things as they come at you, you already started off well by hinting that you weren't sure. Start watching movies and youtube videos while she's around to keep throwing hints that your faith might be questionable. Don't overt or confrontational....you have to understand that she's brainwashed into believing that everyone that doesn't agree with her is "evil".

Take it slow, one day at a time. When she finally wises up and come and confronts you about it, be open and honest, but not angry or aggressive. say something along the lines of "you've been living with me for X amount of time, and I haven't changed except this"...She will either love you for your, or she won't, but let her make that decision in her own time.

My wife was the same way when we got together, I did the above things, and she eventually came around....even more then that, she's now atheist and we have two kids. It CAN work...Trust me.

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28-07-2013, 11:34 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
Wow, thank you guys.
Like I said, I haven't had ANYBODY to talk to about this...the advice and support means a whole lot.
Thank you...
I constantly struggle with whether i should tell her or not. A part of me wants her to just go through my tablet and see that I'm reading the God Delusion lol. But another part of me knows that she nor her family will be able to understand... I love her and her family, I just hate feeling as though I won't have a voice in this predicament... I'm afraid attempting to have my voice heard will make everyone that i care about distance themselves from me. I just want to be a good dad... I hate what religious indoctrination has done to my gf and her family...

Again, thank you for the support. It makes me feel as if I'm not so alone in this.
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28-07-2013, 11:44 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
(28-07-2013 11:34 PM)stormbobcat Wrote:  Wow, thank you guys.
Like I said, I haven't had ANYBODY to talk to about this...the advice and support means a whole lot.
Thank you...
I constantly struggle with whether i should tell her or not. A part of me wants her to just go through my tablet and see that I'm reading the God Delusion lol. But another part of me knows that she nor her family will be able to understand... I love her and her family, I just hate feeling as though I won't have a voice in this predicament... I'm afraid attempting to have my voice heard will make everyone that i care about distance themselves from me. I just want to be a good dad... I hate what religious indoctrination has done to my gf and her family...

Again, thank you for the support. It makes me feel as if I'm not so alone in this.

I really wouldn't tell her at this point. I would redirect. Like when she talks about the nursery -- buy some wall decorations...do your best to keep things secular -- go through the motions when needed.

Hug and good luck.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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01-08-2013, 06:16 AM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
I don't think you should be silent about your beliefs. Why are your beliefs any less acceptable than hers? Are you and your ideas less important or valid? Fuck that.

You're obviously gonna have an up-hill battle with your gf, but the sooner you tell her, the sooner she can come to terms with it and the sooner you can get beyond the drama. Obviously you care about your kid, and that's something you need to explain first. You need to make it clear that you're not some moralless heathen and that the reason you're telling her your beliefs is that it's something she needs to know since she's so passionate about her beliefs.

How far are you from your family? Do they know what you believe? If so, are they supportive? Perhaps you could pay your family a visit and have them there to keep her from flipping out too much.

Do you know of anyone in her family that isn't a religious nut that you might be able to sit down with both of you to keep he calm? I know you say they're religious, but most families have that one person who's not a fanatic.

Not sure what else to say, but I don't think hiding it is a good idea. Your rights as a parent are just as valid and important as hers.

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

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01-08-2013, 06:41 AM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
Although i am not much help on this subject, seth did a couple podcasts about this kinda situation.
secular parenting


raisin a freethinking child

atheist+believer in a relationship

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It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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01-08-2013, 05:20 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
I have no experience whatsoever with these type of things... you call them "children", right? What I do know that lack of proper communication is the source of pretty much all relationship problems, and if you're willing to try to make a family with her, you certainly will have to deal with this issue.

Do you think you can find a quiet time and place to talk this out with her without her family butting in? It sounds like they're close, and you do not want to come out to her whole family. Try to preface it by saying how much you love her and the little girl, and that this is very important for you and how much you need her to listen. She needs to understand how much this is troubling you. Explain what you believe, and that you want your child to be able to choose once she's able to. The important thing here is not to be aggressive at all, and simply hash out your perspective. Maybe begin with the doubts you started to have back when you still considered yourself a believer?

On a side note, have you considered counseling?

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01-08-2013, 06:00 PM
RE: expecting a child, mothers family is very religious.
(28-07-2013 11:44 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(28-07-2013 11:34 PM)stormbobcat Wrote:  Wow, thank you guys.
Like I said, I haven't had ANYBODY to talk to about this...the advice and support means a whole lot.
Thank you...
I constantly struggle with whether i should tell her or not. A part of me wants her to just go through my tablet and see that I'm reading the God Delusion lol. But another part of me knows that she nor her family will be able to understand... I love her and her family, I just hate feeling as though I won't have a voice in this predicament... I'm afraid attempting to have my voice heard will make everyone that i care about distance themselves from me. I just want to be a good dad... I hate what religious indoctrination has done to my gf and her family...

Again, thank you for the support. It makes me feel as if I'm not so alone in this.

I really wouldn't tell her at this point. I would redirect. Like when she talks about the nursery -- buy some wall decorations...do your best to keep things secular -- go through the motions when needed.

Hug and good luck.

I'm with mom. I would just be involved with the kid, be a father to her, give her things like chemistry sets when she's old enough, dinosaur books and all that, and that is way off in the future.

I would for now make sure my girlfriend stayed open with me and allowed me to be totally involved with the child. She is going to have fluctuating hormones, and that will be the WORST of times to tell her, this is a time where telling her that the store is out of pineapples can send her on a spin. Don't mess with a pregnant woman, it doesn't end well for you and the baby.

There is plenty of time. I grew up with angels and whatnots in my room, given by my extended family. I knew I was atheist by the time I was 10.

What matters is that you teach her that there are real tangible reasons for everything, and that she can question and get to the bottom of everything.

Do that, and she will find her way.

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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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