new atheist
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22-04-2015, 09:31 AM
RE: new atheist
I am thrilled that my wife, a nominal Catholic, has been supportive of me since I came out to her last year.

I wish I had advice for you, but it appears I would be too late. After I became an atheist, I withheld that information and focused instead on being the best husband and father I could be. I did not badmouth God and I continued to support her as she brought me and our sons to church with her. She caught on in dribs and drabs until we finally sat down and I was comfortable coming clean. It helps that she was experiencing her own doubts, though she has not yet jumped ship.

I think a major reason we've been able to get through this is that we had different religions to begin with. I was non-denominational, fundamentalist Christian. She was Catholic. So we had religious differences going in.

We're letting our boys learn about religion instead of indoctrinating them. We want them to understand Christianity because it is so much a part of our culture. When they're old enough to start asking serious questions, we'll answer them together and we will show them by example that it's possible to disagree on the subject while still being a team.

I wish you the best. And if I come up with some practical advice for you, I'll be sure to share it. For now, my only advice is to keep an open line of communication with her. Show her in the Bible where it says the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and that she should stay with him.

Quote:I Corinthians 7: 12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

See here, the Bible addresses her situation specifically. If she believes it, then she should heed it.

Use caution, however, lest you be seen as using the Bible against her.

Religion is proof that invisible men can obscure your vision.
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23-04-2015, 08:56 AM
RE: new atheist
Thanks to all for the advice and support. I honestly feel a bit shell-shocked with the state of our relationship. I am finding the the old saying is absolutely true: "those who you love the most, can also hurt you the most."

I guess the thing that is most difficult for us is how her beliefs affect our relationship. One of the things I've recently learned since leaving my faith is how belief can impact those around you. What a person believes will determine their actions, and those actions have consequences for other people. I know that I'm not perfect and that there is always two sides to every story. However, I feel like I am the only one is this who is trying to compromise to make our marriage work.

In any case, what I've been thinking is that I need to make a decision. What am I willing to sacrifice in order to make our marriage work? And even if I do, will I ever really have the type of thriving/trusting relationship that I desire? Or will her religious beliefs always come between us? Ultimately, I love my wife like crazy (even though she doubts that), and I want to do everything possible to save our marriage; that's the bottom line.

It's hard for me not to try and changer her beliefs, because I see how they are ruining our relationship. But I need to try and let her be who she is. Hopefully, she can show the same level of respect/tolerance.

Thanks again for all the advice everyone gave. I'm very thankful to have found this site, especially as a new atheist and skeptic. In closing: be good to others and enjoy your life!
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23-04-2015, 11:01 AM
RE: new atheist
(23-04-2015 08:56 AM)ghalmaghi Wrote:  It's hard for me not to try and changer her beliefs, because I see how they are ruining our relationship. But I need to try and let her be who she is. Hopefully, she can show the same level of respect/tolerance.

Good, just do not try and changer her. I finally came out as an atheist last year and it did cause some friction between my believing wife and I. Since then, we have had some great discussions. Initially, we really couldn't talk at all because any mild question of something either led to her feeling "attacked" or she would simply deflect it and say that I needed to talk to someone else. That is how it may work with your wife. Make it crystal clear that you aren't trying to change her but that you wish to simply discuss it with her from time to time. What you think, why you think it, and how you came to think that way. One thing that you may want to try is to simply ask her whether she loved you because of your beliefs or whether she loved you for you. If she actually says it was because of your beliefs, that's bad but at least you know. If she did love you for you, then ask her why then it seems to have changed just because you no longer believe. You are the same person so what does god have anything to do with her loving you back? Hopefully she will respond to it. 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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24-04-2015, 10:13 AM
RE: new atheist
You might see if she will read this book with you: http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Doubt-Religi...0814433723
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