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Atheist Husband/christian Wife


Zaida
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Hi everyone: I had posted last month about conversations Ive been having with my children regarding the nature of God. In one post I mentioned that my husband is an athiest, and a few people commented that it would be interesting to have a thread about these types of "mixed marriages". It has not been easy for my husband and myself - when we got married I was not a church goer, and Im the one who has changed. He is pretty freaked out by all the religious books throughout the house, and he has a hard time when I discuss God with the kids. I know "s" (as ill call him) is trying - but it puzzls him, and I think is a bit of a threat to him. For me, its hard, because Id love to have a partner I could discuss these things with. I dont know if anyone on this board is in a similar situation, but any insights would be helpful!

 

Zaidagal

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Hi everyone: I had posted last month about conversations Ive been having with my children regarding the nature of God. In one post I mentioned that my husband is an athiest, and a few people commented that it would be interesting to have a thread about these types of "mixed marriages". It has not been easy for my husband and myself - when we got married I was not a church goer, and Im the one who has changed. He is pretty freaked out by all the religious books throughout the house, and he has a hard time when I discuss God with the kids. I know "s" (as ill call him) is trying - but it puzzls him, and I think is a bit of a threat to him. For me, its hard, because Id love to have a partner I could discuss these things with. I dont know if anyone on this board is in a similar situation, but any insights would be helpful!

 

Zaidagal

 

Zaida,

 

I really don't have anything worthwhile to offer but I might suggest that each of you just respect the other's views and not try to 'save' or 'desave' the other. There is no objective truth in these matters and each of you could hold reasonable but differing views. So, why not just treat this particular subject with benign neglect.

 

George

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Welcome to the forum for PC, Zaidagal.

 

My wife and I have a similar situation, but of the opposite polarity from yours. :) She is Christian (Southern Baptist) and I am, well, "spiritual but not religious." I do like and follow some of the teachings of Jesus, but I don't really wear the Christian label because of all the baggage that goes with it. But because we were both Christians when we got married (22 years ago), she expects us to have a "Christian" home and to raise our children as Christians.

 

In my experience, it doesn't do me any good to criticize her beliefs or her ties to the church. She gets defensive (as I did when I was in that religion) and that is not a good thing.

 

But she is a very loving person. After all, she puts up with my crap. :D So I've found it helpful to discuss, not our different beliefs, but our shared values. She claims her values come from God and the Bible, and I understand that. I claim that my values come from experience and what is beneficial. But despite our different beliefs, we share many of the same values and this helps to keep communication open and honest between us.

 

So my thoughts on this is to value and treasure the shared values that you and your husband have. As we've been discussing in other threads, these are the "fruit" that is good, regardless of what kind of religious tree produces them.

 

Regards,

sbnr

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...I dont know if anyone on this board is in a similar situation, but any insights would be helpful!

 

Zaidagal

 

Zaidagal,

 

My situation is somewhat similar. However, I was a closet non-believer at marriage trying to grasp what Christianity or religion was all about. Our children were raised within the Church and I played the game. Upon our children leaving the nest, I came out. It was pretty traumatic for both, my wife and I. I came out of the closet as a pretty hard atheist. However, with the help of the former Spong forum my atheism has softened and my wife's Christianity has softened. We each found there is no "truth" which fits all. Consequently, neither of us can have the "truth." Each realizes what works for one cannot work for the other. If one requires the community and the other not, that has to be respected.

 

My wife requests each week's Spong essay. The essays have been a big part in my wife's softening toward other's beliefs.

 

The GeorgeW who posted on this thread earlier was/is a major player in my "conversion." We became friends on the former Spong forum. He was instrumental in my becoming a "soft atheist." As a matter of fact, I no longer refer to myself as an atheist. The "A" word has become pejorative for a hater of religion. Bill Maher once used the moniker apatheist meaning he is apathetic about a god. Until I have a better moniker, I will accept that I am an apatheist. Kind of like my interest in professional football, I have no interest in a god other than peripherally.

 

This doesn't help you coming to a middle ground with your spouse but I would answer questions about my relationship with my spouse.

 

Ron

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H... I know "s" (as ill call him) is trying - but it puzzls him, and I think is a bit of a threat to him. For me, its hard, because Id love to have a partner I could discuss these things with. I dont know if anyone on this board is in a similar situation, but any insights would be helpful!

 

Zaidagal

 

 

Zaidagal,

 

Me again. Since you both entered the relationship as non-believers you probably know all the arguments for and against belief. However, it might help for each of you to read the book Why I Believed by Kenneth W. Daniels. It is much more reasonalble than, let's say Dan Barker's, Losing Faith in Faith, which I also enjoyed.

 

 

Ron

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Thanks, everyone for your input! Its helpful to hear about other experiencs, an to know that there are thriving marriages out there even though the partners have different spiritual beliefs. Im enjoying this whole CPC forum and i hope it continues!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi everyone: I had posted last month about conversations Ive been having with my children regarding the nature of God. In one post I mentioned that my husband is an athiest, and a few people commented that it would be interesting to have a thread about these types of "mixed marriages". It has not been easy for my husband and myself - when we got married I was not a church goer, and Im the one who has changed. He is pretty freaked out by all the religious books throughout the house, and he has a hard time when I discuss God with the kids. I know "s" (as ill call him) is trying - but it puzzls him, and I think is a bit of a threat to him. For me, its hard, because Id love to have a partner I could discuss these things with. I dont know if anyone on this board is in a similar situation, but any insights would be helpful!

 

Zaidagal

 

When I was thirteen years old I asked my father whether he loved me or Jesus more. He told me without even a moment's hesitation that Jesus was number one.

 

I think that was the first step in my religious delousing.

 

It's important to keep in mind that all religion is subjective. There is no way you can know with absolute certainty that you are following the correct path.

 

Love is a very fragile thing.

 

When giving advice to people in a loving relationship, I like to reference the Bible: Love is patient, love is kind, love does not take pleasure in tearing the other down. Love never fails. Holding your religious (or non-religious) views as superior is like a noisy gong.

 

Keep these things foremost in your thoughts and you can believe in your heart anything you wish.

 

As for myself and my wife; we have a very intellectually open relationship. Although she is a devout Christian, she engages in discussion with me about my doubts and concerns. We both practice the philosophy above, and it works pretty well.

 

I hope this helps.

 

NORM

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