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Old 12-24-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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I was wondering, has anyone come out as an atheist or agnostic to their religious spouse and the marriage has survived? Even when you have kids involved? Looking for a little hope here...
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
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I think the survival of the marriage depends on how strongly your spouse feels about religion and whether or not the spouse perceives you as drastically changing (like if you were religious when you got married and now suddenly aren't). If kids are involved, then it will definitely require some serious discussion on how to handle it - whether the marriage survives or not. I did that with my first marriage, but there were no kids in the picture, and he wasn't too religious anyway. He thought I was going through some phase. The marriage didn't survive, but that's because of other factors.

Good luck!
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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I tried to come out earlier today to my husband. Probably wasn't the best thing to do since it's the birthday eve of Christ, but we were discussing the taxation of churches and it progressed to religious views. We both agreed that church is not necessary for knowing Jesus.

But then he went on about how the Bible should lead us. Which is funny because he doesn't read the Bible. I bit my tongue about my view of the Bible (that if it's the Word of God, then God is messed up) because I didn't want to start an argument. (He's one of those people who always has to be right.) And in the past when I mentioned that the Bible is full of contradictions and immorality, he just responds by saying I didn't read the Bible. His mom is a hardcore Roman Catholic, so I don't want to give him any "encouragement" to go that route.

I've been wrestling with my lack of faith for 7 years now. I just want to be able to be myself and not be afraid to voice my views on religion. Maybe that's not a possibility for me, since I did marry into a religion. But with my kids getting older and asking about religion, I find it very hard to hide my opinions.

Thanks for the luck; I'll need it.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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I have never told my wife and my kids that I am an atheist because I don't want to upset them.

Just last week my grand-daughter asked me if I believe in god and I said, "I guess so." My wife was in the car but didn't say anything. We have been married for 39 years and we get along very well.

I tell them I am a Buddhist, which is true because I admire the way Buddah sat under a tree for days and figured out his own understanding of life, kind of like Thoreau did sitting beside Walden Pond.

By the way, we were at Walden Pond a few weeks ago and it is absolutely beautiful. I felt like a Muslim must feel visiting Mecca.
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Old 12-24-2010, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL / Raleigh, NC
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Jaida,

unfortunately, it is still not popular today for someone who is an atheist to come out and be open about it. Well, at least it is not when it comes to status, work, promotion, elections, etc. As far as those that are close to you and will love you unconditionally is a different story; well, obviously not always especially if those close to you are extremely religious.

I myself have some Christian friends, Catholic friends, agnostic friends, and even a few atheist friend. I even have 2 acquaintances that are muslims. I myself consider myself a "Cherry picking Christian". That is right, Cherry Picking Christian because I feel there are many moral values and guidance in both the old testament and the new testament. However, there also many gruesome stories and poor examples in the bible as well. Unlike many fundamentalist hard core Christians, I do not feel that the bible has the answers to everything or most things. Unfortunately, fanatical religious people regardless of religion, are not encouraged much to think for themselves or to analyze information and question their religious doctrine.

I also see the wisdom and knowledge in other religions such as buddhist, judaism, and hindu. I actually enjoy reading and learning about other religions and appreciating the differences and positive lessons from each. Since in my heart I cannot accept the notion that there is only 1 right religion or 1 way to salvation, I guess I cannot be considered a "True Christian". However, I am not into labels and as long as I am true to what I feel is right and wrong, I am at peace with it. Bottom line, the more I have experienced and been around people or churches that are narrow minded, throw the words "lets pray about it" when they don't have answers, the more I want to stay away from becoming an integral part of a religious church. I have just witnessed too many hypocrisy, deceit, politics, and borderline cult mentality in a few Christian churches.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
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I am at a loss when I read these last posts. How can you not discuss such things with your spouse? My religious views were discussed long before we were married, and the extent of my views readdressed a few years later when we had guest who were bible beaters.
The fear of what a spouse thinks is nothing to how they will feel when they find out on their own. The foundation of a relationship built on something that is not true will fall apart under your feet, and it is not like you voted for George W. Bush twice, it just that you are smart enough to see bull when it is shoved at you..
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaida View Post
I was wondering, has anyone come out as an atheist or agnostic to their religious spouse and the marriage has survived? Even when you have kids involved? Looking for a little hope here...
Yes. My husband knows I'm a "heathen." I answer the "god" questions with the kids. We tend to just ignore the religious topic, and perhaps we shouldn't, but it works for us. I wasn't an atheist when we were married, but just within the past year I came to the wonderful conclusion that a god didn't have to exist. If in the unfortunate event that my husband decided it was a "deal breaker" that I didn't believe in his god, then, well, that's his choice.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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[quote=cncracer;17127430]I am at a loss when I read these last posts. How can you not discuss such things with your spouse? [/quote]

Well, we just never discuss religion. We each have our own beliefs. When she was pregnant with our first child, she prayed to the Virgin Mary because she thought Mary would understand what she was going through, and I thought that was fine. If some people are happier believing in god, that is fine with me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
it is not like you voted for George W. Bush twice, it just that you are smart enough to see bull when it is shoved at you..
Now you are getting serious. We voted for him both times and were absolutely estatic when he won. He and Laura are two of my favorite people.
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Old 12-24-2010, 10:02 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 4,094,804 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
I am at a loss when I read these last posts. How can you not discuss such things with your spouse? My religious views were discussed long before we were married, and the extent of my views readdressed a few years later when we had guest who were bible beaters.
The fear of what a spouse thinks is nothing to how they will feel when they find out on their own. The foundation of a relationship built on something that is not true will fall apart under your feet, and it is not like you voted for George W. Bush twice, it just that you are smart enough to see bull when it is shoved at you..
I have to agree. I was also surprised.

My husband and I left the church at the same time, after both being Fundamentalist Southern Baptists. It began as just not attending church and progressed into atheism over a 4-year period. I came out first, I guess, and he struggled for about another year. He isn't fond of the label atheist, but technically he knows that's what he is.

I do tend to agree with cncracer. I don't know how a marriage can survive with one spouse feeling like a topic as huge as faith/religion/worldview cannot be discussed. I know that some people do it successfully, but I could not.

My husband and I are tremendously close, and our constant and open communication on all subjects is the major reason, IMO. It would profoundly negatively affect our relationship if one of us hid (essentially) ourselves (or a big part of ourselves) from the other.

I wish you the best of luck in your situation.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
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I do not answer unasked questions, when asked, I try to tell the truth. Sometimes I will ask "Are you sure you want me to answer that question?"
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