Actually it would probably apply to almost any person who is committed to their religion. I'd like to hear from those who have been in relationships or married to a conservative Christian or other devout believer in some religion.

 

Did you go into the relationship knowing where the other stood?

Did they know where you stood?

Did one of you change during the relationship and how did you handle it?

Are you still together or not?

Was religion the deciding factor if you are not together? If you are together, how is the relationship and how do you make it work?

 

Personally, I don't see how it could work having been on the Religious side and having become and atheist. That is what ended or largely ended the marriage I was in.

Tags: divorce, interfaith, relationship

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I'd say yeah,if you don't reproduce...If you do,I personally could not deal with watching the kid(s) being brainwashed.
I have never dated anyone more fervent than "spiritual", so I can't comment for myself, but I will relate the story of my flatmate and her boyfriend, who've been dating for nearly three years now. My flatmate is Christian (evangelical, I think), and her boyfriend was raised an atheist.

Aside from religious beliefs, they have a great deal in common, as they work in the same industry and have complimentary personalities. Occasionally they used to have arguments about religion, some of which ended up with one of them storming out, but they have since learned not to discuss religion in-depth. (Both are absolutely convinced that they are right, and it would take a lot to budge either of them from their perspective mindsets.)

They seem very much in love and marriage seems to be on the cards. They don't seem to want children so that probably also helps the situation, as Goz mentioned.
i dont know many people who are married in this situation, seeing as im only 20, but a lot of people i know are in long term relationships where one is atheist. it really doesnt seem like a big deal, but of course none of them are hardline fundamentalists or anything. if you arent having children, i dont forsee huge conflicts. thats mostly what these kinds of couples argue about afaik.

First the questions:
My wife knew before I asked her to marry me that I was an atheist.  She is a baptist and I knew she was.
I didn't tell her I was an atheist until several months into the relationship because I was still in the process of finding what meant real to me.

I changed a lot more than her during our relationship.  I've become very strong in my atheist convictions and she handles it well.

We are still together and very happy.  I'm no accommodationist so I tell her that I think she's wrong.  She usually replies "Well I think you're wrong." with a smile.  I accept that she was indoctrinated to believe in an afterlife but I told her that I would not settle for her believing in prayers.  We discussed it in great length and I think she understands the futility.  Whether or not she still prays is unknown to me because if she ever even did before she did so privately and quietly.
The most tumultuous discussion we ever had regarding religion is when I came out to her about a year ago and told her I cannot support her in any religious endeavors.  I, sobbing like a baby, told her I loved her very dearly and it had been bothering me lately that I was holding back how I truly felt regarding religion and her state of religion.  A few hours and lots of tears later I decided I was settled with expressing my grievances regarding religion to her and hoped she would think about it but I knew it probably wouldn't change her mind.  At that point it really didn't matter.  I was honest with her and I felt like I had done my duty as the moral person I see myself as.

She only attends church when she goes back to visit her mom and has tried to attend churches where we live but has yet to find one that is to her liking.  I was married in her hometown church and went to a session one sunday when I was still struggle with my disbelief.  The people there are all really nice and I've told her that if religion were to cease to be right now, her church would probably still get together because they're decent, loving people who like to help each other.

Part of the reason the relationship works is really because she doesn't put too much thought into her beliefs if you ask me.  I'm much more knowledgeable on the issues of faith and the mountains of logical fallacies that follow faith arguments.  So when we discuss religion my points are exactly fully understood.  I think my wife is a very smart person but chooses to be ignorant to certain things when it comes to faith.  Obviously, her faith doesn't allow me into heaven so I'm not sure what she thinks about that.  I guess that's a good question to ask her sometime!

Hope this helps and sorry it was so long!! :)

I am not in a relationship with a "serious" Christian, but your question asked "can an atheist and a Christian find happiness together". We have been married 8 years. We have most of the same political beliefs. He is not a serious Christian, just the kind that thinks that God loves him and if he hangs the rosary in his rearview it protects him from accidents. I consider this a personality quirk that isn't a huge dealbreaker for me. He isn't bothered by my atheism (I was not atheist when I met him but was experimenting with paganism). Like anything else religious beliefs can change during the course of the relationship and can change how people relate to each other.

I find it hard to understand how, if your religious belief really means to you what it is supposed to mean based on the Bible, you can be in an intimate relationship with someone who is diametrically opposed to what you believe. If you think that person is going to hell, is blinded and benighted by Satan and is "of the world" as in sinful world, how can you really share an intimate relationship?

 

It would seem that if you are an Conservative Evangelical Christian and your life is supposed to be centered on God and Christ how can you possible have an intimate relationship with someone who thinks everything you believe is wrong and dangerous. It seems to me that one of the people or perhaps both can't take what they think or believe particularly seriously.

 

That is not meant to be a dig or criticism of anyone who has responded. I'm really surprised that all the responses have been positive, not one negative. I'm startled. My experience was exactly the opposite. I found I could not really talk about what I thought or my views because they were so antithetical to hers. It was almost certain we would disagree. In her eyes my identity was first that of a "non-Christian", even worse and apostate, and there was no getting past that. It was like being pigeon holed. I had been a Conservative Evangelical Christian, in fact a minister, for many years until I stepped out of the box, got off the bus and started to really look around.

 

For most really ardent believers you are either of the world or of Christ. You either have or are developing the mind of Christ or are deluded by Satan, you are either light or darkness and the two cannot have anything to do with one another, they have nothing "in common". First and foremost the Christian then relates to you as a deluded fool ("The fool says in his heart there is no God") who is in need of evangelism and conversion. Jesus says he came not to being peace but a sword for the dividing of families, even spouse as one version says. Paul says, "What has Christ to do with Belial (Satan)". There is such a stark, black and white division from the Christians viewpoint.

Yeah, it would be much harder to have a relationship with a conservative evangelical. Most people who are serious about their religion (with the exception of some who have a very different interpretation of it) would not be compatible.

I think it really just speaks to how religious one person is and how non-religious another person is.  I'm sure there are people who aren't all that religious whose partners found the relationship to be incompatible because they were so anti-religious.
For any relationship/marriage to work out you have to agree on a certain level for a lot of things and agree to disagree on some other things.
Well I think it depends on how devoted that Christian is to their faith. How much they honestly believe in their faith. If they are Christian Evangelical Rightwing fundamentalist…. Then no I don’t see how that would work.
Take my wife for instance (Sunday going Protestant). She is smart enough to know that whatever she believes in….there is no way she could ever articulate a reasonable agreement that could discredit my non beliefs. She knows she is on the losing end of that argument. That’s why she keeps her religion to herself…. She does not try to spread the word of Jesus. She does not try to convert anyone.
Don’t get me wrong…. Her Christian beliefs are Cooo Cooo for CocoCoco Pops. But you would never know. She never talks about religion. She keeps it to herself. This is how all religious people should act. If they are going to believe in such nonsense….. Keep it to yourself. My wife is actually an awesome wife. We are very compatible. Sure… I wish she was an atheist. But you know…. I could easily be miserable in an atheist marriage. Just because you’re an atheist doesn’t mean you’re a perfect spouse. You could be a totally lying, annoying, asshole.

And as for our beautiful baby daughter… Im sure my wife will be bring her to church when she is older. I will never tell my daughter what she can and cannot believe in. What I can tell her are the facts. The facts about science- The indisputable facts. Facts my wife would could never dispute or deny. I will tell my daughter the truth. She will then decide what is true and what is not.
I completely agree and I have discussed the child rearing topic with my wife and told her that if the child (we do not have children yet) wants to go to church then I will let them and if they have questions I will give concise answers.  I also informed her that I'm going to encourage the kid to think critically about the topic because I do not believe any parent has the right to indoctrinate their child to some archaic, mystical view on how the world works.  Of course, this discussion was a segway from discussing what we would tell them about Santa Clause ;)

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