I accidently "converted" my wife... and now she desperately wants God back!

"Coming out" to my wife recently had an unplanned affect. It was not my intent, but it caused her to question her own faith. Now she wishes she could turn back time. Atheism, however, is a genie not easily put back in its bottle. It was never my intent to "convert" her away from religion. I was simply sharing (in a gentle way) my own crisis of faith. I didn't realize it until a couple of nights ago I must have sewed some pretty serious seeds of doubt in her.

She is now extremely distraught because she has come to the conclusion none of the things upon which she feels she based her life are real. She comes from a deeply devout family (two aunts are nuns and one uncle was a priest). Despite my attempts at suggesting alternative ways of finding meaning in life, she insists life no longer has meaning without God. I suspect some of it also has to do with the loss of belief in an afterlife... which to her means for example should our only daughter die (I almost added "God forbid" just then... old habits die hard) then she'd simply be gone and she'd never be able to see her again. My wife lost her Mother when she was young, and I think the idea that death is final is one of the things that's hit her hard.

Has anyone else dealt with someone who while losing their religion ended up feeling tremendously sad and at a loss for finding meaning in their life? I never meant to hurt her, and would love advice on how I might ease her into a new, healthy, happy way of viewing life after God.

Tags: accidental, atheist, loss, meaning

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If you have children it is all the more reason to live for the here and now. Have her watch some youtube videos with Richard Dawkins and Ted Haggard. Richard speaks with such honest passion. Debates with Richard Carrier also great. Only 2 years ago did my husband and I start a conversation that we are atheists because it is just culturally impolite to doubt our LORD. When my son was 9 he asked about santa claus this for me was the time to tell him there is no santa and I have no evidence of any GOD. my child was soooo happy to hear this.
good luck LIVE THIS LIFE TO THE FULLEST.
In my own personal experience, the conclusion that there's no eternal damnation and no psychotic deity of doom was a rather exciting one. Most of us who conclude on atheism do so after a long period of questioning, and we often have an interest in science. Because of this, it is not so hard to accept. For someone to be totally devote and seeing only good in the belief to suddenly not believe or not have faith, it can be hard. They don't have that faith, yet they still have the fear that has been instilled in them. It can take a few years to get over, or longer. I recall wanting to believe again, as well. It didn't devastate me, but it was like some huge part of my life was gone. Christians get their comfort from false promises. They pray with the belief that someone is listening who can change things. Yet when nothing changes, they pray for the strength to get through it. It's their fall back for everything.

It's hard to judge the best course of action without knowing an individuals personality and psyche. I might ask her how anything good would need to bind her through fear. But then the issue is not the faith, but rather the fear that life is meaningless. It is true that we are merely specs in the spectrum. But what beach can exist without the grains of sand? We are part of this universe, no matter how insignificant.

At any rate, it's way easier to lose faith as a teen, when we are still figuring out how the world works, than to be a convinced adult who suddenly realizes that it's all false. I was devote, myself. I lost faith through my observations. All promises were lies. All things foretold were false. And no matter how much faith a person had, no damn fig tree was gonna wither before my eyes.
That's kind of how I felt in the beginning, but you get over it. Don't worry about it, she will too. Its kind of a shock when that lightbulb goes off.
I am dealing with an issue very much like yours. I am dating a woman that I dated 20 years ago when I was a devout believer. After so many years she actually found me on facebook after I had been divorced so I was more than happy to reconnect with her. the deal is that in the time I removed the influence of faithful adherents from my life. This has been a bit of an issue since we have started dating again. Like you, my intent is not to cause her to loose her faith. Of course it wouldn't bother me if she did. But the issues I have dealt with are more the issue that she cannot proceed too far into the relationship when she feels that the Bible doesn't want believers to marry other non-believers. Of course to me this is nothing but silly dogma. So I have had to deal with some issue such as how she views the concept of evolution I have been fortunate enough for her to understand that my scientific view and my religious view were formed separately but at the same time and were never in conflict.

It may be helpful for your wife to talk to a priest. One thing my girlfriend has said is that she would be devastated if she was to loose her faith. This really is a hard thing for me to wrap my head around because I was willing to seek out facts and truth. But my perspective is that rather than to live your whole life with a delusion it is better to break free of that delusion so you can deal with the world as it really is.
My girlfriend says that she would feel like a fool after all she has given up for her 30 years of faith. To me I see it as a liberation that she is no longer bound by fictional stories of how the Universe operates.
As far as how she feels distraught; the simple answer is maybe she feels the basis of what she based her world were not real but what she actually based her life upon were real. Things such as dealing with others ethically, your love for her, Your ability to function in the natural world. It seems to her like there is much to loose, but the truth is so only has the Universe to gain.

It is much more easy for us to deal with the issue of loss of faith because we are the ones the went down the path willingly. The pain you talk about I have seen in my own girlfriend when she talks about the "danger" of her questioning faith. I fear that it could even lead to suicide. So that is a real consequence that must be weighed when pursuing this issue. The best piece of advice I got form a friend when I telling him about this was simple "SHUT UP, THOMAS."

It isn't that important tome so don't make it stressful for her. if she has questions fine but she will see that you are a man of integity, if you are, and see that the lack of God in your life doesn't in anyway deminish the man she loves. That is where my girlfriend and I are now.

We can "touch" upon the subject and we know where each other stand but the need to delve into it deeper is not needed for me. I know where she is at and I will let her be what she is and love her just the same.

For example, I wrote a book and she was reading my posted on line and she got a a section where I was talking about the attributes of God and that caused her to stop reading the book because she had never heard anyone say such things. [I will admit that they are almost taken word for word from reading Richard Dawkins "The God Delusion"]

I hope this helps you. But at least you are already married to her. I still have to deal with this issue before we can get married.....So look at it that way, your better off than I am now!

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