My wife is Baptist and that makes things pretty interesting. When we married, I still associated myself (loosely) with the Catholic church. About 3 years or so into our marriage, after months of thinking on my own, I arrived at my current religious status which is "None" The last 5 years have brought about a mixed bucket of emotions whenever spirituality is brought up. As I have worked my way further out of the closet recently our discussions have become quite intense.

Do any of you have experience with dating, living with, or marriage with someone who has strong religious convictions? What is it like? Has your relationship changed significantly because of the religious divide?

Tags: interfaith

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(A long story follows- perhaps you wish to skip it?)

My wife is an active and faithful Mormon, whereas I've been atheistic for my entire adult life. She joined the "Latter Day Saints" a few years after we were married, and has become a strong supporter.

When asked, I often respond that she feels we are a "mixed marriage, she being Mormon and me being Satan". (I think she is joking, but have avoided pressing the point.)

Of course we've had discussions occasionally arguments. I should add, to no avail. She is a high performance person, "type A' personality, a well regarded physician, and quite active in her church.
When we married I was pleased that she "had her own head" and frequently commented that I wanted to marry an independent mind rather than my reflection in the mirror. I seem to have succeeded.

We've had a pretty good married life, with capable decent kids and no major failures (knock on Formica with authentic-looking printed wood grain.) I leave her to her church activities, and she leaves me to my geeky persuits. In the 12 years or so I've been operating an observatory 40 miles from home on almost every clear night, she has never visited it. In the 28 years she's been a Mormon, I've never been to her church. It's worked out just fine!

In 1993 during a routine chest X-ray, spots on both of my lungs were detected. The radiologist feared the worse and we called my wife, who looked at the films and started crying. We then took those films to a university radiology dept. where she was teaching at that time and the dept. chairman, our friend, looked at the floor and started mumbling. They agreed it was almost certainly lung cancer, in both lungs and spread to my mediasteinum, and certainly non-operable. Best guess was a maximum of 6 months.
I refused treatment, choosing to wait until pain control was needed because I felt it helpless and did not wish to cling desperately to a losing position. The docs argued but my family and I left for a vacation, a long road trip around the western USA. I scheduled an exploratory operation for the day after we returned home, and that night I told my kids about it.

Among the places we visited was Salt Lake City, where my wife wanted to visit the Mormon temple. She had gone there while I stayed in the hotel, and apparently she and some temple workers/officials had prayed for me! I guess they asked their god to reconsider its decision to give me lung cancer and to take it back. Mormons don't tell non-Mormons the details of their temple activities so I did not question it.

I awakened from the anesthesia with somebody saying "it's OK, it was a mistake". I did not quite understand, still being out of it and surprised at first at the pain. Turns out I had histoplasmisis, the first instance seen in this area of the country. By the time they got their sample, it had already been destroyed by my immune system, leaving scars on both lungs. (the surgeon had commented that the supposed tumors on the film did not follow the lymph system direction, but he didn't know why that could be.)

So, I was "reborn". In fact, that experience changed me and my time seems more valuable now I think.
However, my wife and her religious friends were certain that I would convert! What greater proof could I ask, they wondered. I was told by several separate authorities that I was doomed, they prayed, and I was cured! This was a strong enough correlation to force me to reconsider my beliefs, which I did. I eventually came to the conclusion that this seeming correlation was deceptive.
My reasons were as follows: If there was a god, that same being had caused me to be sick and than reversed that condition because others requested it do so. Seemed a little wishy-washy for a master of the entire universe. Or, he had made me sick for the precise purpose of curing me so that I would see the light. Once again, why the drama? Why not just appear in front of me and explain things?
Also, not onlyt had the Mormons prayed for me, I had wished that I was not sick. Wasn't the seeming correlation just as strong between my wishing I wasn't sick and my being cured as it was between their prayer and my cure? Maybe I had the power to cure my own illness just by wishing it? That seemed wrong, at least partially because I'd wished for things in the past that had not then occurred. I realized that they had prayed for things in the past that had not happened. Could my miraculous recovery have been purely a random effect? Yes, I decided, it could and it was.

So now those good people are certain that I am completely blind. Their god gave me proof and I rejected it outright. Most of them remain my friends too, but a few pulled away sharply, feeling that I am literally the devil's advocate. (Maybe that's true, I can't be certain. But, I'll risk it, because I really have no choice in the matter. Like all of us, I'm not in control of what I believe.)

Man, it's wack!!!    I experience this all the time in the dating arena.

 

I get a raise as a result of hard work and he would want to tell me it was "jesus".  Thank Jesus.

 

If a problem arises, most guys I date want me to pray about it...

 

I soooo wish I could find someone on the same page.  It would make things a lot easier.  I would dig being in a relationship

I am quite fortunate in that my old lady and I are both complete nontheists. We have plenty of problems dealing w this and that, but in this area we see almost everything eye to eye. We are able to both respond to most things relating to theists in about t same way. Except for my mom we both look down our noses and part at their self satisfied arogent stupidity. It is something I am quite grateful for.

Honestly I cannot imagine having a relationship w a theists. If they truely are a theists then they cannot help but feel that any northeast has a real problem, and on top of everything else that they are going to hell to boot.

I have this perception on theists as having great certainty that they have knowledge of something very much like that a meteor is fixing to kill us all and only they know t secret of how to avoid destruction. As such it would actually be moral wrong not to be extremely concerned and do everything they can to save all of us not in t know, including lying and cheating.

There is another thread w one of us having to deal w one of his kids crying constantly because he is convinced that his daddy is going to hell. Given what a theists believes this is absolutely reasonable I think. Any kid who was convinced that his father was fixing to die and was not doing what he had to to avoid this disaster would, of course, be crying.

Conflicts like this are going to erupt inevitably, I think, as given what theists believe these are entirely reasonable responses.

In fact t only thing unreasonable about it is their initial premise. If one saw or had evidence that a meteor was imenently descending or whatever building they were in was fixing to burn up would be one thing. Buy coming to such questioning certainty mearly because some particular tribe of bronze age goat hearders made these assertions is not a good reason to go running around as if t sky were falling or that ones house is fixing to go up in flames.

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