Well, that about says it.





So, I married a catholic.  When we got married, she was under the impression that, though I was agnostic (which was what I considered myself at the time), I still had some "belief" in
god.  This was before I realized I was actually an atheist myself.

So, she currently is aware that I am a "full" atheist now, but she still completely accepts me, which is wonderful.

That's not to say it hasn't been the source of some tension, though usually it is my fault.  Isn't that always the way?

So, a bit more about my wife would be appropriate I guess.  Though she considers herself "catholic," she is what she calls a (very) liberal catholic.  That is she believes in god, jesus, the trinity, and much of the catholic tenets, like virgin mary mythology, scapulars and such, but is completely accepting of things like Homosexuality, and she believes that morals and ethics do NOT come from god.

So, essentially, besides the belief in the "main" stuff, we pretty much agree on everything.

I have always had a general dislike for organized religion and such, but since realizing that I was an atheist I have been listening to a lot of Atheist Experience and Non-Prophets, and, as a result, I am constantly hearing more and more of the same atrocities of religion that I have disliked all my life.

Being that she is my wife, and my best friend, I want to talk to her, and these are some of the things I want to talk about.

Though she does not deny the terrible things that happen, and sometimes she is fine with talking about it, it is not always the case.

This is probably largely do to just getting overloaded with it.  However, sometimes I get onto the topic of belief itself.  I often ask her "why" she believes.  These are usually the conversations that get a bit more emotional.  Not just because she finds her belief to be something very personal and emotional, but also she seems to get very frustrated with not having an answer.

I am a HUGE advocate of teaching HOW to think, and not WHAT to think.  This was very much how I was raised.
She agrees with me on this, and wants to raise our children with this thinking.  But when it comes to applying this to her own thinking/beliefs, only with regards to her religion, she often shuts down.

Any who, though we still discuss religion, I have decided to try to never try to discuss why she believes anymore.
I cannot stand to put that kind of strain on us over something as trivial.  Not that I find belief in such things to be trivial, but that, with regards to my wife (and many people who share similar beliefs) that there is no harm from her beliefs.  She has absolutely no prejudices, or bigotry in her.  Her brother is gay.  She is the epitome of a good theist, IMHO.

That's not to say that I don't think she wastes part of her life.  This is the only life we have, and we should cherish every moment we have.  We should not waste any of our life "worshiping" fictional characters and belief structures.  She also still takes many things on "faith."  Believing things just because someone told her, like mother teresa, and such.  I want to know that what I believe is true, and never have taken anything just because someone said so.

Any who, I just felt like sharing.  I know there are several others who have posted similar threads on relations with theists, and this is mine.

I would still love any advice on living with a theist, and hope that I can impart any wisdom that I may learn from living with one.

Thanks
Glenn

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There will always be things you can not discuss with a spouse, no matter how close you are to them. There will be even more ways to disagree, for example, while my husband and I are both Atheists and we still have strong disagreements about very basic things, like parenting or money.
It sounds like you both accept each-other as you are and that is at the core of a good marriage. It doesn't seem like you need much advice except that sometimes it is better to have other outlets for specific conversations.
For me marriage is about many things, but at the end of the day it is support and team work top the list. We don't have to agree to understand one another and work together.
What's the problem with her wasting part of her life?

I'm a big fan of movies and have wasted at least 3 months of my life just watching movies. Also I play the guitar which also costs me quite a bit of time and effort, and I've never been able to fully understand the value of being able to make noise from a bit of wood. Even my work is just a waste of time really, I'm just wasting time in the office to get money to waste it on things that I don't need.

My point is that wasting time is a very much accepted part of life itself, we all need to waste our time with something which usefulness might not be apparent to other people. Apparently it has some usefulness on a personal level for your spouse to hold the religious views that she has, just as it has some value for me (although I'm not quite sure what) to watch "Ilsa, the She-Wolf of the SS" for the 2nd time.

Maybe you can learn more from your spouse by asking here about the how, then you can by asking about the why.
A good point, and sort of what I have come to accept, however, there is a difference between "wasting" your time with a hobby you enjoy, and thoughtless devotion that does not bring "joy."

Not that religion doesn't provide a warm happy fuzzy feeling via the placebo effect, but when someone would rather stay in bed and sleep over going to church, I think you can conclude that they don't exactly "enjoy" church.
I'd like to think she is.
When it comes to Children with a religious parent and an Atheist this is a problem. I'm having major Problems with me wife on this now. My wife though is a conservative baptist. and has literaly brainwashed our kids. She basically tells them what to think and not how to think. Look up my user name and see my posts on this.
I was a religious nut too when we got married. I turned atheist when we were married. And Yes all of it is my fault she says. if I had not changed we would not be having these problems.
That is truly unfortunate Brian. You are definitely in a tough position. How old are your kids? I ask as different ages would be more difficult to "un-brainwash" than others.

I was actually raised by a catholic and an atheist, and both of my parents were intent on teaching me HOW, and not WHAT to think, so I was definitely fortunate. Also, lucky for me, my wife is even more of a "liberal" catholic than my mother was, so the only "trouble" I see in our future with kids is her having a problem if they turn out to be atheists as well, lol.

I don't see our children getting any negative meme's from either of us, as I mentioned, my wife seems to have avoided all the negatives of religion (outside of taking things on 'faith.')
The oldest is 10 and the youngest is 2
Hi Glenn, I'm also married to a Catholic! He's very liberal, not pro-life or anti-gay, doesn't go to church much at all, doesn't believe Catholicism is the Only Way or any of that. He just says the rosary sometimes, hangs one in his car, believes in God and thinks that God helps him. (A "feelgood" Catholic? I never knew it was possible!) I was not atheist when I married him--I was in my pagan experimentation days (before that, I'd been involved in Unitarian Universalism). His reaction when I deconverted was that he thought I'd switch religions every few years. I bring up the contradictions in religion sometimes, and he gets kind of defensive. I'm the kind of person who likes to debate but I can see how he would think that's a hostile thing. I tell him that if he is happy this way, then I want him to be this way and I would rather he be different than me than just turn atheist to go along with me. How could I expect that, when I'm the one who dabbled in various belief systems over the years? It really isn't that important to me that he is theist. Him being neat and minimal, and me being cluttered and a packrat, is much more of an argument-generator! I associate with other atheists and have met a lot of atheist friends. We do have an open relationship but even if it weren't for that, it just helps that he isn't the kind of person who thinks having friends of the opposite sex is inappropriate. Basically, try to accept each other as you are, and don't make a big deal if it doesn't need to be. I think our society has unrealistic expectations of relationships sometimes and it doesn't matter if you don't relate "on all levels" or anything like that, as long as you are happy in your relationship.

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