I am born atheist/agnostic but my wife was raised a baptist and while she recently accepted that she's not really a christian any more than I am, she is still looking for a church experience. Honestly, she is very accepting of my lack of belief and does nothing to change it, but we have different spiritual needs. 

Is anyone else dealing with this?

Tags: church, marriage

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I'm not dealing with that type of situation, but right before I deconverted (about 2 years ago) I was trying to find a church to attend that wasn't crazy. The Quaker meetings appealed to me, but I never attended one. The Unitarian Universalist churches sometimes have lots of atheist members, there are some that are still pretty Christian, but lots of them are not. Just thought I'd give you some ideas to share with her. I really just wanted to find a community where I could 'belong', and not hear the preacher giving a sermon about tithing, how it's disrespectful of god to wear blue jeans to church, about how walking in the door when they were already singing is wasting god's time, how people from other denom's are all going to hell, and other such bullshit.
Is she really looking for church or the sense of belonging? Maybe you can introduce her to some local Atheist/Freethinker groups in your area. From past experiences it reminds me of the empty nest syndrome. A void is there and she does not know any other way to fill it.
Thanks for replying. I really don't think she's anywhere close to atheism. Her belief in a God is pretty solid and I honestly don't want to play with that. It's her connection with Christianity that is not so strong. She's delving into Buddhism a bit but its her need for a Church experience where I am lost. We visited a UU church which she REALLY liked but it all felt Christian-lite. I appreciated the lack of religious symbology and all the hell fire but I also kind of LIKE that stuff, even if just to intellectually rail against it.
Is there another UU in your area? They aren't all the same.
While I was born liberal Christian into a home where religion was only brought up on Sunday mornings (not born atheist), I'm otherwise in basically the same situation. This is what motivated me to join an online atheist community like Atheist Nexus:

My wife is Greek Orthodox. She's bright, very well-versed in science but still subscribes to a NOMA-like view of the world. When we discuss religion, on some level she realizes that it's all folk-legends of a bygone era, but she still cannot shake the idea of a higher power nor the "comfort" she feels believing in an afterlife. Not too bad at all, as these things have little consequence as to how she (and thus we) live our lives.

But now we have an infant daughter, and I can see my in-laws (especially my mother-in-law, who is very religious) trying to raise our daughter as a very traditional Greek Orthodox Christian. Okay, I accepted the baptism, which was a lot of nonsense to accept, but sometimes it seems too much. Or too frequent, more to the point.

Frankly, I'm not sure how to handle it. Other than perhaps to find ways to celebrate my favorite philosophers (Spinoza, Hume, Voltaire, Bruno, Paine, Marcus Aurelius, etc.).
ah yes, the experience. take out a loan get a netflix acct. and entertainment system.
deep love seats.

Payce!
I have a brother-in-law in a similar situation. She wants the supposedly positive, and uplifting community aspect. He doesn't like how much money they keep on asking for. A waterslide? For jesus?

Other, non-religious groups sound like the ticket. What about humanists meetings? Even a dinner club with friends might do.

But I do wonder about any sort of division between you two, that may occur if she really drinks the kool-aid.
My parents have been happily married since the 60's. Mom is a devout Catholic. Dad is an atheist. They "debate" their points of view from time to time, but the point is that they respect each other's beliefs and agree to disagree. They also recognize that their relationship is built on more than just religious views, so it's really not an issue for them. Lately my dad has been attending church with mom because she's been feeling a little lonely & he wants to support her. It's no big deal for him. He knows where he stands. Mom, in turn, read about 3/4 of the way through Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". So I think it's ok in this day and age to have different spiritual needs. It doesn't need to uproot a marriage if you don't let it.

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