I am at the beginning of embracing my atheism and I'm about to marry this very passive Christian man. I believe our relationship is more important than our differences in religion but I'm always wondering, what do we teach our kids. So we have arguments, constructive most times, and he says this one thing that really upset me.

"...Atheists are all the same anyway..."

So, how do you feel?

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I agree with him to an extent. Atheists are all the same: in their conviction that there is no god. But the remark is condescending and not a little dismissive. No way is this guy likely to allow his spouse to bring up children without religious indoctrination. I am not a marriage counselor, but if I were I would get this type of issue out in the open NOW and come to some understandings about such matters. Religion, money, and rearing of children are all hot spots in any marriage relationship. There should be firm understandings about such things before the knot is tied.

Yesterday my African theist wife of 9 years left me to go live in another town. She has talked about this over a year now, so I knew it was coming. Obviously we had cultural differences as well as a big age difference. A few idiots have told me they know what I mean by culture, and they claim the Smiths are one and the Jones another. No, no, no. You are talking about families. Culture is part of a belief system and influences how you think also.

I've been atheist almost 2 years now. I admit freely that things went more towards this split once I became atheist, even though I tried to hide it from her. A theist and an atheist can get along well together, but only if they know where they each stand from the beginning. Most theists do not know what you are talking about. They simply think "you are angry with god." How can you be angry with something you no longer believe in?

This is sort of like walking around with 2 left feet!

Im sorry to hear that. Even if you have your differences, it still sucks.

It sucks, Daniel, but I have learned you cannot force someone to stay with you. If fear and lies have to be used it was doomed from the start. My point in bringing it out here is that theists and atheists do not have enough in common most of the time for a relationship to work. It's not impossible, but it is very unlikely.

Michael I hope you get a chance to find some peace of mind and recover. Maybe go fishing or something.

You are right you cannot force someone to stay.

You are also right, the theist / atheist aspect is huge. Probably more than culture, family, and age.

I was a non-practicing theist when I married her. She was tribal and a theist. We attended church for a while, but the lure of church is the friends you have there. Things change. In the next 9 years she believed others more than me. Apparently these magic supernatural others knew more about me than anyone. Our lives were constant drama and I got tired of the drama. It appears she cannot have a relationship without the drama. Then she left me.

I thank you, Joan, and everyone for the support.

You know we are all always here for you Mike.

Mike, I empathize and sympathize. I was in a relationship about 10 years ago where I was madly in love with a woman. At first, my atheism didn't seem to bother her. As time went on, she became more and more indoctrinated into a fundamentalist Christian cult where the minister had his local "mini mega church" on local Sunday morning TV. Her decision to get baptized was the straw that broke the camel's back. We parted, and I was heartbroken. I learned years later that she got re-married to a 'good' Christian man, who requires her to stay home, not work, do the cooking and cleaning, and where he can approve and disapprove of her friends. 

Me, I went back to Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, and 49 of the 50 United States. I'm now in a new relationship (not living together), where she feels her eyes are being open by a non-believer, and is taking great pleasure in being exposed to a radically new way of thinking she never previously experienced.

The former lives in a gilded cage. I choose to live in the rest of the world. Believe me, it does get better over time. 

Pat, your story rings so many bells for me. With eyes wide open, all senses working, and the mind in gear, you chose to live. 

I don't know how a non-believer can live with a believer in supernatural things. Ouch! I know it hurts. You will be fine because you are a strong man with a caring and compassionate heart. You will grow through this challenge.  Remember, we are a team of support for you. However, it is your internal strength that will carry you through. 

Michael, I am very sorry to learn of the changes taking place in your life now. Emotions run high and old habits don't fit anymore. You are a resourceful fellow, with a lot of wisdom. Even if you don't realize it now, you will find calm and gentle peace within yourself. Do take good care of yourself. 

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