My husband and I are both atheists, although that is not always how it has been. When we first started out, I was extremely religious - to the point of almost fanatcism. I am ashamed to admit that in the beginning, if presented with the choice between my husband and "god" or religion, there would have been no hesitation - I would have kicked my husband to the curb. I look back on this and feel an incredible amount of shame for this. I am so grateful that my husband was so patient with me - he was truly a much better person than I was. I often wonder how most people make this kind of a situation work and how often the religious spouse ends up leaving their religion and joining the other side. How has this worked out for some of you? I feel so lucky that we are on the same page now!

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My husband was always blase about religion. He identified as a Catholic, but only if pressed, and he has never practiced Catholicism for the entire time I've known him.

I was restlessly religious for years, exploring this that and the other thing, and he tolerated my ever-changing mind and the interesting characters I befriended for brief periods of time.

Parenthood changed everything. I decided to stop screwing around with wacky spiritual ideas and finally admitted to myself and the world that I'm an atheist. I'm choosing a worldview of logic and reason for my son (and for me). My husband, on the other hand, has suddenly decided to be Catholic again, for our son.

It sounds dramatic, but it's actually not that bad. We were able to work it out pretty readily. Maybe the fact that we essentially 'switched' roles had something to do with it.

Also, our heritage may be Catholic, but our son's is Confucian and Buddhist, so a more sweeping education in world religions is more appropriate than a membership in one specific religion. We decided to focus on that instead.
Don't feel bad! I sometimes feel so ridiculous and stupid thinking back to times when I actually gave religion a chance. Also, my husband's father is a minister so you can imagine the fun that brings! When my husband found out that there was no Santa, he assumed God and Jesus weren't real either (he was probably 5 or 6)! So he spent years and years after that struggling with the fact that he didn't really believe but couldn't give himself permission to admit it. When we got married, neither of us were professed atheists. We were just not really into religion. Thinking back on it, though, I recall wanting the religious stuff taken out of our wedding ceremony! Haha.

So a few years later, we had children. We began to be bugged about when we were going to baptize our son. We kept resisting; they kept pushing. This is when we really started to question whether or not we actually believed any of it. Did we really want to promise things we didn't believe? Do we really want to teach our children that some scary, judgemental, omnipotent being is listening to all of their thoughts? Do we really want to teach them that they are born sinners? NO AND WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD? I can't comprehend it.

Anyway, when we were talking about baptism I asked my husband if he had ever given himself permission to suppose that God isn't real. I told him it was OK to consider it. (I was not sure I was an atheist at this point, either.) It was like a light went off. We gave ourselves permission to question and of course the result was, "That's a bunch of crap." And then we became atheists. Basically.

So we were fortunate to come to this conclusion together. But trust me, it was pretty ugly with the family.

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