Two months ago I met a girl.  We get along really really well.  We went on a date and talked, it seemed like, all night.  When we got to our respective homes we called each other and kept talking.  Throughout the week we talk to each other and meet up for drinks, but sex has never been a part of it.  I think we both want to see this relationship start slow and build into something beautiful.  I have never met a woman who isn't turned off by my confidence (I can get a little cocky, okay, a lot).  Most women I have dated either dump me for being Atheist or for being too over-confident.  I admit I have a lot of work to do in that department, but I also believe that changing a bad habit like that takes a long time.  Anyway, I asked her whether she minded that I sounded so cocky all the time and she told me she loved the fact that I was confident.  I have never met a girl that has ever said that, never.

 

There is one problem, though.

 

She is Christian and would like to see me change my belief (or non-belief, for that matter).  I told her I would be happy to go to church with her and sing and so forth, but I would not accept communion or be asked to join the choir.  She said she would like the father to at least go to church so the kids don't question it.  I told her I could do that.  She said OK, but I know she is a little broken up.  This is the first girl I have met who I'm not attracted to her just because she is pretty, but she is smart, and has the same sense of humor as me.  The bartender even asked me if she was my wife with the way we were responding to each other.  It has been a great couple of months and I honestly have never been happier.

 

My question is?

 

Is there anyone out there who is currently hiding the fact that they are an atheist just to please their spouse?  If so, how difficult is it?  I mean I really like this girl and I am used to church as I have been going since I was 8.  Is she being petty asking me to do this?  It has been a great couple of months, but I am not sure whether this is the right move.  It has been so hard to find women who are atheist.  I really don't want to be alone all my life, but I'm not sure how hard it is to keep it hidden from someone you love.

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Comment by Thomas True on December 21, 2010 at 6:47pm

I am in a similar situation. My girlfriend is one I dated many years ago when we where both Christians but now I am not and she has an issue with that even though we have not been dating longer than we ever did back then.

 

I will not and cannot lie to myself or her. But the point we are at is the idea that she has to work out her ability to deal with me as an atheist. Plus her family really freaked out when they learned that I was an atheist.

Comment by Beth L. on December 21, 2010 at 3:44pm

Being accommodating of this or not is your choice.

But I would caution that there are a million little things that she might assume you're ok with since you are going to church "for the children".  What if she wants you to lead the prayer at a holiday gathering?  It's "for the children".  Over supper?  At what age are children old enough, in her opinion, to realize that not everyone believes the same?  Is the answer "never"?

What are you going to do if your children reject you for being atheist?  They'll have thought all their lives that you're a Christian, and then BAM! the lie is out.

Attending church or not is the smallest issue.  How do you act outside of church?  Is she going to be angry if you critique the sermon in any way?  Will she expect you to pray over every meal, or just holiday meals?  If you are attending church "for the children", it seems likely she will assume you will also put on a show of prayer "for the children".

If your little 5-year-old asks, "Who is God, Daddy?"  Are you going to say "Ask your mother"?

The way I see it, her request with the "for the children" stipulation means a long road of putting up a Christian front for you.  Is she worth that to you?

Quite possibly, she's also assuming that repeated exposure will convert you.  You know, Christianity being the one true faith and irresistible lure that it is.

That all seems rather negative; I believe it is possible for Christians and Atheists to be happily married.  I would think that marriage would have to have a lot of open-mindedness and clear communication, though.  And a lot of planning before children arrived on the scene.  Also, it would be best if neither secretly assumed the other would convert some day.

Comment by 1311 on December 21, 2010 at 10:34am

 

You're an Atheist...plain and simple.  You shouldn't try to change who you are by trying to please her.  She knows you're an Atheist and she's now in a position to either accept who you are or not.  Trying to change you to be a Christian ain't going to happen and if she thinks she can there will be a lot of disagreements and arguments over this.  Trust me.

 

Ruscareanu, be who you are.  There are plenty of couples out there where one of them is Christian and the other one is not.  And the ones that are not don't even bother going to church.  And the ones that have kids still don't go to church.  If you start pleasing her in going to church because she's afraid that your kids might question it ask yourself:  Is she afraid of the truth?

 

Is she afraid that the children might begin to realize what a joke going to church is?  I'm sure she's also afraid of what others might think about that.  If you start pleasing her in this she'll be asking for other things as well.  Nip it in the bud.  Because if you don't she will expect a lot more from you.

 

My advice: Be yourself.  You're an Atheist who don't believe in God.  She knows this.  If she really loves and cares about you she will accept you for who you are.  She's in love with you...not your belief in God.  If she can't see that then she just is not meant to be.  And you know what?  You will find someone who loves you for who you really are!!!  I can guarantee it! :)

 

 

Comment by Explonential on December 21, 2010 at 6:32am

I've hidden my belief from girls before - but it always seeps out. They're wily things, females - don't expect you can get one over a girl. She will know - and worse than disliking your beliefs, she'll detest your gutlessness for feigning faith.

 

If her Christianity isn't a dealbreaker for you, why on earth would your atheism be a dealbreaker for her?

 

What you should do, in my opinion, is accept that you've got differing beliefs and commit to talk about them. There are fundamentally obvious benefits that growing up in a religiously diverse household would give - your children would be wonderful debaters and very reasonable and rational. Unfortunately for your woman, they'd also probably by atheist or at least agnostic (certainly they would after you invite them to become Muslim, Hindu or Parsi).

 

Grow a pair man. You don't sound very confident - despite your claims. A confident man would know that some questions, some jokes and some time would convert her.

 

If I were you: Promise that you'll never lie to her about your faith, nor your children, but that you'll happily lie to her parents.

Comment by Karla on December 21, 2010 at 6:14am

Cliff's correct, you're treading on some very thin ice here.  Hold out until she realizes that religion is just nothing more than mythology and when she sees the light, then you can talk about a possible future.  I'm on my second and last marriage and if two people don't see eye to eye on this one particular issue, the results will not be favorable in the long run.  You can spend the time right now trying to talk reason to her and if she won't get it, then move on but just don't waste too much time if you can help it.

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