What It's Like To Marry An Atheist When You Believe In God | HuffPost Life
What It's Like To Marry An Atheist When You Believe In God Throughout our twenty-two year relationship, he's viewed most of my spiritual explorations Opinion | If You Value Consent, Stop Following Your Kids Online. your problem is not the dating pool, it's with the entire community. So, either you need to consider leaving6, resign yourself to being asexual. The man I have been dating for the past 17 months, and now living with, is a I am much louder about being an atheist than I would say he is.
Have you talked about this at all?
I ask again, do you love this girl? If the answer is yes, then that is the only answer you should need. Why do people think love is all that matters? I personally don't believe in love as it is just a complex mixture of emotions. I don't know her thoughts, but usually atheist have no problem in general when dating, it's just marriage is the problem i'm not sure she will be think about marriage. They probably will be against forced conversion or raising their children in religious environment hence the problem.
Why would approaching a relationship from a business-like mind be a problem? But when I returned to my childhood church, he struggled -- just like I struggled when he gave up all attempts at spirituality around the same time.
How do we do this? By following two key strategies: Yes, you hear that right. My husband's spirituality is absolutely not my concern.
My job is not to convert him to a believer and his job is to leave my beliefs alone and not mock me for having them the not mocking part is important. We are both "good, giving, and game. My husband and his aspirituality cheerfully join me each Christmas Eve at a candlelight service and I drive the car when he wants to photograph freight trains. He could care less about church and I could care less about trains, but we're partners so we indulge each other without complaint. Happy Wife DOES Equal A Happy Life Ultimately, being married to an atheist as a believer is just like being married to someone that loves football when you can't stand the sport; you tolerate the differences because that is what couples do.
It can be the hardest at Christmas, particularly since my daughter has chosen my husband's "side" in the spirituality debate, thanks to her deeply alternative school full of anarchist vegan atheists even though she came to church with me extensively when she was little we let her choose her spiritual stance without judgement; we're THOSE parents.
This causes a lot of changing channels between the two competing radio stations that play holiday music when we're all in the car. As an atheist now, I frequently feel frustrated that I was a christian so long around so many atheists and skeptics who rarely questioned my faith, but on the other hand, I honestly could not tell you if attacks on my faith would have sped up my deconversion or whether I would have entrenched further.
For example, this incredibly long YouTube series tells the story of a student decoverting after fervent debate with his professor, a guy who I would have chalked up as a lost cause.
Meanwhile, as I've already said, I defended biblical subjugation of women with the dumbest argument that I actually believed made sense. I was a pretty hopeless case, and maybe I did benefit in some small way from having my faith prodded a bit when I was younger, but it took years after that.
It's always worthwhile to try presenting arguments against religion: Deconversion is a slow, gradual process that frequently requires input from multiple sources. They might thank you years down the line. That said, I would like to reiterate that it is not your job and not your place to change and fix your partner. It might be possible to point them in the right direction, but if these debates go nowhere, then you really need to accept that this is how they are and this is likely how they will be for a long time.
I've hesitated to give the above advice about how to deconvert a partner because I am worried that it might be used as a sort of grasping at straws for those who are in a relationship with someone who really is stuck.
I'd say most people are in the kind of situation where their religious partner is not likely to be swayed. The majority of Christians I've ever known and discussed religion with are still Christians.
And if you think that doesn't apply to your partner, then you're probably deluding yourself. Go ahead and attempt to change their mind, but be prepared for it to fail, and then be prepared to move on.
You should not sacrifice yourself and your happiness to try and fix someone who is a lost cause. When was the last time you watched a romantic movie? They are formulaically based on the fantasy of changing a fundamental flaw in the love interest.
That this is so attractive of a fantasy really speaks to how unlikely the chance for change really is. If you've tried to communicate your desire for a change, and that desire has been ignored, then you need to accept that this is a person with their own free will and thoughts and you might never be able to change them.
Are you alright with coupling with someone who will have this attitude forever? Would this permanently leave your relationship more strained than positive?
One of the side questions that gets brought up is that of going through the motions, for the sake of the relationship. Whether it's a religious ritual in a marriage ceremony or attending a religious service. If you are an out atheist to your partner, this pressure can feel uncomfortable.
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Perhaps you feel awkward about going through these motions, but are uncertain about why: This discomfort comes not from the actual act, but from the attitude of respect and mutuality in a relationship. The ceremonial implications with god might be imaginary, but the ceremonial implications between the two of you are very real.
If there is a situation where you are expected to take the backseat and have no input, then that is being disrespectful to you. It is disrespectful to say that one person's views must be followed and the other person's must be ignored, for the sake of someone outside of the relationship.
Here is where you need to find some sort of compromise that shows respect to your feelings and your partner's feelings. Have that wedding chapel ceremony, but exclude references to god from the vows. Compromise, and be wary of inflexibility. Inflexibility now means inflexibility in the future. It means you will be in a relationship where you will be pressured and coerced to continue going through the motions, and as we've already discussed, pressure to change is a real relationship-killer.
Is that something acceptable to you? Alternatively, if your partner doesn't know that you are an atheist, then you are in a bit of a bind. You are now in a relationship that's not based on mutual respect and trust, but instead lies and deceit.
If you are afraid that telling your partner about your atheism will damage the relationship, then you have to examine how strong your relationship really is. If something like that can shake your strength, then be honest with yourself about if there are deeper issues: You need to ask yourself if this is a relationship worth keeping together on such shaky ground. Now sometimes relationships can be solid, but the religion has entrenched itself so deeply that even strong relationships will be torn apart by a commitment to the faith.
In this case, it can be painful to admit that you are in a relationship with someone who would hurt you for something imaginary. But does that sound like a deep love, a faithful commitment? Does that sound like the sort of person you would want to rely on? Would you recommend a friend stay with someone who doesn't accept them, who has to lie? This can breed a relationship where you feel resentful and disrespected and trapped, and your partner feels an unknown distance growing between the two of you.
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It's much better to come clean, and then to accept the repercussions of that. Do it gently, if you are worried: Give a negative reaction some time to cool off, but if there continues to be hostility, then realize that this is someone who does not respect you for who you are and is not contributing to a loving, respectful relationship. One of biggest and toughest questions I've saved for last: The easier issue of children comes with those who don't have them: Discuss schooling and strictness and punishment, really consider if you want to bring someone into the world who might be pressured into believing a religion.
Can you accept watching your child be taught to believe for life in the imaginary?
What It's Like To Marry An Atheist When You Believe In God
That's a pretty tough burden to accept. If there are already children in the picture, it can be tough. Very young children really do benefit from having two parents, and you should consider the fact that splitting up might leave your religious partner as their primary source of religious information.
Consider also that many atheists now are the children of very religious parents, myself included. All you need to do is instill a love for truth and knowledge, and atheism can come naturally later on its own.
When it comes to divorce, the damaging effects on kids is actually a bit overblown. The connection between emotional damage is actually with parents who are frequently negative and attacking of each other. If you and your partner argue frequently and heatedly, then a divorce might actually be more positive, because it would reduce that negative element by giving the two of you some space.
Similarly, if the two of you have a loveless marriage, kids will pick up on that.