A forum to discuss how ex-Christians have dealt with family members, replaced the church as a place of community, reactions of your family, friends, church, acquaintances upon learning of the de-conversion, or anything else relevant to the Ex-Christian Life.
The bulk of science does not support belief in a deity, or does it? This is an open discussion area to hone your skills at supporting and understanding the various positions. Feel free to post any links of value in this important topic.
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T. Sowell: "If you want to spend your life nursing grievances, you will never run out of grievances to nurse, regardless of what color your skin is. If some people cannot be rotten to you because of your race, they will find some other reason to be rotten to you."
No slight to our valued members who are of the female persuasion but I noticed at Mrs. MOHO's church that it was mostly husbands who were not present on a regular basis - or at all.
Took the OP in a different direction. Sorry, @L.B.
Maybe a liberal version of Christianity might be helpful. The Methodist Church my wife attends just does not preach on hell & sin. Their focus is clearly on doing for others. I've acknowledged that I attend church with my wife, but I recently stopped going to Sunday School.
My wife admitted that several husband's of wives in that class don't come to SS for various reason. She has also acknowledged some don't go to church either.
I'm pretty confident a youth leader in the Methodist Church would not tell your children that you are going to hell. My wife admitted to me this past Sunday that she ask a friend of hers at church if she thought the Bible is true. The friend said yes, but not literally true.
I'm headed towards ending my church attendance, but it's a slow process. My wife has recently acknowledged that the fundamentalist belief that the Bible is the inerrant inspired word of God is not true. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.
I'd say your first step should be to get her away from fundamentalism into a more liberal mainstream version of Christianity. Reprogramming her is very similar to the de-conversion journey. It's a long, slow , and difficilt process. Do not allow religion to destroy your marriage. I continue to attend a liberal version of Christianity with my wife because I love her more than I dislike Christianity. What would you not do for the person you love more than anything else in the world.
Is attending a church service 1 hour per week too much to ask to save your marriage & keep your family together?
Today is our 53 anniversary. My marriage is definitely worth an hour of boredom once per week. And I bet yours is too.
1. No, not in my mind, but it sure is going to be hard having the elephant of my unbelief/her belief in the room all the time, unmentioned.
2. No; they're young. They are part of the youth group at a friend's church largely because of the emotional relationships they have with the leaders there, who in the past were close friends of mine.
3. No, I don't have to go to church. My wife's anxiety keeps acting up, though, when she constantly worries about what to say when I'm not there. "He's not here/he didn't come to church this week" is not a good enough answer.
1. I do love my wife - she's a deeply caring, compassionate, sensitive person in many ways. Whether she believes in whatever is of no concern to me as regards HER; I cannot stand knowing that she believes the bible is correct about me either being a backslider or never having been 'saved' to begin with, and she doesn't have the guts to say so.
2. She says she loves me, but she is not able to elaborate as to why. She just keeps referring to how long we've been together, and all the things we've been through. I could not tell you right now one thing that she has said she loves about me.
This unequally yoked gig can be a real bitch sometimes!
I am so incredibly pissed at the entire agglomeration of ass-hat, control-freak, pastors and church leaders who are out for themselves. The difficulty you and I are having, @L.B. stems, to a large extent, from those jackasstical hemroids telling our spouses that we are hell bent on deconverting them because we are listening to some man-made monster who will fry us for eternity for the sin of thinking and reasoning. Of course those pricks just don't want to lose any more of their flock - especially those of us who cough up the dough on a regular basis. (OK. I have not participated in that last part in a couple years but, I assure you, Mrs. MOHO has, and it all comes from the same kinny.)
The council that Mrs. L.B. will drag you to will, undoubtedly, be of the xitan persuasion. It will consist of "YOU need to get right with the lard and take the lead in your family - just as God/Jesus is the head of the church!" You know - attempt to appeal to your insatiable desire to control everything. Such an insult. They don't appreciate that I'm not a controlling dickhead and that crap does not work on me.
What other entity, in the history of mankind other than christianity, would intentionally cause major pain in a marriage and break up a family? OK maybe a few other smaller cults out there, but none on the scale and depth that you and I are experiencing. For several months things were going smoothly and then the tension ratchets up again.
On the lighter side I've been successful at keeping her from the Wednesday night fundyfest by plying her with grape juice and live guitar music. Not actively trying to deconvert her ( well maybe ) I would be happy to just tone it down a bit.
Keep us posted, L.B. When the going gets churchy you can come here and bitch.
To continue your marriage:
Does she have to stop believing?
Would the children have to stop believing?
Do you HAVE to go to church?
Children might be told about backsliders and think of you, but they probably also think Dad is pretty awesome...you're Dad! How many Christian ideas get kind of blended, morphed, changed, adjusted to fit reality and individual personalities to make them more acceptable? Half the Old Testament is ignored by Christians who claim to be faithful believers.
Can you love your wife if she believes in Jesus?
Can she love you if you dont?
I wish you the best. I hope you are both able to hammer out something acceptable to you both and still are able to love each other.
Well, it looks like the time has come.
We've finally reached the point where my struggles, my loneliness, my failures (all of which I admit) have become MY fault in her mind,
because I'm not "trusting", "praying", etc.
She says she wants me to be whole and to deal with my issues - I agree; one of my issues is the rejection I have received from the Christards,
even while I was still actively involved in their world and trying to believe what they all did.
No, she says; she'll never stop "following Christ".
I ask, "What about the fact that your church and your religion teach that I'm either a 'backslider' (very bad) or an 'unbeliever' (even worse)? What are you going to tell our children when their youth-group leaders preach about people who don't believe, or who reject the faith, and they start to think of their father as one of 'those people', who are 'lost' and going to 'hell'? What about YOU? What are YOU going to think, since you believe that the Bible is the entirely-true word of your god, transmitted through his faithful scribes?"
She equivocates, and says that maybe it's MY responsibility to change my ways, my attitude, so that maybe my children will see that I'm not a bad person, or something.
She says maybe, just maybe, we should go find a church where I can 'be myself' and not have to pretend (pretend to what? be a Christian? I'd never pretend that.)
Then she texts me and says she's convinced that we need to go see a counselor together, so that our children can see us 'fighting for us', and have more respect for me, or something.
In other words, she's not changing her mind about her religion, and the lack of it is a huge barrier between us now, and she believes this is critical to the survival of an 18-year marriage and a 25-year relationship and my role as a father.
The line has been drawn. I am going to see a counselor on my own, because I need to, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be threatened by her over her refusal to abandon those asinine ideas about hell and the unbeliever.
What would happen if I went to a counselor with her and we worked out all kinds of emotional issues? So what? None of that would make me a bit more interested in belonging to her religion or any other religion again - that, I can guarantee.