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My Husband Doesn't Know...


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that I'm no longer a christian. :ugh: He knows I don't want to go to church and we haven't for at least 6 months. I take that back-I did check out the Episcopal Church with the woman pastor. I do want to visit a "Unity" church and "Unitarian Universalist" church BUT I am no longer a fundamentalist christian. I'm not even sure if there is a "God" in that sense.

 

We always say the prayer before dinner and tonight was my turn. As I thanked God for the food and closed "In Jesus' name", I felt such a hypocrit. Why haven't I told him? Well, I'm scared. :eek: We have four children and my journey out of christianity was jump-started when our 18dd said she was having huge doubts about that. I explained this in my original post in the testimonies forum. I already had lots of questions but was hanging on till I started exploring ex-christian sites to see WHY my daughter felt the way she did. Anywhoo, this daughter has asked not to be requested to pray over meals. Most of the time my husband doesn't ask her but sometimes he does. The other children are still christians, although eldest is definately looking into other religions. Our son loves Isaac Asimov books and had to present the "evolutionist" perspective in his Biology class. They know I don't believe that people who haven't heard of Jesus are going to Hell. They know I've struggled with the whole concept of Hell. They don't know that I've changed my mind about who Jesus was. I am trying to gently share my changes without dropping a bomb.

I need to talk to my husband but I'm afraid. How have you shared with your spouse?

 

Anyway, it's going hard to pray over the meal.

 

Waking Up

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Wow, I really feel for you.

 

My best advice is this - make the decisions you can live with. Sometimes in life the only choice available to you is the lesser of two evils.

 

It really comes down to your husband and how you think he'd react. You know him better than anyone. I think it is possible (though difficult) for believers and unbelievers to remain married as long as there is tolerance and love there.

 

But it does come down to your husband - will his reaction threaten the unity and stability of your family? If so, I guess I'd be asking myself the question - is he the kind of husband I want to have around anyway? But yes I think you're on the right track by gradually letting him know where you're at. I suspect he probably has an inkling already.

 

There's no easy answer to this - I sincerely wish you the best of luck. If your husband is a man of any worth at all he will love you regardless of your worldview.

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I know the situation is really tough. As I told others on the board I was one of the lucky ones. I held it in for a long time, and it was eating me up from inside, until one day I brought it up very carefully, and her response shocked me, because she admitted that she didn't believe much either. She's more of a deist, still believe there is some kind of God or Creator, but that's about it. And it was a great relief for me. I guess you have to take it in small steps, and maybe test the waters a bit to see where he is. Like DrFunk said, there's no easy answer to this.

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How have you shared with your spouse?

 

Fortunately, my wife had been a (Celtic) heathen already before I became one, so... :shrug:

 

And anyway, neither of us ever was a fundie.

 

I wish I could give you some advice that hasn't been mentioned already...

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I took him to the Unity church I was attending, for a Christmas concert. He was quite offended by the belief system, and when we got home, I told him that I agreed with everything. Just like that.

 

Summary of the belief system:

 

-- God is the ocean we are a wave of it (sort of speak)

-- Animals and plants are also waves of the ocean; therefore, we are all ONE

-- Jesus was a teacher whom we are to imitate not adore; that is, if he performed miracles, we should be able to do so as well

-- The bible is not to be understood literally. It is to be read the same way you read a book of short stories, learning lessons from the stories

-- When they refer to Christ, they are not referring to Jesus. They refer to YOU, the perfect you, your higher self.

-- We are spirits having a human experience, not humans having a spiritual experience.

-- Our thoughts are creative. We create our reality with our thoughts

-- We attract that which we think about all the time, so that if we have thoughts of hate, we attract hate into our lives.

-- Etc., etc.

 

As you can imagine, when my husband came to Unity and heard all of these concepts, he was floored. He couldn't believe it. So I did not have to tell him I no longer believed. It was quite obvious.

 

The most "offensive" part of the belief system is that Jesus isn't more God than you and me. It is not that he wasn't divine. It is that everybody is as divine as he was. Stuff like the virgin birth and all that is understood metaphorically, not literally.

 

Anyway, that's how my husband found out that my Christianity was kind of weird. It has taken him a long time to accept it, but I think he has started to notice that I actually am happier than I used to be. I am much more positive and optimistic. We hardly ever fight.

 

He is as fundy as ever, but it is possible that he has started to be more open minded, if secretly.

 

I hope that you will be able to gather ideas that suit your situation from all of our comments.

 

Best!

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Thanks Lorena! I like your idea. :woohoo: Does your husband still attend a fundy church? If so, do people ask him where you are? :ugh:

 

Thanks for sharing the Unity beliefs. I had read them on the website but I like your descriptions better. :grin: I do want to visit a Unity church but the nearest one is 50 miles away. For now, the gazebo in my backyard is my sanctuary.

 

WakingUp

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Thanks Lorena! I like your idea. :woohoo: Does your husband still attend a fundy church? If so, do people ask him where you are? :ugh:

 

Thanks for sharing the Unity beliefs. I had read them on the website but I like your descriptions better. :grin: I do want to visit a Unity church but the nearest one is 50 miles away. For now, the gazebo in my backyard is my sanctuary.

 

WakingUp

 

Church

I don't believe you need to visit any church. Interestingly enough, those beliefs are now becoming common knowledge in the self-help business. As I said on another thread, most motivational speakers or gurus have exactly the same beliefs as Unity or Religious Science. (Many say that U and RS are actually Buddhism masqueraded as pseudo Christianity.)

 

If you pick up from your public library the recent works of Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, EcKhard Tolle, and others, you will identify the same ideas.

 

As for classics, you can read Ernest Holmes, any book by Carlos Castaneda, Miguel Ruiz, Eric Butterworth, or the Dalai Lama.

 

If you go to a Yoga or meditation class, you will again find the same belief system. So just about any book on meditation will uphold the same underlying ideas.

 

I particularly like the works of Joan Z. Borysenko, PhD. She uses the data from studies that show the relationship between our thoughts and our health. And again the ideas are the same, as she recommends positive thinking, relaxation through meditation, and the concept that we are all ONE.

 

Maybe if your husband saw books, videos, CDs, or tapes lying around the house, he will get the idea of how much you've changed... who knows?

 

Actually, if he were to see the book Leaving the Fold by Marlene Winell around the house, then he will get the point. Awesome book. Actually, that book, if you read it, will give you a well of ideas--again, Marlene Winell promotes visualization and meditation in order for us to heal from the damage caused by Christianity, so there you go.

 

My husband

 

He is still the in-church-every Sunday kind of guy, still working in the church library and playing in the band once a month. I am sure they ask him but he is a VERY private person in general. He doesn't tell anything private to anyone. He doesn't tell me that people ask, but if they do, I am sure he says something like, "She went for a walk with friends today," or he might say I am cleaning because company is coming or whatever. That's the way he is. He responds to your questions but his answers really mean nothing.

 

He no longer attends social events at church, though. He wouldn't go without me.

 

Anyway, good luck to you! :wave:

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I think I'm towards the end of the road you seem to be starting out on. My wife knows that I "don't know what to consider myself" in relation to religion. One day she flat out asked me if I still thought of myself as a Christian and that was my answer. Currently placing myself in the agnostic camp, I figure that's a pretty accurate answer. Took her off guard, but ultimately it was better than lying about it. And, she hasn't suggested that I "need to go to church" since either.

 

Fortunately we have never been the type to pray over meals, at least non-holiday meals. The last 2 times we had a pre-meal prayer was when a set of friends were over and the husband got the honors because he was the guest, and at a family meal with her side where my brother in law got honors due to age.

 

I decided that if it comes to it I won't refuse to pray, especially around her family. She got her beliefs from them, and I doubt they would understand. Same thing if my grandmother (the only openly religious person on my side) asked me to pray.

 

Best thing I did was start to read several Bart Ehrlman (sp) books. I've got Lost Christianities, Misquoting Jesus, and one other title that escapes my memory right now. It's pretty hard to deny that I'm researching other avenues of belief when I'm reading books that flat out refute Christianity. I keep hoping that one day I'll walk in the bedroom to see her reading one, but it's kind of a long shot. On the other side, I haven't walked in on her reading her Bible in a long time either.

 

Eventually you probably should tell him, although I'm probably not in the best spot to make that suggestion since I'm still in that process. Don't drop it as a bomb - "your God is a hoax" probably won't have a good outcome. I think it needs to be done in such a way that he understands your process out of Christianity. And I think it's important for him to understand it wasn't a snap decision on your part or just a ploy so you can sleep in on Sunday mornings. Maybe he'll follow, maybe he won't. But if he truly loves you, and I would have to assume that he does, he will be accepting of your beliefs and respect them enough not to ask you to pray at meals.

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