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Just Broke Up With My Christian Girlfriend...


AbsolutPauer
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Well, the title says it all. I just broke up with a girl that I have been dating for almost two years. She is a Christian and has been the entire time we've been dating. She has known almost from the beginning that my beliefs do not align with hers, but for some reason we both kept trying to make it work. She broke up with me once a couple of months ago, but we got back together almost a week later. This time I initiated it.

 

I had been considering the potential of marriage and the future lately, and the more I did so, the more our differences weighed on my mind. Then she mentioned that she wanted to go away to Bible college, and it hit me then that we were going in completely different directions that could not be reconciled. So over the course of a long and labored conversation, I eventually got around to saying that I thought we should see other people. She described her feelings about that as "hurt, mad, and confused". The confusion came from the fact that even until tonight, I continued to tell her that I loved her. Admittedly, this has lately been out of sheer habit, and now she knows that. So now she is hurt and angry, and she will probably be questioning every time I ever told her that I loved her, which will only increase the hurt. Now I feel like an ass, which I probably should. I was too careless with the word "love", but how do you just stop telling someone that you love them?

 

Ultimately though, I feel like I made the right decision. I just wish I could make this whole situation easier for her. I wish I could do something to lessen the pain she will feel. I've been there a few times myself. But maybe it's better that I just let her grief run its course; I may only make it more difficult otherwise. I don't know what to do. Anyone have any thoughts?

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I congratulate you for making what must have been a difficult decision. I unfortunately cannot offer you any advice, never having been in this kind of situation. From an objective standpoint, I would speculate that in the long run your decision will work out for the best.

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You have my sympathy on the breakup. I don't know of anyway to break up that does not hurt--especially one of two years duration. You obviously do care enough to worry about her anguish. You may not have been 'in love' with her any longer but your concern is a form of love. So I wouldn't worry about the semantics--sounds like you put alot of thought into this and told the truth.

 

The fact that she is Christian enough to go to Bible College says there would have been some big issues about the unequally yoked thing. Having been a Christian single myself--I know I would have prayed and pestered my boyfriend to convert. Sorry you're going thru this....you sound like a gem, not an ass.

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AbsolutPauer,

 

As you evaluate and ponder your decision, you might be tempted to try and make it work again.

 

Let me give you something to consider...

 

Ten years from now, you could be married to a christian who is absolutely determined to be certain that her kids spend eternity with her.

 

As nice as you guys are to each other and as wonderful as she likely is, you must consider that she will probably stop at nothing to have your mutual kids be bible believing christians.

 

Do you want your kids to be terrified of a non-existant hell?

 

Do you want to be dragged to your teenage son's baptism? Could you feel happy about seeing that?

 

When you are on your death bed, do you want to see the misery in your children's eyes as they watch you die thinking you are going to hell?

 

We are all different and many of these things may not mean nearly as much to you as they do to me.

 

As an atheist, birds of our feather are harder to find. I married a liberal christian. She is very ignorant about her beliefs and has probably never read even one tiny book of the bible. It is not too much of an issue and yet... she brings the kids to her liberal christian church because she feel that they need to know the stories of the bible.

 

I've had so damn much of the bible and the self-absorbed people who think god is concerned about their stupid incipent concerns while God ignores the prayers of thousands each day who die of hunger... I don't even want my kids to get even that little bit of religion.

 

The scripture about people being unequally yoked doesn't bring the point home. Go to AthiestParent.org forums and read some stories in the "All In The Family" section. Conflict over religion can be a big issue in marriage if what you believe is important to you.

 

Everyone makes up their own mind on such things. Good luck!

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As an old lady who has been through a lot of break ups and hopes never to go through one again, you both have my sympathy. However, my advice, for what it's worth (probably about 2 cents) is that you DO NOT CONTACT HER to try to make it easier for her; that would possibly give rise to false hopes and just prolong the suffering in the end. It just takes time to heal.

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Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses and encouragement!

 

You have my sympathy on the breakup. I don't know of anyway to break up that does not hurt--especially one of two years duration. You obviously do care enough to worry about her anguish. You may not have been 'in love' with her any longer but your concern is a form of love. So I wouldn't worry about the semantics--sounds like you put alot of thought into this and told the truth.

 

This is the way I felt about it too. I did not consider it a lie to tell her that I loved her, but it may have been misleading and certainly wasn't what she was hoping for.

 

Ten years from now, you could be married to a christian who is absolutely determined to be certain that her kids spend eternity with her.

 

As nice as you guys are to each other and as wonderful as she likely is, you must consider that she will probably stop at nothing to have your mutual kids be bible believing christians.

 

Do you want your kids to be terrified of a non-existant hell?

 

Do you want to be dragged to your teenage son's baptism? Could you feel happy about seeing that?

 

When you are on your death bed, do you want to see the misery in your children's eyes as they watch you die thinking you are going to hell?

 

I had considered many of these things, and like you, I would answer no to all of them. I don't at all want my children to believe in Hell; the fear of Hell ruined a portion of my childhood. And I certainly would not want my family to fear that I'm going to end up there.

 

As an old lady who has been through a lot of break ups and hopes never to go through one again, you both have my sympathy. However, my advice, for what it's worth (probably about 2 cents) is that you DO NOT CONTACT HER to try to make it easier for her; that would possibly give rise to false hopes and just prolong the suffering in the end. It just takes time to heal.

 

I will heed your advice, as it confirms my thoughts on the matter. I know how difficult it can be to try to talk to someone or hang around someone you've been dating immediately after a break-up. It really sucks.

 

Again, thank you all for your responses!

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Update:

 

Oh no. My ex-Girlfriend sent me an instant message saying she needs to ask me something. And so it begins; she's going to start grilling me for answers that she hopes will make her feel better about the situation. I don't have any clear-cut answers for her. Well, I do have some answers, but none that will make her feel better. I don't know what to tell her. I really think it would be better for both of us to not have these sorts of discussion so soon. I'd rather give things a month or two to settle down first. Maybe that's what I should tell her...

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Tell her an abbreviated version of the truth, but hit all the major points:

 

"This isn't a good time to be discussing anything because we're so close to the breakup. Perhaps we can do this a few months down the road."

 

And, if she presses:

 

"I do like you as a person but I will not marry you. I don't want to be arguing with you ten years from now over whether our kids should go to church or not. I simply don't see any way to make this work because our views of the world are mutually exclusive."

 

Or any variation on the above.

 

If she persists, grilling you or trying to make you feel guilty, add "I have nothing more to say to you right now. Goodbye." And then break contact.

 

Harsh, perhaps, but enforcing no contact is a good way to get the mental space to recover from stuff like this.

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Many married couples are driven apart by disagreements about money and values of raising the children.

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I'm so sorry for your breakup. I empathize with how you feel her pain and hurt but don't know how to make anything better without compromising yourself and what you know is right in the bigger picture.

 

I just broke up with my Christian boyfriend of 2 years too. A week ago. And we're both suffering...but I didn't break up over religion. I broke up over his abusive habits that weren't going to get any better with time, and I had to finally face that sad fact and knew I just couldn't marry him because he wouldn't acknowledge any problem existed. As long as I had my independence, I could cope with his limitations, but he was pushing too hard for marriage.

 

I had to play the part of 'the bad person' (even though I wasn't, in the relationship) and end something that just couldn't possibly lead to happiness for either of us in a marriage situation, and it's hurting us both but I'm the one who has to act cold and unfeeling by not responding to his pain, and I hate it. My personal solution to it has been to disregard contact from him, and let him have his feelings that I'm just doing it to be a bitch. I'm not. I just want him to not stay attached and if he needs to get angry at me to do that...so be it. I do care deeply about him and am mostly just sad at the whole situation. But I've learned from experience, trying to let someone down softly and staying involved prolongs the pain and lends false hope, overall.

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This is interesting... as a Christian you're always warned not to marry a non-Christian as it will cause problems (though I don't really think the infamous "unequally yoked" verse from Paul was about marriage as most Christians do). But it seems that it's the NON-Christian in the relationship who has more to deal with from their partner. And the irony is, many are willing to accept the other person's faith, but are the Christians willing to accept anything other than their own faith? Oh, no.

 

Though religion plays an important part in people's lives, in reading things like this I realize just how it drives people apart. Granted it does cause problems if you have kids if you are adamant about raising them a certain way, but outside of that...well it just seems sad to me. How many people have loved someone not of their religion and were forbidden to be with them because of it, and ended up with someone second-best? Ugh.

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Well, the title says it all. I just broke up with a girl that I have been dating for almost two years. She is a Christian and has been the entire time we've been dating. She has known almost from the beginning that my beliefs do not align with hers, but for some reason we both kept trying to make it work. She broke up with me once a couple of months ago, but we got back together almost a week later. This time I initiated it.

 

I had been considering the potential of marriage and the future lately, and the more I did so, the more our differences weighed on my mind. Then she mentioned that she wanted to go away to Bible college, and it hit me then that we were going in completely different directions that could not be reconciled. So over the course of a long and labored conversation, I eventually got around to saying that I thought we should see other people. She described her feelings about that as "hurt, mad, and confused". The confusion came from the fact that even until tonight, I continued to tell her that I loved her. Admittedly, this has lately been out of sheer habit, and now she knows that. So now she is hurt and angry, and she will probably be questioning every time I ever told her that I loved her, which will only increase the hurt. Now I feel like an ass, which I probably should. I was too careless with the word "love", but how do you just stop telling someone that you love them?

 

Ultimately though, I feel like I made the right decision. I just wish I could make this whole situation easier for her. I wish I could do something to lessen the pain she will feel. I've been there a few times myself. But maybe it's better that I just let her grief run its course; I may only make it more difficult otherwise. I don't know what to do. Anyone have any thoughts?

 

 

It's nice that you're thinking about how to make things easier for her. In general, it's better for the hurting people to have a clean break rather than lessened contact - if she keeps hearing from you, she will harbor hopes of things changing and of you getting back together again.

 

As for the love thing, it's really hard to define "love", and it's also true that love isn't enough. I've known many couples that truly loved each other but couldn't stand to be married.

 

I do think that having differing religious beliefs can put a significant strain on a marriage, especially when the kids come along. Partners should be able to respect each other, and this is one of the areas where differences are hard to respect.

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Update:

 

Oh no. My ex-Girlfriend sent me an instant message saying she needs to ask me something. And so it begins; she's going to start grilling me for answers that she hopes will make her feel better about the situation. I don't have any clear-cut answers for her. Well, I do have some answers, but none that will make her feel better. I don't know what to tell her. I really think it would be better for both of us to not have these sorts of discussion so soon. I'd rather give things a month or two to settle down first. Maybe that's what I should tell her...

 

As hard as it would be to do, you need to pull away. "Let's just be friends" can work...but not without a few months of absolutely NO contact first.

 

Nothing you say can adequately explain anything to someone who is hurt. She needs time (though she doesn't realize it) to lick her own wounds and adjust to being 1 whole, instead of just 1/2 of a whole. And YOU need that time too...or else you are going to blink and you'll be a couple again and you'll be wondering how on earth that happened.

 

And yes it will hurt. It's going to hurt YOU just as much as it hurts HER (something I didn't learn about breakups until I was the one doing the breaking up). But the seperation needs to be clean.

 

After you tell her you both need serious time apart before you can be friends, BLOCK her from your IM.

 

Ouch.

 

Yes.

 

Sure you will feel like a jerk. Yes she will hate you. You cannot break someone's heart and expect them to accept and be gracious about it. Deal with it. It feels like crap, but you will be doing the both of you the biggest favor in the world. She won't be able to see that the relationship could never have worked in the long run, until she herself is outside of it. But to get there, she has to go through all the stages of grief. By herself. Without you.

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Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I talked to my ex after I posted that last message, and we agreed to take some time off before trying the friendship thing again. I think it's going to be for the best. Thank you all for confirming that. The somewhat annoying thing is, she took it upon herself to talk to my family members after we broke up, and now they think I'm some sort of "bad guy", and they are pressing the issue of my religious beliefs. This is something I had hoped to keep safely out of the spotlight, but alas it was not to be. I may have something to post in the "Breaking the 'bad' news" thread in the not-too-distant future.

 

I just broke up with my Christian boyfriend of 2 years too. A week ago. And we're both suffering...but I didn't break up over religion. I broke up over his abusive habits that weren't going to get any better with time, and I had to finally face that sad fact and knew I just couldn't marry him because he wouldn't acknowledge any problem existed. As long as I had my independence, I could cope with his limitations, but he was pushing too hard for marriage.

 

I had to play the part of 'the bad person' (even though I wasn't, in the relationship) and end something that just couldn't possibly lead to happiness for either of us in a marriage situation, and it's hurting us both but I'm the one who has to act cold and unfeeling by not responding to his pain, and I hate it. My personal solution to it has been to disregard contact from him, and let him have his feelings that I'm just doing it to be a bitch. I'm not. I just want him to not stay attached and if he needs to get angry at me to do that...so be it. I do care deeply about him and am mostly just sad at the whole situation. But I've learned from experience, trying to let someone down softly and staying involved prolongs the pain and lends false hope, overall.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your situation, BTDT. I'm finding myself having to the "bad person" as well, and it can be very hard, especially when it's not just your former significant other that's viewing you in that light. Are you getting any grief about the situation from friends or family?

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I may have something to post in the "Breaking the 'bad' news" thread in the not-too-distant future.

 

You know, I can't even find that thread anymore. There were a batch of threads always listed at the top of one of the sections, including that one, and one day I tried responding to one of them and couldn't. Now they are gone. Not sure what to make of it except I understand this site and server are in some sort of transition that could last a while. I suppose you could start your own thread on it. I like these stories so much--it's such a support just knowing I'm not the first and only going through this stuff. All the best to you on this journey through grief and yes, also dealing with your folks about the religious stuff. Tough beans, huh? Standing up for Truth tends to be tough. That's why this site exists, I understand.

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Man. It sucks ass being the breaker rather than the breakee, because even if the relationship is horrible and needs to end, the breaker always gets to be the bad guy for being "cruel" to the breakee.

 

Yeah. Whatthehellever. :Wendywhatever:

 

I've been on both ends of breaking up and neither is good, but sometimes they're just necessary. I have a couple of exes who still think I'm Satan for leaving them, but I've gotten to the point where I don't care anymore. If they need their delusions in order to feel good about themselves, and need to spend years avoiding facing whatever they did to screw up the relationship, that's fine with me. If they need to hate me, they're welcome to it; they were asshats anyway.

 

It's the ones that figure it out eventually that I don't consider asshats, and with any luck maybe your ex will figure it out and realize too that you can't always be with someone you might love. Religious differences don't have to be a huge deal, but the truth is that with some people, they really really are. (I had a Xian ex who I mention here sometimes to whom it mattered a great deal whether or not his SO's are doctrinally sound.) And when they are, believers and nonbelievers just can't be together, because of fundamental differences in the way we all look at life.

 

I'm with everyone else here on the no contact thing. Stay away from each other for a few months at least. That'll give you both some time to start getting over each other and the breakup, and maybe some time to sort of clear your heads about what went wrong, and things like that. If she grills you for answers, the only thing I'd say is, keep it short, and don't lie to her. If she doesn't like the answers, tough beans for her, she shouldn't ask the questions (whatever they are).

 

And if you know deep inside that leaving was right, don't go back on that. Don't go back to her. Even if she thinks you're horrible for leaving, even if her family makes you the "bad guy". It sucks to be the one to shoot the dying horse, but somebody's gotta do it.

 

Good luck.

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