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In The Process Of Deconverting. Need Advice...


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Guest mauifruit

I'm in my 30's. Been a Christian for about 15 years. My wife is a PK and a fervent born-again Christian. We have two young kids. We go to church every Sunday, lead bible studies, tithe, etc. We do the whole nine yards...

 

I started questioning the bible and Christianity several months ago, ironically, when I decided to really read and understand the bible. Since then I've challenged myself to research into the issues, keep an open mind and be honest about what I would find.

 

At this point I can say that I'm in the slow and painful process of de-converting. I told my wife about my doubt two weeks ago. (Man, it was hard. It took a lot of courage). I went okay. I believe she's in denial - having raised Christian all her life I don't expect her to agree with anything I say. I sense an undercurrent in our relationship. I don't know what to expect next. I still go to church, doing all the same things that are expected of a good Christian. I wish I was single - then I could make a clean break without hurting those closest to me. What should I do next in this process? I feel so alone.

 

Any advice, any past experiences you can share...

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Mauifruit, it is a difficult process whichever way you take. First of all, you don't have to feel alone, because that's what this site is about. Take it easy on your wife though. Let her come to her own conclusions.

 

When I told my wife it was really difficult since I didn't know how she would react. But I was lucky, she had also started to doubt and question, but not as much as me. She's more of a deist today and doesn't pay to much attention to the Christian ideas. Occasionally we have a discussion, and we take it from the "this is the way I see it" and we can leave differences at that, just opinions.

 

I wish you all the luck Maui, and welcome to the site.

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Hi Maui,

 

I'm Mike. I was Christian for 17 years, but was in denial for at least the last 1o years after finally having studied through the Bible. For the past one year I have been a total apostate, ex-christian. I am married to an EXTREME fundy women, and have 3 little children. It is the most painful thing I have ever could have imagined. My wife has actually shot in the other direction, going super fundym name and it and claim it. You can imagine what life around here is like.

 

I can tell you this. It is worth it. The Bible is the worst kind of Bull Shit, and Christian Dogma is the worst kind of evil. You have done the right thing. I understand how you feel about not being able to make a clean break. If I were you I would do what I have done. I have made the cleanest break I possibly can make, within the context of protecting my life interests. Think about it, Christianity is total bull shit and is false. This makes it actually somehwat unimportant, at least on some levels. Just relax. It is no big deal if there is some fantasy bullshit religion around you in life. You know it is false. YOU do not have to make an ass of yourself anymore, even if your wife still does. You can accept people who are not Christians. You can live your life. It is painful though. I have cried alot this past year. Christianity taught us to think the worst of our fellow man. Now think the best of him. There are shitty crappy people in the world, but it is not because they are not Christian. It is just life. SOme people are good some are bad.

 

Anyway, I have a reasonably similar scenario as you. Feel free to PM me if you want to chat. -Mike

 

I'm in my 30's. Been a Christian for about 15 years. My wife is a PK and a fervent born-again Christian. We have two young kids. We go to church every Sunday, lead bible studies, tithe, etc. We do the whole nine yards...

 

I started questioning the bible and Christianity several months ago, ironically, when I decided to really read and understand the bible. Since then I've challenged myself to research into the issues, keep an open mind and be honest about what I would find.

 

At this point I can say that I'm in the slow and painful process of de-converting. I told my wife about my doubt two weeks ago. (Man, it was hard. It took a lot of courage). I went okay. I believe she's in denial - having raised Christian all her life I don't expect her to agree with anything I say. I sense an undercurrent in our relationship. I don't know what to expect next. I still go to church, doing all the same things that are expected of a good Christian. I wish I was single - then I could make a clean break without hurting those closest to me. What should I do next in this process? I feel so alone.

 

Any advice, any past experiences you can share...

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I was lucky; my wife and I kind of changed together, but it was a really long process--a lot longer than it sounds like yours has been.

 

I think the best way to go is to just take it very slow. Be respectful, of course.

 

Maybe start watching some movies that present a contrast to conservative Christian belief. The movie Pleasantville takes on a whole new meaning if you think of it in terms of breaking free from Christianity. Iron-Jawed Angels, Angels in America, Chocolat, Kinsey, Kinky Boots, and others all portray characters Christians are taught to hate, but the movies make it harder because you can sympathize with the characters. I'm not saying to try to deconvert your wife, but it will be a lot easier if she lightens up a little.

 

For what it's worth . . .

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My ex and I sorta deconverted together. Both of us were super fundy Baptists. He remains a very liberal deist type Christian, and I am an atheist. The difference in religion wasn't what broke us up though. It was realizing we only stayed together because good Christians don't even consider divorce. We had severe problems in the relationship and just didn't find it worth it to continue to work on something that was just a friendship and not a romantic relationship.

 

Being honest with yourself is the most important thing. You don't have to tell everyone in your life about your now lack of beliefs. (what they don't know can't hurt you is a good philosophy) But the ones closest to you will know. I really think it depends upon her personality how much information you can and should give at a time. Gradually enlightening her might work, unless she is a get it all out in the open type person. You are a better judge of that.

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I've never had to deconvert, but from what I can see here, it's not an easy thing to do.

 

My sincere suggestion is to stay your course, but let your wife know that you will continue to respect her choice to believe. Reassure her that nothing about you is going to change; you will still love her as she is, you will still continue to support her in many ways. Let her know that your morals will not change one bit. Help her get the kids ready for church, but don't go yourself.... unless you want to. She might be afraid of what is going to happen with her and a little reassurance might go a long ways.

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I sense an undercurrent in our relationship. I don't know what to expect next. I still go to church, doing all the same things that are expected of a good Christian. I wish I was single - then I could make a clean break without hurting those closest to me. What should I do next in this process? I feel so alone.

 

Any advice, any past experiences you can share...

 

The fact is maui, hurt is inevitable when one of the parties involved is willing to deny the truth or inevitability of a situation (and there's always parties involved even if you're single).

 

This is the hard time, luckily you have places like this to go to for advice & support- which we have plenty of both. :)

 

Also, we can help direct you to people who may be nearby you that can give you direct support in the matter (if that's what you want).

 

Truth is, if you are indeed going to leave the Christian fold, there will come that inevitable moment where you'll have to inform those around you of your intentions, and then follow through on them. When that happens, you have to be as magnaimous, loving, and considerate as possible. I'm not saying you're going to, but there's often a large amount of anger & fervor that happens when a person deconverts. You just have to do your best not to point it at anyone. Otherwise they'll use it as fire to make emotional appeals to you.

 

For now, I hope you keep us informed as to how things are going and any further questions you may have.

 

Glad to have you around!

 

:wave:

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I'm in my 30's. Been a Christian for about 15 years. My wife is a PK and a fervent born-again Christian. We have two young kids. We go to church every Sunday, lead bible studies, tithe, etc. We do the whole nine yards...

 

I started questioning the bible and Christianity several months ago, ironically, when I decided to really read and understand the bible. Since then I've challenged myself to research into the issues, keep an open mind and be honest about what I would find.

 

At this point I can say that I'm in the slow and painful process of de-converting. I told my wife about my doubt two weeks ago. (Man, it was hard. It took a lot of courage). I went okay. I believe she's in denial - having raised Christian all her life I don't expect her to agree with anything I say. I sense an undercurrent in our relationship. I don't know what to expect next. I still go to church, doing all the same things that are expected of a good Christian. I wish I was single - then I could make a clean break without hurting those closest to me. What should I do next in this process? I feel so alone.

 

Any advice, any past experiences you can share...

 

It's extra tough because you have kids, and you will inevitably encounter friction as to how to raise them.

 

Two suggestions:

 

1) You need to figure out how you feel about continuing to participate in the church things that you do. Some people continue on, some reduce their involvement, and others cut the ties. This is going to be tough because your family is involved, but there are many families where mom and kids went to church and dad didn't.

 

2) There are groups out there that have a skeptical viewpoint that you might want to get involved with, especially if you liked the fellowship of church (that and the music are the only things I've ever missed). I have at times been as close with some people online as I am with my close friends.

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Guest mauifruit
Truth is, if you are indeed going to leave the Christian fold, there will come that inevitable moment where you'll have to inform those around you of your intentions, and then follow through on them.

 

Eponymic, the inevitable is unfolding. I emailed our closest friends (they're all Christians) about my de-converting with a link to Dan Barker's article at http://ffrf.org/about/bybarker/rise.php as a launching pad for further discussions.

 

So far, one was honest about his own struggle with the differing accounts of Jesus' resurrection as described in the article.

 

Another said he believe the claims of Jesus' resurrection through faith and offered to read C.S. Lewis "The Case For Faith" together and discuss it.

 

Yet another told me she's been through the process and is shipping me some books she found helpful.

 

These are friends I value. Like you suggested, I plan to follow through and engage all of them.

 

Thank you all who posted for the encouraging words and a few doses of reality. I'm hoping that some of you might find this interesting enough to stick around and support me online...

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Maui,

 

My wife remained a fundy for a while after I left christianity. Now we're both on the same page and our relationship is better than it has ever been. I attribute it to her being an honest and intelligent person and my not pushing the issue and letting her search for herself.

 

But I understand your concern about the kids. I was married before and divorced with three kids. My youngest was 11 months old when my ex left me. That was a long time ago. My Susie and I have been married over 10 years and that 11 month old is now nearly in high school.

 

It gets better. No matter what, hang in there. If you want to stay married, don't be pushy. Just be a good husband, a decent human being. She may come around, she may not. Either way, life happens and it will get better.

 

Best of luck to you. You're not alone.

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Maui, I'm sorry I haven't weighed in until recently but you couldn't find a better, more supportive group of people... definitely not in a church, anyway.

 

They are all correct... deconversion is an emotionally and mentally draining exercise for everyone who is intimately involved. I went through my own almost eight years ago and the only people I was accountable to were my parents... no spouse or children. Needless to say, it was much easier for me and, in the end, you will be respected for standing your ground. If some begrudge you don't let it shake you.

 

The biggest reason I've found for Christianity? Strength in numbers. Most Christians would rather be wrong in a crowd than right all by their lonesome. Well, my friend, you're right but definitely not by your lonesome. This online community is very tight-knit and always welcoming. You will make a great addition.

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Welcome to the site, Maui..and, it does get easier over time.

 

For myself, in the beginning, it was like an obsession to want to tell everyone. Almost like in the beginning of conversion, you just want to "share" with anyone who would listen.

 

After a while though, it just becomes a part of who you are..and the need to share becomes less of an issue. Life continues..sometimes it comes up, most times it doesn't.

 

This is an excellent community..and one of the first places I was directed to upon deconversion, more than 3 years ago..hard to believe its been that long.

 

F. F..I haven't "heard" the phrase "all by your lonesome" in a very long time..it was something my mother use to say all the time..thanks for the memory! :)

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Welcome, maui :wave:

 

Yeah, deconverting is never easy. I was Xian for 27+ years, and experienced about a year's worth of doubts before finally kicking Jebus to the curb. My then-girlfriend (and now-wife :) ) was going through much the same, and we ended up aiding and abetting our deconversions together.

 

Hopefully, your wife will also realize that Xianity has to go - that way, you can both support each other.

 

What can I say? All I can say, aside from refer you to a bunch of things, is to stay the course. Xianity, for many of us, was like an addiction. We're made to feel strong only when we are "with God" and weak when we deny him. We are made to fear eternal torture if we should doubt or leave the cult, and made to feel the only way we can hope for a pleasant afterlife is to kiss Jebus' ass constantly here on earth. Staying the course may be hard, but you have to do it - just like a junkie coming out of rehab, you've got to arm yourself with as much information that will reveal the flaws and dangers of your former addiction and encourage you to walk the sober path away from it.

 

Question and challenge everything, especially from dogmatic religious groups. All a fervent religious fanatic needs to hear is that you're wavering in your religion and he or she will swoop down like a vulture to claim you for his or her belief system. Don't give in! Only accept something after you've examined it thoroughly, examined for any flaw or problem, and ascertained that it is totally safe and reasonable for you. You will not be happy if you settle for less, and no one should let anyone else do their thinking for them.

 

Now it's your time. You may have wasted time in Xianity, but think only of the here and now. Make this time count, and arm yourself against the Xian deathcult.

 

Some time ago, I made a website, mainly for the purposes of gathering links together. I expanded it into a big rumination on all the things that I find important to my life. Just click on my signature image to go to it, or go straight to my anti-Xian section by clicking here. At the bottom of that page I've included a link to another page, wherein I've gathered together links to pages that provide excellent arguments and proofs against Xianity. They were very helpful to me during my departure from the cult and today are still useful and helpful.

 

Good luck! :)

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