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LookingGlass
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I just had a very disheartening argument with my husband...I have been reading Leaving the Fold by Miriam Winell (which is a very good book..wish I'd read it sooner). For the first time in four years, I have started to feel more confident and reassured about leaving xtianity, as the book has helped me to realize the reasons why I depended so much on xtianity and also about manipulations the church uses to attract people and keep them in the church. So I was bold enough to pose a question about Genesis to husby. The discussion started civil enough, but about twenty minutes later it was a heated debate. We kept on for about an hour...and the whole time I was so frustrated trying to get him to give me a straight answer. He kept insisting that the bible had inconsistencies because it was written by men, and I was saying that it was written by men who were supposedly inspired by God. Finally, he shut me off altogether and told me he didn't care if I thought he was being foolish. "The wisdom of God is foolishness to man," he said. And I was so mad/upset at him I didn't even know what to say. Here's someone with a Master's degree hanging on our living room wall and he sounds so nonsensical. He admitted that sometimes the bible didn't make sense to him, but it was important to have faith nonetheless because it feeds his spirit.

I'm feeling so alone right now. Usually if I am this upset, I write or call my mom or best friend, but in this case they would take my husband's side. There's no one in my life who isn't a zealous christian. And I feel so, so freaking alone right now. And kind of like a bitch for bombarding husband with questions like I did. Maybe I should've been gentler. It makes me feel like I'm wrong somehow. Though I know they love me, everyone around me would disagree with me. And no one can understand why I would leave my faith. I haven't really been open about it. Just kept it to myself. My husband said later that if I don't get my faith back, I'll get really depressed and he's scared I'll hurt myself because I am proned to getting depressed. I wish I had some assurance to fall back on. I don't have anything. My new found confidence was short-lived...I'm back to being discouraged and depressed again. Ironically it is in these times that I would pray..and that's kind of what I want to do. Although I'm pretty much convinced that there's no one there to listen. So dysfunctional. It hurts so much that I don't have any close friends to talk to about this. I hate this feeling.

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Yikes. You aren't wrong, but you are in a bad position. I don't know what you should do.

 

Don't hurt yourself. And don't beat yourself up over the fight. When it comes to religion, even the most innocent conversations can end that way.

 

Can you go to a therapist or counselor?

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Yikes. You aren't wrong, but you are in a bad position. I don't know what you should do.

 

Don't hurt yourself. And don't beat yourself up over the fight. When it comes to religion, even the most innocent conversations can end that way.

 

Can you go to a therapist or counselor?

 

I have been trying to find a therapist, but because of a couple bad experiences I had with them, I admit I haven't been putting as much effort into it as I should be. I guess it's just a matter of finding the right one...

As for talking religion, you're right...and it turned pretty brutal. I hope the topic won't come up again between us anymore.

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I had one bad experience and one mediocre experience before I found my current psychologist. She isn't perfect, but it's been helpful for me. Hopefully you will have better luck in the future.

 

I've been in those arguments with friends and family (not a spouse.) They start out small, but it just takes one insult to start a snowball. I've done a pretty good job of avoiding them with my very religious roommate by ignoring his comments and christian paraphernalia. It's hard though. I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be in a marriage.

 

Best wishes

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I am sorry to hear of how the conversation went. Your husband actually said one thing that made sense : "it was important to have faith nonetheless because it feeds his spirit." I don't know what I would have had to say to that statement. You can't really argue with someone's subjective assessment.

 

It appears that he has closed any further discussion on the topic of religion. One way to shut someone down is to quote something stupid like "The wisdom of God is foolishness to man."

 

If the Bible is just another man made writing, then what is so special about it as compared to all other religious/philosophical writings? What is it that makes it the "wisdom of God."?

 

My recommendation would be drop the subject with him. Don't bring it up again. Don't speak of it, unless he shows some signs of wanting to see your point of view. Write to us here on this site. Be cautious about selecting a therapist to discuss these matters. Don't rule it out, but try to find out where they stand on the issue of religion. I think many therapists go into the field because they are trying to resolve their own problems, not there to actually help others.

 

I sympathize with your situation. I am long divorced and one reason I don't want to remarry is because I don't think I can make the compromises necessary for long term living with another person.

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My advice is to continue reading so you can become more confident. Find people who will discuss these items without shutting you down (people on this site are a good resource).

 

It's impossible to say what will happen with your husband - there are stories where family members have come around and everything worked out well, and others where religion remains a taboo topic. If you can tell your husband how it made you feel when he shut you down with the "foolishness" remark, and he can agree not to do that again, then that's a good start. Otherwise I think you're right to just avoid the topic with him for now.

 

I wish you the best, and you're not alone.

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I just had a very disheartening argument with my husband...I have been reading Leaving the Fold by Miriam Winell (which is a very good book..wish I'd read it sooner). For the first time in four years, I have started to feel more confident and reassured about leaving xtianity, as the book has helped me to realize the reasons why I depended so much on xtianity and also about manipulations the church uses to attract people and keep them in the church. So I was bold enough to pose a question about Genesis to husby. The discussion started civil enough, but about twenty minutes later it was a heated debate. We kept on for about an hour...and the whole time I was so frustrated trying to get him to give me a straight answer. He kept insisting that the bible had inconsistencies because it was written by men, and I was saying that it was written by men who were supposedly inspired by God. Finally, he shut me off altogether and told me he didn't care if I thought he was being foolish. "The wisdom of God is foolishness to man," he said. And I was so mad/upset at him I didn't even know what to say. Here's someone with a Master's degree hanging on our living room wall and he sounds so nonsensical. He admitted that sometimes the bible didn't make sense to him, but it was important to have faith nonetheless because it feeds his spirit.

I'm feeling so alone right now. Usually if I am this upset, I write or call my mom or best friend, but in this case they would take my husband's side. There's no one in my life who isn't a zealous christian. And I feel so, so freaking alone right now. And kind of like a bitch for bombarding husband with questions like I did. Maybe I should've been gentler. It makes me feel like I'm wrong somehow. Though I know they love me, everyone around me would disagree with me. And no one can understand why I would leave my faith. I haven't really been open about it. Just kept it to myself. My husband said later that if I don't get my faith back, I'll get really depressed and he's scared I'll hurt myself because I am proned to getting depressed. I wish I had some assurance to fall back on. I don't have anything. My new found confidence was short-lived...I'm back to being discouraged and depressed again. Ironically it is in these times that I would pray..and that's kind of what I want to do. Although I'm pretty much convinced that there's no one there to listen. So dysfunctional. It hurts so much that I don't have any close friends to talk to about this. I hate this feeling.

 

 

I don't think you have any reason to feel guilty. Christians often have a way of playing the martyr card when anyone questions their religion. He's your husband for shits sake. You have a right to discuss this with him and ask him tough questions. I hate that line: "The wisdom of god..." it's such a cop out. The old "we're just stupid humans, so we can't judge god and say he doesn't make sense!" even though they've judged him and claim that he's actually a valid idea. I'm sorry to say it, but I don't know how someone can survive in a marriage like that. I certainly couldn't do it. Some people say it's not a big deal and they don't feel the need to discuss religion or be on the same page with that, but I just couldn't do that. I'm not going to tell you to get a divorce, but don't just sit on this. Don't avoid the topic if you can't be happy without discussing it, and don't bottle everything up and end up dragging your ass through life.

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The religious always feel they must be accommodated because of their special status - after all, it's their RELIGION for chrissakes!

 

If he believes, and demonstrates, that he will respect your beliefs as you respect his then the two of you can coexist. That's a difficult thing for many Christians to do, since they know the Truth and all, but it can happen.

 

Good luck.

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And no one can understand why I would leave my faith. I haven't really been open about it. Just kept it to myself. My husband said later that if I don't get my faith back, I'll get really depressed and he's scared I'll hurt myself because I am proned to getting depressed. I wish I had some assurance to fall back on. I don't have anything. My new found confidence was short-lived...I'm back to being discouraged and depressed again. Ironically it is in these times that I would pray..and that's kind of what I want to do. Although I'm pretty much convinced that there's no one there to listen. So dysfunctional. It hurts so much that I don't have any close friends to talk to about this. I hate this feeling.

I'm going to agree with what florduh said. It's about respect. I'm not going to rehash my story but it has parallels to your own. I hammered my wife for the better part of a year trying to get some decent "answers" from her (this is one facet of the larger story). It was a pointless exercise. It just help to keep me very enraged. I know that I was upset, in part, because I was essentially being "dismissed" in a way. Put in my "place." Not worthy of being addressed as an equal on especially this topic (how could I, an unbeliever, understand? Though I had been a believer only moments before so???). Then comes the "concern" for what I may do to myself load of crap. Same thing as you. Kick you in the head and then act concerned when you ball up in the corner. Why are you acting so "discouraged and depressed" when I treat you like what you ask isn't worthy of response? Hmmm. I wonder?

 

Go ahead and pray. You're only talking to yourself. Instead of "god" just substitute yourself in there and you'll probably work things out a lot quicker since I imagine the conversation will go a lot faster. :) I didn't/don't have any close friends to talk about this stuff with either. I get it all out here. It's not always the best solution but it sure has helped.

 

So don't fall for the veiled threat (and it was one too...though not that he was threatening to hurt you) of hurting yourself if you don't get your faith back. It's the same thing as saying you'll go to hell. You don't just start hurting yourself or doing other strange things when you lose your faith. You can get depressed because you've lost your support system and you need to get your life used to not having that whole xian system there plus dealing with all the xians saying stupid things to you that can help depress you. But most folks are the same old people there were when they had "faith" only now they don't believe in magic and people living in the sky.

 

mwc

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You don't deserve this treatment, LookingGlass.

 

Sometimes it's a very lonely thing to use your brain to do your thinking.

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Thanks a lot for your replies guys...I really appreciate them. I know my husband didn't mean any harm but we're just on two diff. wavelengths altogether. We haven't argued over the topic anymore, thankfully. One thing he did say after the fact is that he isn't a fundamentalist christian, he's more liberal. But I was more or less accusing him of believing what fundies believe and I was arguing from that standpoint. Maybe I was subconsciously wishing he was one of the congregants from my old church...it would be a huge release to verbally bash one of their heads in. :)

I guess I will be visiting here more often so I can at least vent and read other ppl's experiences. Yeah he's my spouse and you'd think you could talk about these things, but dogma has torn whole countries apart and it hasn't been much kinder to families.

Don't really wanna talk about what may or may not happen to my marriage at this point...I have a whole lotta ish on my plate as it is. I'm steadily progressing into hermithood and I need to work on getting myself out of the house without having a heart attack. I need to get my depression under control, I have a daughter to care for, paperwork to organize, schoolwork to do, a butt load of ignored chores...

I'm not the most patient person, but I just have to take this one day at at time (dammit!)

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I don't know the whole story, obviously. Based only on that, I have a bit of sympathy for your husband, just because faith is a very personal thing and it's probably something he's not ready to give up yet, or be comfortable having challenged to this degree. That sounds like a pretty rugged argument for you both just on time scale. I'm not sure he meant to be threatening--if he heard you saying faith was one of the major things that got you through before, he might just have freaked himself. I know I've scared family members into saying/doing stupid things before, since some of my depressions got pretty intense.

 

He may not even have any answers for you. It sounds like he's not trying to be harmful, he's just in a different place. Which doesn't, of course, make it any easier for you.

 

I agree dealing with a depression and all of that would means you have enough on your plate already without trying to sort through the details of all of that. I do think you should make finding a therapist a priority, just because it will give you someone to talk to. Is it possible to get referrals from a psychiatrist's office? They'd know who the helpful, non-faith-based ones are.

 

Hang in there.

 

--quick edit. YAY I CAN EDIT NOW: and no, you are not wrong. You are only trying to do something at a very busy time for yourself, and of course that leads to doubts.

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I still go through these types of arguments with my bf. He doesn't go to church and doesn't read the bible but has nothing else to hold onto for comfort. The reason he gets so out of control is because he's scared to find the truth.

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LookingGlass, I'm glad you liked Marlene Winell's book. I am friends with Marlene and she is a gem. I do know that she does counselling over the phone, and it sounds like you could really benefit from it. If you want me to put you in contact with her, please drop me a line at jim@etchison.com

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My husband said later that if I don't get my faith back, I'll get really depressed and he's scared I'll hurt myself because I am proned to getting depressed.

That's bull. It's a liberating experience no longer worrying about what some vague, double-talking, invisible sky spook wants me to do. I actually enjoy life now, unafraid that hell awaits if I screw up one of the "thou-shalt-nots."

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I just had a very disheartening argument with my husband...I have been reading Leaving the Fold by Miriam Winell (which is a very good book..wish I'd read it sooner). For the first time in four years, I have started to feel more confident and reassured about leaving xtianity, as the book has helped me to realize the reasons why I depended so much on xtianity and also about manipulations the church uses to attract people and keep them in the church. So I was bold enough to pose a question about Genesis to husby. The discussion started civil enough, but about twenty minutes later it was a heated debate. We kept on for about an hour...and the whole time I was so frustrated trying to get him to give me a straight answer. He kept insisting that the bible had inconsistencies because it was written by men, and I was saying that it was written by men who were supposedly inspired by God. Finally, he shut me off altogether and told me he didn't care if I thought he was being foolish. "The wisdom of God is foolishness to man," he said. And I was so mad/upset at him I didn't even know what to say. Here's someone with a Master's degree hanging on our living room wall and he sounds so nonsensical. He admitted that sometimes the bible didn't make sense to him, but it was important to have faith nonetheless because it feeds his spirit.

I'm feeling so alone right now. Usually if I am this upset, I write or call my mom or best friend, but in this case they would take my husband's side. There's no one in my life who isn't a zealous christian. And I feel so, so freaking alone right now. And kind of like a bitch for bombarding husband with questions like I did. Maybe I should've been gentler. It makes me feel like I'm wrong somehow. Though I know they love me, everyone around me would disagree with me. And no one can understand why I would leave my faith. I haven't really been open about it. Just kept it to myself. My husband said later that if I don't get my faith back, I'll get really depressed and he's scared I'll hurt myself because I am proned to getting depressed. I wish I had some assurance to fall back on. I don't have anything. My new found confidence was short-lived...I'm back to being discouraged and depressed again. Ironically it is in these times that I would pray..and that's kind of what I want to do. Although I'm pretty much convinced that there's no one there to listen. So dysfunctional. It hurts so much that I don't have any close friends to talk to about this. I hate this feeling.

 

I am very sorry to hear about your situation. I wish I knew what to say, but I do not know what to say to help.

 

The best thing I can say is to stand your ground respectfully. Try not to get mad if he gets upset. He can't have any reason to get into an argument with you if you do keep your cool. Forgive me here but it may be a way to manipulate the so called, "living like Christ" like in him that maybe you two can reason with each other to just simply use that to keep discussion calm and fluid. I personally believe in doing what it takes in cases to illustrate one's point. :)

 

You could always reason with him on the depression issue. If you go back and forth than it is one, a pre-existing problem that has nothing to do with your lack of faith. Secondly, point out what this situation is doing to you. Put him in your place through talking in examples.

 

Don't feel bad for reacting bad tho. Nothing wrong with that either in my opinion. One can only take so much till they explode. It doesn't always work to reason with believers as it seems at times but I am finding it the only way that makes sense. I want them to see the goodness inside of me as an atheist but also my honesty and maybe bluntness if it needs be.

 

When you have alone time, something I find helping is listening to calm music. I would advice Andy McKee but I am biased to his music. The more and more I revel when confrontation comes simply because I do not believe, the more and more I try to justify myself to them, the more and more I think about the confrontation the angrier I get, the more stressed I get. All one can do is defend, prove who you are, and if they don't like it, or accept it, they can take it their god that they believe exists. Since the god-concept is really a meaningless aspect of life, there's no reason to dwell on it in my opinion. We should only dwell on things that matter and work ourselves the best to deal with stress.

 

How to deal with in a marriage, I wouldn't even begin to theorize how to deal with it in a marriage or a relationship. I won't even pretend to know. Others have that experience and I do not. I would always just hope that the love shared is more important than being able to say, "Amen" to mental thoughts. That is something else I would bring to the attention. When one boils down to the heart of the matter is, in my opinion, "Why should this threaten our marriage?" You showed yourself worried about your marriage. If he is a liberal Christian, I would think he would be reasonable to work with. I hope so at least if only for your sake and your daughter. :)

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"He admitted that sometimes the bible didn't make sense to him, but it was important to have faith nonetheless because it feeds his spirit."

 

What else can you say to someone? For me, I have had to realize it took me years to slowly process through things to the point of where it was more important to be intellectually honest than to hold the faith to "feed my spirit." That being said, to the extent that my wife makes a similar statement, that's fine because it is more of an honest reason than defending the inerrency of the bible.

 

Someone suggested reading more to gain confidence. That is the best thing I have done. The more I read, the more comfortable I am with my position, the more peace I feel, and the more quietly and calmly I can discuss these issues with my wife. Our experiences early on in the deconversion process were very similar to your's, maybe crazier. At one point my wife said she had more belief in God's existence than she did in mine!

 

You mentioned things taking time. That is so true. I started talking about leaving faith to my wife about 9 months ago and things are so much better now. Anything you can do to keep the lines of communication open, to let your husband know you are willing to listen, to build respect mutually. These things are hard, but worth it if you want to keep your marriage together.

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Hi. Keep a close eye on that depression. From one patiant to another, it is very real and can get out of hand quickly. If you ever need someone to talk to, about religion, depression or anything, just PM me. You are not alone, but i know that it can really seem like it. I have found limited relief through the medication effexor. I just read an anti-depressant sort of bashing article in a Christian magazine. Fuck that, it helps. It is kind of like insulin to a diabetic, as i understand it.

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I really appreciate all your replies. :) A few days on I am realizing that I'm not so interested in arguing or "proving" anything, as long as I can be at peace with myself. And if I do get into an argument then it's important to hold my ground peacefully, as was mentioned. I apologized to husband for getting under his skin and we've been at peace lately.

Etchison, Marlene really is a very kind and intelligent woman. Her book has been like healing balm to me. I have been in touch with her actually...she was helping me to obtain a copy of her book. I hope I am able to attend one of her workshops in the future.

Again thanks for all of your advice and concerns...I am getting help for my depression. It feels good to know I'm getting my life back.

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Looking Glass, Glad you are seeking some help. I have only recently deconverted after a lifetime of faith. My dh is also a firm believer. WE have come to a truce at this point. Learning to respect one another's differences, and live peaceably with one another. It's not always easy, but we want to keep our marriage, in spite of our differing views. I also found myself with no one to talk to (including god, to whom I would pray) when things got rough. I come here for support and talk to my psychologist (screened him ahead of time for religious talk). It gets better! Use us as sounding boards if that's helpful. Lots of us have been there, too.

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