Jump to content

I Give Up


agjohnson

Recommended Posts

For those of you who haven't read the previous thread, here's the background:

My previous thread

 

So we went to see one of the pastors yesterday. I was hoping to get into an honest discussion about my concerns, but I got nothing of the sort. When I brought up my concerns over the validity of the OT stories of creation and the flood, his answer was "The stories capture the heart/spirit of what happened, but not necessarily what exactly happened." His opinion is that the faith is a walk in the holy spirit, regardless of what the Bible says. Talking with him was like trying to grasp at smoke. All the while my wife is nodding and saying "uh huh, uh huh, exactly."

 

I've come to the conclusion that I was approaching my situation completely wrong. I've been approaching Christianity from a logical and reasonable perspective, but it has nothing to do with logic and reasoning. You back somebody into a corner of their beliefs, and all you get is an emotional "You must have faith in the HS." Well then don't fault me for not believing if a little tiny voice indistinguishable from all the other little tiny voices is all I have to go on.

 

I don't think I have the strength to live in the Christian world. I love my wife, but I just don't think I'm strong enough, and there is no getting away from it. She is living day-to-day counting on me becoming a believer again, which is making home life very uncomfortable (to say the least).

 

I still plan on seeing a marital counselor, but right now I just don't see a future for our relationship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear that your meeting with your pastor never went as well as you'd hoped. I recognise the "faith is a walk with the HS, regardless of what the Bible says" answer and it is totally inadequate and unhelpful to one who is questioning and doubting! You are right that it is virtually impossible to talk to someone from a rational and logical perspective when their whole life and belief system is based on the opposite.

 

I am truly sorry to hear how you feel about your marriage and living within the Christian world, it must be terribly difficult and heartbreaking for you. Good on you for trying so hard and continuing to stick at it. I wish I could say that it will work out for the best for both you and your wife given all your hard efforts and going to marital counselling etc. It's a hard time for you but you've gotten this far and are still together, don't give up just yet. Take care and stay strong and true to yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having dealt with the same issue of a born again wife, (17 years out of a 30 year marriage, so far), you are in for a rough road. FWIW, be true to yourself, be kind and compassionate and don't debate. It is a waste of time. AMHIK.

 

Good Luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did the same thing, but I did it alone. The answers were not satisfactory to me, but were typical liberal apologetics (metaphor be with you).

 

Dealing with a fundy wife? You may need to discuss what the pastor said. He essentially said you can't beleive everything in the bible, so take if from there. The implications cut to the heart of Christianity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's rough man. I have no experience here but here is a shot in the dark: Tell your wife you will goto church and pray with her for three months and read the bible everyday if she will not goto church for three months and not read the bible everyday and investigate atheism on her own. Hell I pretty much know you won't take that advice, but like I said shot in the dark (creative thought). :scratch: If you can get "underneath" her mind and disconnect her from the bullshit you just might stand to have an atheist wife. Again though, that's a shot in the dark. Oh and be real public about it too if for some odd reason you take my crazy idea and run with it: make sure everyone at church knows what you two are doing. Spread the word around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's rough man. I have no experience here but here is a shot in the dark: Tell your wife you will goto church and pray with her for three months and read the bible everyday if she will not goto church for three months and not read the bible everyday and investigate atheism on her own. Hell I pretty much know you won't take that advice, but like I said shot in the dark (creative thought). :scratch: If you can get "underneath" her mind and disconnect her from the bullshit you just might stand to have an atheist wife. Again though, that's a shot in the dark. Oh and be real public about it too if for some odd reason you take my crazy idea and run with it: make sure everyone at church knows what you two are doing. Spread the word around.

 

I'm not sure either of us would be happy trying to actively convert the other. The thought is interesting though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's rough man. I have no experience here but here is a shot in the dark: Tell your wife you will goto church and pray with her for three months and read the bible everyday if she will not goto church for three months and not read the bible everyday and investigate atheism on her own. Hell I pretty much know you won't take that advice, but like I said shot in the dark (creative thought). :scratch: If you can get "underneath" her mind and disconnect her from the bullshit you just might stand to have an atheist wife. Again though, that's a shot in the dark. Oh and be real public about it too if for some odd reason you take my crazy idea and run with it: make sure everyone at church knows what you two are doing. Spread the word around.

 

I'm not sure either of us would be happy trying to actively convert the other. The thought is interesting though.

 

 

Haha yeah, like I said, a toss in the dark. Your situation is real rough man, you have my condolences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there, I read your post and I am pretty much in the same position. My husband (btw I got married at 20 and had our son shortly after and now he is two years old) has turned fundie on me the last few years. I spoke to my Mom about it this morning (she is more "lukewarm") and her suggestion was to speak to our pastor about the situation. I know deep down how it will go- not good. I have been honest with him about my feelings and at first he seemed all right until this last weekend when he told me that if this continues then he can't see our marriage working out. I have begged these last few months for god to restore my heart and put me on fire again, but it just isn't happening. I am now just accepting the fact that I have changed and although it is difficult, I know its for the better. I give you props for at least going to see the pastor, I don't think I could. I never wanted to feel this way and I know it just crushes my hubby. I hope you guys can come to an understanding soon. Thanks for posting so I know there is someone else going through the same thing as me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So we went to see one of the pastors yesterday. I was hoping to get into an honest discussion about my concerns, but I got nothing of the sort. When I brought up my concerns over the validity of the OT stories of creation and the flood, his answer was "The stories capture the heart/spirit of what happened, but not necessarily what exactly happened." His opinion is that the faith is a walk in the holy spirit, regardless of what the Bible says. Talking with him was like trying to grasp at smoke. All the while my wife is nodding and saying "uh huh, uh huh, exactly."

 

When I first started doubting, my wife suggested I see a particular pastor who was also considered a "theologian." I met with the guy, and he was very nice and was not the least bit condescending about my questioning, but his responses were somewhat like what you received.

 

My initial questioning was based on contradictions between gospel accounts, some of which we looked at together in the bible, and he said that he could see how it could be a problem for some people but the differences weren't a problem for him in the overall scheme of things.

 

As in your experience, I also came away very dissatisfied at the lack of reason in his position. If there are demonstrable errors in the bible regarding things we can easily evaluate, then why in the world would we consider it reliable on matters that cannot be easily evaluated (spirituality)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I first started doubting, my wife suggested I see a particular pastor who was also considered a "theologian." I met with the guy, and he was very nice and was not the least bit condescending about my questioning, but his responses were somewhat like what you received.

 

My initial questioning was based on contradictions between gospel accounts, some of which we looked at together in the bible, and he said that he could see how it could be a problem for some people but the differences weren't a problem for him in the overall scheme of things.

 

As in your experience, I also came away very dissatisfied at the lack of reason in his position. If there are demonstrable errors in the bible regarding things we can easily evaluate, then why in the world would we consider it reliable on matters that cannot be easily evaluated (spirituality)?

Aside from the failure of Christian "leaders" such as these to rise to their responsibilities of theological guidance, what you (And agjohnson and others.) mention is something I got a lot of, too. At some point, it hit me what an unconsciously selfish response that kind of thing is. If any professional in any other counseling field were to pull that crap, we'd see and understand it instantly, but somehow, coming from the damned clergy, we're more likely to excuse it.

 

Me: "Doctor, I think I may be an alcoholic. Every time I drink, I lose control and terrible things happen!"

 

Doctor: "I don't know what your problem is. I drink too, and I've never had a problem with it. Have you tried switching from whiskey to vodka?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I must say, I'm glad that once I started cutting the ties, I just cut them and didn't go asking pastors for advice or help.

 

As for your marriage, the counselor is a good idea but make sure it's NOT a christian counselor - that won't help your situation at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my atheist point of view, the best thing is to debate it. Debate the heck out of it. It's her position that is built on quicksand. Learn as much as you can about all of the weaknesses of the christian faith, Science, Math, history, logic, Contradictions, and bad verses that are found in the bible. Investigate the history of the bible, and the sordid history of the faith, and bring her into that knowledge gradually. Once you get her to understand the many many problems with the faith, she'll be more understanding of you. Remember, when you married you probably took a vow for love in sickness and in health. And right now she's mentally sick with a bad brain infection. That you were sick too in the past doesn't mean anything.

 

With my christian wife I mention a particular logical contradiction and ask her what she thinks about it, VERY RESPECTFULLY. If she spouts a canned xtian response that I see won't get us anywhere, I drop it, wait a while, the pull another question out of my very full bag. Even when she complains about all the questions, I give her the response of, "well, you gotta admit that this does SEEM to be a problem that could cause some people problems, and that she should help ME see the light in any problems that come to my mind because she is my wife and she is my HELPMATE."

 

Bang.

 

Then I just leave the tap on a slow dribble so to speak. My wife has gone from fierce to questioning herself in just a few years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting so I know there is someone else going through the same thing as me.

 

Thank you. It feels good to know I'm not the only one in this kind of position. Visiting the pastor was incredibly disheartening, both in my expectations of him and my wife's reaction to what he was saying.

 

My wife's tone is very accusatory ("You left the faith and are causing this mess."), but I think I understand it. She feels very hurt that this wrench has been thrown in her life. What she still doesn't realize is that I feel as though my faith has been ripped from me. I certainly didn't choose this. I prayed non-stop for 4 months, went to retreats, dove into ministry, read books, talked to pastors, anything I could think of to jump-start my faith.

 

I was very blunt in the meeting, though. I told both the pastor and my wife that I hope that Christianity is right, that my faith is restored, but I have to live my life with what I know, and right now I know that God does not exist. I have to base my decisions on that.

 

Once again, thanks for the post and it's good to know I'm not alone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As in your experience, I also came away very dissatisfied at the lack of reason in his position. If there are demonstrable errors in the bible regarding things we can easily evaluate, then why in the world would we consider it reliable on matters that cannot be easily evaluated (spirituality)?

 

What I have found when talking to holy spiritualists is that they often say to determine which voices/feelings to listen to, and which are evil, you must read the bible and begin to understand the heart of God. At the same time, these spiritualists rely more on the voice of the HS than what the bible says, so I find they are less interested in resolving conflicts in the bible. What I absolutely don't get is how they feel they rely on the bible to help interpret the voice of the HS when that bible is full of errors and contradictions.

 

I didn't bring that up with the pastor during the meeting because I was in total shock at how little stock he paid in the accuracy of the Bible, yet how much he relied upon it to guide his interpretation of the HS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting so I know there is someone else going through the same thing as me.

 

Thank you. It feels good to know I'm not the only one in this kind of position. Visiting the pastor was incredibly disheartening, both in my expectations of him and my wife's reaction to what he was saying.

 

My wife's tone is very accusatory ("You left the faith and are causing this mess."), but I think I understand it. She feels very hurt that this wrench has been thrown in her life. What she still doesn't realize is that I feel as though my faith has been ripped from me. I certainly didn't choose this. I prayed non-stop for 4 months, went to retreats, dove into ministry, read books, talked to pastors, anything I could think of to jump-start my faith.

 

I was very blunt in the meeting, though. I told both the pastor and my wife that I hope that Christianity is right, that my faith is restored, but I have to live my life with what I know, and right now I know that God does not exist. I have to base my decisions on that.

 

Once again, thanks for the post and it's good to know I'm not alone.

 

 

Man you've given it your best shot, now granted I think you will stay atheist but regardless if you returned and believed again you've clearly given it your best shot and sought the truth in all things. It is good to know you are not alone man, and you are not alone in this respect of giving it your best and wanting the truth. I hope there is some way you can communicate this to your wife, and if not that you can grieve and move on without it tearing you completely apart inside.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man you've given it your best shot, now granted I think you will stay atheist but regardless if you returned and believed again you've clearly given it your best shot and sought the truth in all things. It is good to know you are not alone man, and you are not alone in this respect of giving it your best and wanting the truth. I hope there is some way you can communicate this to your wife, and if not that you can grieve and move on without it tearing you completely apart inside.

 

In my position, if it were just me I would leave in a heartbeat. We married at 19 despite our HUGE differences because we were destined by God to be together. We have very little in common.

 

The only one I'm really worried about tearing up inside is my son, who is innocent, a great human being and doesn't deserve having his life torn apart by his parents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't be religious people.

 

You both have to decide whether or not you can accept each other as you are. If you can't, it's time to move on. Your son deserves better than to grow up with parents living a lie. Wouldn't it be better for him to not grow up thinking dishonest relationships are the norm?

 

Come to think of it, that's true for any marriage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey there, I read your post and I am pretty much in the same position. My husband (btw I got married at 20 and had our son shortly after and now he is two years old) has turned fundie on me the last few years. I spoke to my Mom about it this morning (she is more "lukewarm") and her suggestion was to speak to our pastor about the situation. I know deep down how it will go- not good. I have been honest with him about my feelings and at first he seemed all right until this last weekend when he told me that if this continues then he can't see our marriage working out. I have begged these last few months for god to restore my heart and put me on fire again, but it just isn't happening. I am now just accepting the fact that I have changed and although it is difficult, I know its for the better. I give you props for at least going to see the pastor, I don't think I could. I never wanted to feel this way and I know it just crushes my hubby. I hope you guys can come to an understanding soon. Thanks for posting so I know there is someone else going through the same thing as me.

Indeed, there are quite a few of us with this problem. One thing I have not seen brought up is that little old four letter word: love. There are couples who marry for countless reasons and then there are those who are truly bonded deeper than any difference of religion or point of view can affect. As a Buddhist I believe in selflessness and giving to the other person within reason but also that we are responsible for ourselves on an equal level to being responsible to others. On the surface, then, the question is "what is best for..." spouse, self, children. This is a practical question. If there is no very deep foundation or bond of love then this is the question to ask. Maybe it's easier to think of the difference between "soul mate" and "companion." I'm of the opinion that soul mates are rare and most marriages are companionship arrangements. If a marriage is merely based upon companionship and that companionship is no longer there because of major differences in belief the practical question of "stay or go" almost always is to go.

 

In my case and that of some others, though, the issue is deeper. My wife and I are soul mates. I have no doubt about that. We have always had differences but there is something deep that binds us together that I'm not sure could be broken if we never saw each other again. Though I have been the dominant one, always and forever pushing the boundaries of reality, religion, etc., she has "bent" with me, not because I have insisted or drug her along but because we are linked somehow. Were she more dominant I would have bent too. And in fact I have bent with her on occasion. I'm not sure if that makes sense outside my strange little brain. The point is just deciding to part is not so simple in such a relationship.

 

How ever we might drive each other nuts because of personality differences or points of view we are bonded. Thus I choose to stay when if we did not have such a relationship I would be gone. Zoom. We are bonded and we've made a commitment. The time may come when we must part but it has not arrived. Ours is a special and from what I gather an unusual relationship.

 

In general, though, your choice to go or stay or how to discuss or not discuss should be based much more upon the relationship than on the different views. Were you "married" before you married or are you not married even though the law says so. Start there and then work outward.

 

I think that's what I mean to say. Hmm.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.