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Finally Told My Wife That I No Longer Believe.


Jds22
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I finally told my wife of 22yrs that I no longer believe. I stopped believing around March of this year after about a 5-6 year deconversion process.

 

She was raised in the Baptist church. Both her parents were school teachers at the Baptist school she went to. As is typical, she was in church Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday evening for most of her life. 2 of her uncles are also Baptist preachers.

 

I laid out my reasons pretty well I thought. From science and archaeology to philosophical and cultural reasons. I explained that there was no single reason but multiple reasons from different areas of study. I told her that I did not set out to disprove Christianity but I had to get answers to some questions that had been bugging me for years.

 

She actually took it pretty well. I brought up the fact that over the years she has asked me some of these same questions. In the past I always gave her the best apologetic reply I could, even though in my head I was struggling with the same things. I think she is where I was a few years ago. The questions are there but she is afraid to confront them because of what it might lead to.

 

This is just the beginning and there will be more talks in our future. I am so glad that I finally got this off my chest.

 

I still haven't told my sons, 17 & 18. I'm really not sure what they believe though I would not be surprised to find out they don't believe either.

 

My older brother is a total Hal Lindsey/John Hagee, Obama is the anti-Christ, the rapture is going to happen at any moment, fundie. I have not said anything to him yet. That will not go well. :eek:

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I'm so glad to hear it went well. At least it sounds that way from what you've said?

 

My dh looked like a kicked puppy for a few days, then yelled at me for a while, then went back to looking pathetic, and then kind of ignored me for a few months. It's just now, after about 11 months, starting to change. I asked for a divorce and he finally realized maybe, just maybe, this is not worth losing me over, and has begun to think long and hard about what he loves about ME personally, and whether he can respect that I have a rational basis for my unbelief.

 

Good luck with the fundy family. I have that too. There are some broken relationships there now, but at least I got it over with and don't have to hide anything from anyone.

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I really hope he comes around and things get better for you.

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Thanks. And please let us know how it goes when you tell the rest of the family. I hope for you that your family will respect you and not give you too much shit.

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Thanks. And please let us know how it goes when you tell the rest of the family. I hope for you that your family will respect you and not give you too much shit.

 

Oh I'll definately keep you posted. I'm sure my sons will be cool with it. They probably don't believe either but are afraid to tell me.

 

My brother on the other hand, he'll go nuts. I need to see if there is anyway I can record the conversation and then post it.

 

:vent:

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congrats on having the strength to get it out in the open.

 

Good luck in future conversations.

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My wife knows that I have been having difficulties with churches and christians in general, but I hadn't come right out and said "I don't believe" until yesterday. It just came out in conversation, and her reaction was fear more than anything. She was raised to believe that an xtian can loose salvation and go to hell, whereas I was raised to believe that once a person is saved, they can't loose it. To her, I am hell bound. To my parents, I am backslidden. If I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, she would wonder if I was in hell, and my parents would think that "god took me" to keep it from getting that bad.

 

Maybe she is having a harder time with it than she is letting on. For now things seem normal.

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My wife knows that I have been having difficulties with churches and christians in general, but I hadn't come right out and said "I don't believe" until yesterday. It just came out in conversation, and her reaction was fear more than anything. She was raised to believe that an xtian can loose salvation and go to hell, whereas I was raised to believe that once a person is saved, they can't loose it. To her, I am hell bound. To my parents, I am backslidden. If I were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, she would wonder if I was in hell, and my parents would think that "god took me" to keep it from getting that bad.

 

Maybe she is having a harder time with it than she is letting on. For now things seem normal.

 

I'm glad you spoke up and I hope it all works out.

 

Before I told my wife, I decided that right off the bat I need to explain why there is no such thing as hell. I figured this would be the first thing she would be afraid of so I need to try and squash that fear ASAP. I think/hope I did a reasonable job. She didn't argue with my explanation and seemed to accept it. But like me, after being indoctrinated for so long the fear of hell just doesn't vanish after one talk.

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Guest riverrunner

yeah that seems to be the key here is somehow convincing them that there isn't a hell or any reason for there to be a hell or any reason for there to think we continue on after we die. that's tricky after years of brainwashing but it can be done.

 

glad it has work out for a small percentage. I have yet to fully come out.

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She initiated the talk last night and it went really well. She feels totally overwhelmed at the moment. I told her that I felt sorry for the way she found out as I and many others on this board came to know these things slowly or over many years giving us time to digest this new information.

 

She got the whole enchilada in about 30 minutes. :grin:

 

She is interested in learning more. I'm thinking of some of Ehrman's books and lectures.

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She is interested in learning more. I'm thinking of some of Ehrman's books and lectures.

 

I adore Bart Ehrman. The fact that he was once a sold out fundie like I was is very important to me. All of us exers are not isolated stories. Many of us believed in xtianity whole heartedly for many years until the questions regarding that faith became too great and the evidence against it stacked up too high. For me at least, I think the theology of xtianity has some very beautiful parts, but there came a point that I could't look at the beauty while ignoring the attrocities that were all around it.

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I'm happy your talk with your wife went okay. I had my first talk with mine a couple of months ago, and it went fine. I'm still going to church with her, but I help in the sound booth and didn't want to let my buddies down with all the Christmas stuff coming up. So the end is after Christmas. Am hoping that she doesn't go nuts when it's just her and the kids leaving without me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ahh, this is the thread I was looking for.

 

I "came out" to my catholic husband 2 years ago. He took it very well. But...we are not a very communicative couple anyway. We have always lived two separate lives. I have my friends, he has his.

 

I've gone back and forth in my mind trying to figure out how the heck we are going to put up with each other later on. I'd like to think he'd give up religion eventually but I kind of doubt that he will. He comes from a very large family and they are all very catholic and pretty conservative. But he's a really nice guy.

 

I'd like to hear from others that have left religion and either learned how to not ridicule their spouses religion (you know that there ARE times when it is so ridiculous that it is super hard not to), or your experience with helping your spouse de-convert.

 

I also have one young adult son that is very serious about his religion as well. I have always respected their beliefs because they didn't act ridiculous and weren't fundamentalists. But now it's getting more difficult.

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That's a tough one. Everybody is different. My wife if from a very strict fundy background. You eat, drink, and sleep Baptist. You are there Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, and any other time the church doors are open.

 

Luckily we have a very good relationship and talk often about many things including religion. Since my de-con had been going on for quite a while and there were talks of new things I was learning, I don't think it was a total shock for her. She has many of the same questions I have but at the moment is still undecided.

 

I totally understand having a hard time keeping your mouth shut. I think the important thing to do is not ridicule his beliefs. The only affect I can see that having is causing him to dig in deeper and become more combative. We're guys, we don't like to be ridiculed, especially by our wives. :grin:

 

Good luck with everything and I really hope things smooth out for you.

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Serendipity,

 

My opinion is that if you are not very communicative now with your spouse and basically live two seperate live, then I suspect that there may come a time when one or both of you just decide to leave the relationship. My opinion is if you are not working on build a life that has some common interests, then why are you together.

 

That said.

 

If you love your husband, then love them where they are at. Perhaps this could be something that could help bridge the communication gap. The general rule of that I was taught was to ask questions, if the person is interested in your POV then they will ask questions back. It could be that your hubby is continuing to go because "that's just what you do" and my have been having doubts. I would assume that just trying to start a discourse may inspire communication on many levels.

 

stryper

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That's a tough one. Everybody is different. My wife if from a very strict fundy background. You eat, drink, and sleep Baptist. You are there Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night, and any other time the church doors are open.

 

Luckily we have a very good relationship and talk often about many things including religion. Since my de-con had been going on for quite a while and there were talks of new things I was learning, I don't think it was a total shock for her. She has many of the same questions I have but at the moment is still undecided.

 

I totally understand having a hard time keeping your mouth shut. I think the important thing to do is not ridicule his beliefs. The only affect I can see that having is causing him to dig in deeper and become more combative. We're guys, we don't like to be ridiculed, especially by our wives. :grin:

 

Good luck with everything and I really hope things smooth out for you.

 

Thanks for your response Jds22. I would never ridicule him or his beliefs directly. It's more of being in a group situation with the "group-think" going on and I feel like I am the only one in the room that sees the conversation as ridiculous. I find that the further I get from religion, the harder it is to not be open about my thoughts on the matter.

 

I'm just glad to be able to talk to others that do live with someone who is still married to a Christian. We have a great freethinkers group here but everyone is either divorced, never married or their spouse is also atheist.

 

You are very lucky to be able to talk to your wife about your deconversion. I guess I would call my husbands brand of christianity moderately liberal. With Catholics they seem to practice their religion out of duty. At least that's what it seems like to me.

 

Hah! See, I knew talking about this to someone would help me! I've been looking for a reason that he would want to talk about his "faith" to me without him feeling like I was trying to deconvert him. He is not the least bit interested in talking philosophy, but he might open up to me to talk about how he feels about his "duty" to be catholic.

 

Thanks!

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Thanks for your response Jds22. I would never ridicule him or his beliefs directly. It's more of being in a group situation with the "group-think" going on and I feel like I am the only one in the room that sees the conversation as ridiculous.

 

I totally understand. My wife's family, quite large btw, has get togethers all the time. There is always lots of God talk and if her 2 uncles are in town, both Baptist preachers, it's even more uncomfortable.

 

One quick story.

 

One of my wife's cousins had an outdoor wedding not long ago. The weather was pretty poor all week long and they were afraid they were going to have to move it indoors. Well the weather was perfect for their wedding. Afterwards I heard the bride saying how God answered her prayers and cleared all of the clouds away and everybody shook their heads in agreement.

 

Now if you're like me you're thinking, great he cleared the weather for you but totally screwed up somebody else's outdoor wedding. :lmao:

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Serendipity,

 

My opinion is that if you are not very communicative now with your spouse and basically live two seperate live, then I suspect that there may come a time when one or both of you just decide to leave the relationship. My opinion is if you are not working on build a life that has some common interests, then why are you together.

 

Hi stryper, This is the thought that keeps going through my head. Honestly, I would be happy either way. I have no desire to just give up though. In spite of our lack of communication, I know he cares about me a lot in his own peculiar way (and mine as well). My goal is to try to figure out a solution that will work for our quirky little relationship.

 

 

If you love your husband, then love them where they are at.

 

Thank you. Sometimes a person just needs to hear little reminders like this. Love is such a funny word though, isn't it? It covers so many different kinds of relationships.

 

The general rule of that I was taught was to ask questions, if the person is interested in your POV then they will ask questions back.

 

This is a hard one. Sometimes I think that he doesn't ask questions of me because either he doesn't care or it just doesn't matter. But then again, maybe he just doesn't feel like he knows enough about his own beliefs to ask those questions. After all, I might just ask him questions back. I hadn't really thought of that before. Another good reason why I needed to be able to talk with someone about this.

 

I've tried talking to some of my close friends about this but the problem is that my husband is like the nicest guy in the world. It's hard to ask someone that knows him personally and loves both of us to give me any kind of objective discourse. I think my friends think I am being just ridiculously picky. But they haven't had to live in a non-communicative relationship and don't really understand where I am coming from. We've never even had a real argument! We are both very non-confrontational, peaceful people.

 

It could be that your hubby is continuing to go because "that's just what you do" and my have been having doubts. I would assume that just trying to start a discourse may inspire communication on many levels.

 

I sincerely hope this is the case. I think we both had so many hangups because of our religious upbringing which has been key in our lack of communication. I think that, for me, growing up in religion but being very skeptical of it, caused me to keep my thoughts to myself. I didn't feel like it was acceptable to actually tell people my real thoughts. I suspect it may very much be the same for him. It has been such a relief to meet people who you can actually talk to about actual thoughts and feelings. I want the same thing for him, and one of my sons as well. I just hadn't figured out how to approach it yet.

 

Thank you so much for your comments. You have helped me work some things out in my head.

 

 

 

 

 

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I totally understand. My wife's family, quite large btw, has get togethers all the time. There is always lots of God talk and if her 2 uncles are in town, both Baptist preachers, it's even more uncomfortable.

 

Oh boy can I relate to this. Actually, the way my catholic inlaws do this is not nearly as eye-rolling as the conversations that used to take place in my family. My grandfather was a Baptist preacher and when I read this line, I could STILL hear the conversations from when I was a little child.

 

One of my wife's cousins had an outdoor wedding not long ago. The weather was pretty poor all week long and they were afraid they were going to have to move it indoors. Well the weather was perfect for their wedding. Afterwards I heard the bride saying how God answered her prayers and cleared all of the clouds away and everybody shook their heads in agreement.

Now if your like me you're thinking, great he cleared the weather for you but totally screwed up somebody else's outdoor wedding. :lmao:

 

Ha ha! Exactly what I would be thinking. :) If they would ever just stop to think about what it is they are really asking...

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