Jump to content

Help Coming Out To My Wife


Rek99
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! I'm new to the forums and I just found this website a few days ago. I love the topics so far, and I'm hoping for some advice/encouragement from those who may have been, or are in, a similar situation.

 

My wife and I married when we were 18, and I don't regret it for a minute. I'm still very much in love with her (we're 28 now) and I love spending time with her doing anything. I do, however, regret converting to Christianity before we started dating. That was a "pre-requisite" for anyone that she would marry. I was in love with her in high school when we were just friends, and after high school we still hung out, and I eventually started attending church with her. After many long nights up talking I decided to give Christianity a shot, going so far as to attend Bible College in Boise for a year. I talked myself into believing a lot of this stuff, mostly because it's easy to do it when you're surrounded by hundreds of people who are all believing the same lies.

 

Fast forward 10 years, and here we are. I've tried my hardest to check my brain at the door when we go to church, but lately I'm just tired of pretending that I believe. The biggest part is that we have two children, a son who is 4 and a daughter who is 2. If it was just me and my wife I really feel that I could go on the rest of our marriage pretending that I believe in all this stuff, just to keep the peace, but I don't want my children growing up thinking that the world was created by the man in the clouds.

 

Also, my mother is a lesbian with a partner of 6 years. They're the best grandmas that the kids could ever have, and the subject came up the other day where my wife basically said "their lifestyle is wrong". It caught me off guard because my wife and my mother have a great relationship, and I kind of exploded at her. I can't do that. I can't tell my kids that someone else is "bad" or "evil" because they choose to love someone of the same sex.

 

Anyway, I guess what I'm really asking is, do any of you guys/gals have any advice about "coming out" to your significant other? I still respect her beliefs, and she is an extremely devout woman, but I don't want my kids to have to go through what I'm going through now. If you already came out, did it change better or worse? Did you end up getting a divorce? That's the last thing I want, and honestly, I'd rather keep my mouth shut than let it come to that. I grew up in a broken home and I don't want my kids to have "Two Christmases". Did your spouse end up telling the kids that you're "going to hell" (maybe without using that exact terminology) because that's going to be one of the biggest points of contention. I don't think she'll tell them that, but if she does, I don't want the kids in the middle of this back-and-forth about who's right.

 

Any help would be appreciated, thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife deconverted a few months behind me, but I was one of the lucky ones. What helped me is keeping her posted through my whole deconversion journey, but I guess it's a little late for you to do that. Good luck!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks freebird! I really feel that my wife won't deconvert, ever. I tried talking to her about how astronomers can tell the age of the universe by looking out as far as light has reached, something like 13.7 billion light years, and it really isn't only 20,000 years old as many creationists tend to think. She started to get upset, claiming that "god created the universe with age!"

 

Wendybanghead.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I told my wife just a couple of weeks ago. Besides a little tension early on it's been going pretty well... but it's not yet "resolved".

 

There's no easy way to break it to a spouse. I tried to be as compassionate as possible while making it clear that I meant what I was saying. Avoid sounding angry, or casting blame. Be loving, but don't wimp out if she get's mad. Remain calm, wait for her to calm down, and assure her you're the same person you've always been.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, silentknight! Do you have children? If so, have you talked about how they will be taught? I have no problem with my wife going to church, hell I'd probably go with her to help her "keep up appearances" (I just play games on my phone anyway), but I don't want my children thinking that stuff is real.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, silentknight! Do you have children? If so, have you talked about how they will be taught? I have no problem with my wife going to church, hell I'd probably go with her to help her "keep up appearances" (I just play games on my phone anyway), but I don't want my children thinking that stuff is real.

 

I don't have children. Though, I think when/if the time comes I won't have much of a fight there. My wife went to public school, and thinks "church" schools just lead to sheltered kids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, Rek99, and welcome to ExC.

 

There is no single, one size fits all answer to your problem. If you will read the forums, you will find that there have been (and are) many people who face what you are facing. The best situation is when both spouses deconvert together. The worst situation is when one of the spouses is a total inflexible fundie, there are children involved, and the believing spouse is convinced that hell is real and has a fear that the deconverted spouse will go to hell and drag the children to hell with him/her because of the deconverted spouse's non-belief. And there is, of course, every situation in between the two extremes. Sometimes it works out fine when the deconverted spouse tells the Christian spouse and sometimes the result is divorce.

 

Try deciding where on the scale I mentioned above your wife is and how strong your relationship is independent of Christianity. Those things will make a difference. Remember something which you may hear when you tell her. According to what you wrote in the OP, having a Christian spouse was a prerequisite for your wife and so you entered the relationship knowing this. She may feel that with your non-belief now you have betrayed the relationship. I'm not saying you betrayed anything, but your wife may think you did and may react accordingly.

 

Remember also that if your goal is to keep your children out of church and if your wife believes that without church your children face hell if they do not go to church, that can be a major point of contention in your marriage.

 

I relate these experiences which are well documented on ExC to help prepare you for what may happen. However, since I do not know the details of your situation, I am predicting nothing. It's your job to do the predicting and from that to decide how best to tell her.

 

No matter what, try being kind, gentle, and understanding when you tell her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think being honest is tantamount to any relationship lasting. I would try to do it in a neutral setting as possible. No kiddies around. No friends or family from either side of the table. Maybe be reading some of her books together and just kind of go into the whole,"I don't know about this." And let it tumble from there. It's never an easy issue to approach, but if you are confident in your relationship, then you should work it out.

 

As far as her comments about your mothers, I have always told my family they can think whatever they want in their minds. When they act on it, we have another problem. If she isn't acting on her aversion (telling your kids it is wrong, that grandmas are going to hell, etc) I would let it lie. She is allowed to her feelings and opinions. She doesn't have to approve of their behavior in order to have a good relationship with them.

 

Either way you approach this, be prepared for her friends, church and family members to get in to your business, and the sooner you set boundaries the better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if I can add to what was already advised from the other folks here - their advice is excellent. It sounds like someone might have been beating your wife's ear in about same sex partners or whatever because it doesn't make sense that your wife would turn on your mother like that in light of the good relationship they had before. Maybe she heard someone preaching against it? I dunno.

 

The only thing I can say is that you could just try and show her that you're the same person she fell in love with and nothing much has changed except for the theological views held by you compared to her views. I think your kids are too young to grasp what you're going through with the deconversion so that's another angle for you to take with your wife, ie: you won't say anything about it to the kids until they're old enough to understand.

 

As I'm writing this I realize how totally inadequate this may sound but hopefully something in here might help?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello everyone! I'm new to the forums and I just found this website a few days ago. I love the topics so far, and I'm hoping for some advice/encouragement from those who may have been, or are in, a similar situation.

 

My wife and I married when we were 18, and I don't regret it for a minute. I'm still very much in love with her (we're 28 now) and I love spending time with her doing anything. I do, however, regret converting to Christianity before we started dating. That was a "pre-requisite" for anyone that she would marry. I was in love with her in high school when we were just friends, and after high school we still hung out, and I eventually started attending church with her. After many long nights up talking I decided to give Christianity a shot, going so far as to attend Bible College in Boise for a year. I talked myself into believing a lot of this stuff, mostly because it's easy to do it when you're surrounded by hundreds of people who are all believing the same lies.

 

Fast forward 10 years, and here we are. I've tried my hardest to check my brain at the door when we go to church, but lately I'm just tired of pretending that I believe. The biggest part is that we have two children, a son who is 4 and a daughter who is 2. If it was just me and my wife I really feel that I could go on the rest of our marriage pretending that I believe in all this stuff, just to keep the peace, but I don't want my children growing up thinking that the world was created by the man in the clouds.

 

Also, my mother is a lesbian with a partner of 6 years. They're the best grandmas that the kids could ever have, and the subject came up the other day where my wife basically said "their lifestyle is wrong". It caught me off guard because my wife and my mother have a great relationship, and I kind of exploded at her. I can't do that. I can't tell my kids that someone else is "bad" or "evil" because they choose to love someone of the same sex.

 

Anyway, I guess what I'm really asking is, do any of you guys/gals have any advice about "coming out" to your significant other? I still respect her beliefs, and she is an extremely devout woman, but I don't want my kids to have to go through what I'm going through now. If you already came out, did it change better or worse? Did you end up getting a divorce? That's the last thing I want, and honestly, I'd rather keep my mouth shut than let it come to that. I grew up in a broken home and I don't want my kids to have "Two Christmases". Did your spouse end up telling the kids that you're "going to hell" (maybe without using that exact terminology) because that's going to be one of the biggest points of contention. I don't think she'll tell them that, but if she does, I don't want the kids in the middle of this back-and-forth about who's right.

 

Any help would be appreciated, thank you!

 

I know it sounds cheesy and all but speak from your heart. A gay friend of mine was in that situation as well. It is sad that in this day and age we still have a vast majority of this country where gays/lesbians need to hide--or pretend to be something they cannot be.

 

Emphasis how long you have felt as you do ABOVE all remember that unfortunately most peoples in your wife's situation will start getting defensive like they are to blame or that they have been scammed by the love one. I know it is not true but this is what she may feel--It's what my friend's wife felt and confided to me. Remember tell her that you have feelings for her and you love her but if you are to be true to yourself you cannot deny who you truly are.

 

Tell her what I suspect you are thinking somewhere in the back of your mind. You want to be strong and come out so that IF one or both of your children are gay you have made things hopefully better for them and you yourself want them to know they do not need to feel ashamed of their feelings.

 

just my humble thoughts. I am always here with a shoulder and ear should you need them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really appreciate all the encouragement.

 

@Overcame Faith: I understand what you're saying about the pre-requisite. I really don't think it'll go to the lengths of a divorce, but I have to prepare myself for that potential outcome. One of her biggest things is making sure her kids grow up with a father, so I don't think it'll come to that, at least I hope not!

 

@zomberina: I don't think she harbors any ill-will towards my mother, she was struggling with the notion of us being "okay" with the fact that they're gay when the bible says it's not okay. That's what got me upset, disapproving of someone's lifestyle because a book says so.

 

Also, I'm already making a list of people who she would send to talk to me about not being a Christian anymore, haha. But yeah I'll make sure to set clear boundaries.

 

@raoul That's one thing that I heard as well, continue to be a romantic, sweet guy to show her that you're really the same. I really do appreciate the help, thanks.

 

@jensjam Just to be clear, this is about coming out as an ex-Christian, not as a gay man :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

@jensjam Just to be clear, this is about coming out as an ex-Christian, not as a gay man smile.png

 

I'm so sorry. Guess I got a little confused. That... Again be honest and explained how and why you no longer a christian. This is something I've YET to do with my own mother who is a catholic and very set in her ways it also doesn't help that there is a HUGE generation gap between us. She had me late in life.

 

I would explain what "made" you into an ex christian in a sense. Explain how you are worried that christian belief may effect your children negatively.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catholic wife of 17 years isn't dealing with my deconversion very well but we're muddling through. She saw me on ExC last night and asked what I was looking at, I made excuses and she said "Oh looking at a bunch of rubbish written by people who haven't any souls?" I ignored the hostility but she later said out on the patio that she wasn't at all sure that things were going to work out between us. :-( I brought up a few minor things but she shut down right away, leaving me frustrated. Later on in the evening I said to her that if she couldn't handle my new lack of belief she'd better do something about it because I wasn't about to do anything at all. I said I loved her just as much as 17 yrs ago and wanted to be with her till the day I died. Nothing has changed for me and I told her I remained as committed as I was when we married. We left it at that but there's no talking to her about it at all. She's a non observing Catholic but my atheism is obviously a threat to her sense of security. I am fairly sure she won't leave me but this ain't any fun, believe me. She won't allow me to explain ANYTHING, slamming the door in my face and claiming I have explained it more than enough, even though she hasn't really let me get a word in edgewise. I love her to pieces but this is painful. Fuck religion.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry about your issue. Im the same I have 4 and 2 year old kids that I cant stand to see being brain washed. I will say the sooner you let her know the sooner you can heal. Expect to have her feel like your marriage and life together is all for nothing. We didnt get a divorce nor do I see that happening because deep down she didnt fall in love with me because I was religious she fell in love with me becuase I made her happy and though she may have had her neat little list of trivial requirements in a future husband reality is that she wasnt going to get EVERYTHING. I think coming out to her made thing WORSE at first but now I would say that they are better because I can live with myself. The mental anguish of living a lie will drive you insane and your wife needs to know more than anybody. There seems to be a flood of men under 40 who are deconverting. Look for threads by me, thought2much, macdaddy, electech98, and churchsucks. Sorry if I missed anyone but we all are no longer believers who have told our wives we no longer believe the insanity. My only advice is to continue loving her the same way you always did. This (I think...I hope...for my sake too) will be what make her not only see that this CAN work but maybe even that I might be onto something. Good luck and welcome

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Welcome, Rek99! Thanks for sharing your story.

 

Since you have already reached a point of non-belief and you are certain that she will never change her views, I think I would keep your current conclusions as private as you can stand. I think the easiest path for someone like your wife to take is to be slowly introduced to more liberal ideas, one convincing argument at a time, offered in loving humility. If you can't stand to wait and don't mind traumatizing your wife and risking your marriage, have it out now, the sooner the better, but it doesn't always end well. If she is never able to truly consider your perspective, that will always remain a significant wedge in the relationship.

 

I told my wife in the middle of a depression brought on at least partially by my loss of faith and what I felt was a need to keep it private. In addition to being crushed that she and the kids no longer had a godly head of the house, she was crushed that I didn't share the entire experience with her, even though I had tried at times, but she just couldn't go there at the time.

 

My wife deconverted over the next year, but she never intends to leave the closet or try to deconvert anybody else. She just now told me that she feels better about the timing and how it came out now. If she hadn't been so open at the time it would not have worked out as well as it has. My wife has always been an open-minded rebel like me. She was willing to learn from what I had been studying.

 

I've seen others divorce or suffer in an unhappy marriage. It really depends on the people involved. People in their 30s and younger are doing better than older generations.

 

However you decide to handle it I wish you the best! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catholic wife of 17 years isn't dealing with my deconversion very well but we're muddling through. She saw me on ExC last night and asked what I was looking at, I made excuses and she said "Oh looking at a bunch of rubbish written by people who haven't any souls?" I ignored the hostility but she later said out on the patio that she wasn't at all sure that things were going to work out between us. :-( I brought up a few minor things but she shut down right away, leaving me frustrated. Later on in the evening I said to her that if she couldn't handle my new lack of belief she'd better do something about it because I wasn't about to do anything at all. I said I loved her just as much as 17 yrs ago and wanted to be with her till the day I died. Nothing has changed for me and I told her I remained as committed as I was when we married. We left it at that but there's no talking to her about it at all. She's a non observing Catholic but my atheism is obviously a threat to her sense of security. I am fairly sure she won't leave me but this ain't any fun, believe me. She won't allow me to explain ANYTHING, slamming the door in my face and claiming I have explained it more than enough, even though she hasn't really let me get a word in edgewise. I love her to pieces but this is painful. Fuck religion.

 

Sorry man, her true colors are coming out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

Catholic wife of 17 years isn't dealing with my deconversion very well but we're muddling through. She saw me on ExC last night and asked what I was looking at, I made excuses and she said "Oh looking at a bunch of rubbish written by people who haven't any souls?" I ignored the hostility but she later said out on the patio that she wasn't at all sure that things were going to work out between us. :-( I brought up a few minor things but she shut down right away, leaving me frustrated. Later on in the evening I said to her that if she couldn't handle my new lack of belief she'd better do something about it because I wasn't about to do anything at all. I said I loved her just as much as 17 yrs ago and wanted to be with her till the day I died. Nothing has changed for me and I told her I remained as committed as I was when we married. We left it at that but there's no talking to her about it at all. She's a non observing Catholic but my atheism is obviously a threat to her sense of security. I am fairly sure she won't leave me but this ain't any fun, believe me. She won't allow me to explain ANYTHING, slamming the door in my face and claiming I have explained it more than enough, even though she hasn't really let me get a word in edgewise. I love her to pieces but this is painful. Fuck religion.

 

It kills me to hear this, norton. I hope that you can find an adequate outlet, exercise patience, and be as sensitive with your wife as you can. I realize that this must be difficult for you, but it's terribly painful and destabilizing for her as well. I am sure that you are trying to empathize with her. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dont try and changer her views, only try to get her to accept you.

 

I am repeating this for truth, and adding a resounding, "THIS."

 

Rek, you mentioned that you don't think your wife will ever deconvert. When I finally had "the talk" with my wife, I told her a few things:

  • That over time I couldn't get answers to my questions, which led me to believe the Bible isn't true
  • That I lost my faith over a long period of time
  • That my loss of faith wasn't because of her, or her family, or due to any one specific cause
  • That I hadn't told her earlier because I was terrified of losing her and the kids

Your own personal approach, such as whether you ask a lot of tough questions over time that let on you don't believe anymore, or whether you have a big "coming out" talk, will depend on your particular relationship with your wife. Just know that whatever happens, you have a lot of people here at Ex-C that know what you're going through, because we've lived it ourselves.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to our club, Rek99.

 

I don't think your wife will want a divorce because Saul/Paul encouraged Xians to stay with non-Xian spouses, and the bible forbids divorce except on grounds on unfaithfulness and maybe abuse. So I think you're safe there.

 

However, it will definitely cause some tension. Try to find a compromise as far as church and raising kids go. Your wife could take them to church while you explain your beliefs to them,

and they can decide for themselves. Also,

agreeing to attend church with her every so

often might be a good idea. Ask her to listen to

your ideas too, so you aren't giving too much to

her cult. Since you are her husband, she might

be less closed off to secularism.

 

It's great that your children are spending plenty of time with their grandma and her partner. Children who are often exposed to open gays, especially those who are close to them, are more likely to grow up unbiased against

homosexuality than kids who know only

straights.

 

Good luck on your journey out of the closet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catholic wife of 17 years isn't dealing with my deconversion very well but we're muddling through. She saw me on ExC last night and asked what I was looking at, I made excuses

and she said "Oh looking at a bunch of rubbish

written by people who haven't any souls?" I

ignored the hostility but she later said out on the

patio that she wasn't at all sure that things were

going to work out between us. :-( I brought up

a few minor things but she shut down right

away, leaving me frustrated. Later on in the

evening I said to her that if she couldn't handle

my new lack of belief she'd better do something

about it because I wasn't about to do anything

at all. I said I loved her just as much as 17 yrs

ago and wanted to be with her till the day I died.

Nothing has changed for me and I told her I

remained as committed as I was when we

married. We left it at that but there's no talking

to her about it at all. She's a non observing

Catholic but my atheism is obviously a threat to

her sense of security. I am fairly sure she won't

leave me but this ain't any fun, believe me. She

won't allow me to explain ANYTHING, slamming

the door in my face and claiming I have

explained it more than enough, even though she

hasn't really let me get a word in edgewise.

I love her to pieces but this is painful. Fuck

religion.

 

Man, I am so sorry. If I thought it would help, I'd pray for you guys.

 

My father and I had another argument today because we were discussing gay marriage and it became heated. Whenever we bring up politics, it turns into religion, which turns into a spat. So I know how it feels when people don't listen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to our club, Rek99.

 

I don't think your wife will want a divorce because Saul/Paul encouraged Xians to stay with non-Xian spouses, and the bible forbids divorce except on grounds on unfaithfulness and maybe abuse. So I think you're safe there........

 

In our church "spiritual abandonment" is grounds for divorce. "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. What fellowship does righteousness with the unrighteousness? What communion hath light with darkness?"

I am darkness now and loving it. But again like EVERYTHING in the bible different people have different interpretation. PLus Im glad that she's using "In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then, even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live". She is also reading "the power of a praying wife" and listening to gospel music on youtube and sermons which was kinda slack before but she's turned it up a notch.

 

I agree with everyone that I wouldn't try to deconvert her but I'd be lying if I said I wasnt subliminally trying to deconvert my own wife because I cant stand to see the delusion. Not by preaching and yelling or rebutting everything but by every now and then showing her video of a faith healer, then a video preaching toddlers, then people being SLAIN in the spirit. I do this because she and I both have always agreed that this is foolishness since we were very conservative (even though I didnt grow up that way). Eventually the hope is that it will help her see the truth. Everyone has their achilles heel with religion and nobody knows anybody else's so thats why it rather silly to try to deconvert someone. But you can let reason run its own course in someones life and had I never been introduced to a contrary thought it would have never happened to me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with everyone that I wouldn't try to deconvert her but I'd be lying if I said I wasnt subliminally trying to deconvert my own wife because I cant stand to see the delusion. Not by preaching and yelling or rebutting everything but by every now and then showing her video of a faith healer, then a video preaching toddlers, then people being SLAIN in the spirit. I do this because she and I both have always agreed that this is foolishness since we were very conservative (even though I didnt grow up that way). Eventually the hope is that it will help her see the truth. Everyone has their achilles heel with religion and nobody knows anybody else's so thats why it rather silly to try to deconvert someone. But you can let reason run its own course in someones life and had I never been introduced to a contrary thought it would have never happened to me.

 

Agreed. I'm not actively trying to de-convert my wife, but I'm trying to show how I'm still a good person, and make information about why i de-converted readily available, so that perhaps she will do so on her own. Also, I think she's getting really frustrated at our minister not yet even attempting to get me to come back ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with everyone that I wouldn't try to deconvert her but I'd be lying if I said I wasnt subliminally trying to deconvert my own wife because I cant stand to see the delusion. Not by preaching and yelling or rebutting everything but by every now and then showing her video of a faith healer, then a video preaching toddlers, then people being SLAIN in the spirit. I do this because she and I both have always agreed that this is foolishness since we were very conservative (even though I didnt grow up that way). Eventually the hope is that it will help her see the truth. Everyone has their achilles heel with religion and nobody knows anybody else's so thats why it rather silly to try to deconvert someone. But you can let reason run its own course in someones life and had I never been introduced to a contrary thought it would have never happened to me.

 

Agreed. I'm not actively trying to de-convert my wife, but I'm trying to show how I'm still a good person, and make information about why i de-converted readily available, so that perhaps she will do so on her own. Also, I think she's getting really frustrated at our minister not yet even attempting to get me to come back wink.png

 

If its anything like my situation. My wife couldn't care less WHY I deconverted. Its just the fact THAT I deconverted. She doesn't want specifics even though she took them in and they are buried in her head like a benign tumor waiting to spring into action <insert sinister laugh here> zDuivel7.gif . You are broken and need to be fixed in her eyes and she doesn't feel equipped to do it. However, you are doing the right thing by showing her that you are still a good person. It practically spits in the face of christianity when you do that. We were always told that atheists can do no good deed. and to live in a way that contradicts the bible I think speaks more than any argument. My wife doesn't have the answers to the questions I ask. But they are rhetorical questions I dont want answers and she keeps wanting me to talk to someone. I know the feeling

Link to comment
Share on other sites

She actually made a comment yesterday, she said "I wonder why Pastor Charlie hasn't written back. I'm worried that your letter gave him a heart attack." I said "I'd think we would have heard of that. *grin*" she said "Yeah. I didn't mean literally *sticks out tongue* Just that he read your letter, and realized he has no answers"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.