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Mothernature

Timing of telling family and friends

Question

How long did it take you to come out about your deconversion to your family and close friends and when during the process did you do this (or in retrospect when would you recommend doing so)? I know it's different for everyone but would like to know some of your experiences and what you recommend. Thanks!

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I waited almost two years. I wanted to be really sure that this wasn't something I was going to change my mind about. I also wanted to be well equipped to reply to any and all questions and objections. So I thought it all the way through, and then I thought it through some more. When I had the conversation with my parents, it went exactly as I expected it to, which is to say it went as well as it might have.

 

My advice is almost always to wait. Wait until you don't have to wonder if the time is right. If your friends and family are anything like mine, then this will be the most heartbroken that they have ever been. I don't think that this is the kind of discussion that should ever be taken lightly.

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I waited until my wife figured it out on her own.  When she asked I confirmed the truth.  Then I told my mother because I wanted her to hear it from me rather then from a rumor.  Then I was done.  My mom told my dad and I think that was the rumor died off.  Apparently my parents did not want to spread the news.  My wife didn't tell anybody because she found it embarrassing.

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I waited for over a year. I wanted to be living on my own, for one thing, not with any religious family, and I wanted to have enough time to process things properly. I wouldn't recommend going through with it if you are at all doubtful about the timing. I knew the time was right and I couldn't put it off any more. However, I would have, if I would have been able to continue living my life without a lot of questions, and if the church had been liberal and didn't interfere as much, but mine was fundamentalist and it was unavoidable. 

Also, be prepared, the family will have questions, and you should know beforehand how you are going to respond to such a scenario. How much and what you say is up to you. It's your life, and you're allowed to establish the boundaries that you require.

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Two years the first go-round.

 

And I did it two different ways...

 

The first time I just laid it out there and let the lovely young lady, to whom I am related by marriage, throw fits, tantrums, and alienate me.

 

This time, which actually culminated last Sunday, I let it be known that I was deeply involved in reading "theology" related books. Carrier, Dawkins, Hitchens,  et al. Then I revealed what there were saying. Then I attempted to engage her in related discussions. Then I began to pull back and  have less and less involvement with he church and her fundy-ass friends.

 

Then Sunday I just said I was done with the whole mess. She took it well and has been very loving this week.

 

We'll see...

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@Mothernature I waited some 6 months after I figured out that I didn't believe in God. The process had been going on before that for some time.

 

I thoughts I'd left clues about me having doubts... apparently not so when I told them it was like a nuke going off... or a bat hitting them in the face.

 

I also had two rounds.. I told them I don't believe and I'm not coming to Church, all the usual wailing ensued, then three weeks later they cajoled me into coming back to church. That lasted 4 months until I said I'm leaving again... for good. That's hasn't stopped them from hinting that my seat is still in church waiting for me :P 

 

I told my parents over dinner.... in retrospect a bad idea. I thought dinner would be distracting. Not so. I also pretty much just came out and said I don't believe in God... I'm pretty direct as others here will tell you :D 

 

I recommend you do what's best and most comfortable for you. In hindsight a well worded email might have been better for me. I excel in written communication.... when confronted face to face with something of this magnitude I tend to become less clear and thought-out.  

 

Best of luck, let us know how things go.

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50 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

In hindsight a well worded email might have been better for me. I excel in written communication.... when confronted face to face with something of this magnitude I tend to become less clear and thought-out.  

 

This is good advice for those who prefer the written word and tend to freeze or not think clearly in highly charged emotional circumstances (which is what it's likely to be). I have posted my own letter in Ex-C life on the forums and there are others as well, which are excellent examples. I just recommend doing it your way, when you're ready.

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I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. I have not yet told my parents as I know it would be heart breaking for my mother. I don't see a need to tell her as she isn't being pushy about it. But I did make the mistake of basically telling my wife every thing I was finding out as I was deconverting. ........... It didn't go over to well. We are still muddling through the mess that my deconversion left behind. In retrospect I wish I had kept most of my revelations to myself and possibly brought it out a little at a time. Maybe it would have been easier for her to understand what i was going through rather than just dropping a bomb on her withing just a few weeks. 

      In my defense though I have always been very open with her and when something was troubling me I always told her. But this is a life changing event. Not just for you but for everyone around you. It affected her on a very deep level  and I didn't realize that it would be that big of an issue. ..... Actually I thought she would see everything that I was seeing as I tried to show her. But I was so wrong.

        When you decide to tell your loved ones only you can know how it would be best to break it to them. I'm waiting until I have no other option but to tell them. If that day comes I will be sure to post the experience here. I'm sure I will need a little encouragement after that ordeal. 

 

Good luck friend,

Dark Bishop

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1 hour ago, DarkBishop said:

 

...

 

        When you decide to tell your loved ones only you can know how it would be best to break it to them.

...

 

 

I think this is what it comes down to. I do, however, think that a dramatic, sudden, presentation is harder for the other folks to handle than a slow, gradual realization.

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I should say, though, that while I waited the twoish years to tell my parents, I only waited a couple of months before I told my wife. That was a different situation though, because she has never been a fundamentalist. She was actually happy to hear that I'd left the crazy behind. That definitely made the rest of it easier.

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Thanks everyone for your responses. I'm sure my husband suspects my deconversion so hopefully it won't be too much of a shock for him. It's the kids and the fallout I'm concerned about. Time will tell.

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Guest llllll

For me, not being a Christian is not a question.

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I havent' told my family yet. Since i moved out of my parent's house, our relationship has become so much bearable that I am kinda sad that it's going to end. Plus I also have to tell them about my atheist boyfriend... O.o

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Guest llllll

In fact I dare not to come out as a non Christian because I am very scared that my sister will react very badly.

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On 13/03/2018 at 2:09 PM, Mothernature said:

How long did it take you to come out about your deconversion to your family and close friends and when during the process did you do this (or in retrospect when would you recommend doing so)? I know it's different for everyone but would like to know some of your experiences and what you recommend. Thanks!

It's a load off your shoulders, a weight off your mind. The saying that "You shouldn't do anything that would hurt people" is a good saying, but what people like that really mean is "You shouldn't do anything that offends us" Which is just bollocks.

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16 hours ago, llllll said:

In fact I dare not to come out as a non Christian because I am very scared that my sister will react very badly.

I let this stop me for awhile. But the truth is, you are not responsible for how other people react, that is their own issue. It became too difficult for me to pretend I believed, and too stressful, and the only option that was healthy for me was saying something. But I recommend doing this on your terms, with you having some control of the situation, when and if you tell her.

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I really don't know how much longer I can go without being open about it with my family myself. I just keep skirting around the subject with them usually. Going to church doesn't bother me that much anymore. I go with my wife from time to time. And once or twice a year with my mom. I give their fake God a chance to put me under his  power LMAO!! It gives them a bit of hope i guess.

 

The only time I really have to deal with family being pushy is when i'm around the extended family. Which isn't very often. I'm sure some are waiting for god to "deal" with my heart and bring me back to the fold. My granny is the only one that really pushes it. I just saw her today actually. she invited me to her church tomorrow for a homecoming service. I just said, "NOPE" and left it at that. 

 

I have a boss now that is a preacher. I know i'm going to have to talk to him about it. Probably this coming week at some point. He is a bit.... preachy

 

DB

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