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jenstar

How to share deconversion with spouse

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Hello everyone,

 

I am new to the site and just recently deconverted. Although looking back it was something that was actually a very slow process over many years. I had a born again experience when I was 19. My boyfriend who is now my husband was also "saved" a few months later. For the last 27 years we have been consistently involved in a Assembly of God or similar non-denominational church with a few years in Catholic Church (long story). I have had many questions over the years about passages in the bible where it seemed to say one thing and the church taught something different. I even asked about one in particular at a small group study and was told by the Associate Pastor that we just ignore those verses. My first thought was how do we know which verses to ignore and if it is the inerrant word of God why would we ignore them? Needless to say often my questions were meet with negative reactions. I even had a good friend ask a deacon to attend the small group because of my questions. I have watched some really negative things happen when people dare to step outside of the "box" and ask questions no one seemed to have the answer for. I never asked anything out of rebellion. I just truly wanted to understand and could not set aside logic to embrace "faith". Hence my deconversion at this point.

 

My biggest concern is sharing with my husband about my deconversion. We have been together for 30 years, married 25 of those. I am afraid he will not understand this change in my beliefs and that it will have a negative effect on my marriage. This really scares me as I love him and want to keep our marriage solid, but at the same time I can't make myself believe in Christianity any longer. I am wondering if anyone has had a similar experience or if anyone has any advise on how I should proceed with sharing this information with my husband. I appreciate any help.

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My first thought was to share with him, what you have written here.  It is simply and honestly stated, with no malice.  Is it possible he will understand?  As long as you do not pressure him (or children)? to change, and if you have other interests and activities in common, the marriage should survive.  My marriage did, and we have now been married 50 years.

 

My de-conversion started very much like yours.  Things just didn't add up, and it took many years before literally walking out the door and never returning.  I finally launched a study into the history of God (gods) and religion, which confirmed to me that man created god(s).

 

But beware.  There may be pressure from others through guilt, shame etc. To get you to come back to the fold.  My mother cried and wanted to know where she had gone wrong.   But eventually gave up the guilt trips when she saw I was going to stick with my convictions.   And, LOL, I believe some people at church were glad to see me, and my questions they couldn't answer, leave their presence.  But I am here to tell you, it can be a lonely existence if all your friends and family are Christian.  But I have to be true to myself.  HANG IN THERE!

 

 

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My wife was always asking why the god didn't help her when she needed it (physical problems and depression (which is also a physical problem)). Usually I would give a pat Christian answer or just say I didn't know. One day she asked me if I thought that the god actually answered prayers and I just said "no." It only took me a month to deconvert when I first noticed a problem with what I'd always been taught about the Bible, so this was rather sudden. Anyway, she followed up her question with "do you believe any of the Bible?" and I again answered "no."

 

I wouldn't recommend this method of telling your spouse. Honestly, I don't know what I'd do differently if I had to do it over again, but six years later we still have an occasional blow-up about it. Most of the time things are fine, but once in a while it gets intense! When it first happened, she said things like "I don't think I can be married to an atheist!" (This despite the fact that her religion says it's not permissible to divorce for any reason except adultery.) She said I wasn't the same person she had married. (We had been married almost 31 years at the time, now 37.)

 

(Honestly, the biggest problem came along when one of our sons deconverted and he and I were having private discussions about it. I personally still think we had every right to have these conversations, but she felt betrayed. Then I told him he could tell his wife, and that was a big, big mistake, so all hell broke loose when she told her parents. I was in the closet, and my son's father-in-law outed me. I won't go into all of that here.)

 

Anyway, I think making casual comments or asking "innocent questions" might be the thing to do. If he starts off by thinking you just have doubts then after some amount of time maybe he won't be shocked when you say (in the midst of a relevant conversation) "you know, I just don't really believe any of this." Easing into it may be the best course.

 

Hope it goes well!

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