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Hey everyone, I know I haven't been on here in a really long time, but when I originally signed up I was in the throws of deconversion and was unsteady. I'm happy to say that I've come a long way with my deconversion and while I still feel a degree of guilt for some reason, I'm mostly able to intellectually rationalize my positions to myself every time. If you dig up one of my old posts you will find that my wife and I were starting to be in dire straights over my new found atheism and were having heated conflicts consistently. I can't say that I followed all of your advice in taking it slow with her, but I did cool down my approach at times. Now, to me own disbelief she has told me that she has come to a place where she isn't sure if she's a christian anymore. She's can't overcome all the moral obstacles that are presented in the bible amongst other things. While I was initially very happy for her, I also started to feel guilty again. What if I'm wrong. If I go to hell would it really matter? Just to me, really. If I get her to go to hell and then our kids.......I realize that it's not rational or logical to think this way, but this is a big change for her. She did not take it lightly. I suppose I just need some pat on the backs, amens and it will be ok's or anything else anyone can offer. Thanks for reading.

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Good to hear you wife has been asking questions and thinking about things.  It looks like your own deconversion stalled somewhere along the way.  You know that deconversion is a process, not an event, and it takes time to get it fully out of your system.  I think the fact that you haven’t been around here much at all may be significant.  My own deconversion was helped greatly by hanging out here, reading and commenting.  Being among like-minded people, especially folks who have become confident in their unbelief, helped my mind to reprogram itself away from faith, to where any fears I might have had went away.  It was probably easier for me than for many others, I realize.  But getting from the point where you realize you no longer believe, to the point where you wonder how you could could ever have believed such things, that takes time.  Maybe reading some of the ex-Christian writers would help you - and ultimately your wife - in this process.  Maybe Robert M Price, Bart Ehrman or others?  

 

I hope this helps somewhat.  I do encourage you to be active here.

 

Good Luck!

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Common sense, logic, reason, science, and history all virtually scream that Christianity is nothing more than a collection of manmade theological myths, and that is true for all the religions of the world. Heaven and hell cannot  possibly exist. Their origins and evolution can be found in history. They all have human origins. 

 

The doubts you have come from the intense indoctrination you've been exposed to. It takes time, more time for some than others, for the fear and doubt to go away, but it will. Just hang in there. 

 

Oh yeah, welcome back to the board. 

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After years of indoctrination (emotional manipulation, being taught to make excuses for god when promises are ignored like "he has a better plan", being taught to behave like an abused spouse over the violent temper and sadistic torture that the Bible god has for those that don't love him enough while having the audacity to call himself Love, etc) it takes time to undo all of that programming. Our minds are constructed in a way that things at a survival-level-fear are not easily overridden. Religion often plays off of such fears, as you are now experiencing. But the threats are no more real than saying Spiderman is pissed about your life. There never was a real threat, and the Bible is a collection of non-historical stories constructed to woo you into a cult "These things were written so that you might believe".

 

I hope that you and your wife find the freedom that is naturally yours without religious programming, and that you still have solid common ground together.

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@theyownyou33,

 

That's GREAT news that Mrs. OwnYou is thinking and  having doubt. I wish Mrs. MOHO would READ the Bible and not just look up passages to comfort her or to use to counsel (control) others. 

 

You should not, under any circumstances, feel any guilt whatsoever. The Bible was thrown together, by men, to control men. It has been redacted, changed, modified, and generally fucked with for centuries with the intent being to hone its impact on the human psyche. 

 

It sounds like you and the Mrs have made inroads into surviving your enlightenment. We have too but it's on-going. Just this weekend I had to learn that allowing my contempt for fundies has had more of an impact on our relationship than I realized. That realization came at just the right time to save the marriage. It sounds like you two have gone through similar challenges and have come out stronger for it. Kudos to you both on that one. 

 

Your path out of the mind control is the correct path and you are to be commended for not only finding your way out but for helping others to at least think about their situation. 

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13 hours ago, theyownyou33 said:

Hey everyone, I know I haven't been on here in a really long time, but when I originally signed up I was in the throws of deconversion and was unsteady. I'm happy to say that I've come a long way with my deconversion and while I still feel a degree of guilt for some reason, I'm mostly able to intellectually rationalize my positions to myself every time. If you dig up one of my old posts you will find that my wife and I were starting to be in dire straights over my new found atheism and were having heated conflicts consistently. I can't say that I followed all of your advice in taking it slow with her, but I did cool down my approach at times. Now, to me own disbelief she has told me that she has come to a place where she isn't sure if she's a christian anymore. She's can't overcome all the moral obstacles that are presented in the bible amongst other things. While I was initially very happy for her, I also started to feel guilty again. What if I'm wrong. If I go to hell would it really matter? Just to me, really. If I get her to go to hell and then our kids.......I realize that it's not rational or logical to think this way, but this is a big change for her. She did not take it lightly. I suppose I just need some pat on the backs, amens and it will be ok's or anything else anyone can offer. Thanks for reading.

 

Gives you some pats on the back.

Gives you some amens and it will be ok.

 

Seriously, it will be ok. It IS already ok. :)

 

What would happen if you just stopped thinking about being atheist and she just stopped thinking about being Christian?

What would it be like if you didn't "officially" decide to be this or decide to be that?

What would it be like if,  "when you needed it most" , pray about it? While the other 99.999% of the time, you just didn't really have an opinion on religion.
What if you just did the bare minimum you think you needed to do to avoid hell? Maybe that hell fear would dissolve after a while.

 

I divorced my first wife and my fundy church basically at the same time. Not going to church released most of the wacky emotional religious BS but then I was left with a fear of God being angry while I sinned. It culminated in my giving Jesus the boot because those fears were harming my emotional well-being. Is Jesus supposed to harm one's emotional well-being? Oh, right, I forgot about Mt 10:35. 

 

What would heaven be like if the guy running it is a spiteful authoritarian moron? Probably just another hell. :) 

 

What if you redesigned Jesus to fit your needs? What if the Jesus in your head was a friend that didn't mind long stretches between 'chats" ?

What if the Jesus you came up with in your mind was more like someone who actually loved you unconditionally even if you kind of didn't really believe he was real?

What if you came up with your own personal Christianity that was not the fear shame and guilt BS that is peddled in church?

 

Sorry, I just blathered on here. :)

 

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TABA had some good advice. Why don't you start reading and discussing some authors together, such as the ones mentioned? I think this would help the both of you.

The doubts are all part of it, and they start to disappear when you just keep on keeping on with the deconversion process. It takes time for all that brainwashing to stop talking to you. It also helps if you ignore that little voice and do things like reading, so that your rational voice finally beats the shit out of those final doubts and they disappear. Just have patience.

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Greetings, theyownyou33. It's great that things have improved some in your marriage and your wife has begun to question.

 

On 11/6/2018 at 12:10 AM, theyownyou33 said:

While I was initially very happy for her, I also started to feel guilty again. What if I'm wrong. If I go to hell would it really matter? Just to me, really. If I get her to go to hell and then our kids.......

 

Though Christianity is absolutely mythology, for the sake of argument here, let's hypothetically say it's true. In that case, your believing family would have the holy spirit living inside them. In order for you to override that, you would have to be more powerful than an all-powerful god. That is obviously an impossibility, so you could not actually be responsible for them losing belief.

 

On the other hand, if you do have the power to help bring them to disbelief, then that would undermine the notion of an all-powerful god residing in them, thus undermining the claims of Christianity. 

 

In other words, you could not be responsible for sending them to hell if the religion was true. (And, of course, it's not true.)

 

Good luck as you move forward. 

 

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On 11/6/2018 at 12:10 AM, theyownyou33 said:

Hey everyone, I know I haven't been on here in a really long time, but when I originally signed up I was in the throws of deconversion and was unsteady. I'm happy to say that I've come a long way with my deconversion and while I still feel a degree of guilt for some reason, I'm mostly able to intellectually rationalize my positions to myself every time. If you dig up one of my old posts you will find that my wife and I were starting to be in dire straights over my new found atheism and were having heated conflicts consistently. I can't say that I followed all of your advice in taking it slow with her, but I did cool down my approach at times. Now, to me own disbelief she has told me that she has come to a place where she isn't sure if she's a christian anymore. She's can't overcome all the moral obstacles that are presented in the bible amongst other things. While I was initially very happy for her, I also started to feel guilty again. What if I'm wrong. If I go to hell would it really matter? Just to me, really. If I get her to go to hell and then our kids.......I realize that it's not rational or logical to think this way, but this is a big change for her. She did not take it lightly. I suppose I just need some pat on the backs, amens and it will be ok's or anything else anyone can offer. Thanks for reading.

 

I just wanted to say, "your wife's beliefs are her own and you are not responsible for them." I know Christianity has a history of forcing family responsibility on the men, but you cannot worry yourself over what you have or have not "caused." If your thinking wasn't sound, your wife would reject it, she's not an idiot. If I were you, I'd take comfort in knowing that I wasn't crazy, that the person I love more than anyone else AGREED with me. Which is what happened in my marriage, my husband was very resistant at first and how now come around almost full circle to embrace my perspective. He has not gone so far as to "renounce christianity," like I did, he just doesn't care anymore. 

 

Thanks for the update!! It is always nice to know that advice on this site helped some.

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You are in a very good position.

Guilt is just your past indoctrination talking.

As other's have said, you are not responsible for her beliefs, any more than she is for yours.  Even many Christians would have to agree with that, as they preach personal responsibility.

My advice is to take it slowly and investigate your current mindsets together and thoughtfully.  That should sort out any guilt issues over time,

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Sounds like things have really improved for you! That's great news to hear. What did you find that worked to help your wife come around and to save the marriage? What advice can you give me on getting my spouse to see clearly? Thanks!

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Your situation is the same as my husband’s was.  He deconverted first and I initially resisted.  The most powerful thing for me to finally step over the edge (I was slowly deconverting for years and didn’t realize it) was that he didn’t change when he deconverted.  He was still the same kind, logical, supportive, funny, responsible, loyal man I had fallen in love with.  He basically opened the door and showed me it would be ok if I went through it too.  The thing that has continually reinforced my decision to walk through that door is the fact that my life has not changed AT ALL!  Going to church or not, praying or not, reading the Bible or not — those things that I was told were crucial activities for my relationship with god — don’t make the slightest difference in my life.  I always had a sneaking suspicion that god didn’t really care because he never answered my prayers.  Now I know he doesn’t care because he doesn’t exist and the proof is in the fact that nothing happened when I quit him.  

 

Just keep loving her patiently and being the man she fell in love with, answering her questions logically and in a matter of fact way, and her own brain should take care of the rest.  

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