Jerry

What relationships have you lost?

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Hello, I am wondering what relationships you have forefitted by coming out as an atheist, or nontheist?

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All of my friendships besides one, and they don't even know I'm an atheist, because I don't need to become the focus of the church gossip circles. We just have nothing in common anymore, and I don't need interventions or to be told that I've gone over to the devil. 

Some family relationships are strained. Other more distant family relationships I've broken off because they were toxic to begin with. 

It requires building a whole new support network. 

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Only my fundamentalist old friends from years ago and with whom I remained in contact until they were told I'd given up on god. Other Christians are OK and I notice no change in how we relate (I don't see them every week).

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I lost my relationship with jesus.

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I haven't actually lost any relationships but the couple that might have been impacted we're already thoroughly compromised anyway for tangentially related reasons. From what I gather reading other people's extimonies I think a lot of it is that I was never very deeply involved with a conservative or closely knit church. I pretty much was always just floating out there on my own doing my own thing. I know from reading a lot here that it's very common for ex-Christians to go through a lot of difficulty with relationships when they deconvert. So, if it's something you're struggling with, you definitely have company.

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I haven't actually lost any relationships, but most of them have fundamentally changed.

 

My parents and siblings and I are on relatively good terms now. Things are still strained, but much less than they used to be. Mostly,  we just avoid certain conversations. We also don't see each other as often as we might. 

 

I haven't had any actual falling outs with my friends, but we've drifted apart to the point where there are some that I see anually, and some that I haven't seen in years.  These are people that I used to see multiple times a week. We just have different interests now. And that's fine. 

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My family is mostly believers, and since I posted some atheist things to FB they stopped communicating with me for the most part. I still send birthday greetings and get a reply, I still can give them stuff from our dad who died some years ago, but they don't visit or ask how I'm doing even though most of them live pretty near.

 

We were friends with some large Russian families, but our only real common ground other than being human was Christianity. And it would cause church problems for them to have us in their homes once we had rejected Jesus, so we sort of mutually backed away though we still have love for one another.

 

Other friends I had from before contacted me about getting the "old gang" together, so I explained the deconversion to them. That was an interesting exchange of emails. No rejection, just seeking to understand, which was cool. A couple of others that were once close and are more rabid I just stopped giving them access to my FB posts. Their contorted thinking could lead them to say some really bizarre things or show up at a jazz gig to preach. Some of the others were manipulative swine, and I lost nothing in having them apart from me.

 

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No loss. I've never mingled much simply because I don't like the world we live in and try to participate as little as possible out of protest. It's my business, not theirs, and never have felt the need for socializing in general so my associations have always been very limited. I'd rather be a happy hermit than a miserable social butterfly.

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This is an emotional subject for me.  I have never actually said "I am an atheist" to anyone in my family, though I have certainly elaborated on my extreme doubts about most anything the bible has to say.  I suppose its akin to saying, "I prefer the company of women," rather than just stating "I'm a lesbian."

In any case, my obvious doubts have made it impossible to mend a decades-long rift with my mom, because the conversation always goes back to God. So my relationship with her feels blocked,  for lack of a better word. And now my oldest daughter does not confide in me nearly as much as she used to because I no longer support her brain-washed rationale for some of the huge life decisions she is making. Its as if everything I say is taken with a grain of salt or an eye roll. I feel no longer respected so I guess that is what I've lost. It has been implied that I am foolish and/or rebellious for rejecting much of what the bible has to say.

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Unfortunately, many of my "friends" are involved in the church. So, needless to say, they no longer want much to do with me. The funny thing is, I'm not even "out" about my new found freedom from religion. My lack of church attendance and involvement has pushed them away. I'm glad to know just how fickle those supposed friends really are. I'm also aware of other relationships in my life that would be destroyed if I came out. Mostly, my marriage. My wife is a true product of Baptist teaching and philosophy. Having gone to a nonsecular, private, Baptist affliated school (K-12), along with a STRONG Christian up bringing at home. She certainly views nonbelievers in a very unflattering light. She disowned her cousin, that she was once very close with, when she announced that she was a lifelong atheist. That was a situation that helped me to realize the costs of coming out as free. The entire family essentially disowned her. It was a heartbreaking moment. This was at a time when I was struggling with my own belief system. So, I learned to just keep my mouth shut. I have managed to escape Sunday services and church activities by citing personal differences with the Pastor, who was a close friend at one point. However, I really don't think professing my atheism is a good idea.

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22 hours ago, freshstart said:

 Its as if everything I say is taken with a grain of salt or an eye roll. I feel no longer respected so I guess that is what I've lost. It has been implied that I am foolish and/or rebellious for rejecting much of what the bible has to say.

^^This. However, I just don't care, most of the time. I know who's being foolish and it sure isn't me. 

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