Being in a Mixed marriage Christian-Atheist, the issues that come up, and overcoming the issues of dogma

One of the common struggles of a newly de-converted believer is his/her relationship with their believing spouse.  So I asked Limey from the Confessions of a Y.E.C. Blog to give a little of his background, experiences, and advise for one who is going through a similar situation.

The History

My wife and I were both brought up in Christian households and developed our own personal faith as teens and young adults. My wife grew up in an average UK Town while I was brought up in a missionary environment in Central Africa. When we met and eventually married, my wife is what would be called a liberal Anglican while I was a Creationist, taking the bible literally.

Creationism in the UK has never been the big issue that it is in America and the public battle between vocal Creationists and strident Atheists that has been getting noisier in America for decades is still something that most people in the UK are largely ignorant of.

Through many years of marriage our relative Christian positions changed little. We moved from an Anglican Church of England church to a Baptist Church. Baptist Churches in the UK are more liberal than American readers would expect from what I read of American Baptist Churches. They are certainly nothing like the Southern Baptist Churches that I hear much about. We did the usual thing that young (ish) couples do in churches, help out in the youth and related areas. My wife being musically gifted puts much effort into the worship, often leading.

Change and Challenge

My journey away from Christianity started when I began to seriously question my creationist beliefs and actually investigate evolution for myself. I started reading what the scientists said and comparing those claims with the apologetic counter arguments. Time and time again I found that the creationist arguments were no more than objections. The weight of argument, evidence and reason is firmly on the side of the scientists. It wasn’t long before I found myself facing the very real truth that my creationist belief had crumbled and I was an acceptor of evolution. Three years later I gave up on Christianity entirely and no longer accepted any form of deity.

Keeping Secrets

The hardest part by far was what to do with my change of belief.

I knew I should come clean and have an honest conversation with those nearest me; especially my wife.

The thing was, by this stage in our lives, while we lived as Christians, we no longer shared our faith intimately. We didn’t pray before meals, we didn’t study the bible together and we didn’t pray together. Our Christian lives were independent of our married life and had been for some time. This meant that discussing something as intimate as doubts over faith was not something that came naturally between us. As a result I had absolutely no idea how to tell my wife about my change or even how to drop a hint or raise a question. This realisation scared me because it became apparent that I wasn’t actually sure how she would respond.

By now I’d been following several blogs and stories about people who had made similar journeys and a common theme was the breaking up of a marriage. Of those that survived a number of spouses also followed in leaving Christianity. So whatever happened next, I knew there would be uncertainty and tears. I knew I didn’t want my marriage to end and I also didn’t want to be in a situation where I was unwittingly forcing her to question her faith because for as long as we’ve known each other it has been very important to her.

So I kept my status a secret as best I could. It helped that we had other issues at church, which allowed me to stay at home Sunday mornings. However, she had noted a change in me and she kept it to herself while she worked out what was likely going on.

Coming Out at Last

Moving house, and therefore church, meant that we were forced into a conversation because I had reached a point where I simply could not make the declaration of faith required in order to enter into membership of our new church. So I hesitantly admitted to having doubts; she’d already worked it out. It was a great relief, but then out came all those insecurities that had been built up. In the end she took it better than me.

The full coming out took a year and now she accepts my atheism, but (she) has to qualify it as, I’m ‘Intellectually Atheist’.  I think that is Christian for he thought about it lots and has studied so be careful about challenging him on it”.

Conversations About Religion

We occasionally talk about matters of faith but it is not always easy. We come from different directions now and I don’t want to say anything controversial and start an argument and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t either. The conversations never last long and neither of us raises objections to what the other says. It’s like we have a kind of unspoken truce on the subject.

We’re definitely still feeling our way around the subject of religion. It’s important to her that I continue to support her church activities, which I am happy to do. She accepts that I don’t want to go but I will attend some special services. It works for now and doesn’t cause any issues.

At some point I know we’ll likely have a much deeper conversation about religion. Who knows how that will go!

The thing is; I know she wishes I would return to faith. It’s likely that she prays about it with friends. On her bedside table is a book about wanting a miracle, it was lent to her within weeks of me finally admitting to atheism. I’ve been lent a heavy apologetics book by a pleasant and well-meaning member of the congregation who now makes a point of welcoming me when he sees me at church. I’m a marked man, my secret is spreading and I’m now a project for some people. I know the drill, I’ve been in the church scene for long enough to know how it works and I can spot the signs from a mile off. I’m okay with that for the moment. One day someone will be more direct with me, we’ll see what happens then, but until that point, I can deal with what’s going on.

It’s where my wife and I meet that is the more important issue, everyone else can wait.

Taking Religion out of the Marriage

The effects of my atheism are still hard to quantify. I don’t feel like I’ve got enough experience yet to speak with great authority on the subject. One thing that is clear though is that our faith was the biggest thing that we shared. It was because if it that we met and it formed an integral part of our early relationship and most of our years of marriage. We may not have lived and breathed it as much as we might have in the last decade, but it was still a large part of our relationship.  Being Christians wasn’t all there was though, it was also the social aspect of church and the meeting and greeting and reinforcing friendships on a Sunday. I have removed all of that from our marriage. It’s now her on her own at church most Sundays and I only exist as an occasional subject of conversation.

We no longer share those moments and we can’t discuss sermon points over Sunday lunch anymore. It may sound small, but it actually makes a significant and noticeable impact on the dynamic of our relationship and we’re still finding our feet on that. It’s not caused any direct problems, it’s simply noticeable that discussions once enjoyed now simply can’t happen, so there is in effect a hole in the relationship, a God shaped hole if you like.

I think this is one of the biggest risks to a marriage in this situation. The main feature of that marriage and the focal point of the closest friends occur in and around church. If I continue to not attend I run the risk of being increasingly irrelevant in those friendships as I am no longer taking as active a part as I can. If I go for the sake of those friendships I run the risk of being that grumpy man who has nothing good to say about what goes on in church. Okay, I’m being a bit over dramatic there, however the point is that whichever way I swing, I am at risk of incomplete social fulfilment simply because I am an atheist in a circle of Christians. Seeking that fulfilment elsewhere will only increase the social segregation between my wife and I, which is counterproductive in this specific instance.

I’m sure it’s a challenge many couples have had to face; maybe this is one reason why I’ve read about so many failed marriages when one partner deconverts.

Talking Evidence

Talking about experiences, events and facts brings on a new set of challenges too.

I can argue that nature and evolution are fully explained through natural processes and there is nothing that suggests any god is required. That’ll be accepted as a scientific standpoint but I feel that I am not free to push that subject. I know how I would feel if it was the other way round and my role as a husband does not include making my wife feel put upon. I have no desire to have that argument with her. Likewise I am sure she feels similarly, if she has a good experience of God or an answered prayer, she knows that I no longer appreciate that on a spiritual level, so why should she share it with me? I know that’s how I would feel.

Clearly these are issues that need working through and I doubt they are unique to us. We’re both still new to this situation and we’re both still feeling our way through it.

Respecting Each Other

One very good point my wife has raised to me is that she worries that I now view her as a silly Christian believing in superstition and not the rational and intelligent adult she is. She has a point; after all, don’t all us atheists look down on Christians that way? If I criticize any Christian for their ignorant beliefs, I am also criticizing her. This means I have to hold my tongue at times and be mindful of what I say. At times it is not easy, but it does not have to be a bad thing because being considerate in how things are said is a good attribute.

Likewise I feel patronized knowing there are now Christians praying for my conversion.  I know how I used to feel about atheist husbands of godly wives. I’ve been around enough churches to know they exist and to feel sorry for the wife having to cope with an unbelieving husband.  I’ve seen the way they get treated and I don’t want to be that man. Why should it bother me if my wife decides to pray for me?  After all I don’t believe in the power of prayer do I? Its more than that, I feel disrespected, yet as a loving Christian wife, why would she not want to pray for me?

Loving each other and respecting each other needs to include acceptance of choices. If that can’t be done then there is a problem. It’s a balance that is very difficult and I keep finding out that its far more difficult than I imagined.

Standing up against Nonsense

On the flip side, if my wife had said she didn’t want our daughter to be vaccinated I would be blunt and tell her to stop being silly; similarly if she wanted to use homeopathy to treat an illness. We would have an argument but I would stand my ground. If she were to get involved in a cult I would do the same. Should Christianity be treated the same?

I keep asking myself that question and ending back at the respect point. In this case it is absolutely not a fight worth picking; the cost would be too great.

My wife has said she is happy to engage is religious discussion with me. At this stage it’s not something I am prepared to do. I have had some discussion with our pastor friend and that we managed amicably, though he didn’t get many of my arguments. He understood the point but not the flow of logic. I don’t want to have the same unsatisfactory discussion with my wife.

Conclusions

At this stage I think that the issue of a marriage of mixed religious status like this is more complex than I ever imagined it would be. I also think that it is also a very personal experience and different couples will face different challenges. Some will find it easier and some harder.

For my wife and I, I am confident we’ll be okay in the end, we just need to find out own way of working through and around the various issues. Talking honestly will obviously be only way to achieve that. If only that had started sooner, we might have found the whole thing a bit easier.

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About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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24 Responses to Being in a Mixed marriage Christian-Atheist, the issues that come up, and overcoming the issues of dogma

  1. If all you had in common before was religion, you have a problem. You need to find common ground that is not based on religion and work from there, as you have stated. At some point you have to say to your spouse, this is me, if it is not enough we’re done. If she cannot look at you for what you are and what you provide, there is no point. If all your value to her is based on what you believe or don’t believe with regard to a god… she shouldn’t have married you, and she is probably not human. Seriously, if your entire value to her was based on your religious belief, it would already be done. It’s not. So go from the point that you have value and the relationship has value despite the differences in belief about imaginary friends.

  2. Appreciate your post, direct to the point.

  3. Nate says:

    I was very lucky in that my wife was not far behind me in the deconversion process. We’re definitely on the same page. And while I’ve always appreciated how difficult it would be in a “mixed marriage,” this definitely brings up some nuances that I hadn’t considered. Limey, I hope you and your wife are able to navigate these issues successfully. Marcus, I hope the same for you.

    Thanks for sharing this great post.

  4. Arkenaten says:

    Once someone reads a tale such as this – and similar stories are becoming a regular feature of the blogosphere these days – one is immediately struck by several things.
    As an atheist (although brought up in a relaxed C O E home ) it is surprising that people still vehemently adhere to religious nonsense in this manner. It is more surprising to read such stories coming out of the UK, which is so much more liberal than the States, and sad that with all the information available that inculcation of this type is able to take root. It is a stark reminder of how powerful and insidious religion still is.
    It is a little disconcerting to read of the trauma announcing to one’s spouse that one has lost faith. I have used the analogy how it must be for some gay people when they ‘come out-and this
    appears to be similar in many ways. Also, both parties must initially look at each as being mad – the one for leaving and the other for continuing in it. Most odd.
    From all I have read I have yet to come across a religious person who was convinced to become an atheist by another: the journey to enlightenment is usually a solitary one, initially, brought on by doubt and the inability of religion to answer the real questions.
    This is heartening, as each person comes to realise they have been lied to the hypocrisy of religion is shown up for what it is.
    For the atheist in a relationship, patience has to be the watchword.
    One can only hope that the marriage is strong enough and the religious partner will begin to ask similar questions as the atheist spouse.A good marriage should withstand a ‘coming out’ such as this. After all, marriage should be about honesty and truth, yes? Two things that are glaringly missing from religion.

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      as for me one of the dilemmas I have in my relationship with my wife. is that coming into our marriage, is that foundation to our relationship was God and the bible. Yes love, honesty, and integrity were important, but they were all just byproducts and principals for true foundation which was our faith. And she knows this and I know this.

      And both were in agreement and understanding, that we would be christians, and do ministry work,together, read our bible together, and raise our children as god-fearing christians together. So in that, what must be realized is that I Am the one that changed, not her

      And yes I might have the intellectual honest position of being right, but really I am the one who has broken my promise/covenant marriage commitment of loving her like christ loved the church.

      • Arkenaten says:

        “And yes I might have the intellectual honest position of being right, but really I am the one who has broken my promise/covenant marriage commitment of loving her like christ loved the church.”

        There is a danger in this instance of piling on guilt, which will only compound the problem.
        Then again, it is only a problem if it is regarded as such.
        Maybe one should approach the issue as an opportunity?

        Consider this: You certainly wouldn’t have ANY qualms about ‘coming out’ once you realised that Santa Claus was a fiction, would you? In fact, neither you or your wife believe in Santa, I suspect?
        I would venture that you now regard Christianity in a similar light and acceptance of this will become easier with time.

        There is also nothing to be gained from taking any advise from Christians. Their ulterior motives must surely be towards ‘bringing you back’ to the fold, no matter how they couch their sympathy.
        Providing you still think your wife is ‘hot’, and you are prepared t do the dishes, you’ll be okay!
        Truth always comes to the fore, eventually.
        You have not been dishonest, for how could you have known that you were supporting a lie in the first place?

  5. unklee says:

    “And yes I might have the intellectual honest position of being right, but really I am the one who has broken my promise/covenant marriage commitment of loving her like christ loved the church.”

    I can understand how you feel, and I’m sure I’d think the same if I was in your position. And it is true that she has good reason to be disappointed. But you can only do what you believe is honest, and I can’t see how anyone could think that being a hypocrite would be better.

    I find it interesting that, as far as I can tell from reading Limey’s story, the main catalyst for changing his mind was deciding evolution was true, which I would guess (though it is only a guess) more than half the christians in the west also believe. It is especially interesting that I would have thought his wife, as a liberal Anglican, would probably also accept evolution.

    Best wishes.

    • Arkenaten says:

      “….find it interesting that, as far as I can tell from reading Limey’s story, the main catalyst for changing his mind was deciding evolution was true….,”

      Why interesting? The man was a YEC Young Earth Creationist, yes?
      Such folk are Fundamentalist, if I am not mistaken, and adopt a literal understanding of the bible.
      The bigger the lie one is led/forced to believe the bigger the eye-opener – and often the bigger the rebellion.
      Liberal Christianity readily adopts certain aspects of science – they have to maintain an air of respectability after all, do they not? Even barbaric,misogynist institutions such as the Catholic Church. LOL
      Every de-conversion story is a heartening step in the right direction of truth and enlightenment, lifting the veil of hypocrisy, deceit and lies.
      Eventually – though I concede it will probably take a while – religious people will seem like anachronisms.

  6. Peter says:

    I have been following the blogs of Marcus, Limey, Nate and Unklee for several months now. For me there is an enormous difference between the Christian RELIGION (Christendom) and the Christian FAITH. I’ve recently finished developing my blog where I have tried to tell something of the story of how my beliefs have changed over the years.

    I’m neither a fundamentalist nor an evangelical. I am convinced that nobody goes to hell when they die; I have serious doubts about the existence of Satan (as traditionally defined). I see no conflict between science and evolution, but I do find some of the recent anthropological theories about coming out of Africa very interesting. As a Brit with a knowledge of the history of the translation of the KJV I have understood for many years that the Bible as we have it can’t possibly be inerrant. This has been really reinforced over the last six months as I have listened to Bob Greaves (The Unconventional Pastor) who used to be a Fundamentalist Baptist pastor who subsequently studied Linguistic Anthropology and seems to have become an expert in Kione Greek (which is said to have died out around 330AD).

    It was from Bob that I first heard the expression AGNOSTIC THEIST. I am familiar with some of your thoughts and I really would like to hear some of yours. As I was redeveloping my blog I was conscious of some of the things I was hearing from you – and as I’ve said I have far more empathy with many agnostics and even some atheists than I do with those Christians who think they have all the answers.

    As an introduction to my blog I would like to suggest that you first read the first two paragraphs of ‘About my Blog’ – http://unconventionalbeliever.wordpress.com/about and then explore as you will.

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      hello Peter
      I am familar with your blog, I have visited a few times, and I actually do follow it at this time.

      I think personally the label something I mentally struggled with at sometimes. Because even though I call myself atheist. It’s not entirely accurate.

      I have called myself ex-christian or ex-believer, because at the core of things that is what I am. I have also considered calling myself Ignostic, because that is the rational position, I reject the notion of God in conversation, until god is defined. Or agnostic, which is what we all are to some degree. I’ve considered deist, but that would be accurate. Really I would consider myself closer to the definition of non-theist. Because I find the belief of God plausible, but the notion of a Personable highly unlikely and existentially illogical.

  7. Peter says:

    Hi Marcus
    I really appreciated your comment on my blog – “The Internet is the place where religion goes to die”. I sense you may right! As I’ve said on my blog I came to the conclusion many years ago that there is an enormous difference between the Christian RELIGION and the Christian FAITH. I’m not by nature a scholar but I have found your questioning very sound. For me LOGIC and REASON suggest that CHRISTENDOM is a man made religion that is unable to give a logical and rational explanation of the existence of God. It doesn’t seem to have any real answers to ‘What is the purpose of life?’ and I’m certainly not impressed with any of the explanations for the place of suffering.

    Both of my children and their families consider themselves as atheists. My wife who doesn’t drive still attends church every week (on a Saturday). I finally gave up attending nearly four years ago – but I still take her and bring her home.

    I’m not going to try to explain the inexplicable – let’s just say that I have a deeper appreciation of the Christian FAITH as a result of no longer being part of Christendom. I’ve tried to tell something of my own story on my blog (that I’ve recently finished) of why I have an unorthodox faith that I don’t have to defend.

    I’m not prepared to argue about it – I’m too old for that. But I’m happy to share thoughts with any who might be interested.

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  9. limey says:

    Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment on this post.
    Some direct replies to comments follow:
    @myatheistlife
    Religion is not all we had in common. It was just the biggest thing we had in common. I don’t think I said, or implied, that it was all we had. We’d have never made it to marriage if all we had was religion.
    @Nate:
    Thank you.
    @unklee
    Your guess is correct. The initial catalyst was the realisation that evolution was correct afterall. My faith was founded in creationism and in my own mind it was impossible to separate creationism from Christianity (http://confessionsofayec.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/suddenly-i-realised-that-atheism-was-the-only-choice/)
    During my deconversion process I did ponder subscribing to a more liberal Christianity. Here in Blighty the vast majority of Christians accept evolution and logically I have no argument with them. Yet I could not make the process work for me.

  10. unklee says:

    Hi limey, I’m glad we seem to be understanding each other, even if not agreeing. I read you link and this phrase stood out to me as perhaps the key:

    “if certain key events in the Old Testament didn’t happen, then the New Testament was equally in doubt”

    I think this explains why we conclude differently. I don’t think any historian would say this because the Bible is made up of 66 separate ‘books’, and we can’t really draw historical conclusions across different documents like that. This is doubly true when we consider that we’re talking about quite different cultures, centuries apart, and quite different genres of documents.

    “Yet I could not make the process work for me.”

    Obviously I can say nothing against this. You report how it was for you, which is different to how it is for me.

  11. limey says:

    Hi unklee, I am interested in your position, are you chrisitan, former christian or something else? I’m not sure and I think it would help me understand your perspective if I knew.

    My view on the New Testament is that it requires the old testament to be true for the theology to stand up.

    To pick just two example from the top of my head.

    – with no Adam and Eve there is no first fall and with no first fall there is no need for Jesus.
    – with no Joseph there is no Exodus from Egypt and no Promised Land and nothing special special about the Israelites

    You can’t have the New on its own. It needs the Old because there where its foundation is.

  12. unklee says:

    Hi Limey, sorry I wasn’t clear. Yes I am christian, though not fundamentalist or creationist, etc.

    I understand what you are saying, but I think it puts the cart before the horse. Before we can decide on theological questions and whether the NT depends on the OT, we need to look at the historical evidence. Now the secular historians (to vastly generalise) believe none of the early parts of the OT are literal history, only some of the conquest is, and we only get into some sort of verifiable history with the kings of Israel & Judah. But they view the NT as fairly substantially historical (i.e. useful like any other historical document in determining what actually happened). They don’t of course accept every story or saying, and they certainly don’t necessarily endorse christian teachings about Jesus being the son of God, etc, but there is enough there for them to construct a reasonable picture of what Jesus did and said.

    They may not be right of course, and there are those who adopt a more sceptical view than I have described just as there would be those who would believe a whole lot more. Christians would generally think they are being too cautious.

    Those are the basic data we have to start with. Most christians believe far more than that, but that belief is based at least in part on faith in addition to these facts. I too believe more than that, based on my assessment of those facts.

    But when I am talking to you, I am talking to someone who has rejected faith, and so I start with ‘facts’ as determined by historians. And on those facts, I suggested some of your statements were not necessarily so. You have rejected christianity, but there is no reason I can think of for you to reject the secular historians.

    If you start from the secular historians, there is still enough information (I believe) to assess who Jesus was and decide if you believe what he said. This doesn’t necessarily depend on a certain view of the OT – I think there is good evidence to show that Jesus was more flexible about the OT than you are in your comments above. My assessment leads me to believe in him, all on the basis of the NT as a set of historical documents without making any assumption about them being ‘the word of God’. It is possible you could decide the same, obviously also possible that you may not. Only if we have decided that we believe in Jesus does it make sense to start to ask what we should believe about the Bible – before that we should go with the scholars.

    I think I have written a lot, so I will stop. Thanks for asking the questions and for responding to my comments positively. I appreciate the opportunity to outline a different way of looking at things than either your former view or your present one. I hope it is clear. Best wishes.

    • limey says:

      Hi Unklee,

      Its taken me a while to get back to you, I apologise. Life doesn’t always make it easy to reply.

      The history question is one I find very interesting but have not yet put a lot of attention into. For example, I know there are questions over the authenticity of the Jesus accounts and people who now claim that there never was a Jesus, let alone a person on whom the Bible accounts are based. Personally, I’ve not made my mind up on that because I have not looked into the subject enough to make an informed opinion.

      My rejection is more based on the long thread of theology that goes through the Bible. In my mind it requires a literal interpretation of the Bible and without that the story no longer holds together. All I am sure about with Jesus is that I don’t accept his divinity and therefore his miracles. Whether he existed or not is less important to me. He could be an amalgamation of several good people or he could have been a very wise philosopher, none of that is important to me really because I’d don’t see him as God’s Son.

      Its possible you know more about the secular historians than I do because its not them that have lead me to my current possition. From memory I am only aware of a single secular historian writing at about that time (Josepus?). My understanding is that some of what he wrote doesn’t match the gospel accounts and there are items he mentions that are missing from the gospel and vice-versa. The conclustion being that his mentioning Jesus, while interesting, isn’t solid enough. Later writers would of course not be writing from personal knowledge and would simply be writing from the wrods of others and so their sources need to be known. The challange here is to not fall into the trap of using as a source people who needed a certain version of events to be reported in order for their desired outcome to be the ‘truth’. Its for this reason that I’ve not really got into the historical question.

      That’s why its the science that overturned my faith.

      • unklee says:

        Hi LImey, no worries about timing, I’ve been away on holidays and off the internet anyway.

        “I know there are questions over the authenticity of the Jesus accounts and people who now claim that there never was a Jesus”
        I am only aware of one recognised scholar who thinks this (Robert Price) and he is not much respected by his peers from what I can observe. So it really is something 9,999 against 1.

        ” In my mind it requires a literal interpretation of the Bible and without that the story no longer holds together. “
        So many people say this. And yet, neither Jesus or his apostles interpreted the Old Testament literally all the time – about half the time (or more according to one author) they use interpretive methods that are not entirely literal. (See How Jesus and the apostles interpreted the Old Testament.)

        “All I am sure about with Jesus is that I don’t accept his divinity and therefore his miracles.”
        This is the guts of the matter. Why are you so sure of this?

        “From memory I am only aware of a single secular historian writing at about that time (Josepus?).”
        This isn’t entirely true. Tacitus mentioned Jesus and he wrote early second century (reasonably close by ancient standards). Luke is accepted as a good historian by most scholars, and Maurice casey (an expert on Aramaic and not a believer) is very definite that Mark’s Gospel is based on very early Aramaic sources. Add Matthew and Paul’s letters and there’s a lot of sources for Jesus, far more than for many ancient figures. People often forget that the NT was written as quite separate writings and only compiled centuries after they were written.

      • limey says:

        Hi unklee,

        Thanks for the link. I think Nate’s reply to your link sums up well how I would respond. For me, that sort of thing helps me to justify rejection of the bible as being of the divine. Its also a bit of a distraction from my deconversion story. I didn’t deconvert because I struggled with the bible. I deconverted because I reached the point where my new understanding of science made it impossible for me to accept god. Biblical mistrust came after that. I do not consider myself scholarly enough to talk with authority on biblical meanings and interpretations and so the justification of my change in belief must come from somewhere else.

  13. tabitha75 says:

    Good luck to you, Limey – leaving religion is about learning to love yourself as you truly are, no judgements. You will feel pulled in two as long as you try to be something you are not, so be yourself.

    • limey says:

      Thank you.
      On an intellectual level I don’t feel pulled in two, I am comfortable with my decision and am confident I’ve made the right choice. Its the effects on those I love and care for and my relationiships with them that is of greater concern. Being true to myself while also being a respectful to them is not always an easy ride.

      • M. Rodriguez says:

        On an intellectual level I also feel very confident in my conclusion. In fact, i would say it almost borders on Overconfident.

        Thats how I feel t0o, unbelief was not a decision out of faith. But a conclusion after examining Christianity and all its apologetic claims.

  14. marie says:

    I’m in a similar situation and my husband and I have 4 young kids which definitely makes things harder. There was mention of others in similar situations , is there any kind of group you are a part of? I’m always looking for some support in this area since I don’t really have any other atheist friends to bare burdens with. Hubby and I have been together for 15 years and my “deconversion” is fairly recent (within the last one or two years). I enjoyed reading your story, thanks for sharing

    • M. Rodriguez says:

      hello Marie,

      I appreciate your comments. Its usually the husband the deconverts that becomes the unbeliever. So your situation is even more uncommon than my own. I have attended some atheist meetups, it was okay, but i didn’t find the comradary like I expected. it was nice and i would go again, but I don’t think my wife likes the idea of me going to bars. And half the recreational atheist meetups are at bars, or atleast the ones close to my home. Are you part of any group?

      what I have tried to do, which is helping, is 1)find a balance and common ground with my wife. I have a post on that topic…https://bittersweetend.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/an-atheist-christian-marriage/ Really it is easier to make a current friend a closer friend than to try to make new friends. so that is what I think I will do. Since this post me and my wife, have moved past alot of issues regarding religion, now we have become a regular normal coupling battling over issues like the budget and disciplining the children.

      https://bittersweetend.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/a-fresh-breath-of-atheist-air/

      If you wish, I always enjoy guest post, you could do your own guest post going over your de-conversion and how it affected your marriage and family.

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