Hello all, Im new to the site and very happy to find this community free of fairytales. Im married with 2 children and another on the way. I have been with my christian wife for 12 years. I have just anounced my non belief recently. My problem is the children of course. She accepted my quiting church (5 years ago) and is close to being okay with me being atheist. But she gets very upset if anything is mentioned around my kids. My oldest is 6 and full of questions. I would fill like a bad parent if I didnt tell my son the truth when he asks me if somthing is real or why I dont go to church. I love my family and do not want a divorce but I do not want to watch her feed them theism at this age and she would  leave me if I told them there was no god when he asked. I told him if he wanted to go to church fine but he didnt have to and that was bad in her eyes. Any ideas on how to handle this? Am I wrong? should I just keep my mouth shut? thanks for reading and any suggestions offered.


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There are also some groups about having a religious partner here...one is "In an 'interfaith' relationship" and "living with a religious spouse"...check them out, there are lots of athests with non-atheist partners, some have a lot of conflicts and others don't.

I have a similar, if later in life, experience.


Married in the Catholic church, followed with 3 kids. "Kids" are now 23,22,17.


My wife knows and loathes the fact I've stepped away from the non-sense that is theism and religion.

My 23yo knows and prefers to keep his religious roots. The other 2 don't know yet at all.


I still go to church with her and 17yo to keep the peace. But find myself grinding my teeth almost every time and then in an emotional funk afterward.


No answers here, just letting you know you're not alone.

Has your wife talked to your son about your atheism?  How does she explain it?
I explained to him in my own way. I do not seek to turn others. I simply answer truthfully and let the chips fall where they may.
You're in a tough spot, no question.  I do see a couple of possibilities, though.  You can show your kids that it's possible for two good, intelligent people to disagree and still love each other.  It would be nice if your wife would compromise by going easy on the fire and brimstone; I hope her church isn't too exclusionary.  You can also show by example that non-believers can be good people.  Keep the discussions on a high plane; no running their mother down and no retaliation if she runs you down.  Kids love both parents, so getting caught in the middle can seriously mess them up.  Remember, too, that she thinks she has the truth.

Have you considered involving your wife in these little chats?  I can imagine it going something like this:

"Daddy, did Jonah really get eaten by a whale?"

"Well, some people believe that.  Mommy does.  But may people think it's just a story, like Snow White.  That's what I think."

"Why do you think that?"

"If you really want to talk about it, why don't you wait until sometime Mommy and you and I can all talk about it together?"


She can hardly blame you for being too pushy if you insist on waiting to answer any in-depth questions until she is around.  And I think it would allay any suspicion that you are trying to "turn" your kids away from her if she gets to hear everything you are saying.

Thank you all for the advice. I guess I will see how this all plays out, will let you know in the future. How do I close this post now? Is it under options where I close discussion?
It's at the top of the page.  Go to "Edit" and then "Close Discussion."  You can re-open it at any time.
I sympathies and though I don't have kids but I do teach them in an environment where I can't flat out say antitheist statements either. The good old saw about not giving a man a fish but teaching him how to fish comes in handy here. If you teach the kids how to use logic, rational thinking, and how to evaluate the validity of sources, they should come to the correct answer themselves.
I was in the same situation at one time years ago. Just be honest with your children about what you think. You owe it to them. Pretending to just keep the wife happy is... I can't think of the word, but it is paternizing to give in to her. They are just as much your children as hers!


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