Or at least my agnosticism, And she said that she wouldn't have married someone that didn't believe in God. Ouch. I have to admit that one kindof stung a little bit. Though to be fair I do think that she really didn't think about that one before she said it, she tends to spout off things without proper forethought. I told her that at the time (about 3 years ago) I actually did believe, but always had doubts.

Next, she said she doesn't want me to go to hell. Which is a hard one for me because I don't want her to be stressed out about something that she perceives as very real.

Either way, I think it kindof scared her a bit because she already stresses out about not being together, much less, not being together for eternity as she believes will happen with my nonbelief. I'm hoping to chip away with logic and see if anything sticks, perhaps at least I can at least assuage her fears of bad things happening. She eventually just shut down and didn't want to talk about it any more.

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This reminds me of the last gf I had. She was very active in church. Went Sundays and Wednesdays with her mom. Went to church sponsored activities, worked in the church nursery. I started dating her without knowing any of this, but within a few weeks it came out and I didn't say anything. I decided to not ruin it just yet, and see if we were otherwise compatible. Well days turned into weeks and after 2 months I decided I better tell her, cause it'll probably be a unreconcilible difference.

I made the mistake I think of sitting her down to tell her like I was breaking up with her, although in my mind it was going to end the same way anyways. She cried, ran out of the house, and I thought I'd never see her again.

A week later she randomly showed up at my house and asked me why. We had an hour or so discussion talking about the easier stuff (I purposely tried to keep the talk non-confrontational on god, jesus etc.) and then I gave her a philosophy book from college to take home. She admitted to having doubts about god/religion but never anyone to talk to about it. She said she never knew there was a choice.

We kind of started over and I ended up dating her for another 9 months. She stopped going to church all together; got in a few fights with her mom over it. I just wish I knew if she went back after we broke up, or is still agnostic. I always doubted the speed at which she converted, I kind of assumed she did it for me, rather then on her own free will, but she might have been agnostic all along and just needed the support to leave the church.
What I've noticed is that when a believer has relatives or anyone that they care about that doesn't believe, their ideas of hell and what it takes to get into heaven change. I have realtives that now think there is no hell, or realtives that think because I went to church when I was younger I'm automatically saved. Otherwise, every other belied is as fundamental as it gets.

I wonder if something similar will happen to your wifes ideas.
I'm sure you've gotten information from plenty of people since you posted. I'd like to know how it goes for you and your wife. I'm in a situation where I can talk about it for two sentences and then my wife says 'I don't want to talk about it anymore.' Since my activism in the area of humanism and separation of church and state can easily be directed outside of our marriage and not involve her, I let it go. I have increasingly only brought things up if she asks, and I answer her questions very humbly. I have completely stopped trying to 'convert' her (which was really wrong of me in the first place) and just try, when she'll discuss it, to listen to her viewpoint and not focus on mine. It seems to be working at this point. Certainly my relationship with my wife is not based on religion or belief so I would never want that to taint what we have. But she also doesn't make me go to church with her or 'pretend' in any way.
As I mentioned, I'd definitely like to know how things are going with you since you posted this in July.
From the wife:

I want to start by saing that my husband is a very smart man; however, he is just not very educated. He wasn't one for school and doesn't read other than if he needs some cheats for a video game. He is part Mexican and comes from a family that is traditionally Catholic, but they aren't really strict about it. So when his father passed away last year, he found comfort in what the priest was telling him and he accepted Jesus as his lord and savior. At the time, I wasn't a card tote'n atheist yet, but I was still pretty adament against religion. I tried to be very supportive of his decision, even offering to go to church with him if he wished to do so. However, at the same time, I kept living the way I wanted to and he soon saw that living without fear is much more desireable. One thing that really helped him see was when we watched Religulous together (I go to church with him, he watches documentaries with me; the compromises of marriage). At the end of it, being the intelligent but generally uneducated person he is, his opinion of it was "if snakes could talk then, they would be able to talk now..."

Another thing that I like to use as a reference, when dealing with people who may be on the fence but leaning to the right and you want to see them take that final hop off the fence toward you, is Inside A Non-Believer's Mind: My Journey From Christianity To Freethinking by Francisco J. Miranda. It's very simply written, not full of evidence and facts like a Dawkins book, just very common sense things that we sometimes forget to bring up when discussing why Atheism with a Theist.

I am interested to see how you are doing so far, hope things are headed in the right direction ;o)



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