The nontheist spouse and the religious spouse.
A spouse’s religious indoctrination of children is often a sticky situation, as children have not yet developed the full intellectual fortitude in comprehending the consequences of religion’s limiting effects. The child’s potential for a well-balanced psychological and societal development is likely to be stunted. As with other parental responsibilities, children’s education must also be shared. Thus, if the spouse persists in the children’s indoctrination, you must also participate in helping the children understand the logic and reason of nontheism.
Compromise becomes a frequent approach to a balanced union. One method of compromise is for the two spouses to share an altruistic project. A common misconception regarding nontheists is their lack of concern for the welfare of society’s less fortunate. Organized charities, while often bourn of a specific dogma, can serve as a target vessel into which both spouses mutually can pour selfless efforts or resources.
Frequently, a religious spouse’s acceptance of nontheism is only accomplished by his or her own discovery. A figurative earthquake of that person’s foundational being is necessary. This can happen under events such as a union’s separation, a divorce, a severe illness or injury of a son or daughter, or a life-changing illness or injury of that spouse.
When a spouse decides to cast off his or her religious faith, the process will likely be gradual. First a nagging doubt persists. Then the spouse observes everyday situations from a non-religious point of view for the first time. It is normal that the spouse will experience anger, resentment, and frustration at the realization of having been duped for, usually, a significant length of his or her life.
A formerly religious spouse’s recovery period is made more bearable by several methods. Counseling greatly helps and can be formal (a psychiatrist) or informal (friends, acquaintances, and family members). Social networking aids as a tool for healthy venting and feedback. Self-education through either digital or printed materials will also be of valuable assistance.
It is easier to stay quietly to the side while a religious spouse steers the ship of your union. But if you, the nontheist, stand up for yourself, you will sway the imbalance of your relationship toward a better balance, and thus, a better union.