Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Do I Tell My Wife I've Become an Atheist?"

I love my wife. She is deeply religious. I have become an atheist. Do I tell her? What now?

Unfortunately, a lot of my readers may find this discussion useful. I'm so glad I left Orthodoxy without getting married. Telling my parents was hard enough.

11 comments:

fwengebola said...

Yes. If she loves you, she will understand.
If she doesn't, she is a blinkered, backward cavewoman.

David said...

At the risk of sounding insensitive, I felt pretty bad for the guy until I read they are in their mid-20's, been married only 2 years, no kids -- no brainer -- big mistake! Incompatible world views. Get out now, no great harm done.

Anonymous said...

Care to say how your parents reacted? (Some would have said " Atheist, shmaitheist,. As long as you still go to shul and don't eat treif, we don't care how you daven. )

Another anon

Jewish Atheist said...

Anon:

Actually, I never used the a-word with them. I just told them that I eat treif and don't keep shabbos. :-)

Laura said...

I'm a child of a religiously mixed marriage - my mother is much more religious than my dad. He was raised catholic and gave that up. They used to drag us to Lutheran church when I was a kid, but my dad wasn't into it as much as my mom. Now she's disappointed that he won't go to church with her - she doesn't want to go alone. Though I'd never say it to her (she'd take it too personally and doesn't like self reflection much) my first thought was - how strong is your faith if you let something like not knowing anyone prevent you from going to religious service???

Anyway, sorry for the digression - in any case, I think that as long as there is respect between the people, that it can work. I am pagan, John is athiest. My friend AuntieHeathen is pagan and her husband is athiest. We get along just fine.

If you love someone, you love them for a lot more than their religion. If your love is contingent on religion, then that's not really love. Period.

Baal Habos said...

Ja, I would not have thought that "Atheism" as an incompatibility issue.I think it's differences in religious practice that would cause strife.
But heres an interesting sidebar. After I mentioned my Agnostic outlook on my blog, I think some regulars stopped attending. It's like a dirty word.

Jack's Shack said...

I think that he needs to tell her. Honesty is only going to help them.

skcorefil said...

He's either got to say it now or spend the rest of his life saying what he believes to be lies. That sure won't bring them closer.

dbackdad said...

That article and this post definitely hits close to home. My wife was well aware of my agnosticism when we courted and got married. She sees the person behind the belief (or lack of belief) as I do of her (she's a cafeteria Catholic ... but attends a Lutheran church). The biggest hitch has been in the education of our son but even in that it has not been a huge problem. I allowed him to go to Lutheran pre-schools and he now is in a public kindergarten. He will continue in non-religious schools for the balance of his education. He attends church with my wife and attends bible class on Sundays. We don't hide my beliefs from him and at an age where he can make a decision, we will give him the choice of continuing to attend church or not. I will be fine with his decision either way.

I always called myself an agnostic but more out of not wanting to offend than anything else. I am fine with calling myself a "soft atheist" or humanist now. It's ironic though. We feel the need to have a term for lack of religious belief but you don't have a term for someone that doesn't believe in astrology or that Elvis is alive. I (and many posters on these blogs) feel that astrology, Elvis-believers and Christians are all equally irrational ... but I digress, that's a subject for a different post.

Red Tulips said...

You know...telling my parents I am an atheist was not that big a deal for me, but even still, I upset my mom. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for you, as I was raised secular.

Anyway, *waves hello from a fellow Jewish atheist*

Jewish Atheist said...

Hello, back! :-)