I am currently dealing with someone who liked me before but doesn't now that they know I'm an unbeliever. Normally this would make me shake my head and/or laugh but this person and my girlfriend are very close and she is my girlfriend's boss too.
I was in the store today and waved at her and she made sure not even to look up, something she would have never have done before finding out I'm an unbeliever. She also makes snide remarks at my fiancee like "Well what happened to him?" As I said before it wouldn't normally matter but she is a second mom to my fiancee, which puts her in a very awkward position.
Should I could confront her? She is a tough old broad and comes from a generation that hates gay men and women and minorities too, even though they hide it well.
And does anyone else regularly have to deal with this kind of ignorance? How do you deal with it when it's someone who matters?
That's difficult Bryan.
Normally, engaging this type of person would be a non-effort meaning useless. People who are set in their ways are set in their ways and normally I would avoid engagement. However since this person has so much direct affect on your lives, I would a) somehow make a suggestion that would welcome a discussion with her but make it subtle and non-confrontational and b) more importantly, make sure you are nice to this person and show her none of the disrepect she is showing you. Do not give this person any reason to dislike you. The nicer you are the harder it will be for her to judge you in a negative way. One of my closet co-workers is an ardent believer but and we joke all the time that "Robert's going to hell but I love him anyway". This doesn't bother me in the slightest. I know I'm a good person and she knows it too. Hopefully your atheism will become more and more secondary to her judgements of you as time goes on. There's really nothing else you can do.
I don't know how you could make this person like you again. She clearly is a bigot. The only thing you can do is maybe talk to her & tell her that even though you have your differences you two shouldn't let this ruin either or both your relationships with your girlfriend.
Well, when it came to dealing with my mom's fundamentalism I just told her to fuck off and I haven't seen her since (going on 20 years now). I had a phone conversation with her in the late 90's and she was still rambling the same crap so I wound up just putting the phone back on the receiver.
I've never had to deal with an employer who was overly-religious so I can't say for sure, but I would very likely tell them to 'take this job and shove-it'.
Anyway, telling your mom and/or boss to die in a grease fire just isn't everyone's style, so I guess I don't have much more to offer you here. I do imagine you'll handle things with much more diplomacy than me, and that is a very admirable trait.
MY advice on this is simple and well reasoned as I deal with this kind a lot in the south. She does not like you and likely never will again. At best she will come to tolerate you.
You need to tell her " I understand that you don't like me now and that's fine, but we need to get along because this is hurting (your fiancee).
I would avoid offering her anything to do with religion or the like of for that matter. This is the rub already, no need to pour salt in the wound. This is how she will most likely see it anyway. Just try to make peace as you are not likely to make friends.