I'm opening this topic up because I would like to hear from fellow atheists who have a religious spouse.
I have found myself getting less and less tolerant of the need to have an imaginary friend. I try to keep it to myself as much as I can, but we all know what happens from time to time eh?
I have some questions that I'd like to pose for anyone who cares to chime in.
Are you the dominant one in the marriage? Is that because of your atheism or some other reason? Do you think that would be even a factor? Is it the need for control or just the logical procession of the marriage? Or do you consider you and your spouse to be equally dominant?
I know that's a lot of questions there, but there are lots more to come.
What religious celebrations/ceremonies do you participate in with your spouse? Do you do this just to keep the peace, or do you do it as a supportive role ?
How much religiosity do you allow going on in your home? For example, the watching of Sunday worship shows or the persistent playing of christian music etc.
How much religious decor, symbols and statues etc?
If you have children, how are you handling the conflicting interests of raising your child, in so far as religious influence from your spouse or other family members around your children?
I'll continue for now by answering myself. Kinda like talking to myself. Here comes the straight jacket.
I consider myself to be the dominant one in my marriage. Not because of my atheism per-say, although I think that if I were too a believer it might be more swaying towards equally dominant. More so that it seems to be the logical procession in my case. Sole bread winner, and better educated in my opinion.
I do not and will not attend church service. That's off the table. I will go to the likes of a wake, but I'm probably not going to be at the funeral or the christening unless it's a really close family member.
I allow my wife a little slack on a Sunday to watch some mind numbing, sanctimonious bullshit. I can stomach a little bit in the background. As far as the music goes I'm usually complaining about it by the second song or so. "Surely there's something we all would like to listen to now honey?". I don't care about when I'm not there.
I have allowed a lot of slack in that area, but I have to say that my wife has not taken the piss in that department. She has a few angels and the odd cross here and there. There's no "Ten Commandments" on the wall or any of that nonsense. If you don't know how to act....there's the door.
I'm struggling with this whole thing because everyone I know is a theist. Therefore everyone my son knows is a theist. Now he understands what I tell him about them just being stories, and that a lot of people still live their lives in fear of the invisible and unproven, because they need to feel that there is a better place to go to when you die. And that all the religions think the same way about all the other religions. They will simply go to hell for not believing in their "One true God". I've explained about the facts of the ancient gods, whom no one believes in any more, and that the christian god will also be a thing of the past one day because the advancement of mankind and his intelligent discoveries are explaining the world around us with "TRUTH".
Anyways, that's enough to be going on with for now. If anyone has some questions themselves? Feel free to ask.
I look forward to hearing from anyone with a similar plight. I will soldier on for the mean time.
There are many things about my wife that I respect and appreciate. I appreciate especially how she understands my feelings on the whole God subject. She knows no other way. Solely, in my opinion, because her mother is very strong in her belief. So strong that she is convinced she can convince me. And has instilled that very same fear into my wife. From birth until now.
I don't spend my entire time trying to convince her to stop believing in this old fairy tale and embrace life in a new light with belief in herself. But every chance I get, I do try to interject a thought or question. To which there's usually not any valid response. Mostly of late she just kinda doesn't know why she believes. I truly feel sympathy for her plight. I can help her because I'll always be here for her if she changes her mind or not. And as self conscious as she is, I'd doubt if she would because of her family.
As far as it goes with my son, well it will always be a struggle for me because I have "no back up" as they say. Meaning friends who agree with me. No one to be on my side. Looked at like I'm trying to deprive my son of the lord's love and stupid crap like that. I'm saving him. Screw them crazies.
To which there's usually not any valid response. Mostly of late she just kinda doesn't know why she believes.
That is the exact same feeling I get from my mother. She doesn't really have very firm convictions anyore but isn't willing to look at why that is on any critical level, perhaps because she fears where it might lead...
As far as your struggle with raising your son without a like-minded support system, I can only admire your resolve. It can be very lonely, doing what is right. Are there any atheist groups in a metro area around you? I found a local group just in my backyard on meetup.com. Maybe you could start one, if not.
As a life long atheist with a practicing Catholic fiancee, I decided (since she will never think atheistically) to go in her direction. Needless to say, she totally loves the whole thing and the "conditioning" she unconsciously bestows in my direction certainly helps it. In fact, I've ended up appreciating the sensuality of it all (I know, strange, but if you think about it, true).
I actually hired a certified hypnotist to embed inclinations into my subconsciousness which has had surprising affects/benefits to keep the direction going where I want it to go.
So, my atheism and present juxtaposition has created in me a well entrenched humility while I quietly, but fervently, continue my "education" into the realm of believer. It won't affect my scientific knowledge and beliefs but, rather, I will use my newfound religion to better myself as best as I can, keeping it positive the whole time. I intend to indulge as much from the "cafeteria" as I can (and, as we see here, in this forum topic, that's a common reality) while joining my fiancee, her family and our Church based community in all the joys yet to be discovered. I'll choose to ignore the negatives like so many, except when it comes to possible breaches in Constitutionally based rights. So, I'll be a progressive Catholic. I think that's more acceptable anyway. :)