My girlfriend of 4 years says she's having doubts on marrying me due to me becoming an atheist 3+ years ago, says she doesn't love me the same due to my "open-mindedness/ability to change views based on a clear argument with evidence to back it." Well she didn't say that last part in so many words but I asked her what it was that kept her faith and belief, even though I've done my best through gentle conversations/debates to change her views, to which she says, and i quote: "It just feels right in my heart". To which I ask if she's even read the bible or studied her religion, and again I quote: "I haven't but I know there's a talking donkey in there or something." I had to leave the room at that one. What am I supposed to do with this woman I love? At the crossroads of trying to put up with "Ignorance is Bliss and Stubborn Cuz I'm Lazy" or "Time to dive down a new path with someone who will accept me."
@Belle: "Do not get married to someone you want to change or who wants to change you. Not just about religion, but with anything."
Everyone attempts to change everyone else's worldview all the time. Parents attempt to change their child's worldview, children their parent's, husbands their wives', wives their husbands' etc. A small amount of conflict between the husband and the wife adds spice to the marriage. Successful couples often relish such conflicts (respectfully, with added humor to remove the sting out of it), with the shared understanding that they can both control it and keep it from mushrooming out of proportion.
" Just whatever you do DON'T get her pregnant!!!! " - Good advice. I concur.
Patrick - I suspect she is lying, she must have another reason for her hesitation and is using religiosity as an excuse.
Having said that, if I am wrong and if religiosity is the actual reason for her hesitation, this is my advice:
It's natural for people to have different worldviews. It is also natural for people to attempt to talk and try to spread their worldviews. Expecting a perfect soul-mate who exactly shares your exact worldview is an utopian dream.
It is possible to be an atheist and also be religious - religiosity, in reality, has very little to do with a dualistic prayer-answering entity and a lot to do with a 'way of life'. Women are also naturally selected to be more religious than men, so you must understand that you are attempting to run counter to her biology. Religiosity activation (through prayer/ meditation) is also good for mental health, provided one doesn't take it to extremes.
Find common ground with her and make it work.
Women are naturally selected to be more religious than men. Human religiosity is also biological. Religiosity activation brings a sense of peace and harmony. You have to take all these factors into account.
Be careful. I didn't know what I really had, until marriage. Or perhaps my slow progression towards atheism somehow triggered my now ex-wife's exponential regression towards faith. I would stare at her face with resignation as nonsense and jibberish poured out of her mouth. When I easily and accurately predicted the early demise of her maniac-on-a-motorcycle nephew, that event called her "to minister."
I used to go through such things. I had to left the lady before it's too late. She really loved me despite my atheistic views. I just couldn't make her cast herself away from religion.
Some couples can make a theist/atheist relationship work. It sounds like you are not one of those couples though.
If you feel like she doesn't understand you, or she's not smart enough for you, or you are having problems really being on the same page, it sounds like any marriage would be difficult or impossible. It's best just to let her go if that's the case.
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. This has gotten me more replies and help than I'd thought I would've originally been given.