i few weeks ago my boyfriend and i got engaged however we're probably not going to get married. hes a true atheist and that seems to be all that can fit into his life. he says marraige is fribulas. the lable of being a boyfriend or husband is stupid. im not a christian and getting married to him has nothnig to do with religion. hes cut off from feelings, emotion, affection, compassion. do atheists not feel these things? is it just something they have to act or pretend to make loved ones feel as though they care? when he asked me to marry him i was beyond excited. thought it would be wonderful to plan a wedding. he told me he honestly does not care what goes on. says if i want, hell just show up when its time. other then that im on my own. im not sure what to do. give him what he wants and be unhappy? he always gets what he wants but why should i sacrafice what i want. i love him endlessly. but how do you go without feeling?

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Comment by Lewal on January 12, 2012 at 12:55pm

There's a lot to take apart here. I guess the obvious question is, what does marriage mean to you? Because while he's clearly passionate about the subject of you, anything short of that is comparatively sort of frivolous to him. I'd wager it's more of a guy thing than an atheist thing, but then guys and atheists are stereotyped as overly logical.  You might want to appeal to his logic by reminding him that a lot of the things he does are absolutely frivolous as they serve  no purpose other than to make him feel good, and that that's perfectly fine, that it's human. Then express to him that as a human, you also appreciate frivolous notions, just different ones than he does; if he's really madly in love with you, he'll make the extra effort to be mindful of these things. Love is giving, right?

Comment by Samantha Kedzierski on January 12, 2012 at 1:02pm

yes and i feel like ive been giving too much and getting nothing in return. your post was very nice to read. maybe this is a guy thing yet i havent met a man who didnt help their wives in some way or take part in THEIR lives as a couple. he wont take part unless it bennifits him. he does love me he says it all the time but sometimes and he doesnt get this, just saying those 3 words are not enough. efforts need to be made. ive made sacrafices. he refuses. like he still wants to be a single man but still wants me around. he doesnt understand he cannot have both. yet telling him these things im telling you is completely frivolous to him as they serve no purpose then just me bitching. he is very  VERY over logical. about pretty much everything. hes absolutly pigheaded. weve been with eachother for a while. he would like a family but again he cant have the single life too. is it worth giving up?

Comment by Kir Komrik on January 12, 2012 at 1:07pm

Hey Samantha,

I think it is a common problem for atheists to feel and empathize. It has been said that the incidenee of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is higher in atheists. I don't know if that is true but one of the charactersitics of that disorder is a deficit in the capacity for empathy. I'm not saying your boyfriend fits that pattern, but I just wanted to point out that I think you are picking up on something.

 

- kk

Comment by Cristynfaye on January 12, 2012 at 1:22pm

I think his behavior has very little to do with his being an atheist, and very much to do with his having some underlying issues.  I really suggest that you guys find a relationship counselor, if you both are willing to.  It really can do wonders for couples, and help you guys work together and understand one another, regardless of whether you get married.  But it could also help you if you do wish to move toward marriage.  If money is an issue, there are lots of counselors who take sliding scale payments.  Usually you can find lists of different counselors just by doing a google search, or you could call around to different ones to find out information.  I hope this helps.  I really encourage you to do this.  Often, having an outside mediator can really help. 

Comment by Samantha Kedzierski on January 12, 2012 at 2:36pm

i looked up NPD and these are the symptoms:

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Believing that you're better than others YES
  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness YES
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents YES
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration YES
  • Believing that you're special and acting accordingly YES
  • Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings YES
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans YES
  • Taking advantage of others YES
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior YES
  • Being jealous of others NO
  • Believing that others are jealous of you YES
  • Trouble keeping healthy relationships YES
  • Setting unrealistic goals YES
  • Being easily hurt and rejected NO
  • Having a fragile self-esteem NO
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional YES

i believe he has all but 3 of the 16 issues. however, im not sure what to do.

Comment by Lewal on January 12, 2012 at 2:56pm

I've seen this "acting like he's still single" issue come up a lot with couples I know. If you're giving your all, willing to commit completely, and he's still acting selfishly like that, it could be a sign of emotional immaturity on his part. Which I guess is to say he may be willing, but not ready. It's probably an area of personal development that he just hasn't addressed in his life yet, you know?

Which I guess leaves you with the option to wait for him to grow as a person, or... yeah, it's not an easy choice even when you put it into perspective.

Comment by Samantha Kedzierski on January 12, 2012 at 3:02pm

thats exactly the words he used. hes "willing" to get married to me. he says his whole life hes put down the subject so much because its something he didnt want to do. no reason, just didnt want it. he knew i was this type when we got together. we talked very brefly about marraige and a family. (in which he told me if we ever break up hes never dating a girl with kids again which is funny to me becuase he has a son which he sees one day a week for just a couple hours. i think thats part of his lazyness.) hes 30. hes spent his whole life working, sleeping with women, drinking, and burring his face in sencless youtube crap. ive supported him through ever idiotic waistful desicion hes made and i dont believe once hes done the same. rolls his eyes and marches on.

Comment by redpepper on January 12, 2012 at 3:44pm

Is no one going to acknowledge the elephant in the room?  Sam, you sound bitter and unhappy.  You shouldn't get married, at least not to this guy.  What on earth could make him worth even more effort?

Comment by Samantha Kedzierski on January 12, 2012 at 3:52pm

i wouldnt say bitter, but deffinitly unhappy sometimes. i thought your significant other was there to talk to but he thinks thats what theripists are for. im not exactly sure what my head heart or gut are thinking. whats a logical desicion, how to go about this. ive came from a LOT of hardships and a terrible past. he didnt rescue me. however he in the begining gave me something no one else did. he let me be me. i have no family. he and my 2 kids are pretty much all i have. instead of saving for a wedding, would the logical choice be, saving for an apartment for me and my boys?

Comment by redpepper on January 12, 2012 at 3:54pm

Is he the example you want your boys to have?  Is your relationship the kind of relationship you want your boys to have with their future mates?

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