It was bound to happen sooner or later...

Because I clearly don't understand how Facebook News Feed works, my wife just found out about my newly discovered atheism, before I had a chance to bring the subject up by my own choice.

I had posted a comment on Sam Harris's Facebook right after the little girl in Effingham, IL was murdered (see my earlier blog post).  So I got in a small Facebook argument with a Christian who disagreed with my take on prayer.  Well, it turns out my wife saw my post, and responded with a bewildered "???"  That was not the way I wanted to handle things, but now the cat's out of the bag, so I am going to have to be honest with her.  

I'll keep you posted on how things work out...

Views: 308

Comment by Unseen on September 24, 2013 at 2:02pm

Facebook sucks. They're always changing it in mystifying ways. I hardly use it except to participate in the group Feminism is for Everybody, where I post under a different handle.

Comment by Unseen on September 24, 2013 at 2:41pm

Mine or ATH's?

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on September 24, 2013 at 4:07pm

Don't debate Science topics. Keep it to the nature of faith and beliefs. Do not deny the existence of God. It is just that you don't believe what some other people believe. Hope all goes smoothly.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on September 24, 2013 at 11:21pm

Awkward. Well, when you talk about thorny things like this, I think respectful and sincerity go a long way. Listen attentively and try not to let emotions get high. It may take time for her to accept it but that's ok. Good luck.

Comment by Physeter on September 25, 2013 at 2:16am

You posted about your atheism (that you're trying to keep secret) using an online account that was linked to your real name? An account that the people you were trying to hide it from knew belonged to you?

Yeah, getting found out was bound to happen under those circumstances. I guarantee you nobody I know in real life calls me "Physeter."

Good luck, buddy.

Comment by A.T. Heist on September 25, 2013 at 10:28am

So far, so good.

Comment by H3xx on September 25, 2013 at 9:41pm

Good luck Albert. tell me how it turns out.

Comment by A.T. Heist on September 26, 2013 at 11:20am

LOL, Angela, but no...that's not what I meant by "so far, so good."  Basically, she seems to have decided to let me work things out on my own.  Beyond that, it's life as usual: taking care of the kids, sharing good and bad things, going to work, watching Breaking Bad, etc.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on September 26, 2013 at 3:41pm

I have noticed that many of the initial arguments/debates can escalate very quickly because both parties are adamant they are correct. It is not just for that reason though. It is because the Theist is arguing based on an emotional response and the Atheist is arguing from an intellectual perspective. There is no meeting point there so the only compromise is to agree to allow everyone time to think about it. The thing is you already have worked things out on your own. The “time out” is really for your wife to come to terms with this discovery and to understand its implications – i.e. your immortal soul or the children’s upbringing.

A further point of conflict may be that once she does become ok with your choice is that she will then be compelled to understand why you became an Atheist. As your wife works through the reason you give for your Atheism she will be forced to reason own through her own beliefs. This can get messy. She may “forgive” you for turning your back on God (as she may see it, rather than just no longer believing) but she may not be as forgiving of you if she thinks you are trying to make her lose her faith. She will have doubts about her own once she ponders your reasons and blame you for the inner turmoil she may feel.

I may be totally wrong here but I have helped many people to become Atheists and I have heard stories like this. I have even had people call to my house demanding that I never speak to their friend or family members again because I “led them from the light”. So be careful how you word things. Even saying something like “I would never try to take your faith from you” can be heard as “I think your faith is weak”.

It is because she knows you so well and respects you that she has respected your decision. It is because of this that “Doubt” will have entered into her thought already and she may be “ultra” faithful for a while. So you must allow her the same space. Eventually, once she has had time to consider everything she will ask you about it and how you got there. This time it will not be based on emotion but on her own intellectual curiosity. If that is the case then she may join you (on the dark side!!).

There is one other thing….at some point people new to atheism get angry with the fact that they once believed. I remember almost cringing at myself for being so gullible. Even after 30 years of being an active Atheist I sometimes mentally flinch when I remember some of the crap I held as the Truth. (Jesus wept!). I went through a phase of almost insulting believers and cursing god (who is not there!!). I cringe at that too sometimes. The reaction has an emotional charge to it so be careful not to react to her emotional “love” of god with your “hatred”. It can be frustration for both parties. I hope that makes sense and I apologise if I am making any assumptions about your possible reactions or those of your good wife. Good Luck.

Breaking Bad news

Comment by Physeter on September 26, 2013 at 11:58pm

I often wonder if I wouldn't be better off coming out, instead of going to such pains to hide what I'm thinking. I don't even have a wife, only parents to worry about. Glad to hear it's going well for you, keep us posted.


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