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Switch to Forum Live View Need Advice (BADLY)
6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 2:17AM #1
koolaid
Posts: 40
Ok, I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 14 months and 17 days. I love her and everything is going well between us. However, I am an Atheist, and she is an active Christian. It isn't duanting for us, but for her family (her Aunt in perticular) it seems to be a problem. Now that we're getting older we're really starting to worry about it. I know that she can't turn her back on her family and I would never ask her to. But I just don't want to make it to our wedding day and have hands go up for objections. It would crush her and I don't want that to happen. Her aunt is constantly trying to tear us apart. She's told my her that she might as well break up with me because I'm not christian and there's no furture with me. We on the other hand see no problem, She would go to church and I wouldn't. And if we ever have kids I wouldn't object to them going with her, I think it instils good values. But they would eventually choose for themselves. I've tried talking to her Aunt, but she uses the whole "I'm an adult so I'm automatically right no matter what" defense. So I don't know what I should do. Breaking up with her is NOT an option and never will be. I'm not stupid by any means and I know about ALL religions, So she gets REALLY mad when I turn scripture around on her. She seems to think that I'm ignorant of her beliefs when in fact I know more about religions as an Atheist than most Christians. It wouldn't really matter to me except for that fact that her ONLY problem with me is my being an Atheist. I don't drink or smoke, I'm polite around her and her family, and I only debate when provoked. In fact, she has tried ON SEVERAL occasions to set her neice up with OTHER GUYS who CLAIM to be Christian. THAT has been pissing me off ALOT.


Advice please?
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 11:16AM #2
Pthalo
Posts: 464
It might be too late now but in most situations it is best not to mention one's religion or beliefs.  When two people get married, two families get joined.  If it is now common knowledge that you are an atheist, there's not much you can do about it except love and understand all of those around you. (especially her Aunt) Don't get drawn into defending your beliefs with anybody any more.  Practice compassion and understanding and DO NOT argue scripture with anyone.  I'm an old guy myself and you sound like a nice young man.  Be patient and see if your fiancee can withstand the pressures of her Aunt and family if not, then..... that's the future.  If you are in a small community where your absence from church will be noticed then you have another problem. One solution is to think about Jesus without all the baggage of Christianity.  I'm a Buddhist but I have no problem with Jesus.  It might be hard, but you could go to church and just enjoy the good stuff.  I wish I had some answers for you.  Just some things to think about.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 12:11PM #3
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244
Koolaid, the most important thing is that you and your girlfriend have enough respect for one another to love despite your differences. The second most important thing is whether or not your lady will be able to withstand the onslaught and stand by her man.

It's unfortunate the family you're joining will make your lack of belief a divisive issue  because THEY choose to make it so. It won't be easy and when someone continually baits you, it's difficult to shrug it off at all times.  Finding that line between self-defense and turning her scriptures around on her requires a great deal of diplomacy and tact.

When I married my (now ex) husband, we were both atheists so we didn't have to worry about the differences between us. But his family were church going Lutherans and his mom tried to make it an issue with ME. Oddly enough, she didn't have this same issue with her own son. In an attempt to drive a wedge between us, she tried to dictate that we should be wed in a chapel by her minister. I refused to yield and we had our own secular wedding by a UU minister who respected our wishes to keep god out of the service. The conflict with mommy dearest in law never really ended, but finding allies within his family made it easier to cope. That, and the distance of 400 miles! :)

Best of luck to you,

---agnosticspirit
Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 12:35PM #4
ZenYen
Posts: 447
Koolaid: I'm agnostic/Buddhist, and I married a good Catholic girl. My lack of Christian beliefs was a problem for my future mother-in-law, and to a lesser extent with my future father-in-law. So, I kind of know where you're coming from.

In my case, the in-laws eventually decided I was a decent guy. It helped that we had something of a long engagement, and that gave them a chance to get to know me instead of the label they wanted to pin on me. It helped, too, that not once in all the time I've known them have I ever attempted to argue religion with them. It wasn't always easy to take my ego out of the equation and keep my religious views to myself, but in the end it was worth it. Whenever discussions got around to actual moral issues, I participated but I didn't trash the religious viewpoint. I simply made my secular arguments calmly, and argued from a moral vantage. And I put as much effort as I could into being a decent, moral person and showing my future wife and her family that I, indeed, love her very much.

Your walk will be different, of course, but I hope that patience and keeping your eyes on the prize will help see you and your girlfriend through this. Good luck.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 12:37PM #5
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634
My advice, for what it is worth, is stop arguing with the aunt.  You're not going to change her mind, and she's not going to change yours.  Any arguing is only going to make the situation more heated than it already is. 

At most just say that you do not agree with those beliefs, but she, and anyone else is free to hold them. 

Ask yourself, "is this the hill I'm willing to die for"?  Are you willing to let the aunt drive a wedge between you and your future wife?  Are you willing to sacrifice everything by arguing with this person on a topic that doesn't really matter?

all
Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 1:06PM #6
Lookbeyond
Posts: 578
[QUOTE=koolaid;590169]Ok, I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend for 14 months and 17 days. I love her and everything is going well between us. However, I am an Atheist, and she is an active Christian. It isn't duanting for us, but for her family (her Aunt in perticular) it seems to be a problem. Now that we're getting older we're really starting to worry about it. I know that she can't turn her back on her family and I would never ask her to. But I just don't want to make it to our wedding day and have hands go up for objections. It would crush her and I don't want that to happen. Her aunt is constantly trying to tear us apart. She's told my her that she might as well break up with me because I'm not christian and there's no furture with me. We on the other hand see no problem, She would go to church and I wouldn't. And if we ever have kids I wouldn't object to them going with her, I think it instils good values. But they would eventually choose for themselves. I've tried talking to her Aunt, but she uses the whole "I'm an adult so I'm automatically right no matter what" defense. So I don't know what I should do. Breaking up with her is NOT an option and never will be. I'm not stupid by any means and I know about ALL religions, So she gets REALLY mad when I turn scripture around on her. She seems to think that I'm ignorant of her beliefs when in fact I know more about religions as an Atheist than most Christians. It wouldn't really matter to me except for that fact that her ONLY problem with me is my being an Atheist. I don't drink or smoke, I'm polite around her and her family, and I only debate when provoked. In fact, she has tried ON SEVERAL occasions to set her neice up with OTHER GUYS who CLAIM to be Christian. THAT has been pissing me off ALOT.


Advice please?[/QUOTE]
Koolaid, you claim to be athiest for some reason. I assure you it would be wise to reconsider your position by asking yourself these questions: where did we come from? why are we here? and where are we going? Search for those answers until you find them. You are, and you will procreate children....where does the spirit within each of us come from? Acts 17:28-30 explains we are the "offspring" of God! We are the spiritual children of God, placed in mortal bodies to live upon this earth to face the trial of our faith! He loves each of us, and desires that we all return to the "family of God".....our own family can be an eternal unit to go beyond the grave! Do you love your sweetheart enough to want to be with her through eternity?  You must exercise faith in God, your eternal Father from whence you are!
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 1:32PM #7
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,783

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:

My advice, for what it is worth, is stop arguing with the aunt.  You're not going to change her mind, and she's not going to change yours.  Any arguing is only going to make the situation more heated than it already is. 

At most just say that you do not agree with those beliefs, but she, and anyone else is free to hold them. 

Ask yourself, "is this the hill I'm willing to die for"?  Are you willing to let the aunt drive a wedge between you and your future wife?  Are you willing to sacrifice everything by arguing with this person on a topic that doesn't really matter?

all

Excellent post I agree with you ALL.:)

One must pick their battles, some are not worth the trouble

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 1:50PM #8
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
Families are different.  In neither my or my spouse's family would an 'aunt' have any say in anything and be anything more than a nuisance to be ignored.


My only suggestion is to not shrug off the children issue so lightly.  You might not think now it will be a problem, but things tend to change when they actually arrive.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 1:58PM #9
Agnosticspirit
Posts: 9,244

hortonthrockmorton wrote:

Families are different.  In neither my or my spouse's family would an 'aunt' have any say in anything and be anything more than a nuisance to be ignored.


My only suggestion is to not shrug off the children issue so lightly.  You might not think now it will be a problem, but things tend to change when they actually arrive.



Well said H. Sorry to stray off topic, but could you take a peek at this post and offer your insight to the gentleman? http://community.beliefnet.com/forums/s … hp?t=21465

Thanks,

--- AS

Tribalism, ethnocentricism, racism, nationalism, and FEAR is the Mind Killer... >:(

For user to user support and to look up the latest glitch reports, check the Beliefnet Knowledgebase by clicking on the link below!

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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 2:08PM #10
mountain_man
Posts: 39,321
Do not give in. Do not fake it. Ignore the aunt as much as possible and concentrate on your relationship with your girlfriend. I know of many Atheist/Christian marriages that do just great. Respect is what any relationship is based on, not on what some aunt has to say.
Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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