budgies and elephants

January 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm 12 comments

I never read blogs until about eighteen months ago, just never got into them, now I follow a bunch. Most of them I read because I learn new things in one way or another, all but a couple are related to religion in some shape or form. The ones I tend to benefit from the most are by people who have come from a similar conservative Evangelicalism and either left or reworked their beliefs in order to stay. It can be a lonely experience, for me not because I was alienated by friends but just because they did not share a similar experience. Yes, blogs have their limitations, and “just anyone can write anything out there,” but really all forms of communication have limitations and particular uses. The Internet is pretty interesting that way, bringing together people who have very specific interests or backgrounds.

I have especially appreciated blogs where people share something of how their changing beliefs affected their friendships with others, particularly in marriage. It is helpful to know there are others finding their way through similar struggles; that usually isn’t something found in the public library. Regarding writing about marriage, The Woeful Budgie wrote a particularly poignant and heartfelt post, you can read it here. She expresses so well how hard it can be to talk about these things in a marriage.

If you can relate in some way or know of other blogs like that, please take a moment to leave a comment. And if you think it sounds strange, atimetorend recommending a post by The Woeful Budgie, don’t worry, I do too!


Entry filed under: marriage, writing. Tags: , , , .

happy new year! unequally yoked or a marriage made in heaven

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sabio Lantz  |  January 10, 2010 at 6:24 am

    @ ATTR

    That was very touching post by Woeful. I love the technique of saying, “Would you send me to hell?” — I will have to try that sometime.

    I split with a partner of 10 years because of religion too. I deconverted but she stayed — and heck, she was the daughter of missionaries (Mennonite). Feeling her sadness that I was going to hell and that our relationship and activities were just meaningless in the long run was a huge part of that split. Ironically, today she is no longer Christian and we get along marvelously — albeit by e-mail (her husband is hell-bound, seems they are going together — now that is commitment) :-)

    Also I loved the line where she said, “It took me leaving my faith to realize you were never the asshole Christian I was.”

    Since blogging, I realized that there are a huge varieties of ways Christians hold their beliefs and I often assumed they must hold them like I did and have been rightly corrected by many Christians that they don’t.

    I have three questions:

    (1) Between your web readings and atimetosew’s first and possibly only two posts maybe you could make a list of blogs of marriages between atheists (skeptics/agnostics/…) and Christians. Heck, you could have a side bar listing those sites and make your site a center for folks to discuss those sort of relationships. You seem as if you would have a very good moderator personality. Just a thought.

    (2) So, you direct us to Woeful’s post about her question to her husband saying, “Do you think I’m going to hell?”. But why not post about how atimetosew responds to that question. Does she respond differently today than she did 6 months ago. Referring to other blogs is fine and good, but ….

    (3) I don’t get your last sentence: “And if you think it sounds strange, atimetorend recommending a post by The Woeful Budgie, don’t worry, I do too!” — What am I missing?

  • 2. atimetorend  |  January 10, 2010 at 7:43 am

    (1) Yes, I’m hopefully working towards that. I like the side bar idea, thanks.
    (2) (Laughing) It is an emotionally charged issue, that is for sure.
    (3) The last sentence sounded strange to me because of the pseudonyms, so I was trying to cover up for it if others found it sounding strange or were put off by it.

  • 3. Kaylynn  |  January 10, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I think I might fit onto that ‘marriage between an agnostic/skeptic and a believer’ list.

    My hubby and I both deconverted from Jehovah’s Witnesses at similar times.

    I’ve continued my quest, where religion really just doesn’t him. He’s not against it, he’s just not for it either.

    I will say, though, that he’s currently reading “The Evolution of God” by Robert Wright. (I had to pester him to do so, but he keeps saying how good it is.) :-)

  • 4. Mark  |  January 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    I fall in that category. I have lost my Christian faith for close to 3 years now and I’m marriage to a wonderful Christian woman for 13 years. I’m still searching, but don’t have too much hope of having faith again. We talk, we cry, we struggle through this all. I desperately want it back to how it used to be. But like you know, you can’t force yourself to believe something you know is not true. Anyway, I still go to church every Sunday, participate in a small group, and am committed to raising our seven kids in the Christian faith. Things will most likely get more complicated and more relationships will be strained. But this is my life. I also try to keep a blog (http://www.christiandoubt.com), but I’m more focused on searching, reading, and learning.

  • 5. Lorena  |  January 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    I love TWB’s blog!

    Oops…seems like I just nicknamed another blogger. I am just not fond of typing long nicknames.

  • 6. the chaplain  |  January 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Woeful Budgie’s post was great. I really feel for couples who are working through faith issues and are on very different tracks. It must be terribly stressful. I’m fortunate because, once my husband and I opened up a revelatory conversation about our faith (more correctly, our mutual lack of faith, as it turned out), we discovered that we had been traveling on parallel paths. Then we wished we hadn’t taken so long to open up about the matter.

  • 7. atimetorend  |  January 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for commenting. It strikes me that going through situations like this is often a matter of timing; either both go through the same thing at the same time (“travelling parallel paths), one goes first, or both meet in the middle at a new place entirely. It is good to learn that not every couple is on the same page at the same time and still people manage to make it work out.

  • 8. Sabio Lantz  |  January 16, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Some Atheist sites say that ironically Christian marriages have a higher failure rate than Atheist marriages. Here is a site about that issue. But atheists claim the same about more Christians proportionally in prisons but here is a Christian site that debunks that, apparently. I wonder what the truth on this is. I wonder what Epiphenom (Tom) knows about interfaith marriages. I don’t have time to look into this, nor care too much. But interfaith marriage issues are important.

    And I would love to see ATTR keep pursuing that for us.
    This is a great place to start posting about the subset of interfaith marriages where it is marriages where one partner deconverts to be atheist — that will narrow the field and make research more focused. Great testimonies already. And ATTR is a fantastic moderator !

  • 9. Belief and Marriage « An Apostate's Chapel  |  January 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    […] differences create (or, sometimes perhaps, exacerbate) relational chasms that cannot be bridged. Other couples find ways to retain their connections, but doing so requires intense effort on the part of both […]

  • 10. The Woeful Budgie  |  February 3, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out. Love the pic, by the way! :)

    I’m appreciating the Yoked Marriages page as well, and enjoying reading everybody’s posts listed there.

    The funny thing I’m noticing right now as I’m browsing through all the Christian advice out there about unequally yoked marriages, is it’s almost exclusively addressed to women who are stuck with unbelieving husbands. It’s occasionally gender-neutral, but I’ve not yet come across one that assumes that the husband is the believer and the wife is the godless skeptic. That probably says something meaningful about evangelical culture, but I’m not sure what.

    And, come to mention it, I actually was fortunate enough to find something rather helpful at the public library last summer. Parenting Beyond Belief, while specifically geared toward raising kids, still had a lot of helpful things to say about co-existing with religious partners in a mixed marriage, and how real couples were dealing with that. I don’t think I read anything there that hubby and I hadn’t pretty much worked out for ourselves, but still, it was reassuring to see that it was being done successfully, and with love and mutual respect, rather than fear and codependent control (i.e., “your perseverance could bring him to a saving knowledge of Christ! Don’t give up!”)

  • 11. atimetorend  |  February 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    @TWB: That is very curious about the gender-specific web pages on unequally yoked marriages. I wonder why too. I checked out that book as well but didn’t read that section in depth, will have to take a look at it again. I really like this article Dale McGowan wrote.

  • 12. atimetorend  |  February 4, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    The first section of that article that is, I don’t remember the rest.

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