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I'm not much of a Christian anymore, but my girlfriend is


ToTakeAStand

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Hi everybody! This is my first time posting here, so I apologize if I'm posting this in the wrong place.

 

My girlfriend of 20 months and I are both 19 years old. Basically, at the beginning of the relationship we were both Christian (though I wasn't quite as conservative, especially politically/socially, as she was). However, as the relationship has progressed, I have moved further and further away from Christianity (especially fundamentalism, in the tenants of which she is generally a believer) in my head, but I haven't made this known to anyone because I'm still working things out. Deism, Zen Buddhism, or maybe even agnosticism all seem more plausible and appealing to me, but that is a topic for another day...

 

She remains firmly rooted in her fundamentalism, which I am willing to accept. I still attend church with my family, since that is what they expect of me, and they don't know of my "falling away" either. Since we have been together for a while now, especially in terms of teenage relationships, I cannot help but wonder whether or not this roadblock is one worth working through. She is nice, pretty, smart, loyal, and pretty funny, but I don't know how she would handle this knowledge. I wouldn't worry about her hating me for it; I'd be more concerned about her losing sleep and tears over the potential damnation of my soul to Hell. Her mom is a Christian, and her dad isn't really into religion at all, something that concerns my girlfriend tremendously.

 

So, I'm stuck. She's a good girl and my first-ever girlfriend. I've made it to clear to her before that, though I have different sexual boundaries than she does, I'm willing to wait until she's ready to move forward physically. I'm willing to compromise, and she may be too, though I don't know whether it would eat her up on the inside. This may all just be TGIG syndrome, as I'm sure develops in all relationships at some point. Our relationship is by no means perfect, but it hasn't been bad.

 

I would appreciate any advice anybody could give me. Thank you!

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I think as a man it is your responsibility to honor her and not tempt or coerce her into going against her christian beliefs. I also believe you owe it to her to be honest with her about how you feel regarding your religious beliefs. She deserves the right to choose if she wants to be with a man that believes differently than her. She is currently under the impression you believe as she does, which is unfair.

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Usually the only way that these things work out is if both people respect each other's beliefs. It is possible though. My mother-in-law is Catholic and my father-in-law is not religious at all. They decided before they were married they would just respect each other's beliefs. They also agreed that my mother-in-law would raise their children as Catholics. Respecting each other's beliefs and respecting each other has worked out great for my in-laws they have been married for 55 years.

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I never understand why religion is such a big deal, personally. Unless your out going to cults and cutting heads off chickens, who the heck cares what you believe so long as you're a good person.

 

I'm a strong Christian and my boyfriend is a full blown atheist - doesn't believe in an afterlife, spirits, or anything. We get along fine. Maybe that's cause I'm not a huge bible thumper though.

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I never understand why religion is such a big deal, personally. Unless your out going to cults and cutting heads off chickens, who the heck cares what you believe so long as you're a good person.

 

I'm a strong Christian and my boyfriend is a full blown atheist - doesn't believe in an afterlife, spirits, or anything. We get along fine. Maybe that's cause I'm not a huge bible thumper though.

 

Have you talked about how you would raise kids with these differing beliefs? That's when it can get difficult. Many agnostics and atheists object to exposing their children to these belief systems when they are children because they are too young to make decisions like this for themselves, so it comes accross as a brainwashing type scenario.

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I never understand why religion is such a big deal, personally. Unless your out going to cults and cutting heads off chickens, who the heck cares what you believe so long as you're a good person.

 

It can be a big deal depending on the level of commitment the person has to following the Bible. Here a few examples of possible scenarios that would cause issues.

 

1. Christian want to honor Gods word by tithing 10% of the families income. Non-believer says no way

2. Christian wants to wait until after marriage to be intimate. Non-believer says if you love me you would sleep with me now

3. Christian wants to pray with spouse but can not becasue they don't believe the same thing. This erodes the connection between them

 

These are just a few examples of why the bible warns believers to not be unequally yoked to a non-believer.

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Have you talked about how you would raise kids with these differing beliefs? That's when it can get difficult. Many agnostics and atheists object to exposing their children to these belief systems when they are children because they are too young to make decisions like this for themselves, so it comes accross as a brainwashing type scenario.

 

I, personally, wouldn't pressure my children to be stuck to any religion. I would of course explain my viewpoints and give them advice on Christianity if asked, but I believe it's there own journey to decide what they want to believe. I'm not your typical Christian I guess. lol

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It can be a big deal depending on the level of commitment the person has to following the Bible. Here a few examples of possible scenarios that would cause issues.

 

1. Christian want to honor Gods word by tithing 10% of the families income. Non-believer says no way

2. Christian wants to wait until after marriage to be intimate. Non-believer says if you love me you would sleep with me now

3. Christian wants to pray with spouse but can not becasue they don't believe the same thing. This erodes the connection between them

 

These are just a few examples of why the bible warns believers to not be unequally yoked to a non-believer.

 

Also, as a non-believer, I would have a problem with my significant other believing that they were going to heaven while I was going to be burned and tortured for all enternity.

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I, personally, wouldn't pressure my children to be stuck to any religion. I would of course explain my viewpoints and give them advice on Christianity if asked, but I believe it's there own journey to decide what they want to believe. I'm not your typical Christian I guess. lol

 

Do you have religious friends and family? If so you can almost guarantee you'll get flack from them for not bringing your kids up in the church.

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OP, I don't see this working out. Your relationship is kind of based on a lie, at the moment. I think that in many ways, moving away from Christianity, but still going through all the rituals is like being in the closet. I would prefer to tell my family that I'm gay than to tell them that I don't believe in many of Christianity's teachings anymore. But it does feel like a huge lie, and I don't know how a relationship can survive on that.

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You owe it to your girlfriend to tell her how you truly feel and the person you’ve become. Please do not lead her own or mislead her. I don’t know how devoted she is as a Christian, but assuming she is serious about her beliefs and values; she would want to know where you stand. If you are not going to walk in the same path then why keep the relationship going? Don’t waste each other’s time. Also she will regret it if things ever get physical between you two. Please discuss your thoughts with her and hopefully you guys can reach a mutual positive decision that works best for both of you.

I was in your girlfriend's shoes 2+ years ago, I left my ex because he was no longer the devoted Christian man I loved; I never looked back and for most days I'm the happiest I've ever been serving Christ on my own!

God bless.

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Well growing up Catholic.... .....my grandmother actually shed tears and pleaded and begged with me because she didn't want me to burn up in hell.

 

It's called Guilt. That feeling...I don't want to hurt you, but I don't want to do what you want me to do, and you are asking me to...the sense that their feelings are your responsibility...

 

And it's something you will need to confront as you explore your own personal beliefs, amongst the ones you have been raised to follow.

 

Bottom line is: you are not responsible if your girlfriend is to lie in bed at night worrying about your soul.

 

You'll have to come clean some time. You might find unlikely support where you least expect it if you are willing to be honest.

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The general consensus seems to be that I need to tell her soon. Thank you all for that advice!

 

So how is it recommended that I go about doing it? I am not completely closed off to the idea of a higher power (or even to a more liberal form of Christianity as a whole). I am just trying to find what I see as truth in the world and am not the devoted fundamentalist that she (along with the rest of my family) is.

 

I feel like just telling her "I don't really believe in God anymore" is both dismissive of potential beliefs I may hold later in life and not truly reflective of my undecided stance on religion; I wouldn't call myself an atheist, more of a Deist at this point. Plus, how would I even bring it up in conversation?

 

For the record... I never tell her that I am a Young Earth Creationist fundamentalist like she is. Religion isn't often discussed between the two of us outside of "How was church this morning?" If something like a conservative social issue comes up (especially for things like gay marriage), though this is rare as well, I just tell her my general stance (which is much different than hers lol).

 

Thank you all again!

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For clarification on my current religious stance: I don't know. I've leaned toward Christian Orthodoxy, agnosticism, pantheism, and everything in between in the last year or two. I really don't think anybody knows for sure about this stuff (No one's around to tell for sure what it's like 5 years after death, etc.), and I'm not about to claim that I'm any different. This is one reason it's so hard to have a conversation about it-- without a defined stance, I don't even know how/what I'd tell her.

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Tell her you are curious and looking at other belief systems.

That there are so many different religions and you are not sure.

In essence...the truth.

 

Again, though, how could I tactfully do it in the best way possible? I fully understand the fact that, regardless of how/when I tell her, she still may be hurt and/or break up with me. I get that. However, I feel like there are better ways of having this conversation than, the next time we're having lunch or something, saying, out of the blue, "Hey. I'm not really sure I'd consider myself a Christian anymore."

 

She's who I would consider my best friend, and I just want to have this conversation in the best manner possible. If she spits in my face and walks out the door despite my efforts, then there's nothing that I can do.

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Dude....she is your gf. If she is going to have a meltdown because you are curious about other religions...then do it at home.

 

And if you are this scared of her reaction you have bigger issues than not believing in the Christian doctrine.

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Dude....she is your gf. If she is going to have a meltdown because you are curious about other religions...then do it at home.

 

And if you are this scared of her reaction you have bigger issues than not believing in the Christian doctrine.

 

I know it's irrational for me to be so scared of having this conversation. I suppose it's just the vulnerability that comes along with the chance of losing someone who I hold dear to me... it sort of eats at me on the inside, because I truly think that it would be extremely difficult to find another girl like her. From her personality, to our quirks... our relationship means so much to me

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You could just tell her exactly that. I think you are way into the weeds here and overthinking this. Just tell her and do it in a respectful and caring way. If it is a deal-breaker for her than there is nothing you can do about it but I have a hunch that it may not be.

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You could just tell her exactly that. I think you are way into the weeds here and overthinking this. Just tell her and do it in a respectful and caring way. If it is a deal-breaker for her than there is nothing you can do about it but I have a hunch that it may not be.

I appreciate the assurance, and I'm sorry (not only to you) for my apparent paranoia Have you (or has anyone else) experienced/heard about a situation where something like this worked out? Obviously not all the details were likely the same; just generally, has someone in a relationship with a religious person pursued other religions (different from those of said religious person) and been able to make the relationship work?

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