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Agnostic/Atheist Support Group

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sss456 posted 7/2/2008 19:56 PM

sometimes, i think word definitions get confused. i'm not sure who means what with forgiving or accepting, but what i feel, myself, on the inside, is a sort of knowledge that "they are human, and flawed, and were selfish and short sighted, and i expected more from them than they were capable of being. i don't hate him, and i'm not really angry, just sort of sorry for him, and the mess he's made of his life"

sadcat posted 8/5/2008 09:58 AM

Sigh. I just got quizzed by someone on why I am not Christian.

I do not like feeling defensive about my belief system.

He was not trying to be mean, just an old Southern Gentleman trying to understand. But it was uncomfortable.

There are days I think it would be easier to lie.

curtis posted 8/5/2008 23:52 PM

hi sadcat
we met in louisville,dont be defensive about what you feel or believe.what was not told this weekend is that i am a minister and i fell,god has his own time and plan,but who are we to judge.
i am not proud of what i did but my wife and i are working it out.i hope good things for you in the future.

25wimsey posted 8/6/2008 18:05 PM

Sadcat, sorry that gent quizzed you! I don't actually get much of that, where I live especially (Bay Area)--and usually all I'll say if asked is that I don't belong to any church or have a religion. Funny, no one has ever straight out asked me if I believe in god or not--

curtis posted 8/9/2008 22:47 PM

Inappropriate for this thread

[This message edited by KSA2 at 12:38 AM, August 10th (Sunday)]

soldieron posted 11/8/2008 12:35 PM

so can we still post on this thread? no offense to the believers out there but that advice doesn't help me. it makes me not want to be here and if we could keep this thread open just so that i don't have to hear that god opens a window when he slams the door in my face i would feel more comfortable. i don't even know that i would say that i am agnostic or atheist, just that that particular advice makes me want to gouge my eyes out. we should be able to have a safe haven too.

graham82 posted 11/9/2008 10:12 AM

Wow I had to do a doubletake when I saw this post! Fellow nonbeliever here. Sick of hearing everyone tell me its in gods hands and he'll get me through it. You'd think not believing in god would make infidelity easier. You know like there is no soulmates, fate, etc. But it doesn't seem to. You think our rational minds could get us through this without all the pain, anger, crying...

Weatherly posted 11/9/2008 14:33 PM

im agnostic too, but my family is VERY religious. Constantly frustrated with me for not going to church and stuff like that.

I swear I may scream if I hear ever again about "God's plan" or how "satan made STBX do all the bad things" yup, god's plan was for satan to make my husband cheat and abuse me.

Nice to see other people here who understand that hearing something is "gods plan" does not help, in anyway.

PlanB posted 11/12/2008 14:11 PM

Sometimes it is a lonely road being a "Nonbeliever". But I would rather be on this road. Knowing that I can count on myself, and taking responsibility for my life and my choices gives me a power that no one can take from me. Now, don't get me wrong- I think that some people need religion to get themselves through life. It must be comforting to have someone always looking out for you, guiding you, loving you. But what happens when God, or whomever you believe in, lets you down? who do you turn to? I used to be able to turn to my Husband- but now- I turn to myself, and know that I am strong enough to make it through this stupid infidelity thing. In the past eighteen years, I have forgotten who I am- it's about time I find myself again. I know that I can cope with this because I have a clear head. I don't have scripture clouding my judgement, If I do end up staying in this marriage, it will be MY decision, not because the Church frowns upon divorce. I haven't seen a counselor yet- still debating on whether to or not. It's actually kinda hard to find one that isn't into a 12 step type program. I don't need to give myself to a higher power to resolve these infidelity issues. I need to figure it out on my own. Does that make sense?

rain7 posted 11/13/2008 00:03 AM

That would be a big hell to the yeah! I know this thread is about the agnostic/atheist dealing with infidelity, but just reading here gets me somewhat riled up. The "it's God's plan" thing really gets me. I counter with, "so I don't have a choice? Great! I'll just do what I want then, and not worry. It's God's plan!" To which they reply, "but God gave us free will." Or some such shit. Which is it? You can't have it both ways! Okay, I'm done for now. Don't want to bash religion, it's just that it gets crammed down our throats SO MUCH.

Edited to add: We ended up leaving our much loved MC because she was totally faith-based, and drew her ideas of what marriage should be from the bible. She was really good, so we went to her for quite a while, but it became pretty apparent that it wasn't going to work out.

[This message edited by rain7 at 12:06 AM, November 13th (Thursday)]

aprilbetdme posted 11/14/2008 09:00 AM

glad i found this group
I'm atheist and in Al-anon. WW is an alcoholic.
The 12 step references God quite often

i struggled with this and almost left the group, even though I got a lot of support from the group.

I came up with a solution to higher power and god references.

my higher power is a humanist approach. the good in man kind.

Humanism can be considered the process by which truth and morality is sought through human investigation.

7yrsbetrayed posted 11/15/2008 13:24 PM

My husband is a sex addict and is facing the same problems with the 12 step programs. Google "secular 12 step" there are lots of websites with info on alternatives to the traditional AA steps. But because AA and other traditional 12 step groups have a greater attendance you'll probably want to stick with those meetings for the group aspect of it. When you work the steps you can simply work the secular steps instead.

soldieron posted 11/16/2008 01:14 AM

thanks for the info about the secular 12 steps. i am unfortunately the drunk in this scenario and have seen some friends have great success with AA but i just can't stomach the religious aspects of it. i will definately check it out.

lookinforward posted 12/16/2008 11:48 AM

Just found this thread. I have been struggling with dealing with the A and trying to find a seminar/retreat that was not religious. My FWH and I are not really religious. I consider myself spiritual, not religious. As in I think there is something greater than myself, but not sure what it is but I believe in being kind to others and not judging those who are religious. It is hard because I am uncomfortable when someone is trying to convert me because I don't want to bash their belief nor force mine on them.

But, back to my point. I was trying to find a helpful seminar. I was very interested in Retrouvaille, but it is put on by the Catholic church (mega-religious organization). Then I came across this article by two atheists that attended it and thought it was great. So I am trying to share this article whenever I can. Though some of the references about M are done with religion, the people state that they were not preached to about converting. Also, any religious time was optional (mass). So I am hopeful that my FWH will agree to go and that we can get past the religious references to the meat of the program which is about saving your M.

Here is the link

Long, but worth the read. Reference to atheist is on last page I believe.

hurtbs posted 12/18/2008 13:23 PM

I haven't posted on this thread in a long time, I thought I would pop my head in. It is a great way to get support on SI when you need something other than a cliched "If HE brings you to it, he'll bring you through it," type of response. That and 'everything happens for a reason.'
I struggle with this aspect with both my ILs and my own parents. I also find it interesting that of everyone in my whole infidelity story (Me, FWH, xOW, ILs, and xOW's mom), I'm the only agnostic:

ILs - 'hard-core 'non-conservative' episcopalians' who believe that the A wasn't that big a deal, minimize it, and make comments like if we had had a religious ceremony, perhaps it wouldn't have happened
FWH - considers himself a Christian (but hasn't been to church in about a decade)
xOW - church going
xOW's mom - condoned affair, adulterer herself, goes to church, avid christian, and even works for a Christian University.

However, apparently, I'm the one who needs moral guidance as I don't have jesus in my life.

Honestly, I don't believe in a higher power. I don't know if it makes the infidelity struggle harder or easier. However, I do know that it's a struggle when I get a god-lecture. *I* didn't violate adultery restrictions, why do *I* need the god-lecture and not the ones who did?

birdwatch posted 12/30/2008 16:18 PM

I am usually in the Spouses of Sex Addicts thread, but curiosity brought me here.

Even though I am an atheist, I used to believe in karma and justice. Now, not only am I not able to rely on God to "explain" why "bad things" happened to me, I have lost faith in karma and justice as well. Many times I think, why even bother getting up in the morning? What does it matter if I am kind or unkind, do good deeds or bad deeds. I feel utterly defeated.

Also, because I do not believe in God, and now not even karma or justice, my rage against OW has multiplied. I feel she DESERVES to be hurt, pained, betrayed and humiliated. In reality, she will likely never have to pay for what she has done.

The whole world is turning upside down. I almost wish to "will" myself to believe in a God so at least I may be provided with "an explanation" for what had happened and with comfort in going forward.

Does anyone feel like this?


25wimsey posted 12/30/2008 21:47 PM

However, apparently, I'm the one who needs moral guidance as I don't have jesus in my life.

That made me smile!! So true--

Birdwatch, I've often thought that it would be easier for me if I did believe in god or karma or something. It's hard to rely on only oneself, especially when that self has been dealt such a blow. But in the long run, it is US who does the work, the healing, the introspection, all that--and that's strengthening.

It's so hard whatever road we take.

aprilbetdme posted 12/30/2008 22:32 PM

glad this group is here. will have to take some time and read through the posts.

i'm in al-anon and sometimes it difficult to get through the god and higher power stuff.

when there is reference to god. I think of God a(O)wful Drunk. :)
my higher power is reasoned thought and science in a humanist way of thinking.

birdwatch posted 1/2/2009 07:42 AM


Thanks for your response and for making me feel less alone.

You said,

But in the long run, it is US who does the work, the healing, the introspection, all that--and that's strengthening.

I understand fully your sentiment. However, when I try to look inside myself, I see apathy and resignation. Why bother? Though I am imperfect, I always try to be kind to others. I suppose being kind is reward in itself. However, I did think being kind will give me happiness in the long run because people in general would be kind to me in return.

Instead, I was betrayed and humiliated. OW knows Mr. Birdwatch is engaged. She actually came to my house once! Not only did she not consider for a moment my feelings, she disregarded my existence. I was invisible. She has stripped my humanity.

Why bother? What is the meaning of life if I do not believe in God and no longer believe in karma or justice. Day in day out - what I say or do makes no difference. I am exhausted from trying. There is no meaning to all these. Why even bother getting up in the morning? There is no cause and effect.

Are my feelings "normal" among my atheist and agnorstic firends?


[This message edited by birdwatch at 7:44 AM, January 2nd (Friday)]

sad12008 posted 1/2/2009 08:11 AM

Just wanted to pop in and add my name to the roster. I may be repeating myself, I really can't recall if I ever posted on this thread before or not. I'm gettin' old, or maybe it's just all this stressful living shit!

I grew up practically IN the church. Front-pew sitting, junior-choir singing, Sunday-school attending. Christmas day we never opened a single gift 'til around about 2 p.m., by which time we'd be so excited and waiting so long we'd just about burned ourselves out and really could care less.....

Why all this? Well, my dad is a minister...but you all would like him, he's very liberal, very open-minded, doesn't cram stuff down others' throats and accepts others' points of view. Thank goodness for him. He decided to go to divinity school in 1943 when he was in the European theater as a WWII machine gunner, BTW.

And then there's Maude! (anyone get that reference? ) I hated going to church, the only thing I can remember liking about Sunday School was eating the paste (had an interesting minty flavor, as I recall...I was only 4 or 5 I think). I felt like a big faker for so many years. And my lack of faith totally makes me the black sheep in my family....plenty of vestry members, Sunday School teachers, wardens of the church, choir members, etc. in my rather small family.

9/11 was the definitive split for me. The total cruel incongruity of people asking for prayers for someone in the hospital, or prayer groups praying for whatever, seemed positively ludicrous when contrasted with all those thousands of people, both victims and families/friends who you know were praying more fervently than they'd ever prayed before in their lives. And what happened? The prayer lines were busy? God was napping?

I'm stuck living in the Bible Belt presently and as a good old-fashioned New England liberal, that would be uncomfortable enough, but throw in the atheism....oh, my! Talk about needing to keep your light under a bushel!!

I know those that offer help in the form of religious-based advice or platitudes [italic]mean[/italic] well for the most part....but on a practical level it's no help to me.....

islandgrl posted 1/3/2009 23:53 PM

Both of us grew up in very religious families, and were "altar-persons - the whole bit) but by the time we got to university - knew we were atheists. We got married during university- in a church - mainly to please our parents(who also were paying for it).
well for a long time now H has been complaining about how his wedding day was the most horrible day of his life! (because of the religion). It got even more- so when they legalized same-sex marriage around here, and he started saying he wanted a divorce because of that. which we never did because it costs money-
The thing is right now - 23 years later,...Anytime theres a tv show or movie advertised with weddings or brides he had some comment like "Dont do it - marriage is a sham!" or would make nasty comments about ours...
Well- now that he had an A, d-day not even a month ago, the other night some tv show got him going again and he was drunk - and he says "I want a divorce - I dont want to ask a 3rd time" Like huuh? I ignored him and went up to the upstairs bathroom to cry a bit thinking it was about the A ...but then figured - well its just the religious thing and not really me (I think) because he still continues to say he loves me. I went back downstairs & he had totally forgotten about it already.
I dont know if theres any point to what I just wrote - haha- I'm still so confused about my life right now...but maybe just wondering if any one else out there have had problems with the definitions of "marriage" while being atheist.

Birdwatch: In another thread someone posted some writings from this site, I've signed up for the emailed daily inspirations & the horoscope and I find it may be helpful in finding a meaning for life & centering on yourself first. (some stuff is a bit "out there" for me but most of it is interesting)

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