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User Topic: Agnostic/Atheist Support Group
Maxiom
♂ Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 2:50 PM, June 24th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here here! From one lapsed Catholic to another:


Catholic — which I was until I reached the age of reason.


Me: FBS/WS 41
Her FWS/BS 41
My DDay - March 10, 2007 Whole Truth - May 2007
Her DDay - March 2, 2011
True NC March 3, 2011

Posts: 458 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
Lola2kids
♀ Member
Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, June 25th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just found this group.
It's refreshing.

I struggle sometimes with the religious aspect of making vows in front of "God" and keeping those vows no matter what.
Most of the time when I post I try to hide the fact that WS and I were not married.
This also seems to be an issue when I sometimes reveal the fact that he was "technically" married for 9 of the 12 years we were together.
It's something I struggled with morally if not spiritually. I don't believe in a higher power. Whether that makes me an atheist or agnostic I'm not sure.

I never had those religious convictions that what I was doing was wrong. My problem was that while he was married on paper he could not marry me.
His now ex-wife and I are somewhat friends and even she made a point of saying that she handn't considered them married since they split and he moved out. That was in 1998. They felt that the marriage once they were living separately was just a piece of paper even though they were married in a church. I should metion that she cheated on him, that is why they split. She went on to have a daughter with the AP and then the AP cheated on her.
Doesn't say much about marriage to me.

Their attitude should have been a huge red flag for me.
He and she are Greek Orthodox. Also, Eastern European and it seems that infidelity is rampant in the culture he is from.
I guess I feel the stigma.
I feel ashamed that I fell for his lies.

Anyways, interesting that I finally found this thread.


BS: (Me) 47
Kids: twins DD(10)
D-Day April 18, 2011
Him:out Sept. 11, 2011
He moved to Europe June 27, 2014.
"They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I am growing more and more fond of his absence"

Posts: 1364 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
tabitha95
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Member # 22033
Default  Posted: 3:29 PM, June 25th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was married by a judge. The vows to me weren't to a higher power, they were to each other. I looked him in the eye and said I would foresake all others. He said the same. I honored my vows to him, he did not to me.

I don't need to do right because I'm afraid of a vengeful god punishing me if I didn't. I think morals and religion are exclusive.


BW (me) - 45
DS 14, DS 11
D-Day#1: Oct 30, 2008
D-Day#2: June 3, 2011 (same MOW) Separation: June 3, 2011
Divorce finalized: Feb 2012 (due to 6 month waiting period).

Posts: 3249 | Registered: Dec 2008
h0peless
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Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 3:42 PM, June 25th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was married by a politician (my best friend who also happen to be the person who introdiced me to the ex and the only one to express reservations about her to me before her infidelity) in a very small ceremony with absolutely no reference to religion. Several of my family members were pretty offended by it, actually.

For me, marriage had nothing to do with religion. It was all about commitment, being there for each other through thick and thin, love, hate, annoyance, acceptance... All of the things that will happen when you spend a lifetime with a person. That's what it was about for me. For her, it was about having a partner for a while and then jumping into something new.


Posts: 1657 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So I've been thinking of the best way to post this question for a while, and I think that it's finally gelled in a way I can articulate.

We talk so much about self esteem and inner strength. After the affair, we are grappling for what it means to be part of a marriage/team/relationship but still be autonomous. We try to build each other up to stand alone against anything.

The thing is, I still feel like that's a somewhat lonely solution. I admit that part of my Codependent self is fighting the concept of self-reliance, and I try to reconcile that before taking the thought any farther.

It's just like... without a God or gods, without trusting a SO 100%... without putting our lives in the hands of anyone or anything for more than a second... it just seems like a lot to undertake for all of existence. We even learn that we can't trust our own parents or siblings to love us enough to put us first. On the one hand, it's practical and realistic. On the other... it just seems oddly isolated in a world full of people.

I miss the magical candy coated bubble of what a marriage used to mean to me. I miss having more of a conviction of creation and purpose. I miss trusting that my parents would catch me if I fell.

I know that we get stronger as we just learn to rely on ourselves only, I just can't shake how lonely that feels sometimes even though I am surrounded by people I DO trust.

So, how do you all feel about this? Do you have someone to turn to in faith when things get too heavy? Is it foolish to think that this is something that even exists or is healthy?


It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. -Russian Proverb

Posts: 17076 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Tred
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Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I get you Razzie. For me, it boils down to there is no Santa Clause. And, that was a real bummer when I found out. I think I'm still scarred.

I miss the magical candy coated bubble of what a marriage used to mean to me.

Yeah, in spades. I'm starting to get better though - I find my peace in nature. Gardening, cutting wood, burning stumps, watching things grow and become the next years bounty. I love the cycle of it. I'm realistic enough to realize that not everything I plant will grow - no matter how much I care for it. Some things are just out of my control. It really is a pleasure though when you coax that plant through a harsh winter in the greenhouse and it rewards you with it's beauty every spring. But sometimes, you just want to say fuck it and take off because that is what you need. And that's ok too. I don't need permission from a higher power to direct my weekend.

So in answer to your question - I don't miss having a higher power to turn to. I'm getting better at taking care of myself. If there is a higher power, he probably appreciates me taking some of the load off him . Maybe that's why Santa had elves


Married: 17 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

Posts: 3868 | Registered: Dec 2011
Pass
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Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 6:53 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I know what you mean, Jrazz. Despite my VERY Christian raising, I started figuring out I was an atheist at about the age of four (my parents took me to a gospel concert, and during the song "God's Gonna Get You For That", I decided God sounded like a dick).

My parents were never warm people so when The Princess love-bombed me, I fell hard for her: I threw all the faith I'd never had in anything else into our marriage. And now I have nothing.

I worry that I will always have nothing.

I guess the answer should be that NOTHING and NOBODY deserves 100% of our faith. Our faith has to be earned an inch at a time, and it has its own Law of Diminishing Returns built in. I hope to have a good marriage some day with someone I can have some faith in, but they will never get all of it.

Maybe we shouldn't see that as the lonely option. Maybe it's the option that provides room for us to be strong as well. Whether through infidelity, death, or whatever, we all would have needed that strength some day anyhow.

Sucks though.


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1836 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

See, I like the idea of God. I just have feasibility issues. My experience with Christianity has been very positive on a whole (apart from being non-Catholic at a Catholic school for 8 years - see my autobiography)

I participated in a youth group in high school and those were some of the most peaceful years of my life.

When I try to break it down into technical pieces, it all boils down to being able to let go of everything. People, things, expectations... the more we are able to truly and deeply let go, the freer we are. Having something to hand your worries over to is easier than just setting them ablaze and hoping for the best, so I think that's why I had an easier time praying for help than just saying "Well, this is either going to blow up in my face or not. Whatever."

As for Santa, Mr. Tred, here's the thing. I lost a little part of my soul when I learned about him, but I remember on that day thinking that when I got to share the tradition with my own kid (or niece or nephew) I would get that piece back. There is some kind of joy in having someone in a magical place who is thinking of you and wants to take care of you, even if it's one day a year.

I don't know. I guess I just wish it wasn't part of our programming to hope that someone loves us just as much as we are supposed to love ourselves.

I'll tell you what, reading Pema Chodron usually calms me down off these things. I think I'm going to go dust off "When Things Fall Apart."

Thanks for the input, guys. I wasn't expecting too much of a response in here on a Sunday. I really appreciate you chiming in.


It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. -Russian Proverb

Posts: 17076 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Pass
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Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 9:05 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the input, guys. I wasn't expecting too much of a response in here on a Sunday. I really appreciate you chiming in.

What else did you think a bunch of atheists would be doing on a Sunday?


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 1836 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 9:28 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sigh.


It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. -Russian Proverb

Posts: 17076 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
nuance
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Member # 28793
Default  Posted: 10:53 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Every year I told my kids I was Santa. Since I don't look anything like Santa they thought that was hilarious and they never believed me. When they learned the truth they couldn't blame me :)

Also I tell them that even people that we love will hurt us. But that's how humans are. But we shouldn't discard the love because of that.

Oh well...


Dday May 2000. R'ed.
People suck.

Posts: 1200 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: California
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 11:20 PM, July 6th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's just like... without a God or gods, without trusting a SO 100%... without putting our lives in the hands of anyone or anything for more than a second... it just seems like a lot to undertake for all of existence. We even learn that we can't trust our own parents or siblings to love us enough to put us first. On the one hand, it's practical and realistic. On the other... it just seems oddly isolated in a world full of people.

I mull it over sometimes, what it would be like if there was a loving, personal deity out there I could trust implicitly and could give me a reason for everything, that I'd accept.

It is nothing I couldn't also achieve with some powerful recreational pharmaceuticals.

Any feelings of connection I have with someone else is just that, my feelings of connection. It doesn't matter to me if it's chemicals or some mystical hand pushing electrochemical signals around.

We are all locked inside our heads. When you offer someone the potential option of unlocking that and allowing them to mingle with some greater collective, there is this huge, terrified rearing back over problems of identity. A massive supercomputer, or a god? I'd say it's about people wanting a certainty that things would be okay, and understanding how computers work means understanding the potential risks. If you swap in "a god" with "your personal, specific ideal deity" and move "a god" to the left, suddenly the divine occupies the same space as the supercomputer.

The only thing I can feel when I mull that stuff over is just how massively fucking disappointing it will be if I do run into a god, because if gods modeled the universe, they were some really shitty role models. We can talk all about how it's our choice to be assholes to each other, but if we're placing the faith of certainty in that kind of power, then we're abrogating personal responsibility - like children as to parents. Every child that grows up has to face the realization that their absolute certainty and faith in their parents is, as you said, untrustworthy to some degree. I can't think how it could possibly be any different with a deity, because a specific, personal deity for me would be vastly disappointing for you, and likely vice-versa. If we want to say "But all powerful everything" I guess that's fine, but it still leaves that feeling of solitude - and again, if it's about the child refusing to speak to the parent, what parent would let his child starve to prove a point? Therein lies a disappointment.

I don't feel isolated, I guess. I like the way things are, honestly, though I wish we could have some more redundancy. Like moving my identity into a supercomputer in case my head goes sploosh. My identity is only a personal identity so long as those walls are up and prevent any bleed over; without that inherent isolation, we would not be who we are.

It's like the walls & windows analogy from NJF, only if you actually get someone else INSIDE your house, you have an additional personality now. We all know how that ends. The crazy dude rides off in the wheelchair.

Sorry for rambling, can't sleep but not really coherent.


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7431 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
LosferWords
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Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 12:19 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I find peace and solace in my lack of faith. It is comforting to me.

The most I have felt alone was as a young child, inwardly questioning the beliefs that my parents raised me with, but not feeling comfortable or safe enough to outwardly express my own feelings towards those beliefs.

I'm feeling confident now. I have no problems supporting my son with whatever he decides to believe, and I think it is really great that we can have some candid conversations about what I believe, and what he believes.

I think it is kind of cool that he has enough faith in me to confidently talk about that with me.

Makes me feel good about the work that I did as a child, adolescent, and adult to put him in that position of trust and openness with me. Way fucking cool.

There's some faith, hope, and love there.


Posts: 6760 | Registered: Dec 2010
Jrazz
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Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 12:36 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That's true, Losfer... but I also worry about how much I lean on that same feeling I get from DD. They're going to grow up someday and we're going to have to let go of that aspect of our relationship - the omnipresent guardian. The one they have faith in. I mean, I hope DD always feels like I give her that kind of comfort, but the inherent lack of permanency in life makes me feel like I need to prepare myself for the day when that dynamic changes or is gone.

I guess I'm trying to find an emotion other than cynicism to look at bonded relationships.

Also can't seem to sleep, like poor StillGoing...


It is nothing I couldn't also achieve with some powerful recreational pharmaceuticals

Ummm.... yeah. I may or may not have bonded with a flower or waterfall or two in my college years...


It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. -Russian Proverb

Posts: 17076 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
h0peless
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Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 1:30 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess I'm trying to find an emotion other than cynicism to look at bonded relationships.

Perhaps some cynicism (or some more pleasant euphemism) is healthy when approaching bonded relationships. Blind trust certainly doesn't work and a recognition that as a race, humans are pretty damn fallible seems like a safer way to approach a relationship. We all fail fail in one way or another at some point in time. That doesn't mean that we can't be mindful of our failures and take steps to avoid the really, really big ones.


Posts: 1657 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:30 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think the most stable relationships must be built on equal measures of cynicism and foolishness. Sort of like hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

I dunno. Slept like shit and no coffee yet.


“Fate is a fickle bitch who dotes on irony.”

Posts: 7431 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Ascendant
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Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:54 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I guess I'm trying to find an emotion other than cynicism to look at bonded relationships.
Yup. Personally, I think a lot of the parent/child dynamic goes through ebbs and flows as far as the strength of the bond, and I think much of it has to do with being able to relate.

I went through a really rough period with my dad in my late teens, but now that I'm older and have a child of my own, I enjoy the relationship 1000x more than I did previously...because it's built upon shared knowledge, similar experiences of being a young-ish dad, similar worldviews, etc. Basically, the idea that even if he wasn't my dad, just some older guy I knew, I'd still want to hang out with him just 'cuz I like the cut of his jib.

I think that process is something we all kind of go through with intimate relationships...it's sucks, and it's painful, and infidelity kind of pushes it quicker than maybe it would've originally, but I think you hit a point in all your relationships where you hit a wall and step back to re-evaluate: "Would I begin a relationship with this person having the information about their personality traits that I have now?"

I never went through that process with respect to a deity, b/c that whole thing never resonated with me from the earliest of ages...and yet, I DID believe in Santa...but that's probably because I got something from that particular belief relationship. (Mostly, Ninja Turtles and some ExoSquad Mechs)

It's just like... without a God or gods, without trusting a SO 100%... without putting our lives in the hands of anyone or anything for more than a second... it just seems like a lot to undertake for all of existence.
Right, I think that it can feel really lonely, but it doesn't make it any less true. It is a lot to undertake...but when I feel overwhelmed by it all I sit back and say to myself, "What is the alternative to life?" and then I get back to work, because 'life' is the only game in town.

Its (sometimes)hard, and (sometimes)lonely, but the only alternative is to be dead....and, well....fuck that. There is a cynical element for me too, in that you start to become so self-reliant as to not really *need* other people, and if that's the case, why have relationships at all, with anyone? I don't have it completely figured out yet, just that I recognize that camaraderie, laughter, and other people are one of my basic needs.

I also think that there's a difference between depending upon other people (temporary and infrequent) and being dependent upon other people, which is a much more static situation. I think part of the struggle after the affair is to surround yourself with people you can lean on for a minute or two, without absolutely *needing* them to lean on. Knowing that if someone is willing to help or listen to you, it'd lighten your burden, but that you'll still be OK if everyone ignores your pleas for help.

Uhhhhhh....I swear, I'm not normally that cynical, I have a sinus infection.


I refuse to let a wound ruin me.

Posts: 2039 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Illinois
Razor
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Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As Marx said. Religion is the opiate of the masses.

Like a drug it becomes a crutch. A way of coping with a harsh reality. The universe is indifferent to good and bad. If anything evil tends to be more rewarded than is good. Because evil is sneaky and oftimes there is reward in treachery.

My WW had her LTA and told me she had a great time and that it was great to be getting all kinds of attention from 2 different men. When her LTA became more trouble than it was worth she let it go and in the end got to keep her M. Officials are treacherous and steal from us and reward themself for doing so. Priests rape alter boys. And there is no benevolent hand of justice to right these wrongs.

The religious among us cry that all this is gods plan. and they will be rewarded in heaven. These are completely unsupportable arguments. Obviously beliefs used to prop people up and keep them in their place.

Religion is a crutch because it imposes a set of morals that make a society possible. Its need lies in the fact that few are strong enough in character to stand up and do the right things on their own without the crutch or religion. To be a moral and good person is a difficult thing to do. It takes more strength than most people have.

[This message edited by Razor at 10:49 AM, July 7th (Monday)]


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.


Posts: 3431 | Registered: Sep 2007
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I didn't mean to have this turn into a "Religion is the problem" conversation. There are a lot of aspects of secular human social interaction that deal in promises of a lifetime of comfort and support. (see: marriage)

I guess I was just trying to articulate that I am still mourning the loss of a safety net that probably never existed. Sure, it feels like a drug to think that someone is looking out for our safety. I just know that I would do anything on this planet to help my daughter feel safe and loved....sooo... I'm pretty sure that it exists in people. I mean, of course I may fail as her caretaker, but I will always have the compulsion to be here for her on any level. It's like, I can't be the only one who does that.

I know - as I type it out it doesn't sound quite right. Just trying to work it out on paper. Can't thank you all enough for coming along.


It is better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie. -Russian Proverb

Posts: 17076 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
SI Staff
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Red  Posted: 12:16 PM, July 7th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Razor,

You have a PM.


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