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User Topic: Agnostic/Atheist Support Group
SI Staff
Moderator
Member # 10
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, April 17th (Tuesday)

For those that are personally dealing with this situation.

Posts: 10000 | Registered: May 2002
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, April 17th (Tuesday)

There was a great thread about this a while ago that got lost--and it was helpful to hear from others in this boat.

Fortunately I don't have anyone who is advising me with religious ideas or solutions to this mess--it just isn't helpful to someone who goes to a nature preserve or looks at the stars to get away from my mundane self and get some peace. But I have to say that sometimes it seems as though it would be easier to really believe, to just throw everything into some god's hands, and look forward to an afterlife without any pain or trauma!

I had an experience when my dad died, at the service, the preacher was talking about meeting up with him again in heaven and how nice that would be. My sister had closed her eyes, was smiling and nodding, and looked so comforted, I was jealous. She obviously believes strongly and got solace from that. To me it's so not real to think that that will happen, but sometimes it's cold comfort to think that my memories of him will have to suffice in helping me.

Same way about this infidelity stuff--there is no mysterious reason why this all happened, noone is "not giving me anything I can't handle", it just is because we're all flawed humans and as flawed humans we have to try to help ourselves and our spouses muddle through as best we can--


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
Deeply Scared
Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, April 17th (Tuesday)

25...

Here is the original thread...it's now locked, but you all can still read it

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=122437


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 198445 | Registered: May 2002
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 8:14 PM, April 17th (Tuesday)

Yay! I'm pressed for time right now but I'm glad to see the thread started.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 8:37 PM, April 17th (Tuesday)

Yay! We're back!


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 7:52 AM, April 18th (Wednesday)

Thanks, mods, for restarting this group.

Every time I hear those with faith speak, I wonder WTF is wrong with me. But then a VA Tech incident occurs and all my feelings are validated.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 8:06 AM, April 18th (Wednesday)

Yeah, things like the VA Tech thing are awful--no overseer of the human race would allow things like mental illness, bone cancers, etc. etc. to have evolved or to have been created.

Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
A woman lied to
Member
Member # 13020
Default  Posted: 8:30 AM, April 18th (Wednesday)

So happy to see this group started.

My Wh and I are atheists.

I agree w/ you, 25wimsey.



Me: BW, 27
Him: WH, 40
1st OW: High school f-buddy, 39
2nd OW: Married, coworker, 46
3 year old son
dday: 12-18-06
found out I was pregnant 12-20-06
Baby Girl born on 8/07
Went thru false R, MC
2nd A started around 10/07
Divorce filed

Posts: 1342 | Registered: Dec 2006 | From: nebraska
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 10:31 AM, April 18th (Wednesday)

Semi-Vent

You know what chaps my hide? When someone with a Christian bent tells me one or more of the following:

Everything happens for a reason.
God doesn't give you more than you can handle.
God gives you trials to make you stronger.
This is all part of His bigger plan.
God wants you to forgive. (and when was the last time you talked to him?).

Maybe it would be easier if I believed in a higher omnipotent power. It would take a lot of the decisions, confusion, etc away.

PS You ever notice that they rarely cite the seventh commandment to a WS?


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
mer1ins
Member
Member # 11607
Default  Posted: 12:34 PM, April 19th (Thursday)

I was raised in the church and rebelled against as soon as I was on my own. I didn't go back to church until I was in my forties. I probably spent 7 years going through the motions, claiming something I didn't feel and which didn't bring me comfort and then I rebelled again.

I've been reading tons of stuff about religion today and in the past and it sickens me how people have taken a reasonably simple thing and made it into a weapon that suits their needs and then used it to beat others with differing views over the head.

I'm glad this group is here. I hope to find time to post more often than I'm doing now. Sometimes my life just gets totally out of control and that's the case right now.


The truth may set you free, but first it will shatter the safe, sweet way you live - Sue Monk Kidd

Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less. (Rabbi Julius Gordon)

BH/WH - 51
FWW/BW - 54


Posts: 1225 | Registered: Aug 2006 | From: FL
TwiceTorn
Member
Member # 13895
Default  Posted: 2:57 PM, April 19th (Thursday)

Growing up my parents made us go to church (Presbyterian.)
Went every sunday, was in youth club the whole deal.
It never made sense to me, I would ask questions from the time I was 7 years old because it didn't fit, it was logical. Noah built this boat that fit every animal in it? Man I watched wild kingdom every weekend theres a heck of alot of animals how the heck did he get 2 pairs of all of them on there?! But wait he lived for 950 years, huh how is that possible?! My sunday schools teachers answer "Back then people had a purpose." To which I answered what are we the left overs? It just didn't make any sense. Adam and Eve had 3 boys.. Um ok.. thats kinda an ending, unless there was some kinda incest, thats a dead end. I guess the way I rationalized it as a book, written about stories that were past down from generation to generation, trying to make sense of stuff they couldn't understand. Kinda like playing the came telephone, it starts out as one thing but by the time it gets down to the end of the line, passed person to person, the original message is lost.

So when I was 13 I told my parents I don't believe in the bible, I don't believe in that god they teach or preach. It just doesn't make any sense to me. After all I could watch an episode with Carl Sagan and it made perfect sense, logical. Science made sense, it could be changed as new stuff was discovered, it wasn't written in stone. Evolution makes perfect sense, its testable, verifiable.

Course through out my life If asked about my beliefs I was open about it. Some people thought or said its not to late you can be saved by christ, or etc. Basically trying to ram their beliefs as the only true way to think. I don't get the whole pushing your beliefs/religion onto someone thinking your saving them.

I have come to find my viewpoint on the the religion thing is rather rare. I remeber before I was Married we had to go to a Catholic wedding encounter type thing, basically descussing how to be married. They went around asking all the different couples what religion they were. Well I answered honestly Atheist, that is a real good way to become an outcast in that group, might as well have grown horns. They would pair us up with other couples that weekend to talk. More than once another couple would be asked to switch from talking with us. I was floored, I mean if your that insecure with your religion, and even the thought of talking to someone that doesn't have the same beliefs. You truly have lived a sheltered, shallow life..


You've got to trust your instinct
And let go of regret
You've got to bet on yourself now star
'Cause that's your best bet~311 All mixed up


Posts: 3597 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Minnesota
Still_Lost
Member
Member # 14095
Default  Posted: 7:55 PM, April 20th (Friday)

Hi all,

I'm glad I found this group. I have suffered so much over the last several months and found it difficult to find support.

I'm an atheist and obviously prayer is not going to solve anything. I love my friends and family but they are all so very religious. I needed some comfort and reassurance. I got so tired of hearing the following:

Everything happens for a reason. The Lord has a plan just for you.

God is testing your will and strength.

God will take care of you and your children.

Blah, blah, blah.

I know they mean well and trust that a higher power will come to my rescue. All they can offer me are prayers and more prayers during Sunday mass. Of course, I'm told that my life has not improved because I'm not a believer. Thanks, that's comforting.

I went through so much and I'm trying very hard to move forward. When I feel down and want to talk to someone, I only get "You are in my prayers."

Can I talk to a normal person? Is there a non-magical solution? I'm glad I found this website. At least, there are people who can relate to the A.

Ok, I feel better--a little.

[This message edited by Still_Lost at 8:01 PM, April 20th (Friday)]


Me: BW
Him: Deadbeat XH
Married 10 yrs
D10, D8

Divorced (not by choice)

Working on healing and recovery...


Posts: 144 | Registered: Mar 2007
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 8:28 PM, April 20th (Friday)

Hey Still_lost

I know the feeling. Personally, I prefer the idea that I have control over my own life rather than being some part of a bigger cosmic plan.
I nearly slapped my aunt when she told me that 'everything happens for a reason.'
I cannot quote it verbatim, but one of my favorite shows "Scrubs" had a debate like that going on between ascerbic Dr. Cox and more religious oreinted Nurse Laverne. Cox says something like "So, you mean to tell me that AIDS, cancer, genocide, child molestation, Hugh Jackman, rape, all happen for a reason?" It cracked me up.


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
rizzo
Member
Member # 9289
Default  Posted: 7:12 AM, April 21st (Saturday)

Hi everyone!

I was not raised in a home that practiced religion, although I did go to church with my Grandma. I have never been a "believer" though.

My H has recently found God again, so it has been a strange ride for both of us. The stauch atheist and the born again believer. What a combination!

The only time it causes trouble for us is when he brings God into our relationship. I have made it a "God free zone", and while he is free to believe whatever he chooses, he is not allowed to cross that line into our relationship. Or at least I have asked that he not talk about God in that particular context.

Anyway, it's good to know there are others like me out there!


ME: 38 BS, FWS, OW
H: 37 FWS, BS
Married 15 years
D-Day October 6, 2005

Renewed our vows 7/30


Posts: 1194 | Registered: Jan 2006
SI Staff
Moderator
Member # 10
Red  Posted: 7:40 AM, April 21st (Saturday)

This thread was started so that like minded people could support each other.

It should not to be used to debate or bash other beliefs or the support anyone has received at SI.


Posts: 10000 | Registered: May 2002
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 11:34 AM, April 21st (Saturday)

Everything that has been posted here has been about someone's PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with being an atheist/agnostic and what we have to deal with from others. If anyone is reading in here and getting offended it's their problem. It's not like we're going into the Support through Prayer thread and bashing people. We're staying in our little world and talking amongst ourselves about OUR experiences. I don't understand the red flag. Unless, a mod has deleted something I did not see?? I thought the whole point of these threads was to provide a safe place for people in similar situations to talk about their experiences. Well, guess what? Being an atheist means that you get hammered on by people who think your lack of belief is wrong. We need to be able to discuss that in a safe place.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, April 21st (Saturday)

I think that the SI staff just wants to ensure that we use this forum to discuss the struggles that we face with infidelity as 'godless heathens' when we live in a culture where marriage is primarily defined by religious terms as well as recovery, i.e. forgiveness. We should be careful to keep it on our own struggles and not use it bash religious beliefs.


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
Hollow Inside
Member
Member # 13123
Default  Posted: 7:56 PM, April 23rd (Monday)

Glad to see this group.

I was raised in a VERY strict Catholic household. I never understood the religion. I questioned everything, and never received any sufficient answers. So I became agnostic. And STILL question evrything - I can't help it.

Now, I have everyone in my family telling me I should go talk to a priest. WHY??? First of all, I did not marry in a Catholic church. Secondly, what could a priest possibly know about marriage? Maybe it's just me, but I honestly don't GET IT.

On a side note, OW#2 is a big-time born again Christian. On her MySpace profile, she says that the most important person in her life is Jesus. Again, is it just ME, or is there something seriously wrong with this picture?!

Aaaaarrrggghhhh......


~~Divorcing~~
"Let the games begin...!!"

Posts: 125 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Illinois
DaniL
Member
Member # 13073
Default  Posted: 8:42 PM, April 23rd (Monday)

Life long atheist, raised in an atheist home. H is also an atheist, raised catholic.
I do understand why religious people suggest talking to a priest, I'm sure some of them are intelligent men with a good deal of insight.
I don't understand why religious people sometimes feel that God is giving us a trial/test to make us stronger. What kind of sadistic being does that?


Me - BS - 33
Him - WS - 38
A - 2004
R - Going well

Posts: 153 | Registered: Dec 2006 | From: MASS
answersplease
Member
Member # 12106
Default  Posted: 7:54 AM, April 24th (Tuesday)

I was born and confirmed Lutheran. Married in a Lutheran Church 25 years ago. That's the last time WS and I have been to church. I am now agnostic and agree with a lot of what others have said here. WS was raised and confirmed Catholic and still believes, although she does not attend church...and hasn't in 25 years, unless someone we know gets married or dies. I still wonder why we got married. I still struggle with the "why we even did it" question. I think it was just to ease family pressures to do so, and besides, we had already been living together for 7 years so I think it made us common law married anyway.


me BS/50
her WW/50
liver cancer survivor, transplant successful - 2007
kidney transplant successful - 2009
d-day 9/17/2006
1-son, 19

Posts: 527 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Upper Midwest
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 12:23 PM, April 24th (Tuesday)

So, for those of us who do not lean on religious/faith concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, how do you develop your ideas/beliefs about this process?

First of all, I don't believe that 'everything happens for a reason' or is part of a 'larger plan.' Instead, I believe that people are responsible for their own choices. As they're responsible for their choices/actions, then they are the ones who have to fix them - they do not give up this responsibility to a higher power. Personally, I find it more empowering.

Still struggling with the issue of forgiveness. I do believe in forgiveness. I think that it is important for all walks of life. I do not, however, believe that people are entitled to forgiveness.

Other thoughtss?


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
wasfooled2
Member
Member # 13783
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, April 24th (Tuesday)

Glad to see this group, too. I was not raised religiously. I wouldn't say I'm athiest, but definitely agnostic. I just don't know what to believe in. I could use some help in the faith department. I have truly lost it with this affair.

Glad you guys are here.


(Me) BS-39
(Him) WS-41 (serial cheater)
D-Day #7 2/24/07 (lost count)
Married 15 years; together for 23
Reconciled, or so I thought. Separated & divorcing.

Better off I sparkle on my own ~ Anna Nalick


Posts: 5583 | Registered: Feb 2007 | From: Chicago Suburbs
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 10:28 PM, April 24th (Tuesday)

So, for those of us who do not lean on religious/faith concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, how do you develop your ideas/beliefs about this process? First of all, I don't believe that 'everything happens for a reason' or is part of a 'larger plan.' Instead, I believe that people are responsible for their own choices. As they're responsible for their choices/actions, then they are the ones who have to fix them - they do not give up this responsibility to a higher power. Personally, I find it more empowering.

Still struggling with the issue of forgiveness. I do believe in forgiveness. I think that it is important for all walks of life. I do not, however, believe that people are entitled to forgiveness.

Other thoughts?

I finally realized that I will never forgive my FWH. And that's ok. What he did is horrible. It really is unforgivable but that doesn't mean that we can't move forward. I don't have to forgive him to do that. I have to TRUST him. In order to trust him I have to know that he is sexually sober. I have always loved him. I used to trust him. I still love him. He's working at regaining my trust. No, I will never say, "It's ok, I forgive you." because I don't. It's not ok. It never was. He knows it was wrong and accepts responsibility. I think forgiveness is overrated and frankly, I don't for a second believe most people when they say that they forgive people for horrible things. I think they just feel obligated to say it.

I still struggle sometimes with my FWH's SA recovery because of the whole "give it up to your higher power" thing. As an atheist it's just silly to think that God is going to intervene and fix something. Yeah, and the Money Fairy might come and shower our house with cash. Whatever. My FWH says that he has defined his higher power as "us" (our family, me, our daughter) and society. In order to be a good person he needs to be responsible for his actions in his family and the community.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
rizzo
Member
Member # 9289
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, April 25th (Wednesday)

I believe in forgiveness. I believe that you can forgive the person without forgiving the action. Just like I forgvie myself, but never my actions. But I agree that not everyone is entitled to forgivenss, nor is my life horrible because there are people I have chosen not to forgive. I don't have to forgive them, but I have to become indifferent to them.

I, too, find far more power in taking responsibility for my actions, for fixing them, and for living my life than the idea of giving it up for a higher power. My H is the polar opposite.

My belief often ends up being "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger". By that I mean that by getting through and learning from experiences we become stronger people.


ME: 38 BS, FWS, OW
H: 37 FWS, BS
Married 15 years
D-Day October 6, 2005

Renewed our vows 7/30


Posts: 1194 | Registered: Jan 2006
kwash
Member
Member # 13957
Default  Posted: 4:07 PM, April 25th (Wednesday)

I am an atheist and I struggle with the forgiveness thing too. My MC says I equate forgiving with condoning and I agree that I do this. Perhaps those who believe in a higher power believe that forgiveness is a necesary step to healing because asking god's forgiveness is a necessary step to redemption (I think?)??? I don't think I will ever forgive my ex-h and OW and I don't think my lack of forgiveness has hindered my recovery. I just don't get forgiveness as a must step in recovery outside of the whole redemption thing.

This is a very interesting thread and I'm happy it's here!


Posts: 2194 | Registered: Mar 2007
Still_Lost
Member
Member # 14095
Default  Posted: 8:40 PM, April 25th (Wednesday)

In my life, I don't believe that forgiveness is a prerequisite to healing or moving forward. I will never forgive XH or OW because the A is unacceptable along with the landslide that followed. It was a complete destruction of many lives.

Perhaps acceptance is the idea that I apply in my own life. I accept the horror of my reality. It doesn't make me feel great but at least I found peace in truth. Truth is what allows me to make good and proper decisions.

After the initial shock and disbelief, I took control of my life and focused on rebuilding my family without XH. I felt comfortable moving on without forgiveness. In fact, it did not even enter my mind.

Perhaps in the near or distant future, XH may show interest in his children. If my kids want him in their lives, then I must oblige but there would still be no forgiveness involved.

If he were to show decency and sincerity in the future, I may be inclined to view him as a different and improved person. He may regain my respect and trust but it's not necessarily forgiveness. It's actually acceptance and letting go.


Me: BW
Him: Deadbeat XH
Married 10 yrs
D10, D8

Divorced (not by choice)

Working on healing and recovery...


Posts: 144 | Registered: Mar 2007
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:34 AM, April 26th (Thursday)

I agree with you 100%. I don't believe forgiveness is necessary. But acceptance is. And once that occurs, we are on the road to recovery.

I am learning (slowly) that you have to accept the unacceptable but you don't have to forgive the unforgiveable.

And maybe that is a concept only angostics/atheists can accept.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
rizzo
Member
Member # 9289
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, April 26th (Thursday)

I guess I feel that in order to move forward with my H, I had to forgive him. If I could not forgive him, the person, I would not be able to live with him. The people in my life I have not forgiven I do not have anything to do with. I don't hate or resent them, I simply want nothing to do with them.

While his actions (and mine of course) were unforgivable, the person is still forgivable.

kwash, I struggled for a very long time too about condoning/forgiveness. I believed that if I forgave I was condoning the behavior. I started to look at it a little differently after talking to our new MC. She asked me to look at how I treat my children. Do I forgive them if they mess up? Does forgiving the child mean condoning or forgiving the behavior? That really struck a chord with me and made it easier to separate the person from the behavior.


ME: 38 BS, FWS, OW
H: 37 FWS, BS
Married 15 years
D-Day October 6, 2005

Renewed our vows 7/30


Posts: 1194 | Registered: Jan 2006
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 7:01 PM, April 26th (Thursday)

I am an atheist and I struggle with the forgiveness thing too. My MC says I equate forgiving with condoning and I agree that I do this.

Ditto. For me to say "I forgive you." is the same, for me, as saying, "What you did is OK."

I don't believe forgiveness is necessary. But acceptance is. And once that occurs, we are on the road to recovery.
I am learning (slowly) that you have to accept the unacceptable but you don't have to forgive the unforgiveable.

And maybe that is a concept only angostics/atheists can accept.

Very well said Skye! Very well said. I think I need a t-shirt that says "I can accept the unacceptable but I cannot forgive the unforgiveable."

My husband said that what he needs is my acceptance, not my forgiveness. And by acceptance he just means that he needs to know that I love him, flaws and all. And I do. I don't love his addiction but I love him even though he is flawed. I cannot forgive what he did but I have accepted it and we are moving forward.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Gonna_Make_It
Member
Member # 14153
Default  Posted: 11:52 PM, April 27th (Friday)

to me the whole forgiveness / trust things is just semantics anyway...

My WW has a very black and white view concepts like this. She was having a very hard time with me right after d-day because she could not understand how I could say I love her and want to be with her and then turn around and say that I would never be able to trust her again or forgive her. To her it is either forgive or not forgive.

We've discussed this a lot and to me it is all just shades of grey. I will not forgive her, I will not forget this, but I will be able to move on and not hold it over her head.

In the reality that is perceived by ME I can trust her more and more each day as she proves herself to me and get to the point where I am comfortable with her future actions but I will never be able to say that I TRUST her or FORGIVE her. I just hope to have faith in her actions enough to be OK with where we end up.


Me-BS - 44
Her-EX- 40 - The Queen of Gaslighting and Cake-eating
2 kids 8 & 10
DDay 1 3/5/2007
DDay 2 8/10/2007
DDay 3 9/04/2007
DDay 4 3/03/2008
Left 3/04/2008
Divorce Final 12/2009
I finally caught on that maybe I shouldn't stay

Posts: 151 | Registered: Apr 2007
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, May 10th (Thursday)

7yrs, I've been away so didn't see your response, but I'll buy one of those tee shirts too!

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 2:10 PM, May 10th (Thursday)

I also would like one of those tee shirts! Forgiveness is a concept which is often so tied up with religious thought--and that doesn't help me any. Janis Spring wrote a book about Forgiveness after infidelity--it's really helpful and not religiously oriented at all. More the acceptance stuff which helps me ( if I ever truly get there!)

Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Happy  Posted: 12:55 AM, May 11th (Friday)

I shared my revelation (that I had as I typed that post) and the resulting amalgamation into the line "I cannot forgive the unforgivable, but I can accept the unacceptable." with my IC (who is also our MC) He was quite literally WOWED. Like seriously wowed by it. Wrote it down. Said he needed to share it with other clients. And praised me up one side and down the other for coming to it all on my own (well, mostly...i had the concept but Skye gave me the easy portable version) He says this is huge. He's right. It was. A huge breakthrough in our recovery and our reconsiliation.

(So, is anyone really serious about wanting a shirt (or bumper sticker etc) cause I'm a graphic designer and could whip it up and open a CafePress store. Just saying. )

[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 12:58 AM, May 11th (Friday)]


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 6:48 AM, May 11th (Friday)

I could certainly use a magnet! (I'm a little too old for tee shirts.) Maybe I could take some small steps looking at it every day.

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, May 11th (Friday)

Magnet would be perfect!!! Wearing a tee shirt would involve explaining why I was wearing it!!

Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 1:49 PM, May 14th (Monday)

Anyone see the book reviews about Christopher Hitchings new book "God is Not Great"? Sounds like an interesting book--

Course me reading it is a little like preaching to the choir (to borrow a religious analogy!!)


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, May 15th (Tuesday)

Right now I'm reading "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. Truly enjoying it. Will pick up the Hitchens book next.

I constantly wonder what "believers" would think if they read these books!


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
tootired
Member
Member # 8305
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, May 25th (Friday)

Don't really have much to add right now - a bit pressed for time,just wanted to say that I"m *very* happy to see this thread alive again!

I hope to be able to come back again and add something to the group - a little background - I'm agnostic as is (F)WH and I'm not really into the whole forgiveness thing, like 7yrs was saying I also equate it to condoning the behaviour - I am however working on the whole "acceptance" thing and I'd say I'm about 85% there (20months past DDay 2 and 2.4 yrs from DDay 1)

Oh! Here's a question! How many of you celebrate Christmas and Easter????? We celebrate both............merely from a "traditional" standpoint and ofcourse the kids love it. When DD (9) asks about "why" we celebrate those things we tell her "Some people believe that..........." and go on to explain the reason for that particular holiday I also offer up "but other people believe..........." and I'll point something out about Buddhists or say something about Allah, we also say that "some people don't believe in any of those things and have their own thoughts and opinions on things, this is what I believe, I believe that if there is God or Heaven I'll find out when I die or maybe I"ll come back as a frog or maybe nothing at all happens........who knows......but I'm okay with not knowing"

We also point out that for Christmas that the act of giving is important and this is what we are celebrating and practicing. DD also knows that she is free to be part of any religion she wants or no religion at all,it is her choice. DS (3) is a bit yong now but we'll be telling him the same things.

Would anyone else care to share their experiance w/the holidays???

[This message edited by tootired at 1:01 PM, May 25th (Friday)]


BW
Stuck In Limbo

Posts: 1159 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: completely lost
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 1:19 PM, May 25th (Friday)

I always celebrated the holidays while raising my children. I felt I "owed" them the bases of religion. Now they are grown up and I only celebrate if they want to. I have the bigger home and I'm still the mom, so we seem to congregate here. They know how I feel and they have their own beliefs, which is what I wanted for them.

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
Shadow Dog
New Member
Member # 14695
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, May 25th (Friday)

I've gotta say, I don't much like Christopher Hitchens' writing. When I see his byline on Slate, I avoid the article--don't want to validate his material with a single "hit".

It's just that he has a peculiar way of thinking and an abrasive manner--I guess I think of him as being to the Left as Dr. Phil is to therapists.


"Genuine, demonstrated, and enthusiastic remorse is the necessary condition for beginning to think about starting R." -- toonice

Posts: 24 | Registered: May 2007
Dammit
New Member
Member # 12985
Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, May 25th (Friday)

FWH and I are both atheists yet we've always done the Xmas and Easter thing with our son. We pretty much did the same as you tootired, explained that the 'giving' aspect of Xmas is what we are celebrating. Easter was only ever about coloring eggs and lots of candy.(It's fun and Easter has the BEST candy so why not!). Although we did explain what others celebrate these holidays for ...

I will always remember the first 'religious' discussion with my son. He was 4 and asked what happened when you die... I explained that people believe so many different things, we covered quite a few and also discussed what mom and dad think. We do that with most things.


He's 16 now and pretty much following in his parents footsteps with his beliefs but we always tell him whatever he decides on the matter it's his choice and we will respect him for it.


As to Christopher Hitchens... I've not read much of his stuff but the times I've heard him in interviews etc. I think he comes off as a pompous ass.


Posts: 10 | Registered: Dec 2006
Jimi40
Member
Member # 10909
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, May 25th (Friday)

Why is it so hard to find a MC that isn't pushing the church and god and all the other bs? I just want someone who understands relationships without throwing the whole religious thing at me too.


You've got nowhere to fall, when your back's to the wall.

Posts: 5524 | Registered: Jun 2006 | From: Niagara
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 6:07 PM, May 25th (Friday)

I haven't listened or read Hitchens--and probably won't now that I've gotten such strong negative opinions! Too bad, I feel the more good press the atheist/agnostic point of view, the better. Guess he's not "good" press.

We've also celebrated Christmas and Easter--non-religiously. My folks who were the greatest grandparents to my kids did go to church, so the kids went with them some mornings to let H and me sleep in! Didn't seem to influence them one way or the other. And the holiday celebrations were just that--gifts and giving and traditions and singing and so on--and it was fun!

Jimi40--sorry you're having so much trouble finding a MC. I would think that unless they billed themselves as "christian therapists" so you'd know what to expect, they would follow your lead as to whether church and god etc. need enter into the therapy at all. Keep trying--a good MC is worth his/her weight in gold.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
mom of 2
Member
Member # 11214
Default  Posted: 6:13 PM, May 25th (Friday)

I don't read in this forum often, but wanted to say I'm atheist. My WH is also, he just doesn't know yet!

Just kidding, he has his doubts, but his family is VERY religious and I doubt he would ever admit it to them or even himself at times.

Anyway, just wanted to say "hi" and let you guys know not everyone posts on this forum, but we're here.


Me: BW
Divorced after 23 years of M thanks to XH's truth trickle.
Status: Recovering and healing. It's going to be a long hard road.

Update November 2013: It only took seven years but I finally turned a corner. :)


Posts: 13327 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: The suburbs of hell
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 1:46 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

We "celebrate" Xmas and Easter. We'd prefer to call Xmas "Winter Solstice" but it would just get confusing and crappy. We do not do anything religious and have no religious symbols. We decorate with a snow/snowflake/snowman theme pretty much. Or really anything secular. No angel on the top of our tree. No star either. We do Santa up BIG! I want my child(ren) to know the pure joy of believing in something magical for a few years. I miss that innocence.

Easter is just a celebration of Spring. The bunny comes. We dye and hunt eggs. Eat a bunch o' candy!

BOTH holidays originated as PAGAN celebrations of the changing seasons so I have no issue with dropping all the religious ho-ha and having some fun.

As for finding a secular therapist, try seeing if you can find a UU Church, an Humanist group, Atheist group or similar and see if they can recommend someone. Other than that, try to find someone who does not tout being a Christian counselor, steer clear of anyone working out of a church (kind of a no-brainer there LOL) You certainly don't want to be seeking counseling from a member of any clergy. Be open and honest about your beliefs and see if you can find someone who is open-minded. My IC (he's also our MC) is Jewish. Love him! My husband's IC (who specializes in SA) is very religious but also very, very open minded. Once my FWH let him know that he is an atheist his counselor has been wonderful in modifying his counseling to avoid Christian dogma. His experience has been very positive.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 8:30 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

Jimi40, I wanted to say that whenever I start with a new therapist, I let them know right up front I'm an atheist so if their therapy is headed towards god, forget about it. Not one has "fired" me and all have left religion out of the sessions.

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
madseason
Member
Member # 13224
Default  Posted: 8:44 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

Wow, how did I miss this thread??

I'm pretty sure I belong here too.

I grew up having the Catholic Church shoved down my throat. We went to mass every Sunday, every Holy Day, every Holiday, you name it. My parents are still very involved in the church and I know it's a big disappointment to them that I don't go anymore. I just don't "buy it".

I did get married in the Catholic Church, however, and all three of my children were Baptized in the Catholic Church.

This may be a stupid question but can someone explain to me the difference between atheist and agnostic?


Lose my breath in waves
Knowing that every crash is bleeding the hourglass
And taking the stride
From all our lives

*Somewhere, far away from here, I saw stars. Stars that I could reach.*


Posts: 10286 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Southeast of Disorder
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:09 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

An agnostic is on the fence! An atheist "knows" there isn't a god!

According the the dictionary:

Agnostic - A person who claims that they cannot have true knowledge about the existence of God (but does not deny that God might exist; or one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

Atheist - One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
stunned-dad
Member
Member # 3488
Default  Posted: 9:15 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

Your definition is all wrong Skye!

Pretty sure an Agnostic is an Atheist married to a Southern Baptist.


BS-Me 47 WS-Wife 40 Kids-D13 S10
DD 11/20/02 Affair lasted 2 1/2 years. OM sexual predator 12+ prior affairs. Wife had suppressed sexual abuse/rape issues she hid.

Life gives us us sorrow so we can have something to measure happiness with.


Posts: 6152 | Registered: Feb 2004
madseason
Member
Member # 13224
Default  Posted: 9:21 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

Thanks Skye! I guess, based on your definitions, I would have to say I am agnostic.

And as far as the Christmas/Easter question, we celebrate both but not in any religious way.


Lose my breath in waves
Knowing that every crash is bleeding the hourglass
And taking the stride
From all our lives

*Somewhere, far away from here, I saw stars. Stars that I could reach.*


Posts: 10286 | Registered: Jan 2007 | From: Southeast of Disorder
stunned-dad
Member
Member # 3488
Default  Posted: 9:26 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

BTW all kidding aside, therapist with a religious approach normally will have credentials indicating some form of Christian Counseling or similar worded certification.

There are ethical guidelines that most therapist/counselors are suppose to bound by. And that includes religious tolerance with includes both faiths dramatically different than the therapist's which includes agnostic/atheist beliefs.

I am at my worst when someone wants religious counseling or counseling based on scripture because that is a specialty field with distinct training just as someone with certification in hospice counseling, grief counseling, substance abuse etc.

I do allow for a clients religion as part of assessing strengths and support systems and if they have a strong belief in God I do encourage them to follow those beliefs.

Probably my most challenging case that involves religion is a deeply religious client that knows she/he has a same sex orientation.

She/he struggles to find with her/his sexuality not because he/she is unsure if they are gay/lesbian but because he/she cannot find a scripture based religion that accepts his/her orientation. And he/she has tried numerous religions finding either they were intolerant of gay/lesbian lifestyle or that there interpretation of scripture was has been distorted to support same sex relations.

So we struggle for him/her to make sense of their issues.


BS-Me 47 WS-Wife 40 Kids-D13 S10
DD 11/20/02 Affair lasted 2 1/2 years. OM sexual predator 12+ prior affairs. Wife had suppressed sexual abuse/rape issues she hid.

Life gives us us sorrow so we can have something to measure happiness with.


Posts: 6152 | Registered: Feb 2004
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:29 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

SD, You definitely have the credentials to needed for the Southern Baptist--you live in GA!

Even though I'm a total non-believer, I can't imagine the conflict the believer has in all the questions of sexuality. I guess I'm lucky that I don't have that to deal with too!


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
ladyvorkosigan
Member
Member # 8283
Default  Posted: 9:36 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

I just always say I'm an atheist because I don't like to pussyfoot around with the whole agnostic thing.

Plus I kind of agree with Bill Maher that atheists really need to start coming out of the closet. It's easy for me to do this because I will suffer no social sanctions for doing so. I don't have any family that would penalize me for being an atheist, just don't really have people in my life who would do so, I'm not involved in a career field in which it matters, etc. So, I just go ahead and do it. I find that if you announce it sunnily, with the assumption that no one would even bother to act dismayed, nobody bothers to act dismayed. =)

As to Christopher Hitchens... I've not read much of his stuff but the times I've heard him in interviews etc. I think he comes off as a pompous ass.

Hitch is a drunk. A very very problematic drunk. Out of about 50 times I've seen him interviewed, he was only not drunk once. And that was a good interview, actually. He *is* pompous, but most of what you're seeing in interviews is drunken belligerence. You know when he casts his bleary red hooded-lizard eyes toward the interviewer as if he's trying to figure out what they're *realllllllly* trying to say? Like that look of suspicion? That's the look drunks get when they think maybe you're making fun of them. He's completely plastered 90% of the time.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 9:41 AM, May 26th (Saturday)]


It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he’d known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph.

Posts: 14226 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: Florida
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:49 AM, May 26th (Saturday)

Ladyv, you bring up an interesting topic. I've never been uncomfortable letting people I know I'm an atheist. And I've never been questioned about it. Most people I know well are agnostic or atheists, which may be the reason I'm not questioned.

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
ThyrceIdiot
Member
Member # 14691
Default  Posted: 4:27 PM, May 31st (Thursday)

I'm agnostic, and glad to see there's a thread here about support that doesn't include religion. Eh.

By the way, a counselor should not be pushing any religious beliefs on a couple, especially if you make it clear you don't feel the same way.

I want support, whether it's religious or non-religious. I blame nobody but my WH for the mess I'm in, not trying to fit it into some grand scheme or test by the almighty. Whatever.

Glad to know there are others here who feel similar.


"Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on."

"It's sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew."
~ Henry Rollins


Posts: 317 | Registered: May 2007
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 5:09 PM, May 31st (Thursday)

I guess that FWH and I are quite lucky in the counselor section. I'm agnostic (just can't make the leap to atheist, don't have strong ennough feelings) and FWH is a non-demoninational Christian (more of an ultra-calvinist/humanist). Our MC is jewish. Of course, we found our MC in the 'godless hedonistic' city of LA.
I don't have a problem letting people know that I'm an agnostic, but I never announce it. I was raised in a very conservative religious family (no alcohol, tobaco, pre-marital sex or kinky post-marital sex), went througha crisis of faith when I was in college when I finally decided that I just didn't believe it and the evidence against it was mounting.
My parents are disappointed, but have largely gotten over it. My ILs have a real issue with it. I think they would be able to accept it if I belonged to another religion (Islam, Hindu, Buddhist), but just 'don't get' the whole lapsed Christian thing. They're real big on rapid forgiveness as it is the Christian way, and love to give me Christian advice whether i want it or not (well, I never want it).
Ahh well. Glad to see that our little group is growing. It's nice to have a non-faith based group in which to discuss our 'issues.'


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
rivenheart
Member
Member # 13838
Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, June 9th (Saturday)

I was raised and confirmed Catholic, in a home with one Catholic and one atheist parent. Went to Catholic school for 1-7. Gave up on Catholicism around age 12-13 and gave up on god entirely shortly after. Dabbled in "alternative" religion for a few years in my late teens/early twenties. Now I'm an atheist most days, but some days I feel more agnostic. Truth is, none of us can really know for sure. Atheism is just as much a "belief" as Christianity.

Regarding the whole forgiveness thing, and the religious aspects of forgiveness...

I'm not sure about forgiveness. Some days I think I've already forgiven him in my heart. Some days I think I'll get there eventually. I definitely do not feel any pressure to forgive him in order to "be a good person." Maybe forgiveness is a little too tied up in religion.

I was physically abused by my mother when I was young. Have I forgiven her? No, not really, because she never asked for my forgiveness and never apologized. Yet, I have a pretty good relationship with her today. I looked at my life and decided it was worth some effort on my part to see if we could have a better relationship. And we do. If the relationship had remained bad, I would have cut her out of my life. So I would say that I have made my peace with what I suffered at her hands many years ago.

On the other hand, my FWH is remorseful and has apologized repeatedly. So I think forgiveness is possible in this case. Even if I never feel in my heart that I forgive him for his ONS's, I know that I could get to the point where I'm at peace with what happened. It will take time. But I've been deeply hurt by most of the people in my life who said they loved me. At least FWH acknowledges the pain he's caused me and is doing what he can to make it right.

FWIW, I think we atheists/agnostics have it easier in some ways than those who are religious. It's painful, but we don't look for cosmic meaning where there is none. We don't engage in magical thinking, and I think in the long run we're better off for it. Of course, we don't get the pat cliches and solace that "god" provides. But we also know, when we get through the shit, that we got through it on our own strength, not through "grace."


rivenheart ~ heartriven
Me: BW, 36 at d-day; WH, 40

Posts: 1037 | Registered: Mar 2007
ladyvorkosigan
Member
Member # 8283
Default  Posted: 2:28 PM, June 9th (Saturday)

Atheism is just as much a "belief" as Christianity.

I know that's a talking point with the religious, but it's not true. The absence of belief in faeries is not a belief. The absence of belief in Santa Claus is not a belief. Everyone's born an atheist. However, atheists and agnostics are often also humanists, and humanism *is* a belief system.

I know this isn't a thread to *discuss* atheism, but...really, it's problematic for atheists or agnostics to agree with that talking point. People who were once *not* atheist often clutch and ululate as *if* their current atheism is a belief, but it's the remnants of their trained religiosity peeking out, not atheism.

Really, the very fact that there's a word for the absence of belief is the problem. I mean, we don't have a word for people born without, say, feathers, or the ability to fly. Well, actually we do: humans. It's the very fact that there's an -ism associated with something that needs no -ism that creates this confusion.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 2:32 PM, June 9th (Saturday)]


It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he’d known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph.

Posts: 14226 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: Florida
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 6:06 PM, June 9th (Saturday)

"FWIW, I think we atheists/agnostics have it easier in some ways than those who are religious. It's painful, but we don't look for cosmic meaning where there is none. We don't engage in magical thinking, and I think in the long run we're better off for it. Of course, we don't get the pat cliches and solace that "god" provides. But we also know, when we get through the shit, that we got through it on our own strength, not through "grace"

I love the way you put this and totally agree. But it's hard either way I guess, whether one believes or not.

Forgiveness--I read someone saying once that forgiveness is overrated! I think personally my H and I will be lucky if I get to the point where I really accept, intellectually and emotionally, the whole debacle of the A and OC--and learn to live with the facts in a somewhat peaceful manner. Getting there with a H who is really trying, but not there yet. And it's been almost 2 years. Plus I have a hard time with the injustice of it all--and think that some things can't be forgiven totally, just accepted. I hope that's enough.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
ladyvorkosigan
Member
Member # 8283
Default  Posted: 8:43 PM, June 9th (Saturday)

Oh, I definitely think we have it easier.

Natural disasters aside, bad things happen because people did bad things. Good things happen because people do good things.

As Sartre said, "Hell is other people"; but as Joss Whedon said, "So is Heaven."

Metaphorically speaking, of course, since both are atheists. =)

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 8:53 PM, June 9th (Saturday)]


It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he’d known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph.

Posts: 14226 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: Florida
didwhat
Member
Member # 14163
Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, June 9th (Saturday)

Count me in. As far as I can see people have choice and are responsible for their own actons. Unfortunatly, others are often in harms way through no fault of their own.

Guess I believe in physics....


first do no harm
me BS/54
him WH/53
Married 26yrs
Together 30 yrs
1 grown son

Posts: 610 | Registered: Apr 2007 | From: calif
rivenheart
Member
Member # 13838
Default  Posted: 6:00 AM, June 10th (Sunday)

The absence of belief in faeries is not a belief. The absence of belief in Santa Claus is not a belief. Everyone's born an atheist. However, atheists and agnostics are often also humanists, and humanism *is* a belief system.

I suppose I see atheism then not as an absence of belief, but as a conviction (belief) that there is "nothing out there." Some atheists will assert this: There is no god. Perhaps this is different than saying "I don't believe in god." If atheism is the latter, then I'm definitely an atheist. If it's the former, then I can't be sure I am. This is why I often feel that I'm an agnostic: I don't believe in god as I've seen absolutely nothing to convince myself that a god exists. But can I say with conviction (all the time) that there is no god at all? I dunno. I've never seen any evidence myself of black holes either, but they probably do exist. Bad analogy, because a scientist could probably show me (if they had enough patience to explain simply), why it is that black holes are believed to exist. But I think I've made the point: I can only say I have no reason to believe in god. But I'm not confident enough in my own knowledge of the vast universe to say that I believe in the absence of something like a god.

Maybe we need a three words. One that covers people who actively believe there's no god. Another for those who simply don't believe one way or the other. And agnostic can still refer to those who just claim "not to know" as the word literally indicates.


rivenheart ~ heartriven
Me: BW, 36 at d-day; WH, 40

Posts: 1037 | Registered: Mar 2007
ladyvorkosigan
Member
Member # 8283
Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, June 10th (Sunday)

I think that if you aren't indoctrinated into a religion before you really have the cognitive skills or memory of the time before your indoctrination to think differently, you get the absence of belief thing, more. Because you know you simply lack belief. There's no reason to believe in a deity. But if you were indoctrinated...well, the mind changes depending upon how it's trained. Then, you probably have a harder time shifting to understanding the absence of belief. You don't remember when you were an atheist. You were soaking in religion from earliest memory. Of course you can't remember. So you're more likely to both perceive "atheism" as a belief rather than a belief-free state, and, if you are an atheist now yourself, treat and perform your atheism as a belief. It's what you were trained to do. But it's the ingrained religiosity that's bringing your sense of religiosity to the atheism, nothing innate in the atheism itself. It's like if you and I both find ourselves standing outside a thorny hedge surrounding a castle. You used to be on the other side of the hedge. I was always outside the hedge. Therefore it's natural that you have scratches that I don't have. It's also natural that you think of yourself as being in a specific outside-the-hedge place, whereas I think of myself as where I am. I have no outside vs. inside to tangle with.

Now of course a big question is, with the hedge analogy, do we think in terms of whether I'm standing on the castle side of the hedge - which implies the castle is what we're both moving toward and you started out farther out than I did - or whether I'm standing on the non-castle side of the hedge, which implies that the castle is what you're moving away from, and *whatever undefined space is out there* is where we're both going.

<benstiller>Did I just *BLOW* your *MIND*??!!</benstiller>

A lot of people decide they're atheists after exploring many actual belief systems. I think you described upthread (someone did) moving through several Christian faiths, then exploring some Wiccan stuff, etc. So atheism that is the end result of a search for *something* to believe in does look - and is performed - a lot like belief. But it's because the person themselves has entered atheism from a believer's mindset, rather than from a belief free mindset. Their atheism will always be influenced by the fact that their mind was shaped by religious belief.

I am seriously one of the few atheists I know who has always been belief free. I'm also one of the few atheists I know who isn't angry at religion. =) I think of religion as a lot like football. I have no interest in football. I never cared about football. I went to a few games in high school, but don't care about it. However, I'm *fully aware* that there are millions of people who are all about football. I don't care. I only start to care when something I'd rather watch gets pre-empted by a football game. Or when traffic jams due to football games inconvenience me. Then I'm pissed. When the inconvenience ends, I return to not caring.

So that's my relationship with religion. I don't care about it. I have been to a few churches a few times. I know many people are really into it. I don't care. I only start to care when something in my life begins to be displaced because of someone else's interest in religion.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 8:49 AM, June 10th (Sunday)]


It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he’d known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph.

Posts: 14226 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: Florida
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 2:42 PM, June 21st (Thursday)

I am so bad. The doorbell just rang and there were two adorable young male missionaries standing on my doorstep.

Needless to say when I said I don't believe and they should try another house, they were wide-eyed. Of course they asked why don't I believe. I wasn't going to go into it so I just said I don't think there is any point in god. They then made the mistake of asking, "is their any point in life?" I answered, not most days. I think I ruined their day!

Maybe they will have better luck next door.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
misto1976
Member
Member # 14803
Default  Posted: 3:10 PM, June 21st (Thursday)

Nice to see this thread! Just a question for all of us "evil non-believers" after you found out about A and life was haywire did you ever consider believing, going to church and all that?? Did you ever just think it would make it easier on you?


Me - FBS/FWS (EA) 31
Him - FBS/FWH 30
Three kids
DDay - Feb. 21, 2007
R - Feb. 23, 2007 Still working every day
OW - is a not going to invade my thoughts anymore :)

Posts: 218 | Registered: May 2007 | From: Texas
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 4:02 PM, June 21st (Thursday)

No, never thought of going to church after d-day--no matter how haywire everything was (and still is sometimes), that route just didn't occur to me. Why do it? Wouldn't make it any easier for me to blame a god or pray for everything to change or anything else I can think of. Sort of like "there are no athiests in foxholes", were you thinking? If I thought of things in those terms, of making things easier for instance, it was only that there WAS no way to make things easier, just myself slogging through whatever was necessary, to find my answers or peace or whatever through my own work, in myself, and with the help of H and MC of course!

Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
setecastronomy
Member
Member # 14398
Default  Posted: 4:06 PM, June 21st (Thursday)

It was a little difficult finding an MC and an IC who wouldn't push the whole Judeo-Christian thing on me.

Anyone have any familiarity with something like "Retrouvaille" for non-believers or something similar?

Interesting reading:

http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/


Posts: 570 | Registered: Apr 2007
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, June 21st (Thursday)

I'm with 25, no way did I believe god was going to make infidelity go away. For me his infidelity was just another example of why there is no god.

I have always told each of our MC's/IC's that I don't believe so that sets the tone right from the get-go.

Just an aside, but I find that we, as clients, need to set the tone of therapy. I believe we know what we need and it is imperative that we let the therapists know that.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
groundhogday
Member
Member # 4212
Default  Posted: 8:00 AM, June 22nd (Friday)

Hi, another atheist here (never baptised or christened, and no intention of doing so).

It's easier here in the UK. Religion is seen as a very personal and private issue, and if someone brings it up in general conversation they tend to be treated as if they've farted in public. We do have fundamentalists, of course, but in the circles I was brought up in, there was no assumption of any particular religious belief. I've not come across a single IC or MC here that's mentioned religion, and I would find it highly offensive if they did.

So until d-day, religion wasn't an issue in any way. My MIL's prime interest in life is her catholic faith, but it didn't intrude in our life. However, it has since turned out to be a major influence both before and after the affairs. Her neglect of her children in favour of religion meant that she didn't notice that WH was being regularly abused at his catholic school, where he was sent to be amongst her faith rather than go to the local school with his own friends. That abuse led to terrible self-loathing and destructive behaviour.

Her inability to deal with things directly, but to instead place them in the hands of god, meant she showed me no support after the affair, other than saying she was praying for me. I was devastated...I really expected more from her. And since H has been diagnosed with a mental illness, I know she's been praying for him, but hasn't picked up the phone once to call him and ask how he's doing, or show any support.

I don't know how to approach someone who shows so little interest in those around them unless it's via their faith. If I visit her, she cries when she tells me how disappointed she is that her children don't go to church every day. And keeps telling me to join the church, because it will give me everything I need.

At times, I wondered whether to join the church simply to get her to pay more attention to her son. She shows strong favouritism to her one grandchild who is astute enough to play along, and is quite nasty to the others that show no interest.

I have no idea how to deal with someone of any strong religious faith because it's outside my experience. If anyone has ever mentioned religion to me I've tried to hide my feeling of ... embarrassment for them, I guess? ... and changed the subject. I could do with some better way of dealing with what I see as a totally alien concept.


Me: BW
Whatever...it gets hard to explain the whole convoluted crappy story.

I love people...but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.


Posts: 11530 | Registered: Apr 2004 | From: UK
misto1976
Member
Member # 14803
Default  Posted: 10:30 AM, June 22nd (Friday)

In answer to my own question. No, I have never considered going to church or anything of the religious nature since Dday but I did joke about it to the dismay of most of my friends lol. I have caught myself going by a church and thinking to myself, hmm, maybe it would just be easier to go to church and then I stop myself and ask, how would that make anything easier?? Pretending to believe in something that I know I cannot believe? Nope, I'll just keep trudging through with own beliefs and deal with things as they come at me :)


Me - FBS/FWS (EA) 31
Him - FBS/FWH 30
Three kids
DDay - Feb. 21, 2007
R - Feb. 23, 2007 Still working every day
OW - is a not going to invade my thoughts anymore :)

Posts: 218 | Registered: May 2007 | From: Texas
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, June 22nd (Friday)

I have a question for Atheist.

My elder friend called me last night and told me that her 80 y/o husband passed away yesterday morning. I knew her husband had stroke and was ill for a long time and was transferred to a nursing home recently. She said he was Atheist and there will be no announcement on the paper and no funeral for him. He will be crimate and a service will be held for only immediate family.

Would it be appropreate to mail just a sympathy card and no memorial money?
Thanks in advance.


PS: my background. I am from one of Asian countries and my root is Buhddism and only believed our ancestors. When I got married, H's grandparents wanted me to join their faith. I was baptized to Lutheran, because of my kids. But I went to the weekly worship service until both of my kids are done with confirmations. I have never felt like belong to the church either. Anyways, I haven't gone to church for three years.

[This message edited by beach at 10:35 AM, June 22nd (Friday)]


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, June 22nd (Friday)

Beach, my opinion is that sending a card expressing sympathy for the gentleman's wife and family is totally appropriate. You are showing them support in a time of loss, not endorsing any religious belief or talk of an afterlife.

Memories of the loved one are still here with those left behing--sympathy with that loss is comforting.

Sometimes people will appreciate donations to a charity or health organization that is related to the cause of death. But it is in no way required.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 11:58 AM, June 22nd (Friday)

Thank you 25w!!

I will get a card that is not religeous one.


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
setecastronomy
Member
Member # 14398
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, June 22nd (Friday)

Beach,

I'm with 25wimsey on this. Funerals aren't for the dead. They're for the living.

Sympathy is good. Empathy is good.


Posts: 570 | Registered: Apr 2007
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 2:22 PM, June 22nd (Friday)

setecastronomy,
thanks.
Funerals aren't for the dead. They're for the living.

I agree and that makes sense.


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
kissoff
Member
Member # 14788
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, June 23rd (Saturday)

[This message edited by kissoff at 10:07 PM, June 23rd (Saturday)]


"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines
his steps." Proverbs 16:9

John 7:24
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."


Posts: 598 | Registered: May 2007 | From: Far Far Away...
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 6:38 PM, July 7th (Saturday)

Saw a funny cartoon in the "Funny Times"--two clean-cut, Mormon-looking types are handing out a pamphlet to a man whose door they knocked on--the man is holding it and is saying, "But this pamphlet is blank!", and one of the mormon-types says, "We're atheists".

Funny to look at and read--hope the humor comes across in my poor explanation!


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 10:12 AM, July 8th (Sunday)

I got it. I got it.

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
Inchoate
Member
Member # 9065
Default  Posted: 2:56 PM, July 8th (Sunday)

Strangely, I never noticed this thread before.

I am an atheist by LadyV's definition in that I never believed, and did not consciously reject religion. It just wasn't part of my worldview, and the only reason I had to articulate a "choice" was because I grew up in the South. I never really "got it" and certainly didn't acculturate to a religious mentality.

Strictly speaking, I'm agnostic, because I'm unwilling to claim that I know anything about the underpinnings of reality, beyond what I can derive logically or through my senses. But many agnostics are questors, and while I suppose I have my spiritual side, I am not questing for "meaning" outside of what I already know.

I'm not angry with religion, either, though I find plenty of religious people angering and destructive. I also find plenty of non-religious people angering and destructive. It's been my observation that mean people use their religion to be mean, and nice people use their religion to be nice, you know?

I am not offended when people use religions forms of expression when their intentions are good. Feel free to bless me when I sneeze, and to pray for me. I appreciate all kind thoughts. Please do not, however, try to convince me that I'm just "lost," or, worse yet, that without an appeal to an external authority, I can have no genuine morality or goodness.

I am always disappointed and more than a little surprised when people express confusion about how the big problems of life can be resolved or survived "without God." To the point where I don't know how to respond to such statements, without sounding bigoted. I always want to say, "Well, the same way you do--I think, I read, I consult the opinions of those I respect, I challenge my thoughts with other points of views, and keep myself open to helpful wisdom."


Former Wayward Ninja, recovered
"The shadows tell us where the light is" (my DD@3)
"Growing up is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it." (Agliarept)

Posts: 5057 | Registered: Dec 2005
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 8:03 AM, July 11th (Wednesday)

Inchoate, I like the way you differentiated being angry at religion vs. religious people. Zealots of any form are not easy to like.

I have often wondered how truly good religious people reconcile their beliefs with the beliefs of the truly bad believers. I suppose it has to do with faith, which I can't even begin to put my little brain around.

I don't have any trouble explaining my non-belief. But, wow, do believers have problems understanding. Quite frankly, it would be nice to think I have no responsibility for anything--a bigger something out there is at fault.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
Inchoate
Member
Member # 9065
Default  Posted: 8:10 AM, July 12th (Thursday)

Quite frankly, it would be nice to think I have no responsibility for anything--a bigger something out there is at fault.

Word to that!! Yes, it would be very nice if I could blame Satan, or something. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at handing off my responsibility in general, and certainly not to supernatural agents.

In a more serious vein, it gives me fits and mental pain to see people suffering in non-obligatory ways, and attributing it to "God's plan for me." Is God's plan that you be a doormat? I also have a very difficult time reconciling a God deserving of my/any reverence with one who deliberately metes some of the horror I see in the world (and yes, I know all the arguments...I just don't like them).


Former Wayward Ninja, recovered
"The shadows tell us where the light is" (my DD@3)
"Growing up is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it." (Agliarept)

Posts: 5057 | Registered: Dec 2005
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 9:23 AM, July 12th (Thursday)

I think I became an atheist when god wasn't what I thought she should be! I couldn't see the point of believing in a god that didn't do anything right!

As I just reread those words,it made me realize why I'm not reconciling with my husband. He's not what I thought he should be either! I stopped believing in man when he didn't do right!

No, I don't believe my husband was a god in any way shape or form. But I do had certain beliefs/expectations about people like others have about god. And "my" person failed.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
Inchoate
Member
Member # 9065
Default  Posted: 12:02 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

I know! Too bad it's not an elected position. Oh, wait...

Ya know...my mother has had, historically, two reactions when people disappoint her. She usually tries to "spin" it (or puts her head in the sand outright)--to make it somehow okay, or not their fault, or something. If she can't do that--if she really was unignorably mistaken about the person's capacity or if it was too big a wrong done, she writes them off. Totally and without mercy.

In recent years, in part as the result of her own (narcissistic, angry) mother moving in with her for the last two years of her life, she's begun to understand this dichotomous response as a defensive mechanism, born out of a need to control that was probably itself born of having to be too self-sufficient at too young an age (neglectful, self-centered mother, father who worked long hours for 4 kids during the Depression).

I'm not trying to be intrusive (feel free to blithely ignore me
) but do you think anything like this could be going on with you? Not the roots, necessarily, but the kind of mechanism? (this is not a prelude to a religious conversion attempt, btw! )


Former Wayward Ninja, recovered
"The shadows tell us where the light is" (my DD@3)
"Growing up is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it." (Agliarept)

Posts: 5057 | Registered: Dec 2005
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

I've never thought of myself as a control freak. Actually, I'm lazy and love for others to take charge and control. However, I do generally write off people who disappoint me. And haven't been able to do that with husband since I need/want his bucks!

It is hard to write off the world which is what I've done since his affair. No longer trust anybody. I came to the conclusion that if MY husband who was a really good guy would betray me, why not friends and acquaintances. Shitty way to live.

I'm also a very black and white, good and evil, etc., type of person. The only grey in my life gets touched up every month. Unfortunately, haven't had many expectations not met in my life before husband's affair. So I don't have many coping skills.


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
Inchoate
Member
Member # 9065
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

It's interesting that you mention being black and white. One of my problems with religion (actually, I guess I should say, "One of the reasons I don't feel that religion would be a comfortable fit for me") is that *I* see a lot more grey in the world than religion seems to account for.

I mean, I acknowledge right and wrong as potential absolutes, but always in context, and it's much, much harder for me to see *people* as simply "good" or "bad."

I just think it's interesting that we're in similar places regarding religion, for completely different reasons.

About control...I never really thought of my mom as a control freak (well, except for that business on how the towels Must Be Folded, but I've inherited that, so... ), but she kind of is. Not on everything, but I now realize that much of how she governs her relationships is all about trying to manage the outcomes of those relationships. And, sadly, I think that because she's so anxious to prevent any disappointment or (what she considers) betrayal, she generates a lot of the disappointment herself. Kind of like self-fulfilling prophecies, in a way.

For example, she will take umbrage at some fairly innocuous things, or things that have about a zillion *other* explanations, not just limited to "indifference" or "disprespect." Sometimes people are tired, forgetful, or just plain dumb, but she takes it personally most of the time. She doesn't get *upset*, but she never speaks to them again. It's kind of extreme, and I know it's not making her happier. Or safer, for that matter.

I'm thinking "out loud" here...don't mind me.

I'm noodling something here...something like...faith begets faith? Whether it's religious faith or regular old faith in one's fellow man? Something akin to being the change we want to see in the world?

I dunno. I'll get back to you when I'm making sense.


edited because "explanation" and "expectation" are VERY different words.

[This message edited by Inchoate at 3:42 PM, July 12th (Thursday)]


Former Wayward Ninja, recovered
"The shadows tell us where the light is" (my DD@3)
"Growing up is hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it." (Agliarept)

Posts: 5057 | Registered: Dec 2005
rizzo
Member
Member # 9289
Default  Posted: 4:18 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

Faith is complete trust. I think that faith in general can be blind faith (having no reason for complete trust but having it anyway), and faith based on knowledge.

I have faith in my H based on knowlege, but used to have blind faith. I think what I have is better now.

I never had faith in the religious sense. Believing in something or someone I couldn't hear or see was/is beyond my comprehension. I guess that's why I'm agnostic.

Faith in my fellow man.....not so much as I used to have. Too many hours working at the animal shelter for that.

My H has faith in God based on what he says is knowlege. That is FAR beyond my comprehension, but who knows.

So what type of faith begets faith? Or are different types or reasons for faith?

Interesting thought, Inchy.


ME: 38 BS, FWS, OW
H: 37 FWS, BS
Married 15 years
D-Day October 6, 2005

Renewed our vows 7/30


Posts: 1194 | Registered: Jan 2006
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 7:20 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

I too find it interesting mentioning "black and white"--before the A, I'd pretty much always seen the grey as well--always considered the "other side of the story", not to excuse but to understand.
Since the A, I've become totally black and white, especially when talking about FOW--which is tough since we have to have some contact cuz of OC. Now, I too write off most of the world, extend my black and white view to everyone--

I hope this will wear off in time, cuz I think most idealogues in religion see the world in absolutes and black and white, and that's how we get into trouble at times.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 7:40 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

Interesting, but I see religion as grey. You can put ten people in a room and they will all ten interpret a religious question differently. I doubt I would believe even if everyone saw things the same. It probably wouldn't be like I see them.

And it is interesting that you see rights and wrongs as potential absolutes. I see very few absolute rights/wrongs. I believe murder can be justified. I belive robbery can be justified. I don't believe adultry can be justified. Actually, I can even justify adultry if someone is extremely ill, i.e., alzheimers and no harm will be done to them. And I definitely see people as bad or good.

Maybe I'm not so black and white as opinionated!

I also disagree that anything begets anything. I lived a very good, upright, blah, blah, blah life and expected all to be good and got shit on. When people say you get what you expect, etc., I think it is another excuse for faith/god, etc.

I think shit happens for no good reason. I also don't believe that being good pays! I'm not saying one shouldn't be good--just don't expect anything as a result!

[This message edited by Skye at 7:50 PM, July 12th (Thursday)]


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 7:58 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

"I think shit happens for no good reason. I also don't believe that being good pays! I'm not saying one shouldn't be good--just don't expect anything as a result!"

I'm with you there, skye!

I saw an article about a new parenting book for atheists--called "Parenting Beyong Belief". It's a collection of essays by famous and unknown nonbelievers about raising kids--sounds really interesting. My kids are grown, but maybe I'll get it for them when they have kids of their own!

Anyone heard of it or read it?


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 10:31 PM, July 12th (Thursday)

"Parenting Beyong Belief". It's a collection of essays by famous and unknown nonbelievers about raising kids--sounds really interesting. My kids are grown, but maybe I'll get it for them when they have kids of their own!

Anyone heard of it or read it?

My hubby just mentioned it to me yesterday saying we need to read it. We have a 3 yr old daughter.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 7:26 AM, July 13th (Friday)

25, my children are grown too, but they are believers so I won't be getting them that book!

[This message edited by Skye at 7:26 AM, July 13th (Friday)]


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
cantlivewithouth
Member
Member # 11939
Default  Posted: 9:49 PM, July 31st (Tuesday)

I raised in a house where my mom is an atheist. She and my dad raised us to do right by others and be kind good people. The also raised us to find our own beliefs. My dad is a Methodist, but doesn't go to church. My one brother is also a Methodist and my other is athiest. I am Catholic. Even though the Church teaches we should convert athiests and agnostics, I have a hard time with that because of my upbringing. I would never push my beliefs on my mom or anyone else because I was raised to respect others beliefs. If someone asks me that's different. I've had people say that it must have been hard growing up with no spiritual direction. I look at them and said I turned out just fine. I'm a kind, loving, caring, compassionate human being so my parents did a damn fine job raising me.

I hope you don't mind me posthing here, but I had to get that out. i can really relate to what you all go through having seen it first hand. My mom still gets looks like she is evil when they find out she is an athiest. I can't stand that and stand up for her ever chance I get.


Married a truly wonderful and loving man Sept. 19, 2010. Not only survived, but thrived.

My new mantra: Argue Your Limitations.‎


Posts: 40985 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Canada by way of Virginia
devastated07
Member
Member # 14288
Default  Posted: 9:48 AM, August 1st (Wednesday)

Am checking in here. I consider myself agnostic. I feel that God (not the power of God) but the concept of God is really irrelevant to my life. It doesn't matter to me whether or not it exists. There is no point in having blind faith.

I do consider myself very spirirtual..or at least connected to people and ethical behavior. And I *DO* believe being good pays. Its very important.


You will survive this. It is not a matter of if, but when.

Posts: 5752 | Registered: Apr 2007
dreamlife
Member
Member # 8142
Default  Posted: 10:05 AM, August 1st (Wednesday)

I was raised Roman Catholic, but I never had my 2 kids baptized...it was going to be their choice.

I do believe in God...but not in ANY "organized religion"...so, where does that leave me?


~XWH told me what I wanted to hear but he always did whatever he wanted to do~

Posts: 25435 | Registered: Sep 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
DOH!  Posted: 4:00 PM, August 1st (Wednesday)

I do believe in God...but not in ANY "organized religion"...so, where does that leave me?

That leaves you neither an agnostic nor an atheist.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
dreamlife
Member
Member # 8142
Default  Posted: 5:55 PM, August 1st (Wednesday)

Spiritual-- but not religious.


~XWH told me what I wanted to hear but he always did whatever he wanted to do~

Posts: 25435 | Registered: Sep 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 3:51 AM, August 4th (Saturday)

FWH found a fantastic take on the serenity prayer that is wonderful for all us heathens

"Accept with serentiy what you cannot change, have the courage to change what you can and develop the wisdom to know the difference"

I find that so much more empowering that asking an invisible man in the sky to grant those things.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Afraid2LoveAgain
Member
Member # 11185
Default  Posted: 8:56 PM, August 29th (Wednesday)

I have a dear friend who always wants to pray with me, talks about believing in God and letting Him handle all of our troubles.

While I'm glad that she has that comfort, I'm just not in to it. Sometimes I just want to say, "Get over it." This is your life and that's all you have. But, I just can't be rude about it.

How do you handle this? I'm agnostic, not an atheist, but I really wish I didn't have to listen to this stuff.


BW -- 57
Divorced 2001
Re-married 2014--on what would have been our 35th anniversary

Posts: 427 | Registered: Jul 2006 | From: NC
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 7:23 AM, August 30th (Thursday)

Afraid, does your friend know how you feel about her asking you to pray with you? I don't have any friends who try that, though I do have friends who are real believers--don't really know what I would do. Usually I would say to at least talk to her about how you'd prefer not to talk about faith or god--agree to disagree and be friends around other topics! If that makes sense.

Today's a bad day, and I really wish I COULD just say to myself, give it over to god and carry on knowing that he/she is taking on my burdens. But even those who say they do that seem to have just as much difficulty dealing with WS's and A's as those of us who don't believe.

Gotta talk a hike outside or something--renew my spirit with the idea that "earth abides" and my problems will disappear after I'm gone, but this beautiful earth will still be here. Isn't that phrase from the Bible?--ironic, but that does comfort me!


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
hollywood_mjl
Member
Member # 16664
Default  Posted: 1:25 PM, October 22nd (Monday)

Since we don't care that God wants us to forgive, do you think it is necessary to forgive? I just don't think I should have to. I think it is a religious based idea and I don't want to forgive. I'm not going to hold it over his head for the rest of his life, but forgive? I don't think so.


Eh, he had an Affair, I left him...and I'm happy...life goes on.

Posts: 1234 | Registered: Oct 2007
canttakeanymore
Member
Member # 8582
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, October 22nd (Monday)

[This message edited by canttakeanymore at 9:01 AM, October 23rd (Tuesday)]


My scars remind me that the past is real....

Papa Roach


Posts: 189 | Registered: Oct 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Target  Posted: 1:36 PM, October 22nd (Monday)

hollywood_mjl,

This topic comes up a lot on the boards. Here is my take on it.

Trying to force myself to forgive him and/or the whores he cheated with was a burden that was causing me additional pain. Constantly hearing "You have to FORGIVE to heal." "You'll NEVER be whole unless you FORGIVE." put a huge burden on me. I was being asked to do something that I cannot and will never do. That was unhealthy for me and holding me back from healing and being a partner in my marriage.

It all comes down to this. My definition of what it means to forgive is the same as the dictionary.

for·give verb, -gave, -giv·en, -giv·ing.
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.

The key there being the word ABSOLVE.

ab·solve verb (used with object), -solved, -solv·ing.
1. to free from guilt or blame or their consequences

For me "forgive = absolve" and because that is a deeply held belief I could NOT reconcile that to my situation with my FWH. It will NEVER be ok and I will never absolve him of his responsility in cheating on me.

So, I am focusing on what I CAN do. I can accept that it happened. I can accept that my FWH is an addict. I can accept that I did not cause this. I can accept that he came to me already "broken." And because I can accept those things I can move forward. I can support his recovery. I can seek counseling for my own issues that I brought to this marriage from my past. And because I can do those things, my FWH can truly work his recovery program and rebuild the TRUST in our marriage. And because he is laying that foundation, I can learn to trust him again. I never stopped loving him. I was (and still am at times) as mad as hell at him but only because I do love him. If I didn't love him, I wouldn't care what he did.

Oh and for the record, he has NEVER asked for my forgiveness and does not expect me to forgive him. All he has ever asked for is my love, acceptance of his faults and my support for his recovery.

My creedo: "I cannot forgive the unforgivable, but I can accept the unacceptable."


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
i_lost_my_mind
Member
Member # 15678
Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, October 23rd (Tuesday)

Hi, I was raised catholic, but as soon as I started thinking by myself I stoped going to church, praying, etc. To me the existence of god is irrelevant, I don't belive in it but if it does exists I don't care.

My W is catholic, before our wedding she asked me to talk to the priest, she wanted me to tell him I wasn't a believer but that I wanted his permision to get married in his church. At the end I didn't do it, but I followed the ritual with respect, when I said my vows of fidelity I was being honest.

It was my W who wasn't being honest, she never confessed to the priest that she had been cheating on me since months before the wedding and that she had not intention to stop doing it after the wedding. She was the one that was there in front of her god lying with a smile on her face, while the OM and his W were there as guests. She was the one that used to took his engagement ring off and ask for her mother's blessing when she was going to go out to meet with the OM.

When I told my mother about the A, she was shocked, she couldn't belive she was capable of doing that. But then she told me it was a test of god, that he wanted me to come back to him. Oh yeah, I told her, so, god made my W who is a "believer" make those horrible things just to punish me for not believing in him, what a wonderful god.


"One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though ... betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope."

Posts: 56 | Registered: Aug 2007
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 12:04 PM, October 23rd (Tuesday)

lostmymind--it's really nuts, isn't it? If you follow people's statements to the logical conclusion, it's totally absurd and not at all comforting in the end--just crazy.

As far as forgiveness, someone else once wrote on this forum that "forgiveness is overrated"--it's semantics and "belief" in the magical sense that deciding to forgive will make it all better. I'm with 7, can't forgive the unforgivable but am working on accepting the unacceptable.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
i_lost_my_mind
Member
Member # 15678
Default  Posted: 4:42 PM, October 23rd (Tuesday)

The first days after D-day I read a lot about forgiveness and how it was supossed to help me heal, 2 weeks later I told my W "I forgive you", then she went to church and confessed, when she came back she was very happy saying that god had forgiven her and we could continue our lives. I thought WTF, got very angry and realized I haven't really forgiven her, I think I'll never do it.


"One should rather die than be betrayed. There is no deceit in death. It delivers precisely what it has promised. Betrayal, though ... betrayal is the willful slaughter of hope."

Posts: 56 | Registered: Aug 2007
MiJa
Member
Member # 11442
Default  Posted: 7:28 PM, November 9th (Friday)

I just wanted to add what I usually have to say about forgiveness when the topic comes up on SI... most of it comes from a book by Dr. Janis Abrams-Spring called "How Can I Forgive You?". She is also the author of "After The Affair" and that's one reason why I think her book on forgiveness would be of particular interest to people on SI. So anyway, here it is...

You are never under any obligation to forgive anyone. Forgiveness is a gift, not a requirement.

Forgiveness is not an on/off switch. It's not all or nothing. You can forgive somebody partially or forgive some things that they've done but not others. If you feel willing and able to offer 75% forgiveness or forgive 75% of what a person has done to you, just to pull a number out of thin air, there's nothing wrong with that. Expect that number to change over time. There's nothing wrong with that either.

True forgiveness is earned, a process engaged in by both the offender and the offendee. If it is only coming from the person who has been wronged, it can be acceptance or it can be a cheap substitute for forgiveness but it isn't real forgiveness.

Both true forgiveness and the one-way version of it, acceptance, can be helpful for easing the pain of someone who has been badly wronged by someone else.

[This message edited by MiJa at 8:25 AM, November 12th (Monday)]


"But I opened my eyes and walked out the door and the clouds came tumbling down, and it's bye-bye, goodbye, I tried..." -- Ben Folds, "Landed"

Posts: 595 | Registered: Jul 2006
SoLow
Member
Member # 16025
Default  Posted: 8:56 PM, November 10th (Saturday)

In addition to 7yrs' definition, there is also:
forgive, v. to cease to feel resentment against

My WH has not asked for forgiveness either, nor do I think I can forgive in the sense of absolve.

But I hope for the day, whether we R or D, when I can forgive in the sense of no more resentment.


Posts: 1424 | Registered: Sep 2007
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, December 10th (Monday)

My WH has not asked for forgiveness either, nor do I think I can forgive in the sense of absolve.

But I hope for the day, whether we R or D, when I can forgive in the sense of

no more resentment.

Thought it was time to bump this tread up some!

I too hope not to feel so resentful someday--don't think it will be in this lifetime thought!! Too much dealing with OW cuz of OC to be able to put it far enough behind me to not feel resentment a lot. But I work on it.

Funny, I love this time of year despite the fact that it's a religious holiday. Love the music especially and the hope that a sense of brotherhood and caring about others that permeates all the holiday messages will maybe be partly true in our dealings with one another.

Though I've become much more cynical about that since dealing with the infidelity--it's a nice thought to hope about.

We have a snowman on the top of our tree--what do you guys have, if you're into the Christmas thing?


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 6:14 PM, December 21st (Friday)

Bumping this again--this is an odd time of year for non-religious people in a way--but I still love the holidays. We've tried to tell the kids, when they were little, the story of Christmas, but always emphasized the good will toward men part of it all, and family togetherness, and giving to others. We still do with our adult children--though Christmas still has its ups and downs for me cuz of the LTA. But I still love it.

Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Content  Posted: 1:43 AM, December 28th (Friday)

We celebrate winter and the closing out of the year. We celebrate it on Dec 25th because it's the most convenient time. My FWH doesn't like to call it Christmas but I don't care. We do up Santa in a big way (my DD is 3.5) and decorate our house in a winter theme. Mostly snowflakes on the outside. Snowflakes, snowmen and fun stuff inside. We do put up a tree (we have a snowflake topper) and exchange gifts.

I will admit that some of my favorite holiday music is the religious stuff. Silent Night ranking among the top 5 at least. You don't have to believe it to find the music and even the lyrics beautiful. My mom just rolls her eyes at me.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 7:19 PM, February 8th (Friday)

It's been a while since anyone posted on this thread, I know that I haven't been reading on this as much. I just need to talk/vent about something on here and don't want to put it on the General Boards, as I don't want to offend anyone there.
My ILs are coming to town *again* next month. This just leads to so much turmoil on my part as they treated me *horribly* during Jekyll's A and early on in our R, but when the truth came out (and they were *entirely* wrong about his behavior and actions, but only because he explicitly told them), were quick to absolve him of guilt and responsibility.
I grew up in a fairly orthodox family. I left my faith in my early twenties. I'm pretty firmly rooted in my agnosticism (not quite atheistic because, hey, there *could* be something). I have studied religious scripture (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc) for both spiritual and academic reasons.
One of my big issues with them is their whole religion over self-exploration/IC/MC. You know, if you just read your bible and pray, it's all good. If someone says that they've changed, they have. I remember getting in a huge fight with my mother (who used to hold to this mantra and had to learn the hardway) over my adopted lil' bro. We adopted him as a teenager. He finally told her that he had been horribly molested as a child (we already knew that he had been subjected to physical and emotional abuse). I told her that she absolutely 100% had to put him into counseling - he couldn't work through this on his own. She was adamant that with 'the church', he would. He didn't and has struggled a great deal in his life due to his childhood abuse (not to say that his life would have been roses had he gotten some counseling).
When Jekyll and I decided to R, his parents were horribly invasive and obtrusive. We've stopped it as much as we could, but they just don't take direction much (they often say when we tell them to stop behaving a certain way that we're being manipulative). So, we thought it would help them if we shared some of our infidelity literature with them. We gave them "After the Affair". They read it, his dad writes back with this whole diatribe about how the author must not be a Christian because she makes a point how trust has to be earned, and apparently there's some christian doctrine that trust is a gift (BTW - I scoured my university library, not a word in Christian Dogma about trust - he just pulled that out of his ass I'm sure). They're whole solution was that we just needed to 'find a church' - it was all I could do to not say "I teach Mythology, I don't use it to direct my life."

I just hate this crap that people (in this case my ILs) push that Christianity is this quick fix all. That it is a ready (and preferable) substitute for counseling and self-reflection, time, and work. That somehow because *I* don't accept this then there is something flawed in me. Fucking hell - the scientific, *documented*, research proves that this is in fact not at all the case. Pedophiles, sex offenders, drug addicts, alcoholics, and cheaters relapse at incredible rates when they rely on the "Read the Bible and pray" method. Fucking hell.
Anyway, anyone else struggle with this? Had this experience? I realize that I can't change their mind, but I just want to know how I can get through this fucking dinner with them and not hate them or horribly offend them (my tongue tends to get away from me when I'm mad).


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
annben
Member
Member # 8703
Default  Posted: 7:29 PM, February 8th (Friday)

Don't even get me started. My mother was born/raised Jewish, and became a born-again when I was very young. Do I have to say anymore?


D-Day 11/01/05

You can't close the door when the walls cave in.


Posts: 2765 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From:
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 12:53 AM, February 9th (Saturday)

hurtsbs, how awful about your little brother. Nothing makes me angrier than stories like that--a kid being further hurt because of dogma.

No personal experience with such intrusive religious people--but maybe all the practice we have as WS or BS, biting our tongues sometimes, will help you get through the dinner without incident?? It's not possible to convince or change people around religious matters-the best I've come across is people who are willing to shut up about their ideas, live and let live, not judge--few and far between I guess among the orthodox of any persuasion.

I saw in the paper that it's the 199th birthday of Darwin, and the San Francisco Atheists are having a party! What a good idea. We should all raise a toast to him.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Flame  Posted: 2:06 PM, February 22nd (Friday)

Ok, say you join a co-dependency support group. And let's say, you know that there will be some references to religion and praying, you are in the minority after all. Let's assume you're cool with that you generally take what applies and leave the rest because you are respectful of others. Then, say you read this just a few pages into the "workbook" you're expected to use:
The first thing in the morning, take time out to pray. Prayer at this point,
does not mean that you have to believe in God. It simply means to pray.
When the
old timers in Alcoholics Anonymous went to their meetings, they didn't say,
"Well if you believe in God, pray." They said, "get on your knees and pray." If
you don't believe in God,
imagine a conversation with a grandparent or other
relative you love and respect. Say, "God, I don't believe in You, but I'm
supposed to pray. I want to be a partner in recovery today. Would you help me
stay sober today?"
From that point on, you can discuss any of your issues that
you want to talk to God about. God is able to handle the hurt, anger, fear,
anxiety and any other feelings you have kept from God.

How would you feel? What would you say to the group facilitator? (whom you were honest with about your atheism when you inquired about the class and you specifically asked how religious it would be and were assured that it was not overly so)

[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 2:08 PM, February 22nd (Friday)]


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, February 22nd (Friday)

I wouldn't say anything. You knew there would be religious references. I'm not sure I could participate in such a group, but if I did, I would change the word prayer to meditation in my own mind, and do just that--meditate.

Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
MiJa
Member
Member # 11442
Default  Posted: 10:32 AM, February 27th (Wednesday)

Had an interesting conversation with a coworker over lunch the other day...

It all got started when she was looking at an article in USA Today with a graph showing the miniscule percentage of people in this country who identify themselves as atheists.

"So if this is right," she says to me, "why do I keep meeting guys over and over again who are atheists?"

Which gave me the perfect opportunity to let her know that she'd just met another one... me. She was about as surprised and amused by that revelation as you'd expect her to be.

So after a little bit of talking and compare/contrasting about what we do and don't believe (she didn't know that Unitarians can be atheists, for example, and I am both), she said that the other atheist guys she's talked to have always depressed the hell out of her when they talk about their views about what happens after death and how they expect it to be a whole lot of nothing... no God, no heaven, no reincarnation, just nothing.

So I told her my view on the subject... what happens after death, besides the obvious physical decomposition? I don't know. And all of these religious believers who loudly and boldly declare that they know what happens after death and describe the afterlife in great detail? I don't think they know either.

That's the version of atheism that I subscribe to in a nutshell... I'm not convinced by the evidence that others have presented to me and the rest of the world for believing in a God or gods or a lot of other otherworldly entities and things. That doesn't mean that I have all the answers, it just means that I haven't been persuaded by theirs. I don't know the answer... AND NEITHER DO THEY! That about sums it up.

So after I told her about this, she smiled and told me that I'm the first atheist guy she's met who hasn't depressed the hell out of her by talking about his belief or lack of belief. And that made me smile too.


"But I opened my eyes and walked out the door and the clouds came tumbling down, and it's bye-bye, goodbye, I tried..." -- Ben Folds, "Landed"

Posts: 595 | Registered: Jul 2006
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 6:52 PM, February 27th (Wednesday)

MiJa, I'm with you--noone KNOWS about after death, plenty of people BELIEVE things about after death--

Drives me nuts when people say, for example, they "think" that such-and-such celebrity is a nice person, or they "think" that so and so will be an excellent president or something--unless you examine what facts and actions are available, you can't really know--it's all a belief. Just like believing in a god or gods.

Seems to me we have enough to deal with, be awed by, be interested in to get involved with--just by being on this earth, surrounded by other people we know, seeing things that need to be done or folks who need to be helped or stuff to be discovered or studied without getting all hepped up by what might happen after death. A good life here is all we really have to work on, and it shouldn't take a belief in some supreme being to make us be the best people we can, or appreciate what we have, or work on improving things.

Like we are all doing in our personal lives, right??


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
FeistyWoman
Member
Member # 19093
Flame  Posted: 3:58 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

Hi all--

Could use a little help on the whole 12-step approach. I have just discovered my WH is SA with cheating over the last 12 years (see my posts on Just Found Out for more details).

He and I both probably fall into the agnostic camp. He is Jewish and I was raised Catholic. I am probably a little bit more open to spiritual discovery than he is.

So the problem comes with any of the support groups out there for SA -and spouses/partners of. They all seem to be 12-step programs which has turned both of us off.

WH seems truly interested in getting help. He went to his 1st SA meeting the other night. He is pretty freaked out by the God/higher power stuff.

I think we both could really benefit from a group setting but even I don't think I can handle the idea of a higher power sorting this all out for us.

Any 12 step programs for agnostics/atheists out there???

We need help!


Me - BS
Him - WH (SA)
Dday #1 3-20-08 Dday #2 4-9-08
2 children
Married 11 years, together 20
Him-3 massage parlor visits starting 1996; 1 yr arrangement w/prostitute;6 ONS(women); 1 full massage with man
Me-Totally clueless until 3-20-08

Posts: 111 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Midwest
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 4:56 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

Feisty, I sent you PM.

We have not found any secular help for SA locally. There might be some things online but they are not what your SA needs. He will need to be flexible enough to be able to just change it around in his head when they talk about God...most places are pretty good about saying "or higher power" and he can define what his "higher power" is. Anyway, just wanted you to know you've got a PM from me and we'll try to help if we can.
7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
Catsbrains
Member
Member # 18868
Default  Posted: 12:41 AM, May 1st (Thursday)

Just found this thread!! I have always been an atheist. I remember going to Sunday school with my grandma and realizing it was all a bunch of nonsense.

Just wanted to say hi to my fellow heathens!


BS 37
WS 42
Married 6/6/04
Dday 3/6/08
Divorce Final 4/17/08

Posts: 237 | Registered: Mar 2008 | From: Las Vegas
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Happy  Posted: 3:03 AM, May 1st (Thursday)

Oh I have to share this...

I was outside with my 4yr old daughter last night. All the neighbors were out and the kids were playing together. We were hanging out on my neighbor's porch.

A guy comes up and wants to "spread the good news" and invite us to his Baptist church. I am the only atheist (that I know of) and I'm not "out" to my neighbors so I just ignored the guy. My neighbors all politely declined and after he gave his speech about Jeebus loving us all and blah, blah, blah, he moved on. My daughter walked past him, looked up, wrinkled her nose, and rolled her eyes at him, which I found highly amusing. The guy was really weird and he was ranting.

He made his way across the street and managed to corner a poor teenager. As the teen tried to extract himself the nutjob got louder and louder and was basically screaming about being saved and trying to scare the kid.

My husband missed all the fun because he was inside working.

That night at dinner I was telling him about it but hadn't said much beyond saying that a guy was going door to door for the Baptist church, when our daughter says "Yeah, Daddy, somebody SAVED him!" all dramatic like, including throwing her arms out like the nutjob had been. Even the 4 yr old knew high drama when she saw it.

My husband shot milk out his nose and I was laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
sss456
Member
Member # 19222
Default  Posted: 5:47 PM, May 1st (Thursday)

i almost wish i could believe. it would sure make life easier, sometimes, to be able to blame it on the devil or gods greater plan. BUT, logic takes hold, and all the organized religion garbage starts stinkin up the place, so out it goes!!


I have nothing to lose but my mind, and everything I always wanted. Breaking Benjamin

Posts: 222 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: maryland
hexed
Member
Member # 19258
Default  Posted: 4:41 PM, May 5th (Monday)

nice to find this thread.

the first thing my new neighbors asked me when we moved into the "hood" was "have you found a church yet?"


But that's just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there's no use in backtracking
Around corners I have turned

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler


Posts: 8462 | Registered: Apr 2008
shellsincanada
Member
Member # 17829
Default  Posted: 7:49 PM, May 5th (Monday)

has anyone listened to the audio book by Julia Sweeney called "Letting Go of God"?

It's fabulous. It basically talks about her journey from catholicism to exploring other religions to finally becoming an atheist. It is funny and smart and really makes you think in a light hearted way about the big deep issues. It's on itunes to download.


I will not pretend
I will not put on a smile
I will not say I'm all right for you
When all I wanted was to be good
To do everything in truth
To do everything in truth
Martha Wainright...

Posts: 71 | Registered: Jan 2008 | From: Winnipeg
FierceSelfLove
Member
Member # 19276
Default  Posted: 8:22 AM, May 6th (Tuesday)

I'm not sure if I belong here or not, would appreciate some feedback on it, because I am VERY spiritual, but am not monotheistic. I'm American Indian, practice prayer every day (hell every three minutes sometimes) but because I'm not Christian or like I said, monotheistic, it's hard to explan that to some folks without them getting freaked out.

So, I know I"m not atheist, but what does agnostic mean?


Me: BW,
"Take back your lives, heal yourselves. Get revenge by being happy with yourself. Stand proud and say-You have not broke me. I will survive and I will come out of this better than I went in"

Posts: 1861 | Registered: Apr 2008
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Exclaimation  Posted: 3:30 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)

Agnostic
n.
1. One who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God.

2. One who is skeptical about the existence of God but does not profess true atheism.

Atheist
n.
One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

also:
"What is atheism?"

Atheism is characterized by an absence of belief in the existence of gods. This absence of belief generally comes about either through deliberate choice, or from an inherent inability to believe religious teachings which seem literally incredible. It is not a lack of belief born out of simple ignorance of religious teachings.

Some atheists go beyond a mere absence of belief in gods: they actively believe that particular gods, or all gods, do not exist. Just lacking belief in Gods is often referred to as the "weak atheist" position; whereas believing that gods do not (or cannot) exist is known as "strong atheism."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you believe in a deity or deities in any form you are neither agnostic nor atheist.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
erinlc
Member
Member # 14491
Default  Posted: 11:58 PM, May 8th (Thursday)

I have been a self-described agnostic for some time. Came a Christian family full of preaching without practice. I often find myself uncomfortable when the first thing someone asks at a time of trouble is if I have a church, religion, or pray about it. Well, if I did, what would be the need to ask me about it? Either I am or I am not, and asking me about it if I was would serve no purpose, so I figure it's their way of feeling out my beliefs and taking the opportunity to preach their beliefs at my expense.

I respect everyone's beliefs, but have trouble with the judgement that seems to be directed at those that choose not to believe in something, as if it's a requirement to be a moral person. I simply do not feel like I need to answer to a higher power to be a good person, I can be motivated by my own desire to be such.


Me, BS, 36 y/o
Husband, FWS, 36 y/o
Together 19 years, married 17 years

Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter - Lee Ann Womack


Posts: 3145 | Registered: May 2007
FeistyWoman
Member
Member # 19093
Default  Posted: 5:49 PM, May 11th (Sunday)

Right there with you erinlc.

I think good people come in all packages -and beliefs. And I think "beliefs" can mean not believing in a higher power or believing that it is impossible to know.

I consider my agnostic beliefs to be very well thought out. And I think that being a good person is just as important to me as someone who might be very devout in their faith.



Me - BS
Him - WH (SA)
Dday #1 3-20-08 Dday #2 4-9-08
2 children
Married 11 years, together 20
Him-3 massage parlor visits starting 1996; 1 yr arrangement w/prostitute;6 ONS(women); 1 full massage with man
Me-Totally clueless until 3-20-08

Posts: 111 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: Midwest
north of nowhere
Member
Member # 18849
Default  Posted: 6:41 AM, May 14th (Wednesday)

When I discovered my Church going, praying before dinner husband is a bold faced liar, manipulator,deceiver and hypocrite, I became an agnostic. Sitting in church wondering how many of these pious people are just like him, I quit going. Anyone asks, I'll tell them.

Posts: 80 | Registered: Mar 2008
hexed
Member
Member # 19258
Default  Posted: 10:20 AM, May 14th (Wednesday)

i've been a life long questioner of organized religion. i probably fall towards the agnostic side rather than the atheist side of things. but not by much.

i've had the pleasure of working with people from around the world with a very very diverse range of religious beliefs. when i was fresh out of school, a hindu colleague of mine said "our religion is at least 3000 years older than christianity, what makes christians so sure that we're wrong?"

i thought that was great point. it didn't make me believe in god but it sure made me think about organized religions.


But that's just a lot of water
Underneath a bridge I burned
And there's no use in backtracking
Around corners I have turned

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler


Posts: 8462 | Registered: Apr 2008
notworthless
Member
Member # 18943
Default  Posted: 3:30 AM, May 15th (Thursday)

I questioned organized religions, too, after meeting friends of every religion, many much older than the cristianity I was raised with.


I will survive....

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Apr 2008
Skye
Member
Member # 325
Default  Posted: 8:45 AM, May 15th (Thursday)

I do have to say that questioning organized religion and not being a believer are not the same. I know many true believers who struggle with organized religion.

Lucky me, I find organized religion very troublesome and I don't believe!


Posts: 5629 | Registered: Jul 2002
PTRN
Member
Member # 19730
Default  Posted: 6:10 AM, June 9th (Monday)

Hi everyone,

Does anyone else have a spouse who is an sex addict? I was not sure which thread to raise this topic.(Oh! I think I recognize one, actually. Hiya!) All of the literature and sites I've found so far are very 12 Step-ish, and focused on using religious beliefs as a way to heal and cope.


Posts: 214 | Registered: Jun 2008
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, June 9th (Monday)

Hi PTRN!
Yup, my FWH is SA and he's an atheist. He is working the 12 steps he just ignores the "god" stuff and substitutes his "higher power" which is his family and his desire to be a good person. He also found secular 12 steps online, I need to get that from him and post it. There are NO secular groups though so he just takes what he needs and leaves the rest (all the God references).
7


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
PTRN
Member
Member # 19730
Default  Posted: 3:20 PM, June 9th (Monday)

Thanks again, 7.

What about books and resources for spouses? I can ignore a certain amount of religious reference, but jeez a pete, it seems the primary coping mechanism in much of what I've found so far.


Posts: 214 | Registered: Jun 2008
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 5:54 PM, June 9th (Monday)

Hey PTRN,
Yeah, no. Since everything is patterned from AA and Al-Anon and they are uber-religious we just have to sort through it. It's frustrating. Very.

I will say again, that with the exception of the chapter specifically on the 12-steps, I found that "Mending a Shattered Heart" by Stefanie Carnes was not overtly religious in its tone and I found it extremely helpful and validating.

Oh and you'd just love my support group (note the sarcasm) I am the only one in the group who is not a Christian. It's interesting to say the least. Actually, there are a couple of women that I actually feel really bad for, they are just pinning everything on praying that God will "cure" their husbands. It's so sad to see someone so caught up in it that they can't even help themselves. They also all thought that their husbands were immune to porn, masturbation and cheating because they were such "Godly" men. One was a deacon in his church. I honestly think this might be harder for them than for us non-believers.

[This message edited by 7yrsbetrayed at 5:59 PM, June 9th (Monday)]


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
PTRN
Member
Member # 19730
Default  Posted: 4:30 AM, June 10th (Tuesday)

Your support group sounds like fun!

And while I can see now how porn can be a gateway, and find the exploitation of women involved very troubling, I never believed that some higher power was giving my H the ability to resist. Before all of this, I didn't care if he watched occasionally.

Being able to pin everything on a higher power has never appealed to me. I need control.


Posts: 214 | Registered: Jun 2008
Marcia
Member
Member # 6503
Default  Posted: 11:37 PM, June 15th (Sunday)

Thank God for this Thread!

Okay, that was a tad ironic.

But I am glad to see this because I see RED when people start invoking supernatural creatures when dealing with their lives. Or dealing with our nation's policies, whatever

FWIW, I have studies Buddhism and if I had to be religious, that would be the one for me. Ironically (again), I admire the central tenets of Christianity too, but so few people even try to practice them.


WHEN DID THE RULES CHANGE?
How did I miss the memo???

People: Read up on the 180!
Oh, and I'm boycotting Nike forever ;)


Posts: 225 | Registered: Feb 2005 | From: Washington DC
Marcia
Member
Member # 6503
Default  Posted: 11:39 PM, June 15th (Sunday)

^^^ That was actually just a convoluted bump! This thread was in danger of falling off of Page 1 and I need it where I can see it! It's my crutch! Kind of like religion, you might say! Okay, I'll shut up now


WHEN DID THE RULES CHANGE?
How did I miss the memo???

People: Read up on the 180!
Oh, and I'm boycotting Nike forever ;)


Posts: 225 | Registered: Feb 2005 | From: Washington DC
Sandcrab
Member
Member # 10067
Default  Posted: 7:44 PM, July 2nd (Wednesday)

Can I ask where a Wiccan may belong?


I ♥ LostJim

Adopt a chihuahua in your area
http://adopt-a-chihuahua.adoptapet.com/


Posts: 5618 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: wishing I was on an ocean beach somewhere...
sss456
Member
Member # 19222
Default  Posted: 7:56 PM, July 2nd (Wednesday)

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"


I have nothing to lose but my mind, and everything I always wanted. Breaking Benjamin

Posts: 222 | Registered: Apr 2008 | From: maryland
sadcat
Member
Member # 8637
Default  Posted: 9:58 AM, August 5th (Tuesday)

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.


I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain.

If this isn't what I consider soulmate crap, I don't know what is.


Posts: 13260 | Registered: Oct 2005 | From: GA
curtis
Member
Member # 16378
Default  Posted: 11:52 PM, August 5th (Tuesday)

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.

Posts: 62 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: kentucky
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 6:05 PM, August 6th (Wednesday)

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--


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
curtis
Member
Member # 16378
Default  Posted: 10:47 PM, August 9th (Saturday)

Inappropriate for this thread

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


Posts: 62 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: kentucky
soldieron
Member
Member # 21466
Question  Posted: 12:35 PM, November 8th (Saturday)

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.


when there's nothing left to burn
you have to set yourself on fire

Posts: 81 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: pacific northwest
graham82
Member
Member # 21528
Default  Posted: 10:12 AM, November 9th (Sunday)

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...


Me: 26
WW: 25
Children: D4 and S1
Together 10 years
D-Day: 9/17/08
Filing for Divorce

Posts: 396 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: Flint, MI
Weatherly
Member
Member # 18222
Default  Posted: 2:33 PM, November 9th (Sunday)

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.


Me-29,Two boys, 10 and 9

It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end

Happily remarried to a wonderful man (Aussie). I think I found the right guy and the right finger this time.


Posts: 4491 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Indiana
PlanB
New Member
Member # 21359
Shutup  Posted: 2:11 PM, November 12th (Wednesday)

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?


Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight
~Japanese Proverb

high school sweethearts, together for 18 years, married for 15.
Me- 35
Him-38
2 kids.
d-day 10-14-08
trying to reconcile


Posts: 15 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: California
rain7
Member
Member # 20336
Default  Posted: 12:03 AM, November 13th (Thursday)

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)]


BS: Me, 42.
WS: Him, 42.
Married 18 years on 11/03/08!
Together 20.
Two DDs: 17 and 13.
ONS 07/16/08.
D-Day: 07/18/08.
In R.

Posts: 390 | Registered: Jul 2008
aprilbetdme
Member
Member # 21211
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, November 14th (Friday)

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.


year later.
Hard to believe that I put so much into the relationship with WW.
I did learn many valuable lessons that I’ve taken onto my next relationship.

Never make someone a priority who only makes you an option.


Posts: 160 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: minnesota
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Exclaimation  Posted: 1:24 PM, November 15th (Saturday)

aprilbetdme
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.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
soldieron
Member
Member # 21466
Shutup  Posted: 1:14 AM, November 16th (Sunday)

7yrs-
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.


when there's nothing left to burn
you have to set yourself on fire

Posts: 81 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: pacific northwest
lookinforward
Member
Member # 20577
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, December 16th (Tuesday)

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
http://blogcritics.org/archives/2008/04/08/171239.php

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


~Without Struggle, There is no Progress

Posts: 1992 | Registered: Aug 2008
hurtbs
Member
Member # 10866
Default  Posted: 1:23 PM, December 18th (Thursday)

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?


Me BW Him XSAWH
DDays 2006, and then numerous more
Divorced 2012

"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid


Posts: 15325 | Registered: Jun 2006
birdwatch
Member
Member # 19978
Default  Posted: 4:18 PM, December 30th (Tuesday)

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?

birdwatch


* Known WS since 2001. Me: 37.
* D Day 1 - Mar 2008: Discovered cyber/phone sex, dating sites etc
* D Day 2 - May 2008: Discovered more "stuff". WS admitted to one A - my gut says > half a dozen.
* R'ing. IC & MC. WS is sex addict.

Posts: 377 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Toronto, Canada
25wimsey
Member
Member # 7816
Default  Posted: 9:47 PM, December 30th (Tuesday)

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.


Posts: 695 | Registered: Aug 2005
aprilbetdme
Member
Member # 21211
Default  Posted: 10:32 PM, December 30th (Tuesday)

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.


year later.
Hard to believe that I put so much into the relationship with WW.
I did learn many valuable lessons that I’ve taken onto my next relationship.

Never make someone a priority who only makes you an option.


Posts: 160 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: minnesota
birdwatch
Member
Member # 19978
Default  Posted: 7:42 AM, January 2nd (Friday)

25wimsey,

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?

birdwatch

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


* Known WS since 2001. Me: 37.
* D Day 1 - Mar 2008: Discovered cyber/phone sex, dating sites etc
* D Day 2 - May 2008: Discovered more "stuff". WS admitted to one A - my gut says > half a dozen.
* R'ing. IC & MC. WS is sex addict.

Posts: 377 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Toronto, Canada
sad12008
Member
Member # 18179
Default  Posted: 8:11 AM, January 2nd (Friday)

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.....


You can't fill a cup with no bottom.

Posts: 3893 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: a new start together
islandgrl
Member
Member # 22010
Default  Posted: 11:53 PM, January 3rd (Saturday)

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) http://www.dailyom.com/


Me: BS (47)Him: WS (47) Together: 28 years Kids: 3 boys
suspected Aug 08, C Day: Dec.6,2008 OW - skanky co-worker "just friends"
Broken NC: many times(last attempt Aug 7,2010-no reply from OW)
getting there....

Posts: 286 | Registered: Dec 2008 | From: Canada
thetruthwins
Member
Member # 21722
Default  Posted: 12:35 AM, January 4th (Sunday)

Agnostic Jihad = "I don't know and neither do you!"


Me BS age 40
Him WH age 41
Son age 5
ONS on 10/31, DDay 11/1 but problems with prior deceit, porn addiction, general compulsiveness. I wouldn't let him come home on DDay.
Update: He's in IC! Yay! Moved home 11/26, things are going great. Whew!

Posts: 656 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: the here and now
Used2FeelSpecial
Member
Member # 21459
Default  Posted: 12:50 PM, January 6th (Tuesday)

I have no belief in God, I am a man of science. I have no beef with people who are religious as long as it doesn't negatively affect others.

Anyway, WW has always had a belief in SOMETHING and, since I discovered the A and working at R, she has been going to a Unitarian chapel. We were having a talk, a while ago now, about this and I said that any tiny amount of belief in a possibility of any higher power was snuffed out for good when I discovered the A. She said she has more faith now, because I am still here. Brilliant, I do all the hard work, deal with all the pain, stay in the face of agony, and the magic man in the sky gets all the credit!


Walking 26 miles through the night in April for children's cancer, http://www.sponsormetoshine.org/alunmurch
D-Day 15th Oct 2008
EA and PA early to mid 2006
2 DS born 24/11/2006 and 18/08/2009.
Me:33
WS:33 (BrokenBaggage)
Slowly working on

Posts: 375 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: UK
rain7
Member
Member # 20336
Default  Posted: 11:57 PM, January 22nd (Thursday)

Birdwatch, your posts have struck me. I hate to see someone who seems to feel so hopeless about life. I'm agnostic, don't believe in the bible, all that stuff, but I still believe that things happen for a reason, and that there definitely IS cause and effect. We don't always see it, and right now surely you aren't, but I have to believe that shit eventually comes around, and certain wrongs are righted. Oh man, I just realized that I sound like a preaching christian!!! So sorry for that, but I just hate to see someone feel like you do now. It still pays to be a good person, your check may just be a little late in coming, that's all!


BS: Me, 42.
WS: Him, 42.
Married 18 years on 11/03/08!
Together 20.
Two DDs: 17 and 13.
ONS 07/16/08.
D-Day: 07/18/08.
In R.

Posts: 390 | Registered: Jul 2008
birdwatch
Member
Member # 19978
Default  Posted: 7:51 AM, January 23rd (Friday)

rain7,

Thank you for your response, and more importantly, for caring.

I do not wish to sound like a downer, but I simply do not believe in cause and effort, and just dessert, any more. You see children dying of AIDS. You see children being sexually and physically assulted by relatives. You see people like Dana Reeeves, whose husband became physically disabled. She stood by his side and looked after him for a decade, loyally and selflessly. He passed away. Then, she herself was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away, leaving behind children whom she will never see grown up.

If one believes in God, at least one believes these poor souls have all gone to heaven, or that they will re-incarnate as kings and queens in their next lives. But since I believe once you die, you go up in flames and your existence is erased, I am utterly lost.

I am not alone in suffering. Many others are also suffering from infidelity, abuse and sickness. It cannot be that all of us who are suffering are bad people who deserve our fate?

While I do not believe I will ever find an "answer", I do believe that I have to look within myself to find peace and strength.

Once again, rain7, I want you to know how much I appreciate your kindness and caring. I hope you are well and you have found peace.

birdwatch

[This message edited by birdwatch at 7:53 AM, January 23rd (Friday)]


* Known WS since 2001. Me: 37.
* D Day 1 - Mar 2008: Discovered cyber/phone sex, dating sites etc
* D Day 2 - May 2008: Discovered more "stuff". WS admitted to one A - my gut says > half a dozen.
* R'ing. IC & MC. WS is sex addict.

Posts: 377 | Registered: Jun 2008 | From: Toronto, Canada
Ingrid
Member
Member # 20126
Default  Posted: 10:36 AM, January 23rd (Friday)

INAPPROPRIATE

[This message edited by drowninginsorrow at 1:08 PM, February 24th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 232 | Registered: Jul 2008 | From: L.A. CA
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, September 10th (Thursday)

This is my first post in this topic. I consider myself to be a humanitarian agnostic. For my purposes, that means that I believe that mankind possesses God like attributes and that we can achieve Godlike consciousness in our lives (perhaps). But I'm not anti-religious and gladly allow all others to have whatever spiritual support they crave. Wicca, Christian, Moslem, Hindu or whatever.

Strangely enough, I also sometime envy those who can tap into something, some message of faith and hope and draw strength from that.

As an agnostic, I must be my own source of inspiration and there are times when the amount of despair and anguish are too great for me to bear with a smile. So, since I believe in the existence of God, regardless of my ability to prove it, I readily will take any support I can get. From God, from friends, from anyone.

Perhaps, SI serves the functions of a confessional to us agnostics?



Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
mourningtheloss
Member
Member # 24917
Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, September 10th (Thursday)

Hollow Inside, My WH's MOW is an active mormon. Supposedly very family values, yet she worked on my WH for 8 months reeling him in like a big fish with all her talk of her problems in her marriage and her manipulations, telling him of another man in their guild she was interested in (trying to spot jealousy on his part to see if his mind was going where she wanted it to go). THIS from someone who goes to church every Sunday and is very active in the church community.


BS: Me, 52
WS: Him 51 - 7mo EA/ 2mo PA
27 years Married
DS 24, DD 15
DD#1: 04/28/09 Found email from OW and demanded NC and was promised
DD#2 05/15/09 - False R, C never stopped
"Lose a Cheater, Gain a LIFE"

Posts: 513 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Ca
drowninginsorrow
Member
Member # 4545
Red  Posted: 9:22 AM, September 11th (Friday)


This thread was started so that like minded people could support each other.
It should not to be used to debate or bash other beliefs


Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.- Matt Groening
"I've found the secret to life. I'm ok when everything is not ok"- Tori Amos lyrics

Posts: 56712 | Registered: Jun 2004 | From: canuckistan
Sereneaspiration
Member
Member # 25296
Default  Posted: 7:47 AM, September 13th (Sunday)

Yay! A special place for heathens!!!

Actually, it's my FWH's support during a very trying time of leaving the Christian faith after 33 years that gives me hope for a successful reconciliation and marriage. He stuck with me when I went into full-fledged 6 day creationist, bible literalist, fundamentalist Christian mode. Ironically, he never cheated on me when I axed television, holidays, music CD's, movies, and had my nose in the Bible 24/7. He saw and helped me through not just the loss of faith but the aftermath when our huge church family axed me and my family out of their lives completely. Ironically, it was a year and a half after his 3yr. pA began.

We live in right-wing fundy hell country and actually, my non-belief is a positive right now because I'm able to focus on human nature rather than judging and condemning...even though it hurts and I'm in a lot of emotional pain. Going through what I did as a Christian to now atheist inadvertently gave me strength I never knew existed and it's really showing now.

He nor our children believe anymore either. Every time one of my non-fundy but Christian friends offers advice is along the lines of finding a religious counselor,book or movie. I swear my best friend forgot I told her I no longer believe because she recommended my H and I watch "Fireproof" starring Kirk Cameron.

[This message edited by Sereneaspiration at 7:48 AM, September 13th (Sunday)]


Me (BW)-42 yo,EWH - 42yo,DD - 14
DS - 18yo
Married 3/15/92
Ddays: 12/26/1995, October 2008 (EA and sexually explicit emails),4/10/2009 (ONS A), 8/31/2009 (5 year A w/coworker), 10/5/2009 WH broke NC
C Separation
Reconciliation

Posts: 263 | Registered: Aug 2009
SurvivingInCA
Member
Member # 23898
Default  Posted: 7:47 PM, September 14th (Monday)

I am so glad that this forum exists. I was raised Catholic but always had a hard time buying off on the “guy in the sky pulling all the strings” idea. That said, every time I say I that don’t believe in god there is still a part of me that worries I am going to be struck down with a lightning bolt. So, I guess that puts me in the agnostic camp.

In trying to survive the aftermath of an affair that resulted in an OC after suffering through male-factor infertility for almost 2 years. Given the circumstances it is sometimes hard to think that there is NOT some twisted master plan behind the total annihilation of my previously happy life. The probability of the OW getting pregnant in 5 random rendezvous with my H and his defective sperms is probably on par with winning super lotto twice in a lifetime—and yet, it happened. I don’t believe in god, but it is hard to believe that I am not getting punished for something—or maybe there is a god and he is sticking it to me because I don’t believe.

It cannot separate the “miracle” of the OC from the ongoing and profound disappointment of our infertility. Knowing that to have children I will have to embark on the costly, traumatic and precarious experience of IVF, on top of this costly, traumatic and precarious post-affair life, I feel like the odds are stacked against me. We are NC with the OC – there are many difficult emotional and moral aspects of this but I have virtually censored myself from discussing any of them on this board or elsewhere because of the black and white judgment I have received from others regarding my H’s mistake and our choice for NC.

I wish that I believed in god, because if I did I wouldn’t have to figure out for myself how life and its coincidences could be so profoundly unfair. If I believed in god, I would have someplace safe to stash some hope. If I believed in god, maybe I would feel like there was some purpose behind my pain—like there was some big payout in the end that would make it all worth it.

Even though there is no god, I am learning to recognize that there are forces in the world that are beyond my control—and I am learning to find peace in that. When it comes to the things I want in life – a faithful husband, a happy marriage, children, there are simply no guarantees. I only have myself and this moment—I know I have only one life to live and I need to find away to live it again.


BW – me/36, WH him/35
Married 4, together 7
Dday – 4/10/09
PA – 1/1/08 to 5/1/08 (5 rendezvous)
No Kids - had been trying 1/1/08 - 4/9/09
OC – 01/09/DNA despite H's male factor infertility (guess she got the one miracle sperm)
R'ing

Posts: 136 | Registered: May 2009
Ash84
Member
Member # 24761
Default  Posted: 8:29 PM, September 14th (Monday)

Yay! I wish I would have found this thread sooner! I'm an atheist and often feel out of place on here with everyone talking about their god.

Unlike you, survivinginCA, I'm glad I don't believe in God, I can not imagine living my life by rules set forth by an all powerful entity that allows the world to go to such shit. It's like landlord who doesn't keep up his properties.

Anyways, I'm so glad I've found this thread and that is was resurrected.


Posts: 304 | Registered: Jul 2009
TLhurting
Member
Member # 25156
Default  Posted: 8:40 PM, September 14th (Monday)

I just joined, but am so glad to see this thread. While it's nice to know my mom is praying for me, that isn't going to help. Only I can do that.

[This message edited by TLhurting at 8:42 PM, September 14th (Monday)]


Posts: 360 | Registered: Aug 2009
forced2moveon
Member
Member # 12014
Default  Posted: 9:14 PM, September 14th (Monday)

I too am glad this thread exists!

I was raised Mormon and have now been Agnostic for a few years. I have relatives who are praying for me. I'm sure after my death, hopefully at a ripe old age, my mormon relatives may try to do a baptism for the dead on me! If thats what makes THEM happy than I'm all for it, but don't believe it in myself.

Anyway, glad to see that there are other people on SI who have the same belief as myself!


Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Southern California
beach
Member
Member # 7533
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, September 15th (Tuesday)

islandgrl,
I like dailyom site, too.

my back ground, my root is Zen buhddism and was baptized to Lutheran for the sake of our kids and Christianity was still foreign and didn't feel being welcomed by the other congregations. So...when the kids got comfirmed, I stopped going to church. I feel very familiar and content with Zen.


If you don't find peace with yourself, you cannot find anywhere else.
Appreciate and cherish what I have.

Posts: 8680 | Registered: Jul 2005 | From: midwest
Silla
New Member
Member # 23443
Default  Posted: 9:51 PM, September 16th (Wednesday)

This is very interestin thread. Good to know I am not alone.

I grew up in a Christian family household. Growing up, my family took us to church on holidays and special occasions only. Throughout my life, I didn't develop any attachment or strong belief to any religion. In most cases, during difficulty times, I have relied on myself in solving my problems.

I am in SAnon now, but I am having difficulties with the Higher Power belief. I just can’t relate to it because I never believed in any higher power before. Some times I feel my recovery is slow because I am not passing the problems I have difficulty with to a higher power, sometimes I just wish I was religious person.


Posts: 30 | Registered: Mar 2009
Recoveringwife
Member
Member # 21054
Default  Posted: 11:51 AM, October 7th (Wednesday)

[This message edited by Recoveringwife at 6:15 PM, August 24th (Tuesday)]


BW: (me)38
2 kids
dday Feb 2008
Recovering


Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 2008
Sad in AZ
Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 12:37 PM, October 7th (Wednesday)

Recoveringwife: I'd be interested to hear what they are doing/saying to you.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20317 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
SurvivingInCA
Member
Member # 23898
Default  Posted: 7:57 PM, October 7th (Wednesday)

My fellow atheists and agnostics...

Wondering if any of you are wearing your rings? And if any of you have "reclaimed" them?

FWH and I are committed to R and although I don't think we are at the point where we would renew our vows, I have been thinking about wearing my rings again as a symbol of my commitment to R. That said it feels like something needs to be *done* to them -- like they need to be purified in some way.

Obviously, since I don't believe in blessings and rituals this presents a problem... so wondering what others have done to reclaim these symbols.


BW – me/36, WH him/35
Married 4, together 7
Dday – 4/10/09
PA – 1/1/08 to 5/1/08 (5 rendezvous)
No Kids - had been trying 1/1/08 - 4/9/09
OC – 01/09/DNA despite H's male factor infertility (guess she got the one miracle sperm)
R'ing

Posts: 136 | Registered: May 2009
SurvivingInCA
Member
Member # 23898
Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, October 8th (Thursday)

Shamelessly bumping myself in case any atheists are on right now...


BW – me/36, WH him/35
Married 4, together 7
Dday – 4/10/09
PA – 1/1/08 to 5/1/08 (5 rendezvous)
No Kids - had been trying 1/1/08 - 4/9/09
OC – 01/09/DNA despite H's male factor infertility (guess she got the one miracle sperm)
R'ing

Posts: 136 | Registered: May 2009
mourningtheloss
Member
Member # 24917
Default  Posted: 4:23 PM, October 8th (Thursday)

SurvivingInCA, Pair of Agnostic/Atheists here. I took my ring off soon after DDay, WH didn't even notice. Many weeks went by and I sort of showed him mine was gone. He took his off then. I felt bad that he did...but then it made sense. I thought of all people HE should not be wearing that ring. He touched HER with that ring so now I HATE that ring. It means nothing now. But..what to do with the rings? We are not at place where we should renew our vows and if we were would we have the rings melted and redesigned? Or should we just throw them away and get new ones? I'm thinking of throwing them away. They are meaningless now. MY ring is fine, I didn't cheat, but his is contaminated.

I have also considered tattooing rings on our fingers some day but if he cheated again after that I would have to cut off his finger. Oh well...


BS: Me, 52
WS: Him 51 - 7mo EA/ 2mo PA
27 years Married
DS 24, DD 15
DD#1: 04/28/09 Found email from OW and demanded NC and was promised
DD#2 05/15/09 - False R, C never stopped
"Lose a Cheater, Gain a LIFE"

Posts: 513 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: Ca
EmptyCup
Member
Member # 22909
Default  Posted: 4:24 PM, October 8th (Thursday)

I'm here - Jewish atheist married to a Catholic believer, although he's stopped going to church. After the A, he found solace more in reading zen than his religion.

SurvivingInCa - you say you don't believe in blessings and rituals, but you seem to be in need of a ritual The first thing that came to mind was a thorough cleaning. Maybe you and your spouse could light a candle, say some nice words, and put the rings on eachother's fingers?


ETA: I don't think he stopped going to church because of the A. I'm not sure why, actually, but he's been getting disillusioned with it all.

[This message edited by EmptyCup at 4:27 PM, October 8th (Thursday)]


FWW, reconciled with my best friend <3

Nothing much but love to give you, even less have I to hide - Tim O'Brien


Posts: 1140 | Registered: Feb 2009
Sereneaspiration
Member
Member # 25296
Default  Posted: 5:12 AM, October 13th (Tuesday)

MourningtheLoss, are they gold? If so, send 'em off for cash! :-)


Me (BW)-42 yo,EWH - 42yo,DD - 14
DS - 18yo
Married 3/15/92
Ddays: 12/26/1995, October 2008 (EA and sexually explicit emails),4/10/2009 (ONS A), 8/31/2009 (5 year A w/coworker), 10/5/2009 WH broke NC
C Separation
Reconciliation

Posts: 263 | Registered: Aug 2009
Recoveringwife
Member
Member # 21054
Default  Posted: 5:53 PM, December 8th (Tuesday)

[This message edited by Recoveringwife at 3:21 PM, March 11th (Thursday)]


BW: (me)38
2 kids
dday Feb 2008
Recovering


Posts: 847 | Registered: Sep 2008
socold
Member
Member # 17400
Default  Posted: 8:51 PM, December 17th (Thursday)

<poking my head in>

Always admired the fact this thread existed, but honestly never felt the need for help in this department. I fit the criteria and all, but just never made it down here.

Any-hoo, wanted to share this excellent secular Christmas song by one of my favorite entertainers from Australia (their best kept secret IMO) Tim Minchin. This song is called White Wine in the Sun and its quite moving and witty:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0s68-GLGWY

Happy Holiday Season


(me)fBH 35
D-Day Dec 9, 2007
D final Oct 19th 2010

Posts: 2584 | Registered: Dec 2007 | From: in a van down by the river
doodley
Member
Member # 21433
Default  Posted: 1:28 PM, April 2nd (Friday)

Hello skeptics! Just dropping in to say hello - it's Atheist coming out week and all.

((hugs))


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

Posts: 120 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: GA
Mrs Panda
Member
Member # 27303
Default  Posted: 10:42 PM, April 3rd (Saturday)

Just noticed this group. I guess I am an agnostic - although I want to believe. I was raised Lutheran. My BH is a hard-core atheist. When me met, I still belived. But he wore me down with logic over the years. Yet tonight, I am sitting here (alone) watching the 10 Commandments on TV. Great movie. Ironic about the "thou shalt not commit adultery" part. Anyway...

I find myself WANTING to belive again. Tomorrow is Easter. I would love to believe in something higher. But I just can't see it possible.

Does that ever terrify you all? I hate thinking about death, that this is all there is. I think about it all the time, especially now. That this life is all BH and I have - so we better make the best of it.

[This message edited by Mrs Panda at 10:46 PM, April 3rd (Saturday)]


Me-41 FWW Him-45BH
M 13years. Reconciled.
DDay#1 Nov 2008 (OM2)
DDay#2 Aug 2009 (Confessed to OM 2001)
"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand." -Kurt Vonnegut

Posts: 1992 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: The SouthEast
doodley
Member
Member # 21433
Default  Posted: 11:40 AM, April 5th (Monday)

Personally, I haven't believed since I was a child. I don't miss it or yearn for it. I think that I came to be an Atheist all on my own, I was never forced. Admitting that I was a non-believer was the most freeing thing I ever experienced. AS far as fearing death, I find the idea of death scary, sure. But I think that death just being the end is far less scary than being judged and/or burning in eternal hell on some technicality.


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

Posts: 120 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: GA
doodley
Member
Member # 21433
Angry  Posted: 12:05 PM, April 27th (Tuesday)

Anybody out there? I feel the need to vent.

I get so sick of people's attitude that since I am an atheist, that I deserve every bad thing that has happened to me. How un-Christlike can you get?

And another thing that gripes my hide, is "Putting it in God's hands." The ULTIMATE cop-out.

/end vent

*edited for grammatical errors

[This message edited by doodley at 12:06 PM, April 27th (Tuesday)]


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

Posts: 120 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: GA
stretch13
Member
Member # 26894
Default  Posted: 9:57 AM, April 28th (Wednesday)

hi all. i'm so glad to find you. i am having a tough, tough, tough day of many in the last two weeks or so.

the thing that makes my head explode (and then brings on the creeping self-doubt of a recovering catholic) is when people in my family say two things:

first my parents blame all marital problems on the seemingly "godless" inlaws. my WH husband wouldn't have done this or be so confused if he had a proper religious upbringing... I shut that down quickly with facts: his parents have been married for 35 years, raised him lutheran, and his mother plays bells and sings choir at about 4 different churches. (btw - at one time, my korean SIL apparently caused my brother's raging alcoholism with her cultural differences and arguing).

now i'm getting this... "i just don't see how this will ever get better without WH putting Jesus in his heart." that's it. the sum total of problem and solution, made so very evident by statistics. you know, the ones that show that if you are saved, you won't cheat and impregnate an OW...and if you are both saved, together you can save this marriage and handle an OC.

ARRRRRGGGGGGG. sometimes i feel like it's the only camp to offer me any "hope" that i can save this marriage. part of me is still hanging onto this "meant to be" dream i have, and so i fall back on "well, maybe they are right, maybe i can only save this marriage or have a successful one if we go to church every week."

but i can't do it, the thoughts don't feel authentic. right now i'm more vulnerable than i've ever been, so of course i'd be tempted to go back to another abuser? i always felt so guilty and powerless and wrong in the faith of my FOO.

i guess i want someone i trust to tell that me religion or lack thereof is not the reason this has failed. i want to stop feeling guilty for wanting to leave without, i don't know, going to retrauvaille and "learning intimacy using the bible and by praying together."

incidentally, my catholic parents totally support me either way...made easier and brought to you by (breathless pause)- The 7th Commandment and the fact that i have grounds for annulment.

i've never seen myself so cynical. i'm usually a pretty romantically minded person, hoping there are such things as reasons for things, challenges given and destiny. that was the first thing to leave me, and probably will be the last to return. i miss my dreamy sense of romance and destiny...always kept in check by a pretty level, nerdy head. the bleakness without it is crushing. and i suppose i see people use religion to fill that bleak view and brighten it. i want something else to do that for me. i feel so lost. to be expected i suppose.


http://www.facebook.com/hardheadpress
http://www.amazon.com/Eli-Ely-Ezekiel-Tyrus/dp/0986042900/

http://hardheadpress.com/

life must be rich and full of loving--it's no good otherwise, no good at all, for anyone - j. kerouac


Posts: 3929 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: east coast
Cogal
Member
Member # 28314
Default  Posted: 9:30 PM, April 28th (Wednesday)

Ahhh, another comfortable place! Atheist here, stbx is an agnostic, thank goodness we will at least agree how to raise the kids on that part post-D :)


Me (bw): 30 something
exH NPD: 30 something
kids: preschool twins
d-day 4/09 (7 month EA/PA)
married 10 years
divorced and ready for 2011

It's not that I have trust issues, it's that you shouldn't trust some people!


Posts: 279 | Registered: Apr 2010
Blue Monday
Member
Member # 28176
Default  Posted: 9:32 PM, May 1st (Saturday)

It's nice to stumble across this thread.

Luckily, I haven't had any well intentioned people trying to offer religion as reason or salvation from my situation. But it has been a major concern for me while seeking out my IC.

To me, and even through all of this, the world remains more beautiful, meaningful, and deeply profound without religion as a personal practice.

I will engage in the argument when I have to. But I prefer the route of mutual respect when the subject of religion (or lack thereof) comes up.

Although I must admit it is always nice to find a place where you can relax.

So, um, yeah.

Athiest here.


Posts: 55 | Registered: Apr 2010
7yearitch
New Member
Member # 28476
Default  Posted: 12:46 PM, May 14th (Friday)

I live in a very religious area. I want to try MC, but our first try didn't go so well. Even after I told the counselor I was an atheist, he continued to dole out the religious advice and prayers. What is a polite way to ask potential MCs over the phone if they counsel from a religious angle only?


Me: BS
Him: WS
D-Day 4/15/10
4 awesome kids

Posts: 20 | Registered: May 2010
Blue Monday
Member
Member # 28176
Default  Posted: 3:23 PM, May 17th (Monday)

What has worked for me is asking, "What is your counselling approach as it relates to spirituality and religion?" And if they get a little dodgy on that answer, I will follow it with asking them about their personal preference whether or not to use religious methodology, such as the 12 step program, for most of their clients.

I have found that the counselors who are willing to provide religion free sessions are quick to present themselves and will go a bit out of their way to make sure you understand they are willing.

I wish you lots of luck with this and hope that it helps.


Posts: 55 | Registered: Apr 2010
doodley
Member
Member # 21433
Default  Posted: 1:26 PM, May 20th (Thursday)

you ARE out there!! Yay!

[This message edited by doodley at 9:19 PM, May 21st (Friday)]


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

Posts: 120 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: GA
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 1:26 PM, May 21st (Friday)

Was raised RCC, but been an atheist for a long time. Honestly thought about going to confession even though I'm an unbeliever. Have so far decided not to since I don't really want to be hypocritical, seems insulting.

Just writing this makes me aghast to realize my own emotions running so.. wherever.. and I eyeball religion.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Blue Monday
Member
Member # 28176
Default  Posted: 7:32 PM, May 21st (Friday)

I don't think there's much weird in considering going to confession. There is something about being able to walk in and talk to someone who has dedicated their life to helping others, whether it be through a religion you believe in or not.

Regardless of believing in the religion, I think that there is an authority and difference of seeing the world that it's natural to think about or crave. Especially when you were raised to understand the RCC. And when you are raised RCC, the church tends to extend open arms back to you. Which I totally get the allure of that. Even if it would only result in momentary sanctuary from everything you're going through.

I also get the feelings of hypocricy surrounding the urge. And I would just say not to be too harsh on yourself for it. There's nothing wrong with what you're feeling or considering.

And there's nothing wrong with a decision to go or to not go. I think one of the hardest things is to let yourself be where you are when it's exactly where you don't want to be.

I hope you know and can feel that there is a lot of support here for you. And that you can make it through all of this.

BTW, I was raised RCC, too. So if I'm projecting my feelings about it onto you I'm truly sorry. I guess what you said just echoed in me quite a bit....


Posts: 55 | Registered: Apr 2010
kdny
Member
Member # 760
Red  Posted: 8:55 PM, May 21st (Friday)

doodley, you have a PM


Whether we remain ash or become phoenix is up to us.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sometimes the fine line between a nervous breakdown and knowing things will be okay is a pair of furry pants~unfound

Posts: 81335 | Registered: Dec 2002 | From: Slightly left of center, standing on my head
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:20 AM, May 25th (Tuesday)

Thanks Blue. You aren't projecting. That momentary sanctuary of having someone else tell you authoritatively that it'll all be ok is exactly what I meant, yeah.



"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Blue Monday
Member
Member # 28176
Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, May 29th (Saturday)

I've found that strangely a lot of my very religious friends have been quite thoughtfully supportive through all of this. I suppose that's why I really don't have much of a problem with religious people, just religious zealotry.

And I totally get the authoritative support. I am finding that mostly in my IC. Right now it's both exactly what I want and need as well as something that is sort of difficult to take. The unconditional interest in my well being.

It's good, though. And I know I need it. I say get it wherever you healthily can.

It's nice to know other people crave this and need it, too.

Thanks to you, too.


Posts: 55 | Registered: Apr 2010
heartbroken_kk
Member
Member # 22722
Default  Posted: 1:48 AM, October 9th (Saturday)

Just stopping in here to offer some support. My parents were Catholic, but quit the church before I hit puberty. Still lots of guilt in my household though. My personal beliefs are aligned with humanism rather than deism.

A resource for those of you who may have been directed to a 12-step program for sex-addiction, porn-addiction, sexually compulsive behavior, or co-dependency:

www.recoverynation.com

This site is very different from a 12 step program and has no religious or spiritual elements other than others who post there are share how that guides them personally. The lessons are completely secular.

I'm working on the partners workshop and find it very helpful so far.

Good luck to you all!

[This message edited by heartbroken_kk at 1:29 PM, October 9th (Saturday)]


BW then 46, STBXWHNPDPAFTG the destroyer of my entire life.
D-Day 1 1999, D-Day 2,3,4,5,6... 2009 thru 2011.

Separated, divorcing, moving on.
I edit because I always make typos.


Posts: 1221 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: California
7yrsbetrayed
Member
Member # 10198
Default  Posted: 11:44 PM, October 9th (Saturday)

Nice to see this back on the front page again.


Me(44)
Him(46) arthurdent (rSA)
Married 12 yrs, together 15
Renewed Vows 12/19/08
One DD(8)
You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.~Ayn Rand

Posts: 2167 | Registered: Mar 2006 | From: Colorado
jph79
New Member
Member # 33223
Default  Posted: 1:51 PM, August 29th (Monday)

I am a BH with a WW who cheated with an OW. I am an agnostic and the only non-Christian in the whole sorry mess. Like many others in this forum I am aware of the platitudes people offer under such circumstances.

It has to be said that, putting the pain to one side for a moment, it is an interesting situation to be the one who has maintained a high moral standard whilst those who believe in God's almighty rule have fallen short. Personally I believe that I have the strength to get through this (one way or another) with human support. I am sure my WW is appealing to God for forgiveness and guidance at the moment. I hope it works for her.


Me BH 32
Her WW 30
OW 36
Married less than 2 years, no kids
D-Day mid August

Currently heading for D.


Posts: 27 | Registered: Aug 2011
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 6:53 AM, September 2nd (Friday)

Can be lonely, too.

I don't think personal failures in regards to morality really reflect the legitimacy of the system represented by those peoples. It mainly becomes an issue, imo, when you're surrounded by people telling you that you're wrong, and they can't keep to their own standards.

Since us atheists are a tiny (albeit rather vocal) minority, we tend to end up in that position more often than not. Can be tough not to get bitter about it for that reason.

You can definitely get through this. Just keep doin' the best you know how, right? Good luck.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
jph79
New Member
Member # 33223
Default  Posted: 3:18 AM, September 3rd (Saturday)

My WW said to me during disclosure that it was better for me because I am not "going to hell and don't believe in it." I pointed out that one of the benefits of Christianity is that you can be forgiven for sins, so she won't be going to hell either so long as she is sorry and believes in Jesus. Of course, since I don't believe in Jesus according to Christian orthodoxy I am hell-bound, whatever I do. I don't think my WW believes this particular aspect, but it is quite hard to know what she thinks about anything these days.

This situation has not rocked my non-faith, so it is gratifying that I am not just an agnosto-atheist when things are going well. :-)


Me BH 32
Her WW 30
OW 36
Married less than 2 years, no kids
D-Day mid August

Currently heading for D.


Posts: 27 | Registered: Aug 2011
PanicAttack53
Member
Member # 34195
Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, April 3rd (Tuesday)

Wow, this thread has died huh? Oh well, never let it be said that I didn't weigh in with my two cents when it comes to my favorite subject.

I'll probably go against the norm here, but then again maybe not because I've found most non believers to be more tolerant of differing opinions.

I am an agnostic but even saying that, I'm not fanatical about it. While I certainly do not believe my ancestors rode dinosaurs, or that a single deity created the universe in seven days, I also can not bring myself to believe millions of particles floating aimlessly in space managed to congeal and compress, culminating in a very large explosion which then created the universe. That is unless someone can finally explain to me where the hell the freaking particles came from to begin with.

To me, both arguments are equally absurd. So for me, I'll just leave it this way. Most humans currently only use 10% of our brains capability. Yeah yeah, I know the Einstein argument but I believe he wasn't human anyway and actually from the planet Zolton or some such place. (I'm kidding here folks). The bottom line is that we humans really don't know shit from Shinola when it comes to how the hell we got here let alone how the universe was created. Both arguments are just unproven theories and of absolutely no use to me, other than for lively conversation over cocktails. JMO

So what the heck does this have to do with infidelity you ask? NOTHING, and that's exactly the point. Since I don't believe in any of this shit, I don't want it mucking up my thought processes with regard to how I solve problems.

Infidelity is a major problem, at least for me right now & no pie in the sky theories about pearly gates or big bangs will help me solve it thank you.

So I respectfully ask all believers and non believers alike to apply your mumbo jumbo to your own problems if you believe it helps, but allow me to solve mine in my own simple 10% brain capacity way.

[This message edited by PanicAttack53 at 8:39 PM, April 3rd (Tuesday)]


Me-BH Her-XWW | B/ 59 on D-day (11/17/11) | D final on 10/1/13 I'm Lovin' life again!
Rest of the story really doesn't matter any more.
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have.” ― Eckhart Tolle

Posts: 912 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Midwest
DrivingPast
Member
Member # 32984
Default  Posted: 10:47 AM, April 4th (Wednesday)

Didnt even know this topic was here. Hey y'all *waves*

I loved this line:

This situation has not rocked my non-faith, so it is gratifying that I am not just an agnosto-atheist when things are going well. :-)

tee hee

Hey panic, I actually think pretty similarly.... both seem equally impossible. Nice to find another weirdo who thinks like me!


BW
married more than 10 yrs to a possible SA
D-Day May 5 2011
"Because one knows people best through their fears - the ones they overcome and the ones they are overcome by."

Posts: 1304 | Registered: Aug 2011
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, April 4th (Wednesday)

Agnostic here. This is my first time seeing this thread, too. Just dropping in to say hi!

Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
wantmyfamilyback
Member
Member # 33676
Default  Posted: 3:58 PM, April 6th (Friday)

First time posting in this thread.

My WH and I were both raised LDS, but have been atheist since we got together. We have always talked crap on organized religion and said it was for weak people who need someone else to tell them what is right and wrong.

Some of our friends are born agains and have repeatedly asked my H when they are going to get them to church. He would always respond vehemently with a NEVER! Born agains never falter though and one friend asked him again and WH responded, I'm not into the whole God thing, but maybe I'll come and hang out just to see you guys.

Considering our R has not been progressing and is now derailed (WH is going through mood swings and depression again and re initiated contact with OW), I decided to ask said friend if he would ask WH to go to the next church activity. I don't think he knows about the A and I just told him WH is going through a hard time. It's my last resort at trying to save our marriage. I have no desire to become Christian or even religious for that matter, but I am desperate and I now think my WH is one of those weak people that need support to choose what is right.

Have I finally lost it?


Me= BS 28
WH= 30
2 OWs
D-Day 1= 7/?/10
D-Day 2= 9/23/11
D-Day 3= 10/16/11
M= almost 9 years
K= DD 2 & DS 6 months
Status= changes almost daily.

Posts: 256 | Registered: Oct 2011
Notmetoo2011
Member
Member # 32912
Default  Posted: 4:44 PM, April 6th (Friday)

Hi all, I didn't know this thread existed either.

My WH was raised in a very religious baptist family. I was brought up Anglican but just did the Christmas and Easter church thing growing up. I became more religious in my 20's and went to church regularly for about 10 years. WH and I then started really thinking about the whole religion thing, read alot of books, and decided the whole thing was a load of hogwash.

wantmyfamillyback
I don't think you've lost it, you're just looking for anything that will help the situation you're in. Since DDay I've had a few days when I almost think, "maybe there is a God and this is his way of punishing me for not believing", then I remember that WH was acting out while I did still believe. (Also, any God that allows the miseries and atrocities that go on in this world is no God I'm interested in worshipping.)

I think in some ways it would be nice to have faith in a deity or some higher power as it obviously can be a comfort to those who have it, I just don't believe there is one and that's that!


Me-BW 49
SAWH 51
Married 27 years.
4 children
D-Day 26/07/11
Multiple PAs, ONS, Porn
In limbo land

Posts: 271 | Registered: Jul 2011
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 5:05 PM, April 6th (Friday)

Most humans currently only use 10% of our brains capability.

This is a very durable myth. The human brain, pound for pound, consumes more energy than any other construct in the human body (approx 20%) and all components are always active, even during sleep cycles.

Considering our R has not been progressing and is now derailed (WH is going through mood swings and depression again and re initiated contact with OW), I decided to ask said friend if he would ask WH to go to the next church activity. I don't think he knows about the A and I just told him WH is going through a hard time. It's my last resort at trying to save our marriage. I have no desire to become Christian or even religious for that matter, but I am desperate and I now think my WH is one of those weak people that need support to choose what is right.

Have I finally lost it?

While I certainly believe there are weak willed people who prefer to cleave to comforting ignorance that use religion as that prop, it's by no means monopolized by religion. Given the opportunity I'd annihilate political parties long before organized religion, but kind of beside the point I suppose.

If you want to support your H in this then you aren't losing anything, you're trying to be supportive. It's not a bad thing to do that if he's trying to find some kind of moral guide. It might stick permanently or it might just be a stepping stone on the way to his own moral reassessment, which is something he absolutely should be doing in the wake of betraying you.

That doesn't mean you should compromise your own ideals, just find a common ground in honesty and support. Assuming he is meeting your needs for R and trying to make the marriage work. If he's just looking to grab a selfish piece of instant gratification then by all means back off, imo.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 5:06 PM, April 6th (Friday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
wantmyfamilyback
Member
Member # 33676
Default  Posted: 5:20 PM, April 6th (Friday)

(((notmetoo)))
I think in some ways it would be nice to have faith in a deity or some higher power as it obviously can be a comfort to those who have it, I just don't believe there is one and that's that!

I agree. I don't believe in one either. Maybe I am just hoping for some good influence in my WH's life. Our MC said he needs to find joy in his obligations (aka our children). I know that most churches have a high focus on the family and maybe he needs help establishing that focus.

(((stillgoing)))

If he's just looking to grab a selfish piece of instant gratification then by all means back off, imo.

I wish I knew if this were the case. I can't figure WH out. He wavers back and forth on a daily basis.


Me= BS 28
WH= 30
2 OWs
D-Day 1= 7/?/10
D-Day 2= 9/23/11
D-Day 3= 10/16/11
M= almost 9 years
K= DD 2 & DS 6 months
Status= changes almost daily.

Posts: 256 | Registered: Oct 2011
itsovernow
Member
Member # 35587
Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, May 21st (Monday)

Raised with a Christian mom who went through hell in her marriage to my dad who molested my sister for 7 years.
I've been in a marriage of turmoil for 18 years. I throw up a couple prayers and hope that He hears me, but there is NO way that a loving God would make this happen to me, make this happen to my sister, I resent being told that bad things are part of God's plan. Its a total cop out for people that don't have real answers.
Oh and I went to my pastors wife for help with this. She said its more then she can help me with. Weve been going there for almost 10 years, not even one phone call!! I'm sick and feeling mighty angry and agnostic at the very least!
To the church I go to: Practice what you preach!!! You lend a hand to the community, well lend it to me and my family of 7 that are on the verge of falling apart. I feel very devasted right now.
There are no answers outside of myself are there?


feeling like I'm going crazy.
me 35
dh(wondering if he really wandered) 40
5 kids between us ages 1-17

Posts: 123 | Registered: May 2012 | From: crazyville
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, May 21st (Monday)

There are no answers outside of myself are there?

If you mean in the sense there is some divine benevolence guiding an ineffable plan to fruition and all this pain and misery has a rooted purpose somewhere in the idea of Good, then I don't believe so.

Being angry at a god that you feel doesn't care is normal, but ultimately as an atheist it's no more possible to be angry at that than it is to be angry at the easter bunny. If you are angry at your church, and the people in it for failing you, and i your pastor isn't helping you with the answers you're looking for you may want to look into another church group. A lot of people abandon their faith when a crisis hits and they discover that what they believe does not coincide with that their faith believes, but it's always a good idea to investigate all the avenues that make you feel comfortable.

If you're to the point you just don't believe and don't want to find another member of your faith that you can trust or feel comfortable discussing things with, I'd suggest trying to find a local UU congregation. They tend to accept just about everyone so long as the attitude includes Tolerant and Be Excellent To Each Other kind of stuff. There's also the advantage of a similar community framework to what you may be used to.

It's hard to find answers to anything on your own. Hope you feel better soon.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
itsovernow
Member
Member # 35587
Default  Posted: 12:17 PM, May 22nd (Tuesday)

Pastor represents God, pastor doesn't care therefore God doesn't care.

I think thats how it works anyway.


feeling like I'm going crazy.
me 35
dh(wondering if he really wandered) 40
5 kids between us ages 1-17

Posts: 123 | Registered: May 2012 | From: crazyville
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 1:19 PM, May 22nd (Tuesday)

Pastor represents God, pastor doesn't care therefore God doesn't care.

I think thats how it works anyway.

Well, maybe he has more reasonable representatives you could talk to.

Me, I used to be Roman Catholic, now I'm an American. You know, you grow.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 8:11 PM, February 16th (Saturday)

Wow! I have been on this site for three months and was not aware that this forum existed. Very cool. Third generation atheist here. Never have believed, never will. I remember growing up around others (all of whom were religious) and thinking, Wow, this is weird. Why in the world would they believe in god? I was not yet astute enough to really think it through; it just struck me as odd that other kids derided belief in Santa Claus yet never made the obvious connection with god.

Then when I was a young teenager, and realized that not only kids but ACTUAL ADULTS believed in these fairy tales, it really stunned me. I went through an anti-religious phase for some years--part of the whole rebellious teenager thing.

But now that I am an adult and have spent a great deal of time studying (as a layperson) psychology, anthropology, evolution, and philosophy, I find myself more intrigued than anything else that the majority of otherwise intelligent, logical adult humans nevertheless have this gigantic blind spot when it comes to belief in a supernatural being--or any type of "higher power."

It seems to be hard wired into us as a species. Plus of course if you are indoctrinated into these irrational beliefs from a young age, it is extremely difficult to,shake them as you grow up. Maybe if I'd been raised religious I would be right now.

How this relates to my wife's infidelity I don't know ;-) I do know that if I believed in god, I would have a BIG problem with Him for knowing she would do,this to me and not preventing it. Benevolent indeed!,


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1647 | Registered: Dec 2012
CircularPolarizd
New Member
Member # 38406
Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, February 17th (Sunday)

Atheist here, this thread is great. I am the product of an all catholic school upbringing until college, and I never looked back.

I would agree that at times it would be easier to have blind faith, especially during the dark days. WW has begun to explore religoun as part of getting over her guilt. I'm fully supportive of her find her own way to cope with her feelings.


Me BS 30
Her WW 28
Married 4 yrs
Together 11 yrs
Dday#1 11 Jan '13
Claims it was a ONS
Dday#2 14 Feb '13
Full truth EA 7 Yrs & PA 6 Yrs
Possible OC on the way

Posts: 13 | Registered: Feb 2013
forced2moveon
Member
Member # 12014
Default  Posted: 2:58 PM, February 17th (Sunday)

Agnostic here! I was raised with mormonism shoved down my throat. I went to church twice on Sunday, every morning before school and twice on Wednesday. Even as a child the mormon teaching seemed very off! Baptism for the dead, having eternal marriages, having children in heaven and sending them to earthly homes!? Sounded more like a crazy drug written fairytale. I than went to a "christian" church and saw more hatered, judging than I'd ever seen! Again the teaching seemed like a fairytale for people who couldn't deal with the fact that there's an end.

I'm now agnostic leaning towards becoming an atheists.


Posts: 935 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Southern California
Itstoohard
Member
Member # 37629
Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, February 17th (Sunday)

So glad to find this. Raised Catholic and always watching my mother basically doing what she wanted..affairs,birth control,miss mass-guess she knew she could go to confession and be forgiven.
Like my FWH (chose to cheat)I CHOOSE to live my life as a good person..no reward from any god.
I do feel organized religion does seem to help some people..people in prisons, AA. Seems some people need a reason to be a good person.



BS 64
fWH 64
PA 22 yrs ago
Started as EA for 2 yrs then ONS CORRECTION Started as an EA for 8 years
Trustismyissue

Posts: 180 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: US
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 3:59 PM, February 22nd (Friday)

I think this is a great thread but I also think it's a bad idea to use it as a religion bashing venue.

It's hard to be an atheist dealing with this shit if for no other reason there's the lack of a built in, definitive support group. Even if you're not a body who goes to church there's still that idea that out there is some consciousness that understands your fucked up place in the universe and accepts you anyway.

I dunno about you but that is really fucking appealing. Following dday I wavered at the church doors a few times. I just wanted someone to tell me it would be okay. I didn't, cuz I didn't believe and it felt hypocritical, but I DID envy folks who can believe that stuff, for a little while at least.

Generally though I find a Terry Pratchett book to be a great substitute for supernatural connections during the bleak and brutal period of a purely secular personal crisis. It also has the added benefit of making you lol. I mean, Death is pretty fucking inspiring as people go in those books and if the fictional representation of the anthropomorphic personification of Death leaves you feeling like he's a swell guy despite the scythe and robes then it's hard not to think that shit's gonna be okay soon enough.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 7:33 PM, February 24th (Sunday)

First time I have seen this thread I was wondering if someone would start one.

Truth is I really wish I had faith. It would be great. I am envious. Not just surrounding the A, but in general. Community, something to give reason (albeit poor ones sometimes) to a lot of life's questions. Just can't buy into it.

For a while I thought about the connection between my lack of faith in a God and my lack of faith in my W after the A. It's crap however. The A didn't change anything except my view of her. I can extend faith and trust to who ever I want.

take it easy...



Posts: 1432 | Registered: Jan 2012
kansas1968
Member
Member # 32214
Default  Posted: 3:22 AM, February 25th (Monday)

I noticed something on this thread that was interesting and something I myself have said over the years. That the belief in a loving God that is concerned about me, my problems, listens to me, and looks over me, would be very comforting.

I can not believe it, but it would be comforting. I know a lot of religious folks think athiests are these wild and crazy folks that don't want any moral boundaries, just want to do what ever it is they want, no consequenses, no morality, a


Me - BS
Him - FWS
DD - December 14, 2010
Married 43 years 1/14/2011
Affair lasted 7+ years
Affair had been over for 2 years before I found out. OW sent me a letter.

Posts: 1320 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Kansas
kansas1968
Member
Member # 32214
Default  Posted: 3:25 AM, February 25th (Monday)

I noticed something on this thread that was interesting and something I myself have said over the years. That the belief in a loving God that is concerned about me, my problems, listens to me, and looks over me, would be very comforting.

I can not believe it, but it would be comforting. I know a lot of religious folks think athiests are these wild and crazy folks that don't want any moral boundaries, just want to do what ever it is they want, no consequenses, no morality, a life with no boundaries.
Nothing could be further from the truth, at least the athiests that I know, and myself.

Interstingly enough, I am the athiest, my husband kinda on the fence, and he had the affair, not me. I have very strict boundaries of behavior, but they are boundaries that I set for myself. This, I do not cross those boundaries. Why would I set them if I wanted to cross them?? They are inviolate.

Great thread. It is tiresome to hear all of those platitudes when they don't help anything. One platitude that does ring true is the golden rule.

Treat others as you would want to be treated. Now I don't know about God, but Jesus was a very smart fellow and I respect him a lot. A radical liberal of his time. LOL.


Me - BS
Him - FWS
DD - December 14, 2010
Married 43 years 1/14/2011
Affair lasted 7+ years
Affair had been over for 2 years before I found out. OW sent me a letter.

Posts: 1320 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Kansas
bitterbetrayal
Member
Member # 26326
Default  Posted: 4:18 AM, February 25th (Monday)

My FWH is an Anglican priest and betrayed me for years. My best friend also a priest knew about his affair. My other close friend also a priest was also cheating on his wife.I don't go to church any more. I could never take communion again from a priest. I have always been more of an agnostic and liberal Christian and am happy just to follow any path now that rings true to me. I particularly like mindfulness/present moment stuff. But church based religion NO WAY


ME.BS 55
Him.WS 55 and a priest!
D-DAY 12/07/09
D-DAY-2 14/08/09
MARRIED 25 YEARS ON 25/08/09
BEEN TOGETHER 28 YEARS
TWO CHILDREN 20 and 22.

Posts: 160 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: UK
summerain
Member
Member # 37439
Default  Posted: 5:14 AM, February 25th (Monday)

I am so thankful for this thread. It's glad to see I am not the only one who wishes they could believe for the support.

I have been thinking about going to church on and off since ironically WH's Affairs started. But I just struggle with the concept that 'god has a plan' he's trying to test me etc etc

I've had a had a lot of disadvantages that I can only put down to karma. I sometimes think I must of been a horrible person in a 'previous life' I just don't get it.

But kids with aides/ horrific counties etc really? But yes i wish I could believe 'something' or 'someone' was looking over me. Furthermore, the support...


OW1 inadvertently let me know WH loves English breakfast tea. Never ever saw him drink it. And I never will.

Posts: 818 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: Australia
Maxiom
Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 8:52 AM, February 25th (Monday)

Really? I can’t relate to this. I actually prefer that there isn’t someone watching over us.. guiding us. I prefer free will over divine influence, even if free will can result in pain. I find the concept of big brother be it from an earthy or divine individual(s) rather abhorrent. Thought crime anyone? No thank you.

I also find the concept of a heaven rather unappealing. I don’t want to live forever. I can’t imagine anything more boring than eternity. I want to live a long life. As long human endurance will allow, but once done I will welcome the void. But I digress.

I take far more comfort in the earthly support I receive from family and friends. I don’t need some nameless care taker. Besides, for support and caring to really take root within me there must be the opportunity for meaningful reciprocation. Talking to the sky just isn’t going to cut it.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
wert
Member
Member # 34478
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, February 25th (Monday)

I actually prefer that there isn’t someone watching over us.. guiding us.

The desire for faith does not negate the desire for independence from someone watching over us. That is just the incarnation of most faiths.

I was simply saying that faith and having answers would provide just that, answers. Not that a being would need to be involved or directive.

I was also saying that outside of the praying to invisible person thing, the sense of community (which can be garnered in many ways) is valuable.

I think the difficulty for me arises from the lack of societal structures for people who don't believe. I have many friends who don't believe in anything organize and they struggle with this as well.

Take care...



Posts: 1432 | Registered: Jan 2012
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 3:06 PM, February 25th (Monday)

Really? I can’t relate to this. I actually prefer that there isn’t someone watching over us.. guiding us. I prefer free will over divine influence, even if free will can result in pain. I find the concept of big brother be it from an earthy or divine individual(s) rather abhorrent. Thought crime anyone? No thank you.

I think that's sort of a false dichotomy. People want the comfort and reassurance, not the loss of personal responsibility and individuality. Likened to a dad who is always there if you need him, who can tell you with full assurance it will all be okay and kick everybody else's dads asses.

wrt free will, I feelthat an omniscient entity no more or less precludes the concept of free will than a fully mechanical universe with nested i -1 possibility iterations. In theory both of them are deterministic, but to comprehend the determinism behind either requires a nearly omniscient perspective of the universe, essentially rendering the entire thing moot because then, well, you're god anyway and that takes the entire thing to a new level of what free will is. I don't like the idea of some supernatural entity nudging my hands around either, but that's not necessarily every interpretation of gods and demons, and debating the free will of neural calcium signals is equally difficult in some ways, though coming from the other direction. So while there are some Calvinists out there, I think most folks are behind the idea that free will solves the problem of evil and are all about free will. It doesn't, as a logic problem anyway, but abdication of free will isn't something most people are interested in.

That's not really what everyone is missing, though, I think. The support network of other people who are in some way on the same playground you are. Like SI here. We all have something in common, and there's an unspoken acceptance of others based purely on that simple bias.

It's just a reflection on feeling lonely. Solipsism is a shitty place to be and it's a lot harder for the non-religious to connect in that way in many places.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
seekingright2013
Member
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 6:42 AM, March 3rd (Sunday)

The Unitarian Church is creedless and values reason, inherent worth of each individual. Ok to be agnostic, atheist, pagan, whatever.

I'm an ex- evangelical Christian, and I too missed the community experience of church that several other posters have mentioned. I've been visiting a local UU congregation and enjoying the 'church' experience but can be myself also (agnostic or atheist depending on the day).


BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 120 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Itstoohard
Member
Member # 37629
Default  Posted: 6:48 AM, March 3rd (Sunday)

I recently looked up "deism" and found it made more sense to me than any religion or non-religion I have ever read.


BS 64
fWH 64
PA 22 yrs ago
Started as EA for 2 yrs then ONS CORRECTION Started as an EA for 8 years
Trustismyissue

Posts: 180 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: US
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 12:28 PM, March 9th (Saturday)

Does anyone else feel like being an Atheist makes them desire tangible revenge a LOT more? Because I am an atheist(duh.), and due to that fact, I have zero belief that the POSOM will ever be punished, in any capacity, ever. No karma, no facing judgement, etc. This is it...and if he doesn't pay now, he won't.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, March 10th (Sunday)

Nah FP, there are plenty of "How do I not go kill this fucker so I don't get curb stomped by God" posts all over the Internet that revenge is just a matter of perspective, not intensity.

eta:

wrt punishment, is that about a desire to see some kind of justice justice or personal satisfaction at his deserved misfortune?

[This message edited by StillGoing at 2:45 PM, March 10th (Sunday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 7:39 AM, March 11th (Monday)

wrt punishment, is that about a desire to see some kind of justice justice or personal satisfaction at his deserved misfortune?

Eh, probably both. Don't get me wrong, the injustice of the entire situation irks me.....the fact that he may get away from all this pretty much scott-free is more than annoying. At the same time I'd be lying if I didn't say that I would personally feel better if I knew bad things were/are happening to him on an hourly basis.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Crescita
Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 1:30 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

Does anyone else feel like being an Atheist makes them desire tangible revenge a LOT more? Because I am an atheist(duh.), and due to that fact, I have zero belief that the POSOM will ever be punished, in any capacity, ever. No karma, no facing judgement, etc. This is it...and if he doesn't pay now, he won't.

I’ve been given to revenge fantasies, but would never want to lower myself to execute any. I’m a firm believer in consequences having actions. You don’t need divine intervention; everyone has to answer to themselves.

My WXH had some mixed up values. He treated others callously, behaved recklessly, and fancied himself a victim of other’s actions. He might not end up alone and penniless, but he is depriving himself of meaningful connections and really missing out on the sovereignty provided by accountability.


“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3470 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
Maxiom
Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 3:55 PM, March 12th (Tuesday)

The mere existence of a deity does not preclude free will, but within the context of the Abrahamic religions the existence of god does impede free will. Sure.. we can go our own way.. but our reward for such behavior is an eternity in hell. If the existence of such a being was proven and scripture shown to be accurate there really isn’t much freedom of choice is there?

There are people who are atheist or agnostic or even a deist, but pine for a caring god within the context Judaism or Christianity. I think those that do haven’t really considered the implications. Now.. all things being fair.. if we get to create our own idea of a caring god and toss all existing concepts away.. well then, I may change my tune, but I certainly don’t care for the current choices.

As for a greater desire for revenge. My position would remain the same were I a theist or an atheist (since I have been both). Basically thoughts or revenge are a waste of time. I have had many a revenge fantasy I’ll grant you. However, we do not live in a vacuum. Our actions on a smaller or grander scale impact others. The grander our revenge the more risk that we hurt innocents or even those closet to us. If I have learned anything through my own measure of revenge is that I really don’t have it in me to hurt someone. Yes I did do it, but I simply could not do it again. Not only for what I did to my wife, but what I did to myself in the process. I am really not that guy. I HATE being that guy.

I have also come to learn that there is just no getting even. Sure it isn’t fair. But life isn’t fair. I’ll not waste my time worrying about the general apathy of the universe and make the most of my life. We have a limited amount of time in this universe and I simply will not spend that time worrying about things and people I really have no control over. Nor will I waste my time considering how to get one-up on anyone who has hurt me.

I know the main OM in my situation carries on as if nothing had happened. I truly don’t care. The only power that OM has over me is the power I give him. I refuse to allow that to happen. His is truly nothing.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:12 AM, March 13th (Wednesday)

Maxiom-

Sage words, my friend. I try to keep stuff like that in mind when I'm at the height of my mind movies and ragefests. The blowback is just NOT worth it.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
velveteer
Member
Member # 30997
Default  Posted: 6:54 AM, March 22nd (Friday)

Wow - interesting thread - never saw this until now.

I am an atheist too, but I'm not sure I feel that it has made my experience with infidelity any harder (or easier). I don't believe in fate and I don't believe in some guiding purpose from above, so these thoughts offer no comfort. But nor do they trouble me. They just don't seem relevant.

As for revenge - sure I wanted revenge on OM - who didn't? But it was my morality that stopped me taking action and not any religious teaching. Just like it is my character and effort that pulls me through to self improvement, and not God's will.

Forgiveness is another one - those that believe seem to think that forgiveness is somehow the sole preserve of the believer. Its not - it is again within our human and moral capacity to forgive regardless of faith or lack of it.

These are also the reasons that I dislike the AA 12 step programme and its application to so many situations - precisely because it encourages those with the power to help themselves to abdicate that power to a 'higher being'. NO. We all need to be in control of our own actions and the consequences thereof. Otherwise we're all fucked.

Rant over. Good thread.
V


Divorced

Posts: 877 | Registered: Jan 2011
keeponkeepingon
Member
Member # 32935
Default  Posted: 11:47 AM, March 22nd (Friday)

The first thing my mother told me when I said that MrKOKO and I were separatung was, "A couple that prays together, stays together." She is fully aware that I am an atheist.

I'm happy for people that can lean on their God to help them in crisis. I just don't have that. It never felt right. I am not accountable to a God. I am accountable to myself. And I have HIGH expectations of myself.

MrKOKO and I have differed in our opinions on faith. I say to each their own. It is their own path to follow. He is a non-practicing Catholic. Known the man 23 years and the only time he attended a church service was at my parent's vow renewal. At one point we were talking about how to discuss a recent death to DS when he was young. The conversation lead to discussing faith, MrKOKO had the nerve to say athesits have no morals. He had not started an A yet but it was soon coming. He just this week threw out in MC that I wouldn't help plan to baptist DS. I plan EVERYTHING. I would support him and be there but I was not planning it. And that I would not go to church w/him and DS. Again, I have no interest in going but encouraged him to take DS if he wanted. I did my time in church growing up. I will add that I love to travel and enjoy visiting places of worship as a traveler but just not during service.

OW and MrKOKO had so many morals though.

[This message edited by keeponkeepingon at 11:50 AM, March 22nd (Friday)]


"I know you and you know me and I know you can see. So help me get my way back to you"

Posts: 1005 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: On the corner of Grey St at the end of the world
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 11:57 AM, March 22nd (Friday)

The first thing my mother told me when I said that MrKOKO and I were separatung was, "A couple that prays together, stays together." She is fully aware that I am an atheist.

Damn that's cold. Thanks mom, not an "Oh honey are you okay" or anything? Sounds like my family.

MrKOKO had the nerve to say athesits have no morals.

Well, I guess that's an easy target to aim for when it comes to shitting on your BS so you can feel good about being an asshole. I mean I've seen that one on a billboard on the NJ turnpike before in giant letters so it's not like it's even that original.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
keeponkeepingon
Member
Member # 32935
Default  Posted: 12:02 PM, March 22nd (Friday)

Wanted to share what I found recently.

The 10 Commandments for Atheists
1. Resilience-Keep going even when things look dark.
2. Empathy-Connecting to suffering or experiences of another person.
3. Patience-Grow calmer by being realistic about how things actually tend to go.
4. Sacrifice-How can you love someone, raise a family, or service the planet if we don't sacrifice?
5. Politeness-Linked to tolerance. WE must live along people that we will not agree with.
6. Humor
7. Self-Awareness-Having a sense of what's going on inside onself, not blame others for moods or troubles.
8. Forgiveness-Errors must be excused so we can live with others.
9. Hope-Pessimism isn't necessarily deep, nor optimism shallow.
10. Confidence-It isn't arrogance. It's based on awareness of how short life is and how little we ultimately lose from ridking everything.


"I know you and you know me and I know you can see. So help me get my way back to you"

Posts: 1005 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: On the corner of Grey St at the end of the world
doodley
Member
Member # 21433
Default  Posted: 6:00 PM, March 26th (Tuesday)

That list is fantastic, keeponkeepingon. Thank you for posting it.


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

Posts: 120 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: GA
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 7:54 PM, March 30th (Saturday)

Great list.

Also wanted to comment on atheists not having morals. I consider atheist morality to be the truest kind, since we are expecting no reward or punishment.

I have thought long and hard about right and wrong and feel that I have a strong moral code. Not just avoiding hurting others but actually trying to contribute to their happiness. If only my fWH had done the same. ( he's not an atheist)



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Neithan
Member
Member # 35924
Default  Posted: 9:30 PM, March 30th (Saturday)

I have thought long and hard about right and wrong and feel that I have a strong moral code. Not just avoiding hurting others but actually trying to contribute to their happiness. If only my fWH had done the same. (he's not an atheist)

Ditto for me.

My WW is quite active in church, heavily involved in leadership roles, both before and after her affair. Her affair partner was a minister from another denomination, and one of the things that she liked about him was that he was more spiritual than I was.

She even wrote to a gal pal of hers that she would consider leaving me for him (not that he offered to leave his own wife for her, he only took what my WW offered of her body.)

Have you seen that bumper sticker? "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven."

Not by me...


Me: BH
Her: WW
D-Day: 2/19/2010
Married 1981
That which does not kill me makes me more irritable

Posts: 333 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Among the Gaurwaith
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 6:40 PM, March 31st (Sunday)

Ooh Neithan, that is tough.

And the irony was lost on your WW?

For me, there is no higher power ready to forgive me of my sins. I try hard to minimize sinning in the first place and try not to rationalize when I do. It's a journey.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Neithan
Member
Member # 35924
Default  Posted: 5:30 PM, April 1st (Monday)

And the irony was lost on your WW?

Well, not completely. Maybe. She's either so paralyzed by shame that she can't talk about any of it anymore or it really hasn't affected her all that deeply.

But compounding the whole thing is the fact that WW is a Unitarian (and I'm not averse to going to said services when convenient, and communing with my fellow Unitarian agnostic humanists) and her AP is a fundamentalist-type christian evangelical minister.


Me: BH
Her: WW
D-Day: 2/19/2010
Married 1981
That which does not kill me makes me more irritable

Posts: 333 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: Among the Gaurwaith
Ashland13
Member
Member # 38378
Default  Posted: 7:05 PM, April 1st (Monday)

I grew up Episcopalian with a mother employed to run the Sunday school. My father is to this day very controlling and we did not miss a Sunday or holiday, even if we chanced a snore at Christmas Eve service.

I also worked a season at a Christian camp and I work as a church musician.

It's the strangest thing, because after my H's affair, I find myself questioning a world with a "God above" who would give us a world where such things happen.

I believe some things, like those ideas that God doesn't tell people what to do or not do and so on, good or evil. And I hear all the stuff people say about making sure we don't blame God when something bad happens to us or someone we are close to.

So many do's and don't's about God, it's hard to know at all.

I do know that ever since my husband's affair, as I started to say, I believed a tiny bit. In some of the concepts, that is, but about an actual being of some type, I'm not sure anymore.

And yet I sit and hear sermons and play hymns many Sundays of the year.

I think if religion and God were something we could actually see or feel with a hand or foot...and if as kids we were not forced to go...maybe it would be diffeernt as adults when we could make up our own minds?

I will say that I am sad there are those religions that make going to church something to do because a person did a bad thing. I know people who go for the music or friends they made there -my daughter goes for the snacks, lol-some people just go to pray and be in the building for a short time.

I have heard peope tell me that they take different things from religious messages, also and that helped me.

Thanks for this thread. It's a really confusing subject.

My H is atheist and I've been studying what it is about. It's really an interesting concept, I think and I don't think its necessarily a terrible thing to be. I think its okay to believe, too.


Ashland 13

You gave me nothing and now it's all I've got - Bono

A person is a person, no matter how small. -Dr. Suess

Perserverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.

-George Washington


Posts: 2306 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: New England
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 7:28 PM, April 1st (Monday)

My H is atheist and I've been studying what it is about. It's really an interesting concept, I think and I don't think its necessarily a terrible thing to be. I think its okay to believe, too.

Hm. Calling yourself an atheist doesn't really mean much other than to come out. Otherwise it's like walking up to someone and saying "I am a theist." It solidifies certain basic assumptions - whether or not you believe in supernatural causes - but, beyond that, things like ethics and morality are entirely different subjects.

Someone can say "I believe in god" and abuse that without really thinking deeply on what it means, and someone can say "I don't believe in anything" and abuse it the same way; there are so many different religious moralities I think the message of "I am an atheist" gets equated with that of the amoral, because when you say to someone "I believe in god" they generally assume the same god they do. Yet, a Shiite Muslim will have an entirely different perspective on morality from an Orthodox Catholic from a Calvanist Protestant. Further, each of those people will have their own individual perspectives - and struggles - regarding the faith they have been raised in or chosen.

It's not different with atheists, though I think more atheists choose their perspectives of morality than are raised as such. There are humanists, Buddhists, those guys in Nippon I can never remember, Skeptics, Stoics and all sorts of philosophical ethics that can coexist with but do not require a religious belief. Each of those in turn is just as varied (and argumentative) as their religious counterparts, and each of them is just as distant from the word "Atheist" as a Christian is from the word "Theist."

It's easy to understand atheism - it just means a lack of belief in the supernatural, or spiritual if you prefer. What the morality of a particular atheist is will be just as deep, or shallow, as a particular theist.

I haven't read all of your story Ashland, but your H sounds like the kind of man who holds up atheism as an aegis against his own wicked little works. It's like someone finding god and feeling that they get to abdicate responsibility for all the horrible shit they've done just because they say sorry. For most people it doesn't work like that. The same goes with the various world views associated with atheism. You can't be a humanist and just fuck over anyone for a personal gain. It's a hypocrisy as much as violating certain suggestions about adultery this one guy supposedly brought down off a mountain.

A lot of people question their faith in times of crisis, a lot of people come to faith in times of crisis. I think real gains and losses tend to stick from quiet contemplation instead of trauma, though.

Sorry for rambling.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Hurt for 33
New Member
Member # 25477
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, April 12th (Friday)

I am beginning to wonder why I think I need to stay. The kids are grown. I did think that marriage was for life, but is there someone out there better for me? Someone who was not mentally and sexually abused by their parents. Someone who could love me, and not have to struggle to love me. I used to believe in a god but not for a long time now. After D-day I found out that my daughter and my granddaughter had been molested, thankfully by no one in the family this time. If god wants to be called Abba “father’ he needs to be at least as good as my dad was. My dad would have never let this happen to my kid or grandkid if he could have helped it, yet Abba did nothing! I agree with a lot that is said on this thread, and wonder if I am posting in the right place. WS was for 15 years Southern Baptist Pastor, met OP while her H was in school with mine.
I don't believe that believing makes it so. I don't see any evidence of a god, so there must not be one.


Me-52, BW
Him-57,WH
D-day 3AUG09
EA
Trying to R
Kids 2 grandchild 1
Married 33 yrs.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Sep 2009
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 6:07 AM, April 13th (Saturday)

(((Hurtfor13))))

For me there is way more evidence for the lack of a loving God. Fortunately I have developed my own supports, because I feel we are on our own.

I hope you have the support you need at this time.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Question  Posted: 10:33 AM, April 20th (Saturday)

I have always thought of myself as a Christian. I was raised by a devoutly Catholic family. 10 years of Catholic school. A defining moment for me was in 8th grade. Now, mind you, I was a quiet shy girl, however, I have always been interested in debate. I have had strong points of view since I was a young child.

Anyway, once again, after the obligatory catechism lesson we had every day at school, I had some questions for Sister Julia. For every answer she gave me, it made me ask another question (because the answer never made sense) and she finally threw up her arms and said "Faith, Margaret Mary, faith!" I knew right then that could never be the answer for me. I need answers that make sense.

When I was 16 my Dad insisted the whole family go to "confession". This was in the old days when you went into a creepy box and talked to the priest. I told my Dad I didn't want to go. He forced me to go. Dear Dad was in the confession line behind me. I go in and say the ritual prayer and then I said nothing. Priest asked me about my "sins". I said, I am only here because my father forced me to come. I really don't understand why I have to confess my sins to a priest, why can't I talk directly to God, confess my sins (which He already knew, anyways) and ask for forgiveness?

Did. Not. Go. Over. Well. At. All. I got kicked out of confession. I have never heard of anyone getting kicked out of confession. Dad was confused when instead of going into the church to kneel and say my penance that I instead walked straight outside. I haven't been back to confession since. Dad never forced me again to confession.

But, I was a devout Catholic for much of my young life. Wanted to be a nun. And, not an ordinary nun, I wanted to be so good and pure that the Pope would proclaim me a Saint!

Anyhoo, I have gone through my life with believing in God. I have belonged to various non-denominational Christian churches. Ultimately, for the most part, I was disappointed in the church/people and leave.

My two oldest children have been to church and have had bible teaching, vacation Bible schools, youth groups, and choosing to be baptized. ( I had no choice, I was baptized as an infant.) My youngest child (10 year difference between middle and youngest child, oops!) has never had any church experience. I feel guilty as hell!

I read this recently.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
~ Epicurus
This really sums up where I am today. I can not believe in a God that allows such inhumanity . I can not believe in a God that one must pray to Him to heal a very sick child. And, then when the child dies, why didn't he answer your prayer? When the prayer is answered and the child healed I hear people say "God is good!" but what does that make Him when he doesn't heal the child?

Furthermore, why even bother to pray for healing, because according to most Christians "God has a plan for you and it is already written". He knows when you are going to die. He has your life all planned out. He has already decided whether the child will live or die, so why bother praying? And then there is the case where people ask for lots of prayers for someones healing. This one person has a whole church praying for their healing. The person is healed and it is due to all the prayers. Now, there is an equally good person who needs healing. This person doesn't have as many people praying for them because they just don't know that many people (or belong to a small church). This person dies. So, is it a popularity contest with God? Whoever has the most prayers wins!

I am struggling with this. I believe I am an agnostic. I neither believe for sure that there is no God, but I believe that there is the possibility of God. Just like aliens. I believe Jesus was a very good man. I believe in what Jesus specifically taught (supposedly) according to the Bible.

My biggest struggle is not having given my DS17 any religious training/education. Why? My other struggle is that I feel I am going to burn in Hell. How do I overcome this?

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 10:52 AM, April 20th (Saturday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 10:58 AM, April 20th (Saturday)

I neither believe for sure that there is no God, but I believe that there is the possibility of God. Just like aliens. I believe Jesus was a very good man. I believe in what Jesus specifically taught (supposedly) according to the Bible.

I think the problem people have with calling themselves atheists is that there's some false assumption that to be an atheist means you are 100% sure there's no Allah or Ganesha. When I say "There is no Ahura-Mazda" it isn't because I have irrefutable proof of that, it's because I haven't been presented with convincing evidence of that entity. If suddenly Ahriman appears and knocks my ass sideways then I'd be forced to re-evaluate my worldview given new evidence.

It's okay not to know something for sure, it's why you ask questions and investigate and learn and understand. We can't ever know everything, which is cool because that means there's always something new and interesting.

My biggest struggle is not having given my DS17 any religious training/education. Why? My other struggle is that I feel I am going to burn in Hell. How do I overcome this?

Religion is an easy framework of morality to present and teach. If it's what you grew up with then it's possibly the only framework of morality you know, and teaching right and wrong outside of that framework can feel like you aren't teaching right from wrong at all because of that.

As for worrying about burning in hell, it's similar - it's what you grew up with and what your brain auto-targets. There are entire organizations dedicated to walking away from that. People suffer from PTSD as bad as infidelity and combat just from trying to disengage from their religious beliefs and community. It's painful because while there can be many people from those communities who are supportive and caring, there are many many more who can be cruel, whether they intend to or not. Telling your 6 year old grand child that their great grandmother is hell bound for eternity because [insert reason here] is very damaging no matter how gently it might be delivered, and it burns that fear in deep.

I don't worry about that anymore, but it wasn't burned into me like it was my wife. I don't think it worries her any more, but I can see the PTSD triggers set her off when we're forced to be around certain religious communities or attitudes. My suggestion is to find a group specifically dealing with that struggle, one that you feel comfortable with. It helps to know there is a supportive community that is going through the same thing you are. Like SI.

Diagoras, who is called the atheist, being at Samothrace, one of his friends showed him several pictures of people who had endured very dangerous storms; "See," says he, "you who deny a providence, how many have been saved by their prayers to the Gods." "Ay," says Diagoras, "I see those who were saved, but where are those painted who were shipwrecked?"


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Itstoohard
Member
Member # 37629
Default  Posted: 1:21 PM, April 20th (Saturday)

Sister-must be the catholic up bringing becuz I too have wondered those same things.
I too had a run in with the church. While I didn't go to catholic school I regularly went to catischism (spell) where we were tested for general church knowledge. I was a good student and took issues with a so called wrong answer. I answered NO to both 1.is a kiss a sin. And 2.is sex a sin. Number 1 I got wrong. They "assumed" at 14 we would not be having sex so that was correct becuz you would be married to have sex. But at 14 you might kiss a boy so it would be a sin! I questioned about kissing my parents and was told I was being a smart aleck. That was the beginning of the end for me and any religion.
Has anyone looked into Deism? What I have learned so far seems to make sense to me.
Still not sure what label to put on me.
I was concerned my kids would not have conscience w/o church but both ok. Tho one somehow became a member of what I believe to be a religious cult....the other has my beliefs and is an awesome human...very forgiving and cares about other humans.


BS 64
fWH 64
PA 22 yrs ago
Started as EA for 2 yrs then ONS CORRECTION Started as an EA for 8 years
Trustismyissue

Posts: 180 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: US
RockyMtn
Member
Member # 37043
Default  Posted: 7:13 AM, April 21st (Sunday)

Sister - Bwhahahaha at your confession story! I also know those creepy confession boxes (this mama has 16 years of Catholic schooling, all the way through college). I love your gumption as a kiddo. Not that I'm surprised based on your posts

I am agnostic in the "hard" sense. You can't know if god exists, I can't know either. I have no problem with believers - I just don't think they can KNOW. Believing is legit. You don't have to prove something to believe it. And I don't 100% trust science either - I even think knowledge can be mysterious, so lack of proof of god doesn't mean s/he doesn't exist. The concept/existence of god cannot be proved or disproved.

I've caught myself muttering prayers before. Could be Catholic habit. But I love the serenity prayer and I don't care if the first word is "god" - sometimes I leave it out, sometimes I don't. I also believe that there is divine in this world, simply that it rests with humans. There is divine in me, divine in my community, divine in everyday experiences. I just don't link the divine to god. Maybe god, too? Who knows? No one.


Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, April 21st (Sunday)

I think that it is important to let children search for themselves. I am openly atheist, from many years of study. I took the children to church when they were young but shared my search with them. They have studied religion on their own, even Buddhism. My son can explain the tenets of Hinduism and Scientology in detail. They both study philosophy. I am proud that they think for themselves.

Most people, IMHO, just accept the dogma that we grow up with. If you step back and evaluate it can seem foolish. It is accepted on tv that "our prayers go out to them" or that God saved this one or that one.

Would a loving God send me to hell because I truly studied and thought for myself? Would he reward someone who was mindless? Once I opened my mind it makes way more sense that there is no grand plan or any higher power. What a relief! It makes no sense any other way.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 10:03 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

The concept/existence of god cannot be proved or disproved.

True, but when something enters into the category of unknowable and unprovable, it becomes irrelevant. Cows licking the world from a cosmic block of ice can't be proven or ultimately denied but beyond being an awesome story, Ginnungagap is at odds with observed and provable phenomena which edges the probability of that event into the negligible column.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
RockyMtn
Member
Member # 37043
Default  Posted: 8:33 PM, April 25th (Thursday)

True, but when something enters into the category of unknowable and unprovable, it becomes irrelevant.

I don't know if I agree with that. Someone's belief is not irrelevant - to their lives. And to a lot of lives around them in many cases. But I hear what you're saying, not trying to split hairs.

But there is a lot of "proof" for supposedly knowable things that is, well, shady as shit. Or multiple theories on accepted phenomenon (i.e. why all non-avian dinosaurs are extinct). The existence of a asteroid that wiped them out has lots and lots of proof. But we don't know, based on that proof, that this asteroid existed. We believe the items set forth before us as proof. Others believe a different theory that does not include the existence of an asteroid, with a different set of very plausible arguments. Is this irrelevant? Because various theories are basically unproveable? To me, dinos ARE pretty irrelevant (my kids would disagree), as is the existence of god, but I'm sure there are reasons why dinos are relevant...and why many other unknowable things are relevant.

So, yea, I guess I'm one of those folks who just thinks a lot of things are unexplainable, regardless of accepted proof. And that's OK. Hard proof is not the "end all, be all" of existence.

I think that it is important to let children search for themselves. I am openly atheist, from many years of study. I took the children to church when they were young but shared my search with them. They have studied religion on their own, even Buddhism. My son can explain the tenets of Hinduism and Scientology in detail. They both study philosophy. I am proud that they think for themselves.

I agree. You should be proud of your kids. My WH (atheist) and I - whether we stay together or not - have a very similar approach. Its going to be damn hard for me, though, if they believe in a god/religion that professes judgment or close-mindedness. It would be hard for me to set aside any anti-gay agenda, for example, if that's what they choose to believe. But I'll try. I'll challenge them, but I'll try.


Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 1:25 PM, April 26th (Friday)

Well, Rockymtn, since my daughter was president of her high school's gay and straight alliance and went to Maine to help their law get passed that seems unlikely!

I find that their quests have made them very tolerant. They rarely criticize or judge anyone (except me, of course!). I learn from them!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
RockyMtn
Member
Member # 37043
Default  Posted: 4:28 PM, April 26th (Friday)

Well, Rockymtn, since my daughter was president of her high school's gay and straight alliance and went to Maine to help their law get passed that seems unlikely!

Kudos to her. That's awesome. I hope my kids grow up to be like your daughter. The thing I want most for them in this world is to be KIND.


Me, BS, 30s
Him, WS, 30s, Steppenwolf
Kids: Yep
D-Day 1: September 2011, 6 week EA
D-Day 2: January 2013, discovered EA was a PA; there was another PA in 2010. All TT.
Goal = serenity.

Posts: 667 | Registered: Oct 2012
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 5:19 PM, April 26th (Friday)

But there is a lot of "proof" for supposedly knowable things that is, well, shady as shit. Or multiple theories on accepted phenomenon (i.e. why all non-avian dinosaurs are extinct). The existence of a asteroid that wiped them out has lots and lots of proof. But we don't know, based on that proof, that this asteroid existed. We believe the items set forth before us as proof. Others believe a different theory that does not include the existence of an asteroid, with a different set of very plausible arguments. Is this irrelevant? Because various theories are basically unproveable? To me, dinos ARE pretty irrelevant (my kids would disagree), as is the existence of god, but I'm sure there are reasons why dinos are relevant...and why many other unknowable things are relevant.

So, yea, I guess I'm one of those folks who just thinks a lot of things are unexplainable, regardless of accepted proof. And that's OK. Hard proof is not the "end all, be all" of existence.

Well, hrm. I don't want to split hairs either but proof and evidence are not the same thing.

Evidence based beliefs such as the asteroid are Best In Category beliefs that can always be replaced by beliefs with stronger supporting evidence. That the dinosaurs of the K-T event were rendered extinct due to an asteroid and the subsequent worldwide disasters that followed - literally fire raining down from the sky on the other side of the planet as debris from the asteroid was thrown out of the atmosphere and crashed in again, for example - has been borne out through a very large body of evidence ranging from simulations to findings like the Chicxulub Crater and high concentrations of iridium. That K-T event isn't even the worst extinction level event - the Permian event killed off 97% of all marine life and they believe that was due to flood basalts. Imagine half a million years of a lava covered planet with all the oxygen sucked out of the ocean. That's fucking scary. It makes an asteroid with an eruption cone that extends about 20 miles into the atmosphere. I mean thats in fucking space. It's scary.

So it isn't to say that flood basalts are irrelevant but that they are not as likely as an asteroid impact for the KT event, though they are the likely candidate for the really scary Great Dying.

That's not where I was going with irrelevant, though. If it existed, it's potentially knowable. Even if somehow in the future we develop FTL travel, we should be able to escape our causality envelope and view our own distant past as light escapes the planet near the edge of the universe at a threshold of like 3 bya. So it is potentially *knowable* in that sense, though not likely - yet the likelihood does not make it impossible.

So for a thing to be truly unknowable means for it to have no influence over reality - at which point it is no longer relevant to our existence in this reality. It may have an unknowable influence, but if we cannot know it then we cannot accommodate for it in any way, and if that is the case then wild guesses are as good as cheese on thursday.

For some folks that's fine, sure. I consider it irrelevant because if it has no tangible, knowable influence then it effectively does not exist. If a leprechaun appears and shouts SURPRISE and pees on my shoes then I'll be forced to reassess my views on leprechauns, but until then I'll stick to being scared of tooth faeries. because i'm a wimp and I hide my face in g_r's shoulder when scary parts of a movie come on.

If potential is simply what might be, and what might be is simply the future of the now, and the now is what exists in the moment, then what exists in the moment is the logical precedent for potential - betting against that is fine, but the longer the odds against the evidence the longer the odds against its existence.

eta:

Also, dinosaurs are relevant not just because of things like oil and evolution but they're FUCKING AWESOME!

How could that NOT be relevant to EVERYTHING?

[This message edited by StillGoing at 5:25 PM, April 26th (Friday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Stangfreak
Member
Member # 35157
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, April 27th (Saturday)

Thanks for this thread. Despite my tag line, I am a humanistic agnostic deist (or at least that is the best description I have come up with).

I wish that I had the faith to know that someone was looking out for me and that I was being protected, but I haven't seen any evidence in my personal life. Kudos to those whose faith helps get them through, but I guess I am not built that way.


"Some glad morning when this life is o'er, I'll fly away.
To a home on God's celestial shore, I'll fly away.
I'll fly away, oh glory, I'll fly away (IN THE MORNING!)
When I die, hallelujah by and by, I'll fly away!"

Posts: 85 | Registered: Mar 2012 | From: Alabama
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 5:31 AM, April 28th (Sunday)

I find it easier to not believe and to support myself than to believe in a higher power that is so fickle.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, June 20th (Thursday)

Was wondering if any of you guys/girls know of any books on codependency that feature an Atheist perspective? I''m reading "Codependent No More", but it seems like it ultimately boils down to "Let go and let God".... which is obviously problematic for me.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Maxiom
Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, June 25th (Tuesday)

I am curious about this myself given that Beatie has cornered this genre. None of her books seem to be as secular as advertised.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
cdnmommy
Member
Member # 30182
Default  Posted: 9:14 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)

I read codependent No More and I barely noticed the religion, and I'm about as committed an unbeliever as possible. I find the "let go" message works just as well without any spiritual qualifier. :)


Me: BW
DDay: Oct 2010 + 6 weeks false R
2.5 (+?) year A with married coworker/my "friend"
1 great kid.
Reconciling and healing

Posts: 1752 | Registered: Nov 2010
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 9:22 PM, June 25th (Tuesday)

I've found that a lot of the lessons that are taught from a religious perspective work just as well for an atheist if you ignore the religious parts. I've found that replacing "submit to a higher power" with "fuck it, it will either work out or it won't" works for me.

Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Maxiom
Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 10:21 PM, June 26th (Wednesday)

The issue I find.. and I truly do not mean to offend anyone of faith.. but for me personally.. anyone who directs me to "offer it up to a higher power" loses all credibility. To be fair.. I would have similar reaction to someone stating things like... " the universe unfolds as it should" or "everything happens for a reason" No and no.

'not that I don't think Beatie isn't knowledgeable in the subject but statements like that are simply dismissive and lazy.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
doodley
Member
Member # 21433
Default  Posted: 5:38 PM, July 9th (Tuesday)

Just wanted to put this out there for you guys -

http://www.seculartherapy.org/

This service puts together secular therapists and clients and does so confidentially. Fantastic resource.


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. ~Albus Dumbledore

Posts: 120 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: GA
Tred
Member
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 6:33 PM, July 9th (Tuesday)

Doodley,

Thanks for the link. The brain trauma specialist I'm seeing luckily believes in "spirituality" but not so much religion. It's not that I have a problem with religion, it seems to have a problem with me . I have a problem with submitting to a higher power as well - might as well tell me to give all my issues to Santa. Just my opinion.


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

Posts: 4028 | Registered: Dec 2011
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 10:06 PM, September 23rd (Monday)

I've had to move back in with my very religious mother temporarily. There have been a few interesting moments. The other day, I read this really cool article about how Google was working on a computerized system where your entire consciousness could be uploaded and you could "live" (in a sense) forever, or until there was a really bad power outage or something. I thought it was a really interesting concept.

I'm telling my Mom about this article and she's looking at me like I'm totally batshit crazy. "That's impossible. A computer can't hold your soul." Now I'm looking at her like she's batshit crazy. To me, we're just a series of electrical impulses who happen to exist by the remotest of chances. To her, we're endowed with a unique consciousness by a creator. Totally different world views.

I'm glad I had this moment with my Mom because it's helped me to not break the rules here once or twice over the past couple of days. There have been a few things posted that struck me as way beyond ignorant and well into the dangerous category. I just reminded myself that to the person who posted, that worldview makes as much sense as mine does to me.

It doesn't mean that what they said is any less idiotic but it has helped with my impulse control.


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 10:20 PM, September 23rd (Monday)

Man if Google builds the Neuromancer I am gonna move to one of the square states and buy a whole fucking lot of guns.

I try to remind my kids that people believe different things. They get upset when kids occasionally tell them things like they're bad because they don't believe in god or that they aren't really people because they don't have souls and are going to hell, etc, but it is easier for them to understand because their grandparents are very, very religious and they love their grandparents. It's kind of a life lesson how beliefs are only as good as the believer. I hate my in laws but I am glad that my kids love them, and they all have a good relationship.

Also I figure if I can be polite around them I can manage it around anybody.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, October 12th (Saturday)

They get upset when kids occasionally tell them things like they''re bad because they don''t believe in god or that they aren''t really people because they don''t have souls and are going to hell, etc, but it is easier for them to understand because their grandparents are very, very religious and they love their grandparents.
I worry about this as well. We''re raising our son as an atheist, but not in the aggressively anti-religious vein. I''m atheist, but I''m fairly subdued...I know some atheists who make it their life mission to argue with and ridicule every single religious person they know. We just don''t talk about god(s) or religion of any sort in our home...I''m sure at some point there will be some questions regarding it from my son, but it hasn''t happened yet as of first grade.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Sammy2013
Member
Member # 41040
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)

Ok, Agnostic/Athiest here. I'm new to this site. I am so glad to see this group. So far this site has been a life saver for me. I have little support in real life around me. One person I confided in told me "Oh, God let you see his email to catch him!! He did that for you!!" Ugh, I got upset. I usually don't and just let it roll off my back. But I'm an emotional basket case right now. I said "If got has that kind of power, why couldn't he keep my husband faithful to me and prevent this hurt to begin with? What is the point of this pain?" She went on to tell me it makes me stronger, God is testing me, won't give me something I can't handle. It sure feels like I can't handle it right now!!

Sorry, vent over. I know she meant well and I apologized for jumping on her. She was just trying to help. I'm just an emotional zombie right now and super sensitive.


WH -37; BS (me) 38
Married 12 years, 3 kiddos
First DDay 9/13. 3 more since then (trickle truth sucks). 6 years of Prostitutes, 2 affairs in 2013, SA diagnosis now with 1 relapse so far (massage parlor with happy ending 2/14).
Waiting, observing,

Posts: 210 | Registered: Oct 2013 | From: Southeast United States
Tred
Member
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 5:48 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)

My favorite quote:

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one. - Thomas Jefferson

I think it fits every situation. If your religion is atheism, agnosticism, or a belief in some great narrative, it's how you live your life that defines your beliefs. You don't get credit for believing in something you don't practice.


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

Posts: 4028 | Registered: Dec 2011
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, October 23rd (Wednesday)

Love peeking into this thread. One of the reasons my STBXWW claimed to be unhappy with me is because I "turned out nine-year-old into an atheist." I explained--or tried to explain--that I was merely teaching him critical thinking skills.

"Then what is this!" She asked, shaking a children's introduction to evolution at me.

Clearly I am in league with satan himself. :-)

Boy is it going to be fun when she wants him bar mitzvahed.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1647 | Registered: Dec 2012
embee
Member
Member # 41100
Default  Posted: 7:28 AM, October 25th (Friday)

Really happy to see this thread! I'm brand new here, and trying to take it all in - just paged through this thread quickly and didn't see anything similar, so please forgive me if this is repetitive. A lot of the book recommendations I've been seeing are very heavily religion-based, and I know that's going to be a turnoff for me, and even more so for WH.

So, does anyone have recommendations for their favorite books that DON'T come from that perspective? It's not that I can't gloss over some mentions of faith, I just want something from a progressive viewpoint so I feel I can relate to the advice.


Me: BS, 26
Him: WH, 28
D-Day: 10/23/13
Separated

"Are you hurting the one you love?
You said you got to heaven, but it wasn't enough."


Posts: 57 | Registered: Oct 2013
ascian
Member
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, November 19th (Tuesday)

Let me bump this up since I've seen some...let's call it friction, in a couple of threads in other forums.

Personally, I call myself an "apatheist." I don't find faith a requisite to being decent. As I told my 7 year old, who's hearing a lot about religion from classmates: "I'm going to be a good person in my life because that's something that everyone should do. If I die and there's heaven, that's great, but if I die and there's nothing after then that doesn't mean the good in my life was wasted."

Anyway, hope folks are doing alright this week.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 309 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 12:12 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)

I'll be perfectly honest, I've been biting my tongue (so to speak) around here a bit recently. I try to remind myself that some people feel that believing in that sort of stuff gives them strength, although it's insulting when they post about how their particular superstition is the only way through this mess.

I think I've just been a bit grumpy recently.


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
ascian
Member
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 1:31 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)

I understand that entirely, I've had to bite my tongue a few times and not engage. I guess if they are content to keep their religion their own religion, I don't need to jump in and tell them they're wrong. At least not so long as they're not using their religion as a weapon against other people.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 309 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
Kierst13
Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 1:54 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)

How have I never noticed this group? I often feel like the odd man out in threads in General and R. It is nice to see you all!

[This message edited by Kierst13 at 1:54 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)]


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
Kierst13
Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 2:14 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)

Also wanted to comment on atheists not having morals. I consider atheist morality to be the truest kind, since we are expecting no reward or punishment.

I have thought long and hard about right and wrong and feel that I have a strong moral code. Not just avoiding hurting others but actually trying to contribute to their happiness.

I am necro-posting that quote from Catlover from last Spring.

I hate when people act like I am amoral because I do not have a Biblical world view or derive my morals from a book. I do not need a book to tell me what is good vs. what is hurtful.

Why is it assumed one book is "truth" and therefore I am incapable of knowing right from wrong?

My STXH has always gone to a Protestant church and look where it got him (and me).


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 2:55 PM, November 19th (Tuesday)

Hi Kierst!

I worry about people who think goodness comes from an outside power. Do they only behave themselves because they're afraid of some sort of punishment? The threat of coal in my stocking was never enough of a deterrent to me as a child. I still derived great pleasure from misbehaving. True goodness is intrinsic.


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Tearsoflove
Member
Member # 8271
Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)

I never noticed this thread before but it was nice to see that I finally fit into some sort of group, I guess.

It's certainly interesting to be a non-believer in a Christian community in the Bible belt. It's been even more interesting to watch my non-believing children try to navigate through it.

I think what allows us to function where we are without a great deal of strife is that we respect the religious beliefs of others. For me, even though I find the concept of God completely illogical, I also can see where believing could be comforting and uplifting for those who are able to have faith in unproven parables and stories that often defy logic. I do, however, appreciate the Bible and other religious books for the historical perspective they provide. I don't try to argue points with religious people because I do have a great deal of respect and it's very unusual for the beliefs of others to have an affect on me. I don't, however, have any issue with telling people that, while I respect their beliefs, my beliefs or lack thereof are none of their business. Basically, I think we are all trying to navigate through life's joys and difficulties and we all have to do so in the best way that works for us.

As for punishment and reward, well I've often told people who have asked what moral code I live by, that I try to live by the Golden Rule because I only have this one life to get it right and for as long as I live, I have to live with myself.

There are always going to be people who judge and try to convert me to the "right way of thinking." I always try to remember that they really believe they are doing me a service in trying to change my mind. I also try to remember that for most religious people, their belief frequently comes with the requirement to bring the word of God to others. And, yes, I do still capitalize God and bow my head when people pray. Not because I believe in God but because I believe it is respectful of those who believe. My human code requires that when I'm in the presence of others with beliefs and customs, that I show respect for that. So far, I've found that most people are respectful in return. When I encounter someone who is not, I remember that in every area of life there are some good and some bad. Just as there will sometimes be atheists who use their lack of religion to excuse inappropriate behavior, there will sometimes be religious people who use their religion the same way. I simply don't allow my encounters with the few to color my view of the many. And I still believe that most people, regardless of religious beliefs or lack thereof, are good at heart.

[This message edited by Tearsoflove at 6:31 PM, November 20th (Wednesday)]


"Just because I don't care doesn't mean I don't understand." ~Homer Simpson


Posts: 4161 | Registered: Sep 2005
ascian
Member
Member # 40304
Default  Posted: 7:48 AM, December 23rd (Monday)

In the spirit of the season: Happy Festivus, and a Merry Decemberween to all.


Me - BH 39
Her - FWW 36
D-Day: 8/13
Working on R

Posts: 309 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Midwest
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, December 24th (Tuesday)


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
heartbroken_kk
Member
Member # 22722
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, December 25th (Wednesday)

Happy day! Up here in the northern hemisphere, on the west side, it's 70 degrees, sunny, and bike riding weather. The days are getting longer even tho winter hasn't really started yet.

I'm free of gifting guilt and enjoying a morning of serene aloneness.

There's more than one way to skin a holiday!

((Hugs to all))


BW then 46, STBXWHNPDPAFTG the destroyer of my entire life.
D-Day 1 1999, D-Day 2,3,4,5,6... 2009 thru 2011.

Separated, divorcing, moving on.
I edit because I always make typos.


Posts: 1221 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: California
NotDefeatedYet
Member
Member # 33642
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, December 26th (Thursday)


I worry about people who think goodness comes from an outside power. Do they only behave themselves because they're afraid of some sort of punishment? The threat of coal in my stocking was never enough of a deterrent to me as a child. I still derived great pleasure from misbehaving. True goodness is intrinsic.

The conundrum of being an atheist police officer... Many of my co-workers don't believe either. It wasn't for the service in a higher power that lead many of us into this field.


"It's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."

Posts: 769 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Texas
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 6:46 PM, March 22nd (Saturday)

Trying to revive this thread...need a common perspective on some stuff.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
strengthandhope
Member
Member # 37907
Default  Posted: 1:24 AM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Thank you, Ascendant for reviving. I have been a reader and recent participant and did not know this thread existed....

I identify as agnostic. I feel comfort in figuring through this life left to my own logic, experience and wisdom. The reason I do not say I am atheist is because I do not have all the answers, just as I believe people of faith do not have all the answers. I know I can figure things out and I am not afraid to face this journey with the truths I know to be true to me.

My brother has been in AA for about seven months. He is also agnostic/atheist (we never got into it that deep!) one of the things he struggles with is the belief in a higher power. I have told him that a higher power does not implicitly mean a belief in God...it is a belief that you can be something better than you are. YOU (or the best you that you can be) is the higher power. That is not as easy to grasp with someone that has lived a life without structured faith.

In my personal journey, logically I cannot just "leave it in the hands of God" or trust that "He has a plan". Mostly because I was not raised that way, and also I think it takes away personal responsibility. No matter what circumstances we go through, it is up to us as to how we respond and conduct ourselves, even in moments of depravity and confusion.

I do think that most people can attain a "spirituality" that is undefined. To me, that means reflecting on how you got "here" and where YOU want to go....and having the fortitude to make it happen. It is very empowering to embrace that type of freedom. It is also daunting. YOU have to do it as a WS or a BS.

As far as sin goes...I do believe in sin. It is doing something you know is wrong and doing it anyway. By that definition, every one of us sins every day. I know I shouldn't smoke, yet I do. I know I shouldn't lie to mom and tell her I "missed her call" and the truth is I just didn't want to talk...etc. These little sins can be forgiven and passed off easily. But we know there are big sins that will come back in another form. We know that our past actions will somehow appear in the future.

It is not easy to be agnostic/atheist in this world for many reasons. We are not any less than those of faith, nor anymore wise, etc. It is a different path.



Me: BS 30s
Him: SAWH, 30s sexting, pic sharing & phone sex with men & women
2 kids, M 8 yrs
DD#1 3/08, DD#2 7/11, DD#3 10/12 DD#4 2/14
OW #1 PA from 6/13-8/13 CL Troll
OW #2 EA from 11/13-2/14 online/phone sex A
Taking R 90 days at a time.

Posts: 184 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Mid west
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:18 AM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Yup. I feel you on all those fronts, S+H-

My brothers kind of struggled with the same issues....they were working a program while not being particularly religious, and it does require a little bit of mental gymnastics to find a way to get their beliefs to still allow them to work their program from the mental side of things.

I think it's been a little trickier for me with this infidelity, because I'm a little more...mmmm.....defined in my beliefs. So again, like you said, the whole "Let go and let God" aspect doesn't really do a whole lot for me in terms of life.

I recognize that at it's core it basically means to recognize you have zero control...but once you remove the plan or intervention of some deity from that worldview, then it boils down to this: If I have no control, then who DOES? I understand that I can only really control me, and each person controls themselves as well....but if we're all just pinballing around out here, doesn't that mean that we can and do affect others when we collide?

I dunno. Just come thoughts. The book Codependent No More was kind of helpful to me, but it lightly mixed in some religious aspects that I was able to work around but then the religious tones became more overt and the answer to every question became "let go and let god" and I found it somewhat unsatisfying.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
tesla
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Default  Posted: 8:35 AM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Popping in to say hi.
Atheist here from a family of very religiously devout people. They don't know I'm an atheist which is for the best.


"Thou art the son and heir of a mongrel bitch." --King Lear

Posts: 4693 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Indiana
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Default  Posted: 8:37 AM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Atheist here from a family of very religiously devout people. They don''t know I''m an atheist which is for the best.
Yeah? They''d be pretty unaccepting of it, Tesla?

Have you found your struggle with infidelity to be different than others with a more religious viewpoint?

ETA: I made up a word. I do that sometimes.

[This message edited by Ascendant at 8:38 AM, March 23rd, 2014 (Sunday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
tesla
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Default  Posted: 9:01 AM, March 23rd (Sunday)

They would still accept me but it would be different...because I would be going to hell. And it would make them sad and they are the type that would blame themselves.

When D-day hit and I started moving through the D process, everyone I told IRL comforted me by saying that this stuff happens for a reason and that there is a plan. When everything started falling in place for me and it became apparent that ex-shat's new life was a miserable farce, it was confirmation for them that God works in mysterious ways and that he had rewarded the good and punished the bad.

I think people need a story to fit their lives into and religion, a higher power that takes an interest in us mere mortals-- helps create that story line.

I like a good story too.
But I have come to the conclusion that this drive to make sense of the bad things, make sense of death is our survival mechanism.

I think what helped get me through the infidelity/divorce stuff was that ultimately, I want to enjoy this life since this is all I got. So many times the question "why is this happening" and "why did he do this" popped in my mind. And as much as I would like to ascribe answers involving higher power machinations, I can not. Why did this happen? Because it did. Now what am I going to do?


"Thou art the son and heir of a mongrel bitch." --King Lear

Posts: 4693 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Indiana
catlover50
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Default  Posted: 11:16 AM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Hi all! I am one who actually has a pet-peeve around "everything happens for a reason". Most of the time I just let it go (as I do "our prayers go out to you", "God bless America", etc that pass as conventional wisdom in our society), but occasionally I challenge someone on this statement.

Child abuse? Rape? Genocide? The Holocaust? Or, hmmm, infidelity? Really?

Or just the fact that your car got sideswiped in the parking lot? Okay, you say, you needed a new car...et voila! So how did that come about exactly? What "power" caused your car to be there and caused the other car to hit you? How did that power get manifest?

It's actually pretty creepy to me to imagine a power micromanaging everything in our lives. Not to mention I can't really agree with many of his/her choices! I would much rather take my chances with my own world view, which is that shit happens and we should do our best to make the most of the time we have, and be kind to one another.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

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outside4me
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Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Many thanks for bumping this thread and getting it active again! I'm a hopeful agnostic, and I'm okay with not knowing. I've always found religion to be where things get all F'ed up. I used to think, "Hey, if it teaches you to be a better human being, then more power to ya. Just don't proselytize to me and tell me what to think." I studied primitive science and religion, psychology of religion, Joseph Campbell's many works, comparative religions of the world, etc. I guess you could say I've been to the puppet show and have seen the strings. That said, I don't begrudge anyone their faith.

Before I proposed marriage to my born again christian wife, I was totally forthright on my agnosticism. Although core belief structures weren't simpatico, she stated she was cool with where I was at (as I was with her). Truth be told, I figured a born again christian would never break her marriage vows and it was kind of an "insurance policy" against infidelity.

About 6 months after marriage, she drastically changed her behavior and spent 80-90% on on FB with a born again fellowship group, and almost no time on our marriage or me. Proclaiming herself a bride of Christ (wait a minute, I thought you were my bride?), denouncing this world and everything in it (I'm part of this world, so I guess I suck too). She would just root for the rapture and make those proclamations to her born again FB community. Once during a tiff I mentioned that if she spent less time with her rapture buddies and more time on the marriage we wouldn't be in this mess. Oh man did she go off! After the dust settled I asked why she married an agnostic, and she replied that she felt God wanted her to bring me to Christ, and it was her mission to change me. I figured if I was going to get any time with the wife and have any common bond, I better jump in her pool. I honestly went into it open minded and wanting to believe. Well, after I made the turn and started attending church she initiated an EA with another one of her born again FB friends, and carried it on for over a year. Once again, this is after I started attending church. On DDay I asked her if she had done anything at all to help bring me to Christ... "no, nothing". This didn't make any sense to me. Why the affair after I started attending church? "I guess I was impatient."

The hypocrisy is jaw dropping.


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Default  Posted: 3:20 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Boutside4me - The hypocrisy is jaw dropping.

But this is also true for those of us who are avowed agnostics or atheists. Many of the A/A community are still spiritual people who embrace a wide variety of belief systems that encompass a structure of morality and ethics. And more often than not, that belief structure supports the concepts of personal honesty and integrity along with a belief in the sanctity of marriage. Many of us here in this thread are from the WS community and that means, many of us were also guilty of hypocrisy. We talked the talk but did not walk the walk.

As I read your post, I wonder, why are you holding her up to a standard of behavior that is unrealistic? Was her faith supposed to be her armour against her FOO issues, her need for validation, her poor boundaries? I don't think its fair that you hold her up to a standard that many atheists and agnostics could not meet either. I think that your wife's decision to have an affair is separate and distinct from her faith in God.

Boutside4me - Why the affair after I started attending church?

The affair has nothing to do with you starting to attend church. The timing of that is purely coincidental. She started her affair due to her brokenness and not her religious beliefs.


Boutside4me - Truth be told, I figured a born again christian would never break her marriage vows and it was kind of an "insurance policy" against infidelity.

Are you saying that prior to you getting married, you actually thought that her religion was going to prevent her from being tempted by or starting an affair? Why would her "born-again status" make someone like you, who feels that he has seen the "strings behind the puppet show" feel that way? If you had truly seen the "puppet strings", then you should have been aware that religions are a man-made construct and as such, they are vulnerable to good and bad natures inherent in humankind. Religious belief does not give everyone a supernatural armor against the temptations of the flesh and your studies should have made that apparent to you.

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

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Default  Posted: 3:51 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)

catlover50 - I am one who actually has a pet-peeve around "everything happens for a reason". ... What "power" caused your car to be there and caused the other car to hit you? How did that power get manifest? ... It's actually pretty creepy to me to imagine a power micromanaging everything in our lives.

Let me start off with saying that I am a humanitarian agnostic (a rather simplistic 2 word description for a infinitely complex issue) and am not trying to bash you but ....

I think that you should know that anyone who tells you his faith actually has a doctrine that "everything happens for a reason" is wrong. Christian doctrine and scripture does not ascribe to God the responsibility or blame for every terrible thing that happens in life. People who believe that are latching onto the "soundbite"instead of listening to the whole damn boring speech, to parahrase a wee bit.

catlover50 - I would much rather take my chances with my own world view, which is that shit happens and we should do our best to make the most of the time we have, and be kind to one another.

I find it interesting that you use the phrase "my world view" to describe your religion! And I say "religion" because there is a debate that feels that atheism is a religion in its own right. http://www.strangenotions.com/is-atheism-a-religion/ or http://creation.com/atheism-a-religion

While I don't find the idea of a determinialistic world very appearling, I also don't feel that a world where "shit happens" to much more appealing. What is shit and why does it happen? Are you trying to say that the duality of good and bad exists within all people and may or may not result in varying actions that will result in unknown reactions that might or might not impact me?

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
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Default  Posted: 4:58 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Atheism is not a religion. People who push that idea generally do so because they have an agenda. Atheism is nothing more than a statement regarding belief in the supernatural.

An atheistic belief system would be Secular Humanism, possibly even Objectivism, some forms of Buddhism.

Pushing atheism as a religion is a way to attack people who are not yet sure what they believe and are in a transitional place, or are not comfortable declaring absolutes. Atheists do not make absolute statements - saying "There is no god" is a summary comment that has an implicit catch rule after it "Unless there happens to appear some evidence to convince me." We don't add that shit to casual or even most formal conversation because it's assumed - or should be.

I think it is perfectly acceptable to hold someone accountable to their professed belief system. What is unfair is giving them a free pass on their stated commitments because others may not view those commitments in the same light. There are atheists out there who just plain don't give a shit. As far as I am concerned they can judge the Puritans all they like. The Puritans were the ones spouting off about predestination and witches. They are the ones who have a set of beliefs to adhere to. Using those beliefs as a shield to hide behind and avoid judgement is, well, hypocritical.

When a faith professes infidelity as one of the worst crimes a body can perpetrate, to the point that the one nice guy out of the whole bunch who ate the biggest shit sandwich the universe ever coughed up so the rest of the world wouldn't have to actually says in so many words "Fuck you" then that is a standard they set for themselves, and the position from which they preach and judge and criticize. The whole plank in the eye shit.

I'm an atheist. I'm a secular humanist. I am not perfect and if someone were to call me out on things I may be pissed about it but they'd be damned well right to do so, because it's a standard I believe people should adhere to. It doesn't matter if a Christian meets those standards - they have their own, whether anyone else can or not.

As for predestination being wrong, while I agree, you'd get yourself tied to a stake and burned a couple hundred years ago. Puritans were a Calvinist sect. The forerunners to American Protestantism were very much predestination folks. The idea is permeated in this society.

In regards to the links, some of the logic there is absofuckinglutely ridiculous.

“Are You A Christian?”

A prima facie or “at first glance” case for the claim that atheism can be seen as a religion can be found in the answer an atheist might give to the question “Are you a Christian?”

When presented with this question, an atheist may reply, “No, I’m an atheist.”

On the other hand, if he was instead presented with the question, “Are you a Jew?” he might again reply, “No, I’m an atheist.”

If he had been asked, “Are you a Buddhist?” or “Are you a Muslim?” or “Are you a Hindu?” he might well give the same answer: “No, I am an atheist.”

This suggests that being an atheist is analogous to being a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a Hindu.

And that, in turn suggests that atheism is analogous to Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.

In other words, atheism, too, can be seen as a religion.

Lets replace the word "atheism" with "a sock" and see if anyone notices.

“Are You A Christian?”

A prima facie or “at first glance” case for the claim that a sock can be seen as a religion can be found in the answer a sock might give to the question “Are you a Christian?”

When presented with this question, a sock may reply, “No, I’m a sock.”

On the other hand, if he was instead presented with the question, “Are you a Jew?” he might again reply, “No, I’m a sock.”

If he had been asked, “Are you a Buddhist?” or “Are you a Muslim?” or “Are you a Hindu?” he might well give the same answer: “No, I am a sock.”

This suggests that being a sock is analogous to being a Christian, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a Hindu.

And that, in turn suggests that a sock is analogous to Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.

In other words, a sock, too, can be seen as a religion.

That is the kind of simplistic bullshit that is purely agenda driven. The author plays definition games with religion and then hammers his argument into that box. By redefining the word religion he gets to work atheism in there as he sees fit. So by reframing the word religion as:

In this piece, I will use the term “religion” as follows:

Something is a religion if it has a position on the divine and/or the afterlife.

By “the divine” I mean God or the gods.

He gets to restructure the argument to become unassailable.

If, instead, we consider religion for what it actually is - a set of beliefs, ethics, ethnic cultures and world views - then no, atheism is in no possible way a religion, because atheism just says "I don't believe in the supernatural."

There are atheistic religions - Secular Humanism and some forms of Buddhism are immediate considerations - but nobody ever goes there. Nobody ever argues those. Nobody ever says "Humanism is a religion" because it doesn't push an agenda.

Frankly, the arguments against Atheism are about as ridiculous as arguments against Theism. "THEISTS ARE ALL CRAY CRAY YO" (stealing that from SM) is just, well, fucking ridiculous. It covers a massive canvas. Because in it's basic and broadest sense, it means "Yeah there is probably something out there." That includes Puritans and Jedi. Theism itself is not a religion, either. It's a broad definition of a position in regards to the supernatural. If the author of that article wants to propose the idea that Theism is a religion - the position that Insert Deity Here exists - then that would be a pretty fun read because it would be one wild fucking ride.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 5:15 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)

Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Interesting tag line for an agnostic/atheist. It's all I'm saying.


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

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outside4me
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Default  Posted: 7:04 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)

HUFI-PUFI:

You're right: I was naive to think that folks with religion would automatically "walk the walk". I think that we should all be held accountable for our actions, and I've lived my life accordingly. The Golden Rule. I don't think its an unrealistic expectation that others pay me the same courtesy, whether they have religion or not. I just figured those that follow the christian doctrine would be more likely to do so, that's all.

In the words of Dennis Miller, "Of course that's just my opinion, I could be wrong."

Sincerely though, thank you for your input. I'll take it into consideration. In the words of The Dude from The Big Lebowski, "Well that's just, like... your opinion, man."

ETA: you typed my username wrong 3 times... U mad, bro?

[This message edited by outside4me at 7:41 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)]


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Default  Posted: 7:22 AM, March 24th (Monday)

outside4me - ETA: you typed my username wrong 3 times... U mad, bro?

I apologize 3 times for the typo error in your username ... I suspect the error came from my cut&paste ... I will strive to get it right next time!

Actually, you were right in observing that I seemed angry. It had been quite some time since I posted on this thread (originally sometime back in 2009 I believe) and as I read the whole thread yesterday to get back up to speed, I had noted some comments made that raised my ire a wee bit. Some of that might have come out in my writing this time. My Bad.

HUFI

drowninginsorrow - This thread was started so that like minded people could support each other. It should not to be used to debate or bash other beliefs


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
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Default  Posted: 7:41 AM, March 24th (Monday)

Yes, debating the nature of atheism as a religion is taking things off track.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 8:41 AM, March 24th (Monday)

StillGoing - Atheism is not a religion.

Hello StillGoing … I don’t want to violate the rules on this forum (This thread was started so that like minded people could support each other. It should not to be used to debate or bash other beliefs) but I still would like to address a point or too with regard to your post.

I agree with you that A/A are not religions in the truest sense. We do not have an organized and defined set of beliefs, behaviors, rituals or even a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership within the A/A community. While I did say that there are some people who argue that it is, I was not supporting that viewpoint.

According to Émile Durkheim, religion differs from a private belief or world view in that religion is "something eminently social" insofar as it reaches out to the greater community and is not a private matter of the person themselves.

In that sense, it would seem that the traditional viewpoint of A/A as being a private matter of ones own belief may actually be evolving into a more formalized and organized structure regardless. And I say this because there are online churches that have been created by atheists to secure legal rights, to ordain atheist clergy to hold ceremonies, as well as for education, and advocacy. http://www.atheist-community.org/ and http://firstchurchofatheism.com/ and http://www.churchoffreethought.org come to mind.

It appears that while, while the A/A community may have one belief in common (in the narrowest sense of A/A , the disbelief in a supernatural deity), there are some individuals and communities out there in the world that have other beliefs that many, if not all, atheists and agnostics don’t believe in and that may include the agendas of the above mentioned groups. I'm not supporting them or arguing against them, I'm simply saying that I for one don’t want anyone else pushing some agenda, for their own reasons that would or could end up defining me.

The truth is that A/A relates to a specific non-belief in the existence of a deity and not in the rejection of the other tenets of the faith and so, you are right that atheism is nothing more than a statement regarding ones belief in the existence of a supernatural being.

I believe you can be a card carrying member of almost any religion you want and still be an atheist and agnostic. Although some atheists have adopted secular philosophies, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere. As you pointed out, atheism is accepted within some religious and spiritual belief systems, including Raelism and some Neopagan movements including Wicca and some non-theistic religions such as Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. I strongly feel that being A/A does not mean that you cannot be religious.

The commonality of our disbelief of a supernatural being does not imply that we have anything more in common regarding our personal belief structures or world view points. Atheists come in a variety of shapes, colors, beliefs, convictions, and backgrounds including our views on religion. We are as unique as our fingerprints. On a personal note, my own viewpoints are a synergistic blend of beliefs taken from a variety of belief structures from around the world including a belief in a higher power and yet, I still define myself as being agnostic.

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
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Default  Posted: 8:47 AM, March 24th (Monday)

This is why I stick to Thomas Jefferson.

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.

I prefer to be judged on my actions, not on my belief or disbelief.


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D-Day: 11/09/11
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Default  Posted: 9:12 AM, March 24th (Monday)

*Sigh*

I jumpstarted this bad boy because I had read a slew of posts in the days prior wherein several posters' responses amounted to the oft-given. "Let go and let god", or, "everything happens for a reason..." and once that advice starts flying around I pretty much tune out. When that is the base someone is working with in their advice-giving, and works it into their advice frequently, it makes it difficult to sift through that stuff to get to the helpful nuggets, IMO.

I think we could debate the various slants on Atheism/Agnosticism 'till the cows come home and we're out of breath and still not be satisfied. Hell, I go to a meeting of Atheists/Agnostics/Freethinkers/Skeptics (Yeah, it's a large tent) every two weeks that I found via MeetUp...and even we go toe-to-toe frequently.

I like what Tred said:

I prefer to be judged on my actions, not on my belief or disbelief.

To *kind of* get things back on track, because infidelity involves morals and morality, I DO think it's interesting that a great many non-atheists equate atheism with a sort of moral lawlessness.

Even my wife, who is atheist herself, remarked to me that she's surprised that I'm not religious because I have strict standards for morality and other people's behaviors.

I tend to think that people who have actually sat down and clarified their values and beliefs (both religious and non-religious alike) do tend to be a little more strict about them, because they're clearly defined. My sense from my 30-ish years on this Earth is that most people have never sat down and actually thought about what values are important to them (and why) because once you do that, then you clearly know when you're breaking your own set of moral code going forward.

Most people seem to live in a sort of morally fuzzy universe...if you ask them specifically, "Is X right or wrong?", they'd probably tell you their answer in an objective sense, but they've never decided if that same X would be wrong if they had skin in the game, so to speak.

Just some thoughts.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 9:21 AM, March 24th (Monday)

While I did say that there are some people who argue that it is, I was not supporting that viewpoint.

You linked two religious articles that did so, after several comments regarding what people supposedly actually believe when it comes to certain religions after calling a world view a religion. If you were not promoting that viewpoint then I don't understand why the idea entered into the discussion.

It appears that while, while the A/A community may have one belief in common (in the narrowest sense of A/A , the disbelief in a supernatural deity), there are some individuals and communities out there in the world that have other beliefs that many, if not all, atheists and agnostics don’t believe in and that may include the agendas of the above mentioned groups. I'm not supporting them or arguing against them, I'm simply saying that I for one don’t want anyone else pushing some agenda, for their own reasons that would or could end up defining me.

I don't see where anyone was pushing an agenda that was defining you. Unless you happen to be a born again Christian arguing against that particular groups very loudly touted ideals of family and fidelity.

I do not see how the idea that hypocrisy should be given some kind of pass because everyone is susceptible to it is strengthened by any of the support you provided for it. Carl Sagan's hypocrisy is equally jaw dropping, and as far as I am concerned, so is Martin Luther King's. Those are two very great men who did a lot of good for this world and preached a very clear message, and discovering their infidelities is pretty fucking jaw dropping and disillusioning.

As for whether or not people who believe everything happens for a reason are wrong, I really, really, really do not think this thread is a good place for that. Discussing the discomfort or disbelief, yes. Dismissing an entire - large and vocal - group of people outright, no.

eta:

I like the Jefferson quote. There was one by Cicero that was similar but I can't remember it off the top of my head.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 9:23 AM, March 24th (Monday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 9:52 AM, March 24th (Monday)

As for whether or not people who believe everything happens for a reason are wrong, I really, really, really do not think this thread is a good place for that. Discussing the discomfort or disbelief, yes. Dismissing an entire - large and vocal - group of people outright, no.
I wholeheartedly agree.

I'm not dismissing those posters as whole, I'm only saying that that particular lens of viewing the world - and it's workings - doesn't resonate with me as a non-believer in supernatural forces.

In terms of bad shit happening (like the affair), it's an uncomfortable place to find myself in one sense because I think that if I could say to myself, "Well there IS a reason at play here, I just don't know it...", there'd be some small measure of solace in that. In my case, though, I'd be lying to myself in one aspect of my mind so that I could feel better in another aspect. I'm not going to do that, and so my struggle continues.

[This message edited by Ascendant at 9:53 AM, March 24th (Monday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 9:53 AM, March 24th (Monday)

Tred - Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong ... Interesting tag line for an agnostic/atheist. It's all I'm saying.

This is why being a Agnostic/Atheist (A/A) is interesting.

Atheism/Agnostic beliefs and Religions are often portrayed and treated as polar opposites and exclusive of each other. While for some people, there may be a strong correlation between being an atheist and being irreligious, that is not so for others. In my viewpoint, there is no necessary and inherent dis-connect between the two. It's a false dilemma to assume that we either have religion and morality or secularism and chaos.

Atheism is not the same as being irreligious; theism is not the same as being religious. The answers to the question of “can a A/A be religious” is thus an unequivocal yes: atheists can be religious and atheism can occur in conjunction with, or even in the context of, religion.

I think in the past, for a lot of people, religion was a take it or leave it proposition with no choice in the matter of what or which beliefs came with your faith. But what I find in recent years is that people are literally creating their own unique “world views” by rejecting some tenets, adopting new ones, integrating and merging the traditional viewpoints into a new religious diversity that is unique to each individual. More and more, people are identifying themselves as SBNR (spiritual but not religious)and in that evolution, are demanding that their churches change with the times or die.

Gone are the days when people just blindly accepted a platform. Nowadays, religious experience is a diverse intra and inter-faith experience that picks and chooses its tenets according to what works for the individuals. People are embracing new ideas, concepts and beliefs unaware or unconcerned with doctrinal distinctions. In other words, if it works, embrace it, if it doesn't work, reject it.

Susan L. Smalley thinks that belief structures will and are undergoing a radical shift and becoming more hybrid in nature and flexible in narrative. She feels that many people today seem to be ‘picking and choosing' from a variety of sources (religions as well as psychological frameworks) to enhance transcendent relationships and to develop an individual process of personal growth that cuts across specific organized systems. In other words, instead of a one size fits all approach, we are nowadays embracing unique and individual paths including that of A/A.

On a personal note, as a agnostic, while I believe that it’s impossible to KNOW the truth in matters such as God and the future life, that does not preclude me with having hope and faith that such things exist.

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, March 24th (Monday)

Atheists lack of belief in the supernatural is the singular definition of the word.

I have a great friend.. well, co-worker who is awesome, who is Jewish. He identifies as a Jew ethnically and takes great comfort in the rituals of his religion. He is an atheist because he does not believe in God or any of the supernatural side of his religion, but he still identifies as a Jew, enjoys being Jewish and pretty much leaves it at that.

I am sure there are Catholics out there who are in the same place. After dday I really wanted to go hide in a church. Being someplace that had all the answers and would tell me it would all be okay was very appealing. Even if I didn't believe it, the religious rites and social support was something I really wanted at the time.

I never really encounter anyone who will say an atheist can't be religious. I have never encountered anyone who proposed atheism as a religion that didn't have an agenda. If you don't Hufi, then I'm happy to have met the first.

Atheists can be religious, sure. I just simply cannot see the point in calling yourself an atheist if you believe in the supernatural. It's like calling yourself a sock when you're a person.

As for everything happening for a reason on its own merits, it's a complex subject. There are people who believe a deity micromanages everything, and take comfort in knowing that the hurtful shit they are going through will be explained at some point. There are people who believe everything is already fixed.

There are people who think the idea of free will negates the problem of evil. I read on another site a very long time ago now an excellent commentary on that - the idea of free will doesn't work in relation to an entity that created the environment in which that will is practiced in the first place. You don't have the free will to choose to breathe water - you will drown. The process of that drowning is painful. That someone else may choose to painfully drown you does not negate responsibility for creating the potential of the situation in the first place.

OTOH that bears on whether or not said base entity was unreservedly benevolent or omnipotent. If you remove either of those per-requisites then you can move forward on the subject of micromanagement. Another friend of mine, also a Jewish man, told me back in the day that "You Catholics man, you got it rough. You have to worry about God loving everybody. Me, my God just kicks everyones ass. He's a bad dude. Don't fuck with him."

Taking god out of the equation does not immediately resolve the concept of a deterministic universe anyway. God, by anyone's definition, doesn't have to be the reason things happen.

The definition of deterministic is also a big issue. We are stuck on this little rock here. Unless someone invents all of science fiction tomorrow or pulls a TARDIS from his ass, none of us are going to be hanging around on another planet, another solar system, another galaxy, or whatever that terrifying and unidentified construct external to our extant universe is that's eating all the mass up. We're stuck here. That narrows the options of choice even if choice is not illusory. Even meeting people to converse is governed by a set of criteria - the conversations we are all involved in right now were not possible three decades ago, and three centuries ago it was inconceivable.

Narrowing it further and further presents continually reduced arcs of choice until you get to the moment, but if you read up on how humans make choices then you see that said choices were made 7 seconds before they were consciously brought to fore; the discussion on whether or not the option to consciously override those choices is the same as free will is one more issue to the concept of predestination and shit happening for a reason.

Personally I think the issue is academic. It happened, so, deal with it as is most comfortable.

Also, I said it so it needs referenced:


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
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Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, March 24th (Monday)

Atheism/Agnostic beliefs and Religions are often portrayed and treated as polar opposites and exclusive of each other. While for some people, there may be a strong correlation between being an atheist and being irreligious, that is not so for others

Maybe my understanding of Agnostic/Atheist is somewhat limited. I looked up the definitions just in case:

Atheist
a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.

Agnostic
a person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience.

Seems mutually exclusive to me. Now, if you replaced religion with spirituality, maybe. Everyone is entitled to their own definition and their own truths apparently. If you are a agnostic who believes in a God (or gods) that's fine with me. I won't dispute the existence of something I can't prove doesn't exist, just like the invisible men who inhabit the moon. It's just odd to come across a self labeled agnostic who says they believe in God.


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

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Default  Posted: 10:39 AM, March 24th (Monday)

At the risk of offending more people, which totally wasn't my intent on this thread, I will try to clarify my thoughts.

I don't mean to dismiss an entire group of people outright; I feel people have a right to believe whatever they believe. I am not even referring to a specific religion; even my agnostic friends use the phrase. I just find that people often throw the statement "everything happens for a reason" out without really thinking about it. That's what I mean by challenging them, which I do rarely and only with someone I know well.

My views are different. Right for me, not for everyone. I thought that was the point of this thread, but I also recognize how that might be interpreting as dismissing other's viewpoints. Just expressing my own opinion.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

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Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, March 24th (Monday)

StillGoing - Being someplace that had all the answers and would tell me it would all be okay was very appealing.

You're right in noting that the immediate aftermath of the affair, finding someplace or someone that had all the answers and would be able to tell me it would all be okay was very appealing.

I also found myself walking into a church at one point of time. Even though I have identified as agnostic for the past 40 years, I found myself sitting in the pews of the local Baptist church trying to find answers. However, within my second attendance, it was apparent that there still was a huge gulf between their beliefs and my own and so, I stopped trying to find answers there.

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
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Default  Posted: 10:52 AM, March 24th (Monday)

Tred - Everyone is entitled to their own definition and their own truths apparently.

Ain't that the truth! Gone are the days when every square peg fit perfectly into the square peg hole!

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
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Default  Posted: 11:02 AM, March 24th (Monday)

catlover50 - I just find that people often throw the statement "everything happens for a reason" out without really thinking about it.

Greta Christina, in her article about grieving and atheism, feels that people that sprout those platitudes are so steeped in the their idea of religion as a comfort that they are unable to think of any other way to comfort those in need. She also feels that they often are unable to comprehend that their beliefs aren't universally shared by everyone. Its an ingrained way of thinking that unconsciously just pops out.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2011/08/24/grief-beyond-belief-how-atheists-are-dealing-with-death/

HUFI


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
SisterMilkshake
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Default  Posted: 3:00 PM, March 24th (Monday)

WOW! Lots of deep profound discussion going on for early Monday morning. I find it very interesting but, quite frankly, over my head.

I haven't really deeply researched a label for what I believe or don't believe. Secular Humanism, maybe? Could it be deism? Atheist or agnostic? I am absolutely sure about nothing related to this subject.

What I find very interesting, SG and HUFI, is that I had the exact opposite experience when my FWH's affair was exposed. I just kind of shut down on the belief of God. I decided religion/church was no longer going to be a part of my life. It was the last nail in the coffin on all my past belief's about God and what that meant to me. It was a long time coming. Decades of trying to overcome what was programmed in me from an early age. Many emotional traumas in my life where I had no comfort in believing in God and his plan for me. (that people kept insisting that there was) If this was a plan for my life, it was pretty fucked up and mean to have this plan for me. I mean, who does that shit? As I have mentioned earlier in my post on this thread, I still struggle with the thoughts of burning in hell, because just what if.........................

I agree with you, catlover, and I bristle whenever that term "everything happens for a reason". Especially if it is being used to "comfort" someone. Really? How discomforting to me and, I would assume, for many others. I wouldn't say that they are "wrong" for that belief (did anyone here say that?) it is just that I don't believe that and it is presumptuous of others to assume that "everyone" has that belief.

I find the thought of atheism as a religion to be ludicrous. Not saying it is ludicrous, just that I find the thought of it ludicrous. It makes more sense to me for atheists, like SG's Jewish friend, to participate a religion already there. It makes about as much sense to me.

Interesting turn of events. DS18 (just turned 18) was recently baptized in a non-denominational Christian church. Back on page 13 (when he was 17) I was lamenting that we didn't give him any religious education. He is dating this lovely young lady (for over a year) who got him to go to her church and he decided he wanted to get baptized. I am fine with this. I want all my children to make up their own minds about their belief's in a God and religion.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


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Default  Posted: 4:10 PM, March 24th (Monday)

I don't think I have posted on this forum before - it is good to see some discussion on it going on.

My WW is not a strongly religious person but she is much more so than I ever was. She grew up with a religious education. I remember her insisting we had to go to church early in our M. We had a religious wedding. The school decision on where to send our kids - public versus a religious school was a very big topic. All of these events happened while she had an affair. I agree the hypocrisy can be jaw dropping.

Hufi - you make a good point that with any affair there is hypocrisy. However, religious and affair hypocrisy is different I think. As a BS we struggle to understand any hypocrisy in a M. Religious beliefs are often at the core of what someones morals and beliefs in life are. To see that the hypocrisy went that deep is difficult to understand. When you are a BS and trying to R you are searching for trust again. We are trying to make sure that our WS core beliefs are in line that we can trust them going forward. Saying all affairs have hypocrisy is missing the point of the process in gaining back this trust.

I too dislike the "everything happens for a reason" thought process. It certainly implies someone else ultimately has control over my life. I make my own decisions in life and deal with the consequences of those decisions.

[This message edited by ReunitePangea at 4:10 PM, March 24th (Monday)]


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

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Default  Posted: 4:19 PM, March 24th (Monday)

It certainly implies someone else ultimately has control over my life.
Exactly why it makes me bristle, RU, I feel.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 4:20 PM, March 24th (Monday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 5:40 PM, March 24th (Monday)

I just kind of shut down on the belief of God. I decided religion/church was no longer going to be a part of my life. It was the last nail in the coffin on all my past belief's about God and what that meant to me. It was a long time coming. Decades of trying to overcome what was programmed in me from an early age. Many emotional traumas in my life where I had no comfort in believing in God and his plan for me.

I understand. I was raised Roman Catholic and kinda stayed that way until my early 20's. My wife was raised fundamentalist Christian. Our processes were completely different - I just kind of eventually came to realize I didn't believe such and such and it didn't really affect my life not to, on an existential level anyway (life as somebody who says "I don't believe in god" in public kind of sucks, but anyway) - I watched her struggle with walking away from religion and it was incredibly painful for her.

I ultimately didn't bother going into church because while I do still have an oddly fond place in my heart for the Catholic church it just wasn't a place for me anymore. I knew that if I opened up at all the comfort would be religious in nature - I mean it's a fucking church, that's what they do, it's not fair to go looking for validation there and expect otherwise.

Thank God for SI.



"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 5:44 PM, March 24th (Monday)

Sister, I too, want my children to make up their own minds. I even took them to Sunday School when they were little, so that they had some knowledge of what tends to predominate in our culture.

Our children have studied all the major religions on their own; our son even knows all about Scientology (he's a philosophy major and likes knowledge of all sorts). Our daughter leans towards Buddhism and our son talks over our head and I'm not sure what he believes if anything!

We did strive to teach them to think for themselves and not automatically trust authority. It is interesting, and a bit disconcerting, to see how that plays out as they get older (son is 22 and daughter 19)!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
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Default  Posted: 6:52 PM, March 24th (Monday)

Thank God for SI.
Yes, indeed!
I ultimately didn't bother going into church because while I do still have an oddly fond place in my heart for the Catholic church
I understand this. I actually love "old style" Catholic churches. The ornateness, the stained glass windows, the stations of the cross, the sometimes macabre statues. I am enthralled with them. I just enjoy visiting these kind of churches and find serenity there, but not because of "god" but more because of the beauty and the nostalgia and comfort of my childhood. I understand how you may have wanted to go to the church.

catlover, your children sound like very independent thinkers which is a great thing. Really, as parents I feel that is a good goal to try to instill in our children. Good job!

When my two oldest were young, I was still trying to be a "christian". Was attending mostly non-denominational churches. I did want my children to learn about religion, but I didn't want to force them like I was. They were both into "church" for quite awhile. We even had to use not being able to go to church as punishment for our oldest because that was the only thing that she really valued and would feel punished to lose. We only had to ground her once from church. Both chose to be baptized.

When DD went off to college and did study religions, she has changed. I wouldn't say she is quite an atheist, but she is probably leaning that way. Middle DS is very spiritual, but doesn't attend church. I am proud of my children and respect their choices. I didn't want to force them to choose one way or the other or to unduly influence them.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
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Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, March 31st (Monday)

I actually love "old style" Catholic churches. The ornateness, the stained glass windows, the stations of the cross, the sometimes macabre statues. I am enthralled with them.
This. ^^^ Whenever I travel I make it a point to visit old Churches in the area. They are interesting to me from a purely historical/aesthetic aspect.

So, I think that what this thread is best used for (and I could be wrong, someone let me know) is discussing how a lack of belief in a higher power affected your dealing with infidelity. That's not to say that the 'nooks and crannies' of the A/A world is not interesting....it certainly is.

But my assumption is that if someone is on this thread then either don't believe in a deity, or are unsure of one's existence...in either case, I guess I'm assuming that an individual in an infidelity situation who is ANYWHERE on the A/A spectrum who not be one to turn to a deity for comfort, understanding, and guidance.

Thoughts?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, March 31st (Monday)

So, to give a partial reply to the question of where/who/what can we, the AA spectrum, turn to or look for comfort, understanding, and guidance, I think that in some respects, we can still turn to a lot of the same resources that a believer might find when they look for support, understanding and guidance.

Depending on the issues involved, self-healing might require participation in various 12 step programs. While a lot of the newer programs are non-religious and generic in nature, some of the more common programs (Alcoholic Anonymous comes to mind) had a reliance on Christian faith which meant that some of the A/A community felt uncomfortable with.

However, with the rise of the A/A community and a recognition that faith based programs are not the best answer, a lot of new 12 step addiction programs have been specially tailored for the A/A community.

http://www.smartrecovery.org/?gclid=CLrbs7T-vL0CFQ5gMgodpHsA6w

http://aaagnostica.org/alternative-12-steps/

http://www.alcoholics12steps.com/new-hope-for-alcoholics.php

http://www.sossobriety.org/12steps.htm


The need to deal with grief and grieving is a common topic on SI. Whether its grieving the loss of the marriage or the spouse, coming to terms with loss is a common step in the SI community. While a lot of the literature of grief relates to dealing with the loss of a loved one, the grieving process is very similar to that experienced by the WS/BS and the process/practice of working through grief is basically the same.

If your looking for resources that relate to grief and grieving, there is some websites tailed for the A/A community.

https://www.facebook.com/faithfreegriefsupport

http://thegrievingatheist.com/

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/25/7_groups_atheists_can_turn_to_in_times_of_need_partner

HUFI

Edit for sellin

[This message edited by HUFI-PUFI at 10:32 AM, March 31st (Monday)]


Don’t listen to your head, it’s easily confused. Don’t listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3280 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, March 31st (Monday)

I guess I'm assuming that an individual in an infidelity situation who is ANYWHERE on the A/A spectrum who not be one to turn to a deity for comfort, understanding, and guidance.

I was operating under the same assumption. Though I admittedly place all spirituality and supernaturalism under the deity category and it gets confusing when conversation drifts into that territory.

I don't think we should limit the discussion purely to how lack of belief affects infidelity, though obviously that's going to be the central theme. If we did that then Betrayed Men would be shy a ton of excellent, interesting and entertaining contributions.

I bet I can work a star wars rant into this thread.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
h0peless
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Default  Posted: 7:07 PM, March 31st (Monday)

I think my lack of belief in a deity was more difficult for people who wanted to be supportive of me when I was dealing with the worst of it than it was for me. I could tell that they wanted (and some did) to offer me platitudes about "god's plan" and some sort of bullshit inherent balance in the universe. I have to admit that on one of my angrier days, my Mom actually let one of those slip and I went off on a rant including references to the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Boogey Man. I felt awful afterwards because she was just trying to help but I was just so angry at the world and that was my outlet for the anger at that particular moment.

For me, I don't think the process was any more difficult because I don't believe. When I was going through the phase where I was reading every book and trying desperately to understand what the hell was going on, it was tough for me to find good books on the subject that weren't written from a religious viewpoint but otherwise, I don't think it would have been any easier if I believed in some sort of cruel, vindictive higher power.


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
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Default  Posted: 7:26 PM, March 31st (Monday)

I don't think we should limit the discussion purely to how lack of belief affects infidelity, though obviously that's going to be the central theme. If we did that then Betrayed Men would be shy a ton of excellent, interesting and entertaining contributions.
True.

I bet I can work a star wars rant into this thread.
I would never doubt your prodigious powers, sir. In a somewhat-related note, where stand you on the people that un-ironically claim Jedi as their religion?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 7:53 PM, March 31st (Monday)

I think the Jedi thing, sans the tomfoolery of telekinetics, is no more or less silly than any other religious belief. If people want to identify as such then have at, I guess.

I will say from experience those fucking robes do not lend well for mobility. Would have to be the not-fighting, squeal like a terrified rabbit kind of Jedi to wear those things for real.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 8:25 PM, March 31st (Monday)

They look scratchy, too. Like they're made from burlap or hemp.
I think the Jedi thing, sans the tomfoolery of telekinetics, is no more or less silly than any other religious belief. If people want to identify as such then have at, I guess.
I went to the Temple of the Jedi Order website, and they actually have a codified set of beliefs that is kind of interesting. Huh.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 9:46 PM, March 31st (Monday)

I will say on the surface the idea is solid. Though I think the actual SW universe went the wrong direction with it in later stuff - the idea that you should have no emotional ties is inhuman. Though if I was to nerd out, I vaguely recall Luke abolishing that stuff.

The ability to acknowledge and accept emotions without allowing them to overwhelm judgement is a powerful thing. Telekinetics and precognition are cool and all - who the fuck am I kidding, they're awesome - but what the whole detachment from emotions ought to be about is a mastery of the self.

We were just watching the Matrix movies recently and a quote from the Architect seems appropriate:

Which brings us at last to the moment of truth, wherein the fundamental flaw is ultimately expressed, and the Anomaly revealed as both beginning and end. There are two doors. The door to your right leads to the Source and the salvation of Zion. The door to your left leads back to the Matrix, to her and to the end of your species. As you adequately put, the problem is choice. But we already know what you are going to do, don't we? Already I can see the chain reaction: the chemical precursors that signal the onset of an emotion, designed specifically to overwhelm logic and reason. An emotion that is already blinding you to the simple and obvious truth: she is going to die and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.

Setting aside the ridiculousness of the Matrix films - and I note that in a serious discussion of the value of Jedi beliefs in a real world scenario - it's a common theme that one of the things that makes us human are the emotions we feel. The whole Tasha Yar discussion makes me think of Data and his emo chip. Yet for some reason that is never, ever delved into the whole SUPPRESS EMOTIONS thing is what makes you a *good guy* in the Lucas SW universe. I specify that because if you read or play expanded universe titles you'll run into shit like Jedi who are very obviously the bad guys while some still young and idealistic Sith is trying to save people and shit.

Though really when you get right down to it, the Jedi thing is just a simplified westernized version of certain fundamental concepts from eastern spiritual ideologies, I guess.

Sorry, that probably wandered.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
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Default  Posted: 10:17 PM, March 31st (Monday)

Jolee Bindo?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, April 1st (Tuesday)

Nice catch. I was thinking of some more extreme examples though, like Jedi Masters in the Clone Wars series telling people to get over being sad about close friends or apprentices dying.

In Bindo's defense, he was wandering around with that asshole Revan. Who in turn was basically a puppet of the Sith Emperor and never realized it.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
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Default  Posted: 8:25 AM, April 2nd (Wednesday)

In my estimation, for the Jedi it was less about rugsweeping or ignoring the feelings and more about having processed them ahead of time. As in, they inherently recognize that people they know are one day going to die....it's almost like they skip all the other steps of healing from pain....they are just in a permanent state of acceptance. It does come off a little cold, and there are still some aspects where the line gets blurry between Sith and Jedi. I mean, Obi-wan letting Vader kill him is one of the most passively 'accepting' things I can remember happening, but there're lots of other scenarios where the Jedi fight against their fate as opposed to accepting it. I get the vibe that I haven't read as much of the EU stuff as you, but I've read a decent amount.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
SisterMilkshake
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Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

Opinions on this would be appreciated. Do you feel that a lack of belief in god of some sort excludes the possibility of an afterlife? How about a soul?


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
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Default  Posted: 1:40 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

Do you feel that a lack of belief in god of some sort excludes the possibility of an afterlife?

So I read in here sometimes, but I don't ever feel like I have anything really good to contribute. I'm at best a waffling agnostic. I went to Jewish preschool, Catholic grade school, attended Presbyterian church by choice as a teenager... and with all that I still feel in the core of my being that no human has the actual capacity to understand our origins or the big picture.

I do care about spiritual things, but I don't have lot of personal answers to offer. I like prayer, but I'm not sure what it means, or if it means anything at all. My definition of "God" resembles a paragraph out of a physics textbook. I believe in a shared energy, but I can't in good conscience subscribe to organized religion. I want to get my daughter baptized Episcopalian because it runs in my family, but I can't make the commitment that the church wants me to because I simply don't believe a lot of the foundation. I love the message that many religions spread about doing right by others, and encouraging the community to take care of each other. I just have to draw the line at faith.

I think about your question a lot, SisterMilkshake. I've been reading a lot of Brian Green, and right now I feel pretty solid about the concept of infinite universes and infinite realities. I think that this human experience is more of an appendage to existence than the beginning or end of it. Whereas when I die Jrazz the person will cease to exist, it makes sense to me that my energy, as well as my physical components will reinvest in the big picture in some way that I can't yet define or picture. Maybe it's heaven. Maybe I'm a ladybug on a planet that's purple with three orange suns fifty billion years from now. My entire background, both religious and scientific, tells me that this isn't the end of the stop at all. That thought brings me peace.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 1:50 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

Great questions, Sister. As an agnostic who grew up in a devout and rigid Christian household, there will always be a part of me that wants to believe in an afterlife and a soul. At times I wish I could turn to religion, but I can't change my beliefs because of what I want. On the other hand, no one can disprove to me that there is an afterlife and a soul. Until someone disproves that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I will hold on to the hope that I have that there is an afterlife and a soul. For me, personally, sometimes holding on to hope is the best I can do. Some folks would argue that happiness is the opposite of despair. I tend to believe that hope is the opposite of despair. That's what I hold on to when it comes to these topics.

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Default  Posted: 2:06 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

Even though my post was 10 minutes after yours, I totally cross posted there with you, Razz! Took me awhile to respond because I was typing my response and making pancakes at the same time.

I like your use of the word "peace" in your response. Peace is something I've been trying to bring more and more into my life. That's something I need to actively focus on a bit more, I think.


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Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

I can''t answer for anyone else, but for me I do not believe in a deity nor any kind of supernatural afterlife , nor a soul in any form as traditionally conceived.

I understand that I''m matter, and the "stuff" I''m physically composed will return to the universe at the subatomic level. I do not believe that my consciousness will survive after my brain is dead, in any form whatsoever. So...that''s where I stand on that.

Like Jrazz said, I can admire the good works that people do in the name of their faith, but I credit it more to their individual character than their piousness.

I go to a discussion group/coffee meet-up every two weeks with a group of about 10 atheists/agnostics from my area, and it''s a pretty diverse set of opinions, but it''s nice to have that base understanding of one another from the jump.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
catlover50
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Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

My beliefs are similar to Ascendent's. And I am completely at peace with that. I try to live my life fully and with minimal regrets. I try not to put off experiencing adventure and joy till "the future" and make it a point as much as possible to express love. For me, for now, that's enough.

On that note, stuck on a runway coming back from the Master's golf tournament. Plane sucks, tournament was awesome!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
Want2help
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Default  Posted: 11:45 PM, April 13th (Sunday)

I understand that I'm matter, and the "stuff" I'm physically composed will return to the universe at the subatomic level. I do not believe that my consciousness will survive after my brain is dead, in any form whatsoever. So...that's where I stand on that.

I second that. It never bothered me, even after losing a parent, until my daughter was born. Now it makes me incredibly sad. I would love to have the comfort of believing in an afterlife, where I will one day spend eternity with her and my FWH.

Also, how did I never notice this board before? I am so happy to know this is here!


BS- me.
FWS- him.
DDay 6/07 (immediately separated)
RDay 8/07
OC born 3/08
OC Adopted 2014

Reconciled


Posts: 2316 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: PNW
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 5:03 PM, April 14th (Monday)

In my estimation, for the Jedi it was less about rugsweeping or ignoring the feelings and more about having processed them ahead of time. As in, they inherently recognize that people they know are one day going to die....it's almost like they skip all the other steps of healing from pain....they are just in a permanent state of acceptance. It does come off a little cold, and there are still some aspects where the line gets blurry between Sith and Jedi. I mean, Obi-wan letting Vader kill him is one of the most passively 'accepting' things I can remember happening, but there're lots of other scenarios where the Jedi fight against their fate as opposed to accepting it. I get the vibe that I haven't read as much of the EU stuff as you, but I've read a decent amount.

I know this goes back a couple weeks now but I just spotted it, sorry.

You're right, and that's how I always felt it ought to work. Even in the Clone Wars series they did recently, they did some pretty cold shit. At one point the two padawans are trapped beneath a collapsed building and the episode is around Anakin refusing to just let it go while the other Master is telling him he has to. I thought it was a pretty good demonstration that being at peace with shit like that can be a detriment - as in letting go immediately, or never being attached enough in the first place meant that lack of connection could be lethal indifference.

wrt Vader vs. Kenobi, Kenobi knew he was gonna become a force ghost so I think it was less about acceptance of his fate there and more about his moving into a different place that he felt was better suited to what he was planning.

Unrelated, we just watched the last episode of Clone Wars. There was a brief discussion between Yoda and Darth Bane, which wasn't all that amazing but I got a kick out of the two characters having a chat.

Opinions on this would be appreciated. Do you feel that a lack of belief in god of some sort excludes the possibility of an afterlife? How about a soul?

I guess that depends on the definition of life and awareness.

I can't see how a lack of belief in gods or souls would exclude the possibility of a continued, albeit altered state of consciousness.

With the knowledge currently available though, I am with Ascendant. We go back to being the stuff stars are made of.


eta:

Also, this is some crazy cool shit:

https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/ed7ed0f304a3

[This message edited by StillGoing at 5:10 PM, April 14th (Monday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 8:02 PM, April 14th (Monday)

I would love to have the comfort of believing in an afterlife, where I will one day spend eternity with her and my FWH.

Here's what I think. If you count yourself as your collection of memories, you're probably out of luck for a personality-specific afterlife.

The thing is, weren't we all once sharing a marble-sized ball of space - just before the big bang? We're comprised more of space than of matter, and if you follow widely accepted scientific views of the cosmos, we were all shoulder to shoulder bajillions of years ago. Your atoms, your daughter's, your FWH's - they were all closer than you are right at this moment. So, even if we don't reincarnate as ourselves or something similar, there was likely a point in time where you were close - and there's no reason why it can't happen again.

Where I'm at right now with reading and mulling, I have a hard time believing that anything in this existence is a one shot deal. Here's the thing - where did matter come from? There are three possibilities to the origin - it was either created, it was there all along (infinite universe) or it doesn't exist at all. My fingers and keyboard are proving to you right now that SOMETHING exists, so the nothing part of the equation doesn't add up. You're posting in this thread because you reject the idea of a divine creator, so that's out. What's left? It's always been here, which also means it always will.

We're built like humans with senses and emotions and memories, but our components can take up an array of physical iterations. If there's an infinite amount of iterations available to all matter, it stands to reason that we can occur again and again and again, we'll just be starting from scratch each time. Therefore, if you call anything that happens after we die an afterlife, this idea means that you DO get to be with them again and again. (It also means that at some point you're a clown made out of candy... but we don't have to go there now. )

[This message edited by Jrazz at 8:04 PM, April 14th (Monday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 8:07 PM, April 14th (Monday)

Heh, Jrazz - the link I posted is "A Mathematical Proof That The Universe Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing"

So there's an option D.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 8:08 PM, April 14th (Monday)

I wasn't sure about the link, but I will look at it jusssssssst for you...


ETA: So... according to quantum potential... there may not even be a cat in Schrodinger's box? I think that we're overlooking the very significant Billy Preston Theory:

Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin' if you wanna be with me


Seriously though, I see how this is a quick fix to the whole cosmological constant part of the equation, but I still don't accept that "nothing" on the cause side can produce an effect. Now, I think that your answer DOES fit in with a theological-meets-scientific theory type answer. Perhaps that was the day that our matter hit the petri dish?


[This message edited by Jrazz at 8:15 PM, April 14th (Monday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 9:44 PM, April 14th (Monday)

It's not a quick fix. It's the math behind an already existing explanation. It doesn't have much of anything to do with theology since it kind of shows that quantum fluctuations mean something can come out of nothing, without calling it god. Which is really just the same thing but with no math.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, April 14th (Monday)

I think we're in agreement... if you're on board with "something from nothing = god" It may not be a man in a cloud, but it fits every other description.

It still seems to make more sense to me, in my limited and humble opinion, that there are physical concepts that just plain elude us because of our sensory limitations.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 10:37 PM, April 14th (Monday)

that there are physical concepts that just plain elude us because of our sensory limitations
Like magnets...how do THEY work?!?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 10:39 PM, April 14th (Monday)

Ascendant, if you're alluding to the fact that we HAVE made sense of the not-immediately-visible, well... duh. I'm not talking about electromagnetism, or up quarks even. I think that things can get a lot more complicated than our capacity to compute despite our advanced discoveries.

Still Going - Confession - I'm mostly fighting your nothing theory because it's not as warm and fuzzy as my everything theory.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 10:50 PM, April 14th (Monday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 11:41 PM, April 14th (Monday)

I was just being silly, Jrazz. This conversation reminded me of this: http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/fucking-magnets-how-do-they-work

Not mocking, Jrazz.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 11:50 PM, April 14th (Monday)

I should hope the hell not - my wrath is terrifying to behold. #brutesquadcalledoff

I hope our ruminations on cosmic origins haven't t/j'd too much. I like the idea of community accountability and integrity being an agreed upon way to behave, but it can sometimes be hard without an "absolute power" to back your campaign. I really like that this thread explores why we can still subscribe to goodness without some kind of dogma attached.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 11:51 PM, April 14th (Monday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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outside4me
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Default  Posted: 12:05 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I think that we're overlooking the very significant Billy Preston Theory:

Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'
You gotta have somethin' if you wanna be with me


Fucking brilliant!
Tangent coming, somewhat of a t/j, but hear me out. Just watched "A Concert for George" the George Harrison tribute on youtube, where Billy Preston sings My Sweet Lord. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELOe3f-hihc

Could be we're just a fart in the windstorm of life, but "I really wanna see you, I really wanna know you" resonates to this hopeful agnostic (I like that Waffle House agnostic category mentioned earlier, too!).

Total t/j: check out that concert!

[This message edited by outside4me at 12:13 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 218 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Colorado
SisterMilkshake
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Default  Posted: 8:01 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)

Thanks to all who shared their thoughts on the afterlife. I appreciate it. Have no idea what I believe anymore. Or don't believe.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 8:35 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)

It still seems to make more sense to me, in my limited and humble opinion, that there are physical concepts that just plain elude us because of our sensory limitations.

I agree with this more than you can guess. I ramble at my wife at length and her eyes glaze over when I jabber about the possibility that the top speed of massless particles is really about a state change where they can no longer 'exist' within the observable universe, or how based on this quantum fluctuation bubble the number of universes and their appearance and disappearance is infinite - but these are things we're likely never to have a direct line into unless we somehow manage to create tools that can delve between that shit.

I said the "something from nothing = god" as an example of a stop-thought, where god is just an answer that keeps us from further investigation. The quantum fluctuation thing - something from nothing - is fascinating because it really does give serious weight to the idea of a multiverse, even moreso than that weird shit going on with dark flow.

I understand not liking it because it doesn't provide a whole lot of comfort, but I will admit to the same from the other direction - the idea that something created me and then dropped me in a pile of shit on purpose isn't any less appealing than being some kind of petri dish experiment on my way to the intergalactic freezer.

I honestly don't feel that these things are beyond our comprehension - it's been less than a century that we understood that there was shit outside the Milky Way itself and that there were other galaxies out there. Getting there is trippy though - we need to figure out the bits and pieces that let us build bigger bits and pieces that fit together to make even bigger bits and pieces, and so on. Dark matter and black hole radiation aren't inexplicable but they're fucking weird (or Spooky as Neil de Grasse says, that guy is awesome) enough that we don't fully grasp it yet. When we do I am sure we will understand a bunch of shit that was incomprehensible before, and get a gander at a whole new crop of crazy bullshit.

I hope we don't figure everything out. The universe would get real boring.

eta:

tl;dr - "nothing" and "everything" are interchangeable where infinity is concerned.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 8:37 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Newlease
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Default  Posted: 8:38 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I once took an online "test" to see which religion fit my core beliefs. The answer was Paganism, which I know nothing about. I think I'm a waffling agnostic. I'm not big on any organized religion, but I dabble in Buddism - I dig their belief system, but find it extremely hard to practice.

As for an afterlife, I would like to believe that energy lives on, in some form which is unknowable to us. I don't fear death - I believe it is the "next big adventure" and I find it so strange that some of my very devout Christian friends seem to fear not just death, but fully living life.

I think that whatever happens after our life is done is unknowable. And I think that I need to live this life as fully as possible - without fear - only asking the universe for strength to endure what needs to be endured, and peace with whatever comes. I try to put good into the universe as my contribution to this life.

Thanks to everyone for sharing without judgment.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

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Default  Posted: 11:04 AM, April 15th (Tuesday)

Took the words right outta my brain, Newlease. I'm right there with you.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 12:32 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

[...]I dabble in Buddism - I dig their belief system, but find it extremely hard to practice.
This is me all day. I would love to be able to be calm and serene and accepting, but I find it a nigh-impossible task to be that...still....of both mind and body, especially while my brain is doing this:
As such, if [I'm] in the middle of some particularly important mental task, and [my] eye should happen to light upon... a doorknob, for instance, it's like someone burst into the room, clad in pink feathers and heralded by trumpets, screaming HEY LOOK EVERYONE, IT'S A DOORKNOB! LOOK AT IT! LOOK! IT OPENS THE DOOR IF YOU TURN IT! ISN'T THAT NEAT? I WONDER HOW THAT ACTUALLY WORKS DO YOU SUPPOSE THERE'S A CAM OR WHAT? MAYBE ITS SOME KIND OF SPRING WINCH AFFAIR ALTHOUGH THAT SEEMS KIND OF UNWORKABLE.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Razor
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Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I didnt know this was here. Kinda of surprised considering the no religion - no politics rules.

Not sure if Im a literal agnostic or atheist though. Personally my view is that no one knows whats out there. So we may as well believe whatever brings us comfort. As long as our beliefs harm no one else.

Too often I see news about preachers that are busy buggering little boys. Awhile back a preacher got caught in an apartment with a male prostitute and a pile of cocaine. These guys were all preaching one way but acting in the opposite way.

Personally I feel that any thing where people are involved gets corrupted eventually. And I dont care what you worship. Who you are is determined on what you do in life. Not which building you walk into on Sunday.

It just seems that in this world those that do bad things are more often rewarded than those that do good things. So if there were a god then maybe hes behind that. Maybe this god dude is not a nice fellow. Or maybe we have the whole *good* definition completely wrong?

Weve all been betrayed. Humiliated. And abused. WHY did that happen? Was it *gods plan*? WTF! I would guess that far and away most of us are good people. We were faithful. We honored our vows. We have not acted in any overt way that would hurt our spouse or anyone else. So WHY is this *gods plan* for us? Hell. If I werent an atheist before I would be one after this sh!t storm blew into my life.

But some people get comfort from their faith. And I have no problem with that. As I said. As long as you dont hurt anyone else Ive got no problem.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


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Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

Yeah, Razor, I think that's where the 'support group' thing comes into play. I'm pretty sure people are allowed to mention their religion (or relative lack thereof, for those of us in hurr) we're just not supposed to debate or disparage other people's religion(s). I'm pretty sure that's where the line is; though, if a Mod or Guide is reading this and I have that wrong, feel free to correct me. I prefer to stay on *this side* of the dreaded pirate flag...

But yeah, Razor, regarding your points...I feel much the same concerning people's capacity for atrocious actions, as well as for altruistic ones. When I see an individual's behaviors, I chalk them up to the content of their character, not to whatever set of beliefs they follow or endorse. I don't look at a Christian person, or a Hindu person, or whatever, and chalk up their good (or bad) behaviors to their 'team', so to speak.

That being said, for some people, their religious backgrounds did figure into their upbringing and character formation, and that's fine. Religious upbringing is, to me anyway, like any other FOO topic...we acknowledge the role it played in helping/hurting an individual's decision-making process, while still holding that individual fully accountable for their actions, both good and bad. The individual gets both the credit, as well as the blame.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Tred
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Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I agree with Ascendent - I've never looked at this place to argue who is right/wrong but as another "I can relate" to how you are feeling because I have sympathetic views. I hope people don't come to this read looking to debate religion or lack thereof, as I doubt that is supporting anyone. I actually don't post most of my thoughts for exactly that reason - I don't want to provoke someone into trying to explain to me why I'm incorrect about my "belief".

I've had this discussion with my doctor, because one of the "techniques" for overcoming trauma is giving it to a higher power. That tip doesn't work for me, and she might as well try to convince me to give over my cares to Odin. So we don't use that technique in my therapy .


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

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Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

[...]because one of the "techniques" for overcoming trauma is giving it to a higher power. That tip doesn't work for me[...]
Same here, Tred. I've just learned that when you hear that kind of talk in a clinical setting, it really just means to let go of the illusion of control. It's not always helpful, though, because for some counselors (and books), the 'turn to a higher power' aspect becomes more involved and religion-ey as they go on...which is where they lose me. I had the problem with "Co-Dependent No More".
[...]and she might as well try to convince me to give over my cares to Odin.
Only, and only if, I get a giant fucking hammer and a piece of the tesseract.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

we're just not supposed to debate or disparage other people's religion(s)

^^This. Let's please keep it in mind.

Personally, I think that somebody else's God is just as real as my waffling. I don't have an answer, so how can I tell someone else they're wrong?

[This message edited by Jrazz at 4:08 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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catlover50
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Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

Ascendent; I have been trying to work on meditating, but haven't found the space to sit and relax my mind; also have the whirling thoughts, especially now.

I read recently about meditative breath, which they say you can even do when walking or running, which may be more my speed.

My daughter gave me a Buddhist book, which I read, but am not quite ready to completely live in the present; the past has too much shit to work out still.

I do find that I can sometimes concentrate on just the taste of the melon I'm eating or the wine that I'm drinking, and it's amazing how much more rich and full it is. Trying to just be "present", if only for a moment.

edited to correct the person's post I was referencing.

[This message edited by catlover50 at 4:17 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
sisoon
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Default  Posted: 4:36 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

T/J - in 2.5 hours, I'm going to a seder to celebrate Pesach and the Exodus, the story of which is largely contradicted by the archeological record.

Of course, a holiday dedicated to freedom and treating foreigners/strangers well is not to be sneered at....

End T/J


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

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outside4me
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Default  Posted: 5:37 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I've attended several seders. The entire meal is to remind you of the Jews suffering, and boy they don't mess around. Gefiltefish especially (fish spam!). That said, there was a lot of wine drinking (we cheated and stayed away from the Maneshevitz and Mogen David... that stuff is like KoolAid) and I've always had a pretty good time. Plenty of drinking for the adults, and a game for the kids as part of the ceremony. I admired the combination of those intermingled with the telling of the story.

Hope they have something tasty to eat after the ceremony, Sisson. My BIL would always cook up a yummy beef brisket to reward me for enduring all the yucky food during the ceremony.


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Default  Posted: 6:21 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

Have a fantastic seder, sisoon!

I love the rich cultural traditions that is interwoven in the Jewish faith. Well, many faiths for that matter. That's part of why I still try to keep up with peripheral participation when I don't feel like a raging hypocrite.

My art teacher in high school always invited me to Passover, and I felt so lucky to share that meal with everyone. They didn't judge the fact that I didn't share their faith.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 6:25 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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h0peless
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Default  Posted: 9:01 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I was always jealous of my Jewish friends growing up. Their religious experience seemed to have a lot to do with joy and having fun. Mine involved healthy amounts of judgment, hypocrisy, pretension and what I'm finally coming to grips with as a sexual assault when I was 5 that my Mom swept under the rug. So not so joyous there.

Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 9:56 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I've always appreciated the positive sense of history and familial closeness that some people have experienced through their religion. That sort of experience is a good thing, no matter how it arrives at your door step.

One thing I've noticed is that the infidelity seems to tend to push people a little more in whatever direction they were already leaning. There are plenty of people (BS/WS alike) who turn to their faith in a more substantive way than they did prior to the affairs, and the people who were perhaps on the fence about their lack of belief seem to concretize that disbelief. It's almost as if our more religious brethren need a reason for all this madness(i.e. god's plan), and us non-believers trend towards believing that there was no 'reason' for this, it was just dumb randomness of the worst kind. That's not a criticism of the religious mode of thinking, it's just a completely different approach to the same common issue. Those are my observations, anyway. You guys might disagree.

ETA: I just wanted to say that I'm really happy this thread is chugging along.

[This message edited by Ascendant at 9:57 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
outside4me
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Default  Posted: 11:17 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

and what I'm finally coming to grips with as a sexual assault when I was 5 that my Mom swept under the rug. So not so joyous there.
Oh man, that's horrible! My condolences, h0peless.

Frontline did a Secrets of the Vatican piece recently that addressed both the financial and pederast scandals: http://video.pbs.org/video/2365187642/ I totally agree with Razor's comment that anything involving humans gets corrupted eventually!


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h0peless
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Default  Posted: 11:35 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

It wasn't an adult in my case. It was an older boy who held me down in the bathroom, hit my face with his penis and peed all over me. I don't remember if there was any sort of penetration, but I was 5. It was during a Wednesday Night youth group and my Mom wouldn't take me home because she didn't want to bother the pastor who lived in the rectory right next door.

I love my Mom but 28 or so years later, I'm still pretty pissed at her for that one. She still won't have a conversation with me about it.

ETA: I have never told anybody about this and only person I have ever tried to talk to about it is my Mom. I was just a little kid. There was nothing I could do about it but for some reason, I still, as an almost 33 year old man, feel shame about it. I don't know why I finally feel like processing it now but for some reason, this thread feels like the safest place to do it without someone trying to slip in a religious platitude or two.

[This message edited by h0peless at 11:44 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
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Default  Posted: 11:41 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

Yeah, man, that''s pretty fucked up. Awful stuff. You ever spoken to a therapist about it?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
h0peless
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Default  Posted: 11:43 PM, April 15th (Tuesday)

I actually edited my post above. I have never spoken to a soul other than my mother about it. Just finally trying to work through some of MY issues. I might get back into therapy this summer.

Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Want2help
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Default  Posted: 12:01 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

hopeless, I'm sorry. It is those moments when our power is stolen that stay with us the most. I hope you work through it.

It's almost as if our more religious brethren need a reason for all this madness(i.e. god's plan), and us non-believers trend towards believing that there was no 'reason' for this, it was just dumb randomness of the worst kind.

This is the case for me. On good days, I could still consider myself agnostic… then my father's death (raising me to raise my young sibling), which snowballed into my FWH's infidelity, which resulted in an OC with a "Catholic" girl who named OC a word whose synonym is "fate" because OW said having FWH's baby was her "destiny"… throw in an education in science, and >BOOM<, an atheist was born.


BS- me.
FWS- him.
DDay 6/07 (immediately separated)
RDay 8/07
OC born 3/08
OC Adopted 2014

Reconciled


Posts: 2316 | Registered: Aug 2008 | From: PNW
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Default  Posted: 12:19 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Damn, h0peless... I'm so sorry. People can be pretty fucked up, regardless of age. The way your mom handled it sounds like the way my mom handled a lot of things... it hurts and makes you feel pretty alone.

Well, you're not alone here. I'm glad you felt comfortable sharing. We're all here for you.

(((h0peless)))


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
sisoon
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Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

On a clarifying and, I guess, defensive note, the seders I've attended (last night included) emphasize the slavery/freedom aspect of the exodus much more than the oppression of Jews aspect. Also we reflect some on the conditions we live today in with significant gratitude. We also discussed Biblical slavery vs. US slavery. (Not flattering to the US.)

Oppression certainly plays a part, especially last night, in light of the guy in Overland who killed 2 people.

25 years ago, the leader (same host as last night) asked us which plague we'd be most willing to endure ourselves. His 11 year old stepson had an answer immediately - death of the firstborn son. It turned out he was the only non-first born at the table, and he was fighting with his older brother....

Passover always reminds me that we always have to be vigilant in defense of freedom.

I've moved back and forth in relation to my religion since 12/10, but the knowledge that vigilance is essential has just grown stronger.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:56 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)]


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10430 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
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Default  Posted: 11:44 AM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I have noticed that a life event such as we all have endured as BS oftimes drives people into religion or some other similar belief structure.

For example. Back in the 70's my best friend had his fiance cheat on him. It was a really horrible situation where he came home and caught her with 2 guys in bed with her. It really messed up his mind.

He became reclusive. Attempted suicide. And eventually got very heavily involved in a group called EST.

It took maybe 5 or 6 years but he finally was able to move on and get his life back.

Still though I think allot of people try and find some kind of comfort in groups like EST or with religious orders. Maybe even cults. Its as if they are looking for a reason this thing happened to them. Looking to make sense of the nonsense that happened to them.

Im not sure I have a point in bringing this up. Just an observation of what Ive seen people do.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


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Maxiom
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Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

We also discussed Biblical slavery vs. US slavery. (Not flattering to the US.)

Kind of a t/j but Torah/Bible apologetics on this issue are obscene. I am sure slaves in biblical times were treated with the same level of brutality if not worse. US christian slave owners used the same blueprint as many in the early common era for the owning of slaves. That being the books of Exodus and Leviticus.

Exodus gives carte blanche on beating your slaves.. as long as they don't die within a couple of days.. you're golden. You don't think Hebrews of antiquity wouldn't have followed that to the letter?

Both the bible and Torah have seen revisions over the years. Changing the name of the slave to servant, doesn't make the described any less of a slave.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
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Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

***Posting as a member***

The purpose of this thread is to support each other through non-religious means, it's not to pick apart other people's doctrines/beliefs.

I was enjoying conversing about how to cope with social themes and existence without religion. I am losing my taste for posting here as the "Here's what's wrong with religion in general" posts are ramping up. It's one thing if it's anecdotal to something we're experiencing, but we're not here to argue the validity of a faith in general.

Can we please keep it positive and supportive of our own beliefs?


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Red  Posted: 12:22 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Maxiom and others...

Please follow the general theme of this thread. It's not here to debate religious ideas or lecture about the bible.

If you can't post within the theme of this thread than please stay off it.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 12:23 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


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Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Yeah. Its not about bashing the beliefs of others. Whatever works for any person out there should be encouraged. *what ever gets you through the night* as the song goes... Being a agnostic/atheist can be difficult because we lack the support structure that religion (etc) offer. We are left to our own devices.

My friend coped with what happened to him by joining EST. And while I dont agree with the views of EST it helped my friend. Having that structure helped him and so its all good in my view.

This whole subject can be like *dancing on the edge of a sword* (borrowed from the Zoroastrian religion). Its dangerous.

Its not just western religions although they are the most common here. Pretty much all religions offer a support structure to help people get through tragedy and pain. And were pretty much left with *lifes a bitch and then you die*. We lack that support structure.

I feel this is a really good thread for us. BUT it would be so easy for it all to fly off the rails. So maybe we should try and talk more about our coping with this pain and less about the beliefs of others.

Has anyone read Platos Republic? Its all about why bad people are rewarded in life and good people are punished. I dont really feel that Plato argued effectively. His whole view boiled down to. *People usually start out with good intentions. But in time everything turns to shit.* And the reason we should always try to do good is that in the afterlife we are punished for our evil deeds. Maybe he borrowed that POV from the Egyptian religions. I dont know.

The thing is that shit happens. And there just doesnt seem to be any reason or justification for it. Maybe were all incarnations of Job. Who knows. Maybe its all some big joke.

Personally I have adopted the belief that we are here on this earth and in this life to learn / experience something. Through being betrayed we are learning something about trust and courage and commitment.

Thats about all I can come up with.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Tred
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Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Being a agnostic/atheist can be difficult

Reminds me of an old joke...

What's the worst part about being an atheist? There's no one to talk to when you are having an orgasm.


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

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Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Good thread. I am a lifelong atheist. Grew up in an atheistic family. I went through my stages of incredulity at otherwise rational adults believing in an anthropomorphic god, followed by hostility toward believers (part of my adolescent hostility toward everything :-), and now in middle age I am largely just mildly intrigued at the phenomenon of organized belief in what to me is clear myth and superstition.

I have never been of the "I wish I could believe" sort. I don't believe, I can't, and I never will. If doing so makes you happy, that's nice. I believe life is short, unpredictable, and then we are nonexistent for eternity. Meanwhile, let's do what we can to find happiness and try to be nice to other people.

But don't tell me I need religion or faith in the supernatural to accomplish either of these.

Shrug.


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


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Default  Posted: 1:12 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I was raised in a religious family. Irish Catholic. My mother was a firm believer. And you know what they say about the *hand that rocks the cradle*.

Its funny how the beliefs were raised with stick with us. For me. Even though I dont follow the faith I was raised with anymore. I maintain allot of the ethic of it.

Chief among these is the rule that D is not allowed. If you choose your spouse badly. Well. Your screwed. And that morality or whatever you want to call it is what kept me in the M after WWs LTA.

D was just morally wrong in my heart. Even though in my mind I could rationalize it. I just could not do it because of that moral teaching from my youth.

If WW acts out again I feel I will HAVE TO D. She will be forcing me into it. I swallowed my pride and my pain once. But I cant do it again.

For me its a struggle against the morals I was raised with as a child vs what I believe now. Its kinda a schizophrenic thing. And a bitch to deal with.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


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Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

@ GabTred

SHAME on you.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Maxiom
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Default  Posted: 1:58 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

My apologies. What frustrates me to no end is the hypocrisy and I’m well aware that theists aren’t the only ones susceptible to that. But there are just too many willing to totally ignore their own morality and supplant with that of <insert holy book here> yet when it comes to their own behavior well then …that particular business about adultery.. and bearing false witness.. well that really doesn’t apply to me.

Razor has an excellent point too. On the other side of the coin are the deeply hurt betrayed and devout theists. Who hold on to their faith and personal beliefs about marriage so much so that it seems they are a complete prisoner to those beliefs. To add injury would be the waywards in these cases who leverages this belief into this nice cake-eating extravaganza. That is simply too painful to watch. I certainly don’t wish to call anyone out, but there are a couple of posters where I have had to avoid reading their threads altogether.
The baggage that comes with being a betrayed spouse is already heavy enough without adding any religious belief to the equation.


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

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Default  Posted: 2:24 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I certainly don’t wish to call anyone out, but there are a couple of posters where I have had to avoid reading their threads altogether.

People have triggered reading things from every vantage point of the rainbow here as well as IRL. I really think this can go without saying.

We have a space here in this thread to talk about the kind of support we need and to try and give it to each other.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 2:25 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Razor
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Default  Posted: 2:28 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

I think most (maybe all) religions offer a pretty decent set of morals. My problem comes when devoted religious people blatantly disregard the morals of their own religion. But you know that could be anyone. Religious or not. I mean how common is it that people talk one way be do something else all together?

As a tangent. One of my good friends met his wife through a church group / bible study. The humorous/odd/weird thing here is that her job was being a stripper at a local mens club. And she would on occasion have sex with some customer for money. I really dont know how that balances with her religious beliefs. Maybe its fine. I simply do not know. But it just seems strange to me.

But I have no problem with religion or religious people. Some of my best friends are very religious. For many religion offers a framework of morals and support that are beneficial. Of course in the case of being a BS even those firmly religious question *gods will*. But they have support and that helps them get through the rough parts of life. Kudos to them I say.

Without the crutch of religion dealing with being a BS is much tougher. We dont have that framework. And that sorta leaves us swinging in the breeze. We have to find our own way of making sense of our situation on our own.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Tred
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Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 2:54 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)

Ha! Thanks Razzie - most people don't get that joke


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

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Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 8:59 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

I think it's important, for TOS reasons and just to stay on topic, to be mindful of keeping the focus on "my personally bad experience with religion", when it comes up as absolutely necessary within the context of your specific infidelity situation, as opposed to "I don't like religion as a whole; here's why".

If your WS starts suddenly hiding behind their religion as a way to rugsweep the affair (i.e. I'm already forgiven, etc.), then I think it's a valid criticism of that specific person to say that you think that they are abusing their specific religion for purposes of rugsweeping. What's NOT cool, I think, is to look at your specific situation and say, "Oh, my WS is using their religion as an excuse for X/Y/Z, and hence that religion is 'bad' or people who follow it are 'bad'. I know Jrazz (and maybe DS) will prolly read this, so again, let me know if I'm wrong at any point.

I recognize that for some in the A/A community, they reach that place of disbelief (on some level, anyway) because of some bad or even horrific experiences entangled with religion and/or religious people. As such, for people in those situations it's understandably difficult to separate the two. My wife falls into that camp, actually. She had some bad, judgmental experiences very early on that have colored her views on organized religion. Some of us, like myself, reach that place without those sorts of traumas....the religious aspects of life just never 'clicked' for us.

I also think that when we scapegoat the religion of the person who does hurtful things, like cheating, it cheapens the level of personal responsibility we assign to them. It's no different from saying "Oh, it wasn't them, it was the booze/pills/abuse/AP/etc." It shifts the onus of responsibility off the person who did the actions to something/someone else.

I'm sure there are plenty of us in here who have differing levels of acceptance and issues with major religions and the associated beliefs...but this isn't the right forum (or even site) to get into that. There are plenty of those out there if you just google "atheist"....you will find them.

I'd hate for someone for who doesn't get any solace from the religious perspective, but isn't hostile to religion either, to not want to post here because they're not as vehement or hard-line as other people are.

I apologize if this comes off as 'preachy' somewhat...I really like having this space to talk about this stuff and bounce things off of people, and I'd hate for myself (and others) to lose it because we couldn't stop ourselves from devolving into a religion-bashing session.

ETA: Also, I'm pretty sure it's cool to say what your (non-religious, I assume) beliefs are and why they connect with you and guide you, provided that you're not using them in a manner so as to disparage other religions.

[This message edited by Ascendant at 9:27 AM, April 17th (Thursday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

I believe in crystal light.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
outside4me
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Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

Hehehe

Posts: 218 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Colorado
Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 10:19 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

I believe in crystal light.
Me too, but that's because I've played wayyyy too much of every Final Fantasy ever, where in every other installment the macguffin is a crystal of some sort.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Razor
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Default  Posted: 11:07 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

So if its not *gods will* or karma or a spiritual test or something we need to learn from. Why did we end up being betrayed?

I would hazard to guess that most of us are good folks. We dont steal or murder or rape. So the first question is. Does being betrayed in marriage happen equally to good and bad people?

No way to know the answer to that. But Id guess its equal. And therefore random. So there is no hand guiding what happens. Its a dead stick as they say.

How can we make sense of what seem to be random acts? Why and how did this happen to us?

I dunno. I think it would be much easier to deal with if there were a guiding hand. A reason that we were (in effect) punished for doing no wrong.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 11:21 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

Let it be noted that for ONCE in the history of SI, Jrazz wasn't the one who brought up video games first. #triforce

Seriously though, I'm not the judge of the tone of this thread. I commented as a member because I felt like getting out of the pool for a while but wanted to give it one more shot. Don't anyone be intimidated that I can call the owner of this website at her home at 2am and ask for favors.

I'm kidding, of course.

Something I was thinking about while picking through posts yesterday - I think that it's interesting that SI is likened to a religion (ok cult) often. If you think about it, we choose to come here knowing that there are a set of guidelines that we are expected to follow explicitly and people with the power to enforce them. We are all aware that one size does not fit all in terms of our journey through life, but we feel very strongly about how to handle a lot of life situations and are constantly trying to sort through what's universally agreed upon - and conversely which subsections agree to the different options and why.

I guess I'm just saying that it seems to me that humans feel compelled to congregate and make sense of their situations based on a community solution. (I majored in anthro in college, so I tend to pick EVERYTHING I participate in apart.) Whether we're born into a community or we choose one, it feels like we're all seeking some affirmation that we're not alone.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
outside4me
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Default  Posted: 11:24 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

One of the fundamental tenants of Buddhism is: Life Is Suffering. Once you make your peace with that, then growth can occur. Getting past the idea of fair/unfair, reward/punishment, if you will.

If I take this notion and couple it with spiritual mystery, it comes out looking to me like life is a spiritual bootcamp, an obstacle course to test ourselves and become better souls. If I look at it without the spirituality then it looks like we're just a fart in the windstorm of life. Either way, I really have no clue!

Maybe being the victim of infidelity helps to teach us to place our trust carefully and protect ourselves? At what cost? If we mitigate the lows does it also diminish the highs? I know my pain is such that right now I'm willing to sacrifice some lofty heights in order to reduce the depths. But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.


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Default  Posted: 11:32 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

Buddhism seems like a mysterious mixture of interconnectedness and nihilism to me. Like, master being unaffected by participating more fully in everything. I really like to study it because it seems devoid of judgement completely and just deals with what's inside of us. I'm inherently desperate to control my environment via analysis and codependency and it makes me crazy. Letting go of that sounds incredibly difficult, but it also feels right.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Razor
Member
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Default  Posted: 11:37 AM, April 17th (Thursday)

Jrazz.
The terminology used is interesting. Generally its a *cult* when we disagree or disprove of the group.

These days we have gangs vs clubs. Cults vs support groups or religions.

The Romans considered Christianity a cult. They referred to Christians as *the haters of all life* and also considered them cannibals (drinking the blood and devouring the body of Christ).

So the words used describe the the person using them more than the object in question.

My WW HATES SI. She has a deep hatred of DS in particular and I dont know why.

Several MC we went to advised against being on SI. In my view they didnt understand it and didnt like their clients getting advice outside of their control.

So SI is subject to allot of outside criticism. But it is what it is. We either find value here and try to stay. Or we dont and we leave.

I personally have had trouble keeping to the guidelines. I tend to speak my opinion too freely and have upset some here. Infidelity is a heated topic and theres allot of emotion involved and so its easy for someone like me to fly off the rails and get into trouble. Im still here (obviously) and am thankful for that as this is the only place where I can talk about all this stuff. In a large sense SI has kept me sane.

SI does provide good structure for healing. And so I see your point in that it provides what we A/As need in terms of support. And Im thankful for it.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


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norabird
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Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 12:22 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

I didn't know this thread was here! Going to jump in. (Typically.)

Without the crutch of religion dealing with being a BS is much tougher. We dont have that framework. And that sorta leaves us swinging in the breeze. We have to find our own way of making sense of our situation on our own.

I think religious or not, the main thing that equips you to recover from infidelity is an understanding that life is hard, and unfair, and yet challenges can also be opportunities...that and having a strong support system, which might be faith-based and might not. As others have said the religious framework may be less about accepting reality than imposing an inflexible idea of forgiveness or commitment, which may hold people longer in an unhealthy situation. And without being religious, I can still know that it's for the best to have the truth and an opportunity to moving toward something healthier. The benefits from a sense of God having a plan for us can also be gained from believing that we will change and grow in positive ways which ultimately we can be thankful for. Same end result of making peace with a bad turn in the road by looking towards the destination and journey ahead, whether it's one a higher being is sending you one or one you're doing yourself.

SI does stand in for faith-based community support in many ways. I would never describe it as cultic! Whenever I sheepishly tell people about my obsessive posting here since my 2nd DDay, they seem to get that it's a healthy outlet. And from reading on trauma (not serious research, just googling), offering support to others is a big tool for processing and healing the trauma. So I see it as a tool and a space for working through the issues of betrayal.

I wish I could accept and let go in a more Buddhist way, instead of still being engaged with the pain of the past and keeping it in the present, but as much as I appreciate some of Buddhism I also believe very strongly that being attached to our loved ones, our beliefs, etc. is what makes us human, and I get very resistant about stepping back on that investment.

Sorry for the ramble!


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 1:29 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

So if its not *gods will* or karma or a spiritual test or something we need to learn from. Why did we end up being betrayed?

Does there have to be some grand scheme behind it?

That's the thing I don't really understand. I know people want to make sense of things, but this shit all goes into a crazy feedback loop when A Reason is expected for it.

Think about how desperate people are about the concept of free will. We all make choices, we're all the masters of our destiny. Even most religions promote that. I mean barring Calvinistic stuff like the Pilgrims, free will is actually employed as a solution for the problem of evil (which I don't personally think works anyway, but not the point).

So when someone comes along and does something shitty, it seems reflex to wonder what The Reason is. Why did they do it. Why did this happen.

Free will is kind of a package deal, so how can there be A Reason beyond that action being the will of that individual? How does it remain free will if there's some grand plan it was a part of. Why is it such a taboo concept that The Reason is because someone decided to go ahead and do that shit.

Obviously there are a lot of complex chemical interactions going on there, with a lot of past events leading up to that point, but if free will is a multidimensional web of choices in the moment leading to additional multidimensional webs of choice, all intricately complex to the point of so many factors of influence it becomes impossible to predict precisely, I don't understand why that vast and mind-bogglingly complicated engine of reality isn't A Reason worth considering. Distilling it down to "Because that guy is an asshole" is just as descriptive as "Because god" in that sense.

I mean, then you get to say "Bro, why the fuck are you acting like an asshole?" and fall down that particular rabbithole.

Really mostly just musing in text here.

eta:

I wish I could accept and let go in a more Buddhist way, instead of still being engaged with the pain of the past and keeping it in the present, but as much as I appreciate some of Buddhism I also believe very strongly that being attached to our loved ones, our beliefs, etc. is what makes us human, and I get very resistant about stepping back on that investment.

lol. I think that was the gist of our Jedi conversation up there.

Also, no mention of videogames and morality can go together without a solemn nod to Planescape: Torment.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 1:32 PM, April 17th (Thursday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

I am one who actually takes comfort in the idea that there is no grand plan or purpose. I don't personally believe that there is a "reason", therefore I don't spend energy trying to figure out what it is.

I still believe in good, and helping others and avoiding behaving in a hurtful way, because that is what keeps us from blowing this whole place up.

My son, when he was 16 and starting his study of philosophy, handed me what he considered the ultimate insult when he declared that I was "existentially complacent" and was appalled that I calmly agreed. I got to that place after years of study and reflection. I'm not saying that I'm done, but for now I'm cool. And my H's mindblowing behavior did not change my outlook.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 2:58 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

I like that, though maybe content would work better than complacent for where you're at.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
norabird
Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 3:06 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

No jedi knighthood for me then!

I like the idea of being 'existentially complacent'. Once you make your peace, to a rough degree, with our eventual demise and our smallness in the scope of Universe...no point getting hung up on it. Better to focus on the being good part.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Razor
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Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

I think its normal to dissect events that have caused us pain. It comes from evolution. *eating those berries make me sick. Id better not eat them again.* That sort of thing. Dissection such as this is a evolutionary advantage.

Being with a WS that constantly cheats pretty much equates to continually eating berries that always make you sick.

So for me dissection mostly is about HOW did this happen? What led up to it and were there things I could have done to prevent it? And. How likely is it to happen again? The second being a risk assessment of our WS and weighing whether not someone new would be a safer bet.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

I think its normal to dissect events that have caused us pain. It comes from evolution. *eating those berries make me sick. Id better not eat them again.* That sort of thing. Dissection such as this is a evolutionary advantage.

Being with a WS that constantly cheats pretty much equates to continually eating berries that always make you sick.

So for me dissection mostly is about HOW did this happen? What led up to it and were there things I could have done to prevent it? And. How likely is it to happen again? The second being a risk assessment of our WS and weighing whether not someone new would be a safer bet.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
outside4me
Member
Member # 42430
Default  Posted: 11:53 PM, April 17th (Thursday)

The second being a risk assessment of our WS and weighing whether not someone new would be a safer bet.
I like this. Risk assessment!

Posts: 218 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Colorado
SisterMilkshake
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Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:30 AM, April 18th (Friday)

How does it remain free will if there's some grand plan it was a part of.
Exactly SG. This is one of the main reasons, even as a child who started critically thinking, I started having doubts. Especially when it came to the stories of the Last Supper and all. (How apropos for this time of year.) I mean, I figured out as a kid, for it to all work, there had to be a Judas. Someone had to be Judas. I felt sorry for him and all my classmates hated him. In my eyes, he was set up.

I hope this didn't cross a boundary here.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
norabird
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Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, April 18th (Friday)

Hm. re: what SisterMilkshake said...

So if there were a plan, the cheating/betrayal/mindfuck of infidelity (thinking especially of the possibly disordered partners who suddenly show their true face) is something that has to happen to set the betrayed partner onto the right path.

I don't believe in anyone/thing setting events in motion as if life were a chess game for some higher power (the very existence of life is too random, the amount of suffering is too high, there are far too many people anyway for that level of OCD control, not to mention all the birds fishes etc.) ... and yet I still hold onto the idea that okay, I'm supposed to learn something, and turn it into a greater story with some guiding logic, wherein this is supposed to show me xyz and lead me to abc.

So even when we think we are rational the way we make sense of things is not always sensible and that is mostly okay. But it does also mean I'm still avoiding facing the ultimate randomness of everything and that, no, really this only happened because I met the wrong person at a time when I was not able to resist him, and he happened to be incapable of being trustworthy. That has put my life in a mostly good place now, after finding out, but I was going to get to this good place no matter what if I hadn't met him, and might have been in a better one; while others on SI and in real life end up in a worse place than they would have been, and not for any reason, just out of the bad choices made for no greater purpose but someone's selfishness.

Yet that reasoning doesn't always have a framework for our healing to grab onto. We do need to make the best of the bad situation, so we have to change it into a digestible narrative that motivates us to do our best. The 'shit just happens and we make the best of it' model isn't quite as motivating when it comes to healing, even if it's what we objectively believe.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 10:37 AM, April 18th (Friday)

I'm just dropping in to wish everyone in this group a happy Easter. It is a holiday that we celebrate in our household in a traditional and non-religious sense, and it is a lot of fun. I still haven't figured out if I'm going to set up an Easter egg hunt for my kid or not. He may or may not have outgrown it by now. I have some really, really good memories of him with the Easter Bunny.

This will also be the first year celebrating Easter at my folks' house, as they invited us over. I am having quite a bit of anxiety over this, as my folks are very steadfast in their beliefs, which they have tried to push upon me my entire life, and subsequently my boy. It really is difficult and awkward not sharing the same religious beliefs with my folks, particularly when they want us to celebrate religious holidays with them. I would imagine it is hard on them, too, considering my non compliance with their beliefs.

Anyway... we'll be bringing the FIL along as entertainment value, and he is a handful, himself. Wish us luck! I think I'll need about a week to recoup from this.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 10:38 AM, April 18th (Friday)]


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Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, April 18th (Friday)

Easter is known (in my head) as one of the shame-spiral holidays. Went to Catholic school as an Episcopalian, and even though they spent every day (EVERY. DAY.) reminding me that I was an outsider (see: sit in the back of the church, stay in classroom alone while class goes to special services, gets told by teachers to lose fights with prominent parishioners children because that was where I belonged in the food chain) ... where was I?

Oh yeah - I still got to participate in the commercial aspect of the holiday as long as I solemly promised that I believed with all my heart that Jesus rose from the dead. So I did, and I tried with all my heart to actually believe it so I wasn't a hypocrite. I was in second grade, and I remember sitting there feeling so awful for not actually understanding or believing what they were telling me, but I was going to be allowed to participate in the fun if I went along with it.

My parents weren't religious in the slightest, but they still participated in the commercial aspect of holidays. It was always bittersweet. My parents did the Easter bunny thing in a BIG way for a while, but when I was about 10 I was WAYYYYY to old for that nonsense anymore and it stopped. No warning. One Easter my little sister and I woke up and there was nothing, and our mom said, "Oh grow up, there's no Easter bunny." and that was that.


I try and let my DD experience a part of this weekend, but I don't find myself taking an active role. Crazz's grandparents make baskets for DD and my nephew, and last year my neighbor put on an egg hunt JUST for DD. It made DD so happy and I loved my neighbor for doing it, but I can't seem to go through the motions myself. I still feel wracked with the feelings of hypocrisy that began when I was a little girl, like I shouldn't be allowing us to have fun when I can't sign off on the whole event. Despite my fancy words that I may seem to use to paint pictures more than to be literal, I'm a painfully, desperately honest person.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 1:48 PM, April 18th (Friday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
SisterMilkshake
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Default  Posted: 2:41 PM, April 18th (Friday)

Despite my fancy words that I may seem to use to paint pictures more than to be literal, I'm a painfully, desperately honest person.
I believe you and understand this. I just say fuck it and do it, though. It doesn't have to have any religious hypocrisy involved. There is nothing wrong with running with the total commercialism of the "holiday". Despite what Charlie Brown says.

I am so sorry for the shoddy treatment and mindfuckery that you received as a small child at a Catholic school. Great educations, but a lot of mindfuckery for me, anyway. I will say, though, my children attended Catholic school for a few years and they weren't ever left out and always were included. I feel they were trying to convert the little pagans. I know it is easier said than done, Jrazz, because I am still trying to overcome a lot of beliefs that were deeply instilled in me. Every Sunday, I get a twinge. Usually I always come to this thread first on Sunday.

No warning. One Easter my little sister and I woke up and there was nothing, and our mom said, "Oh grow up, there's no Easter bunny." and that was that.
I am so sorry for this, too, Jrazz. Kind of down right cruel. I am all about the fun for my kids. Last Easter my then DS17 y.o. son had to beg me to give up on it, he didn't want to color eggs, he certainly didn't want to hunt for them. Sad for me, 'cause I do love that corny stuff. I have almost 3 grandsons now, so I get to do it for them still.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Jrazz
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Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 2:48 PM, April 18th (Friday)

Thanks SM - and I didn't mean to turn this into a pity party. It was very cathartic to write out, as I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was at the root of the internal battle when I would stare down the Cadbury Creme eggs in the grocery store. Certainly not calories - I don't let THOSE tell me what to do!


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
catlover50
Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 5:28 AM, April 19th (Saturday)

I love traditions and any reason to make things special. We still do baskets and hide eggs (now they have cash in them) and our kids are young adults! (we send a care package for DS and his girlfriend). I have never worried about the hypocrisy, since in my mind it is all just stories.

When I was 16 and my brother was newly in college I searched for my basket for an hour, then woke my mother up to ask where it was. She was a bit mortified to tell me there wasn't one this year.

I do think that we can choose to learn and grow throughout life, which is how I hope to make the best of bad situations. It helps me to see the positive, but doesn't make it "worth it" in many situations, or ever "meant to be". It is just my nature to look on the bright side whenever possible.

There have actually been very large positives after the discovery of my H's LTA, but I would very much have preferred learning those lessons in another way!

Happy Easter, however you choose to celebrate!



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1765 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
hobbeskat
Member
Member # 38805
Default  Posted: 8:05 PM, April 21st (Monday)

Yo. Atheist here. And unfortunately my WH's A set off a massive death-related panic attack spiral that's been going on for a year. Due to the whole, "we die, that's it"ness of life, I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened". Has anyone else got this?

Posts: 308 | Registered: Mar 2013
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:09 PM, April 21st (Monday)

I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened".
I...ummm...I don't quite get what you mean. Could you possibly explain what you're feeling a little bit more?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 9:42 AM, April 22nd (Tuesday)

Yo. Atheist here. And unfortunately my WH's A set off a massive death-related panic attack spiral that's been going on for a year. Due to the whole, "we die, that's it"ness of life, I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened". Has anyone else got this?

Sure. Being betrayed is and will always be part of the story of our life. And a story is the sum of its parts. And yeh this is a pretty dark part of that.

I am more of a agnostic myself. So while I feel the belief in some dude that lives on top of the clouds and makes everything happen is laughable. At the same time I admit that there is no way to know what happens to us after we die. It could be that who we are dissolves into the universe. That we cease to exist. Or. It could be that who we are exists as a kind of energy and while our body returns to the earth our spirit or soul or whatever. that moves on to something else. But what that is no one knows.

Being betrayed and feeling pain. Or being wayward and causing pain. Is a thing that is and will always be a part of our life story. Probably a big part. Maybe thats a lesson we take with us to whatever waits beyond death of our body. Or maybe at death it will all be washed away like Tears in the Rain (to quote Rutger Hauer).

If you are in the Tears in the Rain camp. Then being betrayed is just a shitty thing that happened to you. And if none of that matters in the end. Then perhaps a way to deal with it is to engage in some hedonism yourself. I mean. If none of what you do or what happens to you matters. Then why not do your best to have the best time you can while your here?

Being betrayed does not define who we are. But how we respond to being betrayed does.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
norabird
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Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 3:26 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday)

I keep getting fixated on, "this happened I can't undo it, I will die and this will have happened and life is short, and this has happened".

I do understand this, but it's not really helpful or useful. Lots of things happen in life that are shitty. L.o.t.s. It's part of life--not only the positive stuff. And handling it strengthens us and increases our compassion and understanding if you let it. It can become an opportunity for growth.

As an atheist I get that it can feel a bit weird to go looking for meaning. But that's the deal of atheism, right, that you create your own? That you endow life with the value it has for you? As a raging against the dying of the light kind of thing? It is to me, at least.

I mean, were you expecting no bad things to happen? Probably not--you know life is a mix. It's just that you are still struggling to accept this particular one bad thing. That's normal but I think it's separate from the faith/meaning question. It sounds more like part of the denial stage; you just want this to go away, to never have happened. Also understandable, as, well, it sucks. But once you accept that it has, then it won't bother you that this has been part of your short time on earth. It will just be.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 4:20 PM, April 22nd (Tuesday)

Sh!t happens.

This MUST be true because I saw it on a bumper sticker.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
Ascendant
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Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 8:53 AM, May 2nd (Friday)

As an atheist I get that it can feel a bit weird to go looking for meaning. But that's the deal of atheism, right, that you create your own? That you endow life with the value it has for you? As a raging against the dying of the light kind of thing? It is to me, at least.
I think there's something to be said for this, both as boon and bane. As non-believers, we (or at least *I*) struggle to find meaning in events. I don't mean 'meaning' as in the reason(s) they happened, but moreso along the lines of:

"Ok, this happened in my life. What, if anything, am I going to take away from it? How will I view it within the context of the narrative of the rest of my life?"

For me, after some time, I need to be able to look back at a period of my life and decide how it fits into *my* story. I need to decide what meaning I;m going to assign it in my life, y'know?

Not being religious, I don't struggle with the thoughts of "Why did this happen to me?!?" as much, because shit doesn't require a reason to occur; it just occurs.

That being said, assigning it my own narrative context hasn't been any easier, at least not at 16 months out.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Razor
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Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 9:24 AM, May 2nd (Friday)

As a agnostic rather than a atheist I tend to mentally poke at things and try to figure them out. I think this is a normal part of the human condition.

In the Buddhist faith its believed that Life is pain. because pain and suffering come from having a body. so pain and suffering is essential to the human condition.

Evolutionarily speaking we are wired to pay closer attention to negative events because avoiding these things in the future are key to survival. In the case of infidelity we ask WHY and HOW questions to gain understanding of it so we can possibly avoid it in the future. IMO right after Dday many BS are almost eager to take some responsibility for their WS cheating because if we do that then we can avoid being betrayed again by altering our behavior.

As we all know though. nothing we did caused our WS to cheat. and nothing we could have done would have prevented it. So maybe the Buddhist view is the correct one. Shit happens. We just deal with it and then try to move on as best we can afterward.

I dont recall where I read it. But somewhere in the Buddhist texts there is a bit about animals not feeling sorrow. they just accept what happens to them. It was something about a bird freezing to death while sitting on a tree branch. It does not lament at its condition or wonder why this happens to it. It just freezes and dies. This was stated as the natural way things go. and that we as people should try and have that same state of mind.

Again though. this is contrary to our evolutionary wiring.


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 10:52 AM, May 2nd (Friday)

I dont recall where I read it. But somewhere in the Buddhist texts there is a bit about animals not feeling sorrow. they just accept what happens to them. It was something about a bird freezing to death while sitting on a tree branch. It does not lament at its condition or wonder why this happens to it. It just freezes and dies. This was stated as the natural way things go. and that we as people should try and have that same state of mind.

I dunno. I'd be wary of statements like that. People used to believe that animals didn't feel pain, either. So when they performed experiments on them they wouldn't bother with anesthetics while vivisecting them alive. I mean you'd think the screams of agony would be a clue.

I have no idea if an animal feels sorrow or not. Maybe there's a neurologist that can weigh in on that, but until I see a solid biochemical map one way or the other I'm gonna wait and see and maybe anthropomorphize a bit for my own sake.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
norabird
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Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 11:08 AM, May 2nd (Friday)

Kind of a t/j, but I was reading an Oliver Sachs article recently that talked about worm brains, jellyfish brains, etc (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/apr/24/mental-life-plants-and-worms-among-others). There are lots of forms of consciousness out there. Most of them I am sure feel pain and fear.

On a certain level, pain and fear are how you know you're alive. They don't have a greater function, so we create a way for them to endow us with strength, or understanding, or compassion. And in the end I guess it's better to have the pain than to be nothing, to not exist or live.

[This message edited by norabird at 11:12 AM, May 2nd (Friday)]


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 11:31 AM, May 2nd (Friday)

I'm not a neurologist, but part of my Antho studies included comparisons with bonobo chimps. I think that with animals, we can't help but anthropomorphize because of the nature of our perception. We can only compare to what we personally experience. I can tell you that I've seen videos of creatures experiencing what can only be described as fear, anticipation, love... whether they're chemical reactions or not it really walks and talks the same as what we go through.

Dolphins and elephants also seem to display complex emotions, and forethought.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, May 2nd (Friday)

Jrazz, was that the experiment where they had fuzzy, warm lovable chimp dolls with no milk and the wire mesh uncomfy chimps with milk and the babies chose to basically die with the comfy dolls than get milk from the uncomfy ones?

Wow that was a runon sentence.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, May 2nd (Friday)

Yes it was***. And the "iron spikes" mamas where the babies would hug them for affection, knowing that at some point the spikes were going to come out. And the funnel that they would send little ones down to spend time in isolation to see if it affected their "mood."


Did I mention I fucking hate humans sometimes?


***We watched them in the context of the atrocities that we put fellow beings through to answer these questions, when in truth all you need to to is sit quietly outside their house and observe.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
norabird
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Default  Posted: 3:17 PM, May 2nd (Friday)

I also think that for we humans many of our emotions really are just that - chemical reactions. So it's not really different for animals even if they don't have the overlay of reasoning about those chemicals that turns them into something supposedly 'higher'.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
StillGoing
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Default  Posted: 5:28 PM, May 2nd (Friday)

Yeah people do fucked up shit.

nora, that was one of the justifications people used for experimentation on animals - that their responses were automata and mechanistic. Since they didn't possess souls or minds (in the sense that people believe(d) the mind is an external thing) they:

eat without pleasure, cry without pain, grow without knowing it; they desire nothing, fear nothing, know nothing.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
nekorb
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Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 9:36 PM, May 2nd (Friday)

hmmm.

I don't know if I belong here.

I'm recovering from spiritual abuse in the church (ICOC). I considered myself atheist for quite awhile during the height of my PTSD. I'm making my way back to church and God, but...I'm still struggling with it. I cant even really tell you what IT is that I'm struggling with...

I find science and pondering the origins of humanity fascinating. As much as I really think there is a God - whatever that means to each of us, I'm just not sure what that means or who He is.

It was my struggle with church/religion/God and PTSD that contributed to the demise of my marriage.

idk. Can I hang out with you guys?


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 9:55 PM, May 2nd (Friday)

Webster's Dictionary defines Agnostic as:

a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not

I would say that you fit into this for the most part, but I'm interested in your choice to capitalize "He." I'm not sure about what God or god means, but I do feel like there are bigger things at work than we could comprehend.

I think the purpose of this thread is to be able to support each other OUTSIDE of any kind of religion or deity. I'm not sure it's the place to ponder the existence of God, because that inherently lends itself to the kind of argument that is against the guidelines for the website.

You're totally welcome to come hang out - all we ask is that members respect the spirit of the thread and only post as a participating agnostic/atheist (not someone seeking answers in divinity.) I hope that makes sense.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
outside4me
Member
Member # 42430
Default  Posted: 10:46 PM, May 2nd (Friday)

I find science and pondering the origins of humanity fascinating. As much as I really think there is a God - whatever that means to each of us, I'm just not sure what that means or who He is.

It was my struggle with church/religion/God and PTSD that contributed to the demise of my marriage.

Me too, sistah (except the PTSD). Welcome!

[This message edited by outside4me at 10:47 PM, May 2nd (Friday)]


Posts: 218 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Colorado
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 1:03 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

It was my struggle with church/religion/God and PTSD that contributed to the demise of my marriage.

It sounds like church/religion/God should have been supporting the struggle with PTSD, not been a struggle. Sorry you had to deal with that.

wrt definitions:

a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not

Meh, I disagree with Websters then and I will go up against anyone they want to bring to town about it.

Agnosticism is a statement about the values of truth and its "knowability" for lack of a better word. Frankly I think it's as arrogant to state that something is unknownable as saying you know what it is. Fuck you Huxley, don't tell me shit isn't knowable, I have Neil de Grasse over there using the word Spooky in relation to Dark Matter and making it stick. Who the fuck knows what we can know or can't know. Anyway.

Labels are just a convenient way to identify. I'm happy to disagree with anyone that wants to tell me that atheism means I have a solid opinion on the existence of the supernatural beyond "I don't have enough evidence to believe that so I don't believe it."

The best part about atheism is that anyone can hang here. It's a neutral state. Like Switzerland. It is Switzerland that.. right? They're the neutral ones? Whatever. It's late.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 9:00 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

I'm interested in your choice to capitalize "He."

It's actually a habit that I've just recently adopted....I'm not even sure God is a He or if that's something we as humans have assigned to whatever/whoever god is in our minds. Anyway, I guess I figure if I'm going to err I should err on the side of showing respect.

I don't want to debate the existence of God. I think God means different things to different people, or for some nothing at all, and I'm ok with that. WH is not. I just need somewhere to throw out thoughts and get feedback while I work on my own journey.

I don't get why some people think everyone needs to be having the same journey.

Part of the issue, for me, is that I have a hard time discerning where "balance" exists on this topic.

I love science, I don't want to ignore science and what science is proving to us every day, but I want to somehow incorporate that into what I have experienced in terms of real physical experiences in this world that lead me to believe there is something more.

StillGoing - I couldn't figure out how to put a second quote in here - but my WH basically responded to my having my abuse validated/PTSD/stating I was no longer X religion with the same abuse I was telling him about! His response was, "I don't like that because now I don't know whether or not you are going to hell.".

WH accused me of being controlling - I asked for an example - he said, "you're decisions about God and church make me so anxious that it's all I can think about and it controls my whole life.". I pointed out it was the anxiety controlling him, not me, and he said my choices were causing it, therefore it was me.

Basically what happened was I started to learn about codependency in therapy. I finally got up the courage to talk about the church thing with her and that's when things started going like wildfire for me (towards a more healthy me). And I think he is a narcissist. That sentence above reads to me, "you wouldn't do what I wanted and it was all I could think about.".

I want to go on the record as saying I don't do organized religion.

I do have a church that I like - the pastor there was the only one who would meet me where I was with my PTSD and talk with me and not condemn me for the things I thought or felt. (Not counting my therapist, but you don't have in depth theological discussions with your therapist!)

I'm trying to learn that internal boundary of taking what I need from church, and leaving behind what I don't. Aka not absorbing everything they say as truth just because they said it. I like to ask questions. I like to point out discrepancies and think about why they are there.

I'm ok with not having all the answers.

I want to know where stuff goes when it disappears into a black hole and if there is a whole other universe on the other side or if it's where PODS came from.

[This message edited by nekorb at 9:15 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)]


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 9:34 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

Thomas Henry Huxley said:[11][12]

Agnosticism, in fact, is not a creed, but a method, the essence of which lies in the rigorous application of a single principle ... Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable.

According to philosopher William L. Rowe, in the strict sense, agnosticism is the view that human reason is incapable of providing sufficient rational grounds to justify either the belief that God exists or the belief that God does not exist.[2]

A person calling oneself 'agnostic' is stating that he or she has no opinion on the existence of God, as there is no definitive evidence for or against. Agnosticism has, however, more recently been subdivided into several categories. Variations include:

Agnostic atheism
The view of those who do not believe in the existence of any deity, but do not claim to know if a deity does or does not exist.[21][22][23]

Agnostic theism
The view of those who do not claim to know of the existence of any deity, but still believe in such an existence.[21]

Apathetic or pragmatic agnosticism
The view that there is no proof of either the existence or nonexistence of any deity, but since any deity that may exist appears unconcerned for the universe or the welfare of its inhabitants, the question is largely academic. Therefore, their existence has little to no impact on personal human affairs and should be of little theological interest.[24][25]

Strong agnosticism (also called "hard", "closed", "strict", or "permanent agnosticism")
The view that the question of the existence or nonexistence of a deity or deities, and the nature of ultimate reality is unknowable by reason of our natural inability to verify any experience with anything but another subjective experience. A strong agnostic would say, "I cannot know whether a deity exists or not, and neither can you."[26][27][28]

Weak agnosticism (also called "soft", "open", "empirical", or "temporal agnosticism")
The view that the existence or nonexistence of any deities is currently unknown but is not necessarily unknowable; therefore, one will withhold judgment until evidence, if any, becomes available. A weak agnostic would say, "I don't know whether any deities exist or not, but maybe one day, if there is evidence, we can find something out."[26][27][28]

The above is from Wikipedia. I know, the most reliable source for info on the internet. However, I do like what they had to say about agnosticism which is where I feel I fall. I do like to understand what I believe and have a "label" for it, I guess.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
norabird
Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

I'm strictly atheist but I sometimes think I would like to belong to a church--a really good one. A place with a choir and charity work and interesting discussions of our role in the world and what it means to live a good life and what it means that there is so much suffering in the world and sometimes directly in our lives. That seems really useful and lovely. It's when it comes to the dogma--the 'I dunno, maybe your titled (which is healthy for you) means you're going to hell' that I remember why I don't belong. What a useful way to exert control over other people while pretending you have their best interest in mind.

So I think maybe the lines are a little porous. You can believe there is no god and yet be drawn to aspects of faith all the same; and you can think there probably is a god and yet be repelled by parts of faith. I always feel a kind of kinship with Quakers and UUs for instance--even though there isn't a shared faith with me, the approach still seems simpatico to my own belief in non-belief. My dad (and my ex) are the type of atheists who scoffed at everyone who was part of organized religion but that's not the only type of atheism out there and it definitely doesn't apply for most agnostics. Faith/non-faith are mutable too over one's life--people have conversions, periods of doubt and/or periods of faith.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 10:04 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

I do like to understand what I believe and have a "label" for it, I guess.

So weird that you said that. I was literally just thinking that part of my issue lies with giving myself permission not to try and fit into any one particular "box" or definition. I think what I think, believe/not believe what I want, and it doesn't have to fall into or be ok with anyone else's definition.

I don't fit into any of the boxes - religious, agnostic, atheist, or otherwise. I'm trying to learn to be ok with that. I think. Lol

Largely what keeps me thinking something is above and beyond us here on earth is my own paranormal experiences. Have others here had paranormal experiences that contributed to your current belief framework?


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 10:32 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

Norabird- I think what you described (as being potentially what would interest you) sounds like the UU.

I asked WH if we could try a UU church as a sort of compromise, if I could get myself to the point that I could walk in the doors without having a panic attack. His response,"I'm not going to church with atheists.". As if they are some sort if lesser people. It pissed me off. And the UU church I was looking at was about 2/3 his religion!

He never would go or try. He did meet with the pastor with me once. Then when I was thinking about trying it on my own discovered this particular group was largely a social activist group vs pursuing spirituality. That's ok, just not what I'm looking for.

I like the church I go to now because they don't seem bent on being guilt/fear driven in their messages and the messages promote living a good life and contributing positively to the lives of others and the community.

One thing I liked about the pastor at this church Is that he is willing to say, "I don't know". I despise blind faith and rationalizations.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
SisterMilkshake
Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

what it means that there is so much suffering in the world and sometimes directly in our lives. That seems really useful and lovely.
This is where most religions/believers lose me, nora. I can't buy into their "reasons" for everything. That there is a purpose for suffering. I believe I posted this before:
"Epicurean paradox" is a version of the problem of evil. It is a trilemma argument (God is omnipotent, God is good, but Evil exists); or more commonly seen as this quote:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

Whilst I was floundering with what I believed or didn't, I came across Epicurus. The above paradox was a big light bulb moment for me, it was "YES, EXACTLY!"

nekorb, that is funny. People are different, and that is so good that we are. It would be so boring if we were all exactly the same. This is something I have realized about myself recently. I like to have my feelings and beliefs all boxed up with a label on them. It gives me a sense of control, maybe? I also have realized that I am kind of a black and white thinker, but on some topics I find I am in a gray area. That makes me very uncomfortable.

Have others here had paranormal experiences that contributed to your current belief framework?
I have had paranormal experiences, but I don't relate it to my current belief framework.

[This message edited by SisterMilkshake at 10:37 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)]


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 11:00 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

have had paranormal experiences, but I don't relate it to my current belief framework.

How do you separate the two?

Although for me, I guess it is as simple as it just points out that there is a lot I don't know or understand, and then I refer that back to my current framework.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, May 3rd (Saturday)

I think that the SI staff just wants to ensure that we use this forum to discuss the struggles that we face with infidelity as 'godless heathens' when we live in a culture where marriage is primarily defined by religious terms as well as recovery, i.e. forgiveness. We should be careful to keep it on our own struggles and not use it bash religious beliefs.

Fantastically put. I meant to say that my last post was "as a member," not staff. Also, I was trying to use the short form definition to indicate that I'm pretty sure wafflers (like nekorb and I) should be welcome.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)

"Godless Heathens"

Yeah. I find that so offensive. Even when I was godless I knew right from wrong and lies from truth.

My WH says that God (his) wants him to be happy, and OW makes him happy, therefore he is living within God's will/plan for him.

AYFKM?

The rationalization that goes on is mind boggling.

I just want to scream that even during my worst bouts of anti-religion and PTSD I was living by a higher moral standard than he has *ever* chosen to embrace.

I will continue to do so.

I am working on getting to a place inside myself where I no longer need WH to approve of or agree with my belief system and how I choose to live my life. It's been really hard, even in the face of his infidelity...lingering codependency that I'm still working on, I guess.

I do know that when I achieve balance, I will know it.

Is forgiveness really a religious thing? I actually feel like it was easier to forgive as a non-believer - that black and white/right and wrong/heaven and hell thing was absent and people were just allowed to be human and make mistakes and if they were remorseful and trying to do better, you forgave and supported them on their journey.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 1:45 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)

If you're looking for a religion, a British group did a Consumer Reports-type analysis available here: http://john-cleese-consumers-guide-to-religion-mp3-download.kohit.net/_/245710

John Cleese looks like a solid, serious guy, so the analysis has to have at least some validity....
*****************************************

'God' as we know him/her/it was never a powerful concept in China, and yet their ethics are not dissimilar to ours - theft, murder, lying, rebellion against constituted authorities are all violations of ethics and law, for example.

Roger Williams was a committed Puritan, but his charter for his colony (Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) welcomed Catholics, Turks (Muslims), Jews, and atheists as well as Puritans. Despite his commitment to Puritanism, he believed a Good Life was possible for others - even for atheists.

It's really hard to argus that the Abrahamic religions have a monopoly on ethics.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10430 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, May 3rd (Saturday)

Is forgiveness really a religious thing?

For me, personally, no. I had to let go of the concept of sweeping and unconditional forgiveness that I grew up with. Janis Spring's book on forgiveness, "How Can I Forgive You" was instrumental in helping me rewire the concepts of forgiveness that I had so long.


Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

I am definitely in the agnostic family. The thing is, I also don't care. Well I do care about the way people use religion as a weapon, otherwise, we simply won't know about the afterlife until after life, will we?

Retrouvaille was a useful weekend. Until. They had lots of helpful tips for communication right up until they ran into a wall. Then they said, pray about it. Seemed a copout to me. Especially since I'm a practicing Quaker which means my prayer is to be silent and wait for "god" or personal insight, or whatever happens. Public prayer is not for me.

A real personal affront is when the word "christian" is used to describe someone who behaves in a moral way. I've noticed the people using it are often nastiest to their neighbors. My dad was Jewish and kind and generous. A Baptist minister, (I used to take myself to Sunday school when I was little, the church was down the street from my house, as was a Catholic Church) told me that my father would burn in hell because of his religion when I was seven. After much panic, my conclusion was that god wouldn't punish him for his upbringing, that a loving god would even forgive "evil" people if they were insane. I found out as a teenager that Quakers still existed and believed as I did, some even holding agnostic viewpoints without being treated differently in their communities.

SAFWH professes to be atheist while being angry at god, mostly because of the drawn out death of his mother. He had much difficulty with the first step of his 12step work being unable to secularize his higher power or accept god as his higher power. A lifetime of Catholic brainwashing is very hard to overcome.
I'm enjoying everyone's POV.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3692 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 12:13 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

A place with a choir and charity work and interesting discussions of our role in the world and what it means to live a good life.

Just had to comment. Most East Coast Friends' meeting are heavily into social justice and various related "earthly" work. I loved this practical part. But there isn't much singing and I love to sing. You should hear us a Christmas. It's sad.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3692 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Althea
Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 1:19 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

Admittedly, I haven't read through this whole thread; so I apologize in advance if this a frequent topic; but WH and I are struggling a bit with the idea if spirituality without religion. We are both agnostic-ish. I guess I keep thinking that if I find the "right" religion for me, I could be a believer. Still, the most spiritual experiences of my life have been in nature (e.g, hiking through the Sierras, or sitting silently in an open field). That feeling of being centered and part of something bigger at the same time. I don't think religion has a the monopoly on goodness or morality and believe myself to be a moral and good person in the absence of religion.

This has been good enough for me for a long time; but lately as I am in recovery from shame and a highly dysfunctional past, I am questioning again this idea of spirituality without religion. It is a required step in healing for various recovery programs, and I understand the necessity of believing and putting your faith in something other than yourself, I'm just not sure how.

Is anyone else struggling with or working successfully through this?


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 458 | Registered: Dec 2012
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 1:38 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

Many in recovery use the words "good orderly direction" as their higher power.

There are also 12steps written from a secular POV on the first page in the Spouses of Sex Addicts forum.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3692 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
Althea
Member
Member # 37765
Default  Posted: 2:40 PM, May 4th (Sunday)

Thanks scaredyKat, I will check it out.


Taking it one day at a time.

Posts: 458 | Registered: Dec 2012
Maxiom
Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Is forgiveness really a religious thing

I just had to highlight this. I wonder this myself. I personally think forgiveness is highly overrated. I understand where those from both the theistic background and from the atheistic background think this is somehow necessary for ones own healing. Even in the case of the most heinous crimes. However, i do not think forgiveness is necessary.

I have not nor will i ever forgive the doctor whose sheer laziness and negligence left my cousin in a vegetative state until his death at the very young age of 25. He doesn't deserve it.. and if I were to forgive, I feel I would be doing my cousin's memory a disservice.

However, that doesn't mean i haven't let it go. My blood doesn't boil over like it used to just thinking of it, but i could actually be in the same room with this guy. I wouldn't shake his hand, but neither would I punch him. No matter how much that narcissistic waste of flesh would deserve it.

That's not to say I couldn't forgive anyone. There are usually mitigating factors, and a good deal of remorse from the person who has wronged me or my family would help, but i simply don't feel compelled under any circumstance to truly forgive. I actually feel this forced forgiveness is a detriment to ones healing. We're almost told to hurry up and get it over with yet I feel its far better to allow the anger to works its way through at its own pace... and by the time we are truly willing to let it go.. we realize that forgiveness wasn't required in the first place.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 2:09 PM, May 5th (Monday)

That's not to say I couldn't forgive anyone. There are usually mitigating factors, and a good deal of remorse from the person who has wronged me or my family would help, but i simply don't feel compelled under any circumstance to truly forgive. I actually feel this forced forgiveness is a detriment to ones healing. We're almost told to hurry up and get it over with yet I feel its far better to allow the anger to works its way through at its own pace... and by the time we are truly willing to let it go.. we realize that forgiveness wasn't required in the first place.

IMO forgiveness must be EARNED if it is to be had at all. Otherwise quick and blanket forgiveness seems as if it would just give the offender permission to act out again. If there is no consequence and what ever is done is just forgiven and forgotten. Then why not do it again?

Anger and resentment exist in us because they served a evolutionary purpose. In other words these emotions helped our primitive selves survive in a hostile world. I believe the world had not changed that much since then. Civilization is just a veneer finish over the base hostility that still lurks beneath the surface of us all.

Without anger and resentment we set ourselves up to be future victims. And until my WW shows real remorse and really works to win me back, I will still feel those emotions. And I make no apologies about that.

[This message edited by Razor at 2:09 PM, May 5th (Monday)]


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Forgiveness is a choice. On the flip side, there is a lot to be said about choosing NOT to forgive. I was able to let go of a lot of things that were really eating me up inside when I actively decided to never forgive OM. Choosing not to forgive was my only shot at getting to the point of indifference with him. Choosing not to forgive is highly underrated, IMHO.

Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Interesting thoughts about forgiveness.

Do you think forgiving equals being willing to have that person in your life again?

How do you forgive someone who hasn't asked for it?

Do you think forgiving and letting go are two separate issues?

I'm having a really hard time with the idea of not being angry to the core of my being right now. My adult child laid on my bed and sobbed last night because her dad "has just ruined everything". She is mourning weddings and how she thought things would be with her kids and us as grandparents etc.

For me, I think the critical missing piece is my WH's remorse. He has none that I've seen and I never even saw him shed a tear about ripping our family apart until the night we told the kids.

I JUST DONT GET IT.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
scaredyKat
Member
Member # 25560
Default  Posted: 4:26 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Yeah, well, I don't forgive, but I've learned to live with the whole reality. I've never believed in the whole redemption thing even when I did think I was a christian. Nor do I think it's necessary for reconciliation.

Nekorb. You call your daughter an adult and yet she clearly is not. She is so young. And, of course heartbroken. I guess you have to be the adult here and tell her the new truth. Things WON'T be the way she pictured them, but you will do your very best to make the new reality just as beautiful or better than what she envisioned. I know that isn't what you are really feeling, but, as parents, we too often have to sugar coat things for our kids.

Hugs to you and your babies. You have evolved to such a compassionate and strong woman through this nastiness. You will get through this, too.


Me-BS-60
HIM-SAFWH-63
Damn autocorrect is responsible for the silly errors, sorry!

Posts: 3692 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: In my head
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 8:19 PM, May 5th (Monday)

(((nekorb and kids)))

Do you think forgiving equals being willing to have that person in your life again?

I think it is different for everybody, so I can only speak on my behalf. For me, having that person in my life is a big part of it. In my case I view forgiveness as an act, versus a final destination or disposition. The fact that I am still here every day is an act of forgiveness... the fact that I continue to tell my wife that I love her is an act of forgiveness. The way that I see it in my head and in my heart, that doesn't mean that she is "forgiven". I don't know if I'll ever get to that stage. It's more of a day to day thing that are reflected by my actions, and by how I feel in my heart.

How do you forgive someone who hasn't asked for it?

Janis Spring addressed this in her book, but to be honest I kind of skimmed through those chapters, because they didn't really apply to me. I do remember her talking about examples of people forgiving their dead parents, etc. That's a tough question. My wife hasn't asked for forgiveness... but she is remorseful and doesn't expect it. It is a totally different scenario when someone has wronged you and is not remorseful. I don't know if I would be willing to forgive in that situation. Probably not.

Do you think forgiving and letting go are two separate issues?

For me, I think they are two separate issues. For me, the "letting go" is more of an acceptance of things that I can't change or control.

You have every right to be angry to the core, nekorb. In fact, I think it would be highly dangerous and unhealthy for you to try to bottle that anger up or sweep it under the rug. That anger doesn't go away if you try to do that. It is still there, and causing you damage. Let it out. For me it was talking about it, talking about it, and talking about it.

I am sorry you are hurting, and that your daughter is hurting too. Hang in there... keep talking and posting out here on SI in whatever forums you are comfortable posting in. We're here for you.


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Default  Posted: 9:04 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Timely subject, forgiveness.

I posted in another thread (I believe) that forgiveness is something that I've never done consciously. Meaning that never once have I said to myself, "Ok, now I am going to forgive [person] for [transgression]" during the entire course of my life. I don't even know what that means, or how it manifest itself IRL.

(It should be known, however, that I've been accused of being vindictive by people and/or personality tests. FYI.)

When I've forgiven people, it's been something that happened gradually, organically. It just happened with enough time and emotional distance from the hurt done against me.

Forgiveness, to me, is when the manner in which you hurt me is no longer the first thing I associate with you when I think of you....and I don't think it's possible to train the brain to do that. It's just something that happens with enough time...new memories begin to take prominence over older ones, because they play a more active role in your (day-to-day) life.

I just finished a book entitled "Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits". It sounds like a written rationale for vengeance, but it's really not. However, as a person with strong vengeful feelings it is a very affirming book, because it's very validating of 'vindictive passions' in general. A brief synopsis:

Even as we rightly preach the virtues of forgiveness, we should recognize that victims deserve to have their vindictive passions respected and to some degree validated. Even if these passions should not be the last word, they have a legitimate claim to be the first word. Even when they should not control, they should be listened to with respect instead of met with pious sermons and sentimental, dismissive cliches. We may grant that the vindictive passions represent a darkness within us that we hope ultimately to drive away.

This darkness sometimes gives a hit of initial relief, however, as it partially shields us from the painfully intrusive light cast into our souls when we are deeply wronged by our fellow human beings-a light that shatters our innocence by illuminating our fragility, our vulnerability, our openness to suffering and betrayal.


Some crimes never probably never deserve forgiveness, and some criminals (moral or otherwise) are never repentant enough to earn forgiveness.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
nekorb
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Default  Posted: 9:15 PM, May 5th (Monday)

Thanks for the thoughts and ideas.

sK - you're right, she is still a kid...but being forced to grow up really quickly through this process. She really has a good head on her shoulders. I'm so thankful for that. I do tell the kids that we are going to be ok. I have no idea what that means, but I will make it true!

She got baptized at her church at college a few weeks ago. That was hard for me - really triggery with all the past abuse issues I have and the atmosphere and whatnot. I got through it though. It made her happy and I'm ok with her finding her own way...I just worry that it was a knee jerk reaction to feeling the need to belong somewhere...but, it will be ok.

I'm going to keep pondering the forgiveness thing.

Thanks everyone.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

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Default  Posted: 12:49 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

Claudia Black says forgiveness is not forgetting, but remembering and letting go. I like that because it leaves room for being angry from time to time, remaining mindful of old dysfunctional patterns; but allows one to let go of the need to hold a grudge or have vengeance.


Taking it one day at a time.

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Default  Posted: 1:43 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

Claudia Black says forgiveness is not forgetting, but remembering and letting go. I like that because it leaves room for being angry from time to time, remaining mindful of old dysfunctional patterns; but allows one to let go of the need to hold a grudge or have vengeance.

Love this.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 2:01 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

I agree (mostly) with the idea that Claudia Black presents there.

I've found that with me personally, once the forgiveness has taken place, I don't even really get angry from time to time; there's no longer any sting to the wound.

That being said, in the past I've usually been able to give myself some physical distance from the person who has hurt me for a period of months and/or years, and in my estimation that made the healing easier.

It could also explain why I'm having a rough go of it so far, re: the affair.

[This message edited by Ascendant at 2:01 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 2:03 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

Claudia Black says forgiveness is not forgetting, but remembering and letting go. I like that because it leaves room for being angry from time to time, remaining mindful of old dysfunctional patterns; but allows one to let go of the need to hold a grudge or have vengeance.

A nice sentiment, but really I do firmly believe forgiveness and simply letting go are not necessarily the same thing. Again.. I can let go without forgiving. However, I do accept that this is now largely a semantic argument.


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

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Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

I've found that with me personally, once the forgiveness has taken place, I don't even really get angry from time to time; there's no longer any sting to the wound.

I agree with that. It's not so much anger for me after forgiveness, but there's definitely a brief echo of the feelings. There was this girl that was AWFUL to me in middle school. We ran into each other as adults and I realized that I disliked her to the exact same degree as when we were 12 when I set eyes on her. She made it a point to come immediately over to me and apologize. She took complete ownership of her behavior even though we were "just kids" and said that she thought about it a lot and wished she could make it right. Forgiveness came as easily as an exhale there, and we are fb friends now and ping about our kids from time to time. Sometimes, when I see her picture I remember briefly the tears and frustration from years ago, and then it's gone and I'm grateful that she reached out to me so I could let that all go.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 2:40 PM, May 6th (Tuesday)

Exactly, Jrazz.

Similarly, when I was 18 years old a buddy of mine and I got an apartment together. It ended badly; I was giving him my half of the rent money in order to pay our landlord because I worked weird hours. Come to find out that he was pocketing the money/spending it on who-knows-what.

We got evicted. I got angry.

He avoided me for like 3 years, even moving to Canada for a little while. Gradually, eventually, the 'active' anger faded. At some point, forgiveness took place and I just missed my friend. I didn't forget it by any stretch of imagination...I just never put myself in a potentially-compromising position with him again. That whole period of my life is just a part of our narrative now; we've even talked and joked about it.

I think that one of the key differences between a damaged relationship with a friend versus a spouse is that with a friend it's easier to alter the terms of the relationship and feel fine about it. With my friend, I learned that we can be cool and get along just fine, but he is in no way dependable going forward....which I keep in mind now. If I count on him for something, it's on me, because I should know better.

With a spouse, we have all these socio-cultural expectations about how marriages work, re: emotional vulnerability and/or interdependence. I know Jrazz has spoken of it before (as have I), but for some of us a part of reconciling is determining whether we want to be that enmeshed with our spouses going forward.

The longer I'm involved with healthy/healing people, IC, and healing literature, the more I've come to believe that the way we (as in our Western culture) conceptualize marriage is super codependent.

I used to think of marriage as two people in one car on a long, long trip. Sometimes I'm the passenger and she's the driver; sometimes it's reversed. If one of us falls asleep at the wheel, we both crash.

I conceptualize it differently now: we're driving two separate cars, but we've agreed that we're heading to the same destination together. However, if she falls asleep at the wheel, or turns off the highway, or gets lost, it's up to her to get herself back on the right path.

Her misadventures, missteps, and mistakes do not derail my progress. Nor mine hers.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 10:58 PM, May 21st (Wednesday)

So I tried to talk to my Mom about the whole penis in the face at church thing today. I got tears and the classic "I don't know what to tell you..." response. Obviously she isn't going to be very helpful with this and I can't seem to adequately process it on my own. Time to look into going to IC again. I might look for a secular therapist this time. I liked the one I went to before but she sometimes had trouble with framing things in a non-religious manner and I really don't want that angle to pop up with this problem.

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nowiknow23
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Default  Posted: 11:10 PM, May 21st (Wednesday)

h0peless - I'm glad you're seeking support to work through this, and I'm so very sorry that your mom isn't able to help. Sending you strength.


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


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Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, May 25th (Sunday)

If anybody sees this, I could use some encouragement. My marriage of 21 years is falling apart, and if one more person tells me that what is supposed to happen will happen, I will just tear out my hair.


Me: MH 38, Him: MH 40
For-real separation for 3 months now.

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Default  Posted: 12:05 PM, May 25th (Sunday)

I understand your frustration... My guess would be that many of us in this thread do as well. The idea that there exists some sort of plan that results in my anguish seems fucked up, personally. ''Shit happens'' is less comforting, but vastly more accurate, methinks.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, May 25th (Sunday)

Exactly! That's what led partly to being an atheist to begin with. No god would let a child suffer as I did. I could even (almost) accept karma as an explanation for my current suffering, but I didn't do anything as a child to deserve it.

It *would* be vastly easier if I could just throw up my hands and say "Jesus take the wheel" but that's a long time to wait for a train don't come.

I still hate this. I haven't even gotten myself fed or showered yet; I'm just reeling from the idea of telling my husband to get out of my life (even if we are sharing a roof).


Me: MH 38, Him: MH 40
For-real separation for 3 months now.

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nowiknow23
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Default  Posted: 12:31 PM, May 25th (Sunday)

I'm so sorry, NoDoormat. You didn't deserve to suffer as a child, and you don't deserve it now. "Shit happens" is actually one of the most comforting thoughts I can think of. People make choices, choices have consequences, and sometimes those consequences get visited upon the people around them. It sucks. But it happens. That I can accept.

I know this is all new to you. Please focus on your self care. There are some difficult days ahead for you, and your health is paramount. Eat something, even if you don't feel like it. Drink plenty of water. Betrayal and the emotional fall out are incredibly dehydrating. Sleep can be difficult, but do try to get regular sleep. Talk to your doctor if it remains elusive. And move your body in some way every day. Take a walk, hit the gym, ride your bike, swim, take the stairs... just do something physical each day. It not only helps release some of the stress, it also helps the mind process things.

Glad you found us.


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


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Default  Posted: 1:02 PM, May 25th (Sunday)

@h0peless - that was so brave of you to do. My mom would have had the same response, minus the tears.

I'm sure there is a great therapist out there who can help walk you through this. I hope that talking it out with us at the very least reminds you that you are not alone, and that there are people who wish they could somehow take away your pain. Keep us posted.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 5:31 PM, May 25th (Sunday)

If anybody sees this, I could use some encouragement. My marriage of 21 years is falling apart, and if one more person tells me that what is supposed to happen will happen, I will just tear out my hair.

I always wanted someone to actually say that to me, so I could land a real solid fucking slap on their face and say "WELL PRAISE FATE, THAT BITCH SLAP WAS A STRIKE FROM DESTINY"

I did have a group of people approach me in a parking lot at the grocery a few years ago. I was trying to get the boys bundled into the car and load up the groceries and this group of old ladies comes over. They were all wearing the kind of dresses and hats and shit I would expect out of some kind of southern drama. While I'm wrangling everything they start talking to me about their Watchtower thingy and asking me what I think of the world today and if it's in a terrible state.

I mean I felt a bit awkward since you know, white dude without his wife there packing up groceries and kids surrounded by a bunch of very pleasant and oddly picturesque old black ladies with a religious agenda. My mouth just went on automatic though. I said well yes, I think that there are terrible things in this world but I also think this is the greatest time and place to be alive. We are at a point where we can argue about whether or not everyone should have access to things like food and shelter and medicine for no better reason than we're all people and there's a sizeable portion of the populace that accepts this as a legitimate argument, whether or not they even agree with it. We see everyone as people - at least in this country - even lovely little old black ladies, who get to be people with all the rights people have despite the color of their skin AND having vaginas. Wars are bad sure but it's not like the Pax Romana somehow magically put a stop to global conflicts and even though we shouldn't be World Police we do at least pay lip service to the idea that leaders shouldn't be assholes to their own populations and so we go in and say "Stop that" when they start eyeballing their neighbors (that was a great Eddie Izzard skit btw). The world is sure far from perfect but looking back it's a fuck of a lot better than it ever was.

They actually looked kind of thoughtful and just handed me their pamphlet. They were very nice. Much more polite than the mormon boys who did a quick fade when I said they could clean the gutters when they asked if we needed any help.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 8:59 PM, May 25th (Sunday)

That was a *well-practiced* thoughtful look, I assure you, as an xJW! I would say more, but I'm sure it'd violate some kind of zero tolerance policy.

Thank you for reminding me of Eddie Izzard. I could use a good laugh right about now!


Me: MH 38, Him: MH 40
For-real separation for 3 months now.

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Tred
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Default  Posted: 9:41 AM, May 26th (Monday)

Saw an interesting article on being an atheist in the south on CNN. Here's the link if you are interested:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/24/atheists-in-the-bible-belt-a-survival-guide/?hpt=hp_t3


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

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Shutup  Posted: 2:42 PM, May 26th (Monday)

Aarrggghhhh! Why did I do that. Why did I try to have a conversation with my hardcore Christian sister about by lack of belief in God? (still gotta capitalize God, though) Didn't start out the conversation with that in mind. Just kind of wander into it by talking about a very sick child.

Anyway, she winds up telling me she feels sad that I feel that way. I tried to tell her not to, that I am happy. That I have finally accepted that this is how I feel. That I have fought these feelings of doubt since about the 8th grade. That I am more at peace with myself and my feelings, that I am not trying to force myself to believe something that I just couldn't. It is a relief to accept that I don't believe and that doesn't make me evil, bad, abnormal, sinful, less than.

I make a mistake of saying my rational mind just can't accept what I am expected to believe. She then said, "You don't think I have a rational mind?" I said, "No, I said MY rational mind can't accept that."

There was more. Her telling me what the Bible says. I ask what do you do if you don't believe what the bible says, in general? (I think the bible does have some good stuff in it. Ten Commandments is a very good idea.) Why don't I believe the bible, she asks? Because it has had many translations and has been rewritten by countless people who had their own agendas. Sister: "I don't believe that. That has never been proven." *sigh*

It makes me kind of mad, though. I am not to be pitied or to be felt sorry for because I can't believe in someone else's idea of who or what God is! I am not going to feel like some abnormal reject that can't buy into someone else's religion/belief system, even though the vast majority of the world seems to go along with the idea of some form of religion/God.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
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Default  Posted: 3:28 PM, May 26th (Monday)

Good article, Tred. I should have read it before I spoke to my sister today. This would have been especially good to keep in mind whilst speaking to my sister.
It’s no fun debating fundamentalists
Yes, my sister is a fundamentalist.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Tred
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Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, May 26th (Monday)

Good article, Tred. I should have read it before I spoke to my sister today.

I tried to help . I understand your frustration


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

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Default  Posted: 9:23 PM, May 29th (Thursday)

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend non-religious books on recovery?

I've come across a couple, but the vast majority seem to take a heavy religious slant.

I appreciate the help.


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SisterMilkshake
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Default  Posted: 9:39 PM, May 29th (Thursday)

Have your read "Not Just Friends" by Dr. Shirley Glass? I don't recall any religious overtones in that book.

Welcome to SI and our little section of SI, MrSorry.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
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Default  Posted: 9:52 PM, May 29th (Thursday)

^ NJF is good, though I remember it being difficult early on. Really the only one I would recommend offhand, too.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 10:03 PM, May 29th (Thursday)

Yep, NJF was the only one I remember not having to constantly roll my eyes while reading as well. There is a lot of good advice in the religious books too if you can overlook the religious parts. I just replaced all of the references to god with the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

May He touch you with his Noodly Appendage.

[This message edited by h0peless at 10:37 PM, May 29th (Thursday)]


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Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, May 29th (Thursday)

I could tell I was going to like you, SisterMilkshake, just by your name and your Homer Simpson quotes.

I've read a good bit of NJF, but I don't think my H has read much. I do know that he found it nevertheless kinda preachy or judgmental or something, which resonates with me about the beginning. Then too, he hasn't broken off contact with his EAP either, so that could have something to do with it.


Me: MH 38, Him: MH 40
For-real separation for 3 months now.

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nowiknow23
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Default  Posted: 10:41 PM, May 29th (Thursday)

May He touch you with his Noodly Appendage.
Ramen.


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


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Default  Posted: 12:14 AM, May 30th (Friday)

Ramen.

And NIK just won the internet. Congratulations!!


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 12:22 AM, May 30th (Friday)


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Default  Posted: 12:27 AM, May 30th (Friday)

Then too, he hasn't broken off contact with his EAP either, so that could have something to do with it.

I think that probably has more to do with it than anything, ND.

Been thinking about you today. Hope you are hanging in there, despite all you are going through right now.


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nekorb
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Default  Posted: 11:18 PM, May 30th (Friday)

Sister Milkshake - I felt like you do for a long time. I'm kind of drifting away from it on some levels, but I can't ever go back to religion as I knew it (unhealthy and abusive).

I think capitalizing God is no different than capitalizing Buddha. I do it out of respect for people's' beliefs and would hope they will be respectful of whatever mine are as well. I think the world has a lot to learn in that area.

Mr Sorry - I haven't read this book yet, but it was recommended by my IC, it's called Rebuilding: when your relationship ends by Bruce Fisher.

I bought it used from amazon. None of the text on the outside of the book leads me to believe its religious based.

I enjoyed everyone's take on forgiveness. We are D, and that huge remorse oiece is missing that would allow me to want him in my life in any way, shape, or form beyond whatever co-parenting needs to happen.

It's people like WH that really stick in my craw when it comes to religion. Just the hippocracy of it all - him complaining about how I choose to believe in a higher power and telling me I'm wrong al the while he's having a fucking affair!

It just pisses me off.

(((Hopeless))) I'm sorry that happened with your mother. I don't know your story, so I don't understand the penis in the face reference....but regardless it sounds like a horrid experience.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

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Default  Posted: 10:43 AM, June 1st (Sunday)

Been thinking about you today. Hope you are hanging in there, despite all you are going through right now.
I'm taking it one moment at a time.

I've been suicidal since Thursday, I think. I'm trying desperately to make the right choices that won't have bad consequences, so I'm letting my friends take care of me, and even my H, who's probably going to leave me, is doing whatever it takes to keep me safe. He told me last night that he knows I won't abuse it, so that if I get to a point where I need to, I can call him even. So I'm trying not to make people worry.


Me: MH 38, Him: MH 40
For-real separation for 3 months now.

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Ascendant
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Default  Posted: 11:13 AM, June 1st (Sunday)

ND-

I think that part of making the right choices for you is not so much worrying about whether the outcome is 'bad', because 'bad' is too vaguely defined for my tastes.

You need to make the healthiest choices for you, regardless of subjective ideas like 'good' or 'bad'.

I know that you've said before that "it's too complicated" to implement a hard 180 due mainly to your madhatter status, but in my opinion we sell ourselves on ideas like 'it's too complicated' as a means of avoiding doing uncomfortable or painful choices, even when we know at heart they are the healthiest ones.

You're worried that your husband will divorce you due to your withholding of info from him for so long...and he may; that's his call, and it's a consequence of your actions.

However, none of that means that he gets to eat cake.

All this meeting in person to end it, going 'off the grid' for a month (Sidebar: what-the-actual-fuck?), still maintaining contact with his EA AP, etc., it's all substance for you to decide that he's not someone you want in your life, either.

You can both be broken, and either one of you can decide that the other's affair was a dealbreaker at any moment. You seem remorseful and want to reconcile; he seems like he's dealing with the hurt by having an EA and choosing to not be remorseful. He may not have it in him to do the real work of reconciling...many people have revenge affairs expecting to be fair-and-square and just move on, but the feelings associated with betrayal simply don't function that way. Each person's hurt needs to be addressed, and it doesn't sound like he's interested in that process at all.

You said it yourself that "you won't be married to a man that has a girlfriend". Stand by that. Be firm.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 5:06 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)

I am just going to say hi, because I have not posted in this particular forum before and did not quite realize there were other Pastafarians around.

Nodoormat, dig those fingernails in and keep hanging on.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6569 | Registered: Jan 2011
Jrazz
Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 5:37 PM, June 3rd (Tuesday)

Hi rebreather! I'm totally offended by your comment as someone who takes Festivus VERY seriously.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:54 AM, June 4th (Wednesday)

Festivus for the restivus?


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Rebreather
Member
Member # 30817
Default  Posted: 2:19 PM, June 4th (Wednesday)

I will ready the Festivus pole!

When shall the Airing of Grievances begin?


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

Posts: 6569 | Registered: Jan 2011
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, June 4th (Wednesday)

Ya'll are about 6 months too early for the Airing of the Grievances.

Rebreather - always good to "meet" a fellow Pastafarian.


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25842 | Registered: Aug 2011
HerrTrubheit
New Member
Member # 43627
Default  Posted: 12:30 PM, June 5th (Thursday)

Flipping through the local listings for an IC, noticed the Psychology Today search had many filter options, one of which was religion. All the standard flavors of theism to choose from, and then "other."

"Other," ya know, could mean anything from Wicca to Animist to, I dunno, Stormfront Norse Mythos (though I don't think militant white supremacists generally choose marriage counseling as a career). There's no "none" checkbox.

This is a problem.

I am naturally a bit combative when it comes to issues of science and religion. To me, psychotherapy is a science, however poorly understood it is at this point. Ain't no place for dogma. Makes me flare my nostrils, bare my teeth, etc. I can't have that kind of a relationship with a person I hire to guide me through the chasm. If I smell even a whiff of an assumption of a "higher power" in the room, I'm going to spend my time (and money) trying to destroy the therapist's convictions rather than reassemble my own. Unhealthy. And sad, because I know the therapist really does have my healing at heart. But it's something I can't get past.

I'm not a strident atheist, FWIW. I get along with most everyone, so long as they do no harm. But when it comes to fixin' what needs fixin' between my ears, I don't want help from someone who believes in, essentially, magic.

So... I'm assuming that this has been an issue for many, and pardon me if it's already been answered (yes, I have sinned, breaking the cardinal rule of web fora... i didn't read the whole thread before posting), but how did y'all cope with being a minority freethinker in a very silly world when it came to finding a counselor whose counsel you could believe?


Coz it don't bleed, and it don't breathe
It's locked it's jaws and now it's swallowing
It's in our hearts, and in our heads
It's in our love, baby, it's in our bed.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Jun 2014
Pass
Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 1:00 PM, June 5th (Thursday)

I was lucky, Trubheit. My shrink makes no mention of magical beings at all. He has told me that he wouldn''t be seeing any patients on the week Passover, so obviously has some sort of belief - or at least an observance - but I made sure to mention in my very first session that I''m a "fire-breathing atheist".

When I tell people that, one of two things happens:

1. They see it as me shutting down all talk about magic.
2. They see it as a challenge to convert the heathen.

My shrink seems to have taken Door #1, and Yea, it was good.

I think this is an important boundary to establish with your counsellor before you start with them. Assure them that you are not feeling empty due to a lack of magic, but you want help with your busted-up brain, and then just ask them point-blank if they can work with that.


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: 2142 | Registered: Jan 2013
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 5:53 PM, June 5th (Thursday)

Oh, HerrTribheit, you look at psychotherapy and don't see dogma? How exactly do you do that?

Passover is the most widely observed holiday by Jews. Even my atheist FIL (a wonderful man, may he RIP) held a Seder every year, and my atheist son attends when possible.

Much of the Seder is about 'what God did for me', but it's also very much about freedom and not oppressing other people. (The Seder deals with events that predate the conquest of Canaan ... but I think the archaeological record pretty much says the invasion never happened anyway.)


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10430 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 6:50 PM, June 5th (Thursday)

HerrTrubheit - I had really good luck finding a therapist listed as "other". She let me go at my own pace as far as any type of spirituality or religious conversation is concerned, in fact I was able to openly vent about some of my own feelings about my own religious upbringing. I think a really good therapist will honor your boundaries for discussion, spiritually, personally, or otherwise. If they can't, won't, or don't, there is always the option of finding a new therapist. Many of these therapists are also willing to talk to you on the phone or via email, in case you wanted to clear that issue up ahead of time before even going in there. Might be a good idea.

Best of luck!

Love the Afghan Whigs tag line, by the way.


Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
HerrTrubheit
New Member
Member # 43627
Default  Posted: 7:31 PM, June 5th (Thursday)

you look at psychotherapy and don't see dogma? How exactly do you do that?

Conceded. And lulz. Any scientific community has its dogmatic element, and the younger the discipline the more fractious it is.

I'm looking for a person who approaches the fledgling science as an art, like cooking. Sure there's now a thriving food science industry, but I'd rather get my glutamates thru a little bit of chefing than from some ADM/Monsanto/Ajinmoto chimerical monstrosity.

Love the Afghan Whigs tag line, by the way.

Loved that song for years before I came to understand it. Recently. I'd have preferred to never know.


Coz it don't bleed, and it don't breathe
It's locked it's jaws and now it's swallowing
It's in our hearts, and in our heads
It's in our love, baby, it's in our bed.

Posts: 11 | Registered: Jun 2014
MrSorry
New Member
Member # 43462
Default  Posted: 5:17 PM, June 6th (Friday)

SisterMilkshake, I'm currently reading "Not Just Friends," and "Boundaries" by Anne Katherine. Both seem to be good so far.

nekorb, I will have to check out "Rebuilding." Does anyone else have recommendations for non-religious books?

I don't necessarily have a problem with religion, I see a religious therapist, and while he will occasionally quote a bible verse to me, he knows how I believe and steers clear of it.

What I am trying to avoid are books that define my faults and choices as part of god's plan. I want nothing to do with that and I feel as though it's a round about way of absolving my responsibility for what I've done.

I appreciate all the replies.


Posts: 4 | Registered: May 2014 | From: United States
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 5:30 PM, June 6th (Friday)

...cooking. Sure there's now a thriving food science industry, but I'd rather get my glutamates thru a little bit of chefing than from some ADM/Monsanto/Ajinmoto chimerical monstrosity.

Agreed, HerrTrubheit, agreed. (And I spelled your name right today, too....)


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10430 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
veronique12
Member
Member # 42185
Default  Posted: 7:14 PM, June 6th (Friday)

Neither my MC nor my IC have ever brought up religion or spirituality. I guess they know enough to let their clients take the lead on that. Actually, early on, my MC suggested I sage my house to cleanse it of OW stank. My sharply raised eyebrow was enough for him to never bring that up again. :)


BW: me (38)
WH: 43
OW: false "friend"
D-Day: 11/29/13 (4 month EA discovered); 12/19/13 (discovered was also PA); TT thru 2/14
Married: 2001; Together for nearly 20 years
2 beautiful young kids

Posts: 558 | Registered: Jan 2014
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 10:16 AM, June 7th (Saturday)

I had a similar experience early on in IC as well. I was throwing some very judgmental labels around (regarding whom, I don't recall) and the IC said something to the effect of, "Is it really our job to judge others, though?"

I, honestly confused, raised a quizzical eyebrow at her until she casually half-pointed to the sky and said, "Isn't that God's job?". I didn't know what to say in the moment, I was really kind of taken back...not offended, just surprised that it had taken that direction.

I just made sure that I opened the next session with the information that we are both atheists, and never had any problems since.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 11:48 AM, June 7th (Saturday)

I've been skimming this thread off/on for a while but haven't posted in here before, but a lot the people I relate to the most on SI are in here.

I missed this till now. Althea wrote:

but WH and I are struggling a bit with the idea if spirituality without religion. We are both agnostic-ish. I guess I keep thinking that if I find the "right" religion for me, I could be a believer. Still, the most spiritual experiences of my life have been in nature (e.g, hiking through the Sierras, or sitting silently in an open field). That feeling of being centered and part of something bigger at the same time. I don't think religion has a the monopoly on goodness or morality and believe myself to be a moral and good person in the absence of religion.

This has been good enough for me for a long time; but lately as I am in recovery from shame and a highly dysfunctional past, I am questioning again this idea of spirituality without religion. It is a required step in healing for various recovery programs, and I understand the necessity of believing and putting your faith in something other than yourself, I'm just not sure how.
Is anyone else struggling with or working successfully through this?

I can definitely relate to that. I remember after dday wanting to find a more spiritual path of some kind for some reason. My husband wanted it even more so than I did. We spent a lot more time in nature because of that and that's been great. But I remember that feeling of wanting to look for something more.

I've been bothered by something more and more lately and figured you guys would understand. I've posted that we've attended Retrouvaille and it helped me with identifying feelings etc. I needed that. But other things such as the idea of forgiveness as portrayed in the bible -- yeah forget that. Couples will tell their stories and there is often one spouse who had an affair and the BS says they forgave them instantly. Ok, whatever floats your boat. Not the way it works for me. (Side note: I really liked Claudia Black's take on forgiveness and the mention of cheap forgiveness. Helped me a lot). Maybe it's simply because I don't have a religious upbringing to fall back on that I can't belief it's possible.

I do enjoy other aspects of Retrouvaille too. We've met some really nice couples, who want us more involved, and is nice being around people who have been through the war and are focusing on the marriages, but I sometimes feel like a fraud. There are references to the Bible (basic stuff) and I don't know the stories/teachings behind it. I feel like I'm keeping a secret that I'm not Catholic, let alone of no faith whatsoever. I don't think they will necessarily would look down upon me (not openly anyway), and I really don't think it's really a secret because I don't join into any religious discussions etc. It's just that I don't really want to discuss it. It's my business. I'm not looking to be converted or think that they have the answers. There can be a lot of rugsweeping in the name of God IMO. It just feels off to me some times that this was started by the church, so why am I there? And am I being dishonest to continue to be there?

Religion caused a lot of problems in my family. Ok, the fanatical family members tied to the religion caused the problems but it makes it hard for me to embrace it. You were either in it or you weren't. There was little middle ground. I respected the choices of those who were in it, I just knew it wasn't going to be me.

But at the same time I think it must be nice to have some faith in 'something' that brings you whatever…..maybe some peace or 'something'…..as I think Althea was eluding to. Sometimes I think I'd like that for myself and maybe looking into something really broad like (….name withheld). But I always hesitate to go down any path because at the core I'm not a believer so it wouldn't be right.

I'm just finishing up a book on narcissism and it talks about the generations who have moved away from religion into spirituality and being their own higher power and the possible downfall of that. Maybe that's been my problem because I have overwhelming issue with authority.

[This message edited by DixieD at 11:55 AM, June 7th (Saturday)]


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 11:50 AM, June 7th (Saturday)

((((NoDoormat))))


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
tigereyes
Member
Member # 25318
Default  Posted: 4:13 PM, June 8th (Sunday)

I am tired of people telling me things will get better if I will just pray and give my life to god. Really? SO that will make my husband's affairs disappear and turn him into someone that he isn't? I can have a best friend again, not some woman who hides behind her church activities so nobody will know what a whore she really is? My kids lives won't be completely upended anymore? And if all that is true does it come on the backs of the starving children around the world because I'm not sure I'm worth all that.

I wish I could get people to just accept, I don't believe. That has had no bearing on my husband being a dirtbag. And I don't think Jesus is going to be in court to ensure I get maximum spousal support.


BW-40
WH-41 2 EA's that I know of, 1 with my "best" friend of 26 years
Married almost 22 years
4 kids - 21, 18, 14, and 11
He filed D 6/11/14
Fighting me for custody

Posts: 113 | Registered: Aug 2009
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 5:23 PM, June 8th (Sunday)

Tigereyes-

I feel ya.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 11:04 PM, June 9th (Monday)

tigereyes - I understand. I believe that no matter what a person's belief system may or may not be, most folks want to be supportive and comforting.

I think people speak their "belief language" (I totally just made that term up), whether that's "You're in my prayers," "may Odin smile on you," or "Wishing you peace." Their intent is what matters in my book, even if their specific words don't line up with my beliefs.

I hope that when I speak my "belief language" people hear the intent behind the words; when I say I will keep them in my thoughts, I hope it will bring them comfort rather than concern that I'm not praying for them.

[This message edited by nowiknow23 at 11:05 PM, June 9th (Monday)]


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25842 | Registered: Aug 2011
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 11:22 PM, June 9th (Monday)

belief language

I really like that term, NIK. I will totally be stealing that.


Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 11:27 PM, June 9th (Monday)


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25842 | Registered: Aug 2011
Gotmegood
Member
Member # 41407
Default  Posted: 11:53 PM, June 9th (Monday)

Responding here to threads posted a few? days ago...I have been so fortunate in hooking up with a therapist who has never sprinkled in the 'higher power' stuff. Perhaps because religion is notably absent in my conversations, perhaps because IC takes that lead from me, or maybe I just got lucky.
I have a question though... I have modest interest in Retrou-whatever/however it's spelled, and wanted to know if it is 'cultish'; is it religion based? Thx


Me: faithful wife 62.
Him: WH 64 , prostitute 20 yr old
DDay: 8-13-2013
Status: boinging up and down like a yo-yo

Posts: 499 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Florida
norabird
Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, June 10th (Tuesday)

Saw someone mention Codependent No More back in the thread, and I read The Grief Club by Melody Beattie the other week. Just curious, do others find themselves totally digging the God talk when they encounter it in some places? I have been an atheist for just about twenty years, and I feel really comfortable and firm in it, but I also love where Beattie (as an example) comes from, the religious-inspired idea of acceptance and that wherever you are in your life is where you are supposed to be. But then I don't know how to *think* about that feeling of attraction and rightness that I get with those ideas that are based on their being a God. Can I just inoccuosly substitute in a vague Universe there even though it's not really rational to do that either?

I guess like on SI: Take what's useful, and lose the rest?


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
LosferWords
Guide
Member # 30369
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, June 10th (Tuesday)

I think that was my approach to the book, norabird. (ETA: meaning take what you want and leave the rest)

Perhaps being an almost lifelong atheist-turned-agnostic who grew up with a somewhat strict and rigid religious upbringing has given me a knack for automatically filtering it out, I don't know. I'll have to skim back through the book to see all of the religious content that was in there. Maybe another aspect of me missing that or ignoring it was that my mind was hungry for what I thought was the "meat" of the book (for me, anyway), which was learning that you can't control others, even through trying to desperately appease them.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 11:28 AM, June 10th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
Ascendant
Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 9:18 PM, June 10th (Tuesday)

That's how I read it, as well. It doesn't matter if you think Gaia, God, Zeus, nothing, or the FSM are behind the scenes working the levers of life...bottom line is: you ain't, and you never will be, and you're wasting precious hours of daylight thinking (really, obsessing) about it.

My take, anyhoo.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, June 11th (Wednesday)

Gotmegood, Retrouvaille was started by the Catholic church. When you go on a Weekend it is run/presented by volunteers who have gone through their weekend in the past, and with a Priest. There are religious references.

Personally I see the merit of the program. The information is well organized and the focus is on working on your marriage and your own accountability. We got a lot more out of it and a lot less money spent than we did with MC. Like with anything, you get out of it what you put into it. For me it fell under the category of -- Take what you need and leave the rest. If someone would be offended or fixate on the religious aspects then I think it may not be the right fit for them.

We've stuck around and helped/volunteered, much like the veterans on SI stick around and help. We want to help but don't know how suited for it we are from the religious aspect, but we equally get something out of it. It helps us as a couple while we help others. That is what the group promotes. There is talk from other couples of the importance of God and how He saved their marriage, whereas we feel the majority falls on our hard work and dedication/determination. Although from how far we'd fallen into a pit, maybe there was some kind of miracle thrown in there.

My husband hit rock-bottom and can pinpoint a specific time when he had an epiphany of sorts. The time during his affair when he realized he was screwing up his life and all he could visualize was darkness in his future and he had to make a change. For whatever reason, he got a wake up call that he needed and he didn't shrug it off. That's why after dday he was more interested in spirituality when before he had none.

When I was writing about Retrouvaille, it was just about me and my feelings, not anything that anyone has done from any sort of 'cult' stand point. If that makes sense.

Re: Codependent No More, I'm like Losfer, I'm not sure I noticed a lot of the God references in that book. Being a ACOA, it hit more literally about my childhood and how I brought all that need for control forward with me and how harmful and futile it was to me and others, so realizing that the 'Higher Power' couldn't be me.

[This message edited by DixieD at 9:42 AM, June 11th (Wednesday)]


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 11:35 AM, June 11th (Wednesday)

The information is well organized and the focus is on working on your marriage and your own accountability.

I wanted to expand upon this a little. Because it does focus on the marriage, as many MC and infidelity books do as well, there have been times when infidelity has been presented/discussed that we've felt more emphasize was being placed on the marriage breakdown leading up to the affair vs the WS's own personal issues/choices. Combine that with a focus on forgiveness, which falls primarily on BS, and sometimes it feels like the depth of trauma is not fully delved into and that can be partly because of time constraints. We have a problem with that no matter where it is presented. That really falls into a leave the rest scenario. Although we discuss afterwards how we both saw that and didn't agree with it. So even if we leave it, it causes a discussion for us and that is not a bad thing.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 3:04 PM, June 11th (Wednesday)

Are folks here aware of the recent Gallup poll? See http://www.gallup.com/poll/170822/believe-creationist-view-human-origins.aspx or yesterday's NY Times.

19% of the people surveyed say they believe people evolved but God had no part in the process - up from 9% in 1982.

Among 18-29 year olds, more people(30%) believe that God has no role in our evolution than believe God created us as we are less than 10,000 years ago (28%). For 30-39 year olds, 46% believe the fundamentalist position, and 20% believe the evolution without God position.

I don't know if people get more fundamentalist as they move into child-rearing years or if there's a generational shift going on. Since I always thought the year 2000 would bring fundamentalists out in large numbers (as the year 1000 seems to have done), I would bet it's a generational shift - except that I probably won't be around to collect or pay off....


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10430 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 9:57 PM, June 11th (Wednesday)

So wait - 40-46% of 30-39 year olds in that poll believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old?

I don't think I believe in those numbers. They must be imaginary.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
victoriasmile28
New Member
Member # 43694
Default  Posted: 10:06 PM, June 11th (Wednesday)

Hi everyone. I'm still with my husband for the time being. We are both atheists and are having a difficult time finding the resources that fit our particular need. Our situation isn't typical. Its hard enough finding therapists who aren't about fixing or marriage with faith and god. Hes a sex addict and the most successful treatments for any addiction are 12 programs all of which are based on prayer and relying on/surrendering to a higher power. It's beyond frustrating.

Posts: 9 | Registered: Jun 2014 | From: victoriasmile28
nowiknow23
Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 12:24 AM, June 12th (Thursday)

Hi, victoriasmile, and welcome.

I know there are secular recovery options for addictions - SMART is the first one that comes to mind - but I don't know of any that are specifically for SA. Maybe SMART could be a resource for finding an SA specific one?


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25842 | Registered: Aug 2011
DixieD
Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 10:32 AM, June 12th (Thursday)

Victoriasmile, yes welcome Have you heard of Recoverynation? It helps SA and their spouses and doesn't use the 12 step model.


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, June 12th (Thursday)

I don't think I believe in those numbers.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10430 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
tagalong
Member
Member # 41770
Default  Posted: 3:29 PM, June 12th (Thursday)

Really glad to see this group. I stuggled with the idea of ending my marriage because I was supposed to be committed forever no matter what. I have a religious family and they already think I will burst into flames if I set foot in a church. Every time I go to a wedding or funeral they chide me about it. I mostly ignore it but I don't go to many of these events anyway.

When they finally learn I'm divorcing, I'm sure I'm going to get the guilt trip. One of my other sisters recently went through this and got some flack, but not as much as me because she feigns religious beliefs (I say this because she doesn't live what she preaches).

I don't care. I'm not close with most of them anyway and generally don't speak to them. The only thing I care is that I'm freeing myself from the confines of a toxic relationship. I'm sure part of their hang ups come from their own troubled relationships and if they are too cowardly to do the same for themselves, it's their problem, not mine. They shouldn't want me to stay in a sick marriage just for the sake of it, or for the religious beliefs I don't share.

I think they're still floored I didn't do a church wedding and that was more than 14 years ago hahahahaha!

[This message edited by tagalong at 3:30 PM, June 12th (Thursday)]


living together separately, preparing for divorce

my WS is 7 years older
we have been together 21 years
DDay for last known EA: December 15, 2013
WS had prior known short EA with a kiss years before
WS exhibiting textbook mid-life crisis behaviors,


Posts: 65 | Registered: Dec 2013
Abbondad
Member
Member # 37898
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, June 14th (Saturday)

Its hard enough finding therapists who aren't about fixing or marriage with faith and god.

Before I was married I visited a psychologist to help me cope with something (in retrospect, something embarrassingly trivial). After my lengthy reply to her question, "How can I help you?" She asked whom or what I turned to as my higher power.

My heart sank.

I informed her that I was an atheist. I will never forget her response: "Well, Abbondad, that's the first problem we need to address."

I promptly got up, told her this would not work out, thanked her for her time, and left. She seemed shocked.

Thankfully I now have a wonderful therapist--who also happens to be an atheist.

Oh, and she charged me for the twenty minutes I spent with her! :-)


Divorced April Fool's Day 2014

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
-Dune


Posts: 1647 | Registered: Dec 2012
Pass
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Default  Posted: 8:30 PM, June 14th (Saturday)

I informed her that I was an atheist. I will never forget her response: "Well, Abbondad, that''s the first problem we need to address."

Just WOW! You did the right thing by leaving, and I''m totally impressed that you did it so calmly. You deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for not finding the nearest crucifix and burying it in her skull.


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


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Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, June 14th (Saturday)

Abbondad-

I could totally envision that scenario. For a great many of us with codependency issues (and hence, control issues), it seems from my experience speaking with others that the "appeal to a higher power/give up control to a higher power" is an easy first crutch to go to for many counselors.

That's not even a criticism, either, because I'm sure it's a valid and effective approach for counselors dealing with people who are at least spiritual, if not committed to an organized religion. If I was a therapist and that approach works 7/10 times, it'd probably be the first tactic I went to as well.

I will never forget her response: "Well, Abbondad, that's the first problem we need to address."
This is pretty fucked up, though.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 9:05 AM, June 23rd (Monday)

In honor of the late George Carlin, who died six years ago:

Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck


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

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Default  Posted: 2:50 PM, June 24th (Tuesday)

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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
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Default  Posted: 1:52 PM, June 25th (Wednesday)

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: 1440 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
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Default  Posted: 3:29 PM, June 25th (Wednesday)

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).

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Default  Posted: 3:42 PM, June 25th (Wednesday)

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.


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Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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?


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 4:16 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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)

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Default  Posted: 6:53 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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


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Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 9:05 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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


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Default  Posted: 9:28 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

Sigh.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
nuance
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Default  Posted: 10:53 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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.

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Default  Posted: 11:20 PM, July 6th (Sunday)

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.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 12:19 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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.


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Default  Posted: 12:36 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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...


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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h0peless
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Default  Posted: 1:30 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
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Default  Posted: 7:30 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 8:54 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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 keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


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Default  Posted: 11:26 AM, July 7th (Monday)

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.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Red  Posted: 12:16 PM, July 7th (Monday)

Razor,

You have a PM.


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Default  Posted: 1:37 PM, July 7th (Monday)

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.

I agree with Ascendant, but ... the part that keeps me wondering is the evidence that the world is not simply mechanical. I know, I know - randomness - but that doesn't quite seem true, either.


fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

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Default  Posted: 1:47 PM, July 7th (Monday)

I completely agree, sisoon. I've experienced things that don't register on the mechanical plane. It's just one of those things where I feel like the more I learn, the less I know...

Looking for a scientific answer to my feelings... that will work, right?

Hey h0peless - any luck on coming up with a prettier euphemism for "cynical"?


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 3:08 PM, July 7th (Monday)

The problem with understanding exactly how everything works is that you have a complete understanding of everything, which renders the entire debate moot due to your omniscience.

At which point, you'd have at least one trait of an all powerful deity, from a scientific standpoint.

Also, it's a useful job skill if you're a Ghostbuster, but you're expected to pad your resume there.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 3:10 PM, July 7th (Monday)

Sometimes you hurt my brain, SG, and I do mean that in the kindest way possible.

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Default  Posted: 3:16 PM, July 7th (Monday)

Between this and your last post in BM21 I have had the best laughs of the year today, StillGoing. Insomnia suits you.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 5:23 PM, July 7th (Monday)

I want to apologize for my last post. Something I read over the weekend had me thinking back about Marx's Communist Manifesto and once I started typing (flow of consciousness) I kinda forgot my audience.

I didnt mean to paint all religions and people of faith with a same brush and assume that if they were religious they must believe this or that.

Everyone has different beliefs and different levels of belief. Marx (and Nietzsche and others) believed that religion was unnecessary in a enlightened society. Their version of what a enlightened society was is actually highly intolerant.. and that is FAR from my own personal beliefs

My personal beliefs are that as long as a person does no harm to others I really dont care what they believe or dont believe or what god they pray to.

As I said though I was thinking about Marx and got on a roll and my fingers got ahead of my thinking and so I did not consider how others would feel. I am very sorry if I offended anyone.

[This message edited by Razor at 5:25 PM, July 7th (Monday)]


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


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Default  Posted: 9:39 PM, July 7th (Monday)

Looking for a scientific answer to my feelings... that will work, right?
Wait, so you mean...oh, f***....I am in serious trouble.

More seriously, I really don't know how to NOT intellectualize things to death. I read on here all the time about how you're supposed to 'feel' your feelings, your anger, your sadness, etc., but I don't even know what that looks like IRL. Analyzing and intellectualizing stuff is part and parcel to who I am...not only that, but the fact that I don't let my feelings get in the way of work and stuff that needs to get done has always been a trait that I'm really proud of.

I mean, what is 'feeling' my anger, for example? Yelling at my wife? Calling her names? Putting a hammer through OM's face? I don't know what it means to just sit and feel something. I feel like it's a pretty significant....something or other. I'd say 'hurdle', but again, I *like* being able to not be ruled by my emotions, so sometimes I think it'd be easier to just chuck the whole f***ing marriage and move on....as in, why should I have to change the way I happily operate because my wife degraded herself?

That being said, I'm having a f***ing terrible mind movie day, so...y'know, grain of salt, yada, yada, yada.

Sometimes you hurt my brain, SG, and I do mean that in the kindest way possible.

Between this and your last post in BM21 I have had the best laughs of the year today, StillGoing. Insomnia suits you.
You want funny, find his Yoda (or was it Obi-Wan, SG?) rant in the BM archives one day. StillGoing is like high on my list of people I'd be interested in meeting at a G2G...but you know, not in a creepy way.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 9:58 PM, July 7th (Monday)

Razor, thanks for saying something. I understand that you had a rough go where religion is concerned and I respect your feelings, there are just so many people on this site whose feelings and beliefs I also respect and I'd hate to accidentally hurt some feelings over something that is so deeply personal.

Ascendant, I truly think we need to limit our tandem posts to about 6 per thread or it WILL turn into an intellectualizing death spiral. I'm sorry for the mind-movie slog. You're 1.5ish years out from the last Dday, right? That is a tough window. I know we're all talking about the benefits of autonomy right now... but in terms of the affair fallout I really want to encourage you to find a good space to try and involve Livewithhope when you go through these triggers. I know you struggle with what to do with the anger, but if you can separate that out from the pain and make yourself a teensy bit vulnerable and tell her you're hurting, she may actually appreciate the trust you're putting in her to talk that out.

Just a thought.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 10:02 PM, July 7th (Monday)

Something I read over the weekend had me thinking back about Marx's Communist Manifesto and once I started typing (flow of consciousness) I kinda forgot my audience.

I think that for all I ramble off on tangents all the fucking time I have it a lot better because I am always watching for it. Which kinda says alot given how much I just go into that place anyway.

As for the Yoda post, I don't remember that one well. I bet if I found it and read it I'd be all "FUCK YEAH MAN" but most of this stuff just kinda rolls along like a torrential river and my mouth/posting/whatever is just a sliver window that occasionally encompasses enough of a complete thought sequence it retains some kind of coherency. Was that the one bitching about Iron Man or was that a different one? I feel compelled to tie in Thor somehow just to keep this on topic but I will just throw the brakes on.

eta:

I am a LOT less colorful IRL. Since we had kids anyway. or since the second one I guess. I'm really pretty boring.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 10:04 PM, July 7th (Monday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 10:06 PM, July 7th (Monday)

I know you struggle with what to do with the anger, but if you can separate that out from the pain and make yourself a teensy bit vulnerable and tell her you''re hurting, she may actually appreciate the trust you''re putting in her to talk that out.

Right.

I agree.

I dunno. This is on me, not her, but it feels repetitive and dumb. It''s like,

Me: "Oh, I''m hurting because I''m picturing you having sex against a wall with one of my friends."

Her: "I''m sorry I hurt you."

Me: "..."

Repeat ad nauseaum for every trigger. Her response might change a bit, but really, what can she say at this point?

And that''s it. I don''t feel any better, she feels worse, etc. Sharing it with her doesn''t do anything for me, healing-wise. I know she''s sorry. I know she feels terrible...but knowing that does nothing for me....know what I mean? I don''t feel better just because I know she feels worse.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 10:11 PM, July 7th (Monday)

SG-

No, it was something about calling Yoda a scared b**** or something because when s** when down, he took off and hid. It was in BM (like 8-12, probably), but I just casually looked through your older posts and I think it fell off the archives. I have your post praising Captain America saved on my computer though, that one is awesome.

I think I'm about the same in real life, just that my thoughts are less organized IRL. I've been known to swear a lot, still, but try to avoid it in front of polite company or children.

ETA: Is casually looking through people's older posts stalker-y? 'Cuz if so...then I''m creepy.

ETA2: I'm not trying to poo-poo anyone's advice. It's all good advice, it's just stuff that I've tried and hasn't really worked for me.

[This message edited by Ascendant at 10:30 PM, July 7th (Monday)]


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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Default  Posted: 10:46 PM, July 7th (Monday)

I'm not worried about whether you take my advice or not - I know that my perspective is rarely going to apply to someone else's. I just advise on the off-chance.

I did want to clarify that I'm not suggesting you tell her so that you feel better or she feels worse. I get that talking doesn't magically fix it. I suggested it in the context of this conversation because I think it's tough to go through that alone. If you talk to her about it, she can be there with you, and there's something about having someone/something there with you that is sometimes comforting for all parties.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 11:07 PM, July 7th (Monday)

I suggested it in the context of this conversation because I think it's tough to go through that alone. If you talk to her about it, she can be there with you, and there's something about having someone/something there with you that is sometimes comforting for all parties.
You're 100% right - your advice does make a lot of sense in the context of the conversation we were having here.

I think I'm just having a shitty, triggery day, and this thread got some stuff from inside me that would have been more appropriate in general or the BM thread. My issues were not really 'in context' with this thread, that's my bad.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
h0peless
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Default  Posted: 1:51 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Hey h0peless - any luck on coming up with a prettier euphemism for "cynical"?

Nope. I even looked it up in a thesaurus.

I guess I'm still in a pretty cynical place when it comes to thinking about relationships. Everybody thinks I should be over it by now, and maybe I should, but it seems that they bring people more pain than joy.

Just in a really, really dark place lately.


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Default  Posted: 12:01 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I hear that, h0peless. I'm so sorry.

Everybody thinks I should be over it by now,

Pshhh, everybody WHO? You get as much time to figure it out as it takes. Period.

I seem to recall that you like to travel - any chance you can get out for a while?

I looked up better words, or upgrades, for cynicism too... sometimes I'll swap "pragmatism" in even through it's not exactly the same.

I'm not sure what it means, but if people still in relationships are having the same feelings that people who aren't in relationships are, that at least means that you're not alone in this.

I still believe that there are people who are inherently good who we have the fortune to spend some time with. Sometimes it takes getting out a little farther past our comfort zones, both literally and mentally.

I also wonder if your username isn't subconsciously taking jabs at you from time to time... I want you to have h0pe someday.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
h0peless
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Default  Posted: 12:24 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Family and friends mostly. My brother and his fiance just had a baby and every time I'm around them, she bugs me about finding someone and having babies and then they make fun of me for turining into "Uncle Harold", who is a perfectly nice, harmless guy with really bad OCD who hasn't been in a relationship for as long as anyone in our generation can remember. Apparently he was engaged in the '70s, had a really traumatic breakup and was never the same. Maybe that's my fate as well.

Travel is out of the question right now due to finances. I'd love to go to Boston to see my sister and her wife, or Iowa to watch my step brother play Football, or back to Italy to see my other sister but I really can't afford it. That sort of is my escape and I think I need to find a new one that isn't so expensive.

ETA: It probably doesn't help much that the 2 year antiversary is coming up on the 29th. This is just going to be one of those months for a while, I think.

[This message edited by h0peless at 12:27 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


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Default  Posted: 12:32 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

she bugs me about finding someone and having babies and then they make fun of me for turining into "Uncle Harold

Wow, I'm trying to find another word besides "assholes" to describe these people since it's your family... but I can't find my thesaurus.

Antiversaries definitely make things harder to push through. Keep leaning on us - you know we're here and we get it. Eyes on the 30th. I swear that as soon as I'm out of the anti window it's like a weight lifts. Gets easier every year, too.

(((h0peless

(Bro hug - I can't help but notice the room is full of dudes right now. When in Rome!)


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 12:40 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I'm not sure about assholes. Since I'm such a big fan of euphemisms, I'd brobably say "lacking in empathy because they've never experienced it before" and for that, I'm glad. I would normally talk to my brother in law about it since he's been through it twice but he lives in Italy and is too busy running with the bulls in Spain right now to talk.

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Default  Posted: 12:44 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I'm sorry about the "Uncle Harold" comment, h0peless. I'm sure they didn't know how much that stung, even though it is far from the truth.

Those antiversary months are brutal, but they get better with time. The first couple of years were particularly rough for me. Try to do something nice for yourself, if you can.

You been out on your bike lately?

Thinking of you, man.

[This message edited by LosferWords at 12:44 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


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Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I'm sorry - assholes was a bit harsh. I just don't get how someone can make FUN of someone who has been through something like this. I'll stick with "lacking in empathy" but I think "completely insensitive" is a little closer.

Running with the bulls? Eek! Sending not-getting-gored mojo to bro-in-law.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 1:12 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

You been out on your bike lately?

I need to put a new clutch in it. Plus, it has been 110 degrees here, which isn't exactly ideal motorcycle weather. I'm hoping to get it back on the road sooner rather than later.

I just don't get how someone can make FUN of someone who has been through something like this.

I agree with you but at the same time, without the experience, you have no way of knowing how deeply it effects someone. I really don't think they're doing it with any malicious intent, I just think they are clueless.


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
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Default  Posted: 2:03 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

My brother and his fiance just had a baby and every time I'm around them, she bugs me about finding someone and having babies and then they make fun of me for turining into "Uncle Harold", who is a perfectly nice, harmless guy with really bad OCD who hasn't been in a relationship for as long as anyone in our generation can remember. Apparently he was engaged in the '70s, had a really traumatic breakup and was never the same.

You could turn around and bug her to go clubbing to the wee hours and leave the baby home with your brother so you guys can cruise for dudes and party like it's 2199, then make fun of her for being a sour old gramma when she says she can't do that.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 2:12 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Solid plan, SG. Upvote.


Me BS
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2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

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Default  Posted: 2:18 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I would agree, but I somehow can't see h0peless retorting with an equally asshole response. I mean, um, sassy response. Sasshole?

(I can, however, see SG, Rebreather, and myself easily popping off with something like this. )


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 2:35 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I also second that plan. I'm in a better mood today!


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

That's true, Razzmatazz. My inner bitch often forgets she is supposed to stay inner.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

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Default  Posted: 3:08 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

So, what's the deal here? Do I need to read the first 29 pages of this group first? Or can I just post my rant/vent about how I think my godlessness might have contributed to my selfishness? :)

It looks like there's a conversation in progress here. I don't want to hijack :)

I'd post over in wayward but, honestly, I don't want to offend anyone religious by my lack thereof..


Me: FWH (39)
Her: BW (34)
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
Married: 13 Years
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Default  Posted: 3:15 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

@rebreather: Meh. We still get invited to parties.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 3:16 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 3:18 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Or can I just post my rant/vent about how I think my godlessness might have contributed to my selfishness?

You can post that and I'd be happy to poke holes in your argument.

[This message edited by h0peless at 3:26 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
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Default  Posted: 3:51 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Or can I just post my rant/vent about how I think my godlessness might have contributed to my selfishness?

I don't think anyone is going to get upset about you posting, but your responses are going to vary based on your motives. If you want support for a personal experience that has to do with atheism then you'll get support for that. If you are going to blame it for cheating then you probably want to take that back to the WS forum because the 2x4's you'd need are all lined up over there.

eta:

By "blame" I don't mean "My thought process got all fucked up and I figured since there was no afterlife I should go crazy and do what I want, then I thought better of that" I mean "I HAD NO MORALS BECAUSE I WAS A ATHËIST AND YES THATS HOW METAL I WAS IT HAS A UMLAUT" kind of thing. Which would still be a fun conversation but I don't think it would be very productive.

eta again:

fucked up the grammar so it was consistently fucked up.

[This message edited by StillGoing at 3:55 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 4:30 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

My thought process got all fucked up and I figured since there was no afterlife I should go crazy and do what I want

Yeah, it was something along those lines.

I deleted what I wrote. I tend to be too wordy anyway.

The rest of it was not relevant to my infidelity and just negativity in general about religion and how we're treated by others who are religious and about making friends in general.

Maybe I do need to read all 29 pages. I guess I'm not the first person to stumble in here saying something like that?



Me: FWH (39)
Her: BW (34)
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
Married: 13 Years
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Default  Posted: 4:38 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

***Posting as a member***

We strive not to complain about religion in here so much as to support each other through non-religious means, SelfishHusband. You probably see us horsing around in here a little bit but it is coming on the tails of serious conversation.

You are allowed to post your feelings on how religion has influenced your behaviors either by its presence or lackthereof, but we still try to keep it respectful as a sign of support to the rest of the membership.

I think this thread was inspired by those who needed somewhere to turn but didn't feel that prayer or God was a solution. I myself am a bigtime waffler so I appreciate prayer as a gesture that is meaningful to different people on different levels. This is a space that is stepped outside of those kinds of solutions.

I hope that makes sense.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 4:39 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

No, it's just a predictable and really lame excuse. Even six year olds know that there are certain things they're not supposed to do because they aren't nice. They have empathy for the person they would be hurting and they act to avoid trampling on another person's feelings for their own selfish gain. Sometimes the threat of punishment is a deterrent but usually, it boils down to empathy versus selfishness.

To further the point, research has shown that an abstract punishment that may or may not come sometime in the undefined future is very little deterrent. When I was little, I "knew" deep down inside that if I pulled my sister's hair in February, Santa might remember in December and give me coal in my stocking. It wasn't enough of a deterrent to keep me from doing it (ask my sister!) and as an adult, I don't think the threat of retribution from some unseeable deity would be enough to keep me from knowingly hurting another person if my own sense of human empathy would allow it.

[This message edited by h0peless at 8:41 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


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Default  Posted: 4:46 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I don't think the threat of retribution from some unseeable deity would be enough to keep me from knowingly hurting another person if my own sense of human empathy would allow it.

Amazingly insightful. I read this ten times.

Crazz swore on his beloved recently deceased mother's soul that he never touched AP - then copped to sex the next day. In retrospect he says that he had a general belief in souls but just convinced himself for that split second that swearing on them didn't matter.

Click.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 4:59 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Exactly Hopeless and Jrazz. Exactly.

I feel like my desire to do right by others is stronger because it is self-directed. It isn't because I am afraid of some invisible being striking me down if I don't do it in just their particular way. I do it because doing right by others is the right thing to do. Full stop. It is the same way I have attempted to raise my children; that they will strive to do right because being a good person is their goal, not that they are afraid of me and what kind of retribution I may deliver upon them.

There are some wonderful guildelines and teachings by an assortment of religous leaders, Jesus included. When all of that got managed into a book and an assortment of other issues is when I lose the thread of how it relates to me specifically. I don't need or want that. Don't buy it. But the underlying principles are of great value. More of a Marcus Borg person than a Dobson person, I guess is what I'm rambling.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

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Default  Posted: 6:17 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Yeah, it was something along those lines.

I deleted what I wrote. I tend to be too wordy anyway.

The rest of it was not relevant to my infidelity and just negativity in general about religion and how we're treated by others who are religious and about making friends in general.

Maybe I do need to read all 29 pages. I guess I'm not the first person to stumble in here saying something like that?

If you aren't bashing anyone or debating religious beliefs then I don't think it'd big deal so long as it maintained respect for peoples beliefs in general. Except for agnostics. I don't believe in them anyway.

I'm kind of curious though, how isn't it related to your infidelity if it was a contributor to it via a rationalization process? Also, I'm sure whatever you wrote wasn't too wordy. Use the words man.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 6:26 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I don't believe in them anyway.

Prove it.


Me BS
Him WH
2 ddays in '07
Recovering.
"The cure for the pain, is the pain." -Rumi

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Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

If an agnostic fell over in the woods...never mind. That was me working outside earlier .


Married: 17 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
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Default  Posted: 7:31 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I don't believe in them anyway
.
Prove it.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 8:26 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Tred.

I had a good one, but I don't want to offend any dyslexics or dog people.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 8:32 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Then there are the diagnostics... who neither believe or disbelieve in two gods.

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Default  Posted: 8:41 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

This train has derailed.

[This message edited by Jrazz at 8:41 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)]


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 8:49 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Y'all are silly.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 9:09 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

Prove it.

This is where I escalate to challenging you to pay for the fmri and then something fucking scary happens where a black van shows up outside my house with a picture of some WW1 gas mask on it just as I sit down to read your reply of "Okay, should be ready about now." Then it all gets too close to that movie Brazil and I lose the plot.


"You have insulted my footwear."

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Default  Posted: 9:12 PM, July 8th (Tuesday)

I certainly wouldn't f#$% with rebreather.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 4:34 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

I haven't been an official "non-believer" for very long now. I have had my doubts from a young age, but I have finally embraced them and I am at peace with it, finally.

However, I was recently called "Satan's ignorant henchmen". That was a first. And, I have got to be honest, it kind of hurt. Just a little. Scared me, too. It is so hard to overcome my indoctrination.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Pass
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Default  Posted: 4:44 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

"Satan''s ignorant henchmen"

Dude, be proud. We should get that printed on jackets!


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


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Default  Posted: 4:47 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

Oh, thank you, Pass. You are right. Leather jackets with our logo. Cool!


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
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Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

I want a beanie.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

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Default  Posted: 8:27 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

T-shirt for me, please. Size XL.

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Default  Posted: 10:00 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

Two pug sized t-shirts here. They're 20#'s if it matters.


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

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Default  Posted: 10:10 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

Oh man, I used to have a pug! I love those lil guys!


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2185 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 11:20 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

They're my happy place - when I don't want to sell them to the circus on account of barking.



Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 11:22 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

Ascendant:

I don't know what it means to just sit and feel something.

To me this means not distracting yourself from the uncomfortable feeling, but allowing (or sometimes forcing) yourself to sit with it and experience it.

We talked about it a lot in terms of recovering from an eating disorder - You don't use the food/bingeing/purging etc to distract from whatever uncomfortable feeling you are having...you force yourself to sit there and FEEL it....which usually means being miserable for at least a little while....and you learn other coping skills that are healthy through that process.


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
nekorb
Member
Member # 40306
Default  Posted: 11:25 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

However, I was recently called "Satan's ignorant henchmen". That was a first. And, I have got to be honest, it kind of hurt. Just a little. Scared me, too. It is so hard to overcome my indoctrination.

Wow. Just wow. Do you really care about the opinion of a person/group that would utter those words?

I liken it to a group hollering the "n" word at a black person...would you give two shits what those people thought? Or write them off as assholes?


Me: BS 44; Him: WH 47 aka CAT- colossal asshat; Married 22 years
D-day: July 17, 2013, with TT to follow
D filed July 16, 2014, 363 days later than I should have
Psalms 27:14
Wait for The Lord; be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord.

Posts: 1838 | Registered: Aug 2013
Maxiom
Member
Member # 26001
Default  Posted: 11:38 PM, July 9th (Wednesday)

I have been called worse. When someone says it with hatred such statements are almost dehumanizing. Still I have gotten used to it.

My trip to florida was certainly an eye opener. At least in Canada the fundies are generally few and far between. I had one Adventist guy go ape at me because I had the gall to throw out a pamphlet he handed me with a picture of Jesus on it. well.. he got a little miffed.. then I asked if he would prefer i burn it.. then he went crazy on me.


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: 462 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: Canada
SelfishHusband
Member
Member # 43174
Default  Posted: 3:43 PM, July 11th (Friday)

Use the words man.

Fine.

My Dad died 20 years ago. I was 18 and home from college for the summer I think. I was pretty much an atheist by that point, but still, at the end, when he was really suffering, I prayed.

I prayed like I never prayed before. "If you're out there, please forgive me for not believing. Please save him." When he was gone, it really just solidified it for me. There is no divine intervention, because if god does exist, then it's a god who does not know about events on this planet. Because if he/she/it did know, and was truly omnipotent, then he/she/it wouldn't allow the kind of suffering that goes on in the world.
And for those that say it's all according to some plan, then that plan SUCKS and I don't want any part of a god like that.

I also remember the day after he passed, I woke up, and I felt RELIEVED, that at least I was still alive and I was still breathing and I wasn't suffering. Clearly this is a selfish feeling and I remember I felt ashamed about it. This is actually the first time I'm telling anyone about it as well.
So I was originally going to say that maybe, subconsciously, his death contributed to my selfishness because if it doesn't matter what we do or don't do, since death comes for us all in the end, so I can go have sex with my friend's wife and it really doesn't matter in the long run. When my time is up, I'll just be gone, like everyone else who's time is up. And what if there really is nothing else after? Everyone who has ever been born and is now dead. Simply gone. Unaware of our lives just as we were unaware of this reality before our own births.

But you're right h0peless, this rationalization is predictable and lame and so were all of my others.

I made BW out to be much worse than she was. I was horny. I wanted something different for a change. A threesome/foursome was something I always fantasized about, and thanks to alcohol, warm summer nights, and AP, who convinced my wife into kissing her in the pool in front of the husbands, it eventually led to the bedroom, more than once. In fact, that's how A #2 started, with my wife and her husband passed out. We were over there all the time drinking, and it kept happening. So, it was easy to cross that line when she told me when she'd be home, alone. I remember thinking that I was going to hell anyway (if it so turns out there is one), so it didn't matter what I was doing. I was very conflicted when I agreed to meet AP alone, sober. I knew it was wrong. It felt wrong. I dreaded it. But in the end, I went anyway. I wanted to, and nobody else would find out about it. Well, here we are.

I certainly have some kind of moral compass, because I don't go around killing people, or worse. I know right from wrong. So why wasn't adultery wrong for me? I chose fantasy instead of reality. And given that it was a conscious choice, there's really no other explanation other than I was a selfish asshole.


Me: FWH (39)
Her: BW (34)
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
Married: 13 Years
1 Handsome and Amazing Son (10)

Posts: 396 | Registered: Apr 2014
h0peless
Member
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 9:24 PM, July 11th (Friday)

I've had a lot of the same thoughts but I came to a different conclusion than you. I imagine 150 years from now, nobody will know who I was. I'd like to at least leave the world having made a positive impact and hopefully contribute to a better future rather than causing pain.

So maybe the lack of belief in an afterlife fed into your rationalization, and on that level maybe your lack of belief has something to do with it. I don't think it's atheism itself, though, but the use of it to give yourself permission to act out in a selfish way. My Mom is the most hardcore Christian I know but she cheated on my Dad for years with the pastor. Her rationalization was that he was a Godly man and she was helping him, or some sort of twisted shit like that. Really, what it boiled down to, was the fact that she wanted to have sex with the pastor even though she was married so she used her religious beliefs to rationalize it.

It sounds like you did the same with your lack of belief.


Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
SelfishHusband
Member
Member # 43174
Default  Posted: 10:54 PM, July 11th (Friday)

I imagine 150 years from now, nobody will know who I was. I'd like to at least leave the world having made a positive impact and hopefully contribute to a better future rather than causing pain.

Well, yeah, that's what I thought too. I really prided myself on my values. Until I threw it all out the window.

I think if you want to "get you some", it doesn't matter who you are, how godly you are, what your past was like, if the circumstances are right and the hook is baited, there are those of us who will bite.

I keep thinking of the movie "Trading Places" where the dukes make a bet that privileged Dan Aykroyd will take to a life of crime "like a fish to water" simply by having all of his money and his fiancee taken away and being outcast and placed with the "worst sort of people".

So, I'm back to square one. Those that believe in god are unfaithful. Those that don't believe in god are unfaithful.

But hey, I'm trying. Leave no stone unturned sort of thing :)

Thanks for your perspective, h0peless

[This message edited by SelfishHusband at 10:55 PM, July 11th (Friday)]


Me: FWH (39)
Her: BW (34)
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
Married: 13 Years
1 Handsome and Amazing Son (10)

Posts: 396 | Registered: Apr 2014
h0peless
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Default  Posted: 11:42 PM, July 11th (Friday)

I think the atheist rationalization might be leading you somewhere. I just think it's pointing you in the direction of much deeper issues. Find them and you can fix them. Keep digging!

Posts: 1756 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
LosferWords
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Default  Posted: 12:26 AM, July 12th (Saturday)

I prayed like I never prayed before. "If you're out there, please forgive me for not believing. Please save him." When he was gone, it really just solidified it for me. There is no divine intervention, because if god does exist, then it's a god who does not know about events on this planet. Because if he/she/it did know, and was truly omnipotent, then he/she/it wouldn't allow the kind of suffering that goes on in the world.
And for those that say it's all according to some plan, then that plan SUCKS and I don't want any part of a god like that.

Ouch. I've had similar moments, SH. I can't say that I have lost a parent yet, but I do feel every sentiment that you are saying here, and I appreciate your visceral honesty. My heart hurts for you, just reading this.

The thing is, you don't need a god to have a moral compass. That is something that I have had to work through in my head, as a person who has been through some shit, and as a person who has been a cheater, too.

It is okay to be motivated by the greater good to work on yourself, even if the reason for that is nothing more than wanting to be a better person.

I really appreciate you opening up here and talking about it.


Posts: 7635 | Registered: Dec 2010
Newlease
Member
Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 9:59 AM, July 14th (Monday)

I have some friends who are going through a bad patch. She thinks he may be having an EA with her niece. Her niece is having marital problems and has admitted to having multiple affairs.

They both (niece and husband) deny anything is going on and the husband has convinced my friend that this is "all in her head." So she has taken the road of going to church, rededicating herself to her spiritual life and her marriage.

I want to support her as best I can. I know that if I say what I think, it will push her away from me. I don't get the whole church thing, but I want to be respectful of her faith.

Any ideas on how I can support her best? This is a couple that is part of a group that we are very close to and see often. I am not supposed to let the husband know that I know what she thinks.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7751 | Registered: Aug 2005
Jrazz
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Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 10:33 AM, July 14th (Monday)

I'm so sorry for your friend, Newlease.

If church is her rock, I agree that supporting her leaning on that is a positive thing.

Maybe you can find a way to encourage her to use her faith to fortify herself, but not to hide behind it and subsequently rugsweep her gut feelings? I would have a hard time not encouraging her to launch a sting operation...

Can you tell her about SI? People are welcome here even if all their experience is either suspected or peripheral...


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
SelfishHusband
Member
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Default  Posted: 10:36 AM, July 14th (Monday)

Different strokes for different folks. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. If this person is your friend, what should it matter that she's going to church or finding god? Just as if you're an atheist/agnostic, what should it matter to her if she finds out you "don't get the whole church thing"?
But, sometimes it does matter, despite our good intentions. I feel like I've lost friendships and friendship opportunities once I've started talking to church-going folk about my lack of faith. It happens. You can't hide who or what you are, but I wouldn't necessarily go around broadcasting it either. If you have a solid friendship, it should remain solid. If your beliefs cause the friendship to not work out, then it wasn't meant to be, in my opinion.

That being said, there must be a reason why she thinks her H is having an EA with her niece. Do they spend a lot of time together? Does she have any evidence of online chatting? There's ways of monitoring them. You've been on SI for a long time so I'm sure you know these ways as well as know about the investigative tips forum.

I love the Dr. Phil quote about not going outside the marriage to solve problems within the marriage. That's why I find this statement troubling: "I am not supposed to let the husband know that I know what she thinks."

Why would you even be discussing their marriage with the H in the first place? (and, why would she think that you would)


Me: FWH (39)
Her: BW (34)
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
Married: 13 Years
1 Handsome and Amazing Son (10)

Posts: 396 | Registered: Apr 2014
Newlease
Member
Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 10:59 AM, July 14th (Monday)

I love the Dr. Phil quote about not going outside the marriage to solve problems within the marriage. That's why I find this statement troubling: "I am not supposed to let the husband know that I know what she thinks."

She had a very public breakdown in front of some of our friends when her husband was not around. She nearly passed out from lack of food/sleep/fluids and stress. I helped her and encouraged her to eat, drink, and try to rest. The story came tumbling out of her mouth at that point - but just to me. None of the others knew what was going on. She felt stupid for having a public breakdown and has been convinced by her husband and niece that this is all in her head.

I'm sure she thinks her husband would be mad to know that she shared her fears with me. To be honest, I was already unhappy with the way he treats her on a day-to-day basis. He orders her around, is very gruff with her, and basically acts like a big baby. I'm not convinced he is cheating, but I can see why she would feel that it may be a possibility.

I'm trying really hard not to let my jaded experiences color my view of the situation. After all, it is not MY marriage, it is theirs. I just want to support her the best way I can without alienating her.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7751 | Registered: Aug 2005
Newlease
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Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 11:27 AM, July 14th (Monday)

He flew her niece in from out of state as a surprise for her birthday. There were lots of texts between the husband & niece. He was attached to his phone and took it to bed with him. Then he wouldn't let her see his phone. He got ANGRY, yelled at her and said she didn't trust him - acted hurt that she would question him.

There were other things that happened after the niece got here that were suspicious, but explained away. Really it could go either way.

I guess I don't like that she's going through her church because it's pretty fundamentalist and all about the husband being the head of the household and the wife deferring to him. I think she already takes too much crap from him and I don't want her to rug sweep this. I HOPE they can use this as a way to a stronger marriage.

I just keep telling her that her husband needs to be involved in any counseling she receives and needs to look at his part in this.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

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Jrazz
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Default  Posted: 10:13 PM, July 14th (Monday)

Sounds like you're doing the best you can, Newlease. You can't carry her through this, she has to be the one to take initiative.

I bet it's triggery as all heck though. Mergh. (((Nl)))


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17904 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
Newlease
Member
Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 8:04 AM, July 15th (Tuesday)

Totally triggery for me. And I'm a LONG way out from this - been divorced for 10 years now, but infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7751 | Registered: Aug 2005
nowiknow23
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Default  Posted: 8:19 AM, July 15th (Tuesday)

((((Newlease))))


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25842 | Registered: Aug 2011
Razor
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Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 1:22 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)

I prayed like I never prayed before. "If you're out there, please forgive me for not believing. Please save him." When he was gone, it really just solidified it for me. There is no divine intervention, because if god does exist, then it's a god who does not know about events on this planet. Because if he/she/it did know, and was truly omnipotent, then he/she/it wouldn't allow the kind of suffering that goes on in the world.
And for those that say it's all according to some plan, then that plan SUCKS and I don't want any part of a god like that.

This is a dangerous thread for me to reply on. Ive been warned before. So Ill couch what I have to say by stating that the following is what a professor mentioned when I was in University studying sociology.

He said that the arguments about god are pretty simple.

There is evil in the world. This is a fact. Therefore god is either all powerful OR good. because if god were all powerful AND good then evil would not exist.

So he is EITHER one or the other.
If god were all powerful alone he would be willingly allowing evil to exist.
If god were good alone then he would be unable to prevent evil.
In either case is a all powerful but evil god OR a good but powerless god worthy of worship?

Now my personal opinion.

Good and evil are subjective notions. What is evil for one person is often good for another.

Stuff happens. Life is a bitch. Gravity is a myth because being on earth sucks. Our life is defined not by what happens to us. but by how we handle and grow as a result of what happens to us.

I hope none are offended by my personal opinion. If so I apologize.

[This message edited by Razor at 1:23 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
StillGoing
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Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 5:21 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)

That is Epicurus, Razor.

I liked the Diagoras reference from De Natura Deorum -

Diagoras, named the Atheist, once came to Samothrace, and a certain friend said to him "You who think that the gods disregard men's affairs, do you not remark all the votive pictures that prove how many persons have escaped the violence of the storm, and come safe to port, by dint of vows to the gods?" "That is so," replied Diagoras ; "it is because there are nowhere any pictures of those who have been shipwrecked and drowned at sea."

I don't want to get in trouble either but I'm hoping discussing greek philosophers doesn't cross that line.

I keep forgetting which crazy bastard measured the earth with a couple of sticks and noon shadows. I think that was Epicurus too but there were a lot of weird E names.

Sorry, wandering off there.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
SisterMilkshake
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Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)

Are you saying Epicurus is a quack, SG? He maybe, but his paradox sure made sense to me, even if everything else he said or did is suspect. Diagora's, of course, made an excellent point.


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9844 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Razor
Member
Member # 16345
Default  Posted: 5:45 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)

There were allot of REALLY smart folks back in the classical Greek era.

Its been too many years for me to remember names. I remember the calculation of the diameter of the earth based on the shadow length of sticks. I also read about a guy that did lots of things with steam power and was really close to developing a steam turbine engine.

IMO that period of time is one of the greatest in human history.

ETA.
And how about Zeno's paradox?

[This message edited by Razor at 5:47 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)]


Forgive and forget = Relive and regret.

Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.
Friedrich Nietzsche


Posts: 3483 | Registered: Sep 2007
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 10:05 PM, July 15th (Tuesday)

Zeno's Paradox makes me think of the Bloater Drive in Bill The Galactic Hero.

At some point the distance between Achilles and the Tortoise will be shorter than the entities themselves, and while the distance traveled can infinitely regress, the actual positions would overlap and render the whole thing moot anyway.

Bloater Drive

The standard ways of circumventing relativity in 1950s and 1960s science fiction were hyperspace, subspace and spacewarp. Harrison's contribution was the "Bloater Drive". This enlarges the gaps between the atoms of the ship until it spans the distance to the destination, whereupon the atoms are moved back together again, reconstituting the ship at its previous size but in the new location. An occasional side-effect is that the occupants see a planet drifting, in miniature, through the hull.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloater_Drive#Bloater_Drive

Thanks to Harry Harrison for resolving Zeno's Paradox.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
justme1264
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Member # 42890
Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, July 17th (Thursday)

My stbxw's affair and actions/choices post affair, and my recent brother's holier-than-though "born again" conversion to Christianity only further put massive doubts in the religious God.

I don't know what the hell I believe anymore other than the fact religion is man made, and seems to be man's way of coping with the fact that we have almost zero control in the world around us.

I am in IC, and have been for some time, dealing with the long-term affects of my childhood sexual trauma. I suffered my whole life from suicidal thoughts and more recently my attempt back in May of 2013. I can say honestly I finally got the help I needed. Something I realized was that growing up in a Christian church taught me how to depend on a chrisitan god, that deep down, I felt was not real. It was as if I had put all my ability to cope with events in my life onto something that never existed. And when I grew up, and started realizing this, my world came crashing down. I didn't learn to build better coping skills and a much more realistic and solid foundation to lean on when the shit of life came crashing down.

I made a promise never to allow myself to trust anything or anyone without solid proof. It is just too dangerous to my health.

If there is any sort of God out there, I don't believe he/she/it intends to be a crutch or coping mechanism. Strength and survive-ability comes from within.

I am sick and tired of church and the people who go. Maybe I have become cynical, or maybe I have just grown up and accepted the reality that there is no justice in life other than what we make it to be, good people don't get ahead, and everyone has evil in them.

[This message edited by justme1264 at 2:42 PM, July 17th (Thursday)]


Me 30s = BS
Her 20s= FWW
DD March 2013
Working on Reconciliation as of October 2014

Posts: 412 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: justme1264
norabird
Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 1:35 PM, July 21st (Monday)

(((justme)))


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
SelfishHusband
Member
Member # 43174
Default  Posted: 1:20 PM, July 23rd (Wednesday)

I am sick and tired of church and the people who go.

Yes, everyone has evil in them. Yes, everyone has good in them. I think as we climb this mountain of healing (which, perhaps, is why in art and film we find the gurus always at the top of the mountain? ), it's important to realize that everyone's journey is different and everyone is at a different point in their journey. Some have made a conscious choice to immerse themselves in their religion. For some, ignorance is bliss, and they find comfort in their god or the afterlife.
BW's grandfather died recently and BW's mom posted something about saying hi to grandma and she'll see him again someday on the other side.
Yes, I admit that I rolled my eyes.
Her aunt posts stuff like this all the time:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/211106301254106102/

Of course, I could go and post some of this:

http://www.pinterest.com/katesome/atheism/

But I've never been one to wear my beliefs, or lack thereof, on my sleeve. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, I just don't want to hear about it. The same way they don't want to hear about mine. But, if I went and posted a lot of "there is no god" crap, I guarantee it would scare a lot of these relatives away.

In a way, I'm jealous of their comfort in their faith. If strength and survivability comes from within, then the challenge is to *not* be sick and tired of what other people are thinking or doing. When they try to force their agenda on you I think is when it becomes a problem.

Consider this article:

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-we-judge-others-is-how-we-judge-ourselves/


Me: FWH (39)
Her: BW (34)
DDay 1: March 2013 (EA/PA that *I* rugswept)
DDay 2: April 2014 (PA with double betrayal. OW was wife's friend)
Married: 13 Years
1 Handsome and Amazing Son (10)

Posts: 396 | Registered: Apr 2014
Lola2kids
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Member # 32789
Default  Posted: 1:55 PM, July 30th (Wednesday)

But I've never been one to wear my beliefs, or lack thereof, on my sleeve. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, I just don't want to hear about it.

This exactly.
Do people describe which sexual positions they prefer?
Do people openly talk about their preference for boxers over briefs?
Do people debate between regular Oreos or Golden Oreos (which happen to be my favourite and I don't think there should be any other kind.)
I think religion or the lack therof should be a deeply personal thing and not discussed in polite company.
Maybe that is horribly old fashioned in this day and age of the internet.
I keep my opinions on this to myself.
Except in forums like this that have like minded people.

Why can't people just say: "oh I'm so sorry to hear your are having problems."
Instead it becomes: "God has a plan"
Empathy, not platitudes please.


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: 1440 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: Ontario, Canada
justme1264
Member
Member # 42890
Default  Posted: 3:38 PM, October 21st (Tuesday)

You all make such good points.

I have been reading a lot lately on world religions, theology, morality, and god-theory. More so, I have been thinking a lot more on these topics since two years ago when I dealt with my childhood issues. It's been a journey to say the least.

The more I study and listen to each side of the coin, the more I become agnostic. Atheism doesn't make sense to me as much as Christianity as much as Greek Mythology as much as Astrology. In fact, no absolute theories/beliefs hold water in my realm of a world view. How can people be so certain about one of humanity's most asked and unanswered questions? (i.e., is there a god). I recently had a discussion with my brother's pastor (a very honorable man in many aspects). I enjoyed his interpretation of his beliefs and faith in Christianity. However, I had to draw the line when I asked him if he believes 100% Christ died for his sins, and because of his belief in this, he is going to heaven, and those that do not accept and believe this are going to hell. I asked him if there is a heaven and/or hell and if he is absolutely sure? I asked him how he can be so certain about something of which he has no tangible proof. He smiled and said he has the bible, "God's word." I nodded, thanked him for his time, and excused myself.

It was obvious to me, if he had said he too doubts the absolute existence of God and Christianity, then I could have had more of a conversation with him on the topic of god. It's no different than my atheist friends. They are absolute on their belief there is no god or creator. There can be no discussion when there is no room for asking questions.

I don't know. That's my belief on how we are made and where we come from. Why is that so hard for die-hard religious and atheists to say?

I really enjoyed that article on how we judge others is how we view ourselves!

[This message edited by justme1264 at 3:51 PM, October 21st (Tuesday)]


Me 30s = BS
Her 20s= FWW
DD March 2013
Working on Reconciliation as of October 2014

Posts: 412 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: justme1264
StillGoing
Member
Member # 28571
Default  Posted: 4:05 PM, October 21st (Tuesday)

The problem with atheism is that most of the world looks at it with the same sort of religious absolutism that it doesn't ascribe to. IOW, I don't believe in the supernatural just like I don't believe in Cylons. If a Cylon were to crawl out of the toilet and shoot me in the ass, my convictions would not be absolute in regards to their non-existence. Case in point, while I have yet to be shot in the ass by a Cylon, that remains but a small part of a larger body of information culminating in my lack of belief for their existence.

Now anyone who says we can't know something is making an absolute statement. I certainly can know if there's a god - or if there isn't. If I meed Jesus tomorrow and am convinced of his existence then I will accept that Odin and Zeus do not exist. Unless Jesus tells me they all co-exist peacefully out there and what the fuck is wrong with humanity anyway? Though I may go to the doctor, to be fair.

It isn't difficult for atheists to say "I don't know" at all. What seems to be difficult is getting the rest of the world to understand that.


"You have insulted my footwear."

Posts: 7495 | Registered: May 2010 | From: USA
justme1264
Member
Member # 42890
Default  Posted: 4:21 PM, October 21st (Tuesday)

You make a great point. People, me including, tend to try to understand the definition of a label (atheist, christian, agnostic, etc.) from the perspective of someone else's (or plethora of people's) description and understanding. Kind of feels like the telephone game you play as a kid.

Most people don't believe or understand their view point the same.


Me 30s = BS
Her 20s= FWW
DD March 2013
Working on Reconciliation as of October 2014

Posts: 412 | Registered: Mar 2014 | From: justme1264
Topic Posts: 621