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If your DH was an aetheist would you still go to church

(14 Posts)
Bearhugger Sun 01-Nov-09 11:47:46

My DH is a devout aetheist. (Makes Dawkins look like a doubter!) I am not an aetheist - more of a spiritual searcher and would fancy going to church with DD.

Would you go to church - bearing in mind the ensuing rows / upset it would cause and knowing that your DH would have no respect for you afterwards. Also I wouldn't be able to get involved in the church for concern over the problems it would cause.

Feel really divided over this. (BTW only been married 2 years- hadn't been out long before that)

shonaspurtle Sun 01-Nov-09 11:56:04

Dh is an atheist and I take ds to church (but not today because I'm meant to be working..). It doesn't cause rows but I do have to put up with the odd barb.

We have agreed that if ds doesn't want to go to church later on then he won't go. Which I suspect will mean that as soon as he starts to like lying in his bed in the morning he'll stay at home with his dad hmm. He's only 2 though so a way to go.

Imo you have to respect each other's feelings about these things. I'm not making dh go to church. Yes, I am making the decision for ds at the moment but I will accept his decision when the time comes and obviously that will be influenced by his dad.

For me it's a cultural thing as well as a faith thing. Christianity and the associated festivals are very important to my family and I want ds to know about them even if he doesn't choose to keep it up when he's older.

differentGuyD Sun 01-Nov-09 11:58:25

If he would have no respect for you if you went to church, it strikes me he has very little now! Just remember that you are your own person- not an extension of him and you do what you need/ want to.

shonaspurtle Sun 01-Nov-09 12:00:38

Then again, although dh thinks it's bollocks he still goes to church with us on Christmas Day and he'll be at the Nativity play in a few weeks time. Will probably come to the Remembrance Day service as well.

So it's easier for us as it was part of dh's culture growing up as well and he's rejected the religion part but is happy enough to show up when he chooses to to be with us.

seeker Sun 01-Nov-09 12:00:43

I would go to church myself if I wanted to -and I would be outraged if my dh wanted to stop me. But I don't think it would be OK to take a child if the other parent really strongly objected, and if I didn't feel very strongly about it myself.

And if I did feel very strongly about it I don't think I would have had a child with the other person before we had come to some agreement about how we were going to bring up the children.

mosschops30 Sun 01-Nov-09 12:05:29

Doesnty sound like theres much respect coming from him to you if you say 'he would have no respect for me afterwards' and 'would cause upset'

Im catholic, dh is an atheist. Our children are baptised catholic and go to catholic schools.
dh does lots of eye rolling at things but never voices any displeasure in front of us.

EccentricaGallumbats Sun 01-Nov-09 12:08:47

Yes. I go with the DDs (11 and 13). DH stays at home. He comes at christmas because he likes the songs hmm.
When the DDs were little we didn't get them baptised because I couldn't face the discussions and arguments. I wish now I'd been less of a wuss and pushed for it because the DDs are still not baptised but will get confirmed next time church does a group.
We don't discuss it now. I say 'we're off to church, do you want to come?' He says 'no'. End of. He has also never suggested to either me or the DDs that we don't go either.

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Sun 01-Nov-09 12:15:48

Yes, because my DH would respect my beliefs regardless what he believes.

AMumInScotland Sun 01-Nov-09 15:56:04

I think that you need to deal with your relationship if you think that there will be rows/upset/lack of respect because of you choosing to do something which your husband does not share your interest in. He is entitled to his atheism, but he has to respect your beliefs too (even if they are unclear at this stage).

He should also be confident enough in his atheism to agree that your DC should be allowed to experience and potentially be influenced by both religion and atheism, and to reach their own decisions in due course.

So, yes I would go to church, and if he was disrespectful of my rights as a separate individual to do that, then there would be a major argument between us, which I hope would be resolved with him accepting my equality within the marriage.

Bearhugger Sun 01-Nov-09 18:35:32

HI
Thank you for all your posts, it's really interesting to read how other families deal with this type of situation.
DH is a great and loving husband but v opinionated on religion which makes me reluctant to put my head above the parapet on this matter. I'm sure he does respect me but I can't argue for toffees, especially on matters like this so which is why I want a quiet life.

Perhaps he wouldn't even care/notice if I went off to church with DD.

( He isn't DD's natural father - so all child care is pretty much left up to me which makes things easier. (Phew!)

sarah293 Sun 01-Nov-09 18:37:23

Message withdrawn

AMumInScotland Sun 01-Nov-09 18:46:32

Well, I don't think you should really have to win an argument in order to spend time how you want. Since it's important to you, simply tell him you're taking DD to church next Sunday and see what happens. You don't need to get into an argument about whether or not it's a valid use of your time, any more than you would if you wanted to go anyplace else. It's your time, and your life - yes you've decided to share your life with him, but that doesn't make him the boss.

kreecherlivesupstairs Tue 03-Nov-09 08:27:10

Flip side to this in our house. My dh and dd are both catholic, I am a confirmed atheist. They choose to go and talk to their imaginary friends, I stay at home and read the paper. Once a month I do go with them, we live in Switzerland and they go to mass in german, once a month there is an english mass and I know the woman who helps the priest (catechist). I spent a year taking dd to first communion lessons after school once a week so got to know her really well. I am not in the slightest bothered by their shared religion. DD often says pityingly to me that I won't go to heaven but she and daddy will. My answer is that I'll take that chance.
FWIW, I really think that your dp should respect whatever you choose to do. You shouldn't have to argue about something that is fundamental to you.

ZZZenAgain Tue 03-Nov-09 08:43:03

There are plenty of people at church whose dp is atheist. You hve to have enough respect for yourself to follow up any spiritual yearnings of your own. I would not get into any intellectual debate or animosity. I'd tell him straight out, I feel the need to explore my spirituality and I am going to start attending church this Sunday with dd, I know how you feel about it and I don't want to influence you in any way but for myself this is what I have decided to do.

Full stop.

Anytime he says anything, just smile, say "yes, I know how you feel about it but this is about me and I feel differently".

It isn't necessary for husband and wife to be glued together at the hip and feeling exactly the same about everything. It is quite a big issue and yes it influences how the children are brought up but I think if he is allowed a strong (derisive) standpoint re religion, you are certainly entitled to the same pro or even just a neutral searching approach.

Your have to be firm and no nonsence about these things - and just do what you feel is right for you.

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