Advice Needed From Those With An Atheist Spouse


A quick background…I was raised Catholic and my wife was baptized Methodist but was never raised with any religion. Before we were married she went to church with me and was curious about Catholicism. When we were married our priest told us that if she was ever interested in becoming Catholic it would be something she would have to want to do for herself, not for me. Since that time I have grown much closer to God and am trying to put Him first in all I do. She on the other hand has grown away and is no longer curious at all, and doesn’t believe there is a God and once we die there’s nothing else. We’ve talked about when we have kids they will be raised Catholic and she does not have a problem with that, and is very supportive and even said she will go along with the things the Church and I teach them.

The problem is I am so proud of my faith and the more I learn, the more I want to talk about it. She is my life partner, so it’s obvious I would talk to her about it. Today we were talking about the origin of life and out of no where she told me to stop pushing my beliefs on her. We later talked about it and she said she didn’t mean for it to come out like that, but I’m afraid this won’t be the last time she says something like that…or feels like that (even though I try hard to not be “preachy”).

I want the Lord to be a part of everything I do in every area of my life, but sometimes she can put a damper on things I believe in (although she never puts it down or anything) it would be so much better and more rewarding to have a partner who believed what I was doing is more than some kind of antiquated superstition.

I pray that God will open her heart to Him, but I just don’t ever see it happening. I guess I am just frustrated and needed some re-assurance from some other couples that this isn’t doomed.


I don’t have a an atheist spouse but I do have a friend that does - be thankful you were married in Sacrament. My friend was not and he refuses to convalidate. He also refuses to allow her to do things like lay ministry that require his permission. So be thankful that why she may not share your joy she does not get in the way. You may want to find groups like Knights of Columbus or Secular Third Orders in order to make friends (THAT ARE MALE so you don’t engage scandal) that you can enjoy growth in Christ with - eventually as she sees you find peace she may come to ask - but if you push it will be the last thing she will ever want to hear about. The last thing you ever want to do is cause such a division that she will start to have a problem with the children receiving the Sacraments.

God’s peace to you!


[quote="Book_of_Daniel, post:1, topic:202074"]
I pray that God will open her heart to Him, but I just don't ever see it happening. I guess I am just frustrated and needed some re-assurance from some other couples that this isn't doomed.


So which one of you is the atheist?

Well, let’s see… she might be the atheist, if she wasn’t raised with any religion and doesn’t believe there is a God.

But on the other hand, you yourself might well be the atheist…
if what you personally truly believe in….is that in spite of the fact you married someone in the presence of God….
it would be oh so much better and more rewarding to have a partner who believed…. in what you were doing
If what you personally truly believe in….is that she can put a damper on things you believe in….
If what you personally truly believe in…is that your faith is primarily a matter involving your pride and your talking about it….. rather than a matter of your focusing on humbly and quietly actually day-to-day living it, no matter what.

So which one of you do you figure is the atheist?

Well, surely if she doesn’t believe there is a God, then she must surely be the atheist…
But on the other hand….
If you yourself actually ever believed in God, then you yourself would regard God as ever-present, as pervasive, and as real and obvious as gravity…
and you wouldn’t need to look to her to support your belief in and observations of the presence and the workings of God any more than you would need to look to her to support your belief in and observations of the presence and the workings of gravity.

So which one of you exactly is the atheist and which one needs to open their heart?


Although I am not married to an atheist, my wife is…well to an agnostic, to be more accurate. Her faith is very important to her, and I wouldn’t dream of doing anything to interfere with the practice of her faith. She, in return, leaves me alone where religion is concerned. Yes, we sometimes talk about religion in general, and Catholicism in particular, but it is usually only when I bring it up.

If she told you this “out of nowhere,” chances are you are going way overboard and finally pushed her to the snapping point. Yes, it is understandable that you would like to discuss your faith with your life partner, but I think her reaction is indicative of the fact that you are annoying her to death. My advice would be to find a friend who shares your beliefs and discuss your faith with him.


Well, my husband was baptized Episcopalian but he only went to Sunday school and then his family didn't go to church much after that. I was raised Catholic and fell away before I married my husband (when we were both 18). I reverted back 6 years ago and am really serious about my faith now too.

I think I can understand what you are going through. My husband does not want to ever talk about Catholicism or anything to do with any religion. He says that he believes in God though. He is a good man but will sometimes ridicule my faith. The hardest part is that we do not share the one thing that is most important, the hope for everlasting life. My confessor said that a married couples' job is to get each other to heaven but that I have to get us both to heaven.:eek:

I am very active in my parish. I had to join something because I go alone to mass since my grown boys were not baptized or raised in the Church. They are sadly agnostic and aetheist. I have made many friends now in my parish. Some are really zealous about their faith like me and it is a real gift to be able to talk with them. But I have to say it is still very hard not to be able to pray with my husband or have him be the spiritual head of the family.

I am trying my best to be a good example of a Catholic wife. I do go to Adoration and pray for my husband and boys. Someone here on line gave me some good advice. He told me that I could choose to give up something and offer the suffering up for my family. I am going to start doing this also.

God bless you and I will be praying for you and your wife:)


Book of Daniel,

I just want to say that I'll say some prayers for you and your wife. I'll even try to get some saints praying for yall also :thumbsup:.

Talking with an atheist is pretty hard. I don't know how your conversations with your spouse play out but I agree with Rick. I have an atheist co-worker and I only talk about religion when he brings it up. I will never try to force a conversation about God or Catholocism with anybody. I really really really really want to. I can talk about this stuff all day. I can only imagine the desire to share it with one's spouse. I just think some dedicated prayer is what is the key.

On another note, I would suggest checking out Peter Kreeft's website. Just type in Peter Kreeft into Google and you can easily find it. He has about 50 lecture audio files, many related to "proving the existing of God". They are common sense/logical arguments. Are they perfect, no. But they really get you thinking and maybe next time your spouse brings up God or religion you can ignite that spark again.

Personally, I just don't get how one can be an atheist. I can't remember who said it but if you give a million monkeys, a million typwriters, in a million years, they will eventually type Shakespeare's Hamlet. Now think if you were dropped on a deserted never before discovered island and "Help Me" was spelled out in the sand in perfect Old English handwriting really large so a small plane could see it. The immediate logical conclusion is somebody had been there before you to write it. The atheist says over the history of the island hurricanes and storms, these words were formed. It was pure chance in other words. Well complicate it even more. You found an adobe hut with rooms, furniture, etc. Again the atheist says it was chance. The winds blew sand into walls, all the surge broke trees and made furniture over the last million years. Well to me that is a very weak argument. I refuse to believe there are a million monkeys with a million typewriters typing the universe and all its complexities, randomly.....


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