Relationship in the gutter.

Hello, catholics. I hope this is the correct place for this kind of post.

I am not a catholic. In fact, I’m an atheist/agnostic, and personally I’m fine with that, and this has been managable in my relationship with my girlfriend. We have had our discussions and fights over these things, but it has been good.

Lately this have changed. I think I’ve gradually won her over to my way of thinking, but unfortunatly, she has not adopted my positive way of thinking about a life without God. It seems she has lost faith, and not only in God, but in life as well.

In the beginning, I thought it would be good that she lost her faith, but the consequenses have been terrible. I have tried to advance the positives of a life without God, but she isn’t buying it, and I am almost ready to give up on trying to make her adopt a more positive world view.

If I cannot persuade her on this point, I feel that I have destroyed her, and that our relationship will be over. Part of the reason I fell in love with her was because she was full of life. Now it seems that is completely gone, like a needle popping a balloon.

I have been thinking about trying to make her believe again, as this seem to be the only way to fix her. Maybe this is the last chance for our relationship, and maybe the last chance to make her what she used to be. But I have no idea on how to do this. Any advice on this, or some other way to fix things, would be greatly appreciated.

Well, I doubt you will get very many people here who think you did the right thing by trying to destroy your girlfriend’s belief in God.

But in spite of all that… I think your biggest problem is that you feel the need to fix her at all. If she and her beliefs were not to your liking in the first place then why did you not let her go and try to find someone with whom you had deeper values in common? Finding a human fixer-upper is usually a relationship recipe for disaster. Now it is not my opinion that her belief in God needed fixing but I wonder about someone who wants to be with someone who is trying to fix her. She may indeed have needed “fixing”; it just wasn’t her faith that was the problem.

And I also wonder about you. Perhaps you were initially *attracted *to her faith. If not, why were you attracted to someone who was not up to your standards? Did you think you couldn’t do better?

You say that now you want her to regain her faith to fix her? I have a hard time seeing how you can help her do so. Faith is not just some ingredient that you can add to or leave out according to individual taste. Why would she think you sincerely want her to believe when you don’t think you need to do so?

Is there hope for your relationship? I actually rather doubt it. I think too much damage may have been done. I suspect both of you need to do some major growing before you are ready to enter serious relationships with others. But I do think you can apologize for trying to change who she was.

. It seems she has lost faith, and not only in God, but in life as well.

you have infected the woman you ‘love’ with despair. why not deeply beg her forgiveness and then leave her alone? tell her you were wrong about everything and then get out of her life?

without hope of your own, you put your hope into another person for your happiness then destroyed what you love best in her. without God, that happens all the time.

conversely, without Faith in God, your girlfriend has lost her hope. from Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi, look:

Notwithstanding their gods, they were “without God” and consequently found themselves in a dark world, facing a dark future. *In nihil ab nihilo quam cito recidimus *(How quickly we fall back from nothing to nothing)

Persueder, you should read spe salve. or the Gospels.

I hae several athiest/agnostic friends, and they don’t try to convince me of anything.

If your telling the truth, you should be ashamed of yourself.

As I said, I didn’t try to fix anything, and I didn’t feel a need to fix her. We both accepted that we didn’t agree on religion. It was love at first sight, and very strong. Of course we did debate this, but I didn’t pester her. I didn’t actively try to change her mind, I think it was just a result of her inability to answer my arguments in a way that satisfied her.

The reason I feel the need to fix her now, is because she seems lost and depressed. I hate seeing her like this - it feels like I’m losing her, and that she has lost her will to live. Maybe it is not any hope for our relationship, but I hope there is a way to make her the way she used to be. You say I probably cannot do this. Do you think I should just leave her in the state she is in? Leave her lost and depressed? I think I would have a hard time doing that. Isn’t it anything I can try here?

I don’t know if this will help her. I’m afraid of leaving her. Not only because of myself, but also for her well being. She is clearly struggling, and I do not know what would happen to her if I left her. She tells me that she loves me more than anything.

I didn’t actively try to convince her. We had debates and some fights over this, as is natural when you disagree on important things like faith. I don’t think I should be ashamed, but I am very sad about what has happened.

I am very sorry, as I do love her, and want nothing but the best for her

*I don’t know, I look at this a little differently. I think your gf’s faith couldn’t have been that strong, if she could so easily walk away from it. :o I also think something else is probably there, that is causing her to be depressed. I don’t think you’re an innocent bystander by no means…but, your gf sounds like she has some other things she’s dealing with, and maybe the relationship with you, brought it all to the surface.

I am going to pray for her to come back to her faith in God. My unsolicited advice would be for you and she to take a break for a while, and let her get some help that she needs. *

Well, I suppose one thing you might try is to visit the Apologetics Forum here and ask some of questions that led to arguments with your girlfriend. There actually are logical reasons for what we believe. Your girlfriend may never have explored them.

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You also mention in your opening post that you are thinking of trying to help her ‘‘believe’’ again. If your gf gives you that much power over her, that she’ll leave her faith for you (presumably, let’s assume), then come back to it because of your urging…something is gravely wrong there. She needs some counseling to get to what’s ailing her, and if you really love her, you’ll help her get the help she needs. I will keep you both in my prayers…I hope you decide to explore what you have been missing…a relationship with God. It is quite amazing. :heart:

I was trying to say this but I think this says it much better than I did.

she loves you more than anything?

tell her she should love GOD above all things. tell her you were WRONG to debate her faith out of her-- especially because she appears to be so fragile and possibly somewhat unstable.

tell her that God made her life happy. that she was vibrant. that your arguments were damaging. that you were WRONG. tell her to find God-- in HIM she will find herself again.

and Persuader, that’s where you’ll find your true, whole self, too.

Take her back to her family, apologize profusely for the fact that you broke a girl who was full of life and stay away from her. Don’t be mad at them if they hate you. What she needs to recover from you is something you can’t give. A faith in a loving God. YOU think YOU give and take away her faith like you’ve got the power? You only succeeded in making her doubt everything that may have given her life meaning. Nice.

Evil is the absence of Good. It’s also the absence of God.

Good work, buddy. At least you feel bad about it. I’ll give you that.

You aren’t a very good advertisement for the benefits of a life without God, by the way.

By the way, you do have a God. His name is Persuader. And he’s not a very benevolent or loving God. He destroys people. He messes with their heads. And he doesn’t feel ashamed for doing so.

How about swallowing your overweening pride and sitting down with the shell you created and asking her to pray with you for both of you to see the truth from God and to be open to the Truth. Help walk her back among all the beliefs you shredded and argued into the ground… you know, the ones that made her full of life? Yeah… maybe believing in something besides yourself IS worthwhile! Her only crime was that her faith and ability to defend her beliefs was not on par with your practiced ability to deny God and make her doubt things she believed. Love doesn’t do that to people. You came into her happy little Eden and told her if she listened to you, she wouldn’t need God. Those of us who believe in God already know how tragically that story ends.

I have daughters and your story makes me angry and terrified as a mother. The power someone like you can have over a girl who loves you. :mad:

She is a very intelligent girl. When I met her, I thought her faith was quite strong. I don’t think it was easy for her to leave her faith. It certainly seems that it has had quite severe consequenses. It might be other factors contributing to this, but I really can’t see any other important reason. She was doing well in school, and was very happy. Full of life, as I said.

The first clear symptom of a change, occured right after we had went to sleep one night. The lights were off, and I heard her say that she wasn’t sure she believed in God anymore. I asked her why, and she said it was because she couldn’t understand how it could be so much suffering in the world. Then she told a story of how one of the poor people she helps out in her charity work, and how terrible that mans life had been.

After this night, the air seemed to gradually go out of her. She said that she didn’t feel God anymore, and I said it was just because she didn’t believe it anymore. After some more time, she admitted that she didn’t believe it. Her mood was really deteriorating at this point, and I tried to cheer her up with no success.

I could leave her, although it would hurt me alot. But I am unsure how she would take it. Her feelings for me seems to be just as strong, and maybe more important to her now that she has lost her faith. I have recommended that she goes to a shrink or something, and I know she has been talking with her priest. So far nothing have worked. Isn’t there a way that I might be able to change this. I think she would be more susceptible to me, as she loves me a lot.

I could do that, but I don’t think it would help. We are both attending a good university, and she has read the arguments. I am quite sure of that.

She needs to go to a psychiatrist who can prescribe the appropriate medication for her depression.

As for her faith, that is between her and God.

She didn’t leave it because she thought that is was something I wanted. I never told her that. Look, I don’t think she is a weak person. She is clearly having an existensial crisis of some sort, and her belief in God was probably a more integral part of her character than what I thought.

I have adviced counseling for her, but the counseling has not helped yet. She has told her family, and they are not happy. They have also tried to change her mind, but when she has made up her mind about something, it is normally hard to change it. Maybe I should push stronger for her to go to more counseling. I don’t know.

Well, there’s something else you’ve done… if you’re sleeping with her and not married to her, you’ve removed the life of Grace from her soul. Your relationship with her is seriously sinful. You’re not paying the price, but she is.

Belief follows behavior (see CS Lewis… you might try reading Mere Christianity). As her behavior with you has gone downhill into sin, she has talked herself out of her beliefs in order that her mind can reconcile her sinful acts with what she believes. Because only a nut can believe one thing and act another way. So in order to sin, we either have to rationalize that our actions are not really sins so they conform to our belief system, or we have to alter our belief system to conform to our actions. Add to that another problem for her: If her job has her seeing the worst that humanity can endure, and the suffering of others, rather than being the light of grace in their lives, she now has none to give. You’ve helped snuff it out in her life.

Some jobs require a greater amount of grace in the soul to endure. Obviously hers is one of them. Being with you, she doesn’t have that help from God. Did you feel a little triumph there when she joined your team and said she didn’t believe in God? Was that what it was all about? Satan had a lot of help from you pushing her over the edge.

What you can do… urge her to go to confession. Stop having sexual relations with her. Convince her to go back to practicing religion. She USED to be evidence that there is a loving God who acted through loving people.

Now not only is she useless to the people she used to help, she’s useless to herself. Lots of people will lose now. Not just you.

Suffering is in the world because of all the people who LIVE AND BEHAVE as if there is no God. How about telling her that and see where THAT conversation goes!

If everyone would live according to God’s laws, there wouldn’t be suffering. There would only be people alleviating the natural problems we face as humans. But to live according to God’s laws, you have to accept there is a God in the first place.

First own up to your own role in perpetuating the suffering in the world before you can fix her suffering.

I have told her that I think she seems unhappy, and that it seems to be connected to her losing her faith. Problem is, she doesn’t believe in God, and she has lost what she calls her relationship with God. She can’t force herself, but I am trying to think of things to say to make her remember how she used to be. What I would like, is some advice of what I could say or do to make her happy again. At this point I think I would consider anything.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (see here).

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