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How to raise children with a religious spouse?

My married a catholic and agreed up front to raise our children in the church. Now 10 years later I have strong objections to this arrangement. Am I justified to teach them my views now?

By Harris12182
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I also married a Catholic but he knew I was an atheist. I never objected to him having them baptized or taking them to church. I also let them go to different churches with friends. I explained my feelings when I thought it was appropriate. Proud to say they've grown into fellow atheists.

NHjulie Level 4 Mar 23, 2019

You can teach them whatever religious views you want. As long as you don't tell them it is fact. Then the child can make up their mind

Alphaeevee Level 4 Mar 14, 2019

Absolutely. If she doesn't like it, contact child protection services and mention child abuse. She risks the mental health of her own children!

zesty Level 7 Feb 19, 2019

That was the thinking behind my ex-husband seeking and winning custody of our children, except for him is was my rejection of religion that left him convinced I was mentally ill and putting our kids at risk. I don't recommend the approach. Causes more problems than it solves.


@Meili Sorry to hear!



Do the best you can, and when you know better, do better (maya angelou, I believe).

Religious indoctrination is a dangerous thing. Present both sides of the coin, and allow your children to choose.

In my own experience, when anyone is presented with a choice, they rarely choose religion, especially Christianity.


The church makes you forfeit your children when you marry in the church so your spouse figured you were all in. Things change tho nothing stays the same. You should be able to approach her with your issue having gone thru 10 yrs of doing something you don't believe in. Perhaps you can both intro the children to as many religions as you know of which is what I did or when you are alone with the children let them know your beliefs and to hell with what your wife thinks, after all they are YOUR children too. Speak up and rationalize the kids, use science to help.

K9Kohle789 Level 6 Jan 27, 2019

I would say whether you are justified depends not so much on what you do but how you do it. Unfortunately, shortsighted humans sometimes make agreements they can't or shouldn't keep. Part of life is learning to handle times when you aren't able to do what you agreed to do. If you respect your spouse, you will approach the problem in ways that show respect to both of you. You won't disregard your new feelings about the matter but you won't railroad over your spouse either. That effort will make the biggest difference between whether you are justified or not.

Meili Level 7 Jan 12, 2019

Why not raise them to be critical thinkers and they’ll figure it out for themselves. Teach them about evolution and educate them. I struggled with a Christian husband as well but I didn’t think it was fair for me to shove my disbeliefs down their throats either. Both my children are adults now and completely agree that god is a myth. This frustrates their father to no end and he blames me for corrupting them.

Jewelee65 Level 4 Jan 10, 2019

Too many believers buy the fools gold that love = gawds ....that life after death is more important than life after birth. ..none of us parents should keep fools gold on any shelf for our children to spend a penny on IRON PYRITE nor religions. ..that's the same as leaving heroin needles spoon and matches with other dope on the same shelf. ...magical thinking = fairy tales and few have classic greater ethical value.....virgins NEVER BIRTHED AN ALLEGED baby gawd in a dirty donkey stable. ...that insane lie rots healthy brains bribed with toys and candy


I'd be inclined to suggest you be allowed to express to them why you don't subscribe to Catholicism. After all, theists believe that their faith in Christ cannot be usurped by the arguments of unbelievers, so what has she to worry about? You can validly argue that they should have the ability to hear your views.

Doubting Level 5 Jan 8, 2019

In in the same boat, mate, and I'm struggling with life because of it. My wife also just introduced some woo into their diet, and I don't know how to really address it. She knows I don't agree, but "if it's harmless, then no harm trying".

All my three kids are believers, two of them seriously. I was hoping she and maturity would ease it in combination with dad's clearly stated disbelief, but it just isn't enough. I've failed to make them skeptical, and it really keeps me up at night.

ThinkPlot Level 3 Jan 6, 2019

For 41 years now I have been telling agnostic UU Atheists it is NOT ABOUT DISBELIEF it is all about learning science careers....critical thinking NEVER ABOUT BELIEFS nor the lie by Webster we "deny gawd"....we can live side by side with Quakers Catholic Workers and live according to the sermon on the mount but this insane hell threat heaven bribes & magical thinking RUINS LIVES if not sends our brave youth off to religious greedy wars....people here who like living in the closet are cowards making our society March like lemmings into the sea.....doing nothing to stop theocracy MAKES IT GET WORSE....PEACE THROUGH GREEN JOBS is the only way out of 22 trillion in national debt. ...truth is revolutionary and lies are middle class conformities...nobody here wants to marry me and most Atheists are in mixed marriages. ....pal, just tell everyone not just family we are all born Atheists and learning religion is the tragedy of our species. ...make nice at work so you don't lose your job. ...save up your money for a good divorce lawyer when your believer spouse retaliates against your failure to get baptized


Marital agreements do not require complete silence ....kids have their delusional mom and their timid fraidy cat Atheist dad. ....teach your kids tolerance love respect for their mom AND TELL THEM THE TRUTH THERE IS NO bible alleged gawd to stop priests from raping a boy or girl during catechism classes. ...this is the precise reality of it all kids should NOT BE LIED TO by Atheist parents. ...the evil believers are 100% liars regarding faiths

GreenAtheist Level 8 Jan 6, 2019

Have a discussion with your wife and tell her how you feel. But honestly, exposing your kids to different religions (& lack of religion) builds them up to be tolerant adults. Just tell them about your beliefs and let them know that when they get older they can make their own educated choice.

Flowers28 Level 5 Jan 6, 2019

Ask a lot of thought-provoking questions as you ask about what they have been taught.

AnneWimsey Level 8 Jan 6, 2019

You should negotiate upon your changing beliefs. Gotta talk to her. If that does not go well... well.. welcome to "marriage"

Seeker3CO Level 7 Jan 6, 2019

I have been telling my children from a young age my point of views. So start now with yours. Even if your wife loves you, eventually because of these strong point of views from both you. There is a chance you both might get a divorce. Because deep down, she is thinking that one day you will change your mind.


you made an agreement, presumably after a discussion with your spouse. if you want to change the agreement, we're not the folks with whom to discuss it. your spouse is, if you're still with your spouse. if you're not, all bets are off, if you have custody, and you may do as you please.


genessa Level 8 Jan 5, 2019
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