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Agnostic/Atheist Support Group

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nowiknow23 posted 6/9/2014 23:04 PM

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)]

LosferWords posted 6/9/2014 23:22 PM

belief language

I really like that term, NIK. I will totally be stealing that.

nowiknow23 posted 6/9/2014 23:27 PM

Gotmegood posted 6/9/2014 23:53 PM

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

norabird posted 6/10/2014 10:10 AM

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?

LosferWords posted 6/10/2014 11:25 AM

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)]

Ascendant posted 6/10/2014 21:18 PM

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.

DixieD posted 6/11/2014 09:38 AM

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)]

DixieD posted 6/11/2014 11:35 AM

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.

sisoon posted 6/11/2014 15:04 PM

Are folks here aware of the recent Gallup poll? See 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....

StillGoing posted 6/11/2014 21:57 PM

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.

victoriasmile28 posted 6/11/2014 22:06 PM

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.

nowiknow23 posted 6/12/2014 00:24 AM

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?

DixieD posted 6/12/2014 10:32 AM

Victoriasmile, yes welcome Have you heard of Recoverynation? It helps SA and their spouses and doesn't use the 12 step model.

sisoon posted 6/12/2014 10:35 AM

I don't think I believe in those numbers.

tagalong posted 6/12/2014 15:29 PM

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)]

Abbondad posted 6/14/2014 20:21 PM

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! :-)

Pass posted 6/14/2014 20:30 PM

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.

Ascendant posted 6/14/2014 20:32 PM


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.

Tred posted 6/23/2014 09:05 AM

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

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