Living After Faith logo

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mixed Marriages - Episode 36

Tyson and Bonnie share their story of Tyson's becoming an atheist and how their relationship was able to adapt.

Bonnie and Tyson met when Tyson was the leader of a Christian youth group at Bonnie's church. But, as Tyson began to examine his beliefs, and look at facts, he began to change. He left the group, left the church, and rejected the idea of God altogether.

Today, they are happily married and LAFing with us!


  1. Great podcast, as always. My response is posted here:

  2. This might be a tad random to say this here, but I hope it stays up. I commend you Rich for keeping your sanity after you left your faith. I too, though I was not in a particular denomination like you were, I too was deep in it and I'm only 25 years old. I took the bible in it's more non-candy coated form. I thought most of the claiming Christians were in danger of hellfire not because they were not the true Christian, but because they were in a constant rebellious and unrepentant state before God. you thought your Christianity was hardcore......mine was more hardcore and most Christians them-self would not want to be around me once I opened my mouth about the bible, LOL, but finding it's all a load of rubbish can almost break your very mind apart. I commend you Rich because you know the bible like I do and know it more then the average Christian does.

    The Christianity or the bible you see today is a water down or candy coated version of the real bible.....preach the real bible and you'll see it's true vile and primitive ways. I can throw so much at the Christian it would make their head spin, questions I can say that even most non-believing skeptics should use.

    Here below it a little something wrote.
    Lo and behold my faith is crushed into pieces. it is cast into the wind and to be forever carried away. Lo and behold I have tried to make sense of things that cannot possibly be made sense of and behold I've tried to make the absurdities less absurd and the ridiculous sound less ridiculous, but lo and behold I cannot do the impossible. not even the greatest minds on this tiny rock cannot make sense out the so called bible or any other religions. lo and behold I cannot force myself to believe in any God that would torture his own creations for an eternity.....not even Satan deserves such a fate, and for a God to do it if he or she existed would be a monster and blood thirsty on eternal torture and pain. Lo and behold I cannot believe impossible claims anymore, that an infinitely powerful being called *God* can do all sorts of magical things, like turn a frog into a prince or turn a mouse into a fire breathing dragon just because IT can do it.....such of things only exist in human imaginations and fairy tales, YET it is ME who is looked down as the fool to reject God or the gods, but these same people reject all sorts of other less absurd claims for the same reasons why I reject their God and his mega magic powers.....such is the way of religion.....hypocrisy to the maximum.

    Behold I will never believe again in a all-powerful God or any gods or a book written by ancient men in ancient times that is poorly written to begin with, and no being with everlasting magical powers would use men to write a book and a book that's so poorly written in most areas it is hard to believe I once believed it all to be true at one time. take heed........reality gives not a freaking crap about your fantasy in the end.

  3. Thank you Rich and Deanna Joy for this episode. I'm only 6 minutes into it and I had to stop and take a breath and express my appreciation to you and to Bonnie and Tyson for sharing. I'm a semi-in-the-closet atheist, married to a Christian man. I was nominally Christian when we married 15 years ago, but not the "saved" evangelist kind that he is (although he is very mild and non-confrontational and has never proselytized in front of me at least.)

    However I've since lost what faith I had, but am not ready to announce it as such. My fear has to do with whether our marriage will hold up, whether he can accept me as an atheist (I think he knows I've moved in that direction but has not said anything, probably due to the same fears) and respect my opinions.

    My story is much longer of course but once again I thank you for this podcast. I look forward to it and appreciate all that you put into it.


  4. Thanks for the Podcast. It was very interesting.

    I've been married for just over three years and de-converted about 1 1/2 years into the marriage. My wife is an Evangelical Southern Baptist and is still having a hard time with my de-conversion. A few months after my de-conversion, she let me know that she would not have children with me, until I became a "Bible believing Christian" again. That was about a year ago and she has not budged from her position.

    I've been devastated by her decision not to have a family with me. And the devastation doesn't stop with the fact that I've lost my unborn children with my wife, but it continues, because the sheer act of refusing to have children with me is a form of rejection. I feel as if she is saying that I am no longer good enough or that I don't meet her standard. Her decision, coupled with my de-conversion, has put our marriage into nose dive.

    Not sure what's going to happen next, but can't stay in this pain much longer. Divorce seems to be on the horizon.


  5. I'm an atheist who's been happily married to a Catholic girl for 20 years. I think it has worked out because: (1) she is a very loosely practicing Catholic (going to church or agreeing with the pope are not really important), and (2) I eventually took the hint that I should not keep trying to argue against religion or de-convert her.

    The only real contention we had was when she wanted to send our son to CCD (weekly after-school Catholic classes). I put up with it grudgingly for over a year before I finally convinced her to let him stop going. My main points to my wife were: (1) it would be better if she taught our son what she thought was important, rather than the Catholic Church teaching their party line which even she doesn't agree with, and (2) our son already has too many demands on his after-school time with homework.

    In this episode I was a little surprised about the extent to which Bonnie seems to go out of her way to be accepting of Tyson's atheism, while he doesn't seem to try to avoid putting down religion in front of her.

  6. My story is different.
    When I met my now-husband 26 years ago, I was a non-practising Catholic and he an agnostic. We never discussed what we thought about faith or God - it never mattered.

    Then, 9 years ago I had a conversion moment and became a committed and practising Christian.
    I have never been the proselytizing 'in-your-face' kind of Christian, but my husband continues to have real problems with accepting that my faith is part of who I am.
    I feel that he still LOVES me, but doesn't necessarily LIKE who I am.

    I have no need for him to convert to Christianity or any other faith ... just to be accepting of who I am and at peace about it.

    Our relationship is very difficult at times, so I find it encouraging to hear about people who are making it work!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.