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Thread: Explaining Conversion to Family

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    Explaining Conversion to Family

    I recently converted to Heathenry. It wasn't overnight, but over time. A gradual thing. I'd told some friends and family, but I finally broke it to my wife last night. She's super Christian and was crying most of the conversation. Does anyone have any experience in things like this?
    13. "Boldness is better | than plaints can be For him whose feet must fare; To a destined day has mine age been doomed, And my life's span thereto laid."
    -Skirnir, Skirnismal

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    Senior Member Unity Mitford's Avatar
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    i don't see the problem. everyone knows that all the finest 'christian' traditions have heathen roots.

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    IAmTheRayII
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    I understand this quandry because my wife comes from a very strict christian family. Through our conversations I've come to learn it is her upbringing that causes the problem. She has been trained since birth that to not believe Jesus, is a ticket straight to hell no matter what. So it is important to understand her worries are for you, but it is nearly impossible to break that lifelong training, and it won't be possible to get her to understand and accept it quickly either. As my wife always says, she is afraid to not believe because what she was always taught. At the same time I speak to her all the time about the contradictions in the bible and liken the bibles teachings and meanings to the old myths teachings and meanings. After she'd realized that was true, that the bible had to be looked at as lessons, it was easier for her to understand why I wanted to learn these lessons from my own culture and not a middle eastern culture. Also, it was important to get her to understand the Gods and Goddesses in a different way, like the archangels, demons, and other beings of the christian religion, because the more you can show the similarities, the easier it is to accept the deifferences. In the end though, every person is different, and noone knows your wife like you, so you can formulate a better approach to her acceptance, but I figured I'd share how my experience in dealing with loved ones who were hardcore christians went. Good luck, and remember it will take time at the very least, but I am happy to say my wife is ok with me teaching the kids the old myths, I read them as bedtime stories, and we reference them all the time.

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    I'm also in a similar situation. My entire family is very Christian. I'm technically agnostic, but I still go to church on occasion and I'm interested in attending Asatru. So I think of myself as both Christian (in a Deist sense that I respect it but I don't actually believe in it) and Germanic pagan (ditto).

    I've decided to not tell my family any of that though; it would cause more harm to them than good. I tell them I like reading the oldest books of my ancestors; I just don't tell them that I'm interested in reviving aspects of the ancient religion. I have talked to them about the paradoxes in the bible and the mythological influences into the bible before and they just get angry at me and come up with wild explanations for paradoxes; so that method is sometimes futile for some people. So for my family I just tell them I'm Christian (in the same way Thomas Jefferson said he was Christian). Maybe you could try the same thing with her.

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    Do what makes the pretty gal happy is how I see a successful relationship. My parents have been married since they were in college and they're now 50 and going strong. The man in a relationship or marriage should always let the woman win ideological conflicts overall. The man can always have an internally different view on the subject (and often will) but must keep in mind what's really important in life and what really isn't.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Austin View Post
    Do what makes the pretty gal happy is how I see a successful relationship. My parents have been married since they were in college and they're now 50 and going strong. The man in a relationship or marriage should always let the woman win ideological conflicts overall. The man can always have an internally different view on the subject (and often will) but must keep in mind what's really important in life and what really isn't.
    Some see eternity in hell vs. Eternity in Valhalla as important though.

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    Senior Member Wulfsige's Avatar
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    If she researched christian history she would understand where your coming from a lot better. In a relationship its good to have a basic idea of each others beliefs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by die Reihenfolge View Post
    I understand this quandry because my wife comes from a very strict christian family. Through our conversations I've come to learn it is her upbringing that causes the problem. She has been trained since birth that to not believe Jesus, is a ticket straight to hell no matter what. So it is important to understand her worries are for you, but it is nearly impossible to break that lifelong training, and it won't be possible to get her to understand and accept it quickly either. As my wife always says, she is afraid to not believe because what she was always taught. At the same time I speak to her all the time about the contradictions in the bible and liken the bibles teachings and meanings to the old myths teachings and meanings. After she'd realized that was true, that the bible had to be looked at as lessons, it was easier for her to understand why I wanted to learn these lessons from my own culture and not a middle eastern culture. Also, it was important to get her to understand the Gods and Goddesses in a different way, like the archangels, demons, and other beings of the christian religion, because the more you can show the similarities, the easier it is to accept the deifferences. In the end though, every person is different, and noone knows your wife like you, so you can formulate a better approach to her acceptance, but I figured I'd share how my experience in dealing with loved ones who were hardcore christians went. Good luck, and remember it will take time at the very least, but I am happy to say my wife is ok with me teaching the kids the old myths, I read them as bedtime stories, and we reference them all the time.
    Thanks a lot. She's stressing pretty hard, and the advice will hopefully help. Crossing my phalanges.
    13. "Boldness is better | than plaints can be For him whose feet must fare; To a destined day has mine age been doomed, And my life's span thereto laid."
    -Skirnir, Skirnismal

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    Quote Originally Posted by die Reihenfolge View Post
    Some see eternity in hell vs. Eternity in Valhalla as important though.
    Well yeah I understand. If you're someone who values the ideological and spiritual over the biological (and many do, that's perfectly fine) then that is a legitimate life choice obviously. I'm not of the opinion it's black and white like that the problem is women want their guy to be ideologically synced with them almost always. It's extremely important to a woman from my observations of various of my friends marriages over the years based off which ones have failed and which ones are still going. If I met a pretty Northern European heathen woman and we hit it off, I'd be the best heathen you ever did see if that's what was truly important to her. I'm the man and I don't need to win a spiritual or ideological battle with her. She knows my true self and she's with me anyways which is the only real victory I really need mentally and spiritually. Your GF, wife has to be allowed to have her ideological and spiritual bedrock stabilized. Knowing that she's with you every night is suppose to be the icing on the cake for you as the man. She gets to decide the religion of the children and how they're raised and your role is to be with her on that front. I think if it's a European heritage religion it should be okay for the guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wynterwade View Post
    I'm also in a similar situation. My entire family is very Christian. I'm technically agnostic, but I still go to church on occasion and I'm interested in attending Asatru. So I think of myself as both Christian (in a Deist sense that I respect it but I don't actually believe in it) and Germanic pagan (ditto).

    I've decided to not tell my family any of that though; it would cause more harm to them than good. I tell them I like reading the oldest books of my ancestors; I just don't tell them that I'm interested in reviving aspects of the ancient religion. I have talked to them about the paradoxes in the bible and the mythological influences into the bible before and they just get angry at me and come up with wild explanations for paradoxes; so that method is sometimes futile for some people. So for my family I just tell them I'm Christian (in the same way Thomas Jefferson said he was Christian). Maybe you could try the same thing with her.
    Well I hadn't been telling her cause, like I said, I didn't know how she'd handle it. Problem is she'd made an account on Germanic Heathenry forum and read some of my posts. I wanted to tell her, but I didn't know how. As a result, I spilled my guts to her. She's got mixed emotions. She talked to a chaplain on base, too. Problem is, somehow she'd brought up I'd been reading "Mein Kampf" recently. I'm a LPN in the Army, and I'm report to the hospital in Bethesda soon, which is taking over for Walter Reed. Telling an officer you're husband is reading "Mein Kampf" when he's about to report to the hospital people in the Pentagon go to is bad..... She also told him I hang a German and Bavarian flag in our room.
    13. "Boldness is better | than plaints can be For him whose feet must fare; To a destined day has mine age been doomed, And my life's span thereto laid."
    -Skirnir, Skirnismal

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