Author Topic: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?  (Read 572 times)

DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« on: December 13, 2020, 06:55:00 PM »
 Just wondering if anyone else out there is in a similar situation. My wife and I have been together for 40 years as a couple, married for over 38 years.We have 2 great kids and 4 grandkids, the typical married couple. When it comes to the subject of religion, we are as opposite as you can get. When we got married in'82, we had a catholic ceremony to keep both sides of the family happy. For the first year or so we did the catholic thing, church on easter and x-mas,that was about it. After our son was born in '83, my wife started to go to different churchs to find the one she liked. I had zero interest, and after a few months she told me that she had found the "one" church that she felt comfortable in, and that she was going to raise our son to be a christian. I wasn't happy about it, I was never really a believer in any god , even after 9 years of catholic school and 16 years of having to go to mass on sundays. Our daughter was born in '89 and of course she was going to be a christian also. From the time our son was born until our daughter was about 3 or 4 years old, all my wife did was try to convince me that I needed jesus or I was going to end up in hell. The arguments got quite heated at times, but after a few years, we agreed to disagree. My wife and both of our kids and their families are devout christians, and I am a hardline atheist/satanist. The subject of religion is rarely discussed, but does happen occasionally. They do their thing, and I do my own. It is awkward every x-mas, but we make it work. Anyone else out there live in a similar situation?

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2020, 08:36:29 PM »
Wow, Bob--don't really know what to say; I do admire your ability to deal with that situation!  I don't think I could live in that situation--but that's you and not me.  Actually, my first marriage was to a lady that was the opposite to me, but personality wise, not religious or philosophical differences.  It was prickly at times, but because of my daughter, I held it together for 22 years.  But I finally had to divorce my mate for my own sanity.  I did feel much better after that, and life became much easier to deal with. 

Why are you still willing to stick with your wife and live in a 'toxic' (to you) situation? 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Baruch

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2020, 09:13:42 PM »
No, people aren't opposite like matter/anti-matter.  They have more or less compatibility.  A partnership is always mixed, in family or business or politics.  Are you a partner on some level with your SO?  Do you want to still be a partner?  Yes, children and grandchildren complicate things immensely.

In my case while my Ex and I were compatible politically, personality and religiously ... and we grew together for the first 5 years, after that we grew more and more apart.  Aside from my Ex and my daughter living together, I wouldn't bother seeing my Ex, because we only have shared memories, some good, some bad.  Of course a child then and a grown up now, my daughter is a completely different person, some of my Ex and some of me.  The part that is like my Ex grates, but I see her on principle because she needs my support, and the part of her that is like me, is tolerable.

You can base things on your raw emotion (amygdala) or your thinking (cerebrum).  Balance if you can.  The consequences of divorce are immense, even if the children are grown and left home already.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 09:20:42 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 07:25:08 AM »
Opposites attract, common interests endure.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 07:43:53 AM »
I didn't care about when I was a teenager, but I wouldn't know why or how if I did I guess. My first bf was a secular muslim, also his family. It started at the second grade and ended when I was in univ, second year. Then I have never had any believers but it went that way naturally.

Now at 43 -I don't want to take a bite bigger than I can swallow, it is love after all- but it seems like I wouldn't be able to stand a believer of any kind as a significant other. The most likely candidate would be a liberal jew, but then they are mostly atheists and around here they're really scarce.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 07:47:57 AM by drunkenshoe »
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 08:24:09 AM »
I didn't care about when I was a teenager, but I wouldn't know why or how if I did I guess. My first bf was a secular muslim, also his family. It started at the second grade and ended when I was in univ, second year. Then I have never had any believers but it went that way naturally.

Now at 43 -I don't want to take a bite bigger than I can swallow, it is love after all- but it seems like I wouldn't be able to stand a believer of any kind as a significant other. The most likely candidate would be a liberal jew, but then they are mostly atheists and around here they're really scarce.

Dönmeh ;-)

Childhood friends?  Changing state of residence with parents, going from Elementary School to Junior High, then to High School ... pretty much killed long term friendships.  The idea of marrying your High School sweetheart is pretty American Graffiti.  And then going off to college cuts all the ties with High School friends.  As a young adult, first you are part of people who are single who are working but maybe dating.  But not part of the young adults who are married.  Once you are married, you are not part of the people who are married with children.  And on it goes.  Very hard on friendships.  And then all the changes with employment.  Now retired, I have a hard time connecting to former work colleagues.

People associate for a reason, either accident of circumstance or shared interest.  It is a wonder, outside of religion, politics or dating services, that you meet anyone at all.  This is why in traditional times, the older adults set up your marriage for you.  Like the recent Moroccan Berber documentary I saw about them getting an arranged marriage thru the annual festival.  What is a shepherd to do?  Going to college is far away from family because there are no local colleges.  Of course back in the day, people married young and died young ... they might never live long enough to be mature.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2020, 08:34:13 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2020, 08:58:23 AM »
.... but it seems like I wouldn't be able to stand a believer of any kind as a significant other....
I'm with you. Life is short. Fortunately most dating apps give some indication of religiosity and a slightly probing discussion over a glass of grape truth serum usually suffices as a check.

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2020, 09:03:37 AM »
My husband is Catholic, conservative, extroverted, opinionated, and passionate. I'm an atheist, liberal, introverted, indifferent, and easygoing. He sits in his chair talking for hours on the phone to various friends while I sit beside him in my chair reading a book. We have been happy together for 28 years. We don't often talk about religion because he's not very religious and I have little interest in Christianity. The only time I can remember religion being an issue was when he was very sick from chemotherapy and the priest from his church would come and pray with him. I know he would have liked for me to join them but I wasn't comfortable participating and he didn't want me there if I wasn't sincere. We never spoke about it but I knew he wished I could have prayed with him when he was very sick. I felt bad that he needed something when he was suffering that I couldn't give him.
"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer

Online Mr.Obvious

  • Atheist Mantis
  • Jacuzzi Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3998
  • Total likes: 2603
  • The rules are made up, and the points don't matter
Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2020, 10:22:10 AM »
The gf does not really believe in god, but she has this idea that when we die, we do go somewhere. But she isn't very vocal about it, and to me it's like a little scab I know better to leave alone. Picking that itch will turn it into something uglier and more painful by far. Her beliefs have no real relevance in our day to day lives. Nor does my lack of a belief in god or the afterlife. I guess we are both more mellow and less invested in those kinds of things, which allow us to focus on the things we enjoy together.

I will say: we are not really opposites. We have parts and ideas we staunchly disagree on, but we are alike in many ways. But one thing we are very different in, is calmness. I used to be a very agitated chump. But so is the gf: full of worry and anxiety. I kind of had to 'man up' and suppress my own worries and fears because on the one side they fed hers exponentially. On the other side, she needs a lot of reassurance, which recuires confidence when giving it. My person has changed significantly that way, making me an opposite to her, in order to make it work.

I do hope you enjoy and love your wife not just despite her difference, but because of most of them as well. And remember, perfection is not real. Not even in relationships.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
- Your mum, requesting 69 last night.

Atheist Mantis does not pray.

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2020, 05:31:39 PM »
Wow, Bob--don't really know what to say; I do admire your ability to deal with that situation!  I don't think I could live in that situation--but that's you and not me.  Actually, my first marriage was to a lady that was the opposite to me, but personality wise, not religious or philosophical differences.  It was prickly at times, but because of my daughter, I held it together for 22 years.  But I finally had to divorce my mate for my own sanity.  I did feel much better after that, and life became much easier to deal with. 

Why are you still willing to stick with your wife and live in a 'toxic' (to you) situation?
It probably works because we decided to stick it out because of the kids. My wife's parent's were divorced and it was very hard on her. We do agree on a lot of issues, like how to raise our kids(other than religion),to have a good work-ethic, to be empathetic of others, and to work for what you want. Nothing comes for free. I have music to help me deal with life(13 surgeries since 2010),and my wife and kids understand that I'm just different than they are. We figured out how to make it work.

Online aitm

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2020, 06:13:09 PM »
Extroverts and introverts work well together as couples. I am an extrovert the wife...not so much. She has no close friends other than her sister and doesn’t really care. I have lots of “friends” but no close friends are alive anymore. I am open and somewhat gregarious but very protective of real emotions. The wife, an intro, is very contained but quite open with her emotions.

But as an extrovert I am not a “know it all” or an “opinionated ass-hole” as some can be, I prefer interacting with people on a social level and enjoy their company as entertainment. The wife however, can be an opinionated ass hole and withdraws as soon as she spouts off, a rarity for sure, but she is susceptible to authoritarian sounding conservatives, who pretty much vomit her fathers opinions on anything...though she claims otherwise.
None the less, 30 years and counting....though there is a “Meatloaf” song hidden in there.....do you know it?
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2020, 06:36:53 PM »
It probably works because we decided to stick it out because of the kids. My wife's parent's were divorced and it was very hard on her. We do agree on a lot of issues, like how to raise our kids(other than religion),to have a good work-ethic, to be empathetic of others, and to work for what you want. Nothing comes for free. I have music to help me deal with life(13 surgeries since 2010),and my wife and kids understand that I'm just different than they are. We figured out how to make it work.
If it works for you and it works for her and it works for your children, then rock on!  No union is perfect, so if it mostly works then it is worth keeping.  I simply wish you and her the best.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2020, 04:02:26 PM »
If it works for you and it works for her and it works for your children, then rock on!  No union is perfect, so if it mostly works then it is worth keeping.  I simply wish you and her the best.
Thanks, I appreciate it.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2020, 08:20:22 AM »
My husband is Catholic, conservative, extroverted, opinionated, and passionate. I'm an atheist, liberal, introverted, indifferent, and easygoing. He sits in his chair talking for hours on the phone to various friends while I sit beside him in my chair reading a book. We have been happy together for 28 years. We don't often talk about religion because he's not very religious and I have little interest in Christianity. The only time I can remember religion being an issue was when he was very sick from chemotherapy and the priest from his church would come and pray with him. I know he would have liked for me to join them but I wasn't comfortable participating and he didn't want me there if I wasn't sincere. We never spoke about it but I knew he wished I could have prayed with him when he was very sick. I felt bad that he needed something when he was suffering that I couldn't give him.

That's interesting. I have never thought of you as an indifferent introvert.
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Re: DO OPPOSITES ATTRACT?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2020, 06:27:38 AM »
That's interesting. I have never thought of you as an indifferent introvert.


I probably appear more extroverted and opinionated because of the nature of online forums. We don't always know how we come across to people.

I've found it interesting to click on forum profiles and read each user's posts as a collection. As an exercise, I've gone back a couple of years and tried to look at my own posts objectively, as though written by a stranger, in an attempt to see what was going on with me at the time and how I appear to others. It's like reading old journal entries.
"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine." - Arthur Schopenhauer