Dear Margo: This Fundamental Difference Bodes Ill for a Happy Marriage

In re-evaluating my beliefs I think I’ve lost my husband, please help.  Margo Howard’s advice

This Fundamental Difference Bodes Ill for a Happy Marriage

Dear Margo: After two years of research and soul-searching, I have rejected my faith and become an atheist/humanist. I grew up in a Christian household, and all of my family and most of my friends are Christians. I was once devout, and I married a Christian man. I have been honest with “Kurt” since I started doubting my faith — telling him of my doubts and updating him on my thoughts and findings. He was patient and supportive. However, that all changed several days ago when I told him I realized I was an atheist.

Kurt completely shut down and ignored me for the rest of the evening and the following day. When he finally did talk to me, he told me he felt like a failure as a husband, that I’d betrayed him, that he’s no longer proud to be married to me, and that my atheism is a “dirty secret” he has to keep. He proceeded to list all of the things that are wrong with our marriage and implied the fault was all mine. When I tried to interject my opinions, he told me to shut up because he didn’t care what I had to say on the matter. Then he went to bed. We have not spoken of it since. Needless to say, I am heartbroken. Since this incident, we have coexisted politely, like roommates. We obviously need counseling, but in the past when I brought it up, he said he wouldn’t go since I’m the one with the problem. Do you have any advice about how to proceed? I don’t know whether our marriage can survive this. — The Apostate

Dear Ap: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I believe the marriage is a goner. Your husband is clearly very religious. He is embarrassed that you have arrived at this decision and is unwilling to hang on to the marriage through counseling. I think your life will be happier when you two part, as this new barrier between you is such a basic issue. I salute you for taking two years to arrive at a decision, and I do not believe you have “a problem.” Good luck. — Margo, thoughtfully

Any Rules About Showers (of the Baby Kind)?

Dear Margo: My boss and his wife are expecting their first child. My co-workers and I are thrilled for him because many of us know he’s been waiting for this moment for a very long time. He and his wife opted not to have a baby shower, partly due to the fact that she’s a doctor at a busy urban hospital and now is on mandatory bed rest. My co-workers and I want to honor this occasion, and we all decided to contribute money to buy a gift and throw him a small office shower.

My task is to create the greeting card, as I do this as a part-time gig, but I am at a loss. Because the shower will only be for him at our office, I was going to have the card say something along the lines of “For the soon-to-be daddy.” But not including her doesn’t feel right. (Personally, I intend to send them a gift addressed to both, as I know them both socially.) Any advice? — One of the Girls

Dear One: Since the boss is held in high regard, I think it’s fine to have him be the single honoree at the shower. He knows his wife was involved, so don’t give it a thought that there’s no mention of the mom-to-be on the card. The interest of everyone in the office sounds quite sweet. I know the shower will be a great success. — Margo, festively

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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.


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87 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Violet says:

    I disagree on the card. Why not address it to both of them. If he brings the card home, and she sees it addressed to only the husband, that seems like a pretty big snub. I would make the card to the both of them, and say something to her like “Absent from the party, but not from our best wishes” or something. Just giving a gift to him, and only addressing the card to him when they are having the baby together seems very strange to me.

    • avatar Cindy Marek says:

      I agree with you, Violet. To not include mom-to-be on the card will no doubt send a red flag to her: Why are the ladies of the office only addressing it to him? Do they have crushes on him? Is one or more of them fenagling to start an affair? What goes on in the office (because she can’t be there?). It took 2 to create the baby; the card should be addressed to both. I also think it’d be nice and fitting for the gals of the office to buy a token gift exclusively for mom, as a goodwill gesture.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Wow…really? Finagling an affair with the boss based on asking whether to include his wife in the office card? Maybe they’re all planning to make him pull the train for them while showering him with booties and bibs…I hope he got his scrip for little blue pills filled, and has those twin bathtubs ready and waiting…His wife, the doctor, had better be watching for those Red Flags. Those Office Girls are out to get him…
        And why does everyone think that mom deserves a special gift? I have two sons…I never expected any Push Presents for carrying and delivering them. Men aren’t biologically or physiologically able to perform that part of the reproductive cycle…isn’t it time…if we women are really, actually socially and culturally evolved…to stop demanding special consideration for a biological process that is natural and our choice? As you said, it takes two, a man and a woman…in this case, a husband, and an apparently educated, intelligent, well-prepared and thinking wife. Please give her some credit for making an informed choice along with her partner.
        Yes, the card should be made out to both of them. I sent a baby gift to my husband’s boss and his wife when their son was born. He was delighted, and so was she. They don’t do showers in his office…but I never even considered not putting his wife’s name on the card.

    • avatar Lila says:

      And yet, I have never seen a baby shower thrown for anyone but the mom, or the card addressed to anyone but the mom.
      I don’t think it is a huge faux pas to address it just to the dad, since he’s the one receiving the shower (just like jillions of moms before him).  But I’d tell the LW to do what feels right, which – for her – is to address it to both parents.  In the end, it’s really no big deal.  The parents will remember the gifts and the thought, more than what the card said.

      • avatar bean says:


        It is funny you mention that you have never seen a shower thrown for anyone but the mom.

        When my best friend and her husband we expecting, I actually threw the shower for both of them. The cards from our friends were all addressed to the couple (some actually addressed it to the baby instead which I thought was kind of cute actually).

        We had the party at a small restaurant with our male and female friends. 

        I just felt it was so tiresome to go to a baby shower with only women and to exclude the husband when he was 50% of it. Everyone had a great time and actually mentioned to me that is how they would want their shower too. 

        • avatar Lila says:

          Bean, I am glad to hear that some folks are thoughtful enough to include both parents in the baby shower.  It makes sense, since both parents will be raising the baby, after all. 

      • avatar A R says:

        I agree, Lila. His wife doesn’t work there, and won’t be there when they give him the presents to take home.
        If it is an office affair, just write the card to the person who works at the office.  Simple.

  2. avatar D says:

    What does LW1 expect counseling would do?  If the husband reacted as described when LW1 told him of her atheism, I am not sure how counseling would repair the marriage.  The only thing that counseling might help would be to make the husband less bitter.  I would save the money spent on counseling and use it to hire a good divorce attorney.

  3. avatar Kate Olsen says:

    For LW! – I do not like Margo’s response – she has told him for 2 years of her discontent – if he was so opposed to it – he could have and should have, had several discussions with her since that time.  To all of suddent not speak to her is petty and juvenile.  I applaud that she has done research and is vocal about her beliefs (even if I may not agree).  I am sorry to say that I do not think the marriage will survive this.  But, perhaps this is best, given the diversity of the beliefs.  Please do not think that you betrayed him or deceived him.  You have been honest with him since you have begun doubting.  Much better than springing it on him last minute


    Please add the wife to the card – it sill seem like a snub to the wife as someone else pointed out.  Even if the bosses wife would generally take things in stride, a pregnant women with reeling hormones is not in her right mind as all females know.  Save yourself and fellow female workers the hassle and address all things to the wife.  (I am speaking as a former pregnant, hormonal woman)

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      I’m sorry, but I worked very effectively, without any particular loss of sanity beyond that caused by my co-workers, until two weeks before both of my sons were born. I walked regularly, ate sensibly, was very happy, gained no more than 23 pounds, and did not seem to suffer from “reeling hormones”. To imply that pregnant women are not in their right minds is a little frightening. What century have you time traveled from? In the last trimester, some women begin to have difficulty making decisions due to concentration on imminent delivery (this occurs in the late eighth and ninth months), and some states due not permit women to make certain legal decisions then…but this doesn’t even occur with all women.
      Of course, some women use their pregnancies as an excuse to get away with an astounding array of bad behavior. Just as they use PMS, their periods, menopause…etc..  I’ve never been one of those, so perhaps it’s just me.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        That should have been “do”, not “due”. I was thinking “due to” and “due date” while in a state of deep, dark amusement and vague disgust.

      • avatar Lila says:

        Briana, whaaaat?  Some states don’t let pregnant women make certain legal decisions???  

        • avatar Briana Baran says:

          Yup. There is a legal precedent based on lawsuits made by women claiming that hormones released during the last trimester cause a pregnant woman to become completely fixated on the upcoming process of labor and delivery to the exclusion of everything else…so much so that said woman is either incapable of making responsible decisions due to a lack of concentration, or can be easily influenced by other parties because the only thing that matters is the upcoming birth of her child. We’re back to Victorian “hysteria”, I guess.
          However, interesting factoid. Both of my obstetricians recommended against making any serious commitments or decisions in the last month of pregnancy…not for hormonal or mental issues having to do with the upcoming birth…but because of the added stress they could put on me, and because, in that last month, women are frequently very tired, anxious, have a lot of last minute decisions about the baby and related matters to make, and the stress and concern about these things can cause the pregnant woman to be more dismissive of non-baby related issues than she would normally be. Also, one can plan all one desires…babies put in an appearance when they’re good and ready to do so…and that can be a serious detriment to certain legal and financial issues. My first son was a case in point…after twelve hours of back-to-back contractions (no, I’m not whining), he was born by truly emergency c-section…and our bills went from $2500 to over $15,000. My doctor tried to schedule my second son’s c-section for September 11. Good thing I insisted he was an opinionated critter (and he is), and that I was 100% certain of the date of his creation…because I demanded the 4th…and went into labor on the 10 minute drive to the hospital. My contractions were back to back when he was born 40 minutes later (c-section).
          So there may be educated and actual reasons to exercise caution that last month. But laws? I don’t theenk so. I managed two stores and supervised four up until two weeks before #1 son was born, and I never missed a beat, even turning in two flawless monthly order forms for both stores I managed, coming in under budget, covering all special orders and filing accurate inventories. At the second, I was bored to tears because I’d trained my replacements too well…but I still caught the one serious mistake ( a moronic shortcut one of them had devised all on her own, because she was lazy, that shut down six dispatch systems) and did all of the recovery work, accurately, during my last week at work. Yes indeed, pregnant women are all ditzy, bitchy, hormonal and belong in an asylum.
          The GOP would totally agree. Hoo, boy.

          • avatar KL says:

            But wouldn’t it be a competency issue not a pregnancy issue?  Perhaps certain pregnancies that are complicated can create competency issues.  I don’t know of any personally, but I can imagine some scenarios that could cause that (or claimed to have caused that since there are plenty of other situations that have resulted in loss of competency).  But I find it hard to believe that there are full-on laws in different areas that prevent that?  

            Briana — are you saying that there are actually laws on the books that prevent this? 

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            Yuppers. And the laws were created and pressed into law to protect women, by women. Not by Fundamentalist Christian Misogynist Male Right Wing-Nuts with oppression on their minds. Some women are very proud of these laws.
            I will do some research (I have been in scatter mode all week, but will take the time as soon as I get a chance) and find some addresses…wink, wink, say no more…with information.
            The women who find these sorts of “protections” logical and reasonable must be te same who find “female issues” an excellent excuse to exercise the evil and tyranny of…uh…woman…over their helpless flocks.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            I just spoke with our lawyer. She  told me that there were a number of attempts to get such laws passed on the basis of diminished capacity, coercion, and duress, but that despite the vigor of those supporting the laws. These were mostly promoted by women…and mostly to gain a foothold in divorce cases in which prenuptial agreements made while the wife-to-be were pregnant were concerned, or in which women who were pregnant claimed they were not thinking clearly during agreements made prior to separations and divorces, or during division of property, child support and custody cases.
            However, none of these laws have ever been passed into the books. My mistake…the last time I’d heard of them, it was some time after my divorce from my second ex, and it was in reference to the way I had been “talked into” (actually, I was brow beaten, but it had nothing to do with my being in the ninth month of pregnancy) purchasing a town home that proved to be a disastrous mistake. That was twenty years ago…and even after what I’d been through, I thought they sounded anachronistic and horrible. So, I’m thankful to be proven wrong. 
            However, there are still plenty of people trying to get such laws into existence. And far too many women trying to excuse extremely poor decisions based on “diminished capacity” or “duress” because of pregnancy. Might as well be treated for hysteria, or request “female stimulation”. Ugh.
            Score one for true liberation.

          • avatar stateoflove_N_Trust says:

            I was going to comment regarding your statement regarding laws about pregnant women, but since you have retracted, I will drop that part of it.  What is important though is that you are right that people continue to try to put through blatantly misogynist laws and it has gotten worse since 2010.

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            What is sad is that this particular set of laws is mostly being promoted by the more Liberal, allegedly feminist crowd to “protect” women who make prenuptial agreements during divorce situations from alleged “duress” or “diminished capacity” due to pregnancy. Really?
            Female troglodytes. I guess someone has to give birth to and nurture GOP candidates.

          • avatar wendykh says:

            While I can’t call it diminished capacity, I would absolutely call pregnancy and being asked to sign a prenup during that a time of duress. At least in a country like the US where marrying him might mean whether she has health care or not. 

            prenups are crap anyway. It should all be spelled out in state contract law like any other contract. And if a man doesn’t want to marry a woman because he doesn’t like the contract terms of the state, then women need to stop having babies with those men. It’s really not that complicated. 

          • avatar Lila says:

            Briana, ah, much relief.  [Putting sharp stick down now] 

          • avatar Lila says:

            Briana, gaaaaahhhh!  [poking eyes with sharp stick]  Perfect example of how the stupid fainting flowers wreck things for those of us who are NOT fainting flowers.
            One Army friend timed her first pregnancy for language school.  She was in class right up until the Friday before her weekend delivery, and back to class two weeks later (she was allowed to take up to 45 days leave but when you’re learning a language – that puts you too far behind).  Another Army friend was running, speedwalking, bicycling and doing everything right up to her due date.  And yet a third timed her pregnancy as she thought she would be leaving her command position and going to school… but then they extended her in the job.  Result:  going out to the field while pregnant.  She had already started to show enough that she couldn’t latch her pistol belt, but that did not slow her down.
            They are all MUCH tougher than me.  I would probably be depressed and lie on the sofa for 9 months gorging on Reese’s cups.  But that would have nothing to do with hormones, and everything to do with mourning the impending end of my child-free existence.

          • avatar mjd4 says:

            Lila – “Perfect example of how the stupid fainting flowers wreck things for those of us who are NOT fainting flowers.”  
            Gah!   And all those shiftless blacks ruin it for the decent hard working ones???  And all those stingy rich Jews…. you get the idea.  

            There are all sorts of people in this world.  All have faults, and a good many of them fit some negative stereotype or other.   Please do not blame them for existence of injustice, or use them to justify it!  

          • avatar mjd4 says:

            Ok, sorry, I saw the post you were responding to and it was not what I thought.  

          • avatar Lila says:

            mjd4, actually, I have from time to time been stereotyped according to how other women have behaved, so I am a little sensitive to that whole phenomenon.

          • avatar poppygirl says:

            You’re every woman, it’s all in you. Anything you want done, baby, you do it naturally! Rusty is so lucky. :) Don’t ever let him tell you differently. Can I get a round of applause in here?

      • avatar wendykh says:

        Brianna I’m glad you dealy with pregnancy easily but these women are not making it up. It’s biological fact that pregnant women are reeling in hormones, and in some women this causes them to behave in a manner different than their normal attitude.

        Personally I don’t get what the LW’s big issue is! Just say “For the new parents!” simple as that,I can’t even figure out why this is an issue. Frankly, I find it more troubling that they know the couple has CHOSEN to not have a shower, and are doing one anyway. If she’s in hospital on mandatory bedrest, the condition is precarious and they may not want to “tempt fate” by having an early shower, but prefer to wait for a welcome baby party afterwards.

        I personally would wait to give this gift until news arrives that the baby has been born and the mom and baby are both healthy. 

        • avatar Briana Baran says:

          I am apparently not the only one who found the original comment, from Kate Olsen, which contained this phrase, “…a pregnant women with reeling hormones is not in her right mind as all females know.” to be insulting. I acknowledged that women, especially in the last trimester, can be less attentive to many things because they are biologically concentrated on the impending process of labor and birth. However, there is an enormous difference between “behaving in a different manner than usual” (to paraphrase your statement) and “not being in her right mind”, to paraphrase Kate Olsen’s comment.
          Most of the women who replied to Kate’s post seemed to feel she was generalizing and over exaggerating her claim. We are not “reeling” in anything…our hormones change as the baby develops, and we prepare for its birth. The hormones produced during pregnancy are supposed to be good for you, not make you into a madwoman. There is a social expectancy that women will become vaguely loony during pregnancy…and bitchy, and unstable…and this is promulgated by those who use it as an excuse for excessive behaviors…eating, being demanding, bitchy, helpless, whiny and difficult…smoking (yup, I’m giving up my life…queue dramatic look…for this baby, so I might as well have my fun)…the same way the same sorts use PMS, periods. menopause…everything “hormonal”.
          During my first trimester I was a little more subject to sentiment than usual…and I had all-day sickness for five months with both critters. Other than that, I was a very happy pregnant lady very dedicated to doing things in the best way possible for me and the space aliens riding in my body. The last month I was a little tired, and a bit turned inward…but hardly reeling…nor have a I ever known a single woman…and I’ve known lots…who was “reeling and not in her right mind” during pregnancy. Unless she was like that to begin with…and that’s a whole different story. 
          I am in peri-menopause now. I have been for about 8 years by my ob/gyn’s estimation. It has been a trip, due to my very narrow window of tolerance for any chemical imbalance (that would have to do with my abnormal brain function and brain chemicals…the neurological substances that contribute to my unmentionables). Hormonal changes cause that narrow window to go psychedelic. I know roller-coaster hormones…and I’m still in my right mind about 90% of the time…which is good for a diagnosed loony. Pregnancy was a mouse compared to shutting down the plant.
          My husband and I got his boss and wife a baby gift after she delivered  healthy boy. Sometimes…I don’t know. All of the traditions confound me. I only had showers because people insisted…not because we wanted them. We didn’t do that for our wedding…we didn’t even have guests or a reception or anything. You make an excellent point. 

    • avatar mjd4 says:

      Kate, I’m a little confused.  You say you do not like Margo’s response to LW1, and then proceed to say essentially what Margo said – that the marriage is pretty much over, and that the LW is not at fault.  

    • avatar A R says:

      “Raging hormones”? “Not in her right mind”? 
      I wish this sort of myth would not be perpetrated. Women are not automatically unreasonable, hormone-driven maniacs when pregnant. Many of us carried, gave birth, and managed to never once approach insanity, reckless behavior, or irrational action. Just because some ladies lose their  minds (apparently), not all do.

      • avatar Lila says:

        AR, yes, I much prefer perpetrating stories of pioneer women who would give birth somewhere out on the Oregon trail and then still manage to build a sod house or chop wood or haul wooden buckets of water from the creek, all with baby in tow.  Let’s see a man do that.
        In all seriousness, check out the story of Janette Riker, 1849.  No pregnancy involved, but she was traveling through Montana with her father and two brothers when they went out hunting and never returned, and winter was already setting in.  She built a log and earthen shelter, chopped up a supply of firewood, slaughtered one of her oxen and packed the meat, and spent the entire winter alone, with wolves and mountain lions prowling around.  Pretty tough.  And there are plenty of stories of women losing their husbands and forging ahead with several small kids in tow. 
        Odd how women had even fewer rights in those days than we have now, yet they proved that they could endure so much more.  They must just spin in their graves whenever a woman today whines that she shouldn’t have been allowed to make some decision because of “hormones.”  Ugh.

        • avatar chuck alien says:

          that is pretty tough.

          of course, stories about a woman being tough on the frontier are like stories about a woman dunking a basketball.  they’re interesting because… well…

          and yes, if men were the ones to give birth, they’d do the same things… it’s not like women get a choice in the matter. bragging about enduring something you have no choice over is pretty silly.

          “men explored and settled the entire globe, all while lugging penises around.  i’d like to see a woman do that!”

          • avatar Lila says:

            Chuck… lol, you got me there, I don’t know one single woman who could do that!  Wow… now I really have a lot more respect for all those explorers.

    • avatar poppygirl says:

      I work with 99% women and I have never known one to be delusional or out of her right mind. The mother here is a doctor and should have very little problem contolling her emotions and being rational. That said, no harm will be done by including both. Since this father is so very excited, it is possible he may get even more joy by his wife bring included as this is a shared event. I remember my feelings of loyalty yowards my husband who was not present during my bridal shower at work because he didn’t get one. It’s not typical, but I would have been very happy for him and would have been thrilled at the actions of people who wanted to celebrate and acknowledge his happiness. I preferred gifts with his name on them as well, and was tickled by lingerie with his name on it too. :) It’s about shared joy and happiness and empathy for others. She would have been safe either way, I’m betting. Can’t get why this made it onto an advice column.

  4. avatar Diagoras says:

    LW1, I strongly recommend you find some atheist, humanist or freethought meetups to go to so that you can find some new friends who understand what you’re going through. Most likely there will be at least one other person there with a similar story. Sometimes mixed marriages can work but not when there is such a strong hostility to nonbelief, as in your husband’s case. Also, after you get your divorce and spend however long you need grieving the marriage you lost, some of these groups could become a way of finding someone new.

  5. avatar The Dreamer says:

    In regards to the second letter. I make greeting cards for all kinds of occasions. Congratulations to the parents-to-be.

  6. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    LW#1:  I too am of the opinion that this marriage cannot be saved and probably should not be.  It  spiritual does, however, seem odd to me that your husband has been *patient and supportive* during your 2 year search and doubt experience and then suddenly blew up when you announced you are an atheist so I am wondering a)how truly open and honest you were with him about your evolving beliefs; or b)how you chose to announce your conversion to atheism.  Saying he feels like a failure as a husband also seems at odds with blaming you for every problem in your marriage so I wonder what his perception of that conversation would be.  If you have, in the past suggested counseling, and if he recited additional *problems* in your marriage in addition to your new found lack of faith, I suspect that this marriage may have failed no matter what your faith is or isn’t.  I don’t know that either of you is right or wrong and suspect there is right and wrong on both sides of this marriage on all sorts of issues besides religious faith.  But, the fact that you now have identified a major disconnect in your two world views indicates to me that you both would be happier if this marriage ended. 

    LW#2:  I don’t really know understand your dilemma here.  Just because the wife isn’t attending the shower (but surely you have invited her even if her work schedule does not allow for it and she will not attend), doesn’t mean the card cannot be addressed to the *parents* to be.  I don’t know about pregnancy hormones.  I do recall a group of us giving an office wedding shower for an employee of mine who happened to be the groom.  I’m pretty sure we asked his fiancee who did not attend due to her work schedule…or at least asked the groom if his wife to be  would like to attend.  And, as I recall all cards were addressed as *For John and Mary*.  Didn’t seem to be a problem or issue one way or the other.  I don’t know about pregancy hormones so I will take everyone else’s word for it but it just seems to me to be the gracious thing to do to include both parties in your good wishes for this happy joint endeavor!    

    • avatar wendykh says:

      Her husband is probably pissed off all his praying during those two years didn’t work.

  7. avatar Katharine Gray says:

    I really wish there was an edit feature on these comments!  Ignore random words in my reply. 

  8. avatar G T says:

    “He proceeded to list all of the things that are wrong with our marriage and implied the fault was all mine. When I tried to interject my opinions, he told me to shut up because he didn’t care what I had to say on the matter”
    Wow, his attitude doesn’t sound very Christian to me.  Then again, some of those proclaiming their faith the loudest tend to be the most hypocritical.  And how convenient for him.  If they get divorced, he can go around telling his other Christian friends that her atheism is solely what broke up the marriage and he can look like a saint.  So much easier than actually working on any of his character flaws.

    • avatar Tanya Brown says:

      Yes. Note his reaction, that her “atheism is a ‘dirty secret’ he has to keep.” That isn’t about two people having a sincere difference of opinions. That’s about his fear of what the people in his social milieu will think.
      His behavior sounds petulant and angry. He isn’t even inside the marriage, engaged in repairing it. He’s long gone, drawing up lists of trumped-up complaints and refusing marriage counseling.

      I would watch my back. I would also cultivate some friends or groups of people who will respect and understand the sincere struggle she has gone through reaching her conclusions. Family members may or may not be supportive.

    • avatar Brenda S says:

      I think that I have found the faith/denomination that she (LW#1) can claim that he can’t complain about.  It is called Unitarian Universalism.  If you want to be an atheist, you can.  You can claim Christianity, Buddhism, Paganism, and Spiritualism, whatever within the bounds.  I was raised in a Christian household but question whether Jesus is the Son of God or a prophet.  This looked interesting to me.  It might be something that LW #1 might be interested in looking into if she wants a sense of community with a group.

  9. avatar CatA says:

    Even if the LW1’s husband feels like a widower in light of his wife’s change in religious views, I must question what version of Christianity he is following that would condone such a cold rejection of a spouse.  I also question if he ever truly loved his spouse.  He seems to have wasted no time in giving her a shopping list of what was wrong with the marriage and letting her know that all of it was her fault, telling her to shut up (!) and that he wasn’t interested in her response.  None of the foregoing have anything to do with the issue at hand:  fundamental religious belief.  Granted, many men are linear thinkers and tend to knee-jerk solutions, and this uncreative and limited (but very religious) male chose to react to a new and scary situation in stereotypical fashion.  However, at some point, a loving husband (was he never this?) would attempt to see his wife’s side, and if a mutually agreeable solution could be found (even if that solution is divorce) — but without stooping to childish finger-pointing and ostracism.  I suspect that that the husband’s reaction would have been the same if the wife had told him she had found her fulfillment in Judaism or Islam.  A pox on these hoity-toity ueber-religious “Christians.”  Sounds like divorce will provide the writer a welcome release from what was likely a  defective and one-dimensional (his) marriage anyway.

    • avatar kjholly says:

      Being a man, I was going to call you our on your “linear thinkers” generalization, but then my thoughts took a turn on me and now I’m just staring lost at the computer wishing they were linear again.

      Seriously, WTH is that even supposed top mean?

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Being a man, who is a linear thinker and incapable of inductive reasoning, you wouldn’t understand…I hope your sarcasm meter is running. I have two very outside-the-box, non-linear-thinking males in my household…and I am female and have been “accused” of being male on this site a time or a thousand due to my thinking processes and language not being “possible” for a woman….
        So it goes.  Poo-tee-weet.

        • avatar wendykh says:

          oh geez you two. He said many, not ALL, and if you don’t know what linear thinking is google it. 

          And yes, men are prone to it more than women due to socialization and being asked to solve problems and have all the answers.  

          • avatar Briana Baran says:

            wendykh…I know what “linear thinking” is. Good grief. Here I am always being accused of being the Queen Bitch of wow, and you come across with “if you don’t know…google it”. My o my. Touchy.
            Google “sarcasm”, then have a go at “misandry”, because this site is rife with it. Men aren’t just prone to “linear thinking” and problem solving because of socialization, the human male brain is actually better designed for it. And for logic, spacial awareness and a few other things that irritate the hell out of many women.
            BTW, I tested 99 out of 100 on all of those things on my college prep exams…and I was slated to be A): an engineer, B): an architect, C): some sort of scientist, or D): a strategist. In the 1970’s, all male dominated professions. I am female. I am very capable of, and prefer problem solving…but my personality tests as intuitive/inductive. I empathize with men sometimes…because women just don’t understand them.

  10. avatar JCF4612 says:

    LW1: “I don’t know whether our marriage can survive this.” 

    Here’s news: Your marriage has not survived, period. Margo, as usual, has it nailed, your marriage to this bible thumper is a goner. As for your beliefs, you’ll find plenty of folks out there who share them or who won’t make such a big to-do over differing personal philosophy.   
    LW2: It takes two to make a baby. Use common sense and be inclusive. Why even ponder this?

  11. avatar Dani Smith says:

    Nothing worse than immature people who fight dirty.  It seems most people don’t know the best way to go about communicating with their partners, especially when they’re hearing things they don’t like.  They immediately get defensive, start lashing out with insults and put downs, putting blame on the other partner and never taking responsbility for anything on their end, then say things like “shut up” when the other partner tries to speak their peace. 

    That is definitely *not* the way to go about things.  You have to have mutual respect.  You have to hear each other out, don’t point fingers and place blame, take responsibility for one’s own part in things when applicable, and be *very* mindful of what you’re saying.  That means name calling, insults, and low blow digs.  Because nasty things that are said in the heat of a moment can never be taken back.   

    The point is to arrive at a mutual understanding – not to annhilate the other person into submission. 

    Like I said, too bad so many people don’t understand this and behave as three year olds trapped in adult bodies. 

    That said, if I were the wife of letter #1 I would have responded to the dirty fighting tactics with, “Is that what Jesus would do??  hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?!?!”    😀

  12. avatar Cindy Marek says:

    L #1: A lot of Christianity is anti-female, so his childish “it’s all your fault (Eve!)” doesn’t surprise me. If he cannot accept this change in you, the marriage is effectively over. If he’s not willing to go to counseling especially (over). Don’t let him talk you into discussing it with a minister; the deck will be stacked against you (you already know this I’m sure; all your fault). On a different note, quite a few people go through phases as belief/disbelief are concerned (been there myself). I hope this isn’t a reactionary phase you are going through, and if you were to later re-embrace Christianity now your marriage is gone. Even if you were to re-embrace faith, your husband won’t be able to forget this; it’ll likely be a strain indefinitely. I wish you the best with this.

  13. avatar David Bolton says:

    LW1: Well apparently, neither of you is a Christian. 

    LW2: If you put her name on the card, the entire party may be ruined and all of your effort for naught, and you could become a social pariah. Is that really a risk you want to take?

    • avatar JCF4612 says:

      Love it, David! Excellent risk management analysis.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        I tried to explain it in terms of “may/might” journalism—which seems to be all the rage these days. No one wants to wait for boring old something that DID happen when they can read about fresh exciting speculative something that MIGHT happen. 

    • avatar poppygirl says:

      LOL David, you said it best as usual. I’m glad she wrote in to Margo before she eviscerated herself and bled out in front of everyone at the party, committing social suicide. I have a solution! Write the father’s name in big, bold letters and then get a magnifying glass out and assemble tiny letters from a magazine of the mother’s name and glue them in the corner or along the glue line in back.

  14. avatar luna midden says:

    As in everything, there are at least 3 sides to every ‘story’ so for LW1-WE not not know how devout hubby is, what branch of christianity they are, if attending service, religious holidays,etc. were a huge part of their and their familes’ lives. How long were they married? Does he have a habbit of the ‘silent tx’? Maybe he thought she was going through a ‘phase’. It does seem like he was dumbstruck by her announcement-at least by her side, and if her response is accurate, they are from a very conservative branch, so, I do not know why she is totally surprised by his reaction. I do agree with Margo-if their background is that devout, and presumably, that conservative, get out now!!! He will not want his children raised without the church and if she has questions, doubts or really made up her mind, future children will know she is ‘lying’ about her beliefs if she sends them to church or if she doesn’t -it will cause them endless fights

    • avatar Carrie A says:

      He wasn’t dumbstruck, he was a total ass. He used it as an excuse to berate her and blame her for every problem in their marriage and told her to shut up because he didn’t care what she had to say. I don’t care how devout you are, there is no excuse for that. My husband’s sister went through the same thing. She married a very religious guy and a couple years ago decided she didn’t believe in their religion anymore. Of course he was upset, but he never attacked her in any way over it. Just because the LW’s husband is conservative didn’t give him the right to behave that way. She needs to leave now because religious views aside, she found out what a self-righteous jerk she’s married to.

    • avatar avast2006 says:

      Doesn’t matter how devout he was.  Piety does not excuse abusive behavior.  Nor do any of the other factors you mention.  The way he is treating his wife is inexcusable. 
      She did not betray him — there is a potential argument to be made that she betrayed her religion, if one is of a religious mindset, but if she betrayed anybody, it wasn’t him — but he absolutely betrayed her with his scurrilous behavior towards her, the woman he supposedly pledged to love, honor and respect, and is now utterly failing on all three counts.

  15. avatar luna midden says:

    why not get a blank card and make it out to the daddy-as in a ‘daddy shower’? That is who they are throwing it for-not the Mom-if they know her, it is through their boss. I think it shows you care about your boss and even though ‘Mom’ is on bedrest, her friends can always throw her one after the baby comes.

  16. avatar Suzanne Taylor says:

    I think Margo is right–this is not a big deal. We had a shower for our male manager and didn’t mention his wife, whom we did not know. She came to the office with her husband after the baby was born to introduce the baby and was charming. LW2’s wife is a doctor, who may out-earn her husband and had to get through medical school, which is not a journey for the insecure. My guess is that she has a healthy self esteem, is not looking for a personal slight and does not believe her husband is a candidate for a potential office infidelity. The gifts are for the baby. What parent is not delighted by that?

  17. avatar htimsr40 says:

    The atheist wife should see this as reinforcement of why she evolved toward atheism.  Religions depend heavily on judgmental divisions … those who are “in” the club and those who are “out”.  It troubles the small mind of the hubby that his wife doesn’t accept the same fairy tales that he professes to believe in … although I am confident he is quite selective in which ones he embraces and which ones he ignores.  She is better off without him … and better off being a strong, confident woman who is not afraid of intellectual and spiritual exploration. 

  18. avatar Maggie Tenser says:

    LW1’s husband maybe needs to read Paul and understand how a christian is supposed to behave towards a spouse who no longer/does not believe. I can understand how this probably is paining him, but driving his wife away is selfish and cruel.

  19. avatar Nikki Sunset says:

    LW1  In my Humanist group there are quite a few members whose spouses are religious and do not attend. Those couples have decided to agree to disagree. I can’t say that will work in your case but as other people have suggested, it is best to prepare yourself for the worst now. Perhaps he will come around but best not to count on it. 

  20. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    Ltr. #2 – You’re making it harder than it has to be.  So what if she’s not there, address it “For the soon-to-be parents”.  Done. Over and out.

  21. avatar Paula says:

    “I suspect that this marriage may have failed no matter what your faith is or isn’t. ”

    That would be my guess, too.  Seek counseling, and if he refuses, go without him, to at least prepare yourself to get through the divorce as hassle-free as possible. 

  22. avatar emmastaf says:

    LW1: I strongly recommend checking out There have been a few posts recently concerning conversion in a religious marriage. I think the most important thing right now is for you to find a like-minded community, even if it’s just online. Lots of people go through what you’re going through; a lot of them are going through it right now, too.
    I can’t relate to your position, as I’m a lifelong atheist, but I imagine it must be scary for your first atheist experience to be an abandonment. Try not to let it color your worldview. Our most amazing human ability is to construct beauty from the random world around us. Sometimes it just takes a little more effort to create that beauty.

  23. avatar emmastaf says:

    LW2: I think it would be sweet to focus the office shower on the father. Dads are often viewed as secondary parents. Most people wouldn’t think twice if the mother was the officemate. The office shower can be for the dad, and people who know the mother socially can send a gift/card to her or to the couple.

  24. avatar R Scott says:

    LW1 – I just love spiritual people. They are so enlightened. Get out now. Your husband is a dickhead, albeit a fine Christian dickhead.
    LW2 – Have the shower but don’t give him a card. I mean if it’s causing this much stress just don’t do it. He won’t miss it. Problem solved. You’re welcome.


  25. avatar susan hiland says:

    I think religion is like underwear we know you got it but we don’t need to see it. Why does she need to go to counciling for anything? Or join a group for atheists, I’m an atheist and I am anti-group anything, groups lead to clicks, clicks lead to a-holes telling everybody what to do. 
    Bale on this turd and enjoy being single. Take sometime for yourself, your journey isn’t finished yet I suspect. You’ll need to really analyze your feelings about religion, faith and God.  I don’t think that needs to be done in a new relationship. It took me years to accept that my beliefs were okay, I didn’t have to conform to the belief system of my parents or this country but could rationally, analytically, and scientifically evaluate the evidence presented by the bible and come to my own conclusion without anyone telling me what I should or should not due. 

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      susan, you expressed my feelings very well. Why should you have to belong to a group for atheists? My husband is an atheist, and he doesn’t belong to a group. I am an agnostic (a very cynical, and iconoclastic agnostic), and what should I be doing? Looking for a group to share my beliefs? Isn’t that a little like…joining a congregation? To affirm your personal individual beliefs with group-thinks and approbation? Should we have a Church of Atheism? A Temple of Agnosticism? Isn’t that a little bit antithetical to the whole concept of free-thinking?
      Well, okay. “Bale on this turd”. I just got a new computer and keyboard, and water just went up my nose. Good thing the keyboard is wireless…You put it so succinctly. Her husband is in the wrong. He certainly isn’t being very Christian (you know, if you just take your “Christianity from the Old Testament, you might just be Jewish. Christianity derives from “Christ”, as in Jesus Christ, who taught humility, tolerance, acceptance, patience, compassion…wait, no, don’t hit me…argh…). She doesn’t believe after a long period of study, critical thinking, analysis and searching mind and heart. If he loved her, and was truly what he claims to be, none of this would matter. I know many mixed faith (and religious/atheist) couples who have made their partnerships work for decades. This man is a weasel.
      Go out in the world and explore your life and new self-awareness, No need to find another partner too soon. You did the work, now enjoy the benefits.

  26. avatar Beloved says:

    Ltr #1, no one can, will or should confirm or deny God’s existence using scientific evidence.  That is not how God intended to prove His existence and that’s why it will never work.  To prove His existence, you have to at least acknowledge that He exists, and obey the BIG 10 (Ten Commandments).  When you live your life as if you believe God knows your every thought and act (even the ones you know no human knows about) and shun evil thoughts and acts, you will feel a peace and joy that no one will understand.
    I know this sounds hokey, but there is no other way to explain it and discover Him.  This is a life-long activity, I know God exists, but I have to shun my own feelings and thoughts of intolerance, hatred, racism, and sexual perversions, in one form or the other everyday.  Why? Because every man, woman, boy and girl has a sinful nature that will never change, even in the next life, even when they go to heaven. And anyone who thinks differently is woefully ignorant of their true nature.
    Our churches are misinforming the laity, when they tell them that Jesus has literally died and washed away all their sins. If they knew that their acts and thoughts, whether good or bad, follow them in the next life, they would not be so intolerant of others and commit such heinous acts.  Unfortunately, most people wouldn’t believe this if you told them and won’t know what I say is true, until it’s too late.
    As for your husband, although I’m a Christian, I generally find most Christian men to be boorish, boring, and intolerant, I’ll pray for him just as fervently as I’ll pray for you.  Good luck to both of you, I hope that you both can come to have a loving, respectful and understanding relationship, even if you decide to divorce.  
    I won’t give up on either one of you because everyone needs help, especially these so-called “Christians”!

    • avatar butterfly55 says:

      It is sad that you are full of hatred, racism and intolerance.  Not everyone is and not everyone needs to be of any religion.  I’ll believe in being taking care of others in the here and now and not worry about the here after, seems there are enough folks worried about that.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        I believe that each and every human has the potential to do anything, from the most loathsome of atrocities, to the most transcendent acts of beauty and compassion. Every human…myself included. Most fall in the vast gray areas that span the space between between the extremes. This has nothing to do with god, or religion. Good and evil are concepts created to explain those things…especially in this way: One’s loved one commits a terrible act of brutality, and one must cry out, “He was tempted by Evil, in order to do such a thing!”. For it cannot be that your family member, or friend, or minister, or politician could conceive of such a thing from within. Or, alternatively, an enemy performs an act of great good and kindness, so that the outcry is, “Such a thing was a Miracle of God! An Angel has inspired him!“, because no enemy could be capable of such things by simply being himself.
        Humans are astounding creatures. What a pity that religion divides us, promotes ignorance, despair, war, intolerance and primitive, tribal behavior. Man made god in his image…and it’s his favorite mistake (when I say “man” I do not mean “men”. Study your ancient history…the old goddesses were no sweethearts, nor were their priestesses, nor was misogyny and complete repression of women the rule of the day until the late 1700’s). We are the powerful, we are the weak, we are the leaders, followers…and the loners. We are the creators and destroyers. We are beautiful…and we are horrible…and we are all that we have.

    • avatar mmht says:

      Beloved you have just reaffirmed to me why I am atheist.  Believing that everyone is inherently sinful and evil is just a horrible, pessimistic way to go about life and it just breeds intolerance and hatred rather then dispels it as you claim.  You are right, no science can affirm or deny the existence of God, but I can tell you this:  to know that I get 1 and only 1 life and when I die its all over makes me more appreciative of every single day and every single person/animal/nature around me.  To know that my harshest critic is the one person that I have to answer to every single night when I look in the mirror makes me more compassionate to others.  And honestly, I feel sorry for people like you who use their religion as a reason to look down on others.

      • avatar Maggie Tenser says:

        How does believing everyone is the same “breed intolerance and hatred”?  Personally, my conviction that all people (especially and including me) fail and make mistakes and hurt others allows me to remember how important things like forgiveness, compassion, and humility are.

        The world is a beautiful, glorious, monstrous, and ugly place.  There’s no point in ignoring that reality.

        • avatar mmht says:

          Maggie did you even read what she wrote?  She said “Because every man, woman, boy and girl has a sinful nature that will never change, even in the next life, even when they go to heaven. And anyone who thinks differently is woefully ignorant of their true nature.”  Explain to me how that isn’t hatred of oneself and those around you.  Yes, everyone has their good points and bad points but is that sinful?  Is everyone out there so inherently awful of a person that they must work at being decent humans on a daily basis? You truly don’t see how going around judging whether people are working on being better then the terrible person they inherently are doesn’t breed intolerance and hate?  If you can’t see what’s wrong with her logic then you are just as messed up as she is.

          • avatar butterfly55 says:

            mmht, this is what makes me glad there is no such thing as heaven, can you imagine spending eternity with thinkers like this?  heanven it’s not!

    • avatar susan hiland says:

      “no one can, will or should confirm or deny God’s existence using scientific evidence.  That is not how God intended to prove His existence and that’s why it will never work.  To prove His existence, you have to at least acknowledge that He exists, and obey the BIG 10 (Ten Commandments). ” You are sadly mistaken. Because if there is a creator of the universe then there must be evidence of such creator of said universe. So where is the evidence? You can’t use science to confirm the existence of God? What the hell not? Everything in this universe can be quantitatively evaluated in someway, every  atom, every ray of sunshine can be evaluated and yet there is no evidence to evaluate God. Why? Because he doesn’t exist but in the imagination of man. When scientist try to evaluate it, you Christians practically poop yourselves in fear and demand such exercises stop because….because why? Oh that’s right because your faith is so strong that it can’t stand up to serious evaluation by a 10 year old that’s why. 
      So if God exists then how do YOU know what his intentions are? How DO YOU know what God is thinking? You got a direct line to God? How’s that conversation going? Kind of one sided?  
      And the kicker the only way to understand anything about God is to follow the 10 commandments. Really? Or what? So nobody on the ENTIRE PLANET can evaluate GOD unless they follow all the commandments in the bible….no human has the capacity for thinking about the problem of “god” only you bible thumping experts have the answers, right? Cause you are all so even tempered, thoughtful, kind, forgiving, understanding human beings. 
      I propose this: if we are all made in HIS image then we are all God. If we are the image of God, then we are also all the attributes of God. Which means that God is racist, petty, cruel, malicious, deceitful,  sexist, and worst of all neglectful because that is what we humans are as the image of God. 
      All analyze god in any damned capacity I choose.  I’ll take the evidence provided and THINK about the issue of God as many times as I damned well please. Doesn’t mean I have to believe or follow the ten commandments or stand on one foot and rub my head and tummy at the same time to think about GOD. Because I do think about God, I think a great deal about the issue of religion, and faith. The worlds sorrows come not from God but from man’s incapacity to have compassion and understanding of the differences of other humans. It is a failing for which, no doubt God mourns. 
      And last but not least, why would you want to go through your life thinking that every single person you look at, talk  with, eat with, pray with is full of sin. Born in Sin, die in sin, right? That’s the motto. The reason you believe that is that it makes you feel superior to all those people you break bread with you. All your family members, friends, co-workers are just a little less than you because they are born in sin, right. How big of you, how generous and openhearted. How loving in the image of God you are…how proud Jesus must be of you.   

  27. avatar Frau Quink says:

    Letter # 1: To the wife: Be very careful. Hire a divorce attorney. Watch your back. Get all your ‘ducks in a row’ and leave this man. There is no remedy to modify a religious fanatic. Good luck to you.

  28. avatar mmht says:

    LW#1:  The real question is, why would you want to continue to be married to someone who clearly has no respect for you or cares about your thoughts and your feelings?  I get the fact that he is very religious and you deciding that you are not is a major roadblock if not death to the marriage in and of itself, but the way he reacted was beyond ridiculous especially since he knew that you have been questioning your faith and beliefs for 2 years.  The fact that he told you that you were the one with the problem is also a huge warning sign.  Recognize this as what it is, a blessing in disguise, and get out of that marriage!  You will be happier with someone who shares your same beliefs and values.
    And some advice from one atheist to another, your family and friends will be shocked with your new found lack of faith and be prepared to get questions, disbelief, people outright telling you that you “you really do believe in God you just don’t realize it,” and my favorite “your a terrible person who is going to hell” (never mind it generally comes from the most closed minded, hypocritical person in the room).  Be prepared to have to defend yourself and your decision.  If all else fails do what I do “I don’t demand that you defend your beliefs to me.  I also respect the fact that you have decided to be religious because believing in God offers you comfort, solace, and guidance in your life.  I do not feel that way and I just request that you show me the same respect that I show you.”  Your true friends and those that love you for who you are not b/c you are Christian will respect you and move on.  They will realize that you are no different then the person you were before, your Sundays are just free now! 

  29. avatar Lori Stewart says:

    LW1: I’m so sorry your husband flipped out when you told him you had become and atheist. I would ask him once again to consider counseling. If he was supportive previously, maybe his guilt just got the best of him. I’m a devout Christian too, and I would probably flip if my husband said he was an atheist. After I had a chance to get over myself, hopefully I’d be willing to discuss things calmly and rationally. Atheism isn’t a dirty little secret. I hope you can work things out.

  30. avatar avast2006 says:

    Open letter to LW1’s husband,
    Nothing has changed about your wife except that she now has concluded that your religion is mythology rather than literal fact.  Despite this, she remains the same loving, ethical, thoughtful being that she was before she came to this realization.  In other words, finding out that she is atheist has not ruined her in the slightest. 
    You, on the other hand:  Nothing has changed about you except that you have learned that your wife believes something different than she did previously and from what you still believe.  That miniscule change was enough to make you yell at her, ignore her, be ashamed of her, tell her to “shut up”, tell her that you did not care what she thinks.  In other words, your attitudes have completely ruined your marriage.  I suspect this reflects your true character more than you would care to admit.  In other words, being a Christian has not redeemed you in the slightest.
    You should spend a while seriously contemplating the prospect of standing before Jesus and explaining yourself. 

  31. avatar avast2006 says:

    LW2:  I am confused why anyone would seriously worry about it somehow being inappropriate to address the card and shower “to Boss and his new family (squeeee!)”  Does anyone seriously think that Mom-to-Be should be excluded from the sentiments, aside from the pragmatic fact of her physical absence from the festivities?

  32. avatar Pdr de says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but no one has mentioned the fact that while the pregnancy seems to have been announced fairly recently, she is already supposed to be having bed rest.  Don’t know the ages of the parents-to-be, but could be that they don’t want a shower because there’s a possibility she may not carry the baby full term.  Some people, even professionals, could be superstitious about that.  I think perhaps the shower should be postponed for a couple of months to see how things go.  They know their boss better than anyone else but he might be uncomfortable with the whole idea of a shower, even then.  It might be better to pool their money and give one larger gift closer to the time of the birth. 

  33. avatar animelily says:

    L1: It takes two to tango and only one of you wants to dance. I’m sorry, but it sounds like a councilor will do nothing to help you, if your husband refuses to budge. People of different backgrounds and faiths can get along if they’re willing to see past themselves and try to work together, but your husband does not. Find a good divorce lawyer and keep moving forward.
    L2: Hope you have a wonderful baby shower for your boss. I know my husband’s coworkers threw him a surprise “Paternity Party.” Though they let me in in know, and I attended the surprise bash. I wouldn’t have been offended if things were written just for him, but I know that if I was on bed rest and feeling isolated, my own name on a card would have made me feel really nice. Up to you, but I think putting both names would be a nice gesture.

  34. avatar VJ Dark says:

    I would love to share with “The Apostate” the wonderful website, It is one of many good sites, and has leads to them and excellent bloggers, authors, and books. The forum has many “regulars’ with their own fascinating stories of growing up out of a conditioned, reflex, automatic faith belief.

    It was started by someone who had been an evangelical christian, and studied divinity or pastor studies or whatever you call it, and changed his belief and became atheist through thought, reasoning, and challenging. He describes his story eloquently. 

    My three teenage years at church of christ, a denomination that doesn’t think it’s a denomination, were exceedingly damaging. Yet they pale by comparison to Daniel’s expertise.

    I highly recommend it! 

  35. avatar John says:

    Why can’t the card just say, “To the soon to be parents” or “to the newest mommy and daddy” or something silly cute like that?  This way everyone is happy.  I’m not sure I got why this was even an issue.

    As for the first letter writer, I fully agree with Margo.  Sounds like hubby took this opportunity to air his many grievances, which, of course, are your fault because you no longer believe in God.  Clearly you are in the wrong for not washing the dishes right – a God-fearing woman would know better.  Clearly you are in the wrong for little Susie having trouble with math – a God-loving woman would teach her better.  Whatever the case, sadly, this union is over.  Apparently this very Christian man doesn’t believe much in the “for better or WORSE” part of his vows.