Good evening!

I am a 19-year old Computer Science student living in Rotterdam, the Netherlands with my parents and I am having difficulty deciding whether I should tell my parents and other family members about my (absolute) loss of belief in God.

In realize there are similar questions available on this site, but I found none that really matched my situation. In the other questions the OP is usually older and is also "known" for doubting his/her faith, whilst this is not known about me by my family.

Some background info: My parents, sister and I are members of the Dutch "Christelijk gereformeerde kerk" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Reformed_Churches if you're interested.) This church is relatively right-leaning and very orthodox. My mother is also a very traditional, somewhat controlling orthodox christian. My father and sister are only slightly less orthodox. The rest of my family (grandparents etc.) are just as traditional as my mother.

Since I was 15 I have had serious doubts about my faith, and about 1 year ago I completely stopped believing in God (and any other Deity for that matter).

My dillemma is the following: I am still going to church with my parents, I sing the hymns, the whole nine yards. If I declare my Atheism right now, it will probably be a devastating shock to my family and it might destroy my relationship with my parents altogether. I love my parents and my family and I do not want this to happen.

But if I keep up the appearance of being a normal believer, I will be a hypocrite. Another problem is that my parents keep pressing me to find a Christian girlfriend; if I start dating a Christian girl, I will have another "problem" to add to my list when I eventually come forward about being an Atheist.

My apologies for the long post. This dillemma has plagued me for months now, and I would really love to hear some advice and other peoples' thoughts.

Thanks in advance,


  • I do not agree: My parents know nothing of my disbelief, whilst in the other question the parents did know a lot about it. Also I still live at home and I visit the church just like everybody else. – AnonymousDutchGuy Dec 27 '15 at 20:24
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    There are more questions, most closed as duplicate to the one above: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/20347/… parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/23281/…... If you still feel that your problem is significantly different, feel free to edtit your post. – Stephie Dec 27 '15 at 20:28
  • Looking back on it, you're probably right. There is some helpfull stuff in the other answers. My apologies for the waste of time ;) – AnonymousDutchGuy Dec 27 '15 at 20:41
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    No problem at all - that's what we're here for. Take care and feel free to come back if you have more questions! – Stephie Dec 27 '15 at 20:42

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