It doesn't come up now, either, but for slightly different reasons. My wife is accepting of my atheism, even though she doesn't share it. So we rarely bring up our religion. But during the few times we have discussed it, I have leared that she has two main problems with atheism.
First, she thinks it would be very sad to believe that death really is the end, and that there is nothing afterwards. I can't fault her for that, death is very sad. Although, I think that seeing death as non-final is disrespectful to those that have died. If a firefighter dies saving someone's life, they have given the greatest sacrifice. If you think that the firefighter has merely moved on to a better place, how could you fully appreciate the selflessness of their action?
She also wonders how we can handle difficult situations without getting strength from God. This is the one that bothers me. With no God watching my back, I had the chance to develop my own strength. Being an atheist has made me a stronger, less dependent person. In this regard, I have often thought of religion as a crutch. As Jon Nelson says,
The atheist is, or should be, a person with self-confidence and the ability to think freely, without the crutch of religious superstition.
Madelyn Murray O'Hair writes:
We solve our problems ourselves or they are not going to get solved, and you know it and I know it. .... An atheist accepts that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it, and to enjoy it.
Dan Harlow, in a post titled You Are Better Than Any God, relates a touching story of his mother and one of her friends. He observes:
Now I’m not saying that Christians (or any other faith) are babies who can’t run their own lives but I do feel that by giving yourself up to a “higher power” you loose faith in yourself and allow others to take advantage of you because you think it’s God’s plan to do so. A person should believe in themselves, own up to their actions and have the courage to run their own lives.
Without God actually existing, the strength people find from him is a placebo effect anyway. It makes me sad that there are people unwilling to recognize their own strength of character, and instead attribute their strengths to God.
They're not giving themselves enough credit. People are better than that.