my de-conversion and marriage

That title is not nearly as catchy as the famous ‘Love and marriage” but I couldn’t think of a better one. I have been binge listening to The Thinking Atheist podcast again. You can find them here or on itunes, http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/podcast/index. 

I am listening to one now that is hitting me hard and I am going to seek out more blogs and podcasts on this topic soon. I have mentioned my family situation rather non-specifically before I think, but just to be clear: I have had a hard time believing all my life. I have believed out of fear, I have barely believed in anything at all, and I have brushed this aside thinking it was my fault for questioning something that other people found so easy and obvious. Finally, a few months ago I had some realizations that are causing me to question the faith I held, but more importantly to research the things I had based my faith on. I have started to form some conclusions about what I not believe to be true. In a few days my beloved husband of almost 11 years will be home from a year long deployment in Afghanistan. And he will be coming home to a wife who no longer believes in God. To put the icing on the uh-oh cake, he is working towards becoming a pastor/chaplain. Yeah.

I have not told anyone besides one family member about this blog. I have only discussed my changing views in vague ways with a couple of people (one of whom tried to save my soul, awkward, short story in a previous post). Due to our family situation I have not shared these questions and this process I am going through with my husband. But when he comes home, there will need to be a conversation. I am not worried that it will cause an irreparable riff… not usually anyway. But I am worried about how it will affect him and us and our family and how we raise our children. 

I hear atheists talking about “coming out” to their families and spouses a lot. At first, I was bothered by the language since I was accustomed to it being used by the LGBTQ community. But facing the moment where I have to lay my ideas bare and be vulnerable… I think this is a pretty accurate description. Will he read this blog? Will he be bothered by the Dawkins and Hitchens and Harris books I have laying around the house? How long should I put off the conversation? Should I blame it on grad school texts and clients I have worked with? Should I just lay it out as soon as he notices? I don’t know.

Two complicated individuals who are constantly changing will have to flex some more in order to keep our relationship together. Issues about careers, parenting, and ALL of the views and ideas that have changed will have to be addressed carefully and thoughtfully and… oh boy. Luckily, I believe that there is hope even without a deity. 

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2 thoughts on “my de-conversion and marriage

  1. Wow, you have quite a burden placed before you. It’s important to bring it up to him as soon as you can, I know you already know that, it’s just who wants to get all religious and controversial with someone who’s been away at war for a year? I could be wrong, but I think that’s what you’re stating here. As you read by my ugly, now deleted, post, my husband and I are very much at odds. We both came into atheism at the same time, but find the residue of religion lingering in our marriage a year and a half after the fact. I don’t think leaving religion was as difficult on our kids as he had anticipated it be, but it’s been extremely difficult for us. That makes sense, after all, we were the ones who were Christians for many years as kids, teens, singles and as a married couple ourselves. It’s no wonder that the departing has been a difficult process.

    With hubby coming back from war, it’s really going to be difficult to know how he will feel about your deconversion. He may be “yeah, it’s all bullshit” concerning religion after what he’s seen. However, after all that he has been through he may be even more determined to remain a Christian and continue down that path to become a Chaplin. After all, God kept him safe for a reason, there must be a purpose for him to fulfill.

    I’m sorry I have no real advice for you. Unfortunately, with all the drama going on in my marriage I feel completely inadequate in helping anyone else out in theirs, especially a situation like this. All I can say is allow yourself to be who you really are. Hopefully, he loved you and married you for you, not your faith on your wedding day. I wish you all the best.

    • Thanks CHope. Support is sometimes better than advice :). I do get really worried sometimes, but I just found out an hour ago that he will be home this afternoon. I am so happy and relieved right now that he will be home safe that nothing else matters. With that kind of focus, I know we can get through it.

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