My husband is having a much harder time with my deconversion than I thought he would. Seeing as my husband already doesn't attend church, has many issues with the church, says things like "I don't think God cares about my job" and "I'm not sure I believe in divine healing", I mistakenly thought that this process would be easier. In my mind, he is only a few short steps from being agnostic himself and we have always agreed on almost all religious topics. In fact, to me, the only difference between now and four months ago is that he finally knows that I am agnostic.
But to him, this has rocked his world. A few years before I came along, my husband was dating a woman who was an atheist. He believed in the whole "do not be unequally yoked" and when the relationship went sour, decided not to try and fix it because this was probably what God wanted, even though he was desperately in love with her. Fast forward to me, the good Christian girl he married who kept trying to force him to come to church and talked about doing Bible studies together. This was, by the way, my attempt at salvaging my faith. I was sure that if I just kept going to church, kept being involved, kept reading my Bible, eventually I would have that amazing miracle moment that would squash all my doubts. It didn't happen. Somehow my husband was content with me being the "churchy" one out of the two of us. Even though I had many many doubts, that was okay as long as I called myself a Christian.
The real conundrum lies here though: If God orders your steps, then why would he "allow" you to marry somehow that he knew would eventually be an unbeliever. Why was it okay for him to marry me and not that other girl?
My heart dropped at this confession. Does he regret marrying me? Does he wish he had married her instead? If he is going to have an agnostic/atheist wife, would he rather have her?
I don't think this is what he is saying. He is saying: If God is real and all-knowing, then why did he let me marry someone that he knew I would be unequally yoked with? For him, this is a crisis in belief because he is now questioning whether God is telling him anything and if he isn't, does that mean he doesn't care or that he doesn't exist? It's a tough existential problem to have, something very similar to what led me to the place I am now.
I feel this desperate need to show him how much we are alike. "Look," I want to shout. "We agree on almost all the important philosophical issues. We both agree that we would never send our children to a private Christian school. We hate the manipulation in churches. We have a mutual loathing for mega churches and prosperity doctrine. Neither of us believes in young earth creationism. We both know where we are going with our careers, budget, finances, savings, family planning. We still have the same taste in movies, television, and comedians. (except for the Atheist comedians. He hates those.) I enjoy his company and he enjoys mine. We enjoy cooking together. I love going on trips with him. I like listening to him breathe as he falls asleep."
And these are the things I am going to have to remind him of as he continues to struggle with the idea that I no longer consider myself a Christian and his feelings around that. I am going to have to remind him every day that I am the same woman he fell in love with and it wasn't my faith that was the driving force in that process.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.