6/28/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Daniel out of the Lion's Den ~
My wife caught me medicating with cannabis… alright, she caught me smoking pot. But when you say it like that, you think of a teenager enveloped in a plume of bong smoke, eating Doritos and listening to Pink Floyd. I truly medicate to alleviate anxiety, or so I have convinced myself. Without going into the long and drawn out reasons for using this natural herb, suffice it to say that the whole situation has been the catalyst for having “The Conversation” about my deconversion with my wife. I have read several extimonials regarding the topic of revealing one’s change in belief system to a spouse, so now it’s my turn.
As you can imagine, my wife (who has a Ph.D. in Psychology) was up in arms concerning my medicating. At first, she demanded that I leave our home, and she informed several people at church, including the pastor. She made stringent demands for me to follow in order to return home. But after I spent two nights at my mother’s house, the next morning she called me sobbing and wanted me home. I had a busy travel schedule for work over the next three weeks, so not much fuss was made then, but when the travel was over, more discussion ensued. I also got a request from the associate pastor at church to come in to talk about “things”.
So last Sunday, I meet with this pastor about my cannabis medication (even he said, “So, you’re smoking pot!”). Since I had a week to plan for this conversation, I thought it would be good practice to articulate my viewpoint in a professional, reasonable manner. And I was prepared to do the same concerning my deconversion. He did not disappoint, and after concluding that I was justifying sin just to get high, he asked me about my faith. The conversation lasted about 50 minutes, at which time he surmised that I was “smoking pot” because of my lack of faith. I assured him that the two issues were mutually exclusive, since I had been medicating for over ten years, and was a model Christian during that time. Oh, I should say that during the conversation, he equated my secretly medicating with secretly viewing pornography. This church is obsessed with pornography, and thinks that if someone is “sinning”, then they are certainly addicted to porn. Nothing can be further from the truth in my case. In the end, he admonished me to confess my deconversion to my wife, and since almost every other person who knows my story has encouraged me to do the same, I left with plans to have “The Conversation” with my wife.
Being married for nearly 30 years, I could predict the exact reaction that my wife would have. I knew she would not be able to eat afterwards, so I waited until after we ate supper. Keep in mind that she was expecting to talk about my conversation with the pastor concerning cannabis.
Me: I need to tell you that I love you, that I want to stay married to you and spend the rest of my life with you. The things I have been keeping a secret, I was doing so to protect you. I don’t want to hurt you or cause you pain. But the pastor encouraged me to not keep secrets from you, so I need to tell you that after studying the issue over the last two years, I came to the conclusion about 6 months ago that Christianity is not the one true religion.
Her: (taking a moment to digest…) What are you saying? That you don’t believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead?!?!
Me: It’s the rising from the dead that I don’t believe. Essentially, I think that Christianity pulled many elements from other world religions and that the resurrection is mythical.
Her: (taking another moment to digest…) What does this mean? What am I supposed to do with this? (now, she is looking at me as if the flames of Hell are surrounding me and she can smell sulfur and brimstone).
Me: I’d like to explain why I’ve come to this belief, but it’s going to take time. I spent 30 years developing a set of Christian apologetics, but I’m not that good at describing my new belief system yet. Maybe we can study it together…
Her: Why, so you can talk me out of Christianity, too?!?!?!
Me: No, so you can understand why I have come to this belief.
Her: So, start explaining!
Me: (I commence to summarize many of the elements in my deconversion extimonials that have been published on this website).
Her: It sounds like you’ve taught yourself out of Christianity!
Me: I admit that it had a lot to do with using reason…
Her: Why didn’t you go to the pastor for guidance or pray to God if you were having a spiritual problem?!?!
Me: (didn’t say anything, but must have had the look on my face like she asked, “Why didn’t you go talk with Buddy the Elf if you doubted the existence of Santa Claus?”)
Her: So, I have put nearly 30 years into a marriage and you weren’t a real Christian?!?!
Me: I have been a real Christian for over 30 years, but I stopped believing 6 months ago.
Her: Do you know what this means??? How am I supposed to handle it?!?!
Me: Many Christian women are married to unbelieving husbands. I know it’s not going to be easy. It wasn’t easy for me. One minute, I believed I had everlasting life, and the next minute I believed I will simple turn to dust at the end of my life. I’m not doing this to hurt you. I didn’t choose to become a non-believer, it’s something that came about by studying (something that she has always pushed me to do, but I knew better than to bring that up).
Her: I’ve always wanted us to have a deeper connection (meaning, studying the Bible together), but now there’s nothing!
Me: We have many deep connections – I have been faithful to you for all our marriage, we have four children together, we built our house together…
With that, the conversation was essentially over and she commenced to weeping and sobbing. She did say that she and others will be praying that God will not allow me to leave the faith. This time I kept my poker face. She did not speak to me the remainder of the evening or the next morning. Stay tuned…