Me: “Honey there is something wrong…ah…with…um….me…”
Long pregnant pause. So yeah, I know I said in a previous post I didn’t want my wife to treat me like there was something wrong with me, but I didn’t know how to break the ice on this topic. I didn’t want her to think I had an affair, or that there was something wrong with “us”. So that’s what I went with.
It’ll probably bite me in the ass.
Me: “So I’ve no longer believe in anything, anymore. I’m…well, I’m kind of an atheist. I just lost the ability to believe.”
The look on her face is similar to if I said I have cancer. Utter fearful shock.
Me: “I’m so sorry honey. I didn’t want to lose my faith, it just happened. And now I don’t know what to do. And I’ve been so depressed for so long, and I’ve been so alone without you to help me. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to do.”
She doesn’t speak for awhile as I begin rambling on. She just sits there, stunned. I say I’m sorry like a billion times.
Me: “And now I’m afraid because I can’t get another job, and I don’t want you to have to leave the kids to go back to work…and I’m afraid you won’t like me anymore, and I’m afraid that we’ll have to move out of our new house which you love so much, and I’m afraid that we might have to move school districts…and I’m so so sorry. But I don’t know what to do…i don’t know what to do. I’m so scared, and I’m so angry, and I need you so bad to help me. And I didn’t do this on purpose, I don’t want to be an atheist. I want to be wrong. I wish I was wrong.”
She breaks her silence with a soft voice.
Her: “How long have you felt this way?”
Me: “Remember when I told you that in October I started to feel like God didn’t care about me, and that he wasn’t listening to my prayers or helping me in anyway?”
Me: “And remember when I started asking you what other jobs I could do instead of being a pastor?”
Me: “Well in late February, I concluded that the reason why I felt that no one was listening to my prayers was because there is no one there to listen to them.”
Her: “I just thought you were burned out.”
We sit on the bed for a while in silence.
Her: “Is this because you’ve been hanging out with Mark [the atheist ex-pastor]?
Me: “No I’m nothing like him.”
Mark became a Christian at 19 years of age while serving time in prison. After prison he went to bible college where he met his wife. Graduating from bible college he became a very effective pastor/preacher/leader. As he rose to prominence in the Baptist church he was discovering knack for biblical languages and began studying to become a scholar. His scholarly studies led him to question his faith, and he eventually deconverted. His wife, a faithful christian, tried to stick it out with him and eventually became pregnant. But there relationship was severely strained, under that stress the relationship broke. The two are in the process of a divorce, and now Mark is the father of a beautiful baby girl who lives thousands of miles away. That pain is unbearable. He regularly contemplates suicide.
Me: “Honey, our relationship is much stronger than Mark and his wife’s ever was. We have relationship built on true friendship as well as passion. Something I think they lacked.”
Her: “Have you cheated on me?”
Me: “No, I can’t afford to lose you. You and the kids are all I have in this world.”
I finally tell her I need to lay down. It’s late. I’ve had a long day and my body can no longer sustain consciousness with the alcohol hangover plus the emotional hangover from the 2 conversations I’ve had about being an atheist just today.
While laying down, she starts out as far away from me as possible. But eventually comes over to me in a manner that requests I spoon her. We cuddle. It’s nice.
Her: “This is just a small bump honey. It’s just a small bump, we got this.”
She falls asleep in my arms.