So I had to delete a couple previous posts about “The B**** Who Shall Not Be Named” (TBWSNBN). But I realized that many of you were then missing out on what transpired.
Essentially last Monday my wife went out on a girls night with 3 friends. After a few drinks my wife started crying. They asked why and she told them. She told them everything.
2 of those friends have been amazingly supportive and helpful
One of those friends is outraged and is threatening to out me as an atheist behind the pulpit. My wife has been emotionally destroyed by someone she that was a friend. TBWSNBN never once asked how my wife is doing. She never once showed any sympathy. She told my wife that I am selfish and I need an ultimatum.
What kills us about this is TBWSNBN has never been “that kind of Christian”. She barely even ever goes to church. And my wife felt like they could be transparent together. I guess we were both really wrong about TBWSNBN.
My wife called me crying. Begging my forgiveness and for my help to smooth things over. I’m a pastor, smoothing over angry people is what I do for living. So I send a message to TBWSNBN.
This post will not be as profanity laced as the previous attempt at this. I’ve calmed down a bit. A bit.
(((EDIT: Much of the swearing has been removed.)))
Me: So I talked with my wife. Should meet and talk. When are you available?
Me: Tonight? Your house? My house?
Her: My evening is pretty booked with s 5:30 bday party and a softball team party for my oldest… Let me check and see
Me: We can meet later in the week if you’re too busy tonight.
Her: I’ll have to check with my husband … I’m curious as to what we will accomplish…
Me: My wife talked to you because she needs a friend to talk to. This has been the worst thing to happen to either of us (well in her case, the worst thing in the last 10 years). I’d like share what we are going through and what we are trying to do with our lives, marriage, et.
I’d like to reiterate that she has yet to ask my wife how she is holding up with all this.
Her: I’m aware of why she talked to me … Though I wish she hadn’t… It was blurted out and made a joke by the others… I get this is scary and uncertain…
Me: Was it the best way to handle it? No, but that exactly what I did when I first told my best friend.
It’s hard to keep something this tragic bottled up
It’s a very lonely experience
Her: It’s only lonely if you go through it alone… We love you guys and want to walk alongside you and lift you up… Please John… I’m sure this is very hard along with a million emotions.. But you have a whole church who love and adore you and your family including my husband and I !
Ok, so I’m thinking maybe this isn’t so bad. My wife just must have over reacted. This could turn out for the best.
Me: This is stuff I’d love to talk to you about in person. But please know, I have no intentions of staying a pastor. I’ve got an interview this week, and 6 applications out right now. But I also want to transition the church slowly. A church is small and fragile. My wife and I still plan on attending there after my departure.
Her: That’s great news! I’ll keep my eyes and ears open if I hear of anything! Who will be preaching Sunday? I can meet tomorrow but would prefer a place like [local coffee shop owned by christians where I know everyone who works there and visits there] or Starbucks? I’m very glad to hear you will still be attending. My prayers are with you and your wife ❤
WHAT?! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! Oh yeah sure, I’d love to talk about this in public where we are guaranteed to run into 10 freaking people we know. That sounds like a great idea you effing idiot!
Me: I’d rather not meet in public. But we don’t have to meet alone. I can bring my wife with me to wherever we meet. Or I could bring a neutral 3rd party. My wife told another friend, Reese.
Her: That would make me feel better… Your wife is really angry with me so I’m not sure she’ll want to come… Can you tell me who knows and who does not? And are we using the term atheist? I just need to know… Sorry for the questions… They are not meant attacking
OH, MY WIFE IS ANGRY WITH YOU?! I’M SURE IT HAS NOTHING TO WITH THE FACT THAT YOU STABBED HER IN THE BACK, BAD MOUTHED HER HUSBAND, AND ARE THREATENING THE FINANCIAL SECURITY OF HER CHILDREN! NO, IT JUST MUST BE HER TIME OF THE MONTH. How can anyone be this astoundingly stupid?!
Me: I don’t think the terms are important. Did you ever meet Reese?
Me: She’s the only other person in [our] County that knows. I’ve talked to Reese and her Husband about jobs. Other than that my wife told her parents. I’ve told my sister and my best friends (people I went church with in [home state])
Pause in conversation as I call Reese.
I called Reese but got her voice mail.Please be patient with my wife. She’s hurting and defensive, for understandable reasons.
Her: I know….
Ok, so I’m no way mad at my wife for telling people she thinks are close friends. This is a secret that just eats at you and you want to explode. I get it. But she waited till right this second to tell me that she didn’t just tell TBWSNBN but also 2 other friends. Turns out those 2 friends have been the best friends ever about this.
Me: So my wife just told me that Reese is out of town. She also just told me that she told Trisha and Karen the same time as you. Would you prefer to meet with one of them as the 3rd party?
Her: No id prefer leave them out of this… Not sure their faith…
I told my wife this and she was livid. She said “WHO THE FUCK DOES SHE THINK SHE IS?! OH, NOW SHE QUALIFIED TO EVALUATE WHO IS A CHRISTIAN WHO IS NOT?! WHAT A FUCKING HORRIBLE PERSON! DO YOU KNOW SHE EVEN ASKED ME IF I WAS A CHRISTIAN?!”
Oh my god I hate this woman.
Me: Why does their faith matter? I’m the one in question, no?
Her: For biblical purposes…
No. Your just making shit up. There is no biblical purpose in this. I should know, I know the bible 10xs better than you do. This is just you trying to be a holier Christian than me. “Oh..biblical purposes…I’m so holy and you’re going to burn in hell” F*** YOU!
Me: Well then we might have to wait a week for Reese to return.
Her: Ok. Would you be willing to meet with my father in law and I? He’s the leader of men’s ministry at [his church]?
Me: No. But perhaps Kevin from [church that oversees her FIL’s church]
Her: That would work
Ok so Kevin is a friend of mine and he happens to be the teaching pastor at TBWSNBN’s church. Kevin has had major struggles with doubt. I think he still is a believer but I’m confident he’ll be sympathetic. Plus, I was already planning on telling him.
Me: However knowing his schedule, we might have to wait 2 weeks
Her: I’m a patient person 🙂
Me: But if I’m going to call Kevin, the first question he’ll have is why you would want him to be there.
Her: Cause I want spiritual guidance… Does Kevin know?
Me: No, but he’s on the list of people I’m telling. We’re good friends. Where do you need spiritual guidance?
Her: I’m one of the only people in [our] county right now who knows an atheist is standing up as a pastor… My faith is reeling right now…. I need spiritual guidance… I’m a little concerned that you would need to ask…
YOU NEED SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE?! YOUR FAITH IS REELING?! OH, EXCUUUSE ME! I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW MUCH MY WIFE ASKING FOR YOUR LISTENING EAR…WHICH YOU REFUSED TO GIVE..WAS SUCH A BURDEN TO YOU!
HOW ABOUT THIS YOU MORON…HOW DO YOU THINK MY WIFE IS DOING? HOW DO YOU THINK HER FAITH IS DOING? DID IT EVER F***ING OCCUR TO YOU TO EVEN ASK?!
Me: Forgive me, but this isn’t about you. This is my life, my burden. I am definitely sorry this has burdened you. The reason why I’m transitioning slowly is to avoid shaking other people’s faith and tearing the church apart. But with everything that my wife and I are going through, I’m concerned your surprised at my question. You haven’t once asked how this has effected me.
This has been the worst thing to ever happen to me.
But yes, I can see why you’d want to talk to Kevin.
Her: This isn’t about me… It isn’t about you… Right now my concern is the church of Christ…. Which is the ONLY reason I’m agreeing to meet…your choices are just that… I’ll be praying and will love and support but only where my faith allows me…
IT’S A PITY YOUR FAITH DOESN’T ALLOW YOU TO ASK ONE SIMPLE QUESTION…”Hey John’s wife, how are you handling all this?”…IS THAT QUESTION SO REPULSIVELY SINFUL THAT YOUR FAITH WON’T “ALLOW” YOU TO BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING. YOU WERE HER FRIEND YOU BACKSTABBING ….[profuse expletive deleted]!
Me: You know what’s weird, I still pray. All the time. I didn’t want this. This wasn’t a choice I made.The church is fine, I’m doing everything possible to help it survive past me.
Her: Sounds like Satan is holding on real tight John… Have you reached out to any other biblical men? Pastors?
Me: Of course I have. But you’re absolute lack of concern for me…is disappointing.
Her: You don’t know my prayers
Me: No I don’t, I only know your words.
Insert “Your faith doesn’t make you a good person, your behavior does” quote here.
Her: How is my asking if you’ve reached showing lack of concern?
Me: “This isn’t about you” is what you said. My own personal crisis and the crises it causes in my marriage are absolutely about me.
Her: I’m at a family function right now… Let me know when Kevin can meet… In the meantime, I will be praying for you and your wife.
Me: [I do the facebook thumbs up thing.]
Oh god I feel so angry even retyping this crap.