The Time My Wife Wrote a Post

Hi! My name is Jenn (the wife) and I wanted to write a post because I have read all of his and they have moved me. Not only has his posts moved me but the encouraging comments as well. I have actually seen him use some of your suggestions and they have truly worked. Because of your help you have contributed to the wellbeing of our marriage. I am truly grateful and moved. Thank You!

Since Brendan has started his new job he is hardly home. I am beyond proud of him and his drive to provide for him family. He has made every effort to show us his love. This is huge to me because for 10 years I was a “pastor’s wife.” I had to live, act and simply be a certain way that put a lot of pressure to be the “perfect” Christian. This sounds horrible now but during the 10 years I thought this was normal. I thought there was something wrong with me. I already sucked at reading my bible and I grew up in California so I was already an ass too. And if Brendan thought something needed to change well he had to have been right because he read more than I did and he IS a hell of a lot smarter than me.

So in 10 years I have worked on myself and when he came home that night to tell me he didn’t believe anymore I thought he was going to tell me he wanted out. That he didn’t want to be married to me, that I wasn’t enough for him. I didn’t grow up with a loving family. Drugs, alcohol, sexual violence was a norm for my birth parents and my foster parents were emotionally abusive. For me, the people I thought loved me would walk out and I was used to it. For me I was the problem. That’s all I ever heard. That’s all I ever knew. Brendan leaving would have been a norm. He wasn’t acting like the man I dated and fell in love with.

God, church or job whatever you pick changed him. Changed him not for the better. But every day I loved him, every day I tried to be better for him. Every day I worked for his approval. Some days I was awesome at it and other days I sucked. But you’ll get that with any marriage.

What made this hard was that I also had 150 members of our church picking at me. Disapproving of my actions. Thinking about it now still hurts. I cannot say it enough being a pastor and his wife IS THE WORST JOB EVER. And the best thing that has happened to us IS Brendan becoming an atheist. Once I worked through all our SHITTY friends and the emotions that came with that. I fell in love with my best friend all over again. I feel in love again! (I’m saying it again because it’s beautiful!)

Our life will be different this year. Our life will be full of love, laughter and memories that encourage our children to find our kind of love when they are older. If you were to have asked me 9 months ago if this was going to be my new norm I would have laughed in your face. The best advice a fellow wife in my shoes told me was to forget about the faith stuff and focus on your marriage. She was and is so right.

I haven’t heard from or seen god do anything for me in these months and you would think a life of service would warrant something. Ha I think Brendan said that too. So if you are reading this and you are in our shoes or will be remember your spouse isn’t the enemy and it’s okay to love them even if an old book tells you otherwise. Love conquers all!

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27 thoughts on “The Time My Wife Wrote a Post

    • Isn’t it crazy? but I am so glad there are other couples out there that feel the same way. That are more in love after faith. I hope more people put faith aside and focus on their marriage. 🙂 thanks for your comment. I truly appreciate it!! – Jenn

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  1. Hello there, Jenn! Good to hear from the other side of this whole thing. You guys have had a very rough storm to weather, but from what I’ve seen in following this blog, I think you’ll just come out stronger for it. Not just in your marriage either, but in your personal lives and your relationships with others. It’s only when the world gets shaken to its core that you really get to see where the strong foundations are, and now that the weak spots have been revealed, you can cast those aside and rebuild from solid footing.

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  2. Hello Jenn, good to hear from you. You’ve been through one helluva lot, and you have survived and grown. I’m so glad you are finding renewed strength in your marriage and have fallen in love again; that’s such a wonderful feeling! Hopefully the money issues will sort themselves out with Brendan’s eventual job success, and you all will have more time to spend together as a family. There are a lot of us rooting for all of you!

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  3. Wonderful to see a post from you. I add my voice to the others to say we’re behind you. I deconverted three years ago. My wife is still Christian. So I can relate to some of things you two have gone through. Good luck. Hope to hear more from you.

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  4. Coming out to my wife was the best thing I ever did, as I did so she …practically at the same time said “me too” and we learned to stop living in fear of god and disapproval and start loving and finding ways to accept one another where we were. I’m so happy you two are in a better place now.

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  5. What a wonderful post, Jenn! Thanks for sharing it with us. I am so glad you have each other, when your relationships at church have been so hard.

    I came out to my wife (and family and friends) as an unbeliever just this past fall. I’m not a pastor, but being part of a Christian community and serving in ministry has been a big part of our life. Taking that first step to tell her was the hardest thing I’ve ever done; I had so many fears about what it might do to our marriage. It was very hard for her to hear, but we are every bit as committed and in love as we have ever been, and that has been a huge relief. So I know first-hand what a huge thing that is for Brendan to have in you!

    I laughed at what you said about California; I was born in southern California but from age 9 on was raised in the Midwest (by parents who were from the Midwest), so I’m not really a Californian. But I have known many! 🙂

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    • Thank you so much for telling me about your marriage. I means so much to know that this is more common then I thought. I’m glad you and your wife are still together, cheers to a better marriage!

      Hehehe I love being an ass and I’ve missed being an ass whenever I wanted. lol -Jenn

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  6. hey jenn! nice to meet you. things sure have sucked for you. but now you know for sure that people you thought you knew and were friends are just acquaintances you used to know! happy new year! hug your family and know that you are worthwhile in your own right, not as a reflection of any human being pastor husband child or other. you’re just you! and that’s enough!

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    • Nice to meet you too!! Goes to show you that the number of years you know someone doesn’t play a part in true friendship. True friendship is what comes out of life experiences. Thank you for your kind words, I’m so happy being just me. 🙂 -Jenn

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  7. Hi Jenn! It’s so great to finally meet you! We’ve all heard so much about you and what’s going on in your lives over the last year, it’s nice to hear things from your perspective. It makes me sad to see all the bad things that have happened over the last year, and especially since it was all outside of your control. Despite that, you seem to have come through the ordeal stronger. I hope you make posting here a regular thing!

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  8. Hi Jenn! Thanks for writing.

    I think it’s fascinating that both you and Brendan were afraid that the other would leave over his newfound unbelief, and I think it’s terrific that you’ve managed to stay together through these tumultuous events. Clearly, you’re a great couple and you complement each other very well!

    Brendan has repeatedly stated that he does not want to try to make you an atheist, that he wants you to believe what you want and to figure things out for yourself, if Christianity is a big deal to you, he absolutely wants you to continue to treasure your faith. Where do you stand these days, from a religious perspective? Do you still consider yourself a theist? A Christian? Has your position changed as a result of learning about Brendan’s deconversion?

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    • Thanks Alan! Brendan and I have always had a special relationship. From the very beginning there was something different about us vs our friends. When it comes to Brendan and letting me figure things out, you are right. He has. I would say he thinks I’m in the process of deconverting. I myself, have know idea. Faith has been a huge part of my life for so long but it was always centered around horrible events. I can’t seem to bring myself to say I don’t believe. But let me tell you, if god is real…he is an asshole! And I don’t know if I could commit myself to some faith that doesn’t care about the innocent. I hope that answers your question a little bit. I am still trying to figure this shit out. Maybe blogging will help, it seemed to help Brendan. 🙂

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      • You might be interested in Ryan Bell’s work. He was a Seventh Day Adventist pastor for many years, but after more and more of it didn’t add up, he decided to try looking at the world through the eyes of an atheist for a year (and started a blog called Year Without God). It’s been a little over two years since then, and he has no intention of returning to theism. However, he has chosen to focus on the “liminal space” of people in situations similar to yours: no longer comfortable with theism, but not yet ready to join atheism. He has started a group called Life After God to provide folks in this situation some insights, including a podcast and a private Facebook support network (though I’m not a member and have no idea how useful it is).

        I don’t presume to know you or what you’re currently going through, but it seems like this might be relevant.

        http://www.lifeaftergod.org/
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Jenn: I enjoyed reading your post. I thoroughly enjoy Brendan’s (John’s) posts. I have not read any other postings that had such immediacy and honesty. It is absolutely engaging. I don’t live in your country but my aunt lived in your town until she passed. I understand well the situation you faced (continue facing). Thank you for your perspective. I certainly hope this year is better and brings new friends. All the best.

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  10. Great to hear from you Jen! 🙂 I’m so happy to know that you are doing so well together after going through so much. 😉 I’m a SoCal transplant from the east coast (for the past 16 years) and I’ve found my place. LOL I doubt I’d consider you to be an ass…

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  11. Brendan, you need to change your password. I think your wife hacked your account.

    In all seriousness, that was such a lovely, but heartbreaking post. So happy you both have each other. You are very lucky. Wishing you the best moving forwards.

    Shane

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