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Goodbye Jesus

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The Letter





It took me two years to come to a place where I felt like I could openly discuss this with anyone. I tried to find the right time to explain this all to Laura. I sat down and wrote a letter. I tried to explain why I didn’t believe anymore, I went through various issues, one by one, trying to explain what I believe, and why. I really don’t know how successful I was in explaining myself. How do you explain such a 180 to someone? I tried to tell her that I’m still the same person and I love her, and I just wanted her to understand. Then, I typed out the letter in an email. I remember staring at the enter button. This is absolutely true. My heart was racing. I asked myself several times, “Are you going to chicken out again? How many times are you going to do this? How long are you going to put off telling your own wife that you don’t believe in God? What kind of man are you?” I don’t know if it was just me daring myself, or if I just couldn’t hide anymore, but I pressed enter.


I got home after midnight, which is usual for my job. I opened up my email on my laptop. I found a response from her. She was mad. She didn’t care about my explanations. She felt betrayed.


Around that same time, my wife’s sister had discovered that her husband was cheating on her. My wife is very close to her sister, and sometimes she internalizes her sister’s life. By revealing my atheism to my wife at this time, my wife felt like I had cheated on her. I could easily had said I was sleeping around and gotten the same result. I wanted to be open about my issues with faith. I wanted to connect with Laura. I felt like I had to tell her about this. And when I did, her rejection of me, made me feel even more alone then I had before.


Here I was 35. Everything I had believed up until this point in my life has turned out to be a lie. No one around me sees the same problems with religion I do. And, the only woman I have ever loved now hates me. Now, I was clinically depressed.


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