So it's been some time I've been looking for a way to express my feelings to my wife about me becoming who I am today, a PIMO atheist. I'm not good at it so when I came across a "Letter to a Christian Spouse" from TheThinkingAtheist, I figured that was exactly what I needed to do. I even borrowed some parts of it I really felt the same about.
Before I print it and give it to her, I wanted to share it with you. I'm not good at expressing feelings so I do post it behind the Anonymity of the Internet, to give me courage to give it to her in real life.
Maybe some things can be expressed in a better way. I wrote this in french, it's my favorite language. I used google translate and corrected where I felt it was needed. So if something isn't clear, you're free to ask and/or correct me.
Here we go internet...
My love, my treasure, my life,
I decided to write you this letter because you know it, I'm not very good at expressing my feelings. What I want to talk to you about are my most intimate emotions. I want to do it in a calm and thoughtful way. I feel the need to share them with you and unfortunately lately I feel like a gap is growing between us. That's why I write you this letter.
A few months ago, I revealed to you, unfortunately in a way that I had not planned to do at all, the change that took place in me. And since then we have not mentioned this discussion or rarely in any case. I feel great anger in you towards me. I think you feel betrayed somehow. When we met each other, we had the same beliefs and the same goals. To serve Jehovah and live according to biblical "principles". We had our ups and downs, but we overcame our difficulties, sometimes with great pain. I sincerely believe that we can also overcome this situation.
More than a year ago, following the pioneer school, I made the decision to undertake serious and thorough studies of my beliefs. I realized that although I had a good knowledge of the main doctrines, I could not always explain the path, the reasoning bringing to these beliefs. I wanted to go to the foundation of these. To be able to respond firmly to "the one who provokes me" (Proverbs 27:11). Everything seemed so logical to me that I did not understand why intelligent, intellectual people of the "world" did not understand what seemed so simple to me. I wanted to be ready to defend my beliefs and make clear with real evidence and facts that our beliefs were "the truth".
At the same time, I wanted to remove my doubts, these troubling things in the back of my head that I always put aside since a kid, just thinking that I did not understand them but that there had to be some logic behind. I was determined. I was going to improve and overcome my weaknesses.
But where to start? I decided to start with my favorite Bible story, as you well know, Noah and the Flood. The more I advanced in my research, the more questions I had and the more I had to dig to get to the bottom of the question. What evidence was there to suggest that the flood had occurred about 4400 years ago? A global flood of this magnitude could not go unnoticed.
Well, I found evidence of it, more and more. But overwhelming evidence, irrefutable even, evidence still visible today. But these did not prove the flood, but on the contrary the absence of a deluge, surely not a global flood that would have occurred about 4400 years ago. And these proofs were not just the sayings of historians. No, it's geological, biological, historical, social, architectural, engineering, mathematical, botanical, genetic, etc. I won’t mention them all. There was my first break. This is where I had my first "spiritual" wound.
I was tormented by these questions. I didn’t sleep anymore at night. How was it that I could not find irrefutable answers about it? Was I been lied to? No, it was not possible. Science supports the Bible, I thought. I had to have missed something, I surely stepped into a trap of Satan. But God would not have let Satan hide all the evidence, just to test our faith? Our faith must lay on facts, concrete proofs. (1 John 4: 1, 1Tessalonians 5:21). If God would have allowed Satan to go so far, how could our faith have a solid foundation?
Try to imagine how I felt. I went through a whole range of very strong emotions. Anger, sadness, disappointment, feeling of failure ... I felt like a less than nothing. I was the problem, I had probably lost my way.
After some time, I made the decision to take back control and leave this topic aside and pick another one, just to reassure me, to dismiss my doubts. But the effect was the opposite of the one I was hoping for. The further I advanced, the more my faith flickered. The further I went, the more I felt bad. I thought of you, of my family, of the disappointment that I must be in your eyes, in the eyes of God. Why couldn’t I find a satisfactory answer? Just one? If it's the truth, it must be able to stand up to scrutiny like the one I was doing. Why wasn’t it?
Was it wrong to test what I had believed since childhood, what my parents had taught me. I was always taught to accept these beliefs. Was it wrong to want to ask important questions, hard questions? What should I do? I surely couldn’t tell you about it. I already imagined the consequences, I already imagined the worst. I imagined losing you, losing my family and my friends. I was ashamed, ashamed of myself, afraid to disappoint you, to make you suffer and I was angry. Angry at whom, I did not even know it yet. I was in agony.
And then, gradually, the change took place. Not by choice. I struggled with all my strength, but I could not do anything about it. I did not choose to have doubts. I chose not to ignore them anymore. I did not choose to no longer believe in the Bible, I chose to examine it thoroughly and objectively. I did not choose to lose my hope in a paradise, a paradise I had been waiting for since I was a kid. I did not choose to agree to never see my grandpa again, which I had been looking forward to since I was 5 years old. I did not choose to not see my childhood friend again who died in car accident when I was a little boy. I did not choose to no longer believe in eternal life without disease and suffering. I did not choose to become an atheist. Moreover, we do not choose what to believe in. If tomorrow we go up on the Eiffel Tower, we do not choose not to believe in gravity. We can say that we do not believe it, but we know very well what will happen if we climb to the other side of the fence. If tomorrow someone tells us that he can cure cancer with tap water, we will not take his word for it, we will not choose to believe it. We will examine these statements, we will want irrefutable evidence. First you have to doubt. I had to doubt. Doubt is what will allow us to find the truth. Not some universal truth. But the simple truths, the concrete facts.
This is the reality that has imposed itself on me. And the shock was brutal at first, but I started to accept the person I had become. I no longer felt angry with myself, but I was angry at those beliefs that have robbed you, me and my family of so many years and energies. And that will probably continue to do it for most of you.
Today I try to understand who I am and where I am going. I try to understand what I want from life, from the future. All is not yet clear because all this is new to me. I see the world around me with new eyes. Everything is not pretty, but everything is not as terrible as I imagined. The world is much more colorful. A whole palette of colors. Some colors displease me, but others fascinate me and others intrigue me. What I know is that I want to continue to share my life with you. Today I love you for you, for who you are. I love you for your humor, your strength of character, your empathy, your selflessness, your love for the family, for the sacrifices that you made for me, for your clumsy side, for your organization. Without you, and you know it, I would be lost today. Even if we do not share the same beliefs anymore. And I respect it. I will never impose my point of view. I will probably still have some nagging remarks when I see things that are sickening to me about religion, but I try to work on it, I try to be more reflective in that sense. I also know that I want to continue to be there for my family, because more than ever they need me, and you. With dad's illness and now grandma's, I really do not want anyone to get in my way of supporting them. And I would fight like a madman if anyone tried to interfere. But today, I also accept the fact that my happiness should no longer depend on the happiness of others. I know that one day, when I'm no longer JW, they will suffer a lot and not understand. But I cannot bear this burden all my life. I cannot be unhappy and trapped in a lifetime of pretense. I think that I too have a right to be happy and I hope that one day you, but them too, will grant it to me.
I am happy with you, do not understand me wrongly. But I will never feel complete as long as I am a JW. In all good conscience, I could not continue to wear this mask forever in order not to disappoint my family. Especially today that I realized that this life is the only life I will ever have.
What I would like is to be able to talk more openly with you, but I understand if you don’t want to, in fear of losing your faith. I will respect your choice no matter what. Today, what torments me most is not knowing your feelings. I know you love me, but I know that you love Jehovah even more. Do you stay with me only because of the sense of duty, because your belief demands it from you, or because you really want it? I do not know. Sometimes I hear you say, "Can’t wait for Armageddon!” And I understand the impatience, for those who like you live only for this moment. But it hurts me. Because in the situation we are in today and according to your beliefs, Armageddon would mean my death! So, I wonder in these moments, if that's what you wish ... If you wish to no longer have me in your life ...
But I choose to trust you. I choose to trust us. I am sure we will find the best way to overcome this together and continue to live together and happy despite our differences. I do not promise you an easy life because it will not be, especially given my situation. But I promise you to continue to do everything so that we can be happy together.
Your husband who loves you deeply
PS: This letter, I think you have noticed is very personal and intimate. I really needed to share all this with you and only you. Now I do not know what you're going to do with it. Obviously, I would prefer that you do not share it. But I can understand also that it would be for you a proof of my situation, a confession in some way, that would allow you to go to see the elders, and I know that you would like to do it. It's up to you to make the use you want of it. I do not promise not to blame you but know that I will understand and accept the consequences that will follow.
Wow very nice indeed I hope she can see a reason to at least talk it through.
Well if your looking to get rid of your wife this is a great letter!
If your looking to keep your wife....... stop with the review of your long tiresome search for the real truth. We have all been there and done that. A believer is not moved by what we found out unless.......... they are inclined to have similar doubts.
Let's understand a working principle. She has a set of beliefs and you no longer have the same beliefs. So you need to come up with a fire proof explanation.
So my advice, which is worth what you have paid me for, is simple.
Take the position that your WTBTS has stumbled you.....why? The same reason the Catholic Church is losing followers.........child sexual abuse. Yes really!
Now the WT corporation doesn't commit resources for children it's not going to be as graphic as the Catholic problem what with their priests and orphanages etc.
But there is no doubt that within JW families.........and in their congregations.....a brother and on rare occasion, a sister pedophile has been known to take advantage of the trust that JW's have with one another.
JW pedophiles use that trust to take the time to 'groom' the innocent child, they use the trust they have within their own family and/or within their congregation to separate a child into a private setting for their sexual enjoyment.
At this point in time Child sexual abuse among JW's has been revealed to be as serious a problem as the Catholic's.
Google the pedophile problem among JW's and here is what you will fine:
Jehovah's Witnesses accused of silencing victims of child abuse ...https://www.theguardian.com/.../jehovahs-witnesses-accused-of-silencing-victims-of-chil...
Judge orders Jehovah's Witnesses to release molestation files | San ...https://www.sandiegoreader.com/.../citylights-judge-orders-jehovahs-witness-release/Aug 30, 2017 - ... of Jehovah's Witnesses is to spread belief in the Bible in hopes of ... of the Watchtower Tract Society, William Bowen, calls a “pedophile's
Jehovah's witnesses a "paradise for pedophiles": report | NL Timeshttps://nltimes.nl/2017/07/21/jehovahs-witnesses-paradise-pedophiles-reportThe 'TWO Witness' rule is the hand maiden of the devil. As if a Pedophile will allow a second witness to their crime. Without that second witness and a firm denial the JW's can not protect the child. For decades they even discouraged the parents from taking their complaint to the Authorities. The ARC revealed that at the KH and Branch level there were 1006 cases of molestation and not a single case was taken to the police.So your being 'stumbled' by this situation, documented with plenty of non apostate web sites reporting on these crimes....... can allow you to take a position that you are a man of high moral standards who will no longer support the JW beliefs and way of life.Or if you want to soften your position you will no longer associate with the JW's until they clean up their pedophile problem.Best to put it in your own words.Under no condition argue doctrine with your wife. Just continue to be her loving husband.
Never put anything in writing that can be used against you in a court of law… I mean, judicial committee.
My feelings exactly.