Gave up the guilt

sent in by Bill

It took my wife leaving me to realize this. For years, I struggled with guilt. I was not what you could call an "active" Catholic, however, my upbringing was such that to not consider myself a Catholic was wrong, and to not follow the basic tenets of the Catholic church was a sin.

When she left, I was completely devastated. I felt betrayed, and was putting my faith to the test. I thought that God would help me save my marriage. That was 25 pounds and several months of antidepressants ago. To make a long story short, she never came back, and I was left dealing with the guilt and shame of divorce, and with the idea that I couldn't be remarried in the church unless this marriage was annulled.

Annulment! The definition of that is:The invalidation of a marriage, effected by means of a declaration stating that the marriage was never valid.

To move on I would have to declare that my marriage was never real in the first place. How could I do that? It did happen, and it was very real! And for me to say that it wasn't was just ridiculous to me. It was at that point that everything came together - it was time to dump the guilt, pick myself back up, and put my life back together. I've since stopped taking the antidepressants (per my physician), excelled at my job, and put myself back on the right track. I did that by concentrating on me, right now, right here - I put aside all of the superstitious nonsense and stopped feeling guilty because "the bible says it's wrong", or "it's the doctrine of the church". I accepted divorce as a REAL THING, not a sin, and if I am lucky enough to marry again, it will be outside of any church.

My morality comes from the law and my conscience. If it hurts someone else, then it's probably not good - real simple and I don't need 10 lines to explain it.

I've heard of several people going through a traumatic experience and finding god, but I never in a million years thought I would become a (significantly) better person by finding atheism.


NY
USA
Joined at: Birth
Left at: 34
Was: Catholic
Now: Atheist
Converted because: That is what I was taught
De-converted because: What I was taught was full of contradictions

9 comments:

Lawrence said...

Sorry to hear about your marriage. I started a discussion board recently and it has started to build some traffic as of late. It is at http://www.discussmarriage.com. There's a discussion going on right now about the very same thing (you'll see it easily since there isn't much traffic yet, but these folks are debating heavily about what you mentioned - about whether or not divorce is right and so forth. It seems to be coming from the Catholic perspective as far as I can tell, but I'm not Catholic so what do I know? Anyway, hope things improve big time for you.

SpaceMonk said...

'Lucky' enough to get married again?

Keep your freedom man!

"When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most
insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are
required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part."
- George Bernard Shaw

Anyway, welcome. ;)

jim earl said...

Sorry about your marriage. About the same thing happened to me more than 25 years ago. My marriage fell apart and I pleaded with "God" to heal it. It didn't happen and I moved on, away from religion and met another woman who was Catholic raised and from the North. I was from the South and we met and instantly fell in love. A couple of years later, we wanted to get married and she of course, wanted to be wed in a Catholic Church. I went along but found that in order to marry her in the church, I had to have my previous marriage anulled. This was not an easy task for me to accept as I had been married for 11 years and had two children. After months of meeting with various priests and trying to follow the church rules in the matter, we finally gave up and got married in a Nazarene church. Seems it took cash to get the anullment and I was not willing to pay for it. Anyway, today we are still together even though I am atheist and she is religious to a degree, (not overbearing.) I have never been happier than at the present time and I live my life completely void of religion. I hope you the best in your future. Cheers, Jimearl

Just Rick said...

First, sympathies to you about your marriage. It is sad to hear that religion once again played apart in tearing apart someones life.

Next, research now while you have an open mind and you are not blinded by your faith. I do not intend to make a flippant assumption about you, but many of us discovered the delusion thru a slow process of questioning and discovery. Your deconversion almost sounds too fast, as if you are reconciling your lost marriage by laying the blame on religion. Sadly this could mean that when your life becomes more stable you could easily slip back into your faith, your mind once again closing to all but the religious dogma.

Obviously I do not know you and I can only make my assumptions based on the information that you provided so please understand that I am not belittling your situation at all.

I'm just hoping that you seek the knowledge now while you have that open mind because once you actually see the man behind the curtain then the veil of faith cannot come back.

I would suggest this site as a starting point - http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

Here is another with many people telling their story of deconversion - http://exchristian.net/

This is a very powerful story of a woman who wanted to refute the arguments that atheists leveled at religion, but in her research found the man behind the curtain - http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.php?t=72552

And finaly, fundies DO say the darndest things (a calaberations of silly things that christians say on a DAILY basis) - http://www.fstdt.com/

Jim Lee said...

Millions of people have been misled by churches whether they be Catholic or Protestant in more ways than one. Deception is the rule of the Christian church There is not a single scripture anywhere in the supposed New Testament that states you have to be married in a Church or by a minister of the Christian faith. In supposed comments made by the supposed Jesus (another myth) regarding remarriage as adultery, he, this Jesus myth never left a single written word anywhere. I cannot understand why anyone would want to get married in a Church anyway apart from tradition.

freedy said...

Welcome Bill,had it not been for fundamentalism I would not have married.Ironically my departure from it,cause my marraige to fail.
After sixteen year of co-ministering with her, all we have left are four beautiful kids.all of which are agnostics now,and for that i'm grateful.
I'd..................
never marry again for its base on
Bible B.S.!

Anonymous said...

It's wrong to tell someone to not get married again. If he wants to marry again it's his right, his choice and his business. Stop sounding like religious people, trying to dictate how others live their lives.

And marriage is not based on the Bible. People were getting married long before the Bible even existed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all of your thought provoking comments! Right or wrong, I appreciate that you all took the time to read this and comment.
I really do feel that my conversion (or deconversion) was a long time coming. I had been questioning things for several years. I think that it took a cataclysmic event like this to push me over the edge. However, I'm very happy with what I found over the cliff...

Thanks again for your comments.

Bill

Anonymous said...

I think that your thinking about it the wrong way. God's not a genie that you can pray to and all of sudden your problems will be solved, he's someone that can help pick you up afterwards. He's like having a good friend. Although your friend couldn't magically solve all of your problems, they will be there for you to listen to you, and do what they can. It's not neccesarily your fault that your marriage ended up in divorce but it's not God's fault either. I'm not trying to judge you, and the decision of being a Christian or not belongs to you, I just ask you to take a look at it from a different perspective.

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