After 18 years together, we’ve decided to call it quits. It’s mostly me, but I am sure deep down she agrees it’s the best thing, and is a bit relieved. The tension and disagreements we’ve been having the past few years have to be wearing on her as they are on me.
I know for many of you, this will come as a surprise, but for others it may not be at all. We’ve been struggling of late to find any common ground, and I am thinking we’ve reached the point where our differences have become irreconcilable. We just can’t live with each other anymore, and I don’t see either one of us changing that drastically.
She has also been cheating on me for years, and I just can’t take her infidelity any more. But in truth, in her eyes, I haven’t been entirely faithful myself. I guess we are both hurting each other that way.
I’ve tried to make it work…tried my damndest…but she isn’t willing to accept me for who I am. She demands I change my very core, and deny who I am just to be with her. In truth, she’s tolerated my personality and idiosyncrasies for years, and would never admit out loud that they profoundly affect our relationship in a negative way, but they do.
She’s controlling, manipulative, and just plain nasty at times. She tells me who my friends can be, where I can go, and how I should feel about the important things in life…personal things…that are none of her blasted business.
She’s also a hypocrite. Her “public” appearance is just a façade and a lie. She comes off as loving, kind, warm, and welcoming…but in truth, as soon as people are out the door, she rips them apart.
Don’t get me wrong though, there were some good times, and I met some amazing people because of our relationship. I hope those friendships will continue once we separate…but I know many of them won’t. I think it would be just too awkward for many people to keep in contact with me. I’ll mourn the loss of those people in my life, but I know my true friends will walk with me through this.
I think the hardest part for me will be trying to figure out who I am without her. We’ve been together nearly all of my adult life…since I was 19…and I’ve derived a lot my personal identity from our relationship.
Not to mention all of the money I’ve sunk into our relationship, and the crushing debt it’s produced. I don’t think I will ever be fully divorced from her financially…she kind of ruined that part of my life.
I’ll miss her at times, but I think at the end of the day, we’re better off going in our separate directions. We’ve been drifting….and at times running…in separate directions since pretty much the beginning of our relationship. This is really a formality in many ways.
I hope the kids will adapt…I’m sure they will eventually. It will be hard, but I really have not liked the affect she’s had on them over the years. I am kind of looking forward to getting them away from her influence. I believe they will be better people in the long run with us no longer together.
So with all that in mind…and a lot more unsaid…I’d like you to be aware that Pam and I are separating from the church.
We just don’t fit anymore…if we ever did…and I can’t pretend to any more. I tagged people who have been a significant influence in my spiritual life or who are walking through this with me now, and please understand this is no reflection on you John, or Bruce or any of the others who have been mentors and friends to me over the years.
It is really the culture and community we can’t take any more. We don’t want to be separated from the world, and the church specializes in this. I cannot stand how much of the church…the Evangelical side of it mostly…has more influence from hard line Republican Tea Party like politics that value money more than people, then the actual teachings and life of Jesus.
I also can’t stand idly by while the lion’s share of the church casts out the LGBTQ community. Their rights are this generation’s civil rights movement and test. The church has a horrible record with gender and racial equality in previous generations, and it’s even worse with sexual orientation equality now. I just cannot attach myself to those who cast out the outcasts. Don’t be deceived, history will record the Church alongside the KKK, George Wallace, and those who opposed Suffrage. They will be the villains opposing equal rights…not noble crusaders defending what they believe.
I may not be a hero, but I refuse to be a villain.
The church is the popular kids in high school picking on the artists for being different. This is NOT what Jesus intended, and I cannot be a part of that anymore.
So yeah, I’m kind of bitter, but to be clear, it’s at the institutions of the church, not the people who make up the community. I love and cherish the people we’ve met through our journey through the church, and I’ve made some real lifelong friends that I know will never abandon me despite my mad rantings. The people are really what make up the church not the ideas or structures that oppress. There are some amazing people trying to make a difference in the world through the church, and I am honored to know and have served alongside them. Many of my friends are some of the best parts of the church.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who choose to stay and try to change things. I hope you are successful, I really do, but I don’t have the energy or drive to do the same. I know the arc of history bends towards justice, and I look forward to that day…but I doubt I will live long enough to see it.
It isn’t my friends…no, it’s all the rest of the crap I just can’t take anymore. If I could return my MDiv for a refund…even a partial…I’d do it in a heartbeat, for example.
My relationship with Pam has never been stronger, deeper, and closer. I can’t imagine that is a coincidence since we have drifted apart from the church. We’ve been part of some amazing communities, but…to paraphrase Bono…still haven’t found what we were looking for.
I’m sorry to all those who I have disappointed…and I know I have. I’m sorry that the potential you saw in me was never fully realized, and never will be.
We need to move on though. Will we ever return? I don’t know…but if we do, it won’t be to the Evangelical side for sure. So what does this mean for my faith and what I believe? I honestly don’t know. I know what I believe about God and the message of Jesus, and in many ways that is why I can’t stay in the church.
I just don’t see them as being consistent with each other, and I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.
I need to go test some software now, thanks for reading and being part of my life in whatever capacity you are.
This post courtesy of Outlaw Preacher Jason Douros