Two Christians got married…then one became an atheist. Is this a deal breaker?

When my wife Heather and I first met in high school, I was a recent Catholic apostate, while Christianity was an important, but not overwhelming part of her life. She expressed that if our relationship were to progress in any serious fashion, I’d need to be a Christian as well. So, I agreed to give other denominations of Christianity a fair shot.

We ended up getting married after 4 years of dating. I continued my belief in Christianity, although I still wasn’t a fan of any particular organized religion and didn’t see much purpose in attending church. I decided to read the Bible from cover to cover to understand exactly what it was I professed to believe. I proceeded to get heavily into the “Left Behind” book series and associated rapture theology. Without the assistance of any church, pastors, or even influence from my wife, I had become fully immersed in this fundamentalist version of Christianity. I looked down upon non-Christians. I espoused the whole “hate the sin not the sinner” mentality with respect to homosexuality. I smugly informed promiscuous people that their STDs were judgments from God. Worst of all, I even started watching Kirk Cameron straight-to-DVD movies.

Eventually, after completing my degree in molecular biology and continuing to have extensive discussions with people online about religion (attempting to convince atheists to become Christians), I began doubting my beliefs. The flaws in my arguments were exposed. My logical fallacies were called out. I was presented with historical facts and evidence which shook my beliefs to their core. I distinctly remember borrowing a copy of Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” and dismissing his arguments with much disdain while having a creeping realization that my beliefs were probably just comforting lies. At some point, which I cannot distinctly reference, I decided that Christianity was no longer tenable, and that I was an “agnostic”. Of course, I’d later come to realize that I was actually an atheist.
Informing my wife of this development would be difficult, as I could forsee her reaction. However, the manner in which my atheism was revealed was less than desirable. To discover how Heather came to learn about my atheism, her ensuing reaction, and how we’ve dealt with my newfound passion for activism, check out the interview we did with the Godless Engineer.

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