After Ricardo told me he was going to leave the church, I reached out in desperation once more and begged him to pray about it. At the time he still believed in God and I told him that, to me, there was one ultimate source of knowledge, and I thought he should ask him (or her, or it, or whatever). And the next morning he tells me that twice he received a very profound feeling of love and acceptance of his decision to leave.
Now, to me, when Ricardo had said he was going to pray, I thought it was all going to be okay. I had ultimate faith in God, and so I felt like God would guide him gently back to the church starting with that prayer. And the next morning when Ricardo told me how sincerely he had prayed, and that he got an answer, and that answer was that it was okay to leave…well, I was confused to say the least. And then I was angry. I felt let down by God. I felt like throughout our dating God had told me that Ricardo was this great man who was going to help me raise a family in the church, and yet, Ricardo prayed, he gave God a chance to tell him to stay in the church, and God let him go. He just let Ricardo leave the church. That’s how I felt. And that anger stuck around for a while. In fact it is probably in there somewhere.
Shortly after this I started coming to the realization that this really was happening, my husband was leaving the church for good. As I came to this realization, I felt like I was at a cross-roads. Growing up I had seen endless hours of conflict between my Atheist brother and my Dad, who were equally certain that their view was correct. My Dad had some very profound religious experiences that left him absolutely certain the church was exactly what it purported to be, and my brother was absolutely certain that, not only was the Mormon church not true, but no other religion was either. As I faced the prospect of being married to an ex-Mormon, I pictured in my mind a marriage between someone like my Dad and someone like my brother, and I quickly became frightened. I realized that my marriage wasn’t going to last very long if I believed my husband had made a foolish mistake. So I decided that, if I wanted to save my marriage, I needed to understand why my husband left the Mormon church.
And so I started reading the unrated, unedited (or at least edited by a COMPLETELY different audience) version of Mormon history. And then I met my good friend cognitive dissonance, who has been my constant companion since 🙂 In other words, it got complicated and confusing really fast.