Deconstruction is Not Betrayal

I read about a person who said their spouse betrayed them because they questioned their beliefs. They made vows and their partner broke them. They felt they should have decided together if this was the right thing to do or not.

But you can’t plan deconstruction (questioning your beliefs, losing your faith, and leaving the church). It’s something that happens to you.

"Deconstruction is Not Betrayal" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

You don’t wake up one morning and make a calculated decision: I’ll question everything I’ve ever believed. I’ll embark on the most traumatic spiritual crisis of my life. I’ll stop going to church with my friends. I’ll terrify my partner and destroy our marriage.

Deconstruction stalks you like a wolf: it takes a while but the attack is sudden.

I speak with many people. It’s the most prevalent problem with married or attached believers who deconstruct. The trauma to the relationship is sudden, shocking, and sad. Your relationship as you knew it is gone.

This is one of the roughest patches your relationship will go through. But if you persevere you will prevail! I promise.

Your partner being true to themselves is not a betrayal of you.

I’ve experienced it and observed it. Here’s my advice:

1. The one you fell in love with is still there. They’re becoming a better person.
2. Remember: you fell in love with the person, not their theology.
3. Communicate, even when you are confused and it hurts. Try to talk.
4. Know that relationships can survive anything.
5. Respect one another’s journeys. Theirs is theirs. Yours is yours.
6. Discover new ways to connect on a deep level.
7. Touch! Hold hands. Hug. Kiss. Make love. Your body can help your spirit.

You will make it!

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