I was Orthodox for over a decade. My experience of it was actually quite positive overall. I found the people in my parish to be warm and welcoming, the clergy were genuine and dedicated, the services were in the vernacular (albeit KJV-ish, which I didn’t and don’t mind, though it seemed out of place), and there was a healthy balance between “cradle” and “convert” members of the parish I attended. There was no defining moment or experience that led me to make the move to Anglicanism. It was instead the result of the slow realization that Orthodoxy and I are simply incompatible. 1. I had always understood my vocation as including marriage and a family. If you are a convert to Orthodoxy and you find a potential spouse who is either already Orthodox or is willing to convert to Orthodoxy, and who is compatible with you more generally, you are a statistical anomaly. The vast majority of marriages I witnessed were mixed marriages, the result of which were married couples who subsequently rarely attended. Orthodoxy as a system does nothing to make things easier for either the Orthodox or the non-Orthodox spouse. It all comes across as extremely authoritarian and overbearing. The choice for me ultimately became “either marry someone you’re actually compatible with, or be Orthodox.” I chose the former and I’ve never regretted it. 2. I am also incurably Western. Having Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas be “off limits” was extremely limiting as well as arbitrary. Orthodoxy has no soteriology, theory of atonement, or systematics of any kind. Its trinitarian and christological doctrine, such as it is, is decidedly underdeveloped compared to what became standard in the West. There are no Eastern Orthodox bible commentaries. There are very few EO biblical scholars, and none who are generally well known as such. There is only one Orthodox college in the US. Spiritual formation in Eastern Orthodoxy is entirely dependent upon the liturgical calendar. Scripture is accorded a secondary place at best, and oftentimes at the local parish level when there is a choice to be made between Scriptural and Sanctoral elements, the latter typically wins. Even when there is no inherent conflict, Scripture is still often truncated to make room for Byzantine hymnody. I have never been to a Vespers in which a full Kathisma of the Psalter was read or chanted, ever. Old Testament readings are typically assigned to services that aren’t offered at the parish level, and in services such as Matins, the biblical Odes have been entirely crowded out by later accretions, such that only the Magnificat remains. Biblical literacy and theological literacy are the rare exception. There are no authoritative statements of Eastern Orthodox doctrine and practice. What looks like rigid uniformity on the surface is merely a cover for confessional chaos. Even this is just scratching the surface of the problem. If one is at all intellectually inclined, Orthodoxy will not satisfy you on that level. At least, it did not for me. There are many problems in Christian faith and practice that are not only unresolved in Eastern Orthodoxy, they are not even acknowledged as requiring any resolution. For all its beauty and grandeur, being Orthodox did not and could not help me to be a better Christian or help me think through how to be one or how to increase in my understanding of the faith. None of this was apparent to me at the beginning. Like many, I was overwhelmed by the liturgy. But when you start to try practicing it in the real world, among non-Orthodox Christians, when you use an esoteric vocabulary that no one understands, and try to explain why you celebrate Easter on a different date from everyone else, and engage in practices that look crudely idolatrous while denying that they are with a straight face, cracks start to appear all over the place. The only way to avoid them is to retreat further inward. I reached a point where I simply couldn’t do it anymore. I love the Orthodox liturgy and its commitment to beauty and solemnity. But that beauty and solemnity has to be related to something that recognizably represents what God has revealed about himself, or it is of little advantage. Ultimately, I decided that if I couldn’t fulfill my vocation or advance in the faith, there was simply no reason to stay.