|Subject:||What changed my wife overnight...|
|Date:||Nov 26 20:59|
|Note: His wife responds in this thread.
|Subject:||A Mighty Change In My Heart...(Long)|
|Date:||Nov 26 23:02|
|Mail Address:||This is the wife's response|
|I had some idea for about two years that my hubby (Dubious) was
questioning the church. I mostly tried to ignore it and thought that if I had enough faith
and tried hard enough etc. he would come around and realize he *knew* what was right...the
church was true.
Then about eight months ago it became more apparent that this would not happen. I noticed the *anti-mormon* web sites he was visiting like this BB and 2think.org and got really worried. We could not even talk about his views without me feeling and acting very defensive. So, he continued his search for truth and I continued to get scared. I tried to figure out his motive to disprove the church...was he sinning, looking for an alternative lifestyle, or just sick of home teaching? Nothing made sense and he maintained that he was searching for TRUTH plain and simply no matter what that meant (for or against the church)
I considered leaving him many times and felt like my marriage was a death sentence. I wanted someone to tell me what to do. Do I stay with someone who loves me, who is after all a wonderful devoted father but who won't raise our children in the tradition that we were raised in? What of eternal families etc? There was not a good answer.
A couple of key things happened that totally changed my outlook. First, as Dubious mentioned we were expecting a baby and I was about seven months along. I opened up this BB one day to see why he spent so much time here. It happened to be the same day he started a thread that asked what peoples ages, marital status, and other stats were and I figured out from that thread that he was Dubious. So I searched and read other posts by Dubious and found out that he was not planning on blessing our baby when she was born. It was all I could do to not run out of the house with the kids right then. He happened to call me to see how I was feeling and I told him what I had found out. His response totally floored me. He came straight home from work to talk to me. He assured me that he loved me and we had a great future together no matter the outcome of his search. He told me that the most important thing to him was his family, and that we would somehow work it out. His prior actions totally backed this up and even though I was not being open minded or tolerant at the time, he was patient and his actions continued to back up his statements.
When I found out the *disturbing news* about his father (someone I had great respect for and believed that he truly was a man of faith) I wondered why in the world I was so eager to give up a great marriage to an awesome guy who not only was totally devoted to my happiness, but was a wonderful father. I realized this was a gift and not something easily replaced. Wanting to stay with him gave me the desire to at least listen to his point of view and consider the possibilities. I did not feel like I had to accept his view but I wanted to understand it.
Once I got looking into things the facade of the *true church* crumbled pretty fast. It was not hard at all to give it up...even the eternal family part. I cherish my family now more than I did before and I certainly cherish my relationship with my husband more that I did before. I have experienced more happiness in the last few months than I would have believed possible. Life is good.
|Subject:||Re: A Mighty Change In My Heart...(Long)|
|Date:||Nov 26 23:56|
|I have written a few times, but I did not use this name. I don't
even know what name I used. That does not matter. The reason I am writing is because I was
one of those wives that was as TBM as they come. I considered leaving my husband when I
realized he was not going to be devoted to the gospel. We had children. I was devestated.
I think it is important what has just been said. What kept me searching for the answer was
the support my husband gave me in what I wanted for my life. He never encouraged me to
leave. He always supported me in my church callings and my meeting going. He did not tell
me the kids could not go either. I did get frustrated with my 3 year old who hated to go
with me and would rather stay home with Dad, but he never encouraged this behavior in our
children. He always said, "What ever they want." I kept asking myself how I
could leave a good husband and father for men in Salt Lake that I had never even met. I
took it upon myself to strengthen my testimony because I felt that I had to get stronger
if he was not going to take the lead. He again supported me. We were far from relatives,
and he would take care of our young children for long hours while I read and searched in
libraries. We were at a university and in my attemtp to resolve my questions I had after
he had shared his concerns about the church, I actually studied my way out of the church.
It took years and it was very hard on me and us at times. What was interesting to me was
to read what I had concidered "anti" liturature because I could not tell the
difference in the university library. The "anti" material had the very same
information as the things written by church historians and even written in BYU magazines.
It just had a different inturpretion. What shocked me was that I could see how they could
see it there way. My world seemed to fall totally apart for awhile because everything I
knew came crashing down around me. I was very insecure and frustrated. I tried to find
another religion, but found that if Mormonism was full of holes so was everything for me.
It took many years, probably 12 before I could really move on and just live life. It was
this board that helped release me from the chain that would not let me go. I was always
worried about "What if?" When I found this board I realized that I was not the
only one, and I did not feel like I was going crazy anymore. I write this in hope that I
will give someone hope. My husband stood by me and never expected me to leave the church.
He just told me that it was painful for him anymore, and then he kept loving me and
supporting me in my life as much as he could. He was patient and never gave up on me.
I hope this helps someone. By the way, it was not easy for him. I was hard on him at times, and I resisted leaving the life I had loved. It nearly split us several times.
|Subject:||Re: A Mighty Change In My Heart...(Long)|
|Date:||Nov 27 05:54|
Your post certainly gives me hope. Perhaps I would like it if Mormonism were true, but like you, I have realized through study that it is not. Did your family or ward members encourage you to leave your husband? Just wondering, since I'm afraid my husband's bishop or his family (when they find out about my "apostacy") will encourage him to leave me. I think he really wants to leave the church, but he's scared to leave the all-too-pervasive belief system he grew up with. He has also probably invested more in it than me since he went on a mission. It must be hard to think that those two years were wasted and the people he taught were just deceived (because of him).
I also know what you mean about life being crazy after leaving the church. I'm currently trying to maintain as much normalcy as possible.
Thanks for sharing your story!
|Subject:||Congratulations to you! You sound like a wonderful, but dubious couple.|
|Date:||Nov 27 00:18|
|And don't forget. The Mormon Church first had to teach you that
families could not be together without the Church, before they could teach you that the
Church was the "only way" that families could be together. Millions of people
have no reason to believe that they can't be together in an after-life (if there is one).
Mormonism had to create the doctrinal problem (eternal separation) before they could sell
you the doctrinal cure (Temple sealings, tithing, etc.)
Love is what keeps you (and will keep you) together, not secret handshakes and new names.
|Subject:||Re: A Mighty Change In My Heart...(Long)|
|Date:||Nov 27 05:47|
|Author:||Michelle (previously "anon. this time"|
|D-Girl, it is so refreshing to read your story of love conquering
man-made religion. I can't help but wonder what terrible things the mission pres., etc.
did, but I understand if you don't want to post them here.
How important was it to you that Dubious didn't pressure you to leave Mormonism? I'm trying not to pressure my husband, but it's hard not to. Do you think I should support his church attendance?
|Subject:||For me, *my way or the highway* would not have worked. (Long)|
|Date:||Nov 27 07:50|
|Dubious always supported me in going to church with the kids and
fulfilling church callings I had.
One of the things that gave him the most credibility to me was how open-minded he really was. He never tried to *impose* his views on me or even argue and debate our differences in beliefs. He admitted he did not have all the information and all the answers. He did not act as though his point of view was the only possibility. To me, he showed a lot of integrity, allowing me to believe as my conscience dictated, but also being true to his own conscience by not *pretending* or going through the motions when he did not believe.
His actions were a stark contrast to what I saw in the church around me. People, including myself, accepting the story without study or logical thought, just following because that is what we were taught. People, including myself, judging the actions of others according to our limited view of the world and only accepting someone as good who fit the mold provided by the church.
Dubious encouraging (in a positive way) me to study and find answers for myself and him being willing to listen to my point of view with an open mind helped me to start my own journey of discovery. The deal with his Dad only served to take some of the *magic* out of the equation. It was a very real example of how uninspired the brethren are. It just showed to me the silliness of it all.
Now that my point of view has changed it is easier to have perspective on life. When I still believed though, Dubious seemed like a threat to my way of life and my eternal salvation. That was scary and definitely put me on the defensive. If he had forced my decision one way or the other, I think I would have sadly chosen the church if for no other reason than fear of eternal consequences. Patience was essential, and the fact that he was willing to wait showed me how much he really loved me and cared about our family.
|Subject:||Re: For me, *my way or the highway* would not have worked. (Long)|
|Date:||Nov 28 02:15|
|Yes, it sounds like his tolerance definitely worked for you. I'll
try to be easier on my husband, but I really don't want my kids going to the Mormon Church
because I think they'll get brainwashed there (plus, the primary pres. treats all the kids
as if they're idiots; my kids are smarter than her!). Since I don't know if he'll ever
leave, I'll take him up on his offer to take the kids to the Unitarians.
|Subject:||Re: Response to "anon. this time" regarding what changed my wife overnight...|
|Date:||Nov 27 00:59|
|Michelle, Since your earlier thread got closed I'm posting a reply
here. Hope you see it.
Sounds like someone (your bishop or tbm family members) has been putting "the bite" on your husband, so to speak. He probably went and talked to them and was advised to increase his own personal devotion so the lord might bless you with a change of heart, as you speculated.
You're also right that it's a positive thing for you to continue to do "service" oriented things together. The more you can do that's good, outside of mormonism, the better.
Try to remember what it was like to have his worldview, where there's an unseen world full of demons and angels trying for your soul. I used to have occasional nightmares (in my believer days), both of 2nd coming rapture and of horrible monsters after my soul. Since discovering JS's shenanigans I haven't had a single disturbing dream. Something really changed deep in my subconscious. It sounds like a similar thing happened for you. But your husband still views the world through the lens of supernatural forces of good and evil.
You mentioned being afraid that the church would come between you more as time passed. That may be the case and you can't do anything about it (remember the old line about free agency). It seems to me you've done the best you can. You've been honest with him about what you've discovered and your change of feelings. You've tried to discuss the new information with him. He's uncomfortable discussing it for now. But it's still a little early to conclude that he'll continue that way. I still think that the key is to think about the links that you have between the two of you aside from church. If they're strong enough you'll do ok. The strength of those links is being tested now. If there are "little" problem areas you were able to work out or ignore before those will be subject to increased stress. If they're strong links you'll stay together even if he can't take the same view of religion as you. When our crisis happened I found out that areas where we were unequally yoked (education, physical activity) which were "little" relative to the 'gospel' were actually more important than we'd realized or given credit too. On the other hand, I've seen cases on this BB and others where the non-church links between a couple were so strong that breaking the church link didn't overload the others. I sort of envy those people. May you be so lucky.
|Subject:||Yes, I found your post....|
|Date:||Nov 27 05:41|
|Do threads automatically get closed after a certain number of
You discussed the inequities in relationships that become more obvious when the church link is gone. I think for my husband and I, the church made things more equal between us. I am more academically oriented (not that he isn't smart), but he had "the priesthood." This kind of balanced things out, and this is now gone (for me, at least).
An interesting thing happened tonight. He came home from work talking about the Arrington papers, defending the church's attempts to get the copies. This was very strange, since he has been consistently instisting that we don't talk about such issues. He wanted to tell me that the papers had been taken out of church archives to begin with, and did I know this? Yes, I know, I replied. Then we got in a big argument about it as he argued that they just wanted to protect "sacred" things and I said they might see it that way, but they were also restricting access to minutes from first pres. meetings. Anyway, eventually we were yelling at each other, and I asked why he even brought it up since he'll never let me say anything about Mormonism (although I do get in some jabs occasionally). He apologized.
I'm afraid I didn't handle this very well. I wish I would have used it as an opportunity to talk about the church with him (a missionary opportunity LOL). I wonder if he wants/needs to be convinced that Mo. is a fraud. I wish I knew.
|Subject:||Michelle, did it ever occur to you...|
|Date:||Nov 27 08:41|
|that it is not your "job" to convince your husband of
anything? You only have control over your own life. Be happy for what you have. Open the
lines of communication that are available. If one leads to annimosity, close it
temporarily until you both can be level headed enough to not let it escalate. I can't say
this strongly enough: GO TO COUNSELING!! This does not mean there is anything
"wrong" with your marriage, it just helped mine immeasurably. My husband learned
how to better value my opinion and how to listen. I also learned what I was doing wrong
which would shut him down. Ask yourself this after a "discussion" or argument,
'Have I been heard?' Probably not. The goal is to Resolve the issue. Most of the time we
don't. We just keep talking, trying to get around it somehow. Your husband sounds like he
will eventually see what is there before him.
Also, I went on a mission and do not see it as a waste of time in any way. I learned a great deal, spoke about Christ, and if some people joined the church and were "happy", so be it. I did what I knew to do with the information I had at the time. That was all I could do. I do not see it as a negative in any way, as if I "gave" something to an organization etc. I gained a lot, and not religiously from the experience. I wouldn't be who I am today without having had an experience like that and being able to see the world outside of myself while giving of my time etc.
Give him time honey! You are building a whole new relationship. Get away, take a trip. Do something romantic, and most of all, DON'T TALK RELIGION!
|Subject:||Re: Michelle, did it ever occur to you...|
|Date:||Nov 27 13:36|
|Thanks for the advice, Jan. Yeah, I know what you mean about it not
being my job to convince my husband, but I do not want my kids being raised in a cult, so
it would definitely be advantageous to get him to leave it.
I do want to go to counseling for help communicating on this issue. My husband has said he would, so that's good. Now it's just a matter of finding a good (non-Mormon) counselor.
And for now, the agreement with my husband apparently is that we will not discuss religion (except when he wants to? See my Arrington papers post). I think that if I can't discuss it he shouldn't be able to either, you know?
|Date:||Nov 27 09:15|
|Sounds like he's taking the position of apologist for the church.
Defending the church on the USU Arrington papers is a pretty weak straw to grasp at. From
what I read on that the church backed down in a pretty big way.
There are definite mindsets that people approach these issues with. One is looking at everything in a framework oriented toward defending one side or the other. Anything can be slanted for such purposes. Another mindset is when a person is honestly seeking the truth and their biases are either non-existent or at least balanced so that they're willing to go where the evidence leads them. It sounds to me like you were in the latter mode when you made your discoveries and maybe your husband is in the former mode still. You just can't get anywhere in that mode. My wife stayed close friends with people in our ward who had connections with FARMS and kept coming back with defenses for the BoA! Can you believe that? Trying to defend the BoA on an evidentiary basis! I know what it feels like to open your mind and just want to know the truth, whatever it is, as much as possible (and if it's not possible, at least not buy something obviously made up). When I made my discoveries I had been teaching at a very nice university for several years and was happy here. But for a long time the lure of teaching at byu was still there and I was periodically getting offers to go work there. It was tempting as a believer. And I was at that stage of reconsidering when I discovered the 'secrets' of mormonism. So I honestly felt like my biases were balanced. I would have been happy to continue believing mormonism was true and go to byu and be closer to family and the place I grew up and all that good stuff. But I had also experienced a 'real' university and was happy to stay put.
I also noticed, though, that once we were down the rode of marital problems over the church a ways that I kind of slipped over to the mindset of interpreting everything with a slant against the church. (Of course I still think the evidence against is a mountain compared to the molehill the other way.) But I think you see my point about our mindset and how easy it is to slip away from the sort of middle position of giving everything a fair hearing and not being in a mode of constantly pushing for one side. Maybe the church has a few valid points about the Arrington papers. My own opinion about it is they have learned what can happen when a historian gets their hands on material like that. Have you seen the latest Sunstone article on Joseph F. Smith by Scott Kenney? It was quite interesting about his divorce and his problem with anger. Interesting, real-life, real-human stuff that you'd never get a hint of from the official church manuals and the church is just clamping down as much as they can on any sources of such material. Unfortunately the story ended fairly early in Joseph F's life because, as Kenney notes at the end of his article, the materials have become restricted.
Sorry about your arguments. I remember being in that scenario. Any discussion about the church turned into her defending it and me, I guess, essentially attacking it. What a surprise it must have been for him to bring the subject up though. Maybe it can help to realize (and this will sound too much like a mormonism) that you have 'truth' on your side and eventually truth wins (in some sense or other--I know not always or at least not for a long time, sometimes). But if your approach was more passive, the truth that's on your side will win. Sort of like playing judo. One of the things about judo is to know how to sense when the other person is trying to push or pull you and instead of always pushing or pulling back and trying to win by strength knowing when to just let them do it and how that can turn into a move to your advantage. Oh well, now i'm getting off..
|Date:||Nov 27 13:48|
|Yeah, I wish I could figure out how to turn these conversations to
my advantage. :) The Sunstone article sounds interesting; it's not on-line, is it? It
seems (from the little research I've done on this) that Joseph F. Smith was one of the
biggest male chauvenists in the church. I may have to subscribe to Sunstone.
I feel like my position (frame of mind, I guess) right now is oriented toward attacking the church. I realize not everything about it is bad, but at this point in my discovery I'm quite disillusioned with it.
I know what you mean about possible social advantages of Mormonism evening the scales a bit. I told my family that it would be easier for me to stay in Mormonism. It gives me a ready-made social group (in my neighborhood, no less), provides contacts for babysitting, makes me feel like the Lord's elect, keeps my extended family satsfied, etc. They think I'm leaving Mormonism because it's easier to not go to church, pay tithing, have callings, etc., but whatever extra time/money I've gained in this regard, I'm donating to charity anyway (well, some of the time is spend at my own sons' preschool, but that still counts, doesn't it?)
I bet you're glad you didn't end up teaching at BYU. My brother-in-law teaches there now (he converted as a student there), so if he ever wants to leave Mormonism he could lose his job, of course. I don't see how he could believe it, since he's very intelligent. Do you still teach at the no-Mo university?
|Date:||Nov 28 00:16|
|You guessed it. I'm so glad I didn't go to byu. I would have gone
nuts there. Even if I hadn't stumbled across the information I did at my present location
(yes, I'm still at a secular university) the atmosphere at byu would have slowly
suffocated me. I've never experienced so much smugness and false humility as when I
interviewed there. But I would have put up with it, just like I put up with the whole
package for so many years, not knowing any better. I think a lot of mormons put up with
the unpleasant parts of the religion based on the belief that it must be good for them.
But I must say that some of my best PhD students have been undergrad and master's students
from byu. I do feel sorry for faculty who go there and in so doing jeopardize their future
careers (by becoming less marketable if they did want to move later).
Without disclosing more than you want to about your location, are you at a secular or parochial institution? Do lds students make up a large fraction of the class you teach?
|Date:||Nov 28 02:19|
|I'm at a secular university, TG! Yes, many of my students are LDS,
and they assume I am too, probably because they see I'm young and married with kids. They
seem to expect special favors because of what they assume is a similar religious
background. It's very annoying. Many of my Mormon students (and peers in my graduate
seminars, too) are very smart and nice, but quite smug as well. My non-Mormon students
write papers about how hard it was for them growing up in a Mormon area. Sad.
|Subject:||Link to J.F. Smith story...|
|Date:||Nov 28 05:45|
|Subject:||Thank you (all) for the post(s)!|
|Date:||Nov 27 11:06|
I am a former TBM and RM. My wife still is a TBM and is a RM. We have had a couple of huge fights about the Morg. I am playing TBM for now. That is how I got my name "Robertson". I feel like B.H. Roberts, I guess. I know that the BoM is a piece of fiction, but attend church anyway. Roberston = Son of BH Roberts. Ok, not literally, but you get the idea. Of course there is this "Exmormon Robertson" person who I think got here first. I will eventually change my name...
You all have given my hope that my spouse will open her eyes. She comes from a psycho TBM family. Her mom and dad are the kind of LDS couple who can't stand each other but stick to it to try and make it to the CK. Her father is the domineering "priesthood holder" type that can't hold a job for long. They took the "fun" out of dysfunction. Crazy thing is, I get along with them! Her dad likes me becaues I am a Mormon male in his family. That is about the only people he likes. However, they had her so brainwashed as a child, the poor girl can't think straight about church.
I am just trying to be the best husband I can be to her. I really love her. But I can't change what I see in the Morg. I can't alter the reality. I can't even warp my brain back into the LDS mold. I have tried. Ugh.
I am going to try and bring up points with her about church but not argue. I am not the enemy here. The words of encouragement here, even people just telling their stories help me quite a bit... Any other ideas are welcome.
|Subject:||Re: Thank you (all) for the post(s)!|
|Date:||Nov 28 02:24|
I think there are a lot of crazy couples in the church like your in-laws, and as long as you support their worldview, they'll probably like you. I don't think you're being fair to yourself, though, if you pretend to be a TBM when you're not.
I would just tell your wife how you feel, stop going to church, and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised to find your wife leaving with you (it seems to me that more women follow their husbands out of the church than vice versa).
I guess my main suggestion, though, is to be true to yourself. Life is too short to pretend to believe in something you don't. Good luck!
|Subject:||Re: changed my wife overnight...|
|Date:||Nov 28 04:33|
|Direct confrontation and advocacy may be appropriate for some
personalities to deliver in communication.
Each individual has to make a choice about how much confrontation is necessary, and how effective it is-
Possibly a GOAL or OBJECTIVE has to be considered. Getting honest with yourself about what your goal really is- is major.
If you desire continued love in all your choices and being supported with your desire for your children's futures- that is very good.
If you desire to be RIGHT (the one that is correct see I told you so nice you know it now) well, that may pose a little problem.
...I know since i was the TBM and if my spouse had been in my face I personally would have never admitted I was wrong no matter how unpleasant it was being "right" within the morg- because that's just who I am. Different years in particular I've been down right arrogant about being right damn it. So there. So if your spouse thinks being right matters in an argument with anyone you've ever witnessed them arguing with-
being directly confrontational will not be the effective manner in which to change them.
From a gender perspective: if my husband would follow me and do just about anything I told him to without putting up a fight - because- I told him so-
POSSIBLY there would be some sort of - problem- If it were real obvious then other men (the real chauvinists) would call him names; socially he might be ? If I looked at him, stared him down, and snapped my fingers and he followed me out of a crowded room- you know his life would change.
OK the joke's over. It's just that socially in the mormon cultural system- between Ward acquaintances, family, work associates, neighbors- for a male to be disproportionately "led" by a female- would provoke enormous social consequences.
This observation comes from outside Mormon country, and from a marriage where HE taught me how to cook, did all the dishes while I was in graduate school, and cooked dinner while he worked full time for the first eight years of my career. Oh, and I never got out of bed when a baby cried. He brought Me the baby whom I nursed and He burped. This is not typical of morg marriages.
Just my feedback.
|Subject:||Re: changed my wife overnight...|
|Date:||Nov 28 05:14|
|Your gender-role arrangements remind me of my marriage. Husband brought the babies to me to nurse, burped them, changed their diapers. He's doing the dishes throughout my grad. school. Now let's just hope that he continues cooking through at least the first eight years of my career (or forever!).|
|Subject:||Re:changed my wife overnight...|
|Date:||Nov 28 05:00|
|One of the things I have noticed since 1980 is how many things I
like about my husband. He wasn't my husband then. I liked the fact that he was a reader of
novels and scientific literature, that any psychological research or historical research
and journals articles I brought home he would read, and discuss with me. Going to used
book stores- we've spent money on used books at the coast on a day trip and eaten sack
lunches in order to spend hours walking, looking at books, talking on the drive over and
back as well as along the beach. spent all we had on books & gas.
In the years I did bring to him other versions of the Bible which he strangely supported when I was TBM. He never censored me. He never censored my ideas. Above all he loved me.
And we have argued. We have passionately argued, and passionately loved. But even when we argued- above all the rest- I knew he loved me.
We have this "win win" thing. At the edge of our consciousness, by old agreement, WE loose (ifeither he or I am broken emotionally or damaged and wounded irrevocably by something or someway the other SAID during the argument)
because beyond sacrament meeting
or birth defects
or new cars
and ice cream
beyond it all- I support our friendship which fostersourlove