Is my marriage over now that I no longer believe in Mormonism?

by quietapostacy Dec 2011

I am new to RfM. I have been reading posts for a few months, but have never posted anything myself. I don't understand all the acronyms yet (TSCC, TBS, DH, etc.), but I am starting to catch on.

Like many of you I have spent many years (15) studying mormonism. The results of my honest inquiries have left me confused, conflicted, and sad at having spent so many years stuck on the mormon conveyor belt. Yet I am stuck... so sadly stuck in my mormon world with seemingly no way out.

A few days ago, my wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary (temple wedding, of course, 20+ years ago). After a nice dinner, movie, and some shopping we were driving home when the topic turned to our church status and activity (as it always does). I am a non-believing, yet practicing, high priest (with a low-profile stake calling); she is the totally believing former YW & Primary President who is holding on to mormonism for dear life.

After a quick overview of the same old, same old doctrinal drivel that I usually bring up, I express my frustration that "the church" has to invade and dictate seemingly every aspect of my life. To make a long discussion short, she then informs me that if she, on the day we got married, could have seen the man that I am now, she would not have married me. Happy Anniversary! Of course, I asked, "what does that mean?" I am a kind, loving, a great dad, a good (actually, a great) provider, we live in a nice home, in a nice town, drive nice cars... and blah, blah, blah. So she explains that those things are all nice, but that since I have "lost" my testimony and am so conflicted about the church, she wishes she could have a "do-over" with someone who would be more faithful (my words).

My marriage is not perfect, but the primary source of the super-majority of the conflict is mormonism. She wants to force the kids to YW and YM; I say let them choose. She wants to force them to seminary; I say let them choose. She wants the church to decide EVERYTHING in our lives; I say why can't we choose? After 20+ years of marriage she is thinking that I was the wrong choice for a husband because my views are no longer "in harmony" with "the brethren," and I want to choose how to live my own life.

It has now been three days since this conversation (again, I have spared most of the details), and I can't shake the feeling that my marriage is over unless I fully embrace the role of Peter Priesthood. The problem is that I can't do it... not anymore. I feel like such a hypocrite, so slimy and disingenuous when I am going through the mormon motions. I don't want to lose my marriage... I love my wife. I don't want to screw up my children. HELP! HELP! HELP!

Sorry for the long post... I am just really beside myself. Any wisdom, beit a short post or a long story, would be so very appreciated.

Re: Is my marriage over?
I personally feel that religion, especially a religion such as the lds faith occupies a large part of one's life, therefore differences of religious practice within a couple has the potential to make or break it. I am in a similar situation....I just found out that some elements in the Church are not adding upand I am worried about my young kids. I have had marital discord since our honeymoon so i know that divorce is in our mear future.
Here what you can teach your kids: to question everything they're told so that they will make informed, educated decisions in every area of their lives. I am hoping that my daughter will learn to question what is being taught at Church so that I aill be able to sow her the discrepancies of the Church. I also think that it is rather easy for teenagers/ young adults to not want to be active because the Church restricts a lot of activities.
You deserve to live your life the way you intend it.
Good luck!
Re: Is my marriage over?
Unfortunately the church has such a hold on its members. Your wife is just repeating what she has been told her whole life. You should probably take baby steps away from the church. She is probably upset about other areas of her life and is viewing your lack of interest in the church as missed opportunities for blessings in her life.
Re: Is my marriage over?
Near the top of the main page, there is an icon you can click on that explains most of the acronyms used on this sight.

As for your marriage, I can only ask three things. Are you generally happy? Is your wife generally happy? Would your children be happier in one miserable home, or two happy ones? Don't feel that you need to stay in an unhappy relationship because of some sense of duty.

That said, I can't answer these questions, only you can. I don't know what life is like in your home day to day. Is it happy most of the time, or is there always a tension, from the powder keg of Mormonism that is always ready to explode?

If you do divorce, remember children over fourteen get to decide where they want to spend most of their time. Children under fourteen on the other hand can be split a number of different ways. I use a three four split with my ex and it works great. Essentially, I have my son for four days one week, she has him for three. The next week, we reverse, she gets him four days, I get him three. It allows you equal time to your children and equal influence. It also allows you both plenty of time while your children are away to enjoy your freedom from each other. The children take a while to adapt, but in the end they usually enjoy having two happy parents instead of miserable ones.

In early 2005 I found myself in a similar situation as you describe. I was married for 19 years to my ULTRA True Believing Mormon wife, had 4 shildren and had served in 4 bishoprics. We were the picture perfect mormon family. I found myself doubting and questioning (long story). It took me 2-3 months before I confronted my wife. Needless to say the next few months were HELL.

She was every emotion possible and we were not sure our marriage would survive. We decided to try and make it work even with me as a non-believer. I backed off and didn't discuss religion unless she brought it up.

Occassionally I would share something but was careful not to push too hard. Luckily, she started to look at the members differently after I quit attending and they responded exactly as I predicted to her that they would. Coupled with Hinckley's over the top birthday party (#95 i think), and suddenly she was staying home with me. Fortunately, in Feb. 2006 we all (me, wife & 4 kids) resigned together.

I realize my experience may be different but there is hope. Not ALL marriages end with leaving the church. I do think we would have remained married even if only I left. I got very lucky and have remained married to my best friend.

Be careful not to be too pushy. I remember my wife being very sensitive to the whole "anti" label so I had to be delicate in what I showed her.

Good luck. It will be a tough road but it is well worth it. We are coming up on 7 years since we last attended and 6 years out. Wow!!

Alex Degaston
Hold the leaders accountable
The LDS leaders are the ones accountable for your situation. They have not done all that they should do to properly inform your wife/kids on all the church's history/doctrines so they can use their free agency to decide whether or not they believe it's God's true church.

Personally I don't think your marriage is necessarily "over". It all depends on whether your wife has integrity or not. Good luck dude.

Re: Hold the leaders accountable
The church is telling her that her integrity is connected to the "gospel," whereas you, Alex, are suggesting that her integrity is connected to what? I'm just interested in the answer.
Mrs. Estzerhaus
I've been there except I was the DW.
I remember when I couldn't stand faking belief for another day or I would go crazy, and didn't want my newborn daughter thinking she was a second-class citizen... EVER!
I can't say if your marriage is over because mine wasn't. There are other posabilaties that could play out. Right now you're kind of in a state of shock because this is new territory. I just suggest you have more talks with your wife. You have to decide how fast to take it. For us, it took about a year before DH was totally inactive, and our family was doing things together without TSCC. After the initial announcement that you don't want to be a Mormon, things will most likely go one way or the other.

On the otherhand divorce isn't the end of the world, and having that in the back of your mind can also be a source of liberation for yourself. Keep us posted. Welcome to RFM!

if You (anyone) finds ANYTHING WRONG with Mormonism, either History, Doctrine, or wrong applications (disconnect between what they Say & What they Do)... it will be


I suggest ... you don't have religion as a discussion subject.

Say: Hon, I love you so much that since we disagree, we should regard religion as Highly Personal & Private.period.

Good Luck.

Re: Hang in there...
That's a good point. What you really need to do is get all your cards on the table and start talking honestly with each other. If you can both act like adults, and come to an arrangement about your beliefs that you can both live with, then your marriage will probably be far happier then it ever has been. However, if one of you insists that the other one must fold to their narrow minded view on how the perfect world should be, then it won't.
Re: Is my marriage over?
If she is a stay at home mom (i am assuming) she has no idea the hell she is asking for. She has no idea that no man, ever, will love and care about her children more than their dad. She has no idea. Only you and her will ever have the in common memories of them being born, and all that came after that.

I never insisted anyone (kids, hubby, etc.) do the whole church thing. I can't imagine thinking or wanting anyone to do something that killed their spirit. Did she think you would never grow up? Never have a different thought than hers? That isn't realistic.

I don't know the answers to your dilemma. It is not an easy road to go down.I hope you can find your way and keep your family intact.

I've been through the divorce thing. Not for church reasons. It was the most difficult heart breaking event of my life. My kids have suffered and will continue to suffer for a very long time because of it. They are now in their late 20's, and we can talk about it all, but 20 years later it still isn't easy.

I remarried, 21 years ago while my kids were small. I was fortunate, i married someone who bonded with my kids, and I with his. It has never been easy. You're children are always yours no matter what you and your wife do. Being divorced can be extremely lonely.

After all of that, I have to say, getting divorced was a good decision for me and my kids. I ended a cycle of abuse that could not have been ended any other way. In the end, I guess my point is, think long and hard before you throw out the D word.

Re: Is my marriage over?

Mine is. And my husband has always been the Jackest of all Jack Mormons - never a TBM (True Believing Mormon). He was horrified when I "lost my testimony."

Sad, sad situation. What other church breaks up families this way?

Re: Is my marriage over?
Mormons and apologists will say that all religions are destructive of families when one parent stops being that religion. I think Mormonism is tougher on mixed marriages than any other religion besides Islam or the most conservative Evangelicalism or forms of ultra orthodox Judaism.

Reformed Judaism and the more liberal or even moderate forms of Christianity are not nearly so hard on marriages where one spouse stops believing in that religion.

Alex Degaston
The truth
At this moment in time I've seen and heard enough about the church to be very confident in my opinion that the church is headed by men who shamelessly refuse to be truthful/honest. Certainly they don't see it that way. But anyone who looks at them objectively can see that they reek with dishonesty and what's essential a major integrity deficit.

Quoth the Raven "Nevermo"
Re: Is my marriage over?
Wow. That is as hurtful as it comes. Let me just voice my shocked response....what a superficial, ungrateful petty .... she is. There, I said it, you don't have to.

As those who have gone through the same thing, have already posted, this is her knee jerk reaction. She is the stepford mormon wife. you are the bad peter priesthood holder. She is saying what the church has told her to say.

Give her time and reassure her that YOU don't want another wife (well you want one who will use her brain, but don't tell her that). Hopefully when she is no longer confrontational about it, you can show her some some of the truth about the church, and explain that if the church believed it was true, then it would not hide the truth.

Good luck. You deserve better. I hope she comes around.

Wow, can I ever relate
Wow, quietapostacy, your story matches mine exactly; I'm just a few years ahead of you.

I can so well relate to your wife's comment about not marrying you, if she had only known. My wife's words to describe the new me were, "it's like now you're defective." Ouch. And yet, from my view (and from anyone else's view) I am a GREAT husband, father, and provider. But, only because I can no longer believe the same way I did 22 years ago when we were married, now I'm defective.

Our marriage is not over, just different. We had a couple of rough years but fortunately my wife has given me the freedom to follow my own conscience. I don't attend church at all and she has compensated by overextending herself even more in every possible church involvement. I guess it is just the elephant in the room that we pretend to ignore, for now anyway.

I have found a lot of comfort in the board, for the simple reason that when I read posts like yours I realize I'm not alone. Good luck to you.

Re: Is my marriage over?
She is exactly what the church is looking for in a spouse.

When I say spouse, I mean as in...she is married to the church first. You are her second husband.

Welcome to continued polygamy!

The church truly invades EVERY aspect of your life right down to your underwear. But don't you dare piss off the first spouse or your second spouse will be super upset.

I'm sorry for your plight, but in my opinion, if you continue down the course you are taking, a divorce is in the cards.

The LDS church is the least forgiving spouse are soon to find out.

Re: Is my marriage over?
Human beings are gullible. I think that the inclination to believe nonsense is built into the human psyche. The most common type of human is the type that readily believes in whatever religious ideas are dominant at the moment. So, even though Mormonism is not true, it is "true" in one sense: it is true that believers are acting in accord with their true nature as gullible human beings. So it is unlikely that you can change your wife's beliefs. The best thing for you to do is to try to rise above it all. Appreciate the fact that your are smarter than your wife (and smarter than the average religious person). But, allow her to conform to her natural, gullible self. Let her do whatever she wants with your kids. If your kids turn out to be gullible adults, there won't be much harm done. If they turn out to be as smart as you are, they will quit believing anyway. By the way, I've never been married.

Re: Is my marriage over?
Take things slowly, know yourself well and be able to own your part of any conversation - emotion will only cloud communication. Your wife may not be able to separate the concerns she has over your change in belief from other, perhaps less acceptable, changes or happenings in her life. Is she happy with what she does or does she do it because there is an expectation for it?

Divorce, regardless of reason for it, is a loss for all involved. My children lost their father first through our divorce and then a few years later when he was murdered - they struggle with this daily on many levels even ten years later. My DH has been through two divorces - one over religious differences and one not - and his kids have had to deal with each of these in turn; they all have different ways of coping.

Transitions are difficult, don't rush things or make assumptions. Talk to your wife, show her how much you care for her and your family, but do not demand answers. The hurtful words she spoke during your anniversary are still sharp in your memory; that was truly unfeeling of her and inexcusable if seriously spoken. Take it has her feeling vulnerable to a situation she isn't prepared for and help her cope - in a loving way.

Good luck with your life and that of your family.

Welcome, Quietapostasy.
I have a rather rueful smile on my face that your wife thinks that "those things (that you have provided for her) are all nice, but...". She should try doing without.

I hope that your marriage makes it. One thing that I would like to say is that I think your kids deserve to hear your point of view about the Mormon church at least some of the time. Some comments that my dad made to me when I was young made me realize that it was okay to question religious authorities. He didn't say a lot, but what little he did made a powerful impression on me.

I also read some feminist literature when I was in my mid-teens. My SIL had a few selections on the bookshelf and I picked a couple of them up and read them. It's probably rather dated by now, but Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" was a huge influence on me. I read it over and over. I don't know that I agreed at the time with everything she said, but something must have gotten through. These books made me realize that my then church (RC) doesn't treat women very well. You might consider getting some books on comparative religions, eastern philosophy, women's studies, etc. and making them available to your kids. You could also get some Mormon approved books like "Rough Stone Rolling" and (I think) "In Sacred Loneliness".

Keep posting; we are here for you.

Re: Is my marriage over?

Re: Is my marriage over?
dude. it might be the sangria talking, but you know whats up. Im so sorry your wife feels that way...thank god you know the truth. Seriously, you are about to feel more free than you ever have. These boards will be incredibly therapeutic for you. All the best :)
Re: Welcome, Quietapostasy.
I can identify with your situation. I never would have believed it possible, but today my wife and I see eye to eye completely on mormonism. When she changed, she suddenly started to appreciate me for everything about me and stopped judging me so harshly. I love being accepted fully and completely- sounds like you are a good guy and deserve it! I hope it turns out the same for you.

Sounds like your wife suffers from Greener pasture syndrome
Sooner or later she's got to realize no one is perfect, she can't expect you to be. She can't make you or anyone do what she wants. She's looking too much for perfection and basing her idea of love based solely on conditions, (very much a Mormon attribute). She obviously has a lot of growing up to do and not place so much expectations on others, especially when she can not fulfill everything perfect. She's been disillusioned by the ideals of the Mormon church for a continuous greener pasture. Where she's lacking big time is looking on her own heart and others hearts around her. Her pride and selfishness has blinded her. That's pretty much what has happened in a nut shell. Maybe sooner or later she'll see that, but it'll take a lot of humility on her part to see what she has missed out on and how foolish she's been. Real love is not conditioned based, but unconditional caring, sacrifice and sharing. Sorry you're going through this after all these years with kids and all. Must feel like hell. I hope it gets better for you two with hopefully some open conversation, if she's capable of doing so.

Do you want it to be over?
If no, you can save it if you are willing to be patient.

Along with the good advice you have received here, I have some suggestions for you:

Stop talking about what's wrong with the church. Completely. You will never, ever bring this up and will respond only to a direct question which has somewhere in it, "I wondered what you thought..."

Say this instead, "I may not have a testimony of the Church, but I'll tell you what I do know. I have a testimony of you. I know who you are underneath the Mormon behavior. You are a damn fine person trying to do what you think is best. I see your character, your integrity and I respect and admire you for it, even though I don't agree."

Show her and even tell her that you take your role as her companion seriously--it is an honor to be by her side at church, supporting her. (this may be hard or impossible for you. Many husbands go every other week, so they can demonstrate how great a Sunday can be when you have time to barbecue, go to the beach, or fishing, etc)

Let her force the children to go to church, seminary, etc., making it known to her that you believe Heavenly Father gave us free agency and he expects children to learn how to use that agency by being given a chance to make choices themselves. Isn't the gospel free for people to choose or reject? Why should that be different for our children after a certain age? That's your argument, kindly, to her--never in front of her to the children and to the children you have every right to tell them straight up what you believe. I guarantee that her theory that force works will backfire almost immediately. And you make sure that you are the person she turns to for comfort by NOT being the person who says, "I told you so."

Friend, you have the truth on your side. You DO know your wife like no one else does. She knows she's putting on a face for the ward. You know her including the fact that she swears, drinks occasional soft drinks, doesn't like the new bishop, etc, etc.

What she is expressing to you when she says she would want someone more faithful is FEAR. Fear that she won't be able to keep you faithful and there for the family without the pressure of priesthood superiors to make sure you are quizzed regularly and your feet kept to the fire. If you reassure her that the apostate you is actually more open and loyal to her, you will go a long way toward holding your family together.

Lastly, joke about this. Of course it is serious, but you have to lighten up. Don't break the word of wisdom in front of her (needless cruelty) but maybe drink your cocoa out of a Starbucks cup and crack a joke about needing the appearance of evil to express yourself now that you're an apostate. Use the a word with humor to take the sting out of it.

There's more I could say, but google SuzieQ and double down. You now know that you are in this for Time, as it were, so take some. Process your own anger here with us on this board, don't use her as the recipient of your anger about the Book of Abraham or Mark Hofmann, or the mall, whatever.

This is the real "saving your family" because you are saving a father for your children--you owe them the effort, this is not their fault. You have the ability to keep them from throwing their lives away in service to a cult!

It's not easy--far easier to get yourself a bachelor pad and "start over" only it will not be starting over because the memory of how you abandoned your children will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Hang in there--it gets better!!!


Re: Is my marriage over?
Mr. quietapostasy, I neglected to note that I am sorry you had to hear your wife say those things. I know I would have been devastated. Take care
Slowly, respectfully, patiently ask questions of her
that she might answer regarding mormon history. What happened to Emma? Where did she go? Who really killed Joseph Smith and why? What was the Mountain Meadows Massacre all about? Who started polygamy and why? How many versions of the first vision are there? Are the drawings in The Book of Abraham accurate, well, let us ask a professor of Egyptology together? The more you educate yourself on the lies and falsehoods, the more confidant you will be to calmly ask her to answer what she claims to believe. Ask her the questions. This will be a long process. She is only reacting in a way that the cult has programed her to act. I hope that she can be deprogramed little by little with the asking of questions carefully chosen that will lead her out eventually. Keep in mind that she is under the control of a cult. How might you have responded perhaps 10 years ago if the roles were reversed? I am sorry that she said those hurtful things to you, the cult has so much power. Good luck to you and your family. Big Hugs from this Mex Mom.

Re: Hang in there...
"Coupled with Hinckley's over the top birthday party (#95 i think),..."

What happened at Hinckley's B-Day party?

Re: Is my marriage over?
I think searching for Susie Q's posts on this may help. She's been out for a long time but her husband still believes if I remember correctly

Re: Is my marriage over?
quietapostacy, I have been where you are now. I was married almost ten years to a woman who eventually revealed herself to be a manipulative, narcissistic person. We converted to Mormonism as a family seven years into the marriage. She and my children assimilated rather easily and are still in the church. I tried to embrace all the dogma, but I was taught to be a critical thinker and the two really don't mix well. Mormonism could not withstand my own critical analysis so, like you, I first became a "quiet apostate".

When the marriage entered it's death spiral two years later, my ex justified her desire for a "do over" by calling my worthiness into question. She also cited the part of the Endowment ceremony where Eve is made subject to Adam only so long as Adam remains obedient to God as justification for kicking me to the curb. Of course that had nothing to do with it. When I took a job in a nearby state she closed the deal by accusing me of spousal abuse to the Stake President while I was away supporting our family. A couple of months later she served me divorce papers at my own father's house, only after I refused her ultimatum to confess all my "sins" to the Bishop and accept the church discipline that I "deserved". Consequently, I am entering my tenth year of marriage to knotheadusc and she will tell you I'm no abuser.

Like you, I agree that the church has no right to exert so much Orwellian control over its members. I mean, let's be honest, you and I both know that "Home Teacher" equals "Thought Policeman". Our job was to snoop on each other. This is the way of Totalitarianism.

If you abandon your doubts about the church and "return" just to placate her or save your family then I fear all you will create for yourself will be resentment toward her. You might be able to live with that, but sooner or later it will compound to a critical mass and explode. I would advise you to be true to yourself. Your marriage may indeed be over, but if she can't respect your beliefs, then there is more going on than objection over the church. Better to be happy and separate than together and resentful.

Re: Is my marriage over?
No matter who she married 20 years ago, he would not be the same person at this point. People change and develop all the time.

You cannot unlearn what you know now and it's not your fault the Mormon church is a lie.

The marriage is over if you are not allowed to be yourself and if she continuously devalues you.
But I hope she comes to her senses.

Ask her to take a good look at the "righteously" divorced TBM women in the church, and what their lives are like now.

Most likely, your wife would not be able to remarry and her standard of living would change drastically. Talk about being a little fool, she des not understand reality.

+1 and
Make yourself indispensable to her happiness. Seriously. Be the best husband you can be and shamelessly promote yourself as such (with a healthy dose of humor).

Help with kids, housework, emotional support, etc. and point out what a great guy you are and how she couldn't live without you. Again. . . truth and humor are important, if you can pull it off.

My husband used humor to promote himself AND to mock my endless stupid guilt.

One other idea . . . maybe they need a chaperone at the older single adult dances in your area? Maybe you guys could volunteer to help out? A healthy dose of reality might make her appreciate you more. (I WENT to some of those in Utah before I got married, and it was frightening).

Much good advice
Does she really have a clue what is out there to marry after she divorces you? I would have stayed with my gay ex the rest of my life because I was single in the LDS church until age 27. Oh my!!! AND I had a lot of divorced mormon friends, too--and I went to those adult single dances in my early 20s with them.

And like others have said--does she think she will find a man to love your children like you do.

There is a line in the movie, "One True Thing" with Meryl Streep--where she is telling her daughter why she never left her cheating husband--something about, "When you divorce someone, you cut them out of all the pictures of your life--and all you have is a HUGE HOLE." Yep!

And she thinks she can do without the nice house? I can't even begin to tell you the financial fallout of divorce. Ask many others on this board. I lived through at least 10 years of financial ruin--staying up all night trying to figure out how I was going to make ends meet. I've seen it happen so many times.

Every time I hear another one of these stories--I think what fools these women are. They have NO CLUE what they are getting themselves into.

Re: Is my marriage over?
Does your wife really want to be one of HUNDREDS -- maybe THOUSANDS -- of wives in the hereafter? That's the ultimate Mormon doctrine. Remember, Mormons believe that this life is the blink of an eye compared to eternity! So, she will be a single wife to you for a very, very short time, and then...

Here's what the "Prophet" Brigham Young said on September 9,1860:

"I shall have wives and children by the million, and glory and riches and power and dominion, and kingdom after kingdom, and reign triumphantly."*

It was that quote by a supposed Prophet of the Mormon church (and a mass of other polygamy evidence) that pushed my wife over the line.

* As quoted by Will Bagley in "The Salt Lake Tribune" on Feb. 21, 2002

Re: Is my marriage over?
So basically the wife is screwed no matter what?

If she tries to keep the covenants they made together she's delusional and controlled by the idiot church.

If she ends the marriage she has no integrity.

If she stays in the marriage she's just in it for the money.

If she leaves she's betraying her exmo husband and ruining her family.

Happily none of this is the husband's fault, right?

Your profile is so like mine. Ours worked out, sort of, so you never can tell.
The only thing you can do is press on regardless, show her you care, keep trying to be the good husband, and above all, show her that non-belief in LDS Inc. doesn't change who you are.

If she is the kind to read a broader spectrum of stuff, get her something like "Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith," written by two very worthy members of the church (meaning that it's not an "anti" book). So many women on the this board seem to have left when they discovered things like, and that Smith was just a horny hound dog. People always blame the men for becoming inactive and leaving, but I think it's mostly the women. The men may be more guilty of trying to maintain a modicum of priesthood authority.

Anyway, right after I stood my ground and professed my disbelief and my need to resign, DW took up residence in the spare bedroom for a week or more. That was over three years ago, and life is quite normal now with a few reservations. But the occasional sign of having settled in sometimes manifests itself, like when she gives me Starbucks gift cards and such.

You have to follow some of the advice here when people talk about giving your spouse room and allowing the spouse to believe in Mormonism if he or she wants to. That's just how it is. It may mean dropping into sacrament meeting for the occasional show of support. No big deal. You can do it. Just buy some gum boots to wear while wading through the bullshit, and you'll do just fine.

Re: Is my marriage over?
My spouse also loves God (ie. the mormon church) first, and me second, in her own words. If she was ever forced to choose, I know she'd leave me.

But in every other conceivable way we have a good marriage, so I make it a point not to make her choose. I love my family, as you love yours, so I feel for you.

Here are a few aces up my sleeve that I have pulled out that have made her more respectful of my beliefs:

1) Remember the whole "sin be upon the heads of the parents" thing? If the kids choose to leave the church because of my teachings and allowances, God can punish me, and will most likely give them another chance in spirit prison. (There is no doctrinal foundation for the teaching that you only get one chance at the gospel. I had to research and reason that one with her for her to get her to believe it)

2) Because I changed my mind about the gospel, that proves that I have an open mind that is willing to change upon better information or fuller consideration. Thus, there's no reason to despair and think that I won't ever go back to believing in the church, especially if it's fundamentally true.

3) God would have to build a pretty high wall around the celestial kingdom to keep me from coming in to be with you and the kids. It's doubtful that your good and loving God would go to that length and effort to keep our family apart. If the requirement is that I believe in him, then I'll have pretty good reason to believe in him at that point. If it's too late, then see my previous point about a good loving God (this discussion can go further, discussing if people are capable of change. Say, for instance, a guy goes to hell, and 9,999,999,999,999,999,999 to the googol'th power years later has slowly become a good person. He's still stuck in his lower kingdom. Then take another guy in the CK who over that same amount of time has taken to molesting children. It's pessimistic to think that people are incapable of any kind of change, no matter how slow, and it's evil for God to keep those people where they are)

4) This one is the best one yet, and no mormon I've talked to has been able to discount it. If you were married in the temple, then you're stuck together as a family in the celestial kingdom creating universes no matter what so long as you don't murder. D&C 132:26 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation;"

She's not going to accept the doctrine, but it's right there in her own scriptures, and it will give her hope.

Re: Do you want it to be over?
Rarely, in this kind of situation, is divorce the answer, in my view. Generally, kids want two parents who love them! Wow, what a concept. People need time to adjust to changes. Lots of it. Be patient. Give your best, and don't give up.

So there are differences in beliefs. So what? Considering all the kinds of really serious problems people have, the violence, the abuse, the addictions, this is really quite minor.

Be adults. Negotiate, compromise, be willing to accept and love unconditionally, even if the other person can't do it. Yet.

There are some very simple remedies that have great results:
be nice. Ya, just be nice. Knock off the negativity, finding fault, and criticism. Even if the other person engages in it, you don't have to. Refuse to answer nastiness with nastiness. It requires adult behavior, adult thinking, not childishness.
Two wrongs don't make a right. It's still true.

What is more important? Some "right fighting" about religious opinions, or a family that loves each other AS IS and puts the welfare of others, including the children above their own.
I vote for the latter, every time.

Religion is about an emotional attachment/feelings/ based on faith not some factual evidences. People don't reason themselves out of something they didn't reason themselves into. Facts generally don't change people's beliefs by faith. Doesn't work that way.

It's my view that kids can adjust to their parents having different ideas about religion. What is extremely difficult is adjusting to the continual negativity and nastiness and the need to take sides. No kid wants that. They want two parents that love them unconditionally, can put their differences aside and give them the parents they need.

It ain't perfect, but it works!

50 years from now what will you remember... I'm asking myself that right now! :-) (Note: dang little! -- the good stuff rises to the top like cream!)

OK. Stick a fork in me. I'm done! :-)

Re: Is my marriage over?
You are not alone. I was a high priest in your situation. Tens of thousands of couples in the LDS church are in this same situation. All over the Net real LDS people posting behind monikers to protect their identities are voicing their individual marital dilemmas. These particular dilemmas were created when one spouse took the courage to question, research and educate themselves about all things mormon. Would an intelligent god not want that? The “glory of god is intelligence” isn’t it.

Intelligence is not had by living in ignorance. Is not the courage to learn about what we fear an important element of intelligence? Of course it is.

I lost my marriage due to my unbelief. I did not go slow with the spouse although I have no doubt whatsoever that she would never had let me or the children “chose freely” without forever feeling guilty and seeing us as making “unworthy or lesser” decisions outside of mormonism. I cannot convey the importance of taking others advice to go slow. Prove to her by example and by words that she is far more important to you than the church.

I was a good husband and provider.
That did not matter. What mattered most to my believing spouse is what the Ward would think and how they would judge. What mattered most was what church friends would think, what parents, grandparents uncles and aunts would think. Rather than running her life on what she knew to be right and true the belief in the church as being “true” (whatever that actually means) and showing an outward obedience to its teachings was demanded lest others see unrighteousness in our marriage.

I do accept responsibility for using some of my anger at the church in my defensive conversations with my now ex wife.
I wish I had learned about how to handle a believing spouse before my disaffection. That is now water under the bridge.

It is so very interesting that the thing the church preaches as the height of the supposed gospel is the principle of “free agency”. Free Agency was supposedly won in a war in heaven and was so precious a thing that even God himself cannot take it away from man. Satan’s plan to return us to God after our testing period included force. Force comes in many forms. Force is the demand for obedience “or else”. In other words threats of every kind are used to destroy Free Agency. Lack of love or rather love that is conditional upon obedience, threats of “You will be in Satan’s power” to get one to conform, and then insidious and selfish way to destroy Free Agency and those are the bribes. Families together forever, blessings in heaven, powers, priesthoods and kingdoms promised in the afterlife.

In the scriptures, in the Ensign, and at conference Free Agency is destroyed constantly and replace with threats and bribes. Except perhaps for some of what Hugh B. Brown and Ronald Poleman had to say.

Think I am wrong.

Example: The destruction of Emma’s rights in D&C 132.

Example: The BOM punishment of generations for acts they themselves did not commit ie the Lamanites generational cursing of black skin and ugliness.

Example: The despicable murder of Korihor even though there were laws in the land protecting his religious agency
These scriptures are proudly carried to church and taught to children as righteousness. When one awakes and realizes the horrible error and no longer wants this taught to their children, then families are torn apart.

The question for a believing spouse becomes this. Would a loving and intelligent god be the author of this kind of pernicious and insidious destruction of free agency that divides families and destroys marriages, or is it more likely that man is its author?

I have rambled on. If you love your wife and you see a future with her even if she continues to participate then go slow. Teach your children that it is a god given right to learn to question everything, research everything and that being skeptical actually keeps them safe.

If you do not see a future then do what you have already been taught. “Prepare every needful thing”.

Good luck. Come here to vent, not to your spouse.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"